Weekly round-up: Awesome Audis, bumpy Berlingos and canine companions…

Image of Chris Evans
Author: | Updated: 16 Feb 2018 14:31

Love was in the air here at ContractHireAndLeasing.com this week, as Valentine's Day rolled round once again. But we aren’t talking about Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally or any other soppy rom-com … we’re talking about When Neil Met Giulia.

Weekly round-up: G-Class, top cars for dogs, Audi A8 review, new Citroen Berlingo.

To celebrate the amorous occasion, we pulled together a list of the cars that we’re in love with. Time to dim the headlights ... here's five soul-stirring cars that have stolen our heart.

Top five cars we’re in love with this Valentine’s Day

Also on the calendar this week is the Chinese New Year (16 February) and 2018 happens to be the Year of the Dog. So naturally, we’ve been checking out which vehicles that are pawfect for those of you with canine companions… check out the best cars that’ll keep your furry friends happy.

Nissan X-Trail featuring optional extra Paw Pack.

We’re already well into the second month of 2018, which means only one thing – the Geneva Motor Show is just around the corner. As such we’ve been inundated with pre-Geneva previews and reveals.

Geneva Motor Show 2018

While it somewhat spoils the element of surprise at the show itself, all the pre-show does make life a little easier for us we have to admit. If you’re not a fan of spoilers, stop reading now: following are some of the cars we already know about…

BMW’s big reveal is set to be the X4. Marketing itself as a Sports Activity Vehicle rather than a Sports Utility Vehicle, it’s bigger, bolder and all-round better than its predecessor.

The new BMW X4 xDrive M40d

Whether it’s better looking or not is up for debate, but with the likes of Mercedes’ GLE and the Tesla Model X, the coupe-SUV look has certainly found its place in the market.

Talking of SUVs, Volkswagen’s all-new Touareg is set to be revealed in March, albeit in China rather than Geneva. This new flagship SUV has been a long time coming, with the outgoing model more than overdue a refresh.

The new Volkswagen Touareg is set to make its debut in Beijing next month (March).

And now, for the premier league footballers among you… good news! Mercedes-AMG, the Stuttgart-based brand’s tuning division has kitted out the new G-Class with its latest 4.0-litre biturbo V8.

Mercedes-AMG has revealed the new  576bhp G 63.

The result is a two and a half tonne brick-shaped SUV that’s capable of 0-62mph in only 4.5 seconds. Our favourite feature has to be those side exit tailpipes – exhausts don’t get much flashier than that.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class gets fresh looks for 2018

Also this week: Updated Ford EcoSport driven

Mercedes hasn’t gone completely insane however, and for those of us in the real world, the all-new A-Class is set to feature at Geneva, as is the refreshed C-Class. It’s hard to believe the current generation launched way back in 2014 because it still looks so fresh.

Happily Mercedes has updated ContractHireAndLeasing’s most popular business lease car to ensure it keeps up with the rest of the Mercedes range in the technology stakes.

2018 Mercedes A-Class will get its public debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

And now for the one you’ve all been waiting for… the Kia Ceed. The all-new third generation will be looking to take on the VW Golf and Ford Focus when it arrives later this year and, if it drives as well as it looks, it should be more than up to task.

Kia says the new Ceed has been designed to deal with European’s pot-holed roads, and following the launch of its Stinger GT is on a bit of a roll at the minute. Could this be the first Ceed that is truly a credible alternative to those European rivals? We certainly think so…

2018 Kia Ceed

Remember the Citroen Berlingo? You know, the practical van-based MPV that seems to have been around since forever? Well, it still is, and now there’s an all-new version.

2018 Citroen Berlingo

Also this week: £5bn stock flotation rumoured as leasing “megatrend” takes off

With crossovers like the new C3 Aircross and C4 Cactus taking the limelight in recent years, the older MPV had become a bit of an afterthought, but Citroen has changed that – now featuring the well-known airbumps and a more interesting design, could this be the car to revive the ailing MPV sector?

Well that’s the new car news dealt with, but we’ve also managed to squeeze in a few reviews too, and this week it’s a bit of an Audi extravaganza…

First drive review: Audi A8

Following on from his thoughts on the RS4 Avant, Neil Thomason has been testing a rather more relaxing Audi this week – the all-new A8. Filled to the roof with the latest tech, is this a car capable of quashing the S-Class? Read the review here

Audi A5 very much feels like the sporty equivalent to the A4

Also this week: Get the details on the new Audi A7

Audi is one of the most aspirational manufacturers out there. Its comprehensive range ensures there’s something for everyone, whether you’re after a fire-breathing estate or a frugal compact crossover.

There’s one model however, that seemingly catching the lessee’s eye more than others… the A5. We’ve been considering just what makes it just a trendy lease

Audi Guy Looking Back meme

It actually features on our latest price-busting article too – five cars that will cost you less than £400 per month to lease. But what else makes the list? Find out here

Always one to leave you on a good note before the weekend, here’s a heart-warming story from the last seven days…

Husband learns to drive at 79 to chauffeur wife to hospital

“For several decades, Keith Limbert's wife drove him wherever he needed to go, and now, it's his turn to be the chauffeur. Married for 58 years, Keith and Anne Limbert live in West Yorkshire, England, and although he took driving lessons when he was younger, Keith never ended up getting his license. Anne was happy to drive him around town, but when she suffered a stroke in 2015, she had to hang up her car keys.

Picture: SWNS

That's when Keith, 79, decided it was time to take over the driving duties, enrolling in driver's ed. "She has looked after me long enough and I think it's about time for me to look out for her now," he told the U.K.'s Metro. Now licensed, Keith takes Anne to more than just doctor's appointments — they also enjoy parking the car so they can "watch the world go by."

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