Friday, 13th of December 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 [...]
2.0 GT TDi 140 - The new Golf retains the sharp handling while delivering power with little or no turbo lag. Volkswagen has long had a reputation for the reliability of it’s vehicles and we do not see any reason why this should differ in the new Golf. Rock solid residual values make the Volkswagen a sensible choice [...]
The California is the modern incarnation of the classic VW camper. Based on the Transporter van/Caravelle MPV, it is a full factory-designed and produced vehicle (rather than a conversion) and is powered by VW's 2.5-litre TDI engine with two different power ratings, 128 and 171bhp. It's not cheap – [...]
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Bought the car from a forecourt for £1000, so I expected to pay money soon after purchase, and I wasn’t wrong. I’ve replaced the pads and discs all round, replaced one rear brake caliper, replaced inner joints on steering rack, and replaced all 4 tyres, had cambelt done by main dealer, and major service by main dealer, so the car now has cost me about £2000, BUT, it was worth every penny, it has done 82000 miles, the paintwork is close to mint and it drives like new. I wouldn’t swap it for the world, it has all mod cons, [air con, cruise con, elec windows, remote locking, anti jack locks]. I love it, the only problem I have to sort is the boot rattles a bit on rough roads, so if anyone knows if the adjustment is something that I could do myself please let me know.... Otherwise, its a SUPER CAR - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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.
I bought this second hand, with 12,000 miles in 2002. It has now clocked 98,000 miles. It runs on dio-diesel and I’ve never had to change the diesel filter since using biodiesel. Everything still works perfectly and it has never has let us down once. A truly reliable car. SEAT are the unsung heros. I have had more trouble with all VW models, but not the Cordoba Vario. An amazing car!
I bought my van 18 months old with 43k miles from a Toyota dealer who had used it from new as their parts delivery van. I had it lined and insulated to soundproof it and then shelved it myself. I am a self employed builder and have only driven it 8,000m in 2 years but I love it. I bought it after reading other reviews here at the time and poor reviews on Transits, Vivaro’s and VW etc. I also spoke to several owners who all had much praise for their vans. I have only had one problem which was a sticking brake cylinder due to water ingress/corrosion which my brother fixed for me. Yes they are basic but I believe they are the best van on the road. I need the long wheelbase and can get in 8’ x 4’ sheets of ply & plasterboard etc, 3m lengths of pipe & timber on an angle and even my 2.5m triple extension ladders (The SWB wont do that). The 95hp engine is plenty powerful enough and I have a 1.3 GVW trailer it tows easily. Fuel consumption averages 27/28 mpg. The best I got was 33mpg when empty and before I had it lined and insulated etc. and the worst mpg was 23 in winter but short journeys and some towing etc. I always have it full of tools and equipment. The biggest fault is it doesn’t like the snow. I couldn’t move in the deep snow the last couple of winters. However, I am very pleased and intend to keep the van for many years to come.
I have had the car from new since March ’11 and use it for a 60 mile daily commute using both A and B roads, including motorway and dual carriageway. My VTR+ came with alloys, air conditioning and electric windows. Also split folding rear seat, stylish cloth trim in pale wine red and blue, and no leather pack. Finally I paid for the 3 year service pack. Comfort: I can understand with the little nippy engine why it would be classed as a city car; it is light to steer, short but still fairly wide so you feel like you are in a pocket rocket. However, the suspension is fairly stiff with equally stiff seats so smooth road surfaces are a godsend where you can find them. Motorway driving is excellent. The stereo is clear, bright and loud enough to cover any road noise and the are lots of odd storage areas for that odd snack on the way. In the back (I have a three door version) there is enough room for 2 adults at a squeeze, it’s ideal for the kids though and there’s enough room for 8 bags of shopping in the boot, double stacked. Economy: With a 34 litre tank it currently takes approx. £47 when filled to the brim (£1.38 per litre) and you see a nice return of approx. 450 miles. To me, that’s excelllent and I fill up three times a month more or less. If driving at usual motorway speeds you will still get over 350mpg and this little car can keep up with bigger sluggers if on level ground. Styling: The new front nose gives it good presence in the rear mirror of the car in front. In the sun the metalic grey glistens blue, green and gold and with the optional, but recommended C1 mud flaps front and especially rear fitted, the back end stands out from the samey Pug 107. Conclusion: I will be replacing this car after three years and by then it will have 40000 miles on the clock. For the first 8 months and 9000 miles I have so far completed, I have fallen head over heels with it. Yes it struggles up hills, but I can live with not being in a race with someone else to get to the top first. The fuel economy is brilliant, it’s extremely cheap to keep on the road with £20 road tax per year and it zooms everywhere. Well worth the money.
WOW! The Range Rover Evoque Coupe really is every bit as good as the media hype that it receives! I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to drive the Evoque at the "Range Rover Evoque Unleashed" event in Manchester. The car is superb. Really easy to drive. Fabulous design, very comfortable, responsive, classy with the excellent build quality that you would expect from Range Rover. The car really does handle like a Golf GTI on the road, but is equally as capable off road on the obstacle course! The Dynamic model is packed with fun gadgets and all the latest technology. The park assist is brilliant! No need to drive around looking for a parking space any more. The Evoque will recognise if it will fit into a space and literally park the car for you! Quite an odd feeling! Space in the back is good and the panoramic roof really makes the cabin feel a whole lot bigger than it actually is. Boot space is good, but I’m sure a lot of buyers won’t be too concerned about that!