Tokyo motor show 2017 – our star cars
Nissan's electric SUV concept, Honda's sporty electric vehicle and a close look at the next Mazda 3 – here's our guide to the star cars of the Tokyo motor show...
Nissan's first purely electric SUV will likely go on sale before 2020, and this IMx concept showcases how it might look. Power comes from two electric motors which combine to produce 423bhp, with a driving range of around 373 miles. Based on the same underpinnings are the new Nissan Leaf, the IMX is claimed to have excellent driving dynamics because of its low centre of gravity. The minimalist interior features Nissan's Propilot assisted driving system, which in the concept car offers fully autonomous driving.
BMW has already shown the potential for a sporty electric hatchback with its i3s, and now Nissan is following suit by beefing up its Leaf. Although no performance details have been revealed, the Leaf Nismo will receive sporty styling inside and out to help it appeal to younger buyers. A more powerful Leaf E-Plus is also on the cards for 2019.
Subaru Viziv Performance concept
Subaru's WRX is a performance saloon destined to rival the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS, and this Viziv Performance concept shows how the next-generation model might look. It's got a powerful boxer petrol engine under the bonnet and four-wheel drive, although no performance figures have been revealed. The Viziv Performance is also designed to use a new range of advanced driver assistance systems which Subaru is aiming to launch in 2020. Although details are scarce, those systems are almost certain to feature a self-driving mode.
As you can see, there's a big focus in Tokyo on SUVs and the global demand for such cars is only expected to rise in the coming years. SUVs are huge business in the UK, too, but what if you don't have the budget to buy new? Below, we look at the best used small SUVs you can buy right now.
The best used small SUVs
It isn’t the most sophisticated small SUV going and its interior feels rather cheap in places, but the Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross is still decent enough to drive and spacious enough for most families. It’s great value, too, with lots of low-mileage examples going very cheaply, and it comes with plenty of equipment. What’s more, Suzuki has a great reputation for reliability, so the SX-4 S-Cross should be dependable.
We found 2013 1.6 SZ-T, 17,000 miles, £8807
9. Kia Soul
Average ride quality and so-so handling mean the Kia Soul isn’t great to drive, but if you can live with that, you get a small SUV that offers huge amounts of room in every seat thanks to its boxy profile, as well as a huge boot. There’s also plenty of equipment and cars come backed up by a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty – so even if you buy a three-year-old example, you’ll still have four years’ warranty left to run. And with seriously low prices, the Soul looks like fabulous value, too.
We found 2013 1.6 CRDi 2, 19,000 miles, £7488
8. Hyundai ix35
It’s not much fun to drive and the engines are noisy, but the Hyundai ix35 is at least reasonably comfortable on most road surfaces and, if you’re not all that fussed about its stodgy handling, it makes a good, dependable small SUV. There’s plenty of room in both the front and back, while the boot is big and well-shaped. Unless you choose the entry-level S version, you get plenty of toys too – and every ix35 came with a five-year warranty from new.