We drove the Seat Leon ST X-perience: the one with the lion’s heart…

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It is wrong to say that today’s cars lack character and personality. Our recent drive in the Mini One masterfully proved the contrary. Behind the wheel of this Seat ST , we again had – as the name of this car puts it – a wonderful automotive experience, one of driving a true thoroughbred, well built car displaying sportiness, stamina and agility, both on and off-road!

Indeed we loved this Seat every meter we drove it, just read our experience(s) here…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Lexus RX 200t Executive: the magic power of smoothness.

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Faithful readers know it: we always value very highly mechanical refinement in cars. There is one make which goes to the greatest lengths in ensuring their products drive and handle as smoothly as possible, and that is Lexus. Needless to say that we are keen to test for you their automobiles, and see what they have in stake for you.

This time we were behind the leather covered wheel of a sporting member of the Lexus family: the RX 200t F Sport, which is built to deliver outstanding performance, combining this with equally top level refinement and premium class comfort. All this packed in a dramatically styled compact SUV body and cabin, and you will agree that this Lexus is a car which certainly merits a closer look…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Nissan NP 300 Navara: a pickup which brings you (very) far…

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The new Nissan NP 300 Navara is already earning (very) high marks with international jury’s: it has won a few weeks ago the coveted “Pickup of the year 2016” prize.

Nissan is poised to (re)gain a very important place in the global pickup market, and last but not least in Belgium and Luxembourg, and all this is reason enough to attend the driving presentation of this Nissan NP 300, which the efficient and dynamic PR team of Nissan Belgium had prepared for us in Wavre, with a very scenic and challenging off road test track amidst the flowing hills of the surrounding countryside.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Mini One D: an icon which seduces more than ever…

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We belong to this generation of car lovers who saw the birth of the original mini. We sat in the first year of our motoring life behind the awkwardly raked wheel of such an original Morris Mini-Minor with its unwieldy long shift stick and its willing BMC 4 cylinder 850 cc engine.

With as the only go-faster accessory a central, big bore end muffler. It gave the right sound, but did not make the car faster at all. Nevertheless, it certainly added drama and pleasure to our first Mini experience. The car belonged to a friend, was sprayed in bold dark blue and we had the steel wheels painted black. We went flat out with it almost everywhere, as the chassis was well up to its 36 horsepower or so.

Boy, did we enjoy this. Armed with these positive memories we now slid behind the wheel of this contemporary icon, an orange yellow 5 door Mini One D. What a luxury cabin! Our eyes browse with disbelief over the numerous dials and switches. They are reminiscent of the minute toggle switches in the original, but are looking rather more like the more sturdy switches which were plentiful in the BMC Mini Cooper S rally cars, scattered under and above the Halda Tripmaster.

The plentiful instrumentation in the black cabin, also evoking the BMC Rally monsters, makes us also feel like Paddy Hopkirk, and we are deeply impressed. We can only applaud the BMW styling people who succeeded in retaining the aura of the original Mini in this car. But after all, driving is believing, so read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the BMW i3 Rex: all the cleverness of “zen” e-power…

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Living your everyday (urban) life on electric power now seems the way to go. Our governments want it, and will effectively promote it when they have the money to do so. Urban citizens in Europe and all over the world are convinced that ecological e-power will be the mobile lifeblood of our future cities. Indeed, not only the kind of energy, also the mobility concepts themselves are dramatically changing, and will be ever more individual and tailor-made through car renting and sharing. Clever, well made state-of-the-art compact electric vehicles, also with a distinct premium character, are needed for the modern (urban) public, and BMW is building it with this 3i. We drove it extensively for a week, and here are our findings…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Opel Astra 1.0 T 105 HP: stellar driving pleasure…

as6s20Our test car came in fiery “Power Red” color, and fittingly so. Because it drives like a “pur-sang”, clings to the road and steers with such precision, that it awakens in you all the pleasures of car driving, which you thought were forever lost in our everyday cars. Well, this Astra proves you wrong. It brings a smile on your face, whenever you slide behind the wheel, and start up its smooth and throbby three cylinder thoroughbred engine. Because driving adventure will be yours to taste for every inch you move with this Astra.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Nissan X-Trail DIG Turbo 1,6 Liter 163 HP : a world class SUV with oriental refinement…

tra1smNissan has acquired a vast experience in building SUV’s which win car loving hearts all over our globe. Their new X-Trail amply proves the point, as well as the Qasqai for that matter. This latest model strikes an ideal balance between looks, roominess, frugality and, last but not least, build quality and refinement. We drove the smooth and silent petrol engined version of this X Trail, with a 1.6 liter four cylinder under its hood, mated to the six speed manual gearbox. A wonderfully refined and frugal combination…well suited to this SUV which is so effortless to drive.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the VW Passat Alltrack 2.0 TDI SCR 4MOTION bluemotion technology 150 HP: your companion for any road…

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Volkswagen does not only build cars with immense workmanship and quality, they also offer cars which are totally practical, sturdy, yet timelessly elegant and donned with a touch of luxury. Such a car is this Passat Alltrack. It offers the practicality of a station wagon, has a frugal and smooth diesel, has state of the art electronics, driving aids and infotainment, and last but not least permanent four  wheel drive. Ready for everyday duty on forest roads, but also fit for shopping on the Berliner Kurfürstendamm or any (posh) boulevard in this whole wide world…just read on.

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