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Motoring news: Merc's 7-seater compact SUV, the KIA price for XCeed plug-in and the new Golf GTi

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Mercedes GLB

Mercedes GLB

Daimler AG

VW GTi

VW GTi

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Mercedes GLB

The new Volkswagen Golf GTi is due here in the late autumn.

Expect it to cost around €46,000 - which is not that different than the current model.

As you would expect, the engine and chassis get special treatment.

The turbocharged two-litre petrol powerhouse pumps 245bhp - and you can have either a manual or automatic (DSG) transmission. It has an electronically limited 250kmh top speed.

It is unmistakably a Golf in GTi clothing. Like the seven generations that preceded it, the design is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, with the emphasis on robustly outstanding, but slick, performance.

One reason for its popularity is that it can be driven as a practical family hatch as well as generating searing output.

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VW GTi

VW GTi

VW GTi

We have to take a lot of what they say about its handling and ride at face value - at least until we get it here - and try it out for ourselves.

Among its more distinguishing visual touches is a new illuminated radiator grille bar which is part of the LED daytime running lights.

Key trim items will include Matrix LED headlights, 18ins alloys, GTi sports seats/steering wheel, new-era infotainment display (part of a cockpit of digital instruments and controls), three-zone climatronic, Travel Assist and tinted windows.

* First models of KIA's XCeed plug-in hybrid are on their way to dealers as the process of selling cars resumes. The powertrain combines 8.9 kWh battery pack, 44.5 kW electric motor and 1.6-litre petrol engine - producing a combined and substantial 141PS.

They claim it has a 'pure' electric range of up to 54km which should accommodate shorter commutes on electric power only.

It costs from €28,945 - the price includes VRT relief and SEAI grant.

XCeed plug-in spec includes 18ins alloys, dual zone auto aircon, 8ins Android Auto/Apple Car Play, rain sensors, lane keep assist and forward collision avoidance.

There is a 6spd double-clutch transmission (6DCT) which lets you change gear for yourself; usually hybrids come with Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

There will be a PHEV version of the new Sorento 7-seat SUV later in the year.

* THE Mercedes GLB compact SUV (main photo) with seven seats has just arrived. The two extra seats will make a lot of difference to larger, younger families.

There are two design and equipment lines: Progressive and AMG. And there are several options including a 'night package' in which black high-gloss body highlights give it a special look.

Petrol models (7G/8G auto transmission) include: the 200 (1,332cc) 250 (1,991cc) and 35 4MATIC AMG (1,991cc). Diesels are all based on the 1,950cc engine with 8G automatic transmission. They include: 180d, 200d, 200d 4MATIC and 220d 4MATIC. Adaptive damping system is optional.

Biggest sellers are expected to be the GLB Progressive 180 auto from €42,350 and the Progressive 180d Automatic from €43,190.

Indo Motoring