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Saab 9-3 Aero
Engine: 1.9 TTID
Price: £26,970
Saab’s alternative to the BMW’s 3 Series has become a much more interesting prospect with the addition of a new competitively priced 1.9 TTID engine. Customers will take comfort in getting 50mpg while also having fun with the 180bhp on offer. There’s the potential to drive the 9-3 hard and get some enjoyment, but it’s also happy to be driven like a refined cruiser.
Driven by Tom Seymour.

Volvo C30
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel
Price: £25,195 (as tested)
The ad says you either love it or hate it, but I’m a bit ambivalent about the C30 design. It looks like the spiritual successor to the 480 and does stand out. Some angles look amazing, others less so. The sloping roofline reduces head space for rear passengers. Performance is frugal and spritely and the R-Design sports interior includes the most attractive aluminium panelling effect I’ve seen.
Driven by Stephen Briers.

Volkswagen Tiguan SE
Engine: 2.0 TDI
Price: £21,770
VW traditionalists will like the Tiguan. It’s typically austere and functional, but has plenty of attraction for newcomers. The £450 optional park assist system is worth every penny for amusement alone, as it has passengers amazed at its hands-off approach to parallel parking.
Driven by Tim Rose.

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