Few cars have caused as much tension in our office as the Smart Roadster-Coupe Brabus. After a lukewarm review of the left-hand-drive version, we've been after a right hooker for weeks. But now we have one, the water is muddier than ever.
Less than a decade ago, diesel engines were found in only 10 per cent of all small hatchbacks. Mostly French and German models, they were fairly good, but not great. Today, more than half of the cars sold in this sector come with an oil-burner.
Entry-level models are too often viewed as the poor relation in a car's range. Usually lacking in equipment and short of power, but frugal, they are frequently included in the brochure simply to give an attractive starting price in advertising.
To most people, 444bhp is more than enough power. But Audi is building a new A6, so it's decided to send the old car out on a high note - 473bhp to be precise. That's more muscle than an Aston Martin Vanquish, in an estate car!
You could be forgiven for thinking that the battle for honours in the UK's executive car market is a two-horse race, with BMW's 5-Series and the Mercedes E-Class dominating group tests and headlines alike.
It's no exaggeration to say that Kia dealers cried when the Pride supermini was killed off in 1998. The Mazda-based hatch was their bread and butter, and there has not been a small car in the Korean manufacturer's line-up since then.