Monthly Archives: November 2016

231116iamOver 86% of UK motorists think distraction caused by mobile phones has become worse in the last three years.

In second place was congestion at 81% reflecting the increasing number of vehicles on our roads as the recession ends.  These worrying figures come from the second Safety Culture Survey commissioned by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart.

Of the 2,000 UK drivers surveyed, nearly three quarters believed aggressive driving (72%) had worsened over the last three years, with more than 60% reporting the same for drug-driving.

IAM RoadSmart’s Safety Culture Survey was produced for the first time last year, and looks at UK motorists’ safety attitudes and behaviour and has just been updated for 2016.

The survey asked about the potential car driving problems faced by motorists now compared to three years ago,  perceived threats to personal safety whilst driving, support for potential new regulations  and many other aspects of motoring life in the 2010’s.

Huge numbers of UK drivers believe the dangers of mobile phones and technology are bigger threats than any other factor on the roads.

Some 94% saw drivers checking or updating social media as a threat to their personal safety, while 93% said that was the case for drivers text messaging or e-mailing, and for 91% it was the case for drivers talking on mobile phones.

This was higher than the perceived threat from drink and drug driving. Some 89% of those surveyed felt people driving after drinking alcohol was a threat to their safety compared to 88% who felt that about those who took illegal drugs and then drove.

And those surveyed thought the problems were caused by others; 91% said they had never used the internet whilst driving in the past 30 days, 88% had not sent a text or email whilst driving, 82% had not read a text message or email whilst driving and 79% had not talked on a mobile phone.

There is also huge approval for stricter measures to prevent and reduce drivers using mobile technology in cars.

Some 97% of those surveyed strongly supported a law outlawing reading, typing, or sending a text message or email while driving; 86% strongly supported the regulation of in car technology to minimise the distraction to drivers and 67% strongly supported a law prohibiting the use of any type of mobile phone while driving, hand-held or hands-free.

And nearly two-thirds (65%) agreed that all drivers be encouraged to improve their driving skills by taking advanced driving tuition and passing an advanced driving test.


peugeot_3008_suv_gt_line_5The all-new PEUGEOT 3008 is available to order in December, with first vehicles arriving in dealership showrooms across the UK timed for 28th January 2017.

The PEUGEOT 3008 SUV is a well-equipped and stylish vehicle that combines efficiency, high-specification, high-level of safety and technological equipment and unique features. The UK range starts with a ‘level 2’ specification vehicle (no level 1 in the UK) – so that every model will feature the latest PEUGEOT i-Cockpit®; compact steering wheel, the very latest configurable 12.3″ head-up digital instrument panel and an 8.0″ capacitive touch-screen.

The range starts from £21,795 with a well-specified ‘Active’ model that has so many standard features, key among which is a host of safety equipment ordinarily only available on top-of-the-range models. These include; AEBS – Automatic Emergency Braking System, adaptive driver and front passenger airbags (includes passenger airbag deactivation function), driver and front passenger side, front and rear curtain airbags, CDS – Dynamic Stability Control and ASR – Electronic Anti-skid System, driver attention alert system, Isofix child seat fittings (x3) in the front passenger and outer rear seats, programmable cruise control and speed limiter, and speed limit recognition and recommendation. As a consequence of these and other safety features, substantially reduced repair costs and a 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating, the all-new 3008 SUV has insurance ratings from just 11E (20A on the previous model).

There is a choice of four trim levels – ‘Active’, ‘Allure’ (expected best-selling version), ‘GT Line’ and the top-of-the-range ‘GT’ and a wide choice of engines is available, with CO2 emissions from just 103g/km.

Petrol engine versions are 130hp and 165hp, with CO2 emissions of 117 to 129g/km, with the 1.2-litre PureTech 3-cylinder turbo engine, voted Engine of the Year in its category for the second-year running and the 1.6L THP. The PureTech 130 is available in 6-speed manual or EAT6 automatic transmission while the 165hp is mated to the 6-speed EAT6 automatic.

Four Diesel engines are available, model dependent, with advanced BlueHDi technology that makes it possible to keep the CO2 emissions low, between 103 and 124g/km, with power ranging between 100, 120,150 and 180hp.

ssangyongThe SsangYong range of 4x4s and SUVs is now available in Leicester, following the appointment of Unity Leicester.

The dealership will operate the SsangYong franchise from its premises at 459 Aylestone Road, Leicester LE2 8TB.

Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK said: “We and our dealers are focused on giving customers great service, so whether buying a new or used SsangYong, choosing accessories or helping to maintain their car in the years ahead, we are confident customers will appreciate the car, their dealer and the brand.”

Commented Elliott Cartwright, dealer principal of Unity, “We are delighted to have been appointed to represent SsangYong and greatly look forward to playing our part in its continuing success.  SsangYong has a great range, and with very competitive pricing and a 5 year limitless mileage warranty on every car, we believe it will do extremely well in our area.”

lms_sunday8th_443Selling out in its first year, The London Motor Show was a great success and is now set to return to Battersea Park from 4th to 7th May 2017.

Next year’s event, which will see HRH Prince Michael of Kent continue as show Patron, is set to be even bigger and better with more cars, more celebrities and more fun family entertainment.

At the 2017 show, there will be over 150 brand new cars from major manufacturers and dealerships, including Tesla, Aston Martin, Fiat, Hyundai, Nissan and Zenos. Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with these recently launched cars. In addition, a selection of iconic historic vehicles will also be on display, showcasing the heritage of some of the world’s best-loved marques.

Attendees will also get the chance to learn about the latest technology through exhibits from companies showcasing developments related to safety, electric vehicles, fuel alternatives and even driverless cars.

The London Motor Show has a range of exciting features and activities suitable for attendees of all ages. From virtual reality racing and the chance to meet motoring legends, to immersive simulator driving experiences, there is something for everyone.

And it doesn’t end when the show closes. The evenings will see private previews and dinners taking place, supporting motoring charities including The Sean Edwards Foundation and RoadSafe.

Alec Mumford, Chairman of The London Motor Show, said: “The inaugural show exceeded our expectations. With sell-out crowds over the weekend, close to 100 test drives arranged and numerous key models sold, it was a success for both ourselves as organisers and our exhibitors. We are very much looking forward to welcoming new and returning visitors to Battersea Park in May and are sure the 2017 event will build on a great first year.”

Last year the show attracted 25,000 visitors, with tickets sold out on Saturday and Sunday, with information from the show reaching a national and international audience.

The final batch of early bird adult tickets are on sale now at just £15, with children aged 11 or under going free (two children per paying adult), and can be purchased at www.thelondonmotorshow.co.uk, where further information about the event is also available.

426162280_nissan_x_trailNissan has launched a powerful new larger-capacity diesel engine for its flagship X-Trail crossover.

The 2.0-litre unit is available to order now, and first deliveries are due to arrive with customers early in the new year.

The new engine has an output of 177PS, with 380Nm of torque providing excellent pulling power throughout the rev range. It’s a significant step up in power from the existing 1.6-litre 130PS diesel, and clearly meets the needs of consumers who require a higher-output powertrain.

New to the range is the choice of Nissan’s Xtronic automatic gearbox, linked to a four-wheel drive transmission. Added to the options of a six-speed manual and two-wheel drive, this will further broaden Nissan’s presence in the large SUV sector, and enhance the appeal of the much-loved X-Trail.

The X-Trail is a model in demand. Across Europe, sales are up 50% in the year to October 2016 when compared to the previous 12 months. Sales are expected to grow further with the arrival of this new model; industry data reveals high-powered models account for 46% of the medium SUV segment, and by launching the 2.0-litre diesel the X-Trail’s market coverage increases by 41%.

The engine meets Euro 6 emissions standards, and three versions are available:

Model CO2  Fuel economy (Combined Cycle)
  • 2.0 4WD six-speed manual
149 g/km 50.5 mpg
  • 2.0 2WD Xtronic CVT auto
148 g/km 50.5 mpg
  • 2.0 4WD Xtronic CVT auto
158 g/km 47.1 mpg

The design of the Nissan X-Trail remains unchanged. Available as a five or seven-seater, its versatile seating system means exceptional room for passengers and their luggage.

The second row splits and folds 60/40 for additional luggage space, reclines for passenger comfort and slides forward for easy access to the optional third row. This splits 50/50 and folds completely flat to create maximum load space.

A powered tailgate is available, operated at the tap of a button on the boot, via the Nissan Intelligent Key or with a switch mounted by the driver. Opening the tailgate reveals Nissan’s innovative Luggage Board System, which allows for shelves and dividers to be adjusted in any of 18 configurations. These include a hidden compartment to keep valuables out of sight.

Boot capacity is 550 litres (445 litres on the seven-seat version, and 135 litres when the third row of seats is upright). Total space with all seats folded is 1,982 litres.

A range of genuine Nissan accessories is available, including a rear dog guard, removable tow bar, chrome door mirror caps, door sill guards and external finishers for the front, rear and sides of the car.

At the heart of the X-Trail’s position as the ideal car for family expeditions is the optional All-Mode 4×4-i system. When fitted, drivers can select from full-time 2WD for maximum efficiency; Auto Mode, which constantly monitors conditions and adjusts the balance of torque between the front and rear wheels for the best traction; and 4WD Lock Mode for the most challenging conditions. It provides the ultimate peace-of-mind motoring whatever the surface.

All-Mode 4×4-i means that for drivers who require a towing vehicle, the Nissan X-Trail 2.0-litre diesel is a capable performer. Braked towing capacity is 2,000kg on the manual model and 1,650kg on the two Xtronics, making the car suitable for those who need to move caravans, horseboxes, boats and trailers.

vw1Ensuring your car is safe to drive is always important of course, but keeping it in tiptop shape is never more essential than in the freezing winter months. As the country experiences its first cold snap of the season, the Volkswagen Retailer network is giving customers the confidence to tackle whatever the weather can throw at them via the Volkswagen Winter Health Check.

The Winter Health Check costs just £20 and covers four key areas. It starts with a battery check. A participating Retailer will test the battery and give a report that explains its condition. If necessary, they’ll recharge it. They will also check the oil, coolant and washer fluid levels, and top them up if needed.

That’s followed up with a 34-point Express Visual Check of your vehicle. A technician will use his or her expert training to give the car a once-over, helping to ensure that it is set-up for winter. The Volkswagen-trained technician will look at all of the wear and tear items on the car and highlight any issues that need to be addressed immediately, or in the near future. This information is communicated using a simple traffic light system, where green means an item is in full working order; yellow means an item is safe and legal, but may need maintenance in the future; and red means an item could require immediate attention.

Finally, the Retailer will wash the car and vacuum the interior, leaving the customer’s Volkswagen looking and feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the chill.

Seasonal health checks are an important part in preparing customer cars for the prevailing road conditions. They help to make motoring safer year-round, of course, but are especially important in the winter as changeable weather can catch drivers unaware. Last year, Volkswagen’s Winter Health Check helped more than 2,500 car owners nationwide prepare their vehicle for the potentially challenging weather and road conditions ahead.

For more details about the Volkswagen Winter Health Check, please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk/winter-health-check

10wThe revised Mitsubishi Outlander Diesel is now available in showrooms across the UK, offering a host of new features to align it with the 2017 PHEV.

Improved and updated interior detailing adds more luxury and refinement to the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Diesel, while keeping functionality and value for money in mind. A new centre console and shark-fin antenna appear on all variants as standard as well as front footwell lamps, console box illumination, a 12V socket in the boot and rain and dusk sensors.

The 2017 Outlander provides an improved driving experience; the rear shock absorber has been altered with a new valve, enhancing the stability and comfort of the ride. Outlander 4 in particular boasts additional safety features, including blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and a 360 degree camera. This variant also welcomes an electronic parking brake and auto hold button on automatic versions, offering a more compact and sleek interior design, in line with the leather upholstery.

All variants have a technologically-advanced 2.2-litre diesel unit, in both automatic and manual transmission. The manual version has a six-speed gearbox, which delivers a top speed of 124mph, while the automatic variants reach 118mph. The on-demand 4WD system improves stability, traction, fuel economy and emissions. The Outlander Diesel is kind to the planet; manual variants produce CO2 emission of just 139g/km and are capable of 53.3 mpg on the combined fuel economy cycle. Automatic versions produce 154 g/km and return 48.7 mpg.

12wThe Outlander Diesel Range

Outlander 2: Seen as the entry-point Outlander for private buyers, it comes fully loaded with equipment perfect for potential purchasers, boasting clever technology such as Active Stability and Traction Control (M-ASTC), Auto Stop & Go (AS&G), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and an adjustable speed limiter. Cruise control comes as standard, as does dual-zone climate control and there’s a radio/CD/MP3 player with six speakers and front electric windows. Airbags and 16-inch steel wheels also feature, as well as roof rails, auto dimming rear-view-mirror and LED daytime running lights.

Outlander 3: Outlander 3 steps up the game with a brand new electronic parking brake which features on the automatic versions, as well as a Brake Auto Hold button. This variant also boasts a third row of full seats for comfort and convenience, which can be split and folded with ease. In addition there’s dual-zone air conditioning, front fog lamps, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding door mirrors, colour LCD display, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth hands-free with steering mounted controls, privacy glass and silver roof rails. Manual and automatic versions are keyless operation with a start/stop button.

Outlander 4: New additions to the Outlander 4 include a heated steering wheel, LED front fog lamps, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert, electronic parking brake, Brake Auto Hold button and a 360 degree camera with steering wheel switch (automatic version only). This variant also has leather upholstery, a heated and electric driver’s seat, LED headlights, Mitsubishi Multi Communication System with sat nav and rear-view camera, as well as DAB radio.

The Outlander Diesel range is backed by five year, 62,500 mile warranty. The Mitsubishi Service Plan covers scheduled maintenance for the first three years and is available for £700.

subaruSubaru unveiled the VIZIV-7 SUV concept at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Subaru VIZIV is derived from Vision for Innovation, and is a concept series embodying the future vision of car development for “enjoyment and peace of mind” that Subaru wants to provide to customers.

With the VIZIV-7 SUV Concept, Subaru is demonstrating its thinking about how big a future Subaru SUV can be. “The concept expresses our core brand values, safety, dependability, capability for outdoor activities and a forward-looking attitude,” said Takeshi Tachimori, Corporate Executive Vice President, Fuji Heavy Industries, LTD. “We know customers in this segment want a full-sized vehicle and the next 3-row from Subaru will be the biggest Subaru vehicle ever.”

With full three-row capability and Subaru’s DYNAMIC x SOLID design philosophy, Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept shows the size direction of the all-new three-row midsize SUV to be introduced to North American market in early 2018.


art-of-livingAston Martin has revealed a portfolio of experiences to be offered in 2017 by the British luxury brand’s Art of Living by Aston Martin programme, which takes customers beyond sports cars and provides them with the opportunity to live the brand’s lifestyle.

Ultimate Drives

Headlining the collection of experiences are two new Ultimate Drives. The first will see guests embark on an adventure spanning two continents in three weeks; their journey taking in South Africa, Monaco, Austria, Lake Como and Vienna, including challenging drives and helicopter rides, gourmet dining and undiscovered city sightseeing. For thrill seekers an adrenalin-fuelled Ultimate Drive will provide unprecedented access to some of the world’s top motor races: 24 Hours of Le Mans, Goodwood Festival of Speed, and an experience with our Innovation Partners, Red Bull Racing at their home race in Austria.


The “On Tour” experiences provides the opportunity to drive an Aston Martin sports car along some of the world’s most breathtaking driving routes. A five-day tour of California will take guests from the Golden Gate Bridge to the beautiful Big Sur before heading onto Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. For those who prefer the East coast there will be a tour of New York that takes in the Hamptons along the way. In Europe, you can choose from a journey along the Atlantic Ocean Highway in Norway, which is world renowned for its beauty, or a tour of Bavaria in Germany or a drive from Madrid to Bilbao in Spain, taking in exquisite hotels along the way.


Those seeking a holiday with a difference are invited to experience Cuba the Aston Martin way.  The trip-of-a-lifetime to Havana will take in a visit to the Buena Vista Social Club, where guests can meet one of the original group members before being invited to record their own Cuban sounds. A tour of Havana in 1950s cars will provide guests with a great view of the city and the trip will be completed with cigar and mojito making classes. To indulge in a very different culture, the Art of Living by Aston Martin will also offer a Japanese experience. Guests will take in the galleries and gastronomy of Tokyo before travelling on the Bullet Train to Kyoto where they will experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony performed by Geishas.

Ice Driving

For those looking for exhilarating experiences, Aston Martin knows the answer is Ice Driving. In 2017, the programme invites the daring to enjoy the thrill of ice driving in destinations including New Zealand, the U.S.A and Finland. A special experience in Courmayeur, Italy will also combine ice driving with the ultimate ski race.

Motor Sport

This unique collection provides exclusive behind-the-scenes access to some of the world’s most prestigious races including Monaco and Silverstone, and a day with our Innovation Partners, Red Bull Racing, which will give guests a unique insight into preparations made when they take their 2017 challenger to the track for the first time at pre-season testing in Barcelona. The highlight of the summer season will be the Le Mans 24 Hours where guests will enjoy exclusive access to the factory Aston Martin Racing team.

Design Materclasses and dinner series

A new offering for 2017 is the exclusive Design Masterclass, which offers the opportunity to learn about the meticulous processes and high level of attention to detail involved in producing an Aston Martin. Hosted by Aston Martin’s experts, guests will be able to enjoy live sketching, clay modelling, and leather trimming first hand to understand the finesse and craftsmanship of these techniques.

Finally, a series of fine dining evenings, hosted by well-known artists and designers will provide a taste of luxury while a tour of the home of Aston Martin will provide a fascinating insight into one of the world’s most aspirational brands.

Full details on all experiences can be found online at: www.astonmartinartofliving.com.

suv-car-parkBritain’s car parking spaces are too small to cope with consumers’ love affair with big family SUVs, leading to nearly £1.4bn of car park prangs every year according to data released by accident aftercare specialist, Accident Exchange.

The average parking space is just 4.8 metres long and 2.4 wide, however, popular SUVs like the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class measure in at five metres plus, and nearly two metres wide.

With the added challenge of pillars and tight ramps in multi-storey car parks, manoeuvring larger vehicles is now making some car parks ‘no-go’ areas for Britain’s motorists.

The research undertaken by Accident Exchange, which assists vehicle manufacturers and dealerships in keeping motorists mobile in the event of an accident, estimated a 35 per cent increase in parking prangs since 2014, and the meteoric rise of SUVs could be a factor.

With an average bill of £2,050 to repair accident-damaged vehicles, parking-related incidents now account for more than 30% of all accidents. It is now estimated that there are over 675,000 car parking collisions of this type annually – a staggering 1,859 every day.

The SUV segment has enjoyed huge success in the UK, with figures in February alone revealing an 44% rise compared to the same month last year, which could be a factor in the alarming rise in parking prangs, despite packing technology to avoid accidents.

Selection of large SUVs and vehicles
Length (metres) Width (metres)
Avg. Parking Space** 4.80 2.40
Mercedes GL-Class 5.05 1.98
Audi Q7 5.05 1.96
Land Rover Discovery 5 4.97 2.00
Volvo XC90 4.95 2.00
BMW X5 4.88 1.93
Ford Edge 4.80 1.92
Volkswagen Touareg 4.80 1.94
Hyundai Santa Fe 4.70 1.88

It’s not just the popularity of SUVs which is impacting the average size of vehicles, smaller vehicles like the Vauxhall Corsa are significantly larger than their counterparts just 15 years ago.

The study, which measured the growth of some of the most popular vehicles in the UK, found that the latest Corsa had undergone the biggest change to its size over a 15-year period. The popular hatchback has expanded by a staggering 16%, a trend that persists across most vehicle segments.

Selection of popular hatchbacks
Length (metres) Width (metres)
Avg. Parking Space* 4.80 2.40
Ford Mondeo 4.86 1.85
Vauxhall Astra 4.70 1.80
Ford Focus 4.35 1.82
VW Golf 4.25 1.79
Ford Fiesta 4.06 1.72
Vauxhall Corsa 4.02 1.74

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, Director of Operations at Accident Exchange, commented; “Drivers are having to squeeze increasingly large cars into spaces that generally haven’t got any larger for a very long time. Almost all of the councils we researched carried over the government’s recommendation, which makes things tight for large cars. This could be contributing to the rise in car parking incidents we are seeing. Manufacturers follow the market, and so cars are outgrowing parking spaces.

“Not only are popular SUVs usurping smaller hatchbacks when it comes to new cars sales, older smaller cars are being taken off the street.

“The undoubted success of the SUV segment will have played its part – perhaps the roads aren’t quite ready for them because some drivers feel certain car parks are no-go areas due the sheer length and width of their cars.”

The recent study examined over 85,000 incidents recorded by Accident Exchange between mid-2013 and August 2016.