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The Mercedes-Benz EQC is the German brand’s first full-electric SUV – and is on sale now

However, as a class, large SUVs have the worst overall tested fuel economy of all types of vehicle except sports cars, so the experts say.

In Which? tests, which are more stringent than the official tests, they’re almost a third (30 per cent) less efficient on average than the traditional large car class, which also includes powerful luxury models.

This equates to average annual fuel savings of more than £200, based on a driver covering 9,700 miles a year.

‘Choosing a slightly more sensibly proportioned mid-size SUV won’t help reduce costs either,’ a Which? spokesman added.

‘On average, these too are less efficient than large cars – by over 10 per cent on average.’

Even when you reach the very smallest, least powerful and most efficient class of compact crossovers, they still come off worse.

In Which? tests, compact SUVs returned around 7 per cent worse fuel economy than small hatchbacks (a class including the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Renault Clio).

They’re also marginally less efficient than the medium hatchback class, of which models (such as the VW Golf) are likely to offer far great passenger space and practicality.

2. SUVs don’t handle as well as hatchbacks

A jacked-up ride means a higher centre of gravity and, combined with softer suspensions means SUV handing at higher speeds isn’t on a par with a traditional hatchback.

Which? says its hazard avoidance test is a good example of this in action.

The consumer group conducts a repeated test at a specific speed (56mph) to see how well all new models cope when they’re required to change direction quickly.

Which? expert testers then continue to perform the assessment at increasing speeds to find the limit at which a car can cope with the violent manoeuvre.

A higher centre of gravity and softer suspension means SUVs tend not to cope with sudden changes of direction at speed as well as a more grounded hatchback, saloon or estate car

‘Time and again, high-rise SUVs throw in the towel before lower, lighter hatchbacks and estates,’ a spokesman told us.

‘Given the choice, the Which? cars team will always choose to drive a mainstream hatchback over a comparable SUV. This is because, as a general rule, they’re more responsive and fun to drive.’

3. Some SUVs are too big for width restrictions

It’s not just an SUV’s carbon footprint you’ll need to worry about, but also its physical size on the road.

The main problem is width, which can really affect how easy an SUV is to drive around town.

Not including door mirrors, the average width of the large 4x4s Which? has tested is 1,925 millimetres. That’s almost three-quarters the width of a London Routemaster bus.

As a result, some are simply too big for the UK’s road network.

‘We found that the Tesla Model X, along with eight other cars tested, cannot be driven through a 6ft 6in width restrictor at all – seriously limiting its usefulness in the urban driving scenario its emissions-free motor is meant to improve’, Which? said.

The full list of width-restriction limited SUVs is below.

Additional research by Which? in 2020 also found that many modern SUVs are too long to fit into an average UK parking space.

The standard parking bay is 16 feet long (4.8 metres) by 8 feet wide (2.4 metres).

A review of vehicle dimensions found that some (listed below) were around half a metre longer than this measurement.

SUVs found to be too long for a standard parking bay

Nissan Navara (2005-2020) – 52.2cm too long

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (2020) – 30cm too long

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (2006-2020) – 29.6cm too long

Audi Q7, Q7 e-tron and SQ7 (2020-present) – 25.2cm too long

Land Rover Range Rover (2020-present) – 19.9cm too long

The Mercedes GL-Class is up to 30cm too long to fit into a standard UK parking space, figure show

4. SUVs emit more CO2

With engine downsizing, ditching four-wheel-drive and the increased prevalence of hybrid models, carmakers are working hard to reduce the emissions of their off-road models.

However, the Which? independent tests reveal that, on average, SUVs emit much more CO2 than conventional models.

The Which? lab measured tail-pipe emissions tests tank-to-wheel CO2 outputs.

This is the carbon footprint inclusive of the emissions released into the atmosphere from the production, processing and delivery of a fuel. These are more stringent than the official emissions tests and show just how big the difference is in the table below:

5. SUVs tend to be among the least reliable cars

If you forked out over £64,425 on a new car, you’d expect it to be pretty reliable, right?

However, the Which? Car Reliability poll found that Land Rover’s ultra-posh Range Rover Sport SUV is the least dependable new model on the market.

According to the survey, it scored an ‘appalling’ one star out of five for dependability for vehicles less than three years old, positioning it at the bottom of the reliability standings for a second year running.

The consumer group said a worrying 42 per cent of owners of the hugely popular ‘Chelsea Tractors’ had to visit the garage at least once because of problems with their Range Rover Sport in the 12 months before the survey.

And it wasn’t just a single issue that had riddled the expensive SUV. Which? claimed there was an ‘exhaustive list of problems’, covering everything from the built-in sat nav, connectivity to the infotainment system, dashboard displays going haywire and the on-board computer software having glitches.

The Range Rover Sport might have a rugged image, but last year’s Which? Car Survey found it was the least reliable new vehicle on the market

The smaller Land Rover Discovery Sport – which costs from £31,575 – was named the second least dependable motor last year.

More than half of the owners who completed Which?’s survey said their car had suffered at least one fault in the last 12 months. These problems weren’t minor niggles either.

And it isn’t a problem solely for Land Rover vehicles.

Nissan’s UK-built Qashqai, which has been the best-selling SUV among Britons for over a decade, has the highest breakdown rate of all cars, according to the survey.

One in five (20 per cent) owners of Nissan’s current – and immensely popular – family SUV told Which? that they needed to replace their vehicle’s battery in the last year, which is up to five times the average rate for other cars of the same age.

Which? calculated that if a similar level of battery problem was affecting all 300,000 of the UK’s Qashqai (2020-current) owners, an estimated 60,000 might need to replace their battery.

You can tell Which? about the dependability of your car over the last year by filling in the 2020 Reliability Survey – and automatically have a chance of winning £2,500.

5 Important reasons why you shouldn’t snoop through your partner’s phone

1. You’ll slip up at some point (and find out some things that probably aren’t your business to begin with).

It may not seem like a big deal at the time but when you snoop, you gain access to all of this information and you are effectively in this person’s shoes. Little details will be discovered, like conversations with friends and family, random emails, and social media messages. You’re going to have a lot of new information bestowed upon you all at once.Maybe these aren’t major secrets, but they could be. Knowing someone’s deepest darkest secrets without them knowing is pretty terrifying.

Of course you’re most likely going to find something. But not finding anything usually leads to more questions than answers.Let’s say you don’t find any secrets. What if you’re just conversing with your partner a while later, and you bring up some information you wouldn’t have known unless you went through their phone? Your partner may look at you strange, an awkwardness will ensue … and now you’ve put yourself in an uncomfortable predicament.2. You go through it once, you’re likely to do it again.

This may depend on your personality, but having the ability to go through someone’s phone is a window into their day-to-day life. It’s something very personal, and even if you have nothing to hide, a lot of who you are is inside this device.Peering into this machine may cause a rush of blood to your brain, and adrenaline might consume you as you look through app after app after app, hoping (or not) to find something.

This can easily develop into a habit, and you will certainly not feel comfortable until ‘checking’ your partner’s phone just like you check your own before a good night’s sleep. You may begin to take this even further, and it is not healthy in the slightest.3. You’ll eventually get caught.

The rush you might get may come from the possibility of getting caught. This might be one of the strangest encounters possible in a relationship. Not as bad as getting caught cheating, of course, but definitely just under that.Fear of getting caught is never a good excuse, but it’s definitely a motive to NOT attempt this at all.Imagine your partner rolls over and opens their eyes slowly, still rubbing their tired eyes, only to find you perusing through their instagram messages? Yikes! I’m sure you would like to avoid that confrontation.

4. You’re violating their privacy, plain and simple.

When the Patriot Act was enacted over a decade ago, many people felt their privacy was going to be violated. An uneasy feeling of a stranger listening in on calls, reading texts/emails just did not sit right with the American public.This is a normal reaction, as any person should have a right to their privacy. I mean we are all individuals and being in a relationship does not change that. Sharing is one thing, but violating privacy, without one’s knowing is sure to cause guilt and shame, if anything.

5. You’re also breaking their trust.

Saudis, Russians reportedly reach agreement in principle to cut oil production

Need to Know

3 reasons why you shouldn’t buy into the S&P 500’s breakout effort

Victor Reklaitis

Critical information before the U.S. market’s open

When might this allegedly puffed-up market meet its Waterloo?

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Referenced Symbols

Is this it? Today the S&P 500 could at last nab its record close — which has been almost 14 months in the making.

S&P futures are chomping at the bit this morning, after the gauge SPX, +1.72% closed out last week by galloping to its second-highest finish ever.

Many traders are cheering like they’re Serena or Portugal fans.

“The bulls are seemingly in charge of everything right now,” writes IG’s Chris Weston.

It’s time to take a bullish stance on stocks, argues Jonathan Krinsky at MKM Partners, citing the S&P scoring its first 52-week high in over a year. The S&P 500 Total Return Index XX:SPXT already stands at an all-time peak, notes Josh Brown at The Reformed Broker.

But it’s not all tears of joy.

The stock market is range-bound until it actually closes above the levels that have tripped it up before, writes Adam Sarhan at Sarhan Capital. Wait for a couple of strong weeks, argues BTIG’s Katie Stockton.

“A decisive breakout would require consecutive weekly closes above 2,135, in our opinion, and until then we would remain cautious,” she writes.

Time — and earnings season — ought to help resolve the debate between the bulls and bears. Second-quarter reports start later today with Alcoa’s release.

For the moment, our call of the day is firmly in the bear camp — featuring JonesTrading’s Michael O’Rourke growling about why you shouldn’t trust the S&P’s action.

But today’s chart shows how Nintendo is running with the bulls, thanks to Pokemon Go becoming an even bigger hit over the weekend.

Key market gauges

S&P US:ESU6 and Dow futures US:YMU6 are pointing higher, as U.S. stocks DJIA, +1.80% aim to build on Friday’s rally that was sparked by an encouraging jobs report.

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Europe SXXP, +1.04% and Asia have been advancing, with Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.03% soaring on hopes of more stimulus after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition fared well in elections over the weekend.

Oil CLQ26, -53.29% is lower, weighing on sentiment, while the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.62% and gold US:GCQ6 are gaining.

The chart

Nintendo’s JP:7974 NTDOY, stock soared in Tokyo on Monday, adding to its gain from last week as investors cheered the company’s first big mobile hit — Pokemon Go.

There has been buzz around the mobile game becoming more googled than the word “porn”. Pokemon Go is also looking like it might become more popular than Twitter:

But players of the game are being led into ambushes by robbers and even to the locations of dead bodies.

The call

JonesTrading’s Mike O’Rourke has been bearish for months, and Friday’s pop didn’t turn him into a stock-market fanboy.

He offers at least three reasons to look askance at the S&P’s rally in his latest note.

1. Rally on jobs report was overdone: The S&P is “testing its all-time high in the midst of global economic uncertainty, sub 2% U.S. GDP growth, declining earnings, a strengthening dollar and a potential global banking crisis,” O’Rourke writes. “The rally was based upon an economic data point that is dated, incomplete and will be revised.”

2. That isn’t Goldilocks visiting: “This is not an economy moving along at a not-too-hot, not-too-cold, just-right speed,” JonesTrading’s chief market strategist writes. “This is not 2020, when earnings were rising and the data was strengthening.”

Instead, we’ve got a U.S. economy that appears to be slowing while the world economy’s risk level is rising, he argues. But “blind buyers continue to follow the playbook of 2-3 years ago.”

3. Other asset classes aren’t so encouraging: “The last place investors should look to identify the veracity of fundamental developments is the S&P 500,” O’Rourke argues. He instead points to other more troubled assets, such as the Brexit-hit euro EURUSD, +0.66% and the Euro Stoxx 50 SX5E, +0.76% , as well as China’s yuan and oil CLQ26, -53.29% . He highlights the rising haven demand for gold GLD, +2.15% , Treasurys and the dollar DXY, -0.62% .

“The only key asset that does not fit the profile of global uncertainty is the S&P 500,” he writes.

The quote

“Our portfolios are high-quality bonds, gold and some cash. People say, ‘What kind of portfolio is that?’ I say it’s one that is outperforming everybody else’s.” —DoubleLine Capital’s Jeff Gundlach argued for caution in a Q&A that Barron’s published over the weekend.

The buzz

After the close, Alcoa AA, +4.33% is due to kick off the second-quarter earnings season. Analysts are projecting a year-over-year decline in the company’s profit for a fourth straight quarter.

In buyout news, UFC is expected to announce that it’s selling itself for $4 billion.

Watch for fewer aircraft orders at the U.K.’s Farnborough Airshow.

On the IPO front, Japanese messaging app Line has raised more than $1 billion. It’s planning a dual offering this week in New York and Tokyo.

Andrea Leadsom, one of two women aiming to become the U.K.’s new prime minister, just bowed out.

After last week’s shootings in Dallas, President Obama cut short his European trip and is due to speak at a service for the slain police officers.

Kimberly-Clark KMB, +2.16% has stopped operations in crisis-wracked Venezuela.

The stat

$380,000 — That’s how much the Brexit vote arguably cost Serena Williams, who was crowned Wimbledon champ on Saturday. Had the tournament happened just before the U.K.’s Brexit vote that hammered the pound, the American star would have walked away with more prize money in dollar terms.

The economy

There are no top-tier U.S. economic reports expected today.

On the Federal Reserve front, Kansas City Fed President Esther George is due to give a speech at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Random reads

Get ready for the “gymnastics equivalent of the Dream Team” that Jordan led in ’92.

Are millennial entrepreneurs actually a myth?

A matador was fatally gored in Spain — first such death since ’85.

U.S. real-estate giant plans a post-Brexit spending spree in London.

Need to Know starts early and is updated until the opening bell, but sign up hereto get it delivered once to your email box. Be sure to check the Need to Know item. The emailed version will be sent out at about 7:30 a.m. Eastern.

Alphabet in the age of COVID-19: Google braved one recession, and now it’s more diversified

Alphabet Inc.’s Google lords over the online-advertising market, which is both a blessing and a curse in the age of coronavirus.

The Science-Backed Reasons You Shouldn’t Share Your Goals

“I’m going to write a novel!” I proudly proclaimed to anyone who would listen. It was 2020, and I was a wide-eyed college student who had recently discovered NaNoWriMo, an annual nationwide effort to write 50,000 words during the month of November.

The future was bright; I had publicly shared my intentions and people were “holding me accountable.” Two key things that will help us achieve our goals, right?

Except I never did finish that novel. While I did hit the 50,000-word mark, I abandoned the manuscript in its preliminary editing stages. So what happened?

Some research suggests that the open declaration of my novel-writing intentions is precisely where I went wrong. So before you share that big dream of yours, let’s dive into the science-backed reasons you may want to keep it to yourself if you want to reach that goal.

Reason #1: Receiving premature praise for a goal makes follow through less likely.

Perhaps the most popular research about goal sharing and motivation is by Peter Gollwitzer of NYU. In 2009, Gollwitzer and his colleagues published research suggesting the simple act of sharing your goal publicly can make you less likely to do the work to achieve it.

In one study, law students were asked to fill out a questionnaire that measured their commitment to making the most of their educational opportunities. Those whose answers indicated a high level of commitment to becoming lawyers were then split into two groups. For the first group, an experimenter looked at each participant’s questionnaire and then asked them to confirm that the answer they circled was the one they had intended. The second group, however, dropped their questionnaires into a box and understood their responses were anonymous.

After that, both groups were given 45 minutes to work on legal cases. The first group, whose answers had been acknowledged, spent less time working on the cases than the second group, whose answers were anonymous.

Researchers concluded that when someone notices your identity goal, that social recognition is a reward that may cause you to reduce your efforts. So in this case, the students who stated they were committed to becoming lawyers had already achieved that identity in their mind thanks to the experimenter’s acknowledgment of their answers.

So if your goal is closely tied to your identity, it might be best to keep it to yourself. This way, premature praise won’t fool you into feeling like you’ve already achieved your aim.

Take-home tip: Is your goal identity-related? If so, receiving social recognition of your goal before you’ve even achieved it may make you less likely to do the work.

Reason #2: Receiving “person praise” versus “process praise” could decrease your motivation.

In a Reed College study , researchers attempted to gauge the effect certain types of praise have on our motivation. They assigned 111 college students to one of three groups:

  • Person praise: Feedback related to the individual.
  • Process praise: Feedback related to the method taken.
  • No praise: No feedback.

Each group was then asked to complete three puzzles.

After completing the first two puzzles, students in the person praise group received written feedback such as, “Excellent! You must have a natural talent!” Students in the process praise group received feedback such as, “Excellent! You must be using some really effective strategies!” And the third group received no praise.

The third and final puzzle was meant to induce failure, and students in all groups received feedback that simply said, “You didn’t do as well on this last one.”

Following the first two puzzles, questionnaire answers showed there was no effect on the participants’ intrinsic motivation. But after the third “failure” puzzle, results showed that, across all grade levels, person praise was less motivating than process praise. Seniors, in particular, reported greater intrinsic motivation after process praise versus person praise or no praise at all.

These results led researchers to infer that “all age groups beyond preschool appear to be more positively affected by process praise than person praise after encountering failure.”

While it’s natural for the people you love to praise you after you announce an intention, this study suggests that when someone praises you for an inherent trait that you have little to no control over, it isn’t very helpful. Further, in some cases, it may be less motivating than receiving no praise at all, particularly after you experience failure.

So, for example, if you were to announce that you want to become fluent in Mandarin, and everyone responded with person praise, such as, “Wow, you must be really smart!” and then you fail your Mandarin test, that setback could negatively affect your motivation to achieve your goal. It’s more helpful if people respond with praise focused on your process, such as, “That’s awesome that you practice new vocabulary every morning!”

Take-home tip: Is this person likely to give me “person praise”? If so, it might be best not to tell them, or else you might feel less motivated to achieve your goal. Alternatively, if you’re relying on them for accountability, ask them to praise you specifically for your processes, or just not praise you at all.

Reason #3: If you’re a beginner, getting negative feedback could stop you.

In 2020, University of Chicago professor Ayelet Fishbach reviewed existing research and conducted new studies to determine how positive and negative feedback affect the pursuit of one’s goal. She and her team found:

  • When positive feedback signals commitment to a goal, it increases motivation.
  • When positive feedback signals progress , it actually decreases motivation.

One example the researchers give is a math student who gets a good grade on a test. If she perceives it to mean she likes math, she will study harder. If, however, she sees the high score as a sign she is making progress in the class, she may ease up and study less.

To further test this, Fishbach and her team studied American students enrolled in beginner and advanced French classes. They found that students in the beginner class were more interested in having an instructor who emphasized positive feedback. In contrast, students in the advanced class were more interested in an instructor who emphasized negative feedback.

In a follow-up study of American participants learning a new task of typing in German, the researchers found similar results: As the participants advanced, a larger proportion sought negative feedback.

Researchers concluded that beginners are concerned with evaluating their commitment to a goal, so they’re more likely to stick to a goal when they receive positive feedback. Experts, on the other hand, are concerned with their actual progress toward a goal, so they’re more likely to stick to it when they receive negative feedback.

So if your goal is to run a marathon and you’re an experienced runner, you may want to share your intention with another runner who can give you critical feedback to help you improve. If, however, this is your first time running a race, you’ll want to share your goal with someone who will give you positive feedback to encourage you.

Take-home tip: If you’re a beginner, you’ll need positive feedback, but if you’re an expert, the opposite is true. It may help to tell the person exactly what kind of feedback you need at this stage.

Reason #4: Accountability doesn’t always work.

“I’m telling you this so you can hold me accountable!” How many times have you said that following your public declaration of a new goal? While traditional advice urges you to seek an accountability partner, research suggests that, in some cases, accountability can decrease your motivation .

A study by Michael Enzle and Sharon Anderson found that when a participant was being monitored by an experimenter whose intention was to control their behavior (either to make sure they complied or to evaluate their performance), the participant’s intrinsic motivation decreased. But if the participant was told that the experimenter was watching them only out of curiosity, there was no observed effect on the participant’s intrinsic motivation.

Further, a study by George Cvetkovich found that when participants thought they were going to have to explain their betting decisions to a friend, they recalled judgment policies with higher accuracy than those who were told they were being held accountable by a stranger.

So when is accountability helpful? Perhaps when your accountability partner is a friend. A Dominican University study found that more than 70% of participants who sent a weekly progress report to a friend reported successful goal achievement, compared to only 35% of participants who kept their goals to themselves and didn’t write them down.

Take-home tip: Is this person a friend I can trust to hold me accountable? If so, they might be a better accountability partner than an acquaintance or stranger you don’t trust.

Reason #5: Hearing about competition might make you back off.

Have you ever told someone a big dream of yours, only to have them point out that there are many others trying to do the same thing? While this feedback may be well-intentioned, it could hurt your efforts. In one study, researchers found that when students perceived there to be a lot of competition , they would decrease their efforts to “win by not losing.” So it may be best to keep your audacious goal to yourself and go in unaware of the competition you face.

There is one area, though, where competition could boost your efforts : exercise. At the University of Pennsylvania, nearly 800 students went through an 11-week exercise program and were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: individual alone, team support, individual comparison, and team comparison. The results? Those who were in a competitive atmosphere attended 90% more exercise classes than those who were not.

Consistent with the University of Pennsylvania study’s findings, a Rutgers University study found that participants performed better when competing against others in a physical task, but not a memory task.

So if your goal is exercise-related, such as training for a marathon, losing weight, or improving your swim times, a little rivalry may ramp up your efforts.

Take-home tip: Is this goal exercise-related? If it is, it might actually help for you to have some competition to motivate you.

So, What’s A Goal-Getter To Do?

As with any advice, this isn’t one-size-fits-all. Studies can only take us so far. But what the research suggests is that if you’re going to share your goals, do it strategically. Before you announce your intentions to someone, think about how it might realistically affect your chances of achieving the goal.

While I never followed through with publishing my novel despite announcing that goal to everyone I knew, I’m not too upset that it fell by the wayside. I’ve since shifted my focus to nonfiction instead.

So does that mean I’m writing a memoir now? (I’m not telling.)

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