Modern SUVs are really not very good at being horses
What’s the best sporting SUV on sale today? It’s a question that serious consumer publications have sought to answer by diligently measuring bootspace, second-row legroom and bootspace again, just to be on the safe side. TopGear, however, knows the only real way to rank SUVs’ suitability for the hustle-bustle of everyday family life is through the time-honoured sport of… horsey games.
And so it was that Matt, Chris and Rory arrived at Burghley House with an Alfa Stelvio, a Volvo XC60 and a Range Rover Velar, whereupon they were ordered to saddle up and take part in a series of equestrian-inspired challenges, including an arena show-jumping event, and a cross-country race through Burghley’s grand, really-quite-bumpy grounds. What we’re saying is, quite a lot of jumping.
Now, some people will tell you that modern SUVs can’t cope with being jumped several feet in the air. This is completely untrue. The jumping, no problem at all. It’s the landing at the end that causes all the problems. Cue a very thorough consumer test of the engine mountings of three expensive SUVs. And, afterwards, some rather awkward phone calls to the nice people who had lent us said SUVs.
Chris thrashes the new Alpine A110 on our track – and Rallye Monte Carlo
Not many cars have a tougher task ahead of them than the new Alpine A110. Not only must it enter the sports car arena that’s ruled, nay – owned by the Porsche Cayman – but it has a great responsibility on its petit shoulders. The new Alpine must do justice to the heritage of its name, and the rally-bred sports cars of the 1960s that inspired it.
While its turbocharged 249bhp engine and twin-clutch paddleshift gearbox would’ve seemed like sorcery to the fathers of its ancestors, the new A110 does share a crucial link with classic sports cars: it’s light. 1100kg light.
So, we can’t blame Chris for driving a little further than the Top Gear test track onto one of Alpine’s favourite stomping grounds: the Monte Carlo rally, to drive one of 2018’s most exciting new cars on the roads it was built for. You’ll want to stick around for the whole film to check out the, erm, heated verdict.
Plus, Jason Manford is our Star in our Reasonably Fast Car. To see how he does, and all the other madness, tune in to Top Gear this Sunday at 8pm on BBC Two.