BMW has dabbled with the lower-medium market over several years by chopping the boot off the 3-series and calling it Compact. It hasn't really worked and often only served to reinforce the fact in many drivers' eyes that they couldn't afford a proper BMW. The 1-series is set to change all that. It's a proper hatchback and is set to give the Audi A3 and VW Golf a real run for their money. Looks a bit odd though...
Vauxhall Astra 1.9 CDTi 150
SOMEBODY is most definitely putting something in the tea at Vauxhall. The last couple of years have seen a whole raft of great-handling, high-powered stuff and the new VXR brand is an example of this exciting new direction. The 150bhp diesel Astra is another model designed to blow the cobwebs away and allows Vauxhall to compete with user-chooser staples like the Golf.