Jane Hyde


jlrJaguar Land Rover is pioneering a new way of buying cars across its global network, using Virtual Reality so that customers won’t need to wait for newly launched vehicles to arrive in their local showroom.

Jaguar Land Rover’s world-leading Virtual Reality Experience packs will be introduced across retailers by the end of this month to immerse customers in each new vehicle the company launches.

Even before vehicles are available, retailers will be able to connect customers to a virtual tour where they can see and interact with a life-size model through a VR headset. Using the latest digital technology, the headset will take customers on a journey ‘under the hood’, with the help of compelling animations to tell the technical stories which make the vehicle special.

The VR Experience also enables the customer to explore the vehicle interior in 360 degrees from different viewpoints. A tablet version of the experience is also available if customers want to remind themselves or obtain more details when talking through options with the retailer.

Andy Goss, Jaguar Land Rover Group Sales Operations Director, said: “As if our vehicles weren’t exciting enough already, this new way of buying a car will engage customers further with our innovative capabilities. The VR Experience will also help retailers to break the ice with customers and inject even more fun into the process of buying our vehicles.”

Jaguar Land Rover will roll out the VR Experience across more than 1,500 retailers in 85 markets, localised into 20 languages. Jaguar Land Rover trialled the technology during the launch of the F-PACE in the UK market last year, and will implement it with each new vehicle launched during 2017, starting with the all-new Land Rover Discovery.

Peugeot Order OnlinePEUGEOT has launched a revolutionary e-commerce capability, the world’s first all-encompassing online car-buying process, under the banner “Order Online by PEUGEOT”.

Order Online by PEUGEOT represents the first time that every step in the buying process can be completed in one place online, in one sitting.

Customers can build a car which meets their specific requirements, secure a guaranteed part exchange valuation for their existing car, and fund the vehicle according to their individual budget criteria, using a range of finance package deals.

The system is now live, meaning that customers can browse PEUGEOT’s model range and save details in their own, password-protected account, allowing them to think about the purchase before ‘clicking to buy’, or starting the configuration process again from the start to compare packages and cars.

With a completely new web interface, built in-house by the PEUGEOT team, it is entirely feasible for a customer to go through the whole process from end-to-end, and order their dream car, in less than 30 minutes. With no need to visit a dealer to complete finance paperwork, this “buy at home” capability remains unique in the market.

David Peel, PEUGEOT UK Managing Director, said: “The launch of our e-commerce system represents a huge step change for the UK automotive industry. The retail landscape in general has changed immeasurably over the last few years and we are not only proud to be the first car manufacturer to offer customers a truly end-to-end experience, but also honoured to be the first of PEUGEOT’s markets to unveil the system.

“Traditionally, car buyers can find visiting a dealership daunting. With e-commerce by PEUGEOT, that pressure to make a decision is removed; the customer is in full control and can deliberate all they want over spec and finance decisions, change their minds and retrace their steps as many times as they wish.

“If, having browsed the model range, selected their car and found a finance package that works for them, customers want a test drive, they can still arrange this before committing to a purchase.”

The PEUGEOT system automatically filters the best available options for the user, based on the criteria they set. This process allows customers to reach the “magic moment” – the instant they decide to press the button to buy the product – at their own convenience.

The system even makes taking delivery of a new car convenient, allowing customers the option of either picking it up from their local PEUGEOT dealership or having it delivered to their door.

Finance deals are also available immediately online through e-commerce, meaning that customers can make informed decisions without having to wait and search separately. The part exchange element of the system is underwritten by trusted partner, Manheim.

To access this system visit: https://offers.peugeot.co.uk/




Two minutes is not long, but it’s enough time for Land Rover to celebrate a motoring icon. The Range Rover has pioneered design, refinement and engineering innovation since 1970 and Land Rover has showcased the evolution of its luxury SUV through four generations with a unique animation lasting only 120 seconds.

The specially commissioned visual has been created to mark key dates in the history of the legendary SUV, as production of the original two-door model ended 23 years ago this month and SVAutobiography Dynamic goes on sale around the world.

The detailed animation shows how today’s Range Rover retains many of the design hallmarks established by the 1970 Classic and culminates with the latest derivative, SVAutobiography Dynamic.

Range Rover has achieved more than one million sales (1.7 million to date) along the way. Trademark features including its ‘floating’ roof, distinctive clamshell bonnet, continuous belt line and practical split tailgate all pay homage to the groundbreaking original.

The Range Rover story begins with the 26 pre-production models, which wore Velar badges in an effort to hide its identity – velare means to ‘veil’ or ‘cover’ in Italian – made up of letters from the ‘ALVIS’ and ‘ROVER’ badges that usually adorn the front and rear of a vehicle. Next comes the timeless Range Rover Classic two-door as the images showcase successive generations, finishing with the most powerful derivative, the 550PS SVAutobiography Dynamic built by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division.

When it was first launched in 1970, Range Rover was one of the first vehicles to deliver permanent all-wheel drive while many others were still selectable. In 1971 the original model was cited as ‘an exemplary work of industrial design’ when it became the first vehicle to be displayed at the world-famous Louvre museum in Paris and it has been at the forefront of design and engineering innovation ever since.

The four-door variant was introduced in 1981, quickly followed by the first application of an automatic transmission in Range Rover in 1982. In 1989 the luxury SUV was the first 4×4 to be fitted with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and in 1992 it became the first SUV in the world fitted with electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension.

The engineering firsts continued in 2012, when Range Rover was the world’s first all-aluminium SUV. More recently, in 2014, the luxury SUV was the first vehicle to employ Land Rover’s advanced semi-autonomous All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) technology, effectively an off-road cruise control for autonomous control of speed on all terrains.

The last model included in the animation, the SVAutobiography Dynamic, shares its V8 engine with the acclaimed Range Rover Sport SVR and is specially calibrated to produce 680Nm of torque and 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in only 5.4 seconds. Interior enhancements including diamond quilted leather upholstery with contrast stitching deliver elevated refinement and desirability.

Since its launch 48 years ago Land Rover’s flagship has achieved more than 1,700,000 sales across the globe and earned a reputation as the ultimate luxury all-terrain vehicle. The legendary SUV’s unrivalled breadth of capability and elegance make it a favourite of royalty, business leaders, politicians and celebrities the world over.

Range Rover is designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK, and exported to more than 170 global markets.

The evolution of the Range Rover is visualised with the following models:

  • 1969    Range Rover Prototype (Velar)
  • 1970    Range Rover Classic (two-door)
  • 1973    Range Rover Classic (Suffix C)
  • 1981    Range Rover Classic (four-door)
  • 1994    Second-generation Range Rover (P38a)
  • 2001    Third-generation Range Rover
  • 2012    Fourth-generation Range Rover
  • 2014    Fourth-generation Range Rover Long Wheelbase
  • 2015    Range Rover SVAutobiography
  • 2016    Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic

426170734_Nissan_Navara_TreNissan has launched a new special version of its award-winning Navara pick-up, with a host of additional extras added.

Badged the Trek-1°, the car has made its world debut at the Brussels Motor Show. The name relates to the geographical location of the Navarre desert in northern Spain – at -1° of longitude – from which the Nissan Navara takes inspiration for its name.

Exclusivity of the Navara Trek-1° is guaranteed. Only 1,500 examples will be built, all in Double Cab body style. Each is based on the Navara’s flagship Tekna grade, with a number of desirable extras fitted as standard.

These include black sport styling bars, with two powerful forward-facing LED spot lamps attached to the top section, giving a finishing touch that’s practical and stylish.

The Navara Trek-1° also comes with black side styling bars, black 18-inch six-spoke alloy wheels and a smart new load bed cover. Made from high-grade durable plastic and finished in black or white, it’s hinged at the end closest to the cab and lifts easily using a single gas strut at either side.

This practical addition offers exceptional security, allowing more valuable loads to be hidden from view. Beneath the cover is a load bed divider and liner, which will keep those loads secure during transportation. It’s fitted into the load bed’s C-channel restraint system, allowing it to slide forwards and backwards for ease of access / loading.

Optional extras on the Trek-1° include leather seats, heated front seats and eight-way adjustment on the driver’s seat. A powered sunroof, tow bar, differential lock and full-sized spare wheel are also available.

The Trek-1° is available in two exterior colours – the new-to-Navara Pearlescent White and Black Metallic. Customers who want a six-speed manual gearbox can opt for the 160 PS or 190 PS versions of the 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel engine, while those wanting a seven-speed automatic transmission can select the 190 PS. All versions offer ‘on-demand’ four-wheel drive as standard.

The Nissan Navara is the pick-up that’s both tough and smart. Every Double Cab comes with unique-in-segment multi-link rear suspension for a superior ride, plus a number of safety technologies including Forward Emergency Braking, Vehicle Dynamic Control, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist.

As it’s based on the range-topping Tekna grade, the Navara Trek-1° also benefits from the NissanConnect infotainment system with satellite navigation and DAB digital radio, 360° Around View Monitor, rear parking sensors and LED headlights.

The Nissan Navara Trek-1° is on sale now in Belgium, and will be launched in other European markets in the coming weeks.

Whether you choose to drive a luxury sports car or an environmentally friendly hybrid, it’s clear that UK drivers believe your car says something about you. That’s according to new research conducted by CarGurus, the online automotive site, that found ‘being seen in a nice car’ is important to nearly half of the driving population (42 per cent).

Nearly a third of drivers (30 per cent) agree that life is too short to drive a boring car and almost a fifth of men (19 per cent), admitted wanting to own a vehicle that demonstrated to other road users that they could afford an expensive car.

At the other end of the spectrum, 43 per cent of drivers wanted a car that wouldn’t make them appear ‘flashy’ or a ‘show off’, particularly those aged between 25-34 (52 per cent) versus 45-54 year olds (32 per cent). In fact, 56 per cent of drivers said they’d want to buy a car that is environmentally friendly.

Irrespective of whether you want to buy an expensive car to flaunt your apparent wealth, or a less polluting vehicle to showcase your social conscience, most drivers appear to buy cars for practical activities. Doing the grocery shopping is among the top three considerations when buying a car (73 per cent), as well as visiting family and friends (74 per cent) and days out/activities (73 per cent).

As part of the research, UK adults were shown a list of the most searched for brands on CarGurus and were asked to pick words that best described their perception of someone who drives a car of that make.

According to the results, Jaguar and Mercedes best conveyed ‘success’ (29 per cent and 27 per cent), while BMW (the most searched for brand on CarGurus) was deemed to be flashy by 31 per cent of those surveyed. Land Rovers are said to convey affluence by 22 per cent of people, while a third of UK adults (33 per cent) believe Ford is for the practical person.

Reputations of Popular Car Brands:

Perception Car Brand
Flashy BMW
Affluent Land Rover
Successful Jaguar
Practical Ford
Young Mini

Sarah Welch, spokesperson for CarGurus commented: “A car has always been a status symbol for some, but this exercise has demonstrated just how many car owners are concerned with how their choice of car influences other road users’ perception of them. We’ve discovered that Ford and Nissan owners are seen to be pragmatic, while Jaguars and Mercedes exudes success.

“The good news is that with the right research, it’s possible to find the car that’s right for you and your budget. This is where CarGurus comes in, it offers car buyers an easier way to compare car listings and find the best deals. The site analyses and ranks hundreds and thousands of cars every day and provides unbiased transparency on vehicle prices, dealership reputation and a host of other factors. This in turn means shoppers can buy the car that’s right for them – be it a family car, commuting car, or even trophy car!”.

Visit CarGurus at www.cargurus.co.uk.

Hands-on-half-termGet ‘hands-on’ at Beaulieu this February half-term with a wheel bubble balancer and balloon car challenge in the National Motor Museum, costumes and toys in Palace House and  medieval building at Beaulieu Abbey.

The fun activities for all the family will run throughout the school holidays from February 11th to 26th.

Pick up your Hands-On Half-Term Pass Book and fill it with stamps at each of the activity stations around the attraction, taking a pit stop break for a chocolate milk drink reward at the Brabazon Restaurant.

Honk the horns and try on goggles as you test early motoring clothing, handle historic motoring objects and take a close-up look at the artefacts, photographs and documents in the museum.

Balance a wheel with the bubble balancer by placing weights evenly around a tyre. Then create your own balloon-powered car and try racing it in the balloon car challenge.

Visit the monk in the 13th century Beaulieu Abbey and build an arch like a medieval builder in the historic setting.

Then dress up as a Victorian and play traditional games in Palace House, which has been home to the Montagu family since 1538 and shows life ‘Upstairs and Downstairs’ in a Victorian country house.

All of the activities are included for free with general admission entrance. Rides on the popular high-level monorail, vintage bus and Wheels – which takes you on a journey through time to experience 100 years of motoring history – are also included in your great value ticket.

A ticket to Beaulieu includes the National Motor Museum’s collection of more than 250 vehicles – from the fastest Land Speed Record breakers to a giant motorised orange – the World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars and the beautiful gardens and grounds.

Beaulieu tickets can be bought in advance online. For prices or more information see www.beaulieu.co.uk/events/hands-on-half-term / or call 01590 612345. Beaulieu is open daily from 10am-5pm.

repair-engine-spark-pA lot of you may be in the mentality of ‘New Year, New Me’ and hopefully fulfilling your News Year’s resolutions, walking down the road of positivity. Some drivers will be going for their MOT checks and it would be a negative start to the year to fail this. This week’s tips give advice on how to avoid failing your MOT, from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman.

  • Check your lights. This easily slips through the net becoming a thing that we look at but do not actually see when it needs replacing. Tap each light to make sure there’s not a loose connection which might appear at the test.  Most bulbs are easily changed, but you will probably need to look in the handbook to find out how to get at them.  Don’t forget to check the headlamp washers if you have xenon (HID) or LED headlamps, if these are not working the car will fail the test
  • Try and get into the routine of checking your tyres. This would be for bulges and cuts as well as plenty of tread.  Uneven wear means they are at the wrong pressure or the wheels are not aligned properly – get this fixed before the tyres are changed otherwise the new ones will wear out prematurely
  • Handle your wipers with care. Top up the washer fluid, then operate the washers and wipers. If the wipers leave lines on the screen or scrape over the water without clearing it, they need replacing although you could try cleaning them with methylated spirit first
  • We understand that you may be busy but try not to leave it until the last minute. You can submit your car for a check up to a month before the old certificate runs out. This also gives you enough time to make any corrections should there an issue.
  • Make a check list. Having a checklist sounds simple but allows you to remember little things that you need that may have slipped off the radar. Try to read the comments after whether you pass or fail. Prevention is better than cure

Richard said: “If we maintain our car correctly during the year MOT time will not be as much as an issue, remember a failure means you are driving around in a car that fails to meet the recommended ‘minimum’ safety standard and that is not how an advanced driver operates.”

vauxCrisp and compact on the outside, spacious and flexible on the inside, with unique two-tone paintwork and SUV-styling, these are the first pictures of Vauxhall’s all-new Crossland X.

The newcomer adds a second vital ingredient to Vauxhall’s burgeoning SUV offering, which is due to grow still further in 2017 with the launch of the larger Grandland X later in the year. While the Crossland X’s recently-launched sibling, the Mokka X, has all-wheel-drive capability, is 70mm higher and has larger wheels for buyers with a taste for adventure, the Crossland X has a firm family focus, with a Tardis-like cabin providing high degrees of practicality and flexibility.

vaux3And at just 4.21 metres in length the Crossland X is more compact than the Mokka X, and a full 16cm shorter than the Astra Hatch, offering owners greater convenience while driving and manoeuvring in towns and cities. Adding to Crossland X’s urban appeal is an elevated seating position and an overall height, which is raised ten centimetres above the Astra’s.

The Crossland X also enters a different SUV class to the Mokka X, with rivals such as the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. The Mokka X’s competitors include the Nissan Juke and Skoda Yeti.

Forming the first part of Vauxhall’s ‘Five-Star’ 2017, which will see five major product launches in just one year, the Crossland X will be joined by another newcomer to the ‘X’ family, the larger Grandland X which will compete in the compact SUV class (SUV C-segment) later this year.


Audi-q5More comfortable, more agile, more efficient, more protective and better connected – the all-new Audi Q5 is about to build on the consistent sales success of its predecessor.

Orders can now be placed in the UK ahead of first deliveries during April for Q5 models in either SE, Sport or S line specification, and pricing starts from £37,170 OTR for the 2.0 TDI quattro 190PS, rising to £41,040 OTR for the 2.0 TFSI quattro S line.

Standard equipment is now even more comprehensive than before, with features  such as the Audi Smartphone Interface, the Audi parking system plus and powered tailgate operation present right from the SE entry point. Other notable standard features include Audi drive select, heated front seats, an acoustic windscreen, deluxe three-zone electronic climate control and pre-sense city collision prevention assistance.

Strong specification is just one of the factors contributing to a residual value that is not only the highest in its segment, but of any Audi model ever at launch – over three years/30,000 miles, the Q5 2.0 TDI quattro S line S tronic with 190PS is predicted to retain an exceptional 58.3* per cent of its original value, while every other Q5 model in the range achieves an RV over the same term of at least 55 per cent. Independent automotive valuation experts, CAP Monitor also rate the RV of the Q5 2.0 TDI quattro S line S tronic at an impressive 57 per cent over the same three year/30,000-mile term.

vedThe majority of new car buyers will lose out when new road tax rules come into force on 1 April, according to latest research from HonestJohn.co.uk.

The motoring site’s figures show that new tax rules will add more than £500 to the long-term running costs of Britain’s most-popular and eco-friendly vehicles, while providing significant benefits for some of the most-polluting cars.

This means the UK’s best-selling car – the Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost 100PS – will cost £540 more to tax over four years, while buyers of the V8 Mustang stand to save £245 over the same period of time. This is despite the fact that the American muscle car emits three times more CO2 than the efficient Fiesta.

Until now, the government has offered zero VED to entice car buyers into eco-friendly vehicles; however, with 74 per cent of new cars emitting less than 130g/km of CO2, the government has made a U-turn on its policy and introduced rules to force buyers of new, efficient cars to pay more.

Under the current tax rules, vehicles that emit sub-99g/km qualify for zero VED for the first year and pay nothing for every year after; however, from 1 April 2017 the government will replace the current 13 band tax system with three new bands – zero, standard, premium – plus a surcharge for electric cars with a list price above £40,000.

This means all new cars bought after 1 April with sub-99g/km CO2 emissions will pay for road tax; a move that will add up to £540 to the long-term running costs of some of Britain’s cleanest and most efficient cars. Even hybrids won’t escape, with buyers of the Toyota Prius paying an extra £405 over four years, while Tesla S buyers will have to pay an additional £930.

However, while buyers of new cars over £40,000 will be forced to pay an extra £310 a year for five years, HonestJohn.co.uk has found a gap in the tax law that allows some of the UK’s most-polluting cars under the £40,000 price limit to benefit.

Buyers of the Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2 DI-DC automatic, for example, will save £265 over four years, regardless of the fact that the SUV produces a whopping 245g/km of CO2. It’s a similar story for the Subaru WRX and Nissan 370Z too, with both emitting over 240g/km and saving hundreds under the new system.

Honest John’s Managing Editor, Daniel Powell, said: “Many motorists are unaware of the changes that are coming for VED, but the fact of the matter is this – the system is changing, and low emissions cars won’t be as tax efficient as they were before. It’s a bit of a mixed message to increase tax on fuel efficient cars while reducing it on less eco-friendly models when the government is trying to increase the uptake of low and zero-emissions cars.”

What’s more, with buyers now rushing to secure a zero-VED car, HonestJohn.co.uk has found that buyers are being given lead times of four to five months for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo XC90. Buyers of the popular Fiesta face a three month wait, while Focus orders with the EcoBoost engine stipulate a wait of 3.5 months, making it increasingly difficult to get a tax-free car before the new rules come into force.

Five popular cars hit hard by 2017 VED changes over four years of ownership

1) Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost 100PS Zetec

Current VED cost over four years: £0
New VED cost over four years: £540

2) Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTi 95PS ecoFlex Design

Current VED cost over four years: £0
New VED cost over four years: £540

3) Ford Focus 1.5 TDCi 120PS Zetec

Current VED cost over four years: £0
New VED cost over four years: £540

4) Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion 1.6 TDI 110PS

Current VED cost over four years: £0
New VED cost over four years: £520

5) Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 110PS Visia

Current VED cost over four years: £0
New VED cost over four years: £540