Monthly Archives: August 2016

DaciaWith its latest finance offers, the brand is increasing its deposit contributions on its Dacia Dimensions finance scheme to £650 and £750 on the Sandero and Sandero Stepway respectively. The Logan MCV and the Duster also continue to be available with customer deposit contributions – £500 for the estate car and £750 for the Duster SUV.

In addition, customers who take advantage of the Dacia Dimensions PCP offers also enjoy five years’ care-free motoring with a five-year/60,000 mile warranty on their new Dacia – a free upgrade from three years/60,000 miles, worth £395 when bought separately.

The five-door Sandero Stepway crossover is available from £104 per month after a customer deposit of £1,451. Also a four-year PCP, this particular offer is available on the Ambiance TCe 90 version which includes integrated satellite-navigation, MP3-compatible CD player with Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows, parking sensors and air conditioning.

Also on a four-year PCP offer, the Duster SUV is available from £154 per month with a deposit of £853. This Duster offer is on the Ambiance SCe version, which is powered by a 1.6 115 bhp engine, and as standard includes ESC with ASR (Traction Control), 16-inch wheels, height adjustable driver’s seat, front fog lights, 4x20w DAB/FM/AM tuner with steering column-mounted fingertip controls, remote central locking, electric front windows, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Customers can upgrade from the complimentary five-year/60,000 mile warranty to a seven-year/100,000 mile warranty for a one-off fee of just £395.


foresterTo further celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Subaru Boxer engine, Subaru have announced the introduction of the Forester Special Edition.

On sale from the 1st September, 100 units will be produced and will be priced at £29,995 for the petrol Lineartronic and £31,495 for the diesel Lineartronic. Based on the XC Premium model, the Special Edition model comes with £1,500 of additional equipment at no extra cost. Both models come with Subaru’s comprehensive five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

Unique equipment for the Forester Special Edition includes Hunter Green Metallic Paint, front, side and rear under guards, wheel arch extensions and stainless steel cargo step panel as well as Special Edition brown leather seats with brown leather interior door grips, centre armrest and centre panel uprights.

Other equipment on the Forester Special Edition includes Subaru Starlink; a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment, connectivity and navigation system, Hill Descent Control (HDC), X-Mode system, which intelligently manages the car’s power and torque, brakes and drivetrain to maintain traction on even the most slippery surfaces.

Tivoli_XLV_01“The SUV market has seen rapid growth and our new Tivoli launched last year is already the best-selling model launched by SsangYong,” said Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK.  “Some 100,000 have now been sold around the world.

“Tivoli has been praised universally for meeting a number of customer requirements, not least its ability to carry five adults in comfort, and for having one of the largest boot capacities in its class.

“Now SsangYong has gone a step further by launching an extended car to provide even more carrying capacity and practicality, and we believe that this will enable us to compete with SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai, but also station wagon style cars like the MINI Clubman, Skoda Yeti & Roomster and other small estates.”

Prices start from just £18,250 for the Tivoli XLV 1.6 diesel manual 2WD – that’s just £1,000 more than for the equivalent Tivoli ELX – £19,250 with automatic transmission, £19,500 for the Tivoli XLV 1.6 diesel manual 4×4, and £20,500 for the 4×4 with automatic.

Sharing the same platform and 2,600mm wheelbase as the Tivoli, the XLV features a lengthened body from behind the C pillar, an increase of 238mm over the standard car, expanding the load capacity to a huge 720 cubic litres of space.  Meanwhile, the styling cues that distinguish Tivoli are retained, including its harmoniously fused SUV body design, sports coupé look and floating roofline.

Designed to offer a multi-role, multi-function solution to a wide range of customers, Tivoli XLV provides just the versatility needed to meet individual lifestyles: family car for lugging baby buggies and cots for small children, bikes and golf clubs for the sports-minded, and materials or business equipment during the working week.

Passenger safety has been a top priority for this car, and comes with seven airbags including front, side and curtain airbags plus a driver’s knee airbag, multi-function ESP (Electronic Stability Program), Active Rollover Protection, Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist and ESS (Emergency Stop Signal), a tyre pressure monitoring system and a warning reminder on all five seat belt positions.

Tivoli XLV is offered with a Euro 6 compliant 1.6 litre diesel engine, and matched with the option of a 6-speed manual transmission or 6-speed Aisin automatic, two-wheel drive or 4×4.

HoyonTwoWheels_1He may have retired from professional cycling, but Sir Chris Hoy has been spotted back on two wheels. The former-Olympian managed the tricky technique of two-wheel driving in a Nissan Juke, with just two days of instruction.

Under the guidance of world-record-breaking stuntman Terry Grant, Sir Chris spent one day at Silverstone Motor Circuit and another at Kendrew Barracks, learning to drive the specially modified Juke crossover.

To see a video of the stunt, click here: https://youtu.be/Uar4wDxGGUA

Driving on two wheels or ‘skiing’ is a stunt made famous over the years from James Bond films, Knight Rider and the Dukes of Hazzard amongst others. The activity requires precision, advanced handling techniques and a good deal of driver instinct.

On Sir Chris’ first day, a roll cage was fitted for cabin protection whilst a specially-engineered stabilizer wheel on the outside prevented the car flipping onto its roof. After Terry demonstrated the required techniques, Chris attempted the challenging stunt for the first time. After several attempts the former Olympian was beginning to get the hang of it, even achieving a few controlled drives of short distances with just two wheels on the ground.

At the second session, Hoy’s confidence and consistency improved to the point where Terry was comfortable removing the stabilizer wheel. Despite the added pressure of having nothing to stop the vehicle rolling over, he quickly rose to the challenge, taking the ramp at the correct angle and velocity, catching the Juke before it rolled over and then driving balanced on two wheels. In one of the following runs he even managed a 400 metre distance – an achievement that brought huge cheers from the watching team.

Terry Grant commented; “Chris nailed it two for two! Driving on two wheels in two days – most people would take two months to master that. I think it highlights his ability to soak up instruction and apply discipline to something that’s both mentally and physically challenging – of which he’s got plenty of experience. Operating under pressure and being in control at all times, they’re the skills you need for this stunt. To master it in such a short period of time though, I’m really impressed.”

Sir Chris added; “I loved it. I never thought it would be as much fun as it was, but I just wanted to keep going. On day one I felt like I was only getting a first foot on the ladder and it’d be weeks before I’d be driving without the safety net. Then today when they took the stabilizer wheel off and there was the risk of rolling the car, the pressure didn’t get to me. I remembered Terry’s instructions and it all came together. When I caught the roll and was suddenly driving on two wheels it was such a rush of adrenaline and relief in equal measure – an amazing experience. Thanks to Terry and Nissan for allowing me to add another string to my driving bow.”

Isuzu's D-Max Fury is as in your face as it gets. Isuzu D-Max Fury-MY16. Image: Mark Stone

Isuzu’s D-Max Fury is as in your face as it gets. Isuzu D-Max Fury-MY16. Image: Mark Stone

Mark Stone takes a closer look at the Isuzu D-Max Fury pickup.

If there’s one thing that can be guaranteed it’s that Isuzu’s D-Max pickup is and has never been a shrinking violet. Not only does this pickup collect awards on what seems to be a monthly basis, the Isuzu D-Max more than proves its worth in a variety of rolls.

In basic trim the D-Max still rates as one of the hardest working vehicles of its type at an extremely competitive price. It also makes no bones about the fact when it comes to luxury and refinement it still remains one of the most commercially orientated. And whilst there’s nothing remotely wrong with the fact, if you’re looking for a double-cab that’s more of a fashion or lifestyle statement, the Isuzu D-Max pickup probably wouldn’t be your first choice.


The latest of the D-Max specials is the Fury. Large and in charge and as subtle as your average earthquake, the bright Magma Red paintwork, distinct but slightly smaller rims and additional external trim scream that the Fury edition has arrived. Aimed at younger buyers who need a double-cab 4×4 as both a working vehicle and all round transport, the Fury’s appearance offers the visuals of a far more expensive machine yet offers a significant saving over the mechanically identical yet more expensive Blade, Utah and Huntsman models.

Sat on the D-Max’s familiar steel ladder frame chassis and satin effect 5-spoke alloys and 255/65R17 Bridgestone Dueler H/T, the vivid red bodywork is enhanced further by the addition of distinctive steel sump and rear diff guards, a substantial black light rail that carries two small banks of Lazer spotlights in addition to those set below the front bumper.

Fully colour keyed even down to the red Isuzu badge, only the black detailing and roller load bed cover adds external contrast. As with all D-Max, the high shoulder line and squared load bed give the Isuzu an angular profile that continues around the tailgate and four large doors, the running boards in the case of the D-Max more or less mandatory for easy of climbing onboard.

Riding on independent double wishbone and gas filled double-action shock absorbers at the front and rear rigid axle, semi-elliptical springs and anti-roll bar, the 1.5 meters square and half a meter deep bed is one of the most practical of its type. Capable of carrying 1,063kg along with an additional braked 3,500kg trailer capacity, once again figures that are some of the best in their class. And when traveling off road the 235mm ground clearance, 300, 230 and 220 approach, departure and ramp over angles and front and rear overhangs of 905mm and 1,295mm ensure the D-Max is off-road ready.


Inside the cabin hard, wipe clean surfaces are at times at odds with the black and red leather trim, the amalgamation of utility and luxury at times an eccentric combination. Sat to the rear of the leather steering wheel, white on black baton instrumentation and minimal readouts are simple and clear to see as are the main controls. Big and chunky with easily determined detents as to why Isuzu have chosen to install a satnav and infotainment system with such microscopic controls seems at times strange.

Space wise the Fury provides genuine accommodation for five adults with the bonus of a folding rear seat that instantly increase load capacity whilst two cubbies beneath the rear seat squabs house the tool kit and jack. But whilst the cabin offers twin glove boxes, a dash mounted cubby and four cup holders, oddment stowage for mobile phones and other smaller items could be improved upon.


Under the hood the Euro5 2,499cc two-stage twin turbo diesel delivers 163hp and 400Nm of torque, the 4-cylinder 16v unit common-rail unit powerful but commercial in nature meaning throttle response isn’t quite as instant as some drivers would probably like. Mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, for the majority of the time the Fury runs in rear wheel drive, a rotary selector engaging both high and low ratio 4WD, the system’s reaction almost immediate. Fed from a 69 litre fuel tank, whilst the Fury fell rather short of the indicated factory figures, a final average figure of 26.7mpg over 232 varied miles was still acceptable.

Up and running, no matter how leisure orientated the Fury might appear it is still a truck. Sensibly weighted, the power steering ensures the Fury remains light to drive even when fully laden the 12.2 meter turning circle is still easy to achieve. Similarly, whilst remaining fully maneuverable on or off road the new rearview mirror reversing camera display isn’t to my mind a roaring success. Apart from the fact you have to look up and away from the wing mirrors, it tends to suffer from bright light reflections rendering the camera useless.

Off road, the 4×4 system copes easily with changes in surface and demands although as always, disengaging the traction control, (at times overly enthusiastic on the D-Max), allows full power to be quickly applied when the situation demands. On the road the view is commanding, the cabin reasonably quiet and comfortable although without any load onboard the ride can be choppy on all but the smoothest surfaces, the rear becoming light on tight or damp corners. Drop in half a tonne and the character changes, the Fury feeling far more refined.


Price wise the basic Fury costs £19,999 on the road the example on test a heftier £24,830.50p due to the various options. And whilst you could live without most of the options to do so would to have missed the whole point of the Fury. Although the sports bar and Lazer lights add £1,069, the Roll ‘n’ Lock load cover £1,122-50p and the black and red Fury leather trim at £1,325, they form an intrinsic part of this D-Max. I would however have to give serious thought to the £930 Pioneer Media & Satnav and cargo bed rug at £385.

As always keeping a close eye out for the Fury benefiting from one of Isuzu’s numerous offers, whilst the Fury might not be the most refined of its type, it still remains one of the most willing and financially viable of the double-cabs. And whilst the Fury is most defiantly loud and proud it’s probably all the better for it.


Model Isuzu D-Max Fury
Price £24,830-50p (as tested)
Engine 2.5 litre 4-cyl 16v twin-turbo diesel
Transmission 6-speed manual
Performance – Top speed 112mph
CO2 emissions – g/km 192
Economy – combined mpg 26.7 (factory figures)




2017 Range Rover Sport exterior (3)Land Rover introduces its most efficient Range Rover Sport ever. For 2017, the latest Range Rover Sport features an efficient Ingenium powertrain, upgraded infotainment system with connectivity and wifi capability, innovative new semi-autonomous driving connected technologies and greater scope for personalisation.

At 2017 Model Year, Range Rover Sport will debut the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine, manufactured at Jaguar Land Rover’s own engine plant in Wolverhampton.  Already available on both Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque models, Ingenium is Jaguar Land Rover’s new breed of engine designed for effortless performance, refinement and efficiency. Its advanced technology and all-aluminium construction contribute to impressive fuel consumption (45.6mpg) and CO2 emissions (164g/km) and a 0-60 time of 8.0 seconds (manufacturer’s estimated data).

UK customers will also have the option of specifying Jaguar Land Rover’s 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine from 2017 Model Year. The supercharged V6 achieves 340HP and 450Nm of torque combined with CO2 emissions of 243g/km. Effortless acceleration and power delivery produces a 0-60 time of 7.1s.

In addition to new engine technology, Land Rover introduces a series of semi-autonomous driving technologies to Range Rover Sport. Advanced Tow Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Intelligent Speed Limiter work alongside existing features to elevate driver aids to an even greater level of convenience and safety.

Peerless all-terrain capability remains a cornerstone of the Range Rover family and the 2017 Model Year Range Rover Sport includes a selection of new features. Low Traction Launch makes it easier for drivers to pull away on low-grip surfaces while the updated 4x4i menu presents all the necessary vehicle information when tackling challenging terrain.

The enlarged dual-view touchscreen features a new 10-inch display for greater ease-of-use and clarity and features tablet-style pinch and zoom orientation. This is powered by Land Rover’s market-leading InControl Touch Pro technology, making this the most connected Range Rover Sport to date.

160816-mcodesSeptember is one of the busiest times of the year for buying a new car. Ahead of the forthcoming introduction of the “66” vehicle registration next month, Motor Codes, the leading provider of Codes of Practice and Alternative Dispute Resolution for the automotive industry, has the following advice for consumers during the purchase process.

Protect your rights

Buying a vehicle face-to-face or online through a dealership or independent garage offers you the most protection with the least risk. Also, by opting to purchase from a retailer, you are fully covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into force last October.

Take it for a test-drive

It’s all well and good reading reviews, and seeing what an expert thinks of a certain model. However, the only way to really find out if a car is right, is to get behind the wheel and to see how it performs. Taking it for a test-run also allows you to get a feel for how it will fit in with your lifestyle and daily commitments, and help determine the specification and the space that you and your family may need.

Non-dealer servicing does not cancel a warranty

A vehicle’s warranty can vary in length depending on the brand. There is the common misconception that the warranty policy can be invalidated if a car is serviced outside of the dealer network. If a garage follows the manufacturer’s prescribed servicing schedule and uses genuine parts during the work, this will not be the case thanks to existing European Block Exemption laws.

For added peace of mind, check to see whether the warranty provider is subscribed to a Code of Practice such as that offered by Motor Codes, and if the retailer is signed up to a recognised Service and Repair Code when it comes to doing any maintenance work. If you have purchased the car from a franchise dealership with a fixed price service plan, then you must take it back to one of the brand’s participating dealers for servicing throughout the duration of the agreement.

Stick to your budget

Choosing a car is often an exciting time, and it’s therefore easy to get carried away when seeing new models in the showroom. Remember, it’s not only about being able to buy the car, but equally significant are the longer term costs for running it. Look at the figures for fuel consumption, the insurance group, road tax (for cars emitting above 100g/km CO2), servicing and parts. Finance agreements are now the most popular way of buying a vehicle, and you should consider affordability both in the short and long term, as circumstances may change, and payments could harder to make.

How you pay (either outright or by installments) will affect your rights if there is a dispute. For example, if you settle all or part of the cost of your car by credit card, the card company and the trader may be jointly responsible for compensating you under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. For debit cards, you may be able to get a refund through a voluntary scheme known as ‘chargeback’.

The sticker price is rarely cast in stone

When you are ready to go ahead, the price on the car windscreen is often indicative. Sales staff frequently have some room for negotiation, so it is worth having a conversation to discuss a possible reduction. Before agreeing the final number, take into account any other costs such as delivery, and ask if this, as well as any options such as floor mats, can be included as part of the package. Once you have reached an agreement, inclusive of any extras and taxes, read the small print before signing any documentation, and never feel pressured into doing so.

It pays to shop around

The UK’s garage and dealer network is extensive, so it’s worth visiting a few sites operated by different car brands before deciding where and what to buy. The demos can also vary within a franchise group, and therefore, a call ahead will determine which location you should visit.

Value a part exchange

Trading in an existing car at a garage can be an effective way of reducing the overall cost of a new one. There are plenty of guides and resources that are widely available on the internet such as Parkers and Auto Trader that will allow you to get an idea of what constitutes a fair price based on criteria such as age, mileage and condition. This will help avoid handing your car over too cheaply.

Pick-up some breakdown and insurance cover

Some new car deals include breakdown assistance, as well as temporary “drive away insurance” to provide instant cover from the moment that you leave the forecourt. Nevertheless, it’s important to shop around for an annual breakdown and insurance policy that meets your needs and budget, and it may be cheaper to buy them separately.

Bill Fennell, Managing Director of Motor Codes, said: “For many, a car is often the second biggest purchase after a property. As with any big commitment, motorists should avoid rushing any decisions. They should instead take the time to read up and ensure that it meets their long-term requirements and finances, and make a concerted effort to examine the small print to avoid any repercussions at a later date.”

For more information on Motor Codes, visit www.motorcodes.co.uk.

tiguanAutomotive data experts cap hpi have revealed the fastest selling used cars based on the latest market sales data.

Philip Nothard, consumer and retail specialist at cap hpi, said: “Looking at the data from the number of used cars advertised in the UK we are able to identify the best-selling makes and models and how quickly they are being snapped up.

“The key positive for the used market to take from this is that there is strong appetite for used vehicles, particularly convertibles, executives, lower medium cars, MPVs, Superminis and SUVs, with an average selling period of just two days.”

The data examines sectors in the used car market analysing everything from city cars and coupe cabriolets to large executives to sports and supercars.

According to cap hpi, the fastest selling cars in the various car sectors are:

Vehicle Sector Make & Model
City Car Fiat 500 Hatchback
Convertible BMW 3 Series Convertible
Coupe Cabriolet 207 Coupe Cabriolet
Electric Vauxhall Ampera
Executive Audi A5 Coupe/Diesel Coupe
Large Executive Jaguar XJ Diesel
Lower Medium Mitsubishi Carisma
Luxury Executive Bentley Continental GT
MPV Mercedes Viano Diesel
Sports Audi TT
Supercar Lamborghini Murcielago Coupe
Supermini Ford Fiesta
SUVS VW Tiguan (08-11)
Upper Medium BMW 3 Series Coupe

navaraAlready the holder of the International Pick-up Award 2016, and renowned for its tough attitude and robust performance, the entire Nissan Navara range has now switched to a more advanced and eco-friendly Euro 6 engine.

The upgrade covers both the 190PS twin-turbo and 160PS single turbo versions of the Navara’s 2.3-litre dCi diesel engine. It has made a significant difference to the pick-up’s environmental performance – a vital consideration for buyers because it affects running costs. CO2 emissions now start from as low as 159 g/km, a reduction of 8g/km on the predecessor Euro 5 engine. It’s an enhancement which makes the Nissan Navara the best in its class. Fuel consumption on the Official Combined Cycle has improved to 46.3mpg, up by 1.4mpg.

Red AlloyGators are a hit with Manchester and Liverpool fans

Red AlloyGators are a hit with Manchester and Liverpool fans

Football fans up and down the country who are gearing up for the season ahead following their favourite team on the road, can now show their support while on their travels by customising their car in their club’s colours.

AlloyGator’s patented alloy wheel protection system not only prevents damage to wheels caused by scuffs from kerbs or potholes, but as they’re available in a range of 13 colours, allows fans to ‘kit’ out their car in the club’s colours.

“Following Leicester’s success in the Premier League last season, we’ve seen a spike in demand for our blue AlloyGator’s from fans in the Midlands,” comments Curt Rathbone, managing director, AlloyGator. “There’s no surprise that our red product is popular in both Manchester and Liverpool and our brand new sky blue option is perfect for Manchester City and Coventry City fans. Supporters of championship team Norwich City or League Two Blackpool can also show their colours with our yellow or orange AlloyGators and our green system is ideal for Celtic fans north of the border or even those at the other end of the UK in Plymouth.”

AAlloyGators also help reduce potential damage to fans’ cars while on the road. Made from super-tough nylon, the system sits between the car’s tyre and wheel rim, reducing the risk of damage caused by scuffs on kerbs or potholes. For fans preferring to take advantage of the protection benefits of AlloyGator without showing support for their team’s colours, there’s even a range of discreet options including black, graphite or silver.

“Travelling to football matches to see your favourite team play can be an expensive hobby,” adds Curt. “And there’s perhaps nothing more frustrating than trying to park your car close to an unfamiliar ground, squeezing into a tight spot, only to hear your alloys scraping on the kerb, knowing that this is going to add further expense to fix. AlloyGator’s can protect your wheels and help remove one potential hazard from your day out.”

Fans looking to customise and protect their car with AlloyGator should visit www.alloygator.com to find out the location of their nearest approved installer.