Motor Industry News
A unique insight into our valuations team (VIP DATA) day to day observations from probably the most accurate vehicle valuation system in the UK.
Beware of buying from Auction at the moment. There are a lot of unloved and poorly maintained cars sat waiting for unsuspecting victims.
More and more auction companies are promoting an on line bidding service which uses a vehicle appraisal and a few pictures only. Go and touch and feel the car. You have been warned...
Had a first drive in the Nissan Leaf all electric car today. To the untrained eye the car would probably look like any other production Nissan. Unless of course the charging lead is trailing out of the front of it!
To drive it is a very strange experience at first. Simply press the button on the dashboard, engage gear and press the accelerator. The car moves away in eerie silence with just a hint of a whirr from the electric motor. Acceleration is good, probably comparable to that of a 2.0 normally aspirated petrol engine found in a mid-sized car.
A constant eye has to be kept on the range displayed on the dashboard; it feels very similar to driving a petrol or diesel car with the fuel light on! Maximum range is under a hundred miles which doesn't make it an attractive proposition for many users. Neither does the £28000 list price!
After driving the Leaf and experiencing its silence. I asked myself how safe the electric cars are. Imagine walking down a quiet street with parked cars at either side and starting to cross. Years of everyday life with regular cars have trained people to use their ears as part of the crossing process. It is almost certain that the “new generation” of electric vehicles will cause an increase in pedestrian accidents.
Ford are in the final stages of developing the new Focus ST. It is no longer going to use a 5 cylinder turbocharged unit found in its predecessor, but will use a 2.0 247ps four cylinder variant of Fords Eco boost power plant. This promises vastly improved fuel economy and higher performance. We look forward to an RS model at some stage in the future!
Volkswagen have announced plans to build a special edition Golf GTi to commemorate 35 years of the GTi. The car will be aptly called the Golf GTi Edition 35. It will boast a power output of 235ps which makes it the highest power Golf GTi ever. It will also feature unique 18” alloy wheels, an upgraded front bumper and the signature golf ball gear lever.
Prices are yet to be confirmed and the car will be available to order late in 2011.
Over to Frankfurt with Volkswagen for a sneak preview of some new models that are due later this year. We also drove quite a few of their current range including the new Jetta.
The new Jetta is sure to be a success in the US. However, in the UK, Jetta has never had a great track record. Many people see it as an old person’s car or just Golf with a boot. This isn’t the case though. The car drives really well, the cabin is quiet and refined with good quality fixtures and fittings as would be expected from a German manufacturer.
Volkswagen need to market this car in the correct way in this country in order for it to perform as they want it to.
The auction halls continue to be full of unwanted cars. The trade are still not actively buying new stock due to slowing sales rates. Are buyers concentrating on their summer holidays?
Anybody attempting to order a new vehicle in the last few months will know full well that it’s not as simple as it used to be. Long lead times have been with us for a while now, and the disaster in Japan has just made things even worse. This is having a positive effect on the value of your car if you own something under 12 months old that’s got a long current lead time.
Beware of previously accident damaged cars out there. There is a growing number of Category C and D repaired cars for sale on the market today. This has a huge impact on the value of a used car.
Some sellers are open and honest about the fact. However sometimes this is covered up. Shiny new paintwork can easily mislead the excited buyer. If the price looks too good to be true then it probably is!
Have a provence check carried out before any purchase!
Had a first drive in the New Subaru WRX STi 4dr. The test car was also fitted with a performance upgrade package to boost its power output from the Standard 300 to 320bhp. As a result of this the torque from the 2.5l turbo-charged Boxer engine is given a helpful boost.
Build quality has improved over the last few years and Subaru have redeveloped their clever differential system and rather than purely having a number of manual settings, it now boasts a more intelligent 'auto' setting which adapts itself to a particular driving style.
The WRX is developed primarily as a point-to-point performance car, and that's the cars major strength. The steering is perfectly weighted and offers great feedback when pressing on. The chassis feels supple and very dynamic, and the engine delivers enough grunt for 99% of drivers.
At a shade under £33000 for the standard STi it's by no means a bargain, but it does offer performance and handling found in cars that are twice the price.
We were invited up to a Volkswagen driving event in North Yorkshire today to drive a variety of models. The main focus for us was to test Volkswagen's new pick up, the Amarok.
The new Argentinian-built Amarok is available with either a 122ps single turbo or 163ps twin-turbo variant of Volkswagen's renowned 2.0TDi engine. Both engines offer superb refinement and the low engine capacity is pretty much a first in this sector. Both power outputs drive very well both on the road and off and are equipped with hill descent control and an intelligent 4x4 system for times when the going gets tough. It's certainly one of the most car-like 4x4 pickups that we have driven.
A long journey will be no problem in the well-built Amarok with plenty of creature comforts inside. There are 3 model variants to choose from. Startline, Trendline and Highline.
Prices start at just under £18000 plus VAT and the range topping Highline comes in at just over £22400 plus VAT.
Other Months See all 2011 articles