Monthly Archives: January 2013

Dacia Duster SUVEver thought that buying a car with a headline-grabbing price tag only made sense in the short term? Then think again.

New figures for the Dacia Duster SUV from leading UK residual value provider, CAP, prove that you can have your cake and eat it. Showing that as well as being one of the best value new cars, they forecast it’ll also be a good buy in the long run too. And it’s all down to being one of the least depreciating cars on sale today.

The latest boost for Europe’s fastest-growing car brand comes in the wake of CAP’s announcement that a typical Duster will retain an impressive 34% of its value after three years/60,000 miles. Or, in simple terms, save customers up to £3,260 more than plenty of the competition.

febprodsaltIt seems that this corrosion protection product was developed through the American space race! Based on the fact that space vehicles do take something of a battering when in use, and then end up unceremoniously splashing down in corrosive salt water (!) we now have Nyalic, which can help preserve your 4×4’s wheels! Basically it’s a polymeric resin that coats the wheel and will protect against corrosive chemicals – like road salt – as well as other nasty muck like brake dust. It’s a water clear ultra thin resin that you coat the wheels with and is claimed to then offer ‘many years’ protection, is UV resistant and will not flake or peel. Given the cost of alloy wheels on 4x4s these days, it seems a rather good idea. A Nyalic Automotive Kit gives 6.5sqm of coverage, enough for a vehicle, and costs £34.99 (inc VAT), plus postage and packing by mail order, online from www.spautopia.co.uk or you can call 01780 721470

febprodcleanAuto Styling has a series of special winter offers for quality floor mats for most 4×4 vehicles. Well worth buying decent mats at this time of the year. The mats range from Truckman tailored mats from only £23.95, heavy-duty universal mats, to tailored fitted mats at £70.22. To learn which are the best mats for your vehicle, contact 0845 644 4704. Or to buy online, check out www.autostylinguk.co.uk

Jimny and Grand Vitara revisedTwo models that we are pleased to see will continue into 2013 from Suzuki have been announced. The amazing little Jimny enters the New Year with a few exterior and interior design updates – at no extra costs. 2013 is Suzuki’s 43rd Anniversary of the very first SUV. We are glad to see it continue – but still wonder why other manufacturers seem to ignore this ‘bargain/proper off-roader’ segment. Too small, it seems. The Grand Vitara is an SUV that we also feel deserves to continue, It’s actually the 23rd year since the Vitara was launched, itself a development from the highly innovative and important SJ series of small off-roaders. We like the fact that while the Grand Vitara might be dismissed by some as ‘just another soft SUV’ the Suzuki still boasts a low range option of the transmission. We have recently driven both the Grand Vitara in conditions that were anywhere but ‘soft’. Our feature will appear in the next issue.

2013 Kuga on salePlace your order now for Ford’s all new super hi-tech Kuga; not only is it more stylish and more fuel-efficient than the model it replaces, it’s also priced at £1000 less. The Kuga, in dealerships during January, is also claimed to be the safest mid-sized SUV, after scoring a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating. The new Kuga is leaner but longer than the current model so has better aerodynamics but more luggage space, with power provided by a refined 2.0-litre turbodiesel with up to 163bhp or the high-efficiency Ecoboost 1.6-litre petrol engine with up to 180bhp. Don’t miss our First Drive report on this excellent new SUV in next month’s issue.

PolarisBad snow in the UK makes a lot of people think more about how we can clear not only roads, but airports, schools, hospitals; anywhere that we need to get to! It seems the guys at Polaris have had similar thoughts and now are inviting The Boss to the UK. This doesn’t mean another Bruce Springsteen concert, as Boss snowploughs have been available for Polaris ATVs for some years. The equipment will be available in the UK through Farmquip. Teamed with a Polaris Ranger Diesel, Boss snowploughs offer a great combination for the most extreme terrain and conditions, all with in-cab control. Of course, once you have cleared a road, the next step is the gritter. The Boss TGS 800 tailgate spreader can easily be attached to the rear of a Polaris. The rotary ‘paddle action’ can spread rock salt, grit, sand and other de-icing materials. You would certainly think that the combination of Polaris and The Boss would offer cost-effective all-round winter maintenance, highly suitable to contractors, local authorities, small estates, hospitals, and airports. Polaris Britain can be contacted on 0800 915 6720, or check out: www.polaris-britain.com

FAMILY FUN AT TRACTOR WORLDThis year’s Tractor World Show will be even more family friendly when it opens the season on the 2nd and 3rd March 2013. A great new Weekend Camping ticket allows two adults and children under 15 to camp for up to three nights on-site and gives them tickets into the show, for just £40 in advance. Exhibiting clubs are backing the family theme. The Ferguson Club, is inaugurating its own awards scheme at the show for its junior members and intends having part of its stand dedicated to young restorers. There will be a great variety of new models on display, as well as classic and vintage machinery. Stand space is filling fast, including in the improved link tunnel area that will connect the two big halls – Avon and Wye Halls – at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern. As in previous events, there will be a bustling auction on the Saturday courtesy of HJ Pugh, a vintage sort-out on the Sunday, a model tractor area, a build-a-tractor demonstration and a road run.
For entry forms or further information, call 01697 451882 or visit www.tractorworldshow.co.uk.

NAVARA JOINS THE BATTLELast month’s 4×4 Pick-up Of The Year commented on the fact that a number of manufacturers were now caught in the ‘middle’ of a commercial sales battle; at one end the new bargain pick-ups from Great Wall and SsangYong, and at the top end the quality offerings like the award-winning Ford Ranger. The likes of Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi appear they are being squeezed in the middle. Nissan has responded to this threat with a new ‘budget’ version of the excellent Navara, the Visia. The entry level Navara Visia double cab is aimed squarely at the business market and comes at an impressive £17,995 on the road (plus VAT). It has the 2.5-litre dCi common-rail diesel four-cylinder engine, producing 142bhp and 350Nm of torque and is capable of up to 39.8mpg on the extra urban cycle. The model is available from this month. The battle for the business pick-up market is due to be a very interesting one this year!

ULTIMATE OVERLAND ADVENTURE?EXPERIENCED North American overlander extraordinaire, Scott Brady, is planning what could well be the ultimate 4×4 adventure trip. As Scott explained to 4×4 Magazine: “In early 2007 I mapped out what I considered to be the ultimate overland adventure; to travel around the world and to all of its continents. I documented nearly every stage and formed the initial logistics and costs – then I waited. As with many of life’s goals, I needed to wait for the best timing, or in this case, the best partner.

“Fast forward to summer 2011, and a casual conversation with Paul May, owner of Equipt Expedition Outfitters and Greg Miller, owner of a few dozen Land Cruisers. I asked him what adventure he wanted to do next. Greg’s response was that he wanted take a Land Cruiser around the world. I shared a few of the details of my seven continents idea, we each shared our personal goals for a trip of this complexity and by the end of the conversation, we found that we were completing each other’s sentences. It was agreed that now was the time, and we were committed to allocating whatever resources necessary to the goal. We wanted this to be purely about the adventure, no compromises; most importantly, we would need to do it without sponsorships.

February 2013 Issue of 4×4 Magazine

february coverCan you believe it’s 2013? It sounds like something from a science fiction film rather than today’s date. It is correct that as you get older, the years get shorter, and when you actually spot a policeman on the beat, you feel you ought to report them for playing truant from school. Time marches on, and I have another year of editing under my belt, which if you’ll permit me, is a good time for a little calm reflection on what has happened over the last 12 months.

There’s certainly a professional satisfaction from managing to get 13 issues to the printers on time, and being able to publish what I consider to have been some great 4×4 features. Although I’ve been doing this for a lot of years now, I have certainly never produced the ‘ideal’ issue and that’s what drives you on, I guess. Driving is something that I don’t do as much of as you might think, however, when I have managed to get from behind the keyboard to behind the wheel, there have been a marvellous miscellany of memorable moments. It’s not all ‘cor blimey’ moments either. Driving the Chinese Great Wall Steed pick-up was not the most exciting thing I’ve ever done, but probably one of the most significant. For pure adrenalin fuelled off-road fun, my drive of the Can-Am Commander ATV vehicle has to come close to the top for the year. You felt so secure, belted into this minimalist machine, the engine roared and the grin within my full-face crash helmet broadened as confidence helped me push harder with the right foot. The thing seemed to catapult itself across the field; special moments indeed.