Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

About This Club

New & Used Car Reviews

  1. What's new in this club
  2. Steve runs through a selection of vehicles which defines Britain Mini A true motoring icon, the Mini was designed to be an economy family car by Austin and Rover between 1959-2000. It was fitted with a transverse engine which allowed for 80% of the vehicle space to be used for people and luggage. But also had other innovative features such as rubber cones for the suspension which saved space along with being built as a monocoque which improved handling. The Min came about due to the threat of competition from other manufactures bringing small cars to Britain such as the Fiat 500 and the Bubble car. The Mini managed to win the nations heart, not only by being very successful in rallying, even winning the Monte Carlo Rally but it also appeared in the cult classic film the Italian Job. This cemented our love affair with the Mini. Jaguar E Type Enzo Ferrari described the E Type as the most beautiful care ever made and he wasn't wrong, the body was exquisite craftmanship. it wasn't just a fancy body on rubbish mechanicals either as the E Type was built as a unity construction, V12 petrol engine which could hit 150mph and was actually based on Jaguars successful D Type Le Mans racing cars which had run the race in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Not only did the E type look prettier and out perform its rivals but what sealed the deal for most buyers was that it was cheaper too. When the E type saloon was deputed, there was such a demand for the car Jaguar had a test driver take a convertible version over to Geneva, driving on through the night to make sure it got there the following morning. It naturaly had a very successful production run being built between 1961-1975. Reliant Regal/Robin/Rialto The Reliant brand made some of the worlds most popular 3 wheeled vehicles from the 1940s right through until the year 2000. The Reliant pioneered using fibreglass to make the bodies for their vehicles along with galvanising the chassis which helped provide longevity for their products. Reliant also made their own aluminium engines Their popularity and cult status is in part thanks to a yellow Regal Supervan which featured in the TV series Only Fools and Horses. The Reliant 3 wheelers have a loyal following and friendly/social clubs. Aston Martin DB5 No list of British cars would be complete without including the Aston Martin DB5 which despite selling in limited numbers, came to fame due to its role in the James Bond 007 franchise. Roger Moore could be seen tearing round in the films with a DB5 full of futuristic gadgets such as elector seats, machine guns, smoke sprayer and the ability to drop oil slicks. One of the Bond DB5 cars was later used in the Cannonball Run film with Roger Moore behind the wheel. Due to demand the DB5 is back in production but with a limited production run. Morris Minor The Morris Minor also known as the Moggy Minor was the successor to the Morris 8 and made its depute in 1948 and remained in production until 1972 on which point over 1.6 million had been sold. The Minor was available in 2 door or 4 door saloon as well as convertible, van and as an estate known as the Traveler. Designed to be a family car the Minor was fitted with rack and pinion steering and independent suspension which was modern technology in 1948 and engines were either 1000cc or 1.1cc. the Minor bowed out of production thanks to competition with other British Leyland products such as the Mini and Austin 1100 proving more popular. However the Minor has proved popular with British culture thanks to its popularity and god looks. Bedford Val coach The Bedford Val was a 6 wheeled chassis designed by Bedford and with 4 wheel steering which was quite a novelty at the time. various coach builders built bodies for the chassis including Plaxton, Major Vega, Harrington and Dupel to name a few and were aimed at being an executive coach. They were also sold abroad to some Asian countries as well as Australia and New Zealand. Some of the coaches were used as race transporters most notably the Brabham race team had a Plaxton bodied version. However, the Coaches main claims to fame are in part due to two other British Icons, the Beetles and the film classic the Italian Job. The Beetles used a Plaxton bodied Val on their Magical Mystery Tour and in the Italian job a Harrington Legionaire coach is used as the get away vehicle to transport the 3 Minis. Austin/Carbodies/LTI FX4/Fairway Taxi The FX4/Fairway was built between 1958 and 1997 by Austin, then Carbodies and finally London Taxi International and became a symbol of Britain due to their popularity as Hakney carriages and affectionally known as the black cab. Offered with a variety of diesel engines over its life time the FX4/Fairway was replaced in 1998 with the LTI TX1 which along with its successors has managed to gain as much affection as its FX4 predecessor. Rolls Royce Silver Shadow Is still the best selling Rolls Royce model made between 1965-1980 in two versions the Shadow 1 and shadow 2, on which most found owners of Royalty or celebrities such as Freddie Mercury, Elton John and Keith Moon who famously drove his Silver Shadow into a swimming pool. The Silver Shadow was the first Rolls Royce to use unitary chassis and body construction which offered increased space. the car was powered by a v8 engine, automatic gearbox and hydropneumatics suspension which allowed it to waft down the road. Austin 7 The Austin 7 is truly the first British peoples car built between 1923-1939 and was sold as an economy known and known as the baby Austin and available as a saloon or convertible known as a tourer. It proved very successful both here and abroad and both Japanese car manufacturing and BMW both owe credit to this humble Austin as it was the first BMW car made under licence as well as being made under licence in japan after the Second World War. Also the 7 was used as the basis by Bruce Mclaran and Lotus for their first specials in racing. Overview I hope you've enjoyed looking through this list as much as I did creating it, but don't be disappointed if your favourite classic isn't on it, as there will be a sequel.
  3. Steve sets out to prove you can enjoy camping with a motorhome on a budget. Motorhomes are an ideal tool to see the world whilst having all your creature comforts with you, but they tend to be expensive. If you are a handy DIYer then here are a selection of budget vans (sub £2000) ideal for motorhome conversions. LDV Convoy/Pilot The Pilot and larger version, the Convoy were the last of the infamous Sherpa vans and were made between 1996-2006. Available as a van, hightop, or minibus, they proved popular with Royal Mail, motorhome conversions and schools and the low roof 17 seat minibus proved helped LDV take 60% of the minibus market share. Most models were fitted with PSA petrol or diesel engines which were either naturally aspirated or turbo charged and all engines are known for their dependability but can be sluggish, later models were fitted with just as dependable Ford engines. What further helped their popularity is that they were made in the UK and have a 15,000 service interval plus parts are easily obtainable, but be warned LDV built these vans from the parts bins of other manufacturers so you might have to do some searching when new parts are required. The payload of the Convoy ranges from 1,085kg - 1702kg which is good going and they're cheap to buy and in hightop minibus form are popular for DIY motorhome conversions. Bedford Rascal/Suzuki Super Carry/Daihatsu Hijet/Piaggio Porter The Bedford Rascal is a micro van sold between 1986-1993 and was also sold as a Vauxhall Rascal and Suzuki Super Carry all in effect the same vehicle and available as a van or minibus. All were fitted with a mid mounted 1.0 litre engine. They proved very popular and are ideal for narrow city streets. The design is so successful it is available brand new as a piaggio Porter. The payload capacity between all models ranges from 560-1120kg. You're probably wondering why a micro van is ideal for a motorhome, well a van this size can go to places large motorhomes just simply cant fit into. This is particularly ideal for narrow roads, or streets as found with very hold historic settlements. LDV Maxus Yet another LDV graces this article and technically the Maxus was the predecessor for the Convoy mentioned previously and was launched in 2004 and built in Birmingham up until 2009 when LDV went into receivership due to lack of funds from its parent company GAZ. The Maxus was fitted with a 2.5 Italian diesel engine with a 5 speed gearbox or 6 speed automatic and proved to be a popular van with UK buyers and received high ratings. What makes the Maxus ideal for motorhome conversions is that it was available in 3 different roof heights and 2 wheelbases. As well as being offered in 3 GVW of 2.8, 3.2 and 3.5 tons. The Maxus is back in production by the Chinese SAIC manufacture as the V80 which means body panels will be readily available. Ford Transit Mk6 2000-2006 The Ford Transit, Britain's most popular van and as such the most plentiful. Available in short wheel base, long wheel base, high top van and minibus, there's certainly plenty of choice for the DIY motorhome conversion. Most common engines are the 2.0 and 2.4 Duratorq diesel engines. the 2.0 litre is front wheel drive, where as the 2.4 is rear wheel drive both of which have a 15,000 mile service interval and both mated to a 5 speed gearbox. Dependent on model they can easily cope with a ton or two of weight which is ideal for any conversion. Transits generally hold their value, but parts are cheap, plentiful and should be cheap to insure. Iveco Daily Mk3 2000-2006 Just like the Transit from the same era the Daily is available in short wheel base, long wheel base, high top van and minibus, but is a more heavy duty van with plenty of choice for the DIY motorhome conversion. Diesel engine options range from 2.3-3.0 litres and mated to either a 5 or 6 speed manual gearbox or semi automatic gearbox dependent on body style. The Daily can carry anywhere from 2.8-6.5 tons so it'll cope with all motorhome fixtures and fittings without a doubt. Mercedes Vito For the £2000 budget early Mk2 models are available predominately with the 2.1 or 2.2 CDI engine and either a manual or automatic gearbox. The Vito is available in short or long wheelbase (Vario) but the former is more common. The Vito could be spec'd with a hightop but this appears to be rare, but poptop roofs are available if you require the extra height. Mechanically the Vito is a durable van but is prone to rusting, but no much so than other vans on this list.
  4. Steve takes a look at the first new Corolla model to grace our shores in over a decade. The Toyota Corolla, the world's most popular car. But with over a ten year absence on the UK market can the current model live up to its reputation? Exterior The styling of the new Corolla fits in nicely with the rest of the Toyota lineup including the Prius and the outgoing Auris, with it low nose and raked windscreen and thin LED headghlights make the Corolla appear to have come from a sci-fi program. The rear is quite bulbous thanks to a large rear boot lip but complimented with a large rear spoiler and finished off with alloy wheels. Visibility is very good but much like most modern cars thick C pillars obstruct the drivers view but generally the cabin feels airy. Interior Sliding into the interior, you'll find the seats supportive, especially the drivers seat which has lumbar support as standard. In addition the Corolla has plenty of leg and head space for both front and rear passengers and the boot is a very good size 361 litres but is slightly smaller on the 2.0 litre. the main issue I found with boot was the large bumper lip which would make it more difficult to get bulky items such as pushchairs in the car. As you'd expect from a Toyota the fit and finish of the cabin is superb with soft touch plastics, chunky controls and overall good materials being used. Furthermore, the equipment level is excellent with climate air conditioning, parking sensors, rear camera, 7" infortainment screen with Apple carplay/Android Auto, digital radio which provides a quality sound from the speakers, as well as Bluetooth, satnav all as standard. the dials are also clear to read and nicely laid out. On the road Engaging drive on the CVT gearbox the Corolla pulls away in electric mode which is silent and effortless, when the 1.8 petrol engine kicks in it is very quiet and is supported by low wind noise but road noise is prevalent. The engine on this model is the entry level unit producing 120bhp and a 0-62 time of 10.9 seconds which isn't as powerful or quick as its Ford Focus 1.0 litre 125bhp ecoboost rival but more the suitable for most scenarios. if you do want something more spritely then there is also a 2.0 litre 177bhp hybrid version which will fit the bill. The steering on Corolla is both light and positive making it easy to control and supported by brakes which have a good feel. The suspension is quite soft ironing out most lumps and bumps. The handling is geared more for relaxed driving rather than for exuberant driving. Overview The Corolla offers the traditional Toyota quality and technology with nice styling, however performance and handling falls short of some of its rivals such as the Ford Focus. Where I feel the Corolla will excel is in the fleet sector as hire cars or company cars.
  5. Definitely. It just goes to show what kind of unusual no and cool vans are out there 👍
  6. Thats great to hear it made the cool list and also that an MG dealer still uses one to deliver parts 🙂
  7. They always looked fantastic. Ironically my brother asked me why the mk6 fiesta zetec s car derived van wasn't in the list abd I said because it lacked the cool factor of the mg. Abd it's more exclusive. There's a mg Rover parts specialist in Hinkley which still uses one of the mg express vans
  8. I always liked the MG Express, which I seem to recall was labelled as the fastest delivery van on the road when it first came out. When I ran my MG Rover garage, I had a Rover 200 which I used as a parts delivery van and it was signed written similar to the one below and was noticeable wherever it went. Great van in my opinion ..... waits for the haters to respond 🙂
  9. Steve takes a look at 4 mass produced amphibious cars Usually when you imagine an amphibious car you think of James Bond or in military use. We often forget that there are a limited selection of mass produced amphibious cars which you can buy and use daily if you wished. Dutton Surf Tim Dutton is currently the world's leading manufacturer of amphibious cars and gas been building them for over 30 years. It's therefore no surprise two of his vehicles have made the list. The Surf has the sensible, utilitarian mechanicals of the Suzuki Jimny including it's 1.3 petrol engine, 4 wheel drive system and even the interior. The Surf can accommodate four passengers in SWB or 6 with the LWB. The top speed for the Surf is 6mph but that won't stop you having fun. On the road the Surf will drive similar to a Jimny and with 4 wheel drive it makes it easier to enter/exit the water. Gibbs Aquada Easily, the most expensive, yet most pretty car on this list the Gibbs Aquada certainly isn't cheap. But it is the only fast amphibious sports car which is powered by a 125bhp Rover engine that can go over 100mph on the road and 30mph in the water, fast enough to pull a water skier behind. Compared to the others on this list the Aquada has a high top speed in water thanks to it's deep V hull and employing water jet propulsion rather than a propeller. Amphicar No amphibious car list is complete without an Amphicar! The Amphicar is really the world's first mass produced amphibious car and still the most successful selling 4000 cars but a rare sight today thanks to it's tendency to rust. The top speed of the Amphicar in water was 6mph, definitely built more for cruising inland water ways than speeding along. They proved more popular in the USA than in Europe but they do have a loyal following. Despite having the same top speeds as the Reef and Surf on the water, the Amphicar unfortunately doesn't drive as well on the roads like it's modern counterparts. However it certainly looks prettier! Dutton Reef Unlike the Surf, the Reef is 2 wheel drive only and shares it's underpinnings from the humble mk7 Ford Fiesta, including the headlights and interior. The body is bonded fibreglass making it a monocoque design. Just like the Amphicar and the Surf the Reefs top speed is also 6mph, but you don't need speed to have fun on the water. On the road the Reef will drive very similar to a conventional Ford Fiesta and could be used on a daily basis.
  10. Steve takes a look at a selection of retro inspired vans which are either still in production or have ceased production in the last few years. It's obvious vans are designed to carry a variety and a lot of stuff efficiently, but a van also has another crucial yet often forgotten role. For business owners, vans are moving billboards for their businesses. It cannot be denied that most new vans look similar to one another making it hard to stand out. However, I've found a selection of vans that will certainly stand out from the crowd. Piaggio Porter The Piaggio Porter is a micro van which started out in life as the Bedford Rascal, Vauxhall Rascal and Suzuki Super Carry which are all in effect the same vehicle. All were fitted with a mid mounted 1.0 litre engine including the new Porter. The Porter has proved very popular in Italy and is ideal for narrow city streets and has proven to be a very successful design. The payload capacity between all models ranges from 560-1120kg, and it's available as a van, minibus, tipper, dropside or chassis cab. Piaggio have really catered for all. Brazilian Volkswagen T2 Transporter It may come as a surprise to know that the infamous T2 Transporter was in production in Brazil untill 2015. This meant the T2 outlived it's next two successors the T25 and T4. It also ceased production the same year the T5 did in Europe, but the T5 is still being produced in Mexico by Dodge, but this is a side point. Just like the 1970s Transporter the Brazilian version looks almost identical. The key differences include a radiator grill in the front to accommodate for the 1.4 water-cooled petrol engine in the rear. The same engine which was in the Polo and Fox, therefore parts are readily available and it'll be fuel efficient. Also the roof line is slightly boxier and different front bumper. Believe it or not the Brazilian T2 is more common then you'd think thanks to various companies importing them. The payload is 780kg and mpg from the 1.4 petrol you can expect 30mpg. Mercedes Vario Easily the largest van on this list, the Vario is the daddy of retro looking vans, weighing around 3500kg and Snap-On's van of choice and manufactured between 1996-2013. Those who know your Mercedes vans will know that the Vario looks very similar to a former Mercedes van, the TN Transporter, but one that's been on steroids. its actually the successor to the Mercedes T2 and has proven popular as minibuses for private and public use. It is also available in other body variants such as crewcab dropside, dropside, luton, tipper and van with cherry picker attachment to name but a few. Post 2000 models are fitted with a 4.2 litre turbo diesel engine which is available in various power outputs dependent on the body style and offered with a 5 speed manual or automatic gearbox with mpg figures of around 20mpg. as you'd expect with a van of this size the payload is impressive at 4.4 tons and a load volume of 17.4 cubic metres. Due to the vans versatility it has been popular with emergency services, postal services such as UPS Piaggio Ape The Ape is definitely the smallest van in this lineup and some would argue it's not a van at all. What cannot be denied is it's success in Italy where it is regularly seen traversing narrow city streets or winding it's way around remote villages. Fuel efficiency is guaranteed as the Ape is powered by a 50cc moped engine, but don't be fooled as it can cope with 675kg! The UK it has proven popular as mobile coffee outlets but its suitable for a variety of tasks. Citroen H Van Technically this is a conversion kit which an be installed on a Peugeot Boxer but totally transforms the appearance, for the better I say! Unlike other retro styled vans with this option you will have the benefit not the most up to date safety features, and the second largest retro inspired van after the Mercedes Vario on the market with a payload between 1,125kg to 1,570kg. The engines will up be bang up to date with emissions and fuel economy which is a further bonus. Overview I hope I've inspired you to consider a retro van for your business and to show a glimpse of the varied selection of retro vans that are out there.
  11. Steve takes a look at a selection of classic vans which are still suitable for daily use. It's obvious vans are designed to carry a variety and a lot of stuff efficiently, but a van also has another crucial yet forgot role. For business owners, vans are moving billboards for their businesses. It cannot be denied that new vans are getting more complex, and thus more expensive. But there is a way that businesses can still get the publicity from older vans which have cult status, retro status or cool factor whilst also benefitting from simplicity and thus easier maintenance you can do yourself. This list is designed to get you noticed and I have tried to cater for all aspects of vans for varying businesses. Ford Transit mk3-5 The Ford Transit, Britain's most popular van and as such the most plentiful. For argument sake and in the essence of fairness for this list I thought I'd highlight the Mk2 Transit which was manufactured between 1986-2003. The MK2 Transit is available in short wheel base, long wheel base, hightop and dropside/flatbed. Various engines are included 3 diesel engines of 95, 100 and 115ps abd 2.0 or even 2.9 litre petrol engines. Mpg can range from 25-35mpg depending on the engine and wheelbase. Mercedes TN Transporter No I haven't got this wrong, Mercedes did launch a model with the same name as Volkswagen, but they couldn't have been more different. The TN was built between 1977 - 1995 with model designations of 207, 208, 307, 308 and 410. Just like it's successor the Sprinter, the TN is available in short or long wheel basis along with a high top, minibus and flatbed/dropside. Engines arange from 2.0 to 3.0 litre in petrol or diesel forms with various outputs depending on the wheelbase chosen. Mpg usually ranges between 25-30mpg. Volkswagen T25 Transporter Launched in 1978 and ceased production in 1992 in Europe the T25 was the last rear engined Transporter. Just like the Mercedes, the T25 is available as a van, minibus or dropside. The last T25 rolled off the production line in South Africa in 2002. Being rear engined it means the T25 has light steering bwhich is ideal when driving or parking. Initially offered with a 1.6 or 2.0 litre air-cooled engine and then later with a 1.9-2.1 litre petrol or 1.6/1.7 diesel water cooled engines. Be prepared for poor mog though out of the petrol engines at 15-20mpg is the norm. Payloads for the van range from 885-995kg. Reliant Regal/Robin/Rialto Don't laugh, here me out on this one. Seriously now stop laughing, the Regal/Robin vans do have their merits. For one they are fibreglass so the body won't rust, unlike a Mercedes sprinter/Vito and only having 3 wheels makes the Reliant very fuel efficient with up to 40mpg from.the 0.7 litre engine. Plus being very small makes it ideal for old city streets. As with it's inherent size, it naturally won't carry a lot of stuff but the cult status will get your business noticed far better than a large van. Fiat Ducato/Alfa AR6 The Ducato was launched in 1981 and ran untill 1993 and came in a variety of weight capacities ranging from 1 ton to 1.8 ton. The Ducato is available with two four cylinder engines, a 2.0 petrol or 1.9 diesel. For even more exclusivity the Italians got the Ducato style van with an Alfa Romeo badge. Known as the AR6 was only available in Italy, which ceased production in 1986 and was the last Alfa Romeo commercial vehicle. Payload is 1000kg-1300kg abd mpg figures range between 20-35mpg. Bedford Rascal/Suzuki Super Carry The Bedford Rascal is a micro van sold between 1986-1993 and was also sold as a Vauxhall Rascal and Suzuki Super Carry all in effect the same vehicle. All were fitted with a mid mounted 1.0 litre engine. They proved very popular and are ideal for narrow city streets. The design is so successful it is available brand new as a piaggio Porter. The payload capacity between all models ranges from 560-1120kg. Talbot Express The Talbot Express was the last Talbot badged vehicle and proved very popular here in the UK. Based on the Fiat Ducato which has been previously mentioned, the Express was built between 1982 - 1994. All models are fitted with Peugeot/Citroen (PSA) transverse engines ranging from 1.8-2.5 in petrol or diesel form. The payloads for the Express range from 1000-1300kg. The MPG figures are around 23mpg for a petrol engine and 38mpg on a long run on a diesel. Brazilian Volkswagen T2 Transporter It may come as a surprise to know that the infamous T2 Transporter was in production in Brazil untill 2015. This meant the T2 outlived it's next two successors the T25 and T4. It also ceased production the same year the T5 did in Europe, but the T5 is still being produced in Mexico by Dodge, but this is a side point. Just like the 1970s Transporter the Brazilian version looks almost identical. The key differences include a radiator grill in the front to accommodate for the 1.4 water-cooled petrol engine in the rear. The same engine which was in the Polo and Fox, therefore parts are readily available and it'll be fuel efficient. Also the roof line is slightly boxier and different front bumper. Believe it or not the Brazilian T2 is more common then you'd think thanks to various companies importing them. The payload is 780kg and mpg from the 1.4 petrol you can expect 30mpg. MG Express/Rover Commerce The MG Express/Rover Commerce is the first and only car derived van on our list. The MG Express was based on the MG ZR and as such benefitted from the MG lovely cosmetic styling but is very rare with only 317 examples made it certainly will get you noticed. The Rover Commerce was in affect just a Rover 25 and nearly just as rare. They were available with four 4 cylinder engines which include a 1.3 litre 103 or 1.8 litre 160ps k series petrol engines and 101/113ps L series diesel engines. Certainly the more stylish looking car derived vans in my opinion. LDV Convoy/Pilot The Pilot and larger version, the Convoy were the last of the infamous Sherpa vans and were made between 1996-2006. Available as a van, hightop, minibus or dropside, they proved popular with Royal Mail, motorhome conversions and schools and the low roof 17 seat minibus proved helped LDV take 60% of the minibus market share. Most models were fitted with PSA petrol or diesel engines which were either naturally aspirated or turbo charged and all engines are known for their dependability but can be sluggish, later models were fitted with just as dependable Ford engines. What further helped their popularity is that they were made in the UK and have a 15,000 service interval plus parts are easily obtainable, but be warned LDV built these vans from the parts bins of other manufacturers so you might have to do some searching when new parts are required. The payload of the Convoy ranges from 1,085kg - 1702kg which is good going and they're cheap to buy. Overview I hope I've inspired you to consider an old-school van for your business and to show a glimpse of the varied selection of retro vans that are out there.
  12. Steve aims to find out whether the Ford Tourneo Connect is a good used MPV purchase by driving a 2017 1.5TDCI Zetec model. The Tourneo connect is technically the passenger carrying version of the second generation transit connect and deputed in the UK in 2014. The Tourneo connect shares its underpinnings with the Ford Focus and is aimed at competing against rivals such as the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Rift and other similar sized vans. Exterior Compared to its predecessor and current rivals Ford have tried to make the Tourneo look less boxy by having long headlights, a large raked windscreen and a short bonnet which is set low which helps with the vehicles aerodynamics. The bumpers and side cladding on the Zetec trim is bare plastic which will help protect the Tourneo from inevitable bumps and scrapes. Furthermore, the Tourneo connect is fitted with sliding passenger doors on both sides which make climbing in a doddle. The second row seats fold and slide allowing access to the 3rd row of seating. Climbing in can be interesting, and even though a 6 foot adult can do it, it is reminiscent of climbing into the back of a three door car. The boot is a conventional hatchback type, and naturally large which will require space when opening. Interior Being based on a van, you can guarantee there is plenty of head and leg space both for front and 2nd row seat passengers, however 3rd row space is more limited and long legged passengers may find it not as comfortable. The boot is a reasonable size too when the 3rd row seats are in use and can take a weekly shop or pushchair - just. This limited space is no different to other MPVs such as the Citroen C4 grand Picasso and Renault Grand Scenic. With the 3rd row folded the boot size is carnivorous and can accommodate large cargo with ease as well as an array of storage compartments including under the floor, above the drivers head and in the side panels. The interior is mainly made of hard plastics, which will be hardwearing and ideal for family abuse and overall fit and finish is better than most of its rivals. Despite the Tourneo's versatility a key drawback I have found is the lack of support in the seat, especially for longer drives, the 2nd row bench seat can take 3 adults comfortably and the 3rd row seats are two separate items where again two adults can sit side by side. one thing to watch is the 2nd row seatbelts retracting, as they have been known to not retract properly and getting caught in the sliding door mechanisms. Over time this damages the seatbelt and looks similar to a dog chewing them. if you find the Tourneo Connect you are looking at then get this replaced by the seller as its a £500 job at Ford. The equipment level is decent too with Bluetooth, DAB radio, CD player, aux connection, electric front windows and electric mirrors as standard on the entry level Style model. Air conditioning is standard on Zetec models, Titanium models can also benefit from a panoramic sunroof. On the road The 1.5TDCI in this Tourneo is the more common engine choice but there is also a 1.0 litre ecoboost petrol if you prefer. This 1.5TDCI engine is very economical with an official figure of 61.4mpg and 120g/km CO2 and is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. as you can probably predict the Tourneo isn't designed to be quick but acceleration is acceptable. It will sit on the motorway at 70-80 comfortably but could benefit from a 6th gear to reduce the engine noise. on country roads there is some body roll which is inevitable with a tall vehicle such as this. Also on rough roads the Tourneo Connect has a tendency to fidget and over certain large bumps it crashes over them rather than absorbing the bumps. Despite its size the wind and road noise was less than I anticipated but not as reduced as some other MPVs. Thanks to large windows and mirrors the Tourneo Connect is easy to drive and park which is also helped by light steering. The brakes are very sharp which is great on a vehicle of this size when bringing it to a stop, but I found at low speeds the brakes could be a little snatchy. Overview Overall, I feel the Toureno Connect is an MPV which offers plenty of space, economy and versatility at reasonable price, however being van based it is less refined then other conventional MPVs but if you can overlook this then you will find it to be adequate for family transport, or taxi use.
  13. Steve takes a look at a selection of vehicles that he feels are best suited for dogs. It cannot be denied we are a nation of dog lovers, and 26% of Britain's currently own at least one dog. As such I feel it important to highlight a selection of vehicles which have been designed with the transport of your canine companion in mind and I have tried to cater for most budgets. Nissan X Trail The current X Trail can be equipped with a pet pack Nissan call 4dogs. The pack transforms the boot into a comfortable compartment for your dog. Included in the pack is a wipe down interior, fold away ramp, shower, dog bowl, spill free water bowl, a boot camera with audio link so you can see and talk to your pooch on the journey, harness hook and a drying system that blows warm air into the boot. Land Rover Freelander Mk1 Despite the youngest mk1 Freelanders being 14 years old Land Rover were ahead of their time when designing the Freelander as it vehicle was graced with a boot window that could be lowered so that your dog could have fresh air either on the move or whilst left in the vehicle. Not bad for a vehicle that made us depute in 1997. Jaguar F Pace Much like Nissan's pet pack, Jaguars pet accessories also convert the 650L boot into a nice dog transportation system which just like the Nissan includes wipe down interior, fold away ramp, shower, dog bowl, spill free water bowl. Skoda Superb Estate Despite no pet packs being available for the Superb it has still made the list due to it's low boot entry and flat floor, combined with 660 Litres of boot space makes it ideal for your dog. Furthermore the superb is very ice handling car which will make the journey more pleasant for you and your dog. Aston Martin DBX The DBX is Aston Martins first attempt at an SUV and is available with a petpack which includes a bumper protector, partition to transport to dogs in comfort as well as a wipe down interior and portable shower. Dacia Logan MCV Dacia has really made a name for itself in recent years with economical motoring and the Logan MCV is no exception. The robust interior should stand up to punishment from even the most energetic of dogs and they'll have ample space as the boot as a respectable 573 litres. Land Rover Discovery Sport Yet another Land Rover has made it into this list and much like it's Freelander predecessor the Discovery Sport also caters for dogs. The Disco is available with a pet pack which includes a boot that can take 981 litres, a folding ramp which can cope with 85kg abd a 6.5 litre portable shower. I appreciate the picture depicts a Range Rover but the pet accessories are the same. Mercedes E Class W213 Just like the Skoda, the E Class has a carnivorous boot that will take 670 litres. Furthermore the E Class has great roadholding which is ideal when transporting the most travel sick of dogs. Peugeot Rifter I know some will argue that the rifter technically is more related to a van than a car, what cannot be denied is it's ability to transport a dog in comfort thanks to 771 litres of boot space and lower boot floor. There's even an array of storage compartments for your assortment of doggy accessories. Volvo V70 Mk2 Launched in 2007 and ended production in 2016 the V70 is a very capable hauler thanks to it's 575 litres of boot space and lower entry make it ideal for dogs. Chrysler Grand Voyager MK2 I'll appreciate this is an oddball but one you should consider if you need to transport 7 people plus a dog. The Grand Voyager offers van like space but with the luxuries of an executive car. The boot can hold 756 litres with all 7 seats in situ which is very impressive when you consider that you couldn't swing a cat in the boot of the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, Renault Grand Scenic and even the Ford Galaxy when the 3rd row of seats are in use as they take up most of the boot space. Ford Focus mk4 Estate Despite not being ba large estate car the Focus is still capable of transporting your dog with reasonable comfort thanks to 608 litres of boot space and an adjustable boot floor. I hope this list has helped you when choosing your next dog friendly car. Thanks for reading.
  14.  



  • Join the Motorists' Guide for FREE!

    wpid-b_join1.thumb.jpg.bd61361ade415a6f62ea06d3c2e9e6cb.jpgSign up for FREE Membership to the Motorists' Guide to receive the latest Motoring News, Views and Reviews 

×
×
  • Create New...