With 8,472 units registered in Belgium in 2022, the Citroën C3 is the most popular car in our country. Citroën’s compact saloon is clearly very wanted for its pleasing size, which makes it easy to use in the city, its driving comfort and its original, empathetic design. Citroën’s compact sedan appeals to a large number of customers in Belgium, both individuals and companies.
“Citroën has always had a strong presence in Belgium,” says Damien Martin-Cocher, General Manager of the brand for the Belux market. “We are therefore pleased that our current range maintains this special connection with the Belgian public. The C3 is indeed very visible in the Belgian car landscape and we are very enthusiastic about it. We are on the eve of the 2023 Brussels Motor Show and we are convinced that we can use the success of the C3 to further strengthen Citroën’s position.”
Citroën builds further on is success and is planning a number of attractive offers for the Citroën C3 for the 2023 Brussels Motor Show. The C3 You! (e.g. equipped with air conditioning, BlueTooth radio and cruise control) is available from € 13,480 (€ 5,000 unconditional discount). More Citroën news soon!
Featuring a revolutionary exterior and interior design, including the next-generation PEUGEOT i-Cockpit® and innovative Hypersquare control system with steer-by-wire technology, the INCEPTION CONCEPT will inspire PEUGEOT’s future products from 2025 onwards. The better news is that Peugeot plans to bring most of its innovations to production (!)
Based on the STLA Large platform, the fully electric INCEPTION CONCEPT is powered by a 100kWh battery providing a range of 497 miles. With two electric motors, the INCEPTION CONCEPT produces almost 680hp and accelerates from 0-62mph in under three seconds. The model also features 800V technology, enabling it to add 93 miles of range in just five minutes, and is capable of wireless induction charging.
Linda Jackson, CEO of the PEUGEOT brand, said: “PEUGEOT is committed to the electrification of its range. In 2023, our entire line-up will be electrified and in the next two years, five new 100% electric models will be launched. Our ambition is simple: to make PEUGEOT the leading electric brand in Europe by 2030. This objective and ambitious vision pave the way for a radical transformation for the brand, as represented by the INCEPTION CONCEPT.”
Indeed, PEUGEOT will reduce its carbon footprint by more than 50% by 2030 in Europe and to become fully Carbon Net Zero by 2038.
Over the next two years, PEUGEOT will launch five new 100% electric models and by 2030, all PEUGEOT cars sold in Europe will be electric.
The PEUGEOT INCEPTION CONCEPT introduces a new, simpler and more refined design language for the brand, which will be introduced on future models from 2025. At the front, it features an all-new light signature incorporating PEUGEOT’s distinctive claw design, which is merged with the front grille to create a single object that also houses the sensors. This is made up of a single piece of glass with the logo in the centre, magnified by the 3D luminescent effect. The front grille and headlamps are in my opinion a bit reminiscent of the ‘70s 504…
A TECH BAR runs horizontally through the door layer. This flush screen emits different messages to the outside of the car when the driver and passengers approach it. The artificial intelligence equipped on the PEUGEOT INCEPTION CONCEPT makes it possible to recognize the driver in order to set up the comfort settings (seat posture, temperature, driving mode and multimedia preferences) desired by each occupant. In addition, the TECH BAR also displays the battery charge level and houses many sensors and radars, leaving the bodywork completely smooth.
The INCEPTION CONCEPT’s bold design incorporates 7.25m2 of glazing to create a glass capsule for the passenger compartment that plunges to the driver and front passenger’s feet. All the glazing (windscreen, side windows and quarter windows) is made from glass designed for architecture. Adapted to the PEUGEOT INCEPTION CONCEPT, it retains its exceptional thermal qualities and benefits from a multi-chrome treatment (treatment with metal oxides), a process initially used for the visors of astronauts’ helmets by NASA.
Completing the car’s unique design is an exclusive body colour, which highlights the shapes in the bodywork and interacts, like the glazing, by tinting according to the external environment. The paint is single-coated, meaning far less energy is consumed during its application.
The INCEPTION CONCEPT has been given the silhouette of a low (1.34m) and efficient saloon and is 5m in length. It is based on the STLA Large platform, one of four future Stellantis Group “BEV-by-design” platforms. The arrival of this new range of platforms from 2023 will revolutionize the PEUGEOTs of tomorrow. Specifically created for electrification, they offer major differences in terms of architecture which enabled designers to completely reshape the PEUGEOT INCEPTION CONCEPT’s passenger compartment.
The new “BEV-by-design” native electric platforms will also introduce technological modules powered by artificial intelligence: STLA Brain, STLA SmartCockpit and STLA AutoDrive. Like the INCEPTION CONCEPT, future PEUGEOT models will be equipped with STLA Brain artificial intelligence and will be fully connected.
The 100% electric PEUGEOT INCEPTION CONCEPT is equipped with 800V technology. Its 100kWh battery enables it to travel 497 miles on a single charge, with extremely low consumption of just 12.5kWh per 100 km. The INCEPTION CONCEPT is capable of adding 19 miles of range in one minute, or 93 miles in five minutes, and can also be recharged wirelessly by induction.
Two compact electric motors, one at the front, the other at the rear, make the PEUGEOT INCEPTION CONCEPT a four-wheel drive vehicle. The combined power is close to 680hp (500kW), enabling it to accelerate from 0-62mph in under three seconds.
With its new Hypersquare control system, the PEUGEOT INCEPTION CONCEPT offers an agile driving experience and an all-new, more intuitive i-Cockpit®. Inspired by video games, the Hypersquare control system does away with the conventional steering wheel in favour of digital electric controls and steer-by-wire technology.
The centre of the Hypersquare is a tablet-type screen dedicated to the distribution of control information. The pictograms for the different features (air conditioning, radio volume, ADAS etc.) are displayed on the two side panels to facilitate access to the chosen control. The latter is located inside the circular recesses and can be accessed by moving the thumb only, without taking your hands off the steering control.
The next generation i-Cockpit also includes the Stellantis STLA SmartCockpit technology platform and STLA AutoDrive, enabling Level 4 autonomous driving. When driving is delegated, Hypersquare retracts and a large panoramic screen slides out from the floor to offer a new passenger compartment experience.
PEUGEOT’s goal is to introduce the Hypersquare on a next generation vehicle in the range before the end of the decade.(!)
The PEUGEOT INCEPTION CONCEPT features a minimal cockpit dedicated to the driver alone, which does without a dashboard, crossbar and the bulkhead, providing a completely open view of the road.
Sustainable ‘moulded textiles’ are also used throughout the interior. Scraps of 100% polyester fabric from the design centre’s prototyping workshops or from suppliers are re-used to make load-bearing or trim parts. The seats are covered with a velvet made from 100% recycled polyester, which extends onto the floor and features 3D patterns to act as a floor mat.
The BMW Group is sharing its vision of the future digital experience, both inside and outside the vehicle, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023 in Las Vegas.
It presented the BMW i Vision Dee, a futuristic mid-size sedan with a new and pared-down design language. The name “Dee” stands for Digital Emotional Experience – and that is precisely its aim: to create an even stronger bond between people and their cars.
This car has future digital functions will go far beyond the level of voice control and driver assistance systems we are familiar with today.
It starts all with a BMW Head-Up-Display extending across the full width of the windscreen, providing a glimpse of the next vehicle generation.
From 2025 onwards, this innovation will be available in the models of the NEUE KLASSE. The BMW Group has also refined its use of colour-change technology. Having unveiled the BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink, with the ability to change from black to white, at the last CES, BMW i Vision Dee can now curate its exterior in up to 32 colours.
“With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showcasing what is possible when hardware and software merge. In this way, we are able to exploit the full potential of digitalisation to transform the car into an intelligent companion. That is the future for automotive manufacturers – and, also, for BMW: the fusion of the virtual experience with genuine driving pleasure,” said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “At the same time, BMW i Vision Dee is another step on the road to the NEUE KLASSE. With this vision, we are looking far into the future and underlining the tremendous importance of digitalisation for our upcoming product generations.”
With its intelligent, almost human capabilities, BMW i Vision Dee accompanies drivers not only through real-life situations on the roads, but also in their digital environment.
“A BMW lives by its unparalleled digital performance. BMW i Vision Dee is about perfect integration of virtual and physical experiences,” said Frank Weber, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development. “Whoever excels at integrating the customer’s everyday digital worlds into the vehicle at all levels will succeed in mastering the future of car-building.”
BMW Mixed Reality Slider: into the virtual world in five steps
The BMW, in combination with the advanced Head-up Display, is the digital highlight and central operating control of BMW i Vision Dee. The completely virgin and simple dashboard panel shows just a line with dots. This is the Mixed Reality Slider. By using shy-tech sensors on the instrument panel, drivers can decide for themselves how much digital content they want to see on the advanced Head-Up Display. The five-step dot selection ranges from analogue, to driving-related information, to the contents of the communications system, to augmented-reality projection, right up to entry into virtual worlds. In parallel, dimmable windows can also be used to gradually fade out reality. Mixed reality can be experienced in BMW i Vision Dee in an immersive way that engages different senses without requiring any additional tools, creating a new dimension of driving pleasure for the user.
Advanced BMW Head-Up-Display: in NEUE KLASSE from 2025
The BMW Group is known in the automotive sector as a trailblazer for the Head-Up-Display and has systematically refined this technology over the past two decades. In BMW i Vision Dee, projection across the entire width of the windscreen allows information to be displayed on the largest possible surface – which only becomes recognisable as a display once it is activated. In this way, the BMW Group demonstrates the huge potential of projection technology and BMW i Vision Dee visualizes how a advanced Head-Up-Display could also be utilized in the future for the display and operating concept. The standard-production version of the BMW Head-up-Display extending across the full width of the windscreen will be used in the models of the NEUE KLASSE from 2025 onwards.
Welcome scenario with voice and phygital icons
The digital experience already begins outside the vehicle, with a personalized welcome scenario that combines graphical elements, light and sound effects. Natural language serves as the simplest, most intuitive form of interaction, enabling perfect understanding between humans and their vehicles. The headlights and the closed BMW kidney grille also form a common phygital (fusion of physical and digital) icon on a uniform surface, allowing the vehicle to produce different facial expressions. This means BMW i Vision Dee can talk to people and, at the same time, express moods such as joy, astonishment or approval visually. BMW i Vision Dee can also project an image of the driver’s avatar onto the side window to further personalize the welcome scenario.
World premiere for full-colour E Ink technology
Following the spectacular debut of the BMW iX Flow Featuring E Ink at CES 2022, the BMW Group is now unveiling a full-colour version of the E Ink technology in BMW i Vision Dee that will be used as the outer skin of the vehicle for the first time worldwide.
BMW i Vision Dee, rather than simply alternating between black and white, now showcases a multi-coloured, fully variable and individually configurable exterior. An ePaper film from the BMW Group’s cooperation partner, E Ink, is applied to the body to create this magical display of colour. Up to 32 colours can be displayed.
The body surface of the BMW i Vision Dee is divided into 240 E Ink segments, each of which is controlled individually. This allows an almost infinite variety of patterns to be generated and varied within seconds. The laser cutting process used to trim the films and the electronic control design were developed in partnership with E Ink. The adaptation of this technology for curved surfaces and the programming of the animations, were developed by BMW Group’s in-house engineers – enabling a form enabling a form of customisation that is unique throughout the automotive sector worldwide.
Reductive design – inside and out
The design of BMW i Vision Dee has been deliberately pared down to focus attention on the digital experience and the DNA of the BMW brand. The exterior is defined by the classic three-box sedan design that forms the core of the BMW brand. Traditional design elements, like the BMW kidney grille, twin circular headlights and the Hofmeister kink, are reimagined, with phygital icons replacing analogue elements. This gives BMW i Vision Dee its own digital, but human, character.
Inside, digitalisation goes hand in hand with reductive use of materials, operating controls and displays to ensure nothing distracts from the digital experience and the new feeling of enhanced driving pleasure. The unconventional design of the steering wheel, with its central vertical spoke, creates touchpoints that come to life when approached or touched and can be operated by moving the thumb. These phygital touchpoints control selection of the content projected onto the windscreen and, together with the Head-Up Display, thus support the principle of “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road”.
“With BMW i Vision Dee, we are showing how the car can be seamlessly integrated into your digital life and become a trusty companion. The vehicle itself becomes your portal to the digital world – with the driver always in control,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design. “Implemented the right way, technology will create worthwhile experiences, make you a better driver and simply bring humans and machines closer together.”
Another milestone on the road to the NEUE KLASSE
The future of the BMW Group is electric, circular and digital. BMW i Vision Dee represents the digital aspect of this trio and will be another milestone on the road to the next vehicle generation, the NEUE KLASSE. The BMW Group will provide further insights and glimpses of the revolutionary vehicle concept of the NEUE KLASSE over the course of 2023. See more news soon!
The FIAT brand is playing its original approach to automotive mobility again at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegaswith two major exhibits starring the New 500 electric.
FIAT unveils for the first time the world’s first metaverse-powered showroom: the FIAT Metaverse Store. This revolution in customer experience is accessible, thanks to the partnership with Microsoft and Touchcast, at the Microsoft booth located in the West Hall #6017, recreating the feel of a showroom from home.
Alongside the FIAT Metaverse Store, the New 500 will also be the center of attention in the Free2move area of the Stellantis booth.
Reinventing customer approach in North America…
At the Los Angeles Autoshow 2022 Olivier Francois, FIAT CEO and CMO Global of Stellantis, officially announced the launch of the new Fiat 500e in North America in the first quarter of 2024 and the FIAT Metaverse Store will be one of the key innovative pillars for launching the FIAT electric icon in the US.
Launched last December in Italy, the FIAT Metaverse Store makes the Brand a leader in offering an immersive, simple, and human-driven brand experience. Inside the FIAT Metaverse Store, customers will be able to discover, configure, and even purchase the New 500 La Prima by Bocelli, experiencing the feel of a showroom with the help of the FIAT Product Genius, a real person ready to answer any questions. The entire New 500 line-up, additional models and markets can be found in the metaverse-powered showroom during 2023.
The FIAT Metaverse Store is a user-friendly and accessible to all technology, in fact it does not require a virtual reality (VR) headset or expensive hardware. The public will be able to try it out at the Microsoft booth located in the West Hall #6017 at CES 2023.
FIAT and Free2move together for more sustainable urban mobility
Lights shine on the New 500e 3+1 in the special Rose Gold livery, displayed as the only car at the Free2move stand. A collaboration, between FIAT and Free2move, stemming from a common goal: to build an increasingly sustainable urban mobility ecosystem as part of their mission to make EVs more accessible. The two brands are working on a unique value proposition that goes beyond rental, car sharing, and subscription. The customers will be able to enjoy a 360° Free2move experience through a Fiat car for a few minutes, several days or even months. This offer allows customers to tailor their rental contracts and associated services based on usage with a single invoice, directly from a dedicated APP.
More Fiat news soon also on the Brussels Salon de l’auto!
At the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas between 5 and 8 January 2023, Volkswagen Group of America will showcase its first fully electric sedan based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB). It will still be seen in a “smart” camouflage, which uses unique technology and multi-layered paintwork to create light effects on parts of the vehicle.
The ID. AERO3 concept vehicle initially presented in China already provided a preview of the new model, which embodies an aerodynamic design concept and is able to achieve ranges of up to 700 kilometers (WLTP).
After a six-year break, Volkswagen Group of America is returning to the CES – the world’s largest trade show for electronics – with a very special product…
With the new ID.7, VW is extending its electric model range into the upper segments. The ID.7 is one of ten new electric models that VW is planning to launch by 2026.
VW seems to have learned some lessons when it comes to the functionality of the various infotainment and dashboard commands. It ofeers a new display concept, an augmented reality head-up display, a 38-centimeter (15-inch) screen and new air conditioning controls integrated into the first level of the infotainment system. Now we also have illuminated touch sliders…
Like all other models in the ID. family, the ID.7 is based on the MEB of the Volkswagen Group. The advantages of the modular matrix with short overhangs and long wheelbase (2.97 meters) provide a large interior.
With its ID.7 sedan, Volkswagen is expanding its successful fully electric ID. family into the upper middle class of the high-volume segment and advancing its electric mobility campaign with the ACCELERATE strategy. VW has already reached a first milestone: Since the first ID.3 models were handed over to customers in September 2020, Volkswagen has delivered 500,000 vehicles from its ID. family worldwide through its subsidiaries – around one year earlier than planned and despite the ongoing difficulties in the supply chain.
After the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and ID.6 (only in China) models and the new ID. Buzz7, the ID.7 will be the sixth model from the ID. family and is Volkswagen’s second global car to be based on the MEB after the ID.4. It is planned to launch the electric sedan in the three primary markets of China, Europe and North America. The ID.7 for the European market will be produced at the Volkswagen Emden plant. After the ID.4, it will be the second model based on the modular electric drive matrix to be built in Emden.
The second generation Kia Niro is succesfully restyled… Photo was taken here with the “vintage” Fujifilm Finepix 100fs: bought recently for merely 59 Euros…
With the second generation, the Kia Niro has decidedly come of age. It is altogether more stylish, and comes with all possible electrified drivetrain options: you can have it as a straightforward hybrid, like the Niro we tested here for you, or as a PHEV, and of course as a fully fledged EV. We impressed by the smoothness, space, comfort and user friendliness of this “pure” hybrid, which can be very frugal too… just read further.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Indeed, the Niro has gained in style. The C Pillar ends with nicely sculpted rear lights, curved like we see on Volvo’s, with a passage between the bodywork and the lamp cluster, to improve air flow along the side of the car.
Photo taken again with the “vintage” Fujifilm Finepix… showing excellent colour balance.
The C-pillar can also be had in contrasting colours. Also the front end has improved in stance and presence with a wide aluminium coloured rim around the hood and its big lights. The same goes for the interior. A sweeping design, good quality materials give you that premium feeling.
Photo here taken with the latest “flagship” Samsung S22 smartphone … wih heavy correction of colour balance and exposure.
The screen layout is very good, nice to toggle between climate and screen controls to get you swiftly to the commands you want. We like the round control knob to switch between D, N and R, with the P button right on top of it, it’s all very ergonomic and you wouldn’t want it to be otherwise once you are at behind the wheel of this Kia. Many ergonomic solutions and knobs are similar to the flagship EV6, and that’s only to be applauded.
Photo here taken with the latest “flagship” Samsung S22smartphone
The seats are good, with even a relax mode in the front seats depending on the equipment version you choose. There is plenty of storage, and leg and headroom is also quite decent in the rear. The floor in the rear is completely flat, so even three adults can reasonably sit in comfort. Boot space is excellent with a good 450 liters, and there is a separate tray for sundry like spare wheel equipment etc.
Drivetrain: smoothness and efficiency first…
Photo here taken with the latest “flagship” Samsung S22smartphone
The hybrid Niro has a 1,6 litre Turbo under the hood, Kia calls it its Smartstream 1.6-litre GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) gasoline engine. It is a 16 valve four cylinder, with a compression ratio of not less than 1:14, with Continuously Variable Intake and exhaust Valve Timing, or abbreviated CVVT. To improve torque and thermal efficiency in the mid rev range it is a long stroke unit, 72 x 97 mm, and you understand immediately that this is not the unit that likes to be trashed hard with corresponding high revs. Surprisingly however, it develops its maximum power of 105 PS @ a rather high 5,700 rpm, and its maximum torque of 147 Nm comes in @ 4,000 rpm.
Photo here taken with the latest “flagship” Samsung S22 smartphone. Not the frugal average consumption of 5 l/100 km.
But its torque curve is relatively flat, so indeed there is plenty of pulling power at low revs. It runs indeed very smoothly at low revs, remember, it runs on low-friction ball bearings(!) The hybrid version has a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor of 32 kW, but more importantly, developing a torque of 170 Nm, and that gives you the pleasant liveliness and delightful “EV feel” at low urban speeds. The Niro Hybrid is paired as standard with the brand’s second-generation six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (6DCT with gears optimized for transmission efficiency, and the removal of the reverse gear that saves a significant 2.3kg). This improves the overall consumption by 0.62%. Reverse drive comes indeed from the electric motor…
Photo here taken with the latest “flagship” Samsung S22 smartphone. When driving very slowly due to urban congestion, the hybrid relies on the electric motor, and shows its worth: merely 2,9 litres/100 km on the driven distance!
The Niro Hybrid shows its smooth qualities when driven with restraint and anticipation; the engine and transmission then behave supersmooth, and the Artifical Intelligence of the power train will choose the optimum balance between engine and battery power, and manages to achieve optimal efficiency, together with more than enough power combined with excellent acoustic comfort. Consumption even in the busiest of urban traffic will remain well below 6 litres/100 km, and that’s what it’s all about when we talk about environment conscious transport.
Photo taken with the Fujifilm Finepix S100fs again…
Of course, higher speeds on Autostradas will take their toll, but driving at the legal maximum speeds on our European motorways will not set you back unduly. Performance is all you could wish for: 0 to 100 km/h in 10,4 seconds, a top speed of 165 km/h, on 16 inch wheels… The manufacturer quotes an average fuel consumption between 4.4 – 4.7 litres/100 km, and CO2 emissions of 100-107 g/km according to the wheel dimension, i.e. 16 and 18 inch respectively.
Photo here taken with the latest “flagship” Samsung S22 smartphone.
The Niro uses Kia’s third-generation ‘K’ platform, conceived from the outset to support a mix of electrified powertrains and provide high levels of torsional rigidity. The Kia engineers have tuned the suspension and steering system with an eye to comfort, succeeding in also offering a responsive, confidence-inspiring driving experience.
Photo here taken with the latest “flagship” Samsung S22 smartphone.
State of the art driving aids and connectivity
The usual driving aids are found, like Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), High Beam Assist (HBA), Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control-Curve (NSCC-C), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Rear View Monitor (RVM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA). The Niro’s front view camera and in-built navigation system integrate to display the current speed limit. The Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) system will display the current speed limit and automatically change the set speed (after confirmation by the driver) by using the information detected through the front view camera.
Last but not least, a clear 10-inch head-up display (HUD) system projects vital driving information, including speed, ADAS data and navigation indications onto the front windscreen, very readable indeed.
Photo here taken with the Fujifilm Finepix S100fs
The current Niro family is Kia’s third best-seller in Europe. Did you know that of the previous generation, Kia has sold 350,000 Niro models (54% HEV, 15% PHEV and 31% EV). So Kia took utmost car to hone this important car for them to another level. It is also reflected in the prices, but then it offers style and top notch technology. It will prove to be a very pleasant and smooth companion, as we said in the title of this report, when you drive it with respect for the environment and the law… indeed, as hybrid cars are meant to be driven to show their sublime qualities…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Photographers’ notes: we used besides our state of the art Samsung S22 phone also the Fujifilm Finepix S100 fs, which proved a very creditable contender…
The Juke has invented the compact, urban SUV and indeed has gained many faithful followers over the years. Times have changed, and the reduction of CO2 emissions is crucial now. So when the facelift of the Juke came along, it was time also to launch a hybrid version. Within the Renault group, the drivetrain of the Renault Captur was the obvious choice, and so here we are with a 1,6 litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor, delivering a system power of 105 kW or 143 HP. Nissan engineers have further honed Renault’s hybrid system, and we found it operating very refined indeed. The second generation Juke also underwent some styling changes for the better, but retained its iconic shape. Just read further…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The front end of the Juke now features a honeycomb grille with also the headlamps elegantly integrated in the bodywork with the indicators and running lights stylishly elongated along the bonnet. We already tell you here that the headlamps feature already in the standard equipment full LED, as well as the rear lights.
The interior is also very well finished, with soft padding on the dashboard, door panels and centre console. We like the very readable round instruments, and the touch screen sits nicely high up on the centre of the dashboard. Everything is quite intuitive to handle, and one feels well at home in this cosy, rather dark interior, the latter as a (happy?) result of the typical styling of this SUV.
The steering wheel is eminently adjustable, and the front seats are very comfortable indeed. Thanks to its SUV character one sits pleasantly high, with the front seats being some 52 cm above street level. So getting in and out is a breeze.
Refined, at least when you drive it smoothly…
Driving a Hybrid is also an art, which you have to learn. Ok, the hybrid offers you thanks to its electric motor that added torque and immediate pulling power which is the very charm of EV driving. But the smoothness and silence of the drivetrain will please you even more when you drive it quietly, with anticipation and restraint.
Then the clever (thanks to computer-age Artifical Intelligence) system will manage the power stream masterfully between E- and combustion power, the engine revs will not rise unduly and in urban traffic you will achieve anything between 5 and 5,5 litres/100 km. The hybrid Juke will also let you use the e-pedal function, so you can recuperate kinetic energy via the electric motor, which then acts as a generator. Of course, you set the drive selector on the centre console in “Eco” mode, and leave it there.
When you want more performance of the Juke, you can forget about any extra economy. Logically, as then the combustion engine has to do most, if not all the work, as it has also to maintain a minimum charge in the battery. Only the e-pedal will let you recuperate kinetic energy, so you can use the e-boost of the electric motor when re-accelerating. The engine revs high, one clearly hears that it’s there, and the transmission is very busy choosing the right gears with sometimes a hint of jerkiness.
This is also the reason why high cruising speeds on the motorway are also to be avoided if you want to see decent economy. Diesels can run at high speeds with consumptions remaining between 6 and 7 l/100 km, but NOT petrol engines. The Juke will then set you back with averages between 7,5 and 8 litres/100 km. No miracles, dear readers, just the laws of physics. The Nissan engineers also set the tone already, as the top speed of this Juke Hybrid is “only” 166 km/h. You shouldn’t be doing it, if you think about the earth. Enough zest though, as the Juke will sprint from 0 to 100 in 10,7 seconds.
The Hybrid Juke has a so-called “Multi-Mode” transmission, with 4 speeds for the petrol engine, and two speeds for the electric motor. AI chooses for you not less than 15 gear combinations! The engine is good for 94 HP and 148 Nm, additionally supported by a 15 kW starter/generator. The electric motor has 49 HP and 205 Nm of torque.
Our average test consumption stayed well below 6 litres/100 km, as indeed we drove the Juke Hybrid as it is engineered to be. CO2 emissions are set at 114 g/km according to WLTP standards.
When starting from cold, the engine will at least during the first few kilometers rev quite clearly, as it has to reach its operating temperature as fast as possible and also has to keep the battery (re)charged. When you use EV power extensively in (very) slow and quiet driving, every now and then, the engine will eagerly rev again, but then this is to recharge the battery. It does this even when you hardly touch the throttle or even not at all, which seems a bit unsettling at first, but soon you get used to this.
Enjoy the music…in comfort
Driven in the right way, the Juke will seduce you with quietness, and this lets you enjoy the DAB+ radio and the excellent sound system. We had a Bose system with speakers integrated also in the headrests, and the sound experience was indeed wonderful. The suspension is comfortable, a bit firmish, but never harsh. Seating is excellent with more than enough headroom in the front. In the back, this is less generous, but legroom is very much OK. There is also enough room in door bins for even 1 litre bottles.
Connectivity is also top notch, with Apple Car play and Android Auto provided.
Stable and predictable handling
The Juke steers precise, has very good stability at speed and is predictable in corners. Even abruptly lifting the throttle in de midst of a curve will trigger the ESP and the Juke will maintain its course. The steering is reasonably direct (2,5 turns from lock to lock) as an urban compact befits. The Juke is quite safe, in the NCAP Crash test it achieved 94 pct of all the achievable points. Brake performance is very good, with the wider tires of course enhancing the deceleration.
Boot space is adequate for a compact SUV with 301 liters, and there is an under floor tray with an additional 90 l. With all seats folded there is 705 liters available when you load until the rear window base. One has to lift the luggage rather high into the opening however, some 78 cm.
The Juke has its iconic looks further improved, and is certainly a smooth urban performer with its Hybrid layout. On the open road it is also a good travel companion, with high speeds letting the petrol engine work rather hard, which limits economy. But as said above, adopting the proper driving style will let you enjoy fully its “zen” qualities, for years to come…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Photographer’s notes: we took most of the photos here with the bargain of the year: a still totally pristine Fujifilm Finepix S100fs, with a Fujinon 28-400 mm 35 mm equivalent lens, bought two weeks ago for almost the original price of its sun lens hood: 59 Euros!!
It proved to have excellent color and light balance, surpassing even the Samsung S22 state of the art flagship smartphone, which did not succeed in making a well color balanced photo of the e-pedal button on the centre console. The auto color balance got so completely out of line in the shadowy interior of the juke that I had to print here the photo in black and white here (see photo in the article above) instead of the exaggerated blue the S22 produced.
On October 1, coffee aficionados around the world celebrated their favorite hot drink on International Coffee Day.
This was a reason of the dynamic Stellantis PR team to to let one of the best baristas in Belgium, Peter Hernou, show us how to serve a good coffee. Because let’s face it, a Mocha coffee in the morning is a day without worries. And with the award-winning Opel Mokka, Opel offers the perfect companion to further color the day.
So we went to the beautiful Pajottenland around Brussels to have a drive with the Mokka and meet Peter Hernou and enjoy his heavenly coffee.
By the way, Opel chose the name “Mokka” by analogy with the coffee/espresso beans that are “small but with a lot of character” or, like the car, “compact in size and big in character”.
It was a very enjoyable day, and we learned a lot about coffee making. The first and most important rule is to have fresh roasted coffee beans, ground just minutes before you make it.
Of course we also had a delightful drive at the wheel of the electric Mokka through the hills of Pajottenland.
Of course, the customer has ample choice, this subcompact SUV from Opel is available as a battery electric vehicle, or with petrol and diesel engines, – just as they would choose their favorite coffee….
It is Brussels Car Show time soon, and the major manufacturers are looking back at their results this year on our Belgian market. Also Stellantis…
During the first eleven months of the year, Stellantis confirmed its strong position as a Belgian manufacturer of LEV, low-emission plug-in vehicles, strengthening its position in all relevant market segments.
In the field of BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles), the star is the New FIAT 500 electric. During the first eleven months of 2022, the New Fiat 500 electric ranks 6th in the total BEV market (all segments combined) as the first general public model after a top 5 made up of Premium brands and the first electric model of the Stellantis group. Did you know that in just two years, the New FIAT 500 Electric has been chosen by more than 100,000 customers in Europe and has won 33 international awards, in nine countries, making it the most awarded FIAT of all time.
Now it’s EV time for Abarth…
The Abarth brand also recently ushered in a whole new era with the launch of the all-electric New Abarth 500e. Combining performance, electric technology, style and powerful sound, the new ‘Scorpione’ turns advanced technology into pure adrenaline and durability into performance. A new online shopping experience will also be launched, with the New Abarth 500e Edizione Scorpionissima and an exclusive pre-booking phase until December 15 will be dedicated to members of the Abarth community only.
As for the Jeep brand, orders have been opened for the new Avenger in our market, the first all-electric Jeep SUV that recently had its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show. An important new asset that will certainly help the brand to promote sales of BEV vehicles.
Peugeot shows its claws…
In the pure electric market, PEUGEOT is positioned in second place in the BEV B Hatchback segment, with the 100% electric PEUGEOT e-208. The PEUGEOT e-2008 compact SUV occupies third place in the BEV B SUV segment, demonstrating that it is also very popular with Belgians in the 100% electric version. In 2023, the PEUGEOT 308 range will be completed by the PEUGEOT e-308 and e-308 SW and will strengthen its leading position in the C Segment. As for the 408, it is already available in two plug-in HYBRID versions. in, but PEUGEOT will present a 100% electric version later this year.
A successful entry in the premium market…
As for DS Automobiles, the new DS4 is already on the podium among C-segment sedans. Since 2019, the French luxury brand has presented a 100% electric range, becoming in 2020 the multi-energy brand whose CO2 emissions 2 are the lowest in Europe. The transition is accelerating: from 2024, each new DS Automobiles model will be 100% electric.
DS Automobiles is growing in Belgium in LEV cars much more (+48%) than the Premium market (+33%). In terms of sales, DS Automobiles increased its volume by 47% and one out of two DS is electrified. In October, DS Automobiles launched the new DS 7 and a DS 7 E-Tense 360 4×4 version. The same month, the brand opened orders for the new DS 3.
Opel is back…
The Astra Sports Tourer electric….
Similar sales successes are recorded by Opel. The Opel Corsa is fourth in the B Hatchback segment, and the Opel Mokka-e is second in the BEV B SUV segment. In 2023, the brand’s electrified offer, already extended today with 12 models, will be further enriched with the arrival of the new Opel Astra Electric. In this way, Opel is moving fast towards realizing its promise to become an all-electric brand in Europe by 2028.
Alfa shines with the Tonale Hybrid Q4
Alfa Romeo has also entered the electrified vehicle market with the launch of the new Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4. This launch is part of the brand’s overall electrification strategy. The new Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4 thus becomes the most efficient Alfa Romeo ever, with CO2 emissions of 26 g/km, more than 80 km of city range in all-electric mode – more than 600 km of total autonomy for long extra-urban journeys – and 280 hp power. Since the opening of orders, the new Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4 already represents nearly half of sales on the Tonale model, all engines combined.
Citroën’s C5 turns heads…
Citroën’s LEV range is also gaining popularity in the Belgian market thanks to the recent launches of the brand’s flagship, the New C5 X Plug-In Hybrid and the family SUV, the New C5 Aircross Plug-In Hybrid. In particular, the New C5 X Plug-In Hybrid ranks 1st in the ranking of PHEV sedans in the D segment (mainstream) after only a few months. Note also the success of the Citroën Ami (100% electric), which has confirmed since the beginning of the year its leading position in the segment of light electric quadricycles with the milestone of 1,000 units ordered since its launch in May 2021 largely exceeded. . Last October Ami recorded the second largest month of orders (134 units). And more news to report: orders have been opened for the New ë-C4 X. This new model dares to challenge traditional definitions of compact bodies to offer something innovative and distinctive: a design that combines the elegant silhouette of a fastback with the modern look of an SUV, as well as the timeless refinement and space on board of a 4-door. And last but not least, Citroën is positioned as the market leader in terms of ë-LCV BEVs.
More Stellantis news soon… we would like to lay our hands on the C5 X for a test!
I vividly recall driving the Kia EV6, which is one of the first EV’s which gave me really the impression of driving a car of the future. Its dashboard with its original digital instrumentation and graphic displays conveyed this wonderfully and put one truly “in the mood”. I am not alone in this, as Kia has been named ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ at the 2022 TopGear.com Awards, finishing the year on a high. This is the second consecutive year that Kia has taken home a win at the TopGear.com awards; last year, the newly launched EV6 won the ‘Crossover of the Year’ category.
The unique digital instrument graphics let your eyes see the future…
Kia has launched several game-changing models in Europe this year – notably the fifth-generation Sportage and all-new Niro, consistently two of Kia’s best-sellers across Europe. Both models offered a major update over their predecessors in several areas, including exterior and interior design, technological advancements, and sustainability credentials.
Jack Rix, Editor of BBC Top Gear Magazine, commented: “Kia’s recent form is remarkable. Despite unprecedented headwinds, the upward trajectory shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, it’s getting braver. The latest Sportage is a superior family crossover in comparison to its closest competitors, the new Niro looks striking, and offers hybrid or electric versions and Kia seems to be landing on its feet when it comes to the transition to fully electric. The EV6 GT offers a 577bhp version with mind-blowing drift mode.”
…as you see here: intuitively, one finds the right information…
Jason Jeong, President of Kia Europe added to the superlatives with the following comments: “This has been an outstanding year for Kia in terms of new product, brand awareness and sales. Our year-to-date market share across Europe has held strong at 5.1% over the past two months, and that success is due to our incredible electrified line-up. As we expand our electrified offering throughout 2023 and beyond, we hope to inspire more customers to make the switch and support a sustainable future for all.”
More Kia news soon, as we are keen to have a drive with the new Niro and Sportage…