Eight of the top 10 worst performers against official figures were subcompacts – the very cars that are bought by budget-conscious motorists with an eye on fuel economy
BMW X5 sports the flame design BMW X5

X5 now seats seven

THIS is the new BMW X5 sports-utility vehicle, looking more hunkered down, dynamic and sporting the “flame design” seen on the Z4 roadster. More significantly, it has a third row of seats, like SUVs from car-makers like Volvo, Land Rover and Jeep.

It will come with active suspension and active steering and hill-start assistance. Several improvements have been made to the braking system too (comforting, since it is now heavier with more occupants onboard).

Petrol variants include a 272-horse 3-litre six-cylinder and a 355-horse 4.8-litre V8.

Tsk, tsk, not so fuel efficient?

AUTO magazine What Car? says cars in the real world are on average 8 per cent thirstier than manufacturer-declared figures. In Britain alone, the difference amounted to £192 million (S$575 million) last year.

Out of 85 bestsellers it tested, only five managed to hit their makers’ claims. The worst performer was the hybrid petrol-electric Toyota Prius.

Eight of the top 10 worst performers against official figures were subcompacts – the very cars that are bought by budget-conscious motorists with an eye on fuel economy. These include the Kia Picanto and Ford Focus 1.6. The full list is on www.whatcar.com