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Car and Lifestyle Reviews at MotorBar
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Pick-up meets lifestyle: UK pricing and specification for the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class...

THE NEW MERCEDES-BENZ X-CLASS is available to purchase from 27,310 (excl. VAT) with first deliveries for vehicles ordered now expected in January 2018.

Mercedes-Benz's new X-Class lifestyle pick-up

All UK X-Class models are double-cab and come with 4MATIC selectable all-wheel drive (and low-range), and a drive selection mode.

Two engines will be available initially, to be joined in mid-2018 by the V6 350 d. Until then the choices are between two 2.3-litre turbodiesels: the 163hp 220 d and the 190hp 250 d.

The X-Class comes well equipped with passive and active safety equipment including plenty of airbags (driver and passenger airbags and thorax bags, window bags on the A-D pillar, and driver's knee bag), Active Brake Assist (radar-based autonomous emergency braking), Lane Keeping, Traffic Sign Assist, Hill Start, Reversing Camera, and ESP (Trailer Stability Assist can be added as an option).

Customers can choose from three distinct model lines with the range-topping Power the high-end variant for urban lifestyles. Power trim is only offered in conjunction with the 250 d 4MATIC engine due sometime next year. Its standard equipment tally includes a rear bumper in chrome with integrated step, load securing rail system, powerfolding heated door mirrors, multifunction leather steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated compass, LED high-performance headlights with cleaning system, LED tail lights, keyless locking and start, 8-way powered driver and front passenger seats with Artico leather and Dinamica microfibre upholstery, Artico leather dash, black, high-gloss interior trim, and a set of 18-inch light-alloy wheels finished in Himalaya Grey.

An infotainment system is also fitted comprising a seven-inch high-definition screen, rotary controller with touchpad, Bluetooth audio and media interface, DAB digital radio, Mercedes me Connect services that include call automatic emergency response, breakdown and maintenance management.

You can also personalise your X-class with any of seven option packages; for instance, the Style Package, specifically developed for the Power models, includes privacy glass, electric rear windows, running boards, roof rails, and 19-inch six-twin-spoke light alloy wheels.

A Parking Package includes Parktronic parking sensors and 360-degree camera that uses networked cameras around the car for a full bird's-eye view of the vehicle's immediate surroundings to help avoid obstacles and pedestrians when parking.

Naturally there are plenty of optional extras, such as a rear axle diff lock to enhance off-roading capabilities in mud, sand or snow, along increased ground clearance.

The X-Class is sold exclusively via the Mercedes-Benz Vans nation-wide Dealer Network


The stunning all-new Jeep Compass arrives in the UK in February 2018...

PRICING for the all-new Jeep Compass has just been announced ahead of the stunning new SUV's arrival here early next year. And with a starting price of £22,995 OTR for the 1.6 MultiJet 120 MTX FWD, it represents outstanding value for money.

All-new Jeep Compass - on sale from February 2018

The all-new Jeep Compass offers contemporary but authentic Jeep design (it's immediately recognizable as a Jeep thanks to characteristic traditional design cues such as the seven-slot grille and the trapezoidal wheel arches), an array of advanced user-friendly connectivity and safety technologies, excellent on-road driving dynamics, open-air freedom and legendary, best-in-class, 4x4 off-road capability.

The new Compass represents a key addition to the Jeep line-up, allowing the brand to tackle the important and ever-growing compact SUV segment that is expected to grow by almost 20 percent to 7.5 million in 2020. In Europe alone, this segment amounts to more than 1.6 million and is expected to achieve more than two million units by 2020.

In the UK, the Compass range is powered by two petrol and three diesel engines. The petrol offering includes a 1.4-litre MultiAir II Turbo engine with Stop&Start delivering 140 horsepower in combination with a six-speed manual gearbox and 4x2 configuration; and the 1.4-litre MultiAir II Turbo engine but with 170 horsepower paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and in 4x4 configuration.

The diesel range comprises the efficient 1.6-litre MultiJet II with Stop&Start delivering 120 horsepower (with a six-speed manual 'box and 4x2 configuration; and the 140 horsepower 2.0-litre MultiJet II with Stop&Start mated to a six-speed manual transmission with 4x4 configuration.

A higher output version of the 2.0-litre MultiJet II with Stop&Start — delivering 170 horsepower in combination with the nine-speed automatic transmission and 4x4 configuration (including the Trailhawk specific low-range mode), completes the diesel line-up.

Four equipment levels of Jeep Compass will be offered in the UK: Sport, Longitude, Limited, and Trailhawk.

Jeep Compass is the first Jeep SUV to offer the new Uconnect system, delivering communication, entertainment and navigation features that enhance both the driving experience and the passengers' onboard comfort. Jeep Compass is equipped with the Uconnect 5.0 and Uconnect 8.4 NAV systems. Both have been improved to include easy-to-use features, enhanced processing power, faster start-up times and high-resolution touchscreens graphics.

These new features significantly enhance the user interface, providing a high-definition screen with pinch-and-zoom capability and a customisable menu bar, using the Drag and Drop feature on the Uconnect 8.4 NAV. Functions of the new Uconnect system also include handsfree calling, navigation and text-to-talk features with natural language voice recognition technology for a safe, comfortable and connected everyday driving experience.

Safety is well taken care of by a 5-star Euro NCAP rating and the Compass offers more than 70 active and passive safety and security features including Forward Collision Warning-Plus, LaneSense Departure Warning-Plus, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, Automated Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation and six airbags.

Pricing (OTR) for the new Jeep Compass starts at 22,995 and tops out at 35,595.


The Brrr Ice TrayNow that’s (N)ICE!

ICE CUBES AT CHRISTMAS. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em...

Fortunately there's now an easy way to get them into your glass without frozen fingertips.

Called the Brrr Ice Tray, it costs 10 from black+blum and it couldn't be easier to use...

Just fill the 'polar bear' ice tray, load it into your freezer and once frozen you'll be able to decant individual cubes without having to touch the ice (and more hygienic, too).

Better still, because it's sealed, the Brrr Ice Tray stops the ice from absorbing the odours of other foods in your freezer.

Fill up the 'polar bear' until water escapes from his back. Put him back on his feet and into the freezer.

Once frozen, bang him on his back (Ouch!) — or run his feet under warm water — then empty the ice cubes into your drink!

Incidentally, cleaning is easy — in the dishwasher or by hand with a bottle brush.

At £10 you can afford to not just give them to your friends, but treat yourself too. After all, Christmas only comes along once every year!

The Brrr Ice Tray - So simple to use!


Mary and the Witch’s Flower — in UK cinemas Spring 2018...

MARY AND THE WITCH'S FLOWER, the fantastical new Japanese anime film by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Arrietty; When Marnie Was There).

Like some of the favourite Studio Ghibli films, Mary is based on an English Children's novel — The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart. The film tells a story of a young girl called Mary who finds a mysterious flower that can give her the power to become a witch, transporting her to a school for witchcraft and wizardry that harbours a dark secret.

The English dub of Mary and the Witch's Flower will feature Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent, Ewen Bremner and Louis Serkis.

Released in Spring 2018 by Altitude Film Entertainment, this is the first feature film produced by Studio Ponoc, founded by Studio Ghibli veterans Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura (producer of the company's When Marnie Was There and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya).


After Studio Ghibli ceased feature production they hired most of the original Ghibli animation team for continuity. Studio Ponoc has made Mary and The Witch's Flower featuring the same lush and evocative animation Studio Ghibli was legendary for, carrying the torch forward into another generation.


I Spy With My Little Eye — Daytime Running Lights...

CAN YOU IDENTIFY A CAR
just by its Daytime Running Lights? We all take them for granted now but they carry useful information about the car they're fitted to and might even help identify the make of car in, say, a hit-and-run or robbery.

Petrolheads should score well here — or will they?

Try to say what DRLs belong to which car in this intruguing quick quiz from car leasing experts Select.

Will you score top marks, or crash and burn. Start the quiz and find out...