As Kia goes from strength to strength with its designer label range of cars, the new Picanto reminds us that good things come in small packages. The Picanto is a city car, the small 1.0 litre engine just about powerful enough to zip in and out of traffic. But it is the engine note that raises a smile, under acceleration the Picanto sounds like a mini V8 and adds a thuggish charm to the super mini car market.
The Mitsubishi Outlander is neither a car nor and off roader yet that's exactly what it is. Its a Crossover designed to feature car like handling with a high ground clearance of an off-roader. And it doesn't do any of the two badly, don't dismiss the Outlander it has substance..
Compact MPV's are all about meeting the needs of a family, the seats should fold easily and in multiple positions and there should be a third row of seats for that extended entourage. The 5008 doesn't fail in either respect, its spacious inside, well finished and packed with kit.
The Sportage is a compact crossover SUV and continues the designer label theme of the Kia revival. It is all rather upmarket on the inside and has a good range of engines only the over assisted electric steering detracts from an otherwise solid effort.
Often overlooked and overshadowed by the Land Cruiser and Land Rovers its easy to ignore the Shogun but ignore it its now more efficient, due to an engine upgrade it can do 34mpg on a combined cycle and features a solid 4x4 system. The Shogun is aging gracefully.
Putting a diesel engine into a sports car is like telling the English Rugby team to focus on winning the 2011 World Cup, yet despite that diesel and the extra weight it entails the RCZ somehow manages to retain its sporting credentials without people noticing its a diesel.