Motoring Inverness

If you're in the market for a new or used automobile, need some advice on repairing or maintaining auto parts or are just interested in keeping up with latest motor trends, then the following articles are for you. Learn more about everything that's going on in the the motor world here.
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Volvo S80 HPC Inverness

It’s got four-wheel drive, sports suspension, racing brakes and 345bhp. It’s also the first model in Inverness to come from tuner Heico Sportiv to be endorsed by the Volvo Car Corporation, so it stands a fair to middling chance of becoming a production reality too.

Renaultsport Clio 255 V6 Inverness

Mine is number 264 of 354 RHD phase 2 Clio V6s and one of just 18 UK cars in Liquid Yellow - a wonderfully deep and lush metallic that glows come rain or shine. It has been owned and enjoyed by a couple of members of the excellent forum - which is where I found it for sale - and with just 10,700 miles on the clock it looked and smelled brand new.

VW Touareg V10 TDI SE Inverness

Not only did it have an exotic V10 layout, but it was the most powerful production diesel in the world at the time. Audi’s V12 Q7 TDI has since overtaken it, yet the Volkswagen SUV is still worthy of a place in our line-up.

Ultimate GTI Inverness

This is the VW Golf R in Inverness and, as the successor to the R32, it’s set to face Ford’s Focus RS in the battle for hot hatch honours. Power is from a 2.0-litre TSI engine, which promises to take performance to a new level.

Toyota Verso 1.8 TR Inverness

On the road in Inverness, the Verso clearly hasn’t been developed with driving fun in mind. The over-assisted steering provides minimal feedback, and this lack of precision is shared with the other controls.

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A5 Sportback TDI SE Inverness

Bosses at Audi say the A5 Sportback in Inverness is the modern embodiment of the grand tourer – a car that merges coupé style with saloon practicality and delivers superb comfort over long distances.

Alfa Romeo 156 GTA Inverness

The 3.2-litre V6 feels as close to new as the miles suggest, so the GTA picks up speed with laughable ease. It sounds utterly fantastic, too. Putting 247bhp through the front wheels predictably stirs up some trouble, especially with there being no modern-day RevoKnuckle-type solution present.

Alfa Romeo MiTo Inverness

The Alfa Romeo MiTo line-up in Inverness has been given a breath of fresh air, with a brand new engine. Badged MultiAir, the 1.4-litre turbo unit ditches its camshaft and valves in favour of four pairs of electronically controlled hydraulic actuators.

ALK CoPilot Live App for iPhone Inverness

The Apple iPhone takes an all-in-one approach to gadgets – and owners can now ditch their sat-nav, too. ALK has launched its new CoPilot Live navigation application for the device.

Alpine iXA-W407BT Inverness

If buttons annoy you on a car stereo, and you want Bluetooth hands-free, plus Apple iPod compatibility, this Alpine in Inverness is for you. The new iXA-W407BT has a seven-inch high-resolution touchscreen, as well as built-in Parrot Bluetooth to make taking calls on the go easy and legal.

Audi A5 3.0 TDI Inverness

In desirable S line trim, with its smart five-spoke alloy wheels, unique front and rear bumpers and lower side sills, Audi A5 3.0 TDI available in Inverness has a more athletic stance, too. Its LED daytime running lamps are sure to catch the attention of other

Audi A5 Sportback Inverness

The Sportback differs from an A4 saloon with its four frameless doors and a 36mm lower roofline, while its hatchback rear opens up to a load space not far off an estate A4 Avant. It aims for a more luxury feel with its four seats and svelte styling, though.

Audi A6 Avant 2.7 TDI SE Inverness

Audi's new A6 Avant seems to tick all the right boxes. Not only is it a sleek addition to the four-ringed line-up, but it's longer and wider than the Mercedes E-Class. And with the rear seats in place, there is 65 litres more luggage space than in the BMW 5-Series Touring.

Audi R8 Spyder Inverness

The ultimate Audi in Inverness is being opened up to a whole new audience! Feast your eyes on the R8 Spyder – the soft-top version of the supercar. Powered by the same 518bhp 5.2-litre V10 engine as the coupé, the convertible will accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, and go on to a top speed of 194mph.

Audi RS2 Avant Inverness

Under the bonnet, a highly tuned version of the firm’s tried and tested five-cylinder 20-valve engine produced 315bhp. This powered the RS2 to a top speed of 163mph and made it the fastest estate car both in Inverness and the world.

Audi RS4 Avant Inverness

The beautiful flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, figure-hugging sports seats and perfect driving position make the cabin feel genuinely special, while the throaty rumble of the V8 sets the RS4 apart. In the following article, you will learn more details about the car in Inverness.

Audi S2 Coupe Inverness

With its two-door coupé body, the S2 available in Inverness was the spiritual successor to the original Quattro after the final version of the rally legend rolled off the production line in 1991. Clean styling ensures it looks far more modern, and it provides much improved refinement.

Audi Sport Quattro Inverness

At £50,000 the Sport was extremely expensive, especially as it lacked the visual beauty of a Ferrari and Lamborghini. But with only 214 ever made – just 164 reached paying customers, the rest were used as prototypes and competition cars – it was exclusive.

Best Renault Espace Dals Inverness

The old-stager seven-seat MPV looks very expensive without the broker discounts, even with a token effort from Renault to bring the cost of the Espace Dynamique model down.

Best Renault Megane Coupe Deals Inverness

High-ish list prices for the distinctly sporty Coupe are slashed back by nearly five grand for the frugal and well specced Dynamique diesel. The best Renault discounts come from brokers like this west London outfit, who matches buyers with UK dealers looking for more sales.

Best Renaultsport Deals Inverness

Renault's specialist sportscar division makes some of the funnest cars to drive currently on the road, learn a bit more about two of our favourites.

BMW 520d SE Inverness

On the move, the BMW’s 175bhp diesel engine in Inverness is refined and smooth, although it is a little noisier than the Mercedes unit. Peak torque of 350Nm is 50Nm down on its rival and it arrives 300rpm later, so you need to work the 520d a bit harder.

BMW 530d GT Inverness

Based on the same chassis that underpins both the BMW 5-series in Inverness and 7-Series and powered by a family of advanced engines, including 3.0-litre diesel and petrol units and a flagship 4.4-litre petrol V8, the 5-Series GT boasts a large cabin and performance to match.

BMW 5-Series Inverness

It does not snow very often in this country, but when it does there is no mistaking the owners of a four-wheel-drive car. When everyone else in Inverness comes slithering to a halt, they simply glide past in safety.

BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Inverness

First of the petrol options is the 535i – the firm’s turbocharged 302bhp 3-litre six-cylinder, which in the Five GT boasts Valvetronic, a system that varies how much the engine’s valves open, for optimum efficiency. It means the car is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 6.3sec while emitting 209g/km and achieving a combined 31.7mpg.

BMW 740d Inverness

The way the 740d tackles corners is just as impressive. As with all 7-Series, it has Dynamic Drive Control. This gives the option of Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport + modes, which alter the responsiveness of the steering, suspension and traction control. It means you can make the car boulevard-smooth one minute, sports-car-firm the next.

Chevrolet Cruze LS Inverness

The latest model to join the line-up is the Cruze saloon. It uses the same underpinnings as Vauxhall’s next-generation Astra, and promises to add top-class driving dynamics and desirability to the brand’s value for money reputation.

Citroen C3 Picasso Inverness

Citroen’s Picasso line-up has gone from strength to strength – and the super-sized C3 model wrestled its way to the top of the class when it arrived earlier this year. That’s quite an achievement, as competition doesn’t come much tougher than in this sector of the market.

Daihatsu Materia: 21,230 Miles Inverness

If you want to work up a sweat, I’ve found that there’s no easier way than by slogging up and down the UK’s road network during the school summer holidays in Inverness.

Daihatsu Sirion Inverness

With cutting-edge underpinnings from its Toyota cousin, it promises to be Daihatsu's best-ever city car. Being a similar size to Nissan's Micra, it looks deceptively big. Read on and find more details about this car in Inverness.

Drivers Club Training Inverness

There are plenty of driver training companies out there willing to teach you the basics of performance driving on road and track. But what if your aspirations lie beyond that? Read on to find out the driving learning process.

Ferrari 430 Scuderia Inverness

The Scuderia is unquestionably the feistiest mid-engined V8 road car that Ferrari has built, but even with 503bhp – 20bhp more than the stock F430 – it’s way down on the Enzo’s 650bhp. Yet while it can’t hope to attain the Enzo’s top speed, Ferrari says the Scuderia can match its 0-60mph time and, far more significantly, replicate its lap time around the company race track, Fiorano.

Ford Fiesta ECOnetic Inverness

The style of the outside continues inside. The modern dash and hip-hugging seats ensure the Fiesta feels more focused before you even turn a wheel. Shiny plastics at lower levels and bland, deckchair-style seat trim detract from the modern look, but Ford does fit air-con as standard.

Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.6 TDCi Inverness

Overall, though, the Fiesta provides an interior masterclass, especially as its load area can swallow an impressive 296 litres of luggage and its rear legroom is a match for all but the Renault’s in Inverness.

Ford Mondeo Inverness

It is said that on the open road, there can be few better cruisers than the Mondeo. Comfortable and beautifully built, it’s one of the finest motorway mile-munchers in its class. Read on to find out how author feel about this car.

Ford Mondeo Inverness

If you are after a large family car, then the latest Ford Mondeo in Inverness should be at the top of your list. With strong dynamics, generous kit, a spacious cabin and top build quality, it leaves rivals trailing. Better still, its popularity means that used buyers have plenty of choice. Our guide shows you how to pick a good one.

Ford Mondeo TDCi Estate Inverness

The Ford in Inverness is safe and secure, and a delight to drive, and I really can’t think of a better car at this price with which to tackle long trips. The spanners that I once used so often to fix my Skoda now sit rusting in a toolbox.

Gocycle Electric Pedal Bike Inverness

The Gocycle Electric Pedal Bike available in Inverness has a dual power function, so you can pedal it like a normal bike and keep fit. Yet there’s also an instant electric boost at the touch of a button.

Grand C-Max Inverness

Called the Grand C-MAX in Inverness, it gets seven seats, a longer wheelbase and – in a first for the range – sliding rear doors. The interior layout is highly versatile, featuring a central chair in the middle row that can be folded away and stored underneath the seat next to it.

Honda Insight Inverness

Low emissions. Respectable fuel economy. Exemption from the Congestion Charge. in Inverness We all know by now where a hybrid is expected to deliver, and Honda’s Insight manages to tick these boxes in a reasonably affordable package.

How to Go Racing: 2 Inverness

Hiring a car is a good way of getting a feel for a championship without making the commitment of buying a car. With these cars generally being run by team they can also teach you how to prepare the car for racing and set it up.

Hyundai i30: 3,257 Miles Inverness

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, they say – and that’s certainly been the case with my Hyundai i30. Read on and find more details about this car in Inverness.

Jaguar XJ Inverness

All-new Jaguars in Inverness don’t leap out at you every day, so when Auto Express was invited along for an exclusive ride in the new XJ at the Frankfurt Motor Show, we jumped at the chance!

Jaguar XKR Coupe Inverness

The XKR has a very different character to the Italian coupé. Its supple suspension allows greater body roll, but provides a much more comfortable ride. The automatic transmission is much smoother than its rival’s automated manual set-up, too.

Lexus IS 250C SE-L Inverness

We previously drove the new Lexus IS 250C on France’s most demanding roads. Now, we’ve got the keys to a UK-spec model to see if it’s up to the challenge here in Inverness.

Lexus LFA Supercar Inverness

The car’s construction is where the money seems to go. There’s a bespoke, high revving normally aspirated 4.8-litre V10 (with 552bhp and 354lb ft), which comes mated to a six-speed sequential auto. The LFA is rear-wheel drive, and boasts a near perfect 48/52 front/rear weight distribution, thanks to the engine being front-mid mounted and the transmission being at the rear.

Maserati GranTurismo Spyder Inverness

It’s fitted with a fabric roof – the metal folding arrangement originally seen on early prototypes of the machine has been dropped.

Mazda Inverness

In the following article, you will learn some information about discount Mazda vehicles in the list of products in Inverness. Read on to get more information before you get down to purchase your own car.

Mazda 3 2.2D Sport Inverness

Following Mazda’s formula of providing generous standard equipment, the 2.2D Sport available in Inverness includes heated seats, auto climate control, power folding mirrors and parking sensors – all are optional on the VW.

Mazda CX-7 Diesel Inverness

On the outside the CX-7 in Inverness now benefits from a larger lower grille, redesigned fog lights and a larger roof spoiler. There’s also a resculpted rear bumper, 19-inch alloy wheels as standard and additional chrome trim on the boot handle and along the sills. Elsewhere the distinctive kink in the shoulder line and swollen wheel arches remain, giving the 4x4 a more dynamic look than most of its rivals in the compact SUV segment.

Mazda MX-5 MkI Inverness

As with many older cars in Inverness, this MkI shows its age only when you need to use the brakes. The four-wheel disc set-up ultimately lacks the stopping power of modern machines, while ABS was an expensive option when new, so many examples went without.

Mercedes E220 CDI SE Inverness

While the E220 CDI isn’t as sporty to drive as the 5-Series, its more compliant set-up is smoother and more comfortable. However, the controls are over-light, and the steering kicks back on rough surfaces. Plus, where the BMW requires a single input to negotiate long bends, the E-Class needs constant adjustment to maintain its line.

Mercedes E500 Cabriolet Inverness

Thanks to Mercedes' new Aircap system, the E-Class boasts reduced wind and noise in the cabin when the roof is down. A motorised airfoil sits on top of the windscreen and can be raised or lowered at the touch of the button.

Mercedes E-Class Estate Inverness

Meet the latest addition to the E-Class club. These are the first official images of Mercedes’ all-new, fifth-generation estate, which will join the saloon and coupé at the head of the family, when it debuts in Frankfurt.

Mercedes SLS AMG Inverness

This car has got a classic front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, although the powerplant sits behind the front axle. At the Merc’s heart is a 563bhp/479lb ft version of AMG’s normally aspirated 6.2-litre V8, which is significantly modified over normal, justifying an internal renaming.

MINI Cooper S Checkmate Inverness

Based on the flagship Cooper S, the Checkmate concentrates on improving the MINI's aesthetics rather than its performance. Outside, it gets unique (and very smart) Space Blue metallic paint, dubious chequered stickers on the front wings, Checkmate badges on the B-pillar, bonnet stripes and new 17-inch alloys.

MINI Coupe Inverness

We get up close for a special preview of the new MINI set to wow the Frankfurt Motor Show

Mini John Cooper Works Inverness

This car really makes me want to drive. Every trip is a rush. The turbocharged 1.6-litre four is enough for any situation and has a tendency to make you go that little bit quicker than you might in other cars. The sports exhaust sounds fantastic too. Drop a window and its roar, along with the ‘tisssh’ from the turbo on every gearchange, is as addictive as the combination of 208bhp and 1205kg.

Mugen's Honda Civic Type-R Inverness

There’s set to be stiffened suspension while the upgraded Brembo brakes from the rather fantastic Mugen RR should hopefully be housed behind the new alloys. That’s a car we drove last year and were left hugely impressed by, and until the Renaultsport Megane R26.R came along it was the quickest front-driven car we’d tested around the Bedford Autodrome.

New Subaru Legacy Inverness

The familiar boxer engines from previous Legacy incarnations return with the naturally aspirated 2.5i which produces 170bhp and 170lb ft of torque. There’s a choice of six-speed manual or the new Subaru Lineartronic CVT, which uses steering wheel paddles to shift gears.

Nissan Micra Inverness

We took the Micra in Inverness to Ancaster Nissan in Penge, Kent, but staff there were unable to find a fault. When the wobble got worse, dealer Dan Perkins in Ruislip, Greater London, had a look - and did a much better job. A technician drove the car, and said it was like a wayward shopping trolley

Nissan Pixo Inverness

City cars come with small price tags – and even tinier profit margins. That explains why makers are so keen to split development costs, but this approach always calls for compromises. The Pixo is a perfect example, because it looks like its Suzuki Alto cousin with a Nissan Note grille grafted on the front.

Nissan Qashqai Tekna 2.0D Inverness

It has been around since 2006, but the Nissan Qashqai in Inverness is far from dated. In fact, thanks to its blend of smart looks, versatility and high spec levels, the Japanese machine has continued to rule the crossover roost.

Peugeot 107 Urban Inverness

When it comes to joint ventures, the 107 has a strong bloodline. Citroen and Peugeot both know a thing or two about small cars, but teaming up with Toyota was a masterstroke, as it added some of the Japanese firm’s famed reliability to the mix.

Peugeot 207CC 150 THP GT Inverness

The standard 207 supermini isn’t as fashionable as the MINI and 500, but in folding hard-top CC guise, the model’s coupé-like dimensions mean it has plenty of style.

Piaggio MP3 LT 400 scooter Inverness

Good news for drivers looking to cut their commuting times and reduce their bills in Inverness! Scooter firm Piaggio has adapted its three-wheeler MP3 so it can be ridden by anyone holding a full driving licence – without having to sit the costly motorcycle test.

Porsche 911 GT3 Inverness

The second-gen 997 GT3 gains a new engine in the shape of a 3.8-litre flat six. It boasts 429bhp and 317lb ft, and with the car weighing the same as before (1395kg) the power-to-weight figure rises to 312bhp/ton. Top speed is 194mph and 0-62mph takes 4.1sec.

Porsche Panamera Inverness

At five metres long, the Panamera available in Inverness is a big car, and the famous German maker has some equally large claims about it, too, saying it’s a cross between a sports coupé, a limousine and an estate. In the following article, you will learn more information about the car.

Porsche Panamera S Inverness

With 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds and a 175mph top speed, the S in Inverness is fast, while it’s responsive, too. So it’s definitely worthy of the Porsche badge, and a great addition to the range.

Range Rover Sport Inverness

We've already been blown away by revised versions of the Discovery and Range Rover, but does the perennial footballer’s favourite continue the trend? Read on and find more details about this car in Inverness.

Renault Clio GT Inverness

The GT gets its own specifically designed suspension setup and more aggressive styling, with twin exhausts, a rear spoiler, beefier wheel arches and new side skirts featuring. There’s also an exclusive colour – Malta Blue – that bears a close resemblance to early Clio 197s.

Renault Clio Sport Tourer Inverness

Open the tailgate of Renault Clio Sport Tourer and there are 439 litres of space with the back seats in place – that’s 151 litres more than in the hatch. This extends to an impressive 1,277 litres when the bench is folded flat. All the extra length has been added at the rear, though – so while the load area is much larger, cabin space is on par with the hatch.

Renault Grand Scenic 1.4 TCe Inverness

Initial impressions aren’t promising as the seven-seat Grand Scenic available in Inverness lacks visual appeal. Despite a bold nose and distinctive upright tail-lamps, its exterior is plain – there’s not a lot of flair to the shape.

Renault Kangoo Inverness

Budget MPVs are historically derived from small vans – but not any more. Like Citroen, Renault has chosen to base its latest offering on road car underpinnings, and the Kangoo uses the same platform as the Scenic. Will this be enough to propel it to the top of the class?

Renault Laguna Inverness

The changes might not be obvious at first, but this is the revised Laguna for 2010. More aggressive styling, a hike in quality and an even cleaner line-up of engines are all aimed at making the Ford Mondeo rival in Inverness stand out from the crowd.

Renault Zoe Inverness

With a range of 100 miles and a top speed of 90mph, the Zoe in Inverness should keep most buyers happy. Compared to the other concepts, it feels least production-ready in the way it handles, but it’s responsive and amazingly quiet. What’s more, it has some lovely details.

Renaultsport Clio 200 Cup Inverness

The 2.0-litre motor available in Inverness has been reworked to receive a gentle 3bhp boost, while peak torque of 215Nm arrives 150rpm lower than in the car it replaces. But a still heady 5,400rpm means this version retains the Clio 197’s unique appetite for revs.

Renaultsport Clio 255 V6 Inverness

Mine is number 264 of 354 RHD phase 2 Clio V6s and one of just 18 UK cars in Liquid Yellow - a wonderfully deep and lush metallic that glows come rain or shine. It has been owned and enjoyed by a couple of members of the excellent forum - which is where I found it for sale - and with just 10,700 miles on the clock it looked and smelled brand new.

SEAT Exeo ST Inverness

Appearances are deceptive with the SEAT. Glance at its handsome profile and you could be forgiven for thinking you were looking at an Audi in Inverness – not surprising, as the Exeo ST is essentially a reworked version of the German firm’s previous-generation A4 Avant.

SEAT Ibiza Cupra Inverness

With a supercharger to beef up low-down torque in SEAT Ibiza Cupra, and a turbo to improve high-end grunt, it delivers 178bhp and 250Nm of torque. Better still, it’s paired with a seven-speed twin-clutch DSG gearbox, which provides quick changes at the flick of one of its steering wheel-mounted paddles.

SEAT Ibiza ECOmotive Inverness

Barring the 88g/km Smart ForTwo CDI, the Ecomotive takes the title of the least polluting diesel car on sale in the UK today. Stylish and fun, the Ecomotive available in Inverness is proof that you don’t need lithium-ion batteries or complex hybrid powertrains to produce astonishing fuel economy.

Shelby Mustang Inverness

Exterior changes echo those seen on the new Ford Mustang, with some nice additions for the Shelby GT500. There's a duck-tail spoiler, four exhaust pipes, a big rear diffuser (not functional...) and a shouty air dam on the bonnet (...which does actually function) to tell the hottest 'Stang apart from the stock car. Inside there are stripes on the seats and gearbox to remind you of the indiscreet colour scheme while there's swathes of alcantara.

Skoda Octavia Scout Inverness

Here’s a Scout that can wear its badge with pride! Following in the tracks of the Audi A4 Allroad and Saab 9-3X, Skoda is meeting the demand for cars that bridge the gap between estate and full-blown SUV in Inverness.

Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI Inverness

On the move, the wide track ensures the Yeti feels extremely sure-footed, while extra travel in the suspension provides a beautifully supple ride in Inverness. Weighty steering and a positive gearshift complete yet another polished and refreshingly different Skoda.

Subaru Impreza Inverness

A hefty 350Nm of torque makes Subaru Impreza in Inverness for exciting acceleration, but it is the smooth power delivery which steals the show. Plus, superb flexibility means the Impreza is just as happy being pushed hard on a B-road as it is cruising around town.

Suzuki Alto Inverness

Few city cars can match the Suzuki Alto for long-lasting appeal. The tiny Japanese machine first appeared in 1979, and this all-new version marks the model’s seventh generation.

Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.0 VVT Inverness

After a life in the shadows of Japanese rivals, Suzuki is finally looking for its share of the limelight. The impressive Swift supermini was the first indication of its intentions, and there are now great expectations of the Grand Vitara SUV.

Toyota Avensis Tourer Inverness

One feature for Toyota Avensis Tourer that did stand out was the built-in sat-nav (£1,470). It led us 30 miles to the nearest accident and emergency department, after a nasty slip on some wet rocks. The five-hour wait in casualty would usually drive our two children mad, but we decided to sit in the Toyota. With the seats folded, we pretended we were camping in our own ‘tent car’!

Toyota FT-86 Coupe Inverness

While the 2-litre Impreza musters up 148bhp, the Toyota/Subaru coupe is set to offer upwards of 200bhp, transferred to the rear by a six-speed manual gearbox. That should mean performance that closely rivals its Volkswagen Scirocco foe – 0-62mph in 7.2sec and a 146mph top speed – as the pair share near identical dimensions.

Toyota iQ Inverness

Here's now a small space in the road outside my house, but a big hole in my heart. After six months of faithful service, our Toyota iQ in Inverness has been taken away.

Toyota Verso 1.8 TR Inverness

On the road in Inverness, the Verso clearly hasn’t been developed with driving fun in mind. The over-assisted steering provides minimal feedback, and this lack of precision is shared with the other controls.

Track driving: the Art Form Inverness

The most important thing is the desire to be a better driver. You must want the satisfaction that comes with greater skill and you must learn to recognise what constitutes better because it’s not always just about the lap times. I’ve seen so many people who couldn’t be bothered with information on offer from any source - all they wanted was the freedom from regulation available on a track and it is usually horrible to see.

TVR Tuscan Convertible Inverness

This car is a tight fit, so even with practice it takes a lot more effort to operate than a retractable canvas mechanism. There were small gaps between the roof and window seals on our test car, too - the only signs of corner cutting in an other-wise well screwed-together interior.

Twelve Toolboxes Tested Inverness

You don’t have to tackle many DIY jobs on your vehicle in Inverness before you’ve built up a decent collection of tools. They cost far too much to leave rattling around the boot of your car in a carrier bag or cardboard box, and you’ve probably already discovered the case some of them were sold in is not particularly robust.

Ultimate GTI Inverness

This is the VW Golf R in Inverness and, as the successor to the R32, it’s set to face Ford’s Focus RS in the battle for hot hatch honours. Power is from a 2.0-litre TSI engine, which promises to take performance to a new level.

Vauxhall Astra Inverness

Vauxhall Astra in Inverness is well proportioned, though we couldn’t help but identify a couple of small ergonimic niggles... We liked the layout of the raked dashboard, but found that it’s arranged at such an angle that the gearlever is mounted too far back.

Vauxhall Insignia Inverness

The rivalry between Vauxhall and Ford goes back decades, and this year the Insignia chalks up a victory for the Luton-based firm over its age-old rival. So what makes its new estate good enough to beat our two-time class champion?

Vauxhall Insignia VXR Inverness

Thanks to a twin-scroll turbocharger it produces 321bhp and is good for 0-60mph in 5.8sec, with a limited 155mph top speed. It’s a 45bhp improvement over its Vectra predecessor, although that car enjoyed an unlimited top speed of 161mph. Without electronic interference the Insignia would no doubt top that.

Volkswagen Golf Inverness

The top GT-spec car includes comfortable sports seats with Alcantara trim, and the driving position is excellent. There is nothing particularly exciting or clever inside, but the sheer quality of the Golf lifts it above the competition – and it’s the only car in this test that could be mistaken for a compact executive on the inside.

Volkswagen Passat Bluemotion 2 Inverness

As green brands go, Volkswagen’s BlueMotion label is one of the most established around. After debuting on the stripped-out Polo supermini, the eco-friendly range has expanded, and even encompasses the firm’s giant Touareg off-roader.

Volkswagen Polo Inverness

The Polo has been freshened up – and Auto Express can tell you whether it is a ‘hole’ lot better! British buyers love Volkswagen’s supermini – its blend of classy looks, reliability and quality has meant it’s consistently been one of the UK’s best-sellers.

Volvo C30 Inverness

Since the Volvo C30 joined our fleet a year ago, a lot has changed. The economy has crashed, evidence of organic life has been found on Mars and Formula One has its first black world champion.

Volvo S80 HPC Inverness

It’s got four-wheel drive, sports suspension, racing brakes and 345bhp. It’s also the first model in Inverness to come from tuner Heico Sportiv to be endorsed by the Volvo Car Corporation, so it stands a fair to middling chance of becoming a production reality too.

Volvo XC60 DRIVe Inverness

If you accelerate hard at low speeds, light torque steer means you can tell the SUV is front-wheel drive. But standard ESP and traction control stop the tyres from spinning. The driving experience is similar to that of the standard XC60. If you press on, the nose will still push wide, but the fine ride of regular models is carried over. The interior is well finished, too, and offers plenty of equipment, plus ample space for five.

VW Golf GTI MkV Inverness

The Volkswagen Golf GTI in Inverness is one of the best-loved hot hatches ever built. It’s now into its sixth generation, but as our 16-page pull-out special in Issue 1,047 revealed, some versions are more desirable than others – and the MkV is one of the best.

VW Touareg V10 TDI SE Inverness

Not only did it have an exotic V10 layout, but it was the most powerful production diesel in the world at the time. Audi’s V12 Q7 TDI has since overtaken it, yet the Volkswagen SUV is still worthy of a place in our line-up.