Greatest long-term automotive assessments 2023: the automobiles we lived with day-to-day

Best long-term car tests 2023 pictures


First drives and group assessments make up an enormous a part of what we do at Auto Categorical, however we additionally assume it’s actually necessary to place a number of the most necessary new makes and fashions by means of long-term testing. In spite of everything, what higher method is there to search out out whether or not a brand new automotive is value your cash than by residing with it every day?

During the last 12 months, we’ve been in all the things from sports activities automobiles to vans, and we’ve even had a broad mixture of conventional petrol and diesel automobiles, in addition to hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and pure electrical automobiles. Most of our take a look at fleet has come by means of with a clear report card, though some have given us grief, and one was even crashed into! So what do our long-term testers consider their automobiles during the last yr? Learn on to search out out.

Vary Rover

Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief

  • Mileage: 16,078 miles
  • MPG: 36.2mpg

Within the 30 years that he’s been writing about automobiles, Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler has been fortunate sufficient to run three Vary Rovers – not dangerous contemplating there have solely been 5 generations. It was at one other milestone – Auto Categorical’s 1,800th concern – that he mentioned a tragic farewell to his newest, an L460-generation D350 HSE in Fuji White. Steve’s Vary Rover impressed him massively with its high quality, consolation and design. He coated big distances, and it averaged 36.2mpg – simply above the official determine. It was particularly succesful on quite a few journeys to Liverpool, when its long-distance potential and adaptive cruise management shrank the miles and the mpg rose above 40mpg.

Nonetheless, previous habits die onerous, and Steve was sorry to report a few points that required a name out to Land Rover Help – though neither downside left him stranded, and each have been handled shortly and effectively. 

However the spotlight of Steve’s six months with the Rangie was lining it up alongside an L405, an L322, a P38 and an authentic Vary Rover – and taking a drive in an ideal instance of one among his dream automobiles, a third-generation L322 mannequin that used to belong to the Royal Family.

Citroen C4 X

Paul Adam, Government-Editor

  • Mileage: 2,106 miles
  • MPG: 48.6mpg

A shiny autumnal drive to the Kent coast was the primary responsibility undertaken by Government editor Paul Adam within the Citroen C4 X when it joined our fleet.

There was a family-related purpose for the journey, as a result of he was off to check the bonkers Citroen Ami Buggy, a automotive (properly, quadricycle) that couldn’t be additional faraway from the consolation and relative refinement of the C4 X. Bouncing alongside the seaside lanes within the Buggy was good enjoyable, however slipping again behind the wheel of its extra civilised larger brother merely highlighted the qualities that Citroen has turn out to be well-known for.

The Consolation seats imply you end any journey as recent as if you began, whereas the PureTech 130 petrol mannequin is at its finest when unhurried and simply wafting alongside. What comes as extra of a shock is the Citroen’s wonderful gasoline financial system; greater than 50mpg is well achievable in real-world circumstances, serving to to make the C4 X an instantaneous hit as a household automotive.

Dacia Duster

Pete Baiden, Net producer

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  • Mileage: 5,002 miles
  • MPG: 35.8mpg

On a current household journey to Poland, net producer Pete Baiden needed to do a double take – have been there actually Dacia Dusters in all places or was he imagining it? Typically when you might have one thing, you have a tendency to note it extra in the actual world than you in any other case would. However that definitely wasn’t the case with the Dusters, as a result of a fast search on-line revealed that the price range SUV really was one of many best-selling automobiles within the nation.

Pete was so shocked at simply what number of he noticed, that he began to take photos of them. When he went on a tram, there was a Duster behind him. Strolling down the highway, yep, you guessed it, Dusters parked on driveway after driveway. Having spent one of the best a part of 5 months with a Duster on our fleet, Pete can admire why they’re so in style. What’s to not like a couple of automotive that drives properly, has loads of house and is – for need of a greater phrase – low-cost?

Peugeot 408

Steve Walker, Head of Digital Content material

  • Mileage: 3,539 miles
  • MPG: 37.0mpg

You couldn’t name it a spotlight, but it surely was definitely memorable. A thriller motorist determined to cave-in each passenger-side doorways on our Peugeot 408 whereas it was minding its personal enterprise in a carpark, and flee the scene. That kickstarted a series of occasions that despatched our head of digital content material, Steve Walker, again to Peugeot HQ for a pair of shiny new doorways. 

Aside from that pretty main mishap, the 408 has confirmed itself to be a great all-round proposition. The 1.2-litre turbocharged engine had us anxious initially, however so long as you aren’t anticipating something too energetic performance-wise, it’s completely ample – even with a full complement of passengers and baggage. A greater possibility than the dear plug-in hybrid in our eyes.

Peugeot has tried to offer the 408 a sporty really feel on the highway to go together with its daring appears. However given the modest 128bhp engine and sometimes slow-witted auto ’field, a barely softer experience might have been preferable. 

In any other case, there’s tons right here to love: the big flat boot space, the plentiful rear legroom, the large shortcut keys for the infotainment system and that adventurous design in and out. The 408 may not have the high-set driving place of an SUV, however don’t low cost Peugeot’s large hatchback till you’ve tried it.

Skoda Karoq

Pete Gibson, Senior employees photographer

  • Mileage: 18,293 miles
  • MPG: 48.6mpg

As most readers know, the take a look at automobiles run by Senior employees photographer Pete Gibson cowl many hundreds of miles annually. Pete’s day job includes a number of journey to {photograph} automobiles in varied far-flung places, similar to Scotland, Wales and Yorkshire. 

Usually Pete would decide one among these journeys as his spotlight of the yr – or maybe the New Automotive Awards, which give the artistic crew an opportunity to do one thing slightly completely different. This yr, although, his favorite journey was right down to Cornwall. It’s definitely a phenomenal place, but it surely’s not someplace Pete would normally select.

First, it’s not a viable location for automotive pictures as a result of the roads are too small and busy. Plus, it’s an awfully good distance down the M5 and past. However this journey was about visiting his brother, who has relocated to Cornwall, and Pete’s Skoda Karoq was completely suited to the journey. Even totally loaded along with his spouse, youngsters, canine, and some days’ provides, it proved to be ideally suited for exploring the southwest.

Toyota Corolla

Chris Rosamond, Present affairs editor

  • Mileage: 10,480 miles
  • MPG: 53.2mpg

Six months spent with the newest Corolla bolstered the religion of Present affairs editor Chris Rosamond in Toyota’s conviction that hybrid tech is, and can stay for a while, the appropriate resolution for many individuals wanting to participate in a low-carbon future. 

In current months the corporate has been pilloried in some quarters – thanks, EV evangelists and social media warriors – for failing to make a swift transition to pure electrical/battery energy. However actually, for anybody needing to make a realistic alternative about what sort of powertrain they may responsibly run in these eco-aware instances, Chris says the 90mpg-plus he commonly noticed on the journey commuter whereas doing native mileage, and the truth that you possibly can replenish the Corolla’s small gasoline tank for relative peanuts wherever in minutes, makes a compelling argument for hybrid over pure-EV tech.

The Corolla additionally has swoopy styling, and spectacular infotainment and security tech, to not point out entertaining efficiency and dealing with – at the least as much as the purpose applicable for a mainstream hatch. However Chris was slightly bit dissatisfied with the five-door’s packaging; restricted boot house and tight rear legroom made it much less of a household workhorse than he’d hoped.

Volvo XC40 Recharge

Richard Ingram, Deputy editor

  • Mileage: 4,761 miles
  • Effectivity: 3.1mi/kWh

Practicality is extraordinarily necessary to deputy editor Richard Ingram. Lately, he’s extra involved about boot capability than blistering acceleration, so a roomy inside and loads of locations to retailer his daughter’s odds and ends are conditions for any long-term take a look at automotive.

He had no complaints when his Volvo XC40 Recharge turned up in direction of the again finish of final yr, then. It’s spacious inside for its general measurement, and even has a compartment underneath the bonnet for the charging cables. What the XC40 couldn’t do, nevertheless, was carry his highway bike alongside his nearest and dearest, so when he unwittingly signed up for a 100-mile experience by means of the Essex countryside again in Could, one thing needed to give.

Or did it? As an alternative of leaving his spouse and toddler at dwelling whereas coaching each weekend, Wealthy determined to fireside up the Volvo equipment brochure and order a roof-mounted bike rack. With the {hardware} fitted, he was in a position to journey the size and breadth of the nation, taking scenic routes whereas his family and friends explored the native space. The straightforward-to-load bike provider meant everybody within the Ingram family may get out and benefit from the summer time sunshine.

Volkswagen Transporter SWB

Dean Gibson, Senior take a look at editor

  • Mileage: 11,233 miles
  • MPG: 35.4mpg

Our senior take a look at editor, Dean Gibson, has all the time thought the Volkswagen Golf R is simply too understated – there’s not a lot to distinguish it from R-Line trim – and lining one up subsequent to his VW Transporter solely helped to emphasize this. 

Possibly it’s as a result of Sportline spec could be very completely different from the remainder of the line-up, however our van’s Ravenna blue paint definitely helped it stand out, whereas the delicate bodykit, black alloys, tailgate spoiler and purple stripe throughout the nostril gave it loads of visible attraction. It definitely attracted loads of consideration from Transporter lovers – modded van house owners all the time gave Dean a wave when he was driving our factory-stock machine – however thankfully, our van may additionally ship efficiency, in addition to packages.

With 201bhp from its 2.0 TDI diesel engine, a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds is quoted by VW, whereas the mid-range torque means the slow-shifting DSG gearbox wasn’t as a lot of a hindrance because it may have been.

Audi TT Roadster

Steve Sutcliffe, Particular contributor

  • Mileage: 2,235 miles
  • MPG: 36.2mpg

Steve Sutcliffe has a factor about alloy wheels. He cleans them at any given alternative, then simply appears at them as soon as they’re glowing. He fairly likes the matt gray diamond-cut ones on our Audi TT Roadster Last Version, so when somebody from Maple Parking at Gatwick airport put a dent in one among them, he was not finest happy.

Nonetheless, when our man brought on a fuss about this with the powers that be at Maple, they shocked him with their response – which was to supply to repair the injury with no questions requested. This, says Steve, has been the stunning spotlight of the yr – primarily since you hear tales about being not noted within the chilly when issues like this occur, however on this case, the precise reverse occurred. 

Oh sure, and he fairly likes the remainder of the TT Roadster, too.


Daybreak Grant, Image editor

  • Mileage: 13,264 miles
  • MPG: 42.8mpg

Image editor Daybreak Grant wasn’t positive what to anticipate when she acquired the keys to the DS4 PHEV. She’d pushed earlier fashions that gave the impression to be attempting too onerous, and knew the model may divide opinion. 

She was shortly gained over by the automotive’s allure, although, notably its barely jacked-up look and the diamond sample within the taillights. However throughout her six months with the automotive, its consolation proved the actual winner.

The sporty entrance seats appeared and felt nice; each Daybreak and her taller husband discovered them comfy. The DS4 was calming to drive too, due to its clean computerized transmission and light-weight steering. DS definitely acquired the steadiness proper right here, offering a calming and soothing experience as a distinction to the dynamic exterior look.

Volkswagen T-Roc

Kim Adams, Product editor

  • Mileage: 3,361 miles
  • MPG: 42.7mpg

Surprisingly, the VW T-Roc proved to be a super companion for tackling the hillclimb college on the UK’s oldest motorsport venue, Shelsley Walsh.

Merchandise editor Kim Adams had deliberate to make use of one among his personal observe automobiles when the invite to a day on the college got here by means of from venue accomplice Motul. However logistics and issues meant the T-Roc was pressed in to service. It definitely stood out among the many remainder of the college’s sports activities and efficiency automobiles, but it surely proved remarkably well-suited to the format of the day. 

As soon as Kim had turned off varied digital ‘help’ modes, the big-selling T-Roc was fast sufficient to make sure the climb wasn’t a easy foot-flat-to-the-floor train, however not so quick that he wanted to be cautious of it getting out of practice.

The mix allowed Kim to concentrate on studying the nuances of the hill with out worrying the T-Roc was going to go for the closest financial institution or barrier. It was an unlikely observe instrument, however in the end good for the job.

Volkswagen ID.3

Andy Pringle, Chief-sub-editor

  • Mileage: 2,891 miles
  • Effectivity: 3.1mi/kWh

As highlights go, this will likely all sound fairly modest, however Chief sub-editor Andy Pringle is a person of straightforward wants. And though he readily admits he has a lot to study operating an EV, what he favored most in regards to the newest Volkswagen ID.3 when it arrived in October was simply how shortly and simply it slotted into his household life.

Specifically, the all-electric Volkswagen has taken to its function as Mum and Dad’s Taxi like a duck to water. Andy and his spouse appear to spend a lot of their ‘free’ time taking their daughter to an apparently infinite succession of Brownies conferences, swimming classes, drama rehearsals, soccer coaching classes and matches; so having a five-door hatch that they’ll simply leap in and go is a godsend.

The truth that the ID.3 is a comparatively compact automotive can also be a blessed reduction round suburban London, the place parking areas are usually equally compact. And the truth that Andy can park the automotive on his drive and get out and in with out damaging his neighbour’s low hedge is a welcome bonus. 

Minimize an extended story quick, Andy simply likes issues that work – and the Volkswagen works completely. Lengthy might it proceed.

Citroen C5 X

Darren Wilson, Inventive director

  • Mileage: 1,790 miles
  • MPG: 35.9mpg

Inventive director Darren Wilson was fortunate sufficient to have three completely different take a look at automobiles in 2023. He began out with the multi-award-winning Dacia Jogger and extra just lately had the luxurious, hi-tech all-electric Lexus RZ. So it is perhaps a shock that he selected the Citroen C5 X as his long-term automotive of the yr, along with his spotlight being a drive right down to Somerset for a household vacation.

The Citroen sits firmly in Darren’s ‘Goldilocks zone’: someplace between price range and premium, between easy and hi-tech, and between sensible and comfy. In reality, he rated it so extremely that he requested Citroen to increase the mortgage particularly so he may apply it to the vacation.

Darren discovered the jacked-up cross between an property and an SUV supremely comfy and an absolute pleasure to drive. He cherished the beneficiant house and smart in-car tech that managed to be secure and helpful with out being advanced and intrusive. The Citroen stays a much-missed automotive.

BYD Atto 3

John Mcllroy, Editor-at-large

  • Mileage: 5,673 miles
  • Effectivity: 4.0mi/kWh

The concept was easy: Ed-at-large John McIlroy would take his BYD Atto 3 to one of many model’s first UK sellers, to chart the community’s growth and see how consumers are interacting with a significant new model.

Jon met Stratstone’s BYD rep, Julie Fearnley, who defined how the agency attracted Chinese language prospects to begin with, however was now bringing in a wider cross-section of purchaser, curious to see what it may supply.

In the midst of the dialog, he occurred to say that our Atto 3 had an inclination to mist up all too simply – even on what was a wonderfully advantageous morning. John had performed with the assorted air flow settings on the automotive’s central touchscreen, however hadn’t been capable of finding an answer for the issue.

“Oh, that’s simple,” Fearnley replied immediately. “It’s a recall. Would you want us to type it for you now?” And inside two minutes, a senior technician, who occurred to be on the Milton Keynes web site for coaching, had plugged his laptop computer into the Atto 3’s OBD port and was flashing its system software program.

In all of his time operating long-term take a look at autos, John can’t ever recall a double whammy like this one – seeing a brand new operation take off, concurrently fixing one of many valuable few niggles that he’d managed to search out with the car in query. Consequence.

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