Thursday, 23rd of May 2013
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RoadTestReports.co.uk features road tests on all the major cars and vans plus consumer car reviews and consumer van reviews from the people who actually drive the vehicles day in day out - you. The road tests include performance, ride & handling, build quality & reliability, safety & security, space & practicality and ownership & value.
2.2 SKYACTIV-D 150PS SE-L Nav - The new generation Mazda6 is the second model to benefit from the Japanese carmaker’s wide-ranging, weight-saving, fuel-sipping SKYACTIV technology following the 2012 launch of the CX-5 crossover. There’s much more at stake for Mazda this time around however with the 6 a bedrock of the range, so swi [...]
Cross Country - The V40 Cross Country starts at £22,595 and our Lux specification which we tested comes with standard features such as leather covered interior, active bending xenon headlights and 17” alloys. The D2 Cross Country Lux Nav comes in at £25,795 which is good value when tested against the immediate comp [...]
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I thought I’d write in because I’m really surprised how many negative Aygo reviews are on here. Obviously people are more likely to speak up if they have a complaint, so I thought I’d balance the books slightly. I’ve had my second hand Aygo Blue for three years now and it’s never let me down. I’m a very inexperienced and nervous driver, but this little car has given me confidence. It handles beautifully in narrow spaces, as you would expect. Steering is spot on. You can feel a little vulnerable and short on acceleration on a motorway, but that’s a standard small car woe. Passengers may complain of a hard ride, but if you’re a driver like me, you will appreciate being able to feel the road in a very responsive car. Extreme winter conditions did force me to switch to another car, but the Aygo performed as well as could be expected from any non-4x4. I have a five-door Aygo and it will definitely seat four grown adults, if not in the height of luxury than at least in perfect safety. You will remain pleasantly amazed and thankful that a car this small can have five doors. The interior is very basic and I like it that way - there are no annoying beeps, meaningless lights or any of that. The Aygo has a spacious and minimalist design I wish more high-end cars would adopt. The brakes on the Aygo will noticeably need warming up if the car has been sitting wet and cold. The clutch and the accelerator are just right. My main complaint about the Aygo is that the air conditioning, while good, it saps so much power and affects the otherwise superb miles-per-gallon so badly, I never drive with it on. I can only find part-time work at the moment, but the Aygo is so economical to run, motoring has not been the worrying expense it could easily have been otherwise. My Aygo has been in one minor collision (not its fault) and came off very well for it, with no injuries to me or the other party. In short, I would recommend this car, particularly to new drivers.
This is definitely a car with a personality. I’ve only had mine for 2 months and I can already say that it’s the best car I’ve owned. Yes it’s got a bumpy ride, yes it’s not a road rocket, yes it’s got a small boot, but by God it’s a ton of fun to bash around in. The Jimny will literally climb/crawl-over/slide around/vault any offroad obstacle you point it at! You simply skirt around the ones that are too big (it’s very skinny). On the road it’s got decent manners, but as I said before, it doesn’t have the softest ride. After about 115km/h it does start to get noisy, but beyond 125km/h it screams bloody murder! In saying that, the Jimny will zip around at 100km/h as happy as Larry. Rear passenger room is reasonable for small people and larger ones for a short period of time, but the front is pretty roomy in my opinion. I’m only 5’8’, so the seating doesn’t fuss me too much. I’ve been hearing people rabbit on about how terrible the fuel economy is but I beg to differ. My previous car was listed at 6.3L/100km and the Jimny at 7.1L/100km. Both of those cars still gave me 500km out of a 40 liter tank and I am not a very spirited driver. I would recommend the Jimny to a certain type of person. If you are someone who wants to go back to basics, drive a car that will give you it’s all 100% of the time (on and offroad), and aren’t going to miss frilly features like heated seats or luxury trim, then this is the car for you.
This is my 4th Astra H and definitely the best. Astra’s don’t get enough credit for their handling, which the Stig said would be nigh on perfect if the power delivery of the vxr model was smoother. It’s up there with the Renault megane 225 - surprising? Well here’s where the 180 horse power Sri turbo comes in. Smooth delivery, plenty of power (quite a bit faster then the 1.9 150, which I’ve previously owned) and an exhaust note that sounds great. The good thing about this engine is if you drive very light footed you can get 33-35mpg around town and 40 max on the motorway, although when you use the power that will drop to 25mpg or less. One thing I must say is don’t run cheap tyres on the front as in the wet you don’t get much grip at all, but a pair of decent ones will fix this. Overall I believe the Astra is good value, has nimble handling even on 18’s, the brakes are strong, looks great with the xp kit and I enjoy driving it every day. If you can get past badge snobbery then you’ll enjoy it too!
I note all the references to issues with the DPF and EGRV on diesel variants. Unfortunately, the emissions and particulates mitigation measures on modern diesels (of all makes) render them less suitable for short journeys and town driving than the old soot blasters. Consequently, if most of your driving is as above, you may be better off with a petrol model. However, I bought my car as a Network Q vehicle when it had done around 19k miles, and it is now almost at 145k miles! Most of this mileage has been on long, A-road or motorway journeys, avaraging >40mpg, and whilst I have had a few issues, these have been no worse than other cars I have owned, on lower mileages. In summary: My Zafira is the best car I have owned and one of the best I have driven. It is safe, roomy, comfortable, reasonably economical, reliable, not a bad looker, and it handles pretty well too! Finally, has anyone driven their Zafira in deep snow? Who needs 4WD, when you can breeze past BMWs and Mercedes embedded in every ditch and snowbank!
Well, I understand people’s frustration with low mpg figures but, honestly, what do you expect? It’s a big heavy car and takes a lot of shifting. It’s my wife’s main mode of transport, and she does around 20,000 miles per year with lots of stop/start, shortish journeys. She is lucky to get over 20mpg using it for work as she does. Having said that, we do really get up to 35mpg on a long run (and I do mean long; visiting our friends in South West Ireland from Northumberland is pretty long), if only we could get that sort of mileage all the time. We’ve had the car since new, and have done 140,000+ miles in it. The interior has worn very well with only the shininess of the drivers seat giving any indication of the car’s age. Even the DVD player hasn’t given any bother and has proved a boon keeping the kids quiet on the longer journeys. (15 hours straight the 1st time we visited Bantry! We’ve learned our lesson and now split the journey in Dublin!) Repairs are becoming a little more frequent now; the only one to give real concern being some ’plug’ in the engine giving way, allowing the engine oil to deposit itself over the garage floor. The plug was a simple plastic component (it’s replacement is steel) and costs a tenner. Fitting it cost £600 in labour!! We are keeping the car, as the only thing we can think of that is as practical as this is another XC90. We have considered both the Audi Q7 and the Disco. The Q7 isn’t big enough inside to take all of our holiday gear, and being prior Land Rover owners, we will never have another, as they are too unreliable with service to match! However, we now find it difficult to justify the high running (low mpg) costs to carry on using the XC90 as our day to day workhorse (it does the job admirably, it’s just too costly) and so have just bought a 2.0D Volvo V50 for my wife to use as a daily vehicle. (Excellent service from Mill Volvo Hexham has kept us very happily Volvo customers.) In summary: The XC90 equals superb, comfortable, family transport that has coped with the very worst of Northumberland winters with aplomb (if you’re struggling in snow, you have the wrong tyres on, the standard fit Conti’s are poor, try Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow). Our favourite sturdy workhorse. However, these days it’s becoming expensive at the pumps, and that’s why it loses a star, but everything else is darn near perfect as a family vehicle.
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