Geneva shows a

practical side

Kia Ceed Sportswagon, 2018, reveal
Kia Ceed Sportswagon, 2018, front
Kia Ceed Sportswagon, 2018, side
Kia Ceed Sportswagon, 2018, interior
Kia Ceed Sportswagon, 2018, boot
Volvo XC40, European Car of the Year, 2018
BMW X4, 2018, front
Jaguar I-PACE, 2018, reveal
Peugeot 508, 2018, Geneva
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, Geneva
Mazda KAI concept, 2018
Audi A6, 2018, Geneva
Lamborghini Urus, 2018, Geneva
David Brown Mini Remastered, front
David Brown Mini Remastered, interior
Pal-V, 2018, front
Pal-V, 2018, side
Pal-V, 2018,  side 2

PRACTICAL motoring is on the way back and it's not just with the boom in SUVs.

Strip away the technology - and there's plenty of that on display at this year's Geneva Motor Show - and the humble estate car is alive and well.

Korean car maker Kia bucked the trend at the Swiss auto spectacular by unveiling a stylish Sportswagon derivative of its new European-built Ceed.

And as estates go, Kia has pushed the boat out giving its newcomer a 600 litre boot.

For a medium-sized estate that's huge - almost as big as a Mercedes E-Class - and it's been achieved by some clever design.

Like the new Ceed hatchback which also had its world premiere at Geneva, the Sportswagon has an eight foot eight inch wheelbase but measures almost a foot longer with almost all of that at the back.

Factor in a low lip height, a powered tailgate and a variety of load configuration and it's a car with king-sized pretensions and aimed at those who need to carry plenty.

It proves that the estate still has a home in the European car market where sales of SUVs and crossovers show no sign of abating.

Hammering home their popularity, the show kicked off with the Volvo XC40 compact crossover being named European Car of the Year for 2018.

That was followed by global reveals for BMW's new X4 Sports Activity Vehicle, a high performance Mercedes G-Class from AMG and Jaguar's Tesla-beating I-PACE all-electric 4x4.

Sister brand Land Rover wowed the crowds with a special Range Rover SV Coupe - the fastest full-sized Range Rover ever and limited to just 999 models in Land Rover's 70 anniversary year.

It's price - £240,000. At the other end of the scale Peugeot and Citroen revealed van-based crossovers in the shape of a new Berlingo and the Rifter which appeared alongside Citroen's new C4 Cactus and a sleek looking new 508 flagship from Peugeot.

Audi took the wraps off a new A6 - now very much a ‘baby' of its A8 limo - which will be on sale later in the year while at the high end of the SUV scale Lamborghini came to the party with the Urus - a super SUV priced from £135,000 and with a 0 to 60 acceleration of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 190mph.

Concepts were thin on the ground but Renault did not disappoint with the futuristic ZE-GO - a car which can be part of your house - while Mazda possibly stole the show with its sensational KAI design study that's likely to become the next Mazda3.

Other cars for the future included Volkswagen's ID family which feature self-driving models such as the ID Cross campervan.

Going retro was British specialist car maker David Brown which had two versions of its Mini Remastered on display.

Based on the original Mini of some 60 years 50 years ago and powered by a 1,275cc engine they are faithful interpretations on the outside but come with state of the art interiors.

And perhaps the most fanciful creation came from Holland in the shape of the Pal-V.

It's a two seater runabout that converts into a gyrocopter in a matter of minutes - the ultimate way to beat a traffic jam. Yours for £450,000 but you'll need a pilot's licence.


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