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  1. It’s now 20 years since the first Golf Mk4 was registered in the UK, and to mark the occasion Steve reviews whether or not the fourth generation Golf could be considered a future classic? The fourth generation Golf was introduced to the UK in mid-1998 to replace the aging mk3 model and was available in 3 or 5 door hatchback, estate or cabriolet even though the latter was just a facelifted Mk3 Golf convertible which naturally confused buyers. The Mk4 Golf brought with it various improvements over the outgoing model as it was both longer and wider than the previous model as well as being taller which all improved the cabin space. One key improvement over the mk3 variant was the fact the mk4 Golf body shell was galvanised to prevent against rust and backed up with a 12 year perforation warranty. This was a big thing as the mk3 became notorious for rust, so much so it equally matched with the Ford Escort and Ford Ka on the amount of rust issues that developed. Another major advantage of the Mk4 Golf was that it achieved 4* on the Euro NCAP crash tests which was due to the array of airbags installed which were fitted for the front driver, passenger and in the sides of the front seats. To further safety the golf was one of the first cars to be fitted with Isofix child seat restraint system which was developed in collaboration between Volkswagen and Britax. In addition, the Mk4 Golf was fitted with both anti-lock braking systems and Electronic Stability Program to further improve the safety of the vehicle. As previously mentioned the Golf was available in 3 door hatchback, 5 door hatchback, 5 door estate and cabriolet. The latter confused buyers, as unlike all the other models available in the golf range the cabriolet was just a facelifted mk3 Golf cabriolet. As such, it retained the Mk3 body shell and interior but gained the Mk4 front end and steering wheel. In the UK the Golf was available in various trim levels and catered for most budgets. These specifications include: E was the entry level Golf and was fitted with wind up windows, Beta tape cassette, split folding seats, wheel trims and height/reach adjustable steering wheel. Engine options included a 1.4 petrol producing 75bhp or a 1.9 diesel engine producing 68bhp. S had all the features of the E model but gained electric front windows, electric mirrors, sunroof and central locking. Engine options were the same as for the E model but buyers had the additional option of a 105bhp 1.6 petrol engine or 1.9TDI diesel which produced 90bhp and replaced the E models 68bhp unit. The S spec was also available with a 4 speed automatic gearbox as well as the manual. SE spec added quite a lot of features over the S spec, such as; electric windows front and rear, manual air conditioning, CD player with 8 speakers, multi-function computer, remote control alarm system and armrest built into the rear seat. The SE had the 1.6 petrol and 1.9tdi engines which were available on the S spec along with the option of manual or automatic gearbox. GTI is the spec level everyone remembers and one of the most common but is separated into two categories. The GTI spec got all the features of SE but added sports seats, leather trimmed steering wheel as well as having 15” alloy wheels and smoked rear lights. This version of GTI was offered with either a 2.0 115bhp petrol engine, 1.9tdi engine with 110bhp and fitted with a 5 speed manual gearbox or the 1.9tdi PD engine with 115bhp and fitted with a 6 speed manual gearbox. The latter was also known as the GT TDI. GTI 1.8T was a model in its own right as it boasted many extras above the standard GTI which included sports seats with built in lumbar support, leather trimmed steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake handle and 16” alloy wheels. It will come as no surprise that this model of GTI was offered only with a 1.8 turbo petrol engine which produced 150bhp and a 0-62mpg in 8.5 seconds. GTI Anniversary was launched to mark the 25th anniversary of the Golf GTI being on sale. It had all the features of the normal GTI 1.8T but gained a body kit, 18” alloy wheels, Recaro front seats, brushed aluminium golf ball gear knob, dash/door card inserts, sports pedals, red trimmed seatbelts plus special floor mats. Only 1800 Anniversary Golfs were produced, each having a numbered plate in the cabin. When new the price of a GTI Anniversary was £18,660 which was £2,075 more expensive over the normal GTI 1.8T. Picture below shows the GTI Anniversary model. V5 was the next level up in luxury and included great features such as climate air conditioning, 6 CD auto changer, rain sensing wipers, automatic dimming interior mirror and 16” alloy wheels. Predictably the V5 model was fitted with a V5 petrol engine which produced 170bhp. V6 4 motion was the top spec Golf (excluding the R32 which we won’t be covering in this article) and came with all the features of the V5 model but added Sat Nav, heated leather seats, chrome exhaust tips, wood dash and door card inserts and wood effect gear knob. This specification was equipped with a 204bhp v6 petrol engine and aided with 4 wheel drive. Below is a picture of the V6 4 motion. Please note we have not covered R32 models in this article as we feel it deserves an article in its own right. Driving the mk4 Golf The Golf I have on test is a 2001 five door GT TDI with the 1.9 115bhp PD diesel engine and fitted with the 6 speed manual gearbox which has covered 116,000 miles. Sliding into the black leather seats it’s clear that the interior is well laid out and the seat/steering wheel has good adjustment. Furthermore, despite the age of this Golf the interior has worn well the exception being the door pulls, ashtray cover and electric window plastic surrounds which have suffered from the common lacquer peel on the plastics. It is also apparent that all interior features work, such as the electric windows and air conditioning and shows the car has aged well. In addition, there is a good level of leg room for both front and rear passengers and the boot can hold 330 litres of luggage. Turning the key and the 1.9tdi engine bursts into life, with a gruff tone which is synonymous with these engines, but on pulling away it has more than enough grunt to cope with day to day activities. The 6 speed gearbox on this car is smooth and having the 6th gear does help quieten the engine on the motorway, as well as increasing the fuel economy but the clutch is slightly heavy compared to more modern vehicles. The ride on this particular Golf is good and it absorbs the bumps well, whilst precise steering makes the Golf a doddle to park and provides reassuring characteristics when on country roads. Road and wind noise is kept to a minimum, and the main noise noticeable is the engine. The brakes are also very good on this car, and brought the car to a stop in a safe and controlled manner. Moving onto a more awkward topic, the Golf Mk4 got a lot of complaints from owners with regard to electrical gremlins, turbo issues on diesel models and rust issues on the front wings. Speaking to the owners of this particular car it’s clear that the car hasn’t really suffered from any electrical problems other than with the remote central locking. Furthermore this Golf is now on its 3rd turbo, the first one giving up whilst the car was in warranty. With regard to the last issue, it’s obvious that this golf has been well cared for by its owner and has only started getting rust through on the passenger side front wing. The rust on the front wings was a common issue of VAG cars from this era, and was caused by the Volkswagen group installing foam inserts between the wing and wheel arch liner. Over time this foam absorbs water, and thus causes the wing to rust from the inside out. Its an issue that affects the Mk4 Golf, Bora, Passat, A4, A6 and certain Seat models. The Motorists Guide View: Despite the fourth generation Golf entering its 20th year on British Roads, I feel it’s a design that has aged well and well cared for examples will surely increase in value as time goes on. Furthermore the Mk4 Golf has had a lot of negative press but I feel it isn’t completely justified. Let’s face it, the more modern Golfs are suffering from the emissions scandal which this Golf can hold its head up high and claim to be one of the last trust worthy Volkswagen products. I feel the models which will be most desirable in the future include the V6 4 motion, V5 and GTI anniversary models. The latter, bringing exclusivity being a limited production run. If you are considering a Golf Mk4 my advice would be to try and find one with a full service history and try and buy unmodified examples as sporty Golfs in standard form will inevitably be worth more in the long term. Especially, when you compare it to the likes of the Mk1, Mk2 and even the Mk3 Golf GTi models. So will the Mk4 Golf become a future classic? Only time will tell, but just like the Mini, the VW Beetle, Citroen 2CV and Ford Escort the Golf is a clear favourite with the motoring public and is a cult car for sure. As sure I feel confident that the Mk4 Golf will become a classic, just not yet. Selection of VW Golf Mk4 For Sale on eBay - bag a bargain while you can! Dimensions Length: 4149mm Width: 1735mm Height: 1439mm Curb weight: 1238kg
    2 points
  2. Following on from our report on faraday pouches, Steve reviews whether or not they make a sensible purchase with a long-term test. Keyless entry and keyless ignitions have become a convenient edition to most vehicles in the last ten years, however, this has allowed the criminal fraternity to capitalise on this through theft of motor vehicles or theft from motor vehicles. Criminals have been able to obtain the key code for vehicles by using devices which can trick the car in thinking that the key is nearby and thus allowing the criminal access to the vehicle. Since March I have been using two different types of faraday pouches, one which was purchased from an internet auction site for 79p and the other pouch which is available through our website. I must also stress I have not written this review as a selling tool but rather as a crime prevention tool and as a comparison between two similar products. Both products have a plastic vinyl exterior and a soft woven mesh interior and it is the mesh that blocks the key signal. I used the 79p internet auction site pouch for March and April 2018 and then the pouch available from our website from May till June 2018. I have been using the pouches for various cars that I have had the fortune of road testing, but the two I have highlighted in this article is the Suzuki Swift Mk2 and the Ford Kuga Mk2 both of which have keyless technology. With both vehicles I have stood beside them or no more than 2 feet away and occasions the faraday pouches prevented the vehicle from being unlocked. Furthermore I tested the pouches by unlocking the car then placing the car keys in the pouches, and then trying to start the ignition. On both occasions the car could not detect a key present inside the car and thus would not start the engine. Another added benefit I found of both faraday pouches was that it prevented the keys from digging into my leg or scratching my mobile phone screen, as well as reducing the risk of me worrying about whether or not I had left my keys behind. I admit I do this a lot, and the extra space taken up inside my pocket with the faraday pouch helps prevent me from leaving my keys behind. Where these pouches differ is in their quality as can be seen in the picture below. The top pouch was the 79p item purchased from an internet auction site and as can be seen the plastic vinyl on where the flap folds over has split in various places, but I will admit this does not affect the pouch from working effectively. The second pouch is available from our website and as can be seen there is one crack present. The Motorists Guide View: After using the faraday pouch I have found it a cheap, yet effective way of preventing a car from being accidentally unlocked or the key signal cloned by a criminal which can help YOU prevent theft from or of your vehicle and I would strongly recommend the owners of keyless cars to purchase one as it is clearly an easy way of giving you peace of mind that YOU have taken added measures to protect both your keys and your car. If you would like further information on faraday pouches then please see our previous article here: Alternatively if you would like to purchase a faraday pouch from us then you can do so here:
    2 points
  3. The new Edge is available in Zetec, Titanium and Sport variations, with all models offering Ford intelligent all-wheel drive, Active Noise Control, Pedestrian Detection, Ford DAB Audio with SYNC 2 connectivity system, privacy glass and 19in alloy wheels as standard. Optional extras available across the range include: Lux Pack, Sony DAB Navigation system with 12 Speakers, Perforated Dinamica Seats, Variable Climate Control Front Seats, Heated Rear Seats, 10-way Power Driver & Passenger Seats, Opening Panoramic Roof and Power Door Mirrors, 20inch Alloy Wheels (standard on Sport) ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN The performance from Ford’s 210PS bi-turbo 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine is more than adequate to propel the Edge to the required speed in a very satisfactory time. Other engine options include the 180PS 2.0 litre TDCi diesel engine. Both engines are rated to deliver 48.7mpg fuel efficiency and 149g/km CO2 supported by Auto-Start-Stop technology. The Bi-Turbo engine features two turbochargers and offers enhanced performance and efficiency. The primary turbo works at lower speeds, giving you an extra boost when you need it – such as when turning from a junction into moving traffic. Meanwhile, the secondary turbo works at higher speeds, like when you need to overtake a slow-moving vehicle A choice of 6 speed manual gearbox and the 6 speed PowerShift automatic gearbox (with twin clutch) are offered to mate with either of the engines. The choice for a more sedate journey is made by selecting ‘D’ in the automatic transmission, as opposed to selecting ‘S’ for ‘Sport’ which results in a much livelier journey with increased response from the engine and transmission. The automatic transmission has the ‘Paddle Shift’ feature which gives some control of gear selection to the driver if desired. Overall, the 6 speed PowerShift automatic transmission is very responsive being quick to change, both up and down in either conventional Drive or the Sport mode. EXTERIOR The all-new Ford Edge exterior is carefully sculpted with a muscular and yet compact bonnet. To improve aerodynamic efficiency, unique air curtains are positioned on the lower part of the fascia to guide air from the front of the vehicle, out through the front wheel wells and down the vehicle side. The Headlamps feature Xenon lamps with automatic sensing for high/low beam (Anti-Glare), cornering and load variation. Mirrors feature auto-fold and also a Blind Spot indicator. The exterior is equipped with a rear spoiler, with optional roof rails and detailing in chrome to further enhance the styling. The Sport features front, rear and side Sports body styling with dark exterior detailing. Other options include front and rear Park Sensors along with front and rear Cameras to avoid colliding with any obstacles. A full length Panoramic Roof with sliding and tilt function allow more natural light and fresh air to enter the interior with very little wind noise. INTERIOR The interior has been designed with high-quality materials throughout, including soft-touch trims on the dashboard and centre console, high-gloss piano black surrounds on the switch bezels and a satin silver metal finish for the door handles, air vent bezels, glovebox trim and steering wheel detailing. The spacious Edge is also offered with heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats from the Titanium series. The interior offers a vast array of controls and in particular, the steering wheel is embellished with a selection of switches and buttons allowing the driver to select and alter various functions. Voice control function is available for the comfort, entertainment, navigation and telephony systems. Interior refinement is enhanced with acoustic windscreen glass and laminated glass for both front door windows, minimising the intrusion of wind noise. Underbody panels and wheel-arch liners further minimise road and wind noise. All Edge models are also equipped with Ford’s Active Noise Control technology that detects unwanted engine noise in the cabin and cancels it out with opposing sound waves fed through the integrated sound system. There is an option for a Power Tailgate control with hands-free and key-free function to allow access to the capacious loading area. The seats fold to allow an increased load area with the flexibility of 60/40 split which does not impede on the passenger area too much. Seats are generally quite comfortable but rather firm which can lead to slight discomfort over long distances with limited rest breaks. TECHNOLOGY The Edge offers a variety of Ford technologies, including Adaptive Steering, which automatically optimises the steering response according to vehicle speed, making it easy to manoeuvre at low speeds, while remaining precise and intuitive at higher speeds; and Front Wide View Camera, which makes restricted visibility junctions or parking spaces easier to negotiate. Edge debuts segment-first Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection; a camera- and radar-based system that can operate at speeds from 5mph to 110mph to detect vehicles and people in the road ahead. The system can automatically apply the brakes if a potential collision is detected and the driver does not respond to warnings. The Edge features Ford’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) technology as standard, delivering a seamless transition between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive performance to provide a more secure footing on the road especially in slippery conditions. Measuring how the car’s wheels are gripping the road surface every 16 milliseconds – 20 times quicker than it takes to blink – the system can send up to 100 per cent of engine torque to the front or rear wheels. ROAD TEST SUMMARY The Ford Edge is a superb car to drive either around town, motorways and also mild off-road conditions. The combination of safety and Driver assistance functionality result in a car that you can feel secure in the knowledge that you are driving something that get you to your destination safely and still feeling relaxed after a long distance. Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control with Pre-Collision Assist is definitely a safety enhancement that is essential for safe driving at any speed. Ford has utilised the on-board technology to enhance the system to be an incredibly reliable and useful safety aid. Once used, it becomes difficult to switch off and solely rely on your own reactions. The system also features Traffic Sign recognition to allow the driver to set the speed limiting to stay legal at all times. Keyless entry is a feature of the Edge, and as with some other manufacturers, you have quite a ‘chunky’ key which you have to carry around to then leave somewhere within the car, but where? There doesn’t seem to be a specific area to place it so it could end up in a multitude of places and then it’s a case of finding it when you leave the car. Given that the Edge has Active Noise Cancellation, the noise levels within the car are incredibly low. However, the fuel tank leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to vehicle design. There doesn’t appear to be any baffles within the tank, as when you accelerate and decelerate, you can hear (and feel) the fuel ‘sloshing’ backwards and forwards which is quite off-putting, especially on a vehicle of otherwise good build quality. The full length opening panoramic glass roof is superb for allowing in natural light but stopping the harmful UV rays from swamping the interior. With the addition of the pop-up windbreak at the front reducing wind noise, it all seems to work very well. Overall, the Edge is a car loaded with useable technology and features usually reserved for much more expensive and up-market brands but delivers a similar ‘feel good factor’ from the driving experience with a smaller price tag. TECHNICAL INFORMATION Engine - Trans - Power PS (Kw) - Torque (Nm) - CO2 Emissions(g/km) - Mpg(Urban) - Mpg(Extra Urban) - Mpg(Combined) - Max Speed - 0-62 Mph (secs) 2.0 TDC - iM6 Manual - 180 (132) - 400 - 149 /Sport 152 - 44.1 - 52.3 - 48.7 - 124 - 9.9 2.0 TDC - iMPS6Auto - 210(154) - 450 - 149 /Sport 152 - 44.1 - 52.3 - 48.7 - 131 - 9.4 Above information based on Edge with 19inch Wheels COST (effective from January 2016) Zetec – from £29,995 Titanium – from £32,245 Sport – from £34,495 All prices are based on Dealer ‘On the Road’ price, including 20% VAT click here to see Ford Edges for sale ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Special thanks to Evans Halshaw, Bedford for the loan of the Ford Edge used for road test For more information about the Ford Edge visit: http://www.evanshalshaw.com/dealers/ford-bedford/ Follow Evans Halshaw on Twitter: @evanshalshawuk
    2 points
  4. The LC500 is available as a 5.0 litre V8 which is bred from the race-track or if you are after something a little less aggressive and eco-friendly then look no further than the LC500h which is powered by a 3.5 litre V6 and hybrid motors. Available in standard trim, Sport or Sport+ versions are offered with very little difference in price between them. The LC500 that we road tested was the 5.0 litre V8 with Sport+ Pack. ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN The 5.0-litre V8 engine that Lexus has chosen to power the LC500 is a great choice to provide the flexibility for a smooth GT cruiser and also to propel the car to immense speeds in very little time. Combined with an excellent transmission, there is very little to complain about on the performance front. Utilising a 10-speed transmission which is controlled by Magnesium Paddle Shift and incorporates a manual ‘M’ mode for driver control and selection of the gears. Additionally, there is also the Drive Mode Select function which switches between Eco, Comfort, Normal, Custom, Sports S and Sports S+ modes to further enhance the drivers’ experience. Moving onto the chassis, an adaptive variable suspension featuring multi-link design engineered from scratch to provide excellent vehicle response and super-sharp handling but maintaining a superior ride comfort and stability. Adaptive Variable Suspension is used to control the damping forces on all shock-absorbers with the ability to manage 650 different variations of suspension settings. EXTERIOR The most definitive aspect of the LC500 has to be the exterior styling with its distinctive coupe body and futuristic lighting. Combine this with the fact that the body is not just stylish but also lightweight and extremely strong. Ultra-high tensile strength steel, lightweight aluminium and Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Plastic are used throughout the car ensuring high-rigidity throughout. The roof is available as either a glass panoramic or Carbon-Fibre infill (depending on model specification). Both roof panels are made to complement the styling of the LC500 and even incorporate the lines of a traditional Japanese sword on the rear edges of the chrome plating. There is a retractable rear spoiler and this extends automatically at speeds above 50 mph to provide extra downforce and stability at high-speed. The Sport+ Pack version has side aero intakes to reduce turbulence around the rear wheels to further improve handling. LED Headlights are an ultra-compact style fitted with triple-projector LED units which allow for a short front overhang which is crucial for high-speed handling. The rear lamps are also LED which are inspired by the afterburners of a Jet Fighter aircraft and have a holographic effect which also incorporates a sculptured metal frame that follows the Lexus ‘L’ motif throughout. SAFETY FEATURES The Lexus LC500 is designed with high-speed performance in mind, but safety features, both passive and active, are also a major design element of the car. A pop-up bonnet, activated by sensors mounted in the front bumper ensure that in the event of a collision with a pedestrian, the impact raises the bonnet and by allowing more space between the hard components of the engine compartment and the pedestrian, the level of injury is reduced. To protect the vehicle occupants, eight airbags are fitted, driver, passenger, head, knee and curtain shields running the full length of both cabin sides. INTERIOR The interior of the LC500 is no less spectacular than the exterior styling. Lexus has directed their design on an interior specifically focused on the driver. The steering wheel is crafted by a Takumi master and when grasped seems to instantly instil a feeling of confidence within the driver. Already, the overall feeling of the cars’ demeanour is coming through when seated in the comfortable and supportive sports seats, and this is even when it is parked with the engine off. All of the controls and driver interfaces are positioned to hand and are designed to be easy to operate when driving. The instruments are positioned to allow the driver to view them at all times and are in line with the natural view of the road ahead with very little distraction. The interior temperature is carefully monitored and adjusted to provide the occupants with the optimum environment for comfort and wellbeing. The Climate Concierge system features pioneering Nanoe® technology to release negatively charged particles into the cabin area to purify the air and deodorise the seats. The overall effect is to moisturise the skin and hair whilst leaving the occupants relaxed and fresh throughout the journey. Entertainment is provided by the usually high standards from Mark Levinson® Premium Surround system with GreenEdge™ technology and incorporates 13 speakers throughout the car. Designed specifically for the LC range, the system delivers a digital home-theatre experience and is further enhanced as an optional extra by Clari-Fi™ which rebuilds sound lost in MP3 digital compression. Boot space is sufficient for two weekend bags and other small items but you would be restricted to carrying a great deal more. The vehicle Battery is beneath the cover within the boot floor. TECHNOLOGY A Lexus wouldn’t be a Lexus if it wasn’t for the quality of build and the technology that is utilised to enhance the driving experience. The LC500 is no exception and the list of standard equipment is quite extensive. The driving data is very clearly displayed through a multi-function display panel and also through an optional, extra-wide (174mm x 48mm) ‘Head-Up Display’ on the windscreen. Information such as safety warnings, navigational guidance and engine readings are clearly displayed for the driver to review without compromising the view of the road ahead. The Premium Navigation system is built-in to the dashboard and features a split-screen 10.3” display with the input being made through either voice command or through a TouchPad with Remote Touch Interface. Driver warning systems such as tyre pressures monitoring, parking proximity and traffic sign recognition are clearly displayed within the vehicle using visual and audio to highlight the alert. Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert feature within the LC500. Radar devices mounted in the rear bumper detect vehicles in adjacent lanes that are not visible in the door mirrors. If the driver is indicating to change lanes and should another vehicle enter into the blind spot, a warning signal appears in the mirror along with a buzzer to warn the driver. The Rear Cross Traffic Alert functions by alerting the driver to another vehicle manoeuvring behind. ROAD TEST SUMMARY The Lexus Owners Club have been very fortunate to be offered the opportunity to road test the LC500 and this is our unbiased opinion of what we consider to be one of the best performance cars to roll off the Lexus production line. The version used for road test was the Sport+ Pack with the V8 engine. First thoughts when entering the car is that it is an easy to get in and out of which sometimes is not the case with other GT coupes. Once settled in the comfortable and supportive sports seat, the engine is started via push start button and foot applied to the brake pedal. Engage ‘D - Drive’ or ‘M - Manual’ through the selector and whichever mode suits your style of driving. The default mode is ‘Comfort’ with Eco, Sport and Sport+ on offer in the model we had. Pulling away and driving in built-up traffic conditions presented no issues to the car which drove sedately as any other Lexus, but when approaching a Motorway and entering the slip-road, well that’s a completely different kettle of fish. The engine and transmission are swift to deliver the power with absolutely no delay encountered. However, in Sport or Sport+ mode, the response time is even less. Power delivery is incredibly smooth and with gear changes made automatically or through the paddles, there was no bucking experienced as is the case with some other performance cars. As the soundtrack from the LC500 V8 engine via the tuned exhausts, well there is not much that can overshadow it. Something that was noticeable during the drive was that the cabin was incredibly quiet, even with the windows down, there was not any noticeable wind noise or draught, apart from the noise of the V8 when unleashed. The economy is not one of the main reasons for the decision to buy the V8 LC500, but on road test with varying styles of driving and traffic conditions, the LC delivered between 21.6 and 27.6 mpg. Carefully driven with very little traffic to hinder your journey you could probably achieve around 24.6 on average. Handling comparisons have been made with a Porsche 911 and the LC500 was deemed to be ‘not as responsive’. This is probably the case but the wheel certainly felt positive and grounded during application into bends. The suspension delivered a very smooth ride over a variety of road conditions and never faltered with delivery into corners. The transition between driving modes was noticeable with the dampers tightening considerably more so when placed in Sport or Sport+. Interior space is designed as a 2+2 seater but as is the same with all performance GT Coupe’s the rear seating, although adequate for younger children would be less suited to adults unless the seats were positioned further forwards. Driver controls are perfectly positioned for operation in normal driving circumstances. The Lexus touch panel is conveniently placed to control various functions is intuitive and easy to use, and the car also features a voice control to facilitate the operation of some features. The steering wheel also housed quite a few function buttons for Cruise Control, Audio, Lane Control, Telephone and Voice Control as is standard layout on many Lexus models. Above the instrument panel and housed in the binnacle are two rotary controls which operate the Driving Modes on the left-hand side (Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport+) and on the right-hand side, there is Traction Control which has the option of ‘Off’ or ‘Snow’. But one of the best features available to the driver is the colour Head-Up Display displayed on the lower part of the windscreen. Providing useful information about speed and navigation along with other selectable data to the driver, this is definitely a very useful feature. Would we buy one? Most definitely, yes! However, which version would we choose? For the number of extras that you can acquire that would seriously enhance the drive and also the resale, the Sport+ Pack is the way forward. Considering the marginal cost between the options, the Sport+ pack is not much further to stretch and in our opinion would give so much more back in return. There is, however, a tough decision that has to be made and that is do you go for the V8 or the Hybrid? That would have to be a personal choice but with only 0.3 seconds on the 0-60 mph time between them, it’s definitely going to be a tough choice. TECHNICAL INFORMATION Engine 5.0 litre V8 petrol Transmission 10-speed Automatic (Rear Wheel Drive) Engine Power (bhp / kW) @rpm 477 / 351 @7100 Mpg (Combined) 24.6 0-62 Mph (secs) 4.4 CO2 Combined (g/km) 263 Above information based on LC500 with 21” wheels COST (effective as of September 2017) LC500h – from £76,595 LC500h Sport Pack – from £80,595 LC500h Sport+ Pack – from £85,895 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Special thanks to Snows Lexus, Hedge End for the loan of the Lexus LC500 used for road test For more information about the LC500 visit: http://www.snowsgroup.co.uk/lexus/ http://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/lexus-owners-club.html/lexus-reviews/lexus-lc500-review-r2/
    1 point
  5. Steve takes a look at a little red International Harvester tractor which is helping improve the lives of individuals with learning disabilities Nestled within the idyllic East Midlands countryside sits a farm with a special purpose in the quaint village of Seagrave. Set up in 2011 the farm in question is called WHM Work Connections which provides person-centred support in the way of life skills and work skills for individuals with learning disabilities with activities such as car washing, animal Care, horticulture, catering skills as well as vehicle mechanics. These skills help the individuals gain Independence and confidence when managing areas for daily living that you or I might take for granted. These skills then help the individuals to pursue work opportunities. Enabling individuals to have choice and control over their own lives. So why are we discussing this on AutoEvoke I hear you ask. Well as you will have just read one key aspect of the business is providing vehicle mechanic skills to these individuals and we felt it was right to feature their recently completed project, an International Harvester B275 tractor. When the tractor arrived at the farm it required a serious mechanical overhaul which has meant a full rebuild of the engine and other key components including the tractors electrics. Thankfully the bodywork was in good condition and has not needed any welding or respraying, therefore allowing the International Harvester to perform mechanically well yet keeping its character through its patina. The restoration has taken just over a year to complete and just like most projects the individuals were working to a deadline and are very happy with the end result. The tractor had to be ready for an up and coming wedding in May where the tractor takes pride of place as the bride’s mode of transport! During the rebuild the tractor has gained some additional features which I’m sure will make it unique, the first of which is a traditional ahooga horn which certainly gets this tractor noticed. The second modification has increased the tractors usability by being fitted with wireless technology. This will sound like an unusual feature on a 1960s tractor but the answer is logical. Having the tractor being controlled remotely allows the individuals with learning disabilities to drive the tractor in a safe and controlled environment on the large pastures at the farm. The tractor can be stopped remotely at a touch of a button if the individual driving it were to get into difficulty. Let’s not forget that allowing the individuals to drive the tractor ties in nicely with the company’s ethos by allowing these individuals to increase independence and develop valuable life skills. To find out more about WHM Work Connections please click on the link below: https://www.workconnections.co.uk/ A history of the International Harvester McCormick B275 Launched in 1958 the B275 model was designed to be an uprated machine to the B250 which had preceded it. Built in the former Jowett car factory in Bradford which International had bought out some years previously, the B275 was fitted with a 35hp 2.3 litre four cylinder petrol engine or a 38hp 2.3 litre four cylinder indirect injected diesel engine. The B275 diesel engine gained five more horse power over the B250 along with a different gearbox which gave this tractor eight forward gears comprising of four in low range and four in high range plus two reverse gears. This gave the tractor a top speed of 14mph and 95lbs-ft of torque. As was common at the time the tractor was in 2WD configuration without power steering and had a 6 volt electrical system. Furthermore the B275 was one of the more advanced tractors of the era as it was fitted with a manual locking differential, live duel category hydraulics, live power take off, glow plug cold starting, engine mounted pump and discs brakes as found on the B250. The final British built B275 was built in 1968 but they were also built under licence by Mahindra in India. In total 52,432 B275 tractors were built over the ten year production run when it was finally replaced by the B276. The B275 was proven to be a very durable tractor thanks to good build quality, ease of maintenance as well as a very good parts supply chain. However it is not without its flaws, the two main ones being weak brakes and sloppy steering. The former can often be sorted with a brake rebuild whereas the later often requires the steering box to be replaced. Also, despite having glow plug cold starting the B275 is renowned for not being the best cold starting tractors and improper use of the glow plug system can cause additional wear to the engine.
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  6. For those of you living in and around leicester or Loughborough in the East Midlands, there is a fantastic car wash called Shiners based at WHM Work connections at 60 Green Lane Seagrave LE12 7LU. WHM Work Connections provides life skills as well as work skills for individuals with learning disabilities with activities such as car washing, vehicle mechanics, animal Care and catering skills on offer. Furthermore, these skills help the individuals gain Independence and confidence when managing areas for daily living that you or I might take for granted. As per the poster, I'm sure you' ll agree that £8 is a bargain for the level of detail involved. Needless to say it's not just any car wash! To put it into perspective, comparible operators are charging upto four times more for the same service locally. I would strongly recommend you give them a call to get your car booked in to treat it to a well deserved wash and wax. But it is advised to call in advance as they do get busy. Despite only being open one and a half days a week, phone calls will be answered Monday-Friday 9-4. To find out more about WHM Work Connections please click on the link below: https://www.workconnections.co.uk/ (Please note we cannot share images of the car washing in action due to the individuals confidentiality)
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  7. Steve tests the most recent Mercedes E Class coupe and to see whether it can live up to its predecessors reputations. The current Mercedes E Class was debuted at the North American auto Show in 2016 and came on sale shortly after. Designated by Mercedes as the W213 the current E class is available in saloon, estate and coupe body styles just like its predecessor. With regards to this fifth generation E Class Mercedes have unified the design to tie the E Class in with both the current S Class and smaller C Class. As such, this has meant the current E Class Coupe is curvier than its predecessor whilst giving it a sportier persona. However I feel in some ways the E Classes’ individuality has been lost with this new model. But I cannot deny that the E Class Coupes design is elegantly proportioned thanks to its smooth flowing roof line which allows the car to have real road presence and should please even the most picky image conscious buyer. The exterior design is also helped by LED rear lights, Xenon headlights and 19” alloy wheels which are fitted as standard. Mercedes have also paid close attention to detail for the interior to make it feel a premium product. This is helped by the materials used as well as the level of standard equipment on offer such as a digital radio, Bluetooth, cruise control, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, lumbar support, multi-function steering wheel, automatic climate control, parking sensors, heated seats, keyless go. On top of this, the E Class Coupe is available with a number of options available which include features such as panoramic sunroofs, Burmester sound systems and wireless charging to name but a few. The current E Class also benefits from being fitted with the safety technology to that of its big brother the S Class and includes autonomous driving features which allows the car to drive itself up to speeds of 130mph. This is on top of the basic safety features offered as standard on the E Class which include; Antilock Braking System, brake pad wear sensor, all round airbags, Electronic Stability Program, Parktronic with reversing camera, child seat recognition sensor, fatigue alert for long journeys, collision prevention assist, blind spot assist, and brake assist for emergency braking combined with hold function as standard. As I’m sure you’ll agree the amount of safety features is second to none. Pedestrians aren’t neglected either, as the E Class is fitted with an active bonnet which raises the bonnet if it senses a person coming into contact with it. The E Class Coupe range is available with two common rail diesel engines and four direct injection petrol engines which are all mated to a 9 speed G-Tronic automatic gearbox. The engine options are as follows: Diesel E220d – a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbo unit producing 194hp/400Nm torque, available in 2wd or with Mercedes 4Matic all-wheel drive system. E400d – a 3.0 litre 6 cylinder turbo engine producing 340hp/700Nm torque and only available with the 4Matic system. Petrol E300 – a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbo engine producing 245hp/370Nm torque E350 – a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbo unit producing 299hp/400Nm torque E450 - a 3.0 litre 6 cylinder twin turbo engine producing 367hp/500Nm torque and only available with the 4Matic all-wheel drive system. E53 – is the AMG derived 3.0 litre 6 cylinder twin turbo engine producing 435hp/520Nm torque and only available with the 4Matic system. Plus it should average 30mpg as an added bonus. Driving the E Class Coupe The car is have on test is a 2018 E220d AMG Line which is fitted with the four cylinder 2.0 turbo diesel engine which produces 194bhp and linked to the 9 speed G-Tronic automatic gearbox. To top it off this engine boasts MPG figures of 56.5mph combined. Sliding into the combined alcantara and leather driving seat I found it to be very supportive, with very good side bolsters as well as being electrically controlled and fitted with lumbar support. Furthermore, I found there is plenty of space for front seat passengers but it might prove a struggle for rear passengers on longer journeys. But I must admit that the space for rear passengers is certainly improved over the previous E Class Coupe especially where height is concerned. As one would expect from a Mercedes the cabin has a quality feel with leather covering not only the seats but also the door cards and dash top. In addition, the infotainment screen is much larger at 12.3 inches than the previous E Class which further improves its usability. Pressing the engine start button the diesel engine bursts into life to a quiet idle. Selecting drive on the column shifter the E Class pulls away effortlessly thanks to the automatic gearbox which has both smooth and quick gear changes, combined with a good kick down. I found the 220d engine had more than enough power and torque for good acceleration and momentum in all driving environments, but was slightly unrefined compared to some of its competitors. However, I must admit that this is a small negative in an otherwise good drivetrain which can get to 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds. I was further impressed by the handling of the E Class which ironed out the bumps well despite being quite hard, and surprisingly this still allows the handling to be composed yet comfortable. To further improve the comfort from the E Class, air suspension is available at extra cost. I have to admit that the suspension on the current E Class coupe helps reduce roll better than its predecessor which is partly due to the wider track. Furthermore the steering is nicely weighted, allowing it to be light but precise, which is in part to Mercedes Direct steer system which is also speed sensitive. One key foible I found whilst driving the E Class was the road noise, which could not be muted by the cabins sound deadening. However, I’ll admit this could be down to the Michelin run flat tyres fitted to this vehicle and maybe improved with a different brand of tyre. The handling package is finished off with large drilled brake discs front and rear which stop the E class effortlessly. The Motorists Guide View Overall I found the current Mercedes E class Coupe a nice car to drive combined with an impressive level of standard equipment compared to some of the rivals. Furthermore the build quality is on par with other Mercedes products, with nice materials and a quality fit and finish that consumers have come to expect from Mercedes. However, despite being larger/roomier than its predecessor I felt that the previous model was slightly better all round. None the less the current E Class is certainly a comfortable and relaxing place to be for both sitting in and driving, which most owners will happily drive for long distances. Therefore, we’re confident that you’d be pleased with purchasing an E Class Coupe if you’re in the market for one andits not one you should not discount when considering a premium coupe. Dimensions Length: 4,923 mm Width: 1,852 mm Height: 1,468 Curb weight: 1,605–2,048 kg
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  8. Steve gets behind the wheel of a 3rd generation E class to see whether it is a used car gem. The Mercedes W211 E class was launched in 2002 to replace the notoriously rust prone W210 model. There was a lot riding on this new E class and most importantly Mercedes reputation, due to build quality issues affecting various models of Mercedes both in the late 1990s and into the start of the 21st century. This new model E Class was only available in two body styles, either saloon or estate and three spec levels were offered on release which were; Classic, Elegance and Advantgarde. Even the entry level Classic spec was well equipped and benefited from climate air conditioning, cruise control, alloy wheels, heated washer jets and rain sensing wipers. The Elegence trim added interior touches such as wood trim, leather trimmed steering wheel/gear knob and the top spec Advantgade benefited from part leather trim, Xenon headlights, LED rear lights and specific five spoke alloy wheels. Various engine options were available including a good array of diesel engines which reflected the market at the time, as diesels were in favour with buyers and the government. The options were; 220CDI, 270CDI (prefaclift only), 280CDI and 320CDI in diesel form. On the other hand petrol buyers weren’t forgotten about as the E Class was available as a 200, 320 (V6) or a 500 (V8) which was fitted to the AMG and later replaced by the E63 at the end of production. The key to a long engine life for any Mercedes is regular maintenance and this should help reduce some issues. One key issue on CDI engines are injector seal failure and this can be sotted by a rough running engine and a fuel smell in the cabin. As you would expect it is not cheap to repair and you’ll be looking roughly up to £500. Also bearings for the super chargers pulley can fail especially on cars that have covered more than 100,000 miles. Due to the age of most W211 cars, most will have covered more than 100k so it’s worth checking the service history for this work being carried out. Unfortunately the early cars weren’t without faults, but compared to the previous rusty W210 the W211 suffered from electrical and mechanical gremlins. The most important electrical issue to watch out for on early cars, those built up to 2005 are faults with the Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) system. The SBC system was designed to be a form of anti-skid control and was able to make adjustments to brake pressure to help keep the car more stable under braking. However the system has been known to fail and even Mercedes replaced the SBC units when the cars were within warranty. Due to the amount of customer complaints/system issues Mercedes reverted to a hydraulic system for the facelift model. In addition, one key issue with early E class models is with the radiator which has been known to leak into the gearbox oil cooler. This ultimately jams the torque converter and can result in an expensive bill but only affects models built up to 2003 and fitted with a Valeo radiator. Mercedes facelifted the E class for the 2006 model year and thankfully this rectified a lot of the early faults and around 2000 improvements were made, including to the performance and handling. The facelift was graced with new headlights, grill and bumper which helped improve the styling. For the facelift a sport spec was also added which was fitted with 18” wheels, cornering lights, stiffer suspension, gear shift paddles and cost £1,470 as an optional extra on the estate and a whopping £3,570 on the saloon. As you would expect safety wasn’t neglected either and the facelifted E Class was fitted with a tyre pressure monitoring system as well as adaptive braking system which flash the brake lights to warn cars behind of sudden braking. If the car behind still fails to stop the E Class is fitted with PRE SAFE occupant protection and neck pro head restraints which both prepare the occupants and vehicle for an imminent impact. Driving the W211 Mercedes E Class The car I have on test is a facelift 2006 280CDI estate model with the optional extra sport trim which has covered 133,000 miles. Sliding into the comfy leather seat it is clear to see that this model of E Class differs greatly from its boxy predecessors. The cabin is light and airy as well as having a dash that curves and gives the E Class a modern, yet sophisticated look and is very well laid out. The front seats are easily adjusted thanks to the electric adjustment and memory feature as well as being heated which is ideal for the up and coming winter. This is also supported with the reach and rake adjusted from the leather steering wheel. Turning the key and the V6 diesel engine fires and quickly settles to a smooth idle. Engaging drive and pulling away it is clear that the V6 diesel has brisk acceleration which is further helped from the 7 speed GTRONIC gearbox, both of which present no drama. The W211 E Class was highly praised for its handling characteristics, with great body control/neutral handling and this particular car is no exception. The ride is very compliant and absorbs bumps well, which is impressive as the sport model has the stiffer suspension but is supported with self-levelling Airmatic air suspension on the rear. Furthermore the steering is precise and gives the driver confidence to push the car into the corners. As you’d expect the braking system is more than adequate to stop this autobahn stormer, and can bring the car to a stop in half the distance of the Highway Codes distances which is impressive for a car of this size and weight. On examining the cabin it is clear that the interior is built well and very electrical item was working and the interior was showing no real signs of wear, other than on the driver seat bolster. There is a generous amount of leg and head room for rear passengers as well as having a carnivorous boot which can also be fitted with optional extra rear facing seats. The Motorists Guide View The W211 E Class was a very expensive car when new but now they can be obtained for as little as £1500 and are exceptional value for money. But be warned there will be a lot of cheap E class cars out there which are suffering from mechanical or electrical issues, and as such a comprehensive service history is a must. Cars that are in good, cared for condition will provide fantastic family transport as well as providing good levels of comfort, equipment and safety and it is a car I would strongly recommend. Dimensions Saloon Length: 4,818mm (15ft 10in) Width: 1,822mm (6ft 0in) Height: 1,452mm (4ft 9in) Luggage capacity: 540 litres (rear seats up) Estate Length: 4,850mm (16’ 0”) Width: 1,822mm (6’ 0”) Height: 1,495mm (4’ 11”) Luggage capacity: (rear seats up): 690 litres. Luggage capacity: (rear seats down): 1,950 litres. Kerb weight: 1,785kg – 1,885kg
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  9. So, what is a Faraday Cage? In simple terms, it shields electronic components from static electric fields by using a metal screen that conducts electricity, much like a force-field Historical & Scientific Background Michael Faraday, a 19th Century Scientist, who discovered that if you distribute a charge or radiation around the exterior of a cage, it will cancel out electric charges or radiation within the cage interior. A Faraday cage is a hollow conductor, in which the charge remains on the external surface of the cage. Some are as simple as chain-link fences and others use a fine metallic mesh. Regardless of their exact appearance, all Faraday cages take electrostatic charges, or even certain types of electromagnetic radiation, and distribute them around the exterior of the cage. Electromagnetic radiation is all around us. But sometimes, this radiation is undesirable and downright disruptive. That's where Faraday cages come in. Michael Faraday made the observation that namely, he realised that an electrical conductor (such as a metal cage) when charged, exhibited that charge only on its surface. It had no effect on the interior of the conductor. Typical applications and uses of a Faraday Cage Microwave Ovens to keep the radiation inside. You can see the cage in the glass door Shielded Rooms and Building, typically Military or Computer Server buildings to avoid interference or surveillance MRI Scanner and other Medical Imaging machines to prevent interference to the images of the patient Power utility workmen have suits that are a Faraday Cage to reduce the risk of electrocution Aircraft fuselage which prevents lightning strikes causing damage to onboard electronic systems and electrocution of the passengers Car bodies and panels act as a Faraday Cage to prevent electronic interference to the onboard electronics So how do I prevent my car from being stolen? Car thieves have been using many methods over time to steal cars, anything from a brick through the window and brute force to overcome the steering lock and hotwiring the ignition. Nowadays though, the thief is far more technically advanced and tend to use electronics to steal cars with no damage being caused to the vehicle. One such method is the known as the ‘Relay Hack’ which works on vehicles equipped with Keyless Entry systems. They accomplish this by boosting the signal between the car and the key over a distance. Using a booster to amplify the signal, the car assumes the key is within close proximity and therefore unlocks the vehicle and allows the thief to start it up and drive away…it’s as simple as that! To combat this modern-day method of stealing a car, you would have to place the key place the key in a Faraday Cage, Microwave or even a fridge to stop it from being scanned by radio signals. Any Cage would need to have small diameter holes, such as a mesh. Ideally, the Cage could include a lining such as Aluminium to further improve the protection. What products are available to protect my car from thieves? There are many different products available to give you added protection from the thieves that aren’t too expensive. Don’t forget to protect your spare keys as well. The Cage is always useful to store Credit Cards, especially those that are contactless and also double up for storage of your mobile phone to avoid radiation being emitted into the body (especially important for Pregnant Women). To test that any Cage works efficiently, approach the car (and if the wallet is completely closed) then the car should not be able to be opened. Walk up to the car and try the door handle with the key in the wallet, if it doesn’t open then it the Cage is working correctly. BUY YOUR FARADAY POUCH HERE - £5.95 each or £9.95 for two (Free Post & Packing to UK) Additional Reading In the UK 85,000 cars have been stolen in 2017 and 70 per cent of the owners of these vehicles still had the key on them Read more here CAR thieves managed to break into a brand-new £50,000 BMW in less than a minute using a special device bought online https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/866987/car-theft-hack-keyless-entry-video-BMW-stolen Relay Attacks on Passive Keyless Entry and Start Systems in Modern Cars Read more here
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  10. In the last week both motoring fans and Hollywood have been mourning the loss of a true filming icon, Burt Reynolds who sadly passed away from a heart attack at the age of 82 in Florida. As a fitting tribute Steve looks through some of the cars that starred alongside him during some his most memorable films. Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – Smokey and the bandit One of Burt Reynolds defining films was Smokey and the Bandit which was released in 1977 and featured a 1976/1977 Tans Am which was used as a diversion to keep cops off the trail of the illegal cargo in the back of the truck. After the film sales for the Trans Am rocketed and Reynolds was also also gifted one of the Trans Am promo cars. 1979 Dodge Sportsman Ambulance – Cannonball Run The 1981 film Cannonball run involved a road race and was loosely based on the real 1979 Running the Cannonball race, but not only that the ambulance was used both the actual race and then starred in the film. This was No coincidence as the director for the Cannonball Run had raced the ambulance. 1971 International Scout – Deliverance In this 1974 film Reynolds drives a 1971 International Scout. This 800B model was one of the last of the Mk1 Couts before it was replaced by the Mk2 version. 1968 Chevrolet Camero – Cop and a half Cop and a half was a 1993 comedy which featured Reynolds as a cop who teams up with an 8 year old boy to solve a murder investigation. The film Reynolds drives a 1968 Chevrolet Camero which is fitted with a SS badge. However it is unknown if this car was a real SS as it did not have the SS bonnet. 1974 Citroen SM – Longest Yard This Citroen SM featured in the 1974 film the longest Yard but is only seen in the first few scenes. In the film Reynolds takes the car from his angry girlfriend when intoxicated. She reports the car stolen and a police chase ensues, which ends with the Citroen sinking in water after being pushed off a dock. 1975 Porsche 935 replica – Cannonball Run Compared to the Dodge ambulance mentioned previously this Porsche 935 replica only stars briefly in the film and is based on a 1969 Porsche 911. However those vital scenes gave us too important parts of the film, the first was captain Chaos but also the line “anti radar paint, turbo charged. JJ, nothing can stop us now! Nothing!” As can be suspected this did not go well and the car crashes after encountering a Police roadblock. 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – Hooper This 1978 film is about an aging stuntman who wants to prove he’s still got the skills to do this risky line of work. Hooper was realised after Smokey and the Bandit which could partially explain why a Trans Am was used in Reynolds next film. The Pontiac in question was used in the second half of the film and is used for the films climatic ending where its jumps a 323ft gorge. 1978 GMC k10 stepside – Hooper Another noticeable cars used in the film Hooper is this GMC k10. In the first part of the film Reynolds drives this modified GMC pickup and it is featured in one of the films best scenes when he is pulled over by the police doing 55mph in reverse. 1971 Ford 500 – White Lightening White Lightening was released in 1973 and would be Burt Reynolds first car movie. In the film Reynolds, an ex-convict is employed by the Police to catch a corrupt sheriff who killed his brother and runs a moonshining ring. In the film Reynolds used a modified Ford 500 which was fitted with 429cu V8.
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  11. Steve looks through five Volkswagens that lasted longer in production than you might think! VW Beetle The last Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly line in Wolfsburg-German in 1978 for the hard top and 1980 for the Karman cabriolet; however that wasn’t the end of the story. Production continued in South America where there was still high demand for cheap, simple transportation at assembly plants both in Mexico and Brazil. Despite the introduction of the Golf, Beetles were still being officially imported from Mexico by Volkswagen Germany well into the1980s. Personal imports continued in small numbers, until two professional car import companies started importing larger quantities of Mexican Beetles from 1996 right up to the end of production in 2003. The Mexican Beetles were based on the late 70s body and chassis, similar to that of the 1200 but fitted with a 1600cc fuel injected engine producing 90bhp and catalytic converter. The Mexican Beetles also benefited from an electric washer bottle as opposed the vacuum system as found on the 1970s versions, as well as front disc brakes as standard. Besides these alterations the Beetle remained relatively unchanged, keeping the same suspension setup and four speed manual gearbox as found on the older versions. UK importers were generous with options lists which included right hand drive conversions, folding sunroofs, CD players and even heated windscreens. Even with the novelty factor the Mexican Beetle remains a rare sight on UK roads. Ultima Edicion Beetle VW Transporter bay window Just like the Beetle, South America was in high demand of the bay window transporter due to its versatility where both van and minibus versions were produced in Volkswagens Brazilian plant. The name was changed to kombi but the same 1970s design soldiered on with an air-cooled engine, until 2006 when new emissions rules were brought into force in Brazil. To prolong the life of the Kombi Volkswagen Brazil fitted it with a 1200cc water cooled engine which could also be found in the Fox, this not only reduced emissions but it meant the old designed gained a front radiator grill. Professional importers started bringing the kombi into the UK at the start of the Millennium, where buyers could select from a variety of interior and colour options, but more importantly allowed them to have the retro looks but within a brand new vehicle. Unfortunately progress left the Kombi behind, thanks to safety legislation production ceased in 2013. Last Edition Kombi VW golf Mk1 The first generation Golf was launched in 1974 as a direct replacement to the much loved Volkswagen Beetle. For buyers the golf was a vast improvement over the beetle, as it was available as a five door hatchback or two door cabriolet as well as having more powerful water cooled engines. Just like the Beetle the Golf developed a loyal following, and the model built on Volkswagens reputation for providing reliable family transport. The sporty Golf GTI was launched in 1975 which marked the introduction of the “hot hatch” and became a benchmark for other manufactures to follow due to its practicality and fun driving characteristics. The Mk1 Golf ceased production in Europe in 1983 for the hard top, but the cabriolet remained in production for another decade and final bowed out in 1993. However that was not the end of the story, because as we’ve seen previously in this article certain countries still required cheap and economical transportation. The Golf Mk1 continued to be produced in Africa until 2009 but was renamed Citi Golf so as to differentiate itself from the later model Golfs. The Citi Golf was available with either a 1.4, or 1.6 fuel injected engine and was available in four trim levels; CitiRox, CitiSport, TenaCiti and CitiStorm. 2003 Citi Golf VW Jetta Mk2 The Mk2 Jetta was noticeably longer, wider and taller than the previous model and was available in three and five door saloon. The second generation Jetta was released in 1984 and immediately became a sales success in America, where it outsold the Golf and even achieved bestselling European car of the year in America in 1991. In the same year the Jetta was introduced into the Chinese market in complete knock down (CKD) form, but this later changed in 1995 when China started their own production using locally sourced components. The Jetta was the first Volkswagen to be released in China but due to Volkswagens strong reputation the Jetta has become a popular choice for taxi drivers in China even despite the Mk2 Jetta production ending in 2013. VW Golf Mk4 The fourth generation Golf was introduced to the UK in mid-1998 to replace the aging mk3 model and was available in 3 or 5 door hatchback, estate or cabriolet even though the latter was just a facelifted Mk3 Golf convertible which naturally confused buyers. The Mk4 Golf brought with it various improvements over the outgoing model as it was both longer and wider than the previous model as well as being taller which all improved the cabin space. In early 2004 the Golf Mk4 was replaced by the fifth generation in continental Europe, but it continued to be sold as the Golf City in Canada and in South America until 2010. The Golf City was facelifted in 2007 and was available with either a 2.0 115hp petrol engine or a TDI engine, and sold well due to being competitively priced at $15,300 Canadian dollars. In south America the Golf City was available in either a 1.6, 1.8 or 2.0 petrol engine and was available in two trim levels.
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  12. In the sleepy Leicestershire village of Barkby there is an unusual sight, parked in the carpark of the Church View Nursey garden centre sits an old double decker bus. This in itself doesn’t sound unusual but what sets this bus apart from many other classic buses is the fact that this one has been converted into a wonderful cafe. The Mash Tun opened in July 2017 by Joe and Laura and who already have a loyal customer base. The bus cannot be missed by passers-by as it sits near the roadside and on arrival there is plenty of parking, which is ideal when the café and garden centre gets busy. Walking over to the bus I found the staff to be very friendly and welcoming, as they talk to you from a hatch in the side of the bus which was once a window. The hatch is where you’ll find the vast menu of both hot and cold food, as well as doubling up for placing your order and on this occasion I ordered a bacon and egg roll with a pot of tea. At this point you also pay for your order either with cash or card payment. Once your order has been placed, you head upstairs and take a pew on one of the up-cycled or handcrafted seating areas which cannot be denied is certainly unique. After a short wait the staff will bring your drinks up to you, followed shortly by your food order. Both of which I found were always delivered with a smile. Tucking into my bacon and egg roll I found both the bacon and egg to be fresh and superb, whilst finding the tea plentiful thanks to a large vintage style pot and presented with a cup, saucer and a biscuit on the side. The food served is either homemade, locally sourced or Fairtrade which further reinforces the quality of the food and drink on offer. The atmosphere of the café was warm with other customers seeming happy and enjoying their orders too. I would highly recommend the Mash Tun Café both for the great food and prompt service and it certainly would make a nice stop for anyone who is taking their classic car out for a run in the idyllic Leicestershire countryside. Details: Church View Nursery/Mash Tun Cafe Queniborough Road, Barkby, Leicester LE7 3QJ http://themashtuncafe.co.uk/ Opening Times: Monday: CLOSED Tuesday: 9:30am-5pm Wednesday: 9:30am-3pm Thursday: 9:30am-5pm Friday: 9:30am-5pm Saturday: 9:30am-5pm Sunday: 10am-4pm The Owners: Joe and Laura with their daughter Flo
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  13. Set off the main through fair in Syston Town centre sits a quintessentially British tea room called Occasions which oozes with charm thanks to its quirky vintage setting and lovely staff. Occasions was set up by Emma five years ago to bring something a little different to Syston by offering light lunches with sandwiches, toasties, cream teas which are combined with delicious homemade cakes in a friendly and unique setting. Walking through the door, a classic doorbell rings which is then followed by a warm welcome from Emma and her staff. You then take a seat either in the main café or in the parlour room which would not look out of place in Great Gatsby, and given time to peruse the menu before the staff come over to take your order. On this occasion (no pun intended!) I ordered the cream tea which came with a fruit scone, cream, jam and a pot of tea. After my order had been taken I only had to wait a short time before my order arrived, but I will be clear this wasn’t because I had ordered something simple as other patrons who ordered salads or sandwiches also received their food quickly and always with a smile. All food is freshly prepared and there is a great attention to detail for presentation for all orders that I could see, as well as being exquisite in taste. The food and tea was served on vintage china which only adds to the ambiance of the Tea Room. I cheekily topped off my cream tea with a piece of mouth-watering chocolate cake, which as previously mentioned is homemade and is certainly as great as it looked! I would strongly recommend this fantastic Tea Room to anyone, which is certainly ideal if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of a hectic life but also makes a lovely stop for those who fancy a vintage stop in their vintage car. Details: Occasions Tea Room 8A High St Syston Leicester LE7 1GP 0116 3191819 Opening Times: Monday: CLOSED (Except Bank Holidays & the Monday before Christmas) Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
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  14. The Mk2 Kuga was released in 2013 as a replacement for the very successful Mk1 version and has been vastly improved both in size and build quality compared to its predecessor. The current Kuga has been designed primarily in Europe under the One Ford policy whereby Ford has one vehicle for each market sector globally. This is also carried through to the assembly process whereby engines are made in the UK and the interiors are made in Detroit for example. The Mk2 Kuga has a sharper looking front end compared to the Mk1 version which has improved the aerodynamics of the Kuga whilst giving it a smarter appearance. The kuga also has good ride height which gives the Kuga great presence on the road and also off it. Like most vehicles in the SUV class the kuga is more of a softroader rather than an offroader but this won’t affect most buyers who I suspect will be buying the Kuga as a family car and thus keeping the Kuga on the tarmac. On the other hand, I feel the most offroad action the Kuga will see is around the campsite where it should perform effortlessly. There are five specification levels to choose from for the pre-facelifted Kuga which give buyers plenty of choice and means there should be a Kuga to fit all budgets. The specifications are: Zetec is the entry level model but is far from basic and comes with 17” alloys, heated front windscreen, SYNC 1 DAB radio, cruise control, electric windows front and rear, manual air conditioning, leather trimmed steering wheel with reach and rake adjustment. The Zetec is available with a 1.5 eco boost petrol engine with either 120ps or 150ps in 2WD form or 182ps in all wheel drive. But also a 2.0 litre TDCI diesel engine with 150ps in either 2WD or all-wheel drive. Titanium has all the features of the Zetec plus automatic headlights and wipers, duel zone climate control, SYNC 2 DAB in replacement of SYNC 1 on Zetec models, stainless steel scuff plates, centre armrest, leather gear knob and lumbar support for the front seats. Engines are the same as the Zetec excluding the 120ps petrol which is not offered and there is an uprated TDCI engine producing 182ps as well as the 150ps version. Titanium Sport has the same features as the Zetec and Titanium but also benefits from a bodykit, boot spoiler, 18” alloys, parking sensors front and rear, part leather seats and active park assist. Engine options are the same as per the Titanium. Titanium X has all the features and engine options as Titanium but gains 182 wheels, Xenon headlights, LED taillights, LED day time running lights, panoramic sunroof with built in sunblind, power folding mirrors and leather seats which are heated. Titanium X Sport is the top spec model and is fitted with the features from both Titanium X and Titanium Sport but has additional 19” alloys, rear view camera, rear privacy glass and aluminium roof rails. All models are offered with either a six speed manual gearbox or powershift automatic transmission. Ford haven’t skimped on safety either as all Kugas come with a 5* NCAP safety rating and are equipped with front, side, curtain and knee airbags as well as a collapsible steering column and pedal assembly. Driving the Ford Kuga The Kuga I have on test is a Titanium Sport model fitted with the 2.0TDCI 150ps engine and manual gearbox which is also fitted with the appearance pack which consists of aluminium roof rails and tinted windows as well as having power folding mirrors and sat Nav fitted. Climbing into the Kuga I found the seats very supportive, as well as very good adjustment with the reach and rake steering wheel both of which made it easy for me to find the ideal seating position. Moving onto the rear of the cabin, passengers are treated to a generous amount of leg space as well as being able to adjust the back of the seat into a reclined position. Ford have also been generous with the storage space, as the Kuga comes with deep door pockets both front and rear as well as having a sunglasses holder and good armrest storage and a glovebox. Now don’t think that with all the cabin space on offer that the boot has been compromised because this is far from the case and comes with 406 litres of boot space and the added benefit of a flat boot floor, meaning loading big items is a doddle. Furthermore, the cabin is very well thought out with all switches in easy reach and the infotainment screen which is both clear and well positioned so as to not distract the driver. I found the Sat Nav easy to use and gave clear instructions in plenty of time before the change of direction but did have live traffic updates which could be hit and miss at times and would tell me of an issue whilst being stuck in it. The air conditioning system is also very good and there is an array of vents to distribute the air evenly about the cabin. The Bluetooth connectivity is another standard feature and again, is easy to operate for making phone calls and receiving texts messages which can be both read on the screen or played through the speakers. Driving the Kuga is a pleasant affair and I found the diesel engine both smooth and quiet for general driving, but engine noise would become apparent if the Kuga was pushed hard and naturally a car like this is more comfortable being driven more sedately. This was also clear in the MPG figures as when the Kuga was pushed hard the MPG would tumble but when driven sensibly I was getting between 41.8-43.0mpg with a mixture of town, country and motorway driving. I must admit that despite the Kuga's size it handled very well and found the suspension setup very compliant and had good rebound but I would suspect the ride to be slightly firmer on the 19” wheels fitted on higher spec’d models. One drawback I found with the Kuga's driving characteristics was the level of tyre/road noise entering the cabin but this could be partly down to the Continental tyres fitted to this particular car. The steering too was very good, being light but with plenty of feel and made me feel like I was driving a family hatchback rather than an SUV. The only other drawback I found with the Kuga was the amount of wind noise experienced but again this is partly down to the Kuga’s size and is a small price to pay for its many advantages. The Motorists Guide View: The second generation Ford Kuga had big shoes to fill when compared to the outgoing model but I feel it has lived up to its predecessor’s reputation of being a practical and well-designed SUV, but more importantly a great family car. With the wide range of specifications and engine options on offer, there is sure to be a Kuga to accommodate all tastes. Also, I feel that good build quality combined with all-round versatility makes the Kuga a serious contender in the SUV market and one well worth considering when you are looking to change your current car. https://fave.co/2wPiV6Z Dimensions Length: 4524mm Width with mirrors: 2077mm Height: 1689mm Curb Weight: 1580Kg
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  15. The Mazda 2 is now into its third generation here in the UK and marks a step forward for Mazda, as it is the first small car in over 20 years that Mazda has designed and built without using Ford Fiesta underpinnings. The current model, released in 2015 has also moved away from the curvy lines and bubble shape of the previous model and has adopted a sharper front end partly in thanks to a raked bonnet angle. There is a great range of specifications for buyers to choose from and one to suit all budgets which are listed below and are correct as of 2018: SE+ which is only available with the 75ps 1.5 litre engine and 5 speed manual gearbox. RRP: £13,295 and is fitted with 15” alloy wheels, electric folding mirrors, dual airbags, curtain airbags and hill hold assist. SE-L+ is available with the same mechanical configuration with RRP: £14,095 and is fitted with SE+ features as well as automatic headlights, LED front foglights, electric windows front and rear, climate air conditioning, Bluetooth and cruise control. SE-L Nav + has the option of a 90ps 1.5 litre engine with either a 5 speed manual or 6 speed automatic gearbox. £14,895 RRP manual or £16,195RRP automatic and has all the SE-L plus features as well as a 7” touch screen with sat nav and a DAB digital radio. Sport Nav+ has the same engine and gearbox options as the SE-L Nav + with the manual set at £15,695 RRP and £16,995 RRP for the automatic. The Sport Nav has all the features of the SE-L Nav+ but with added sporting flair. As such this spec comes with 16” wheels, rear spoiler, chrome exhaust trim, tinted windows but also comes with the convenience of parking sensors, keyless entry and rain sensing wipers. Sport black+ is available with the 90ps 1.5 litre engine and 5 speed manual gearbox and is priced at £15,995 RRP. This spec is fitted with all the features of the Sport Nav+ but with an added bodykit and certain body parts painted in black. GT Sport Nav+ is available with the 90ps 1.5 litre engine or the 115ps 1.5 litre engine. The latter is the most powerful engine on offer. This spec is available with either the 5 speed manual or a 6 speed manual. £16,495 RRP for the 5 speed manual or £17,095 RRP for the 6 speed. This is the top spec Mazda 2 and is fitted with all the Sport Nav + features as well as having leather/suede seats where the front seats are heated, leather steering wheel, reverses camera, and lane departure warning. Driving the Mazda 2 The model I have on test is a 2016 Se-L Nav model, fitted with the mid-range 1.5 petrol engine producing 89BHP and mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. Mazda describes the Mazda 2 as a sporty supermini which can be felt through firm but compliant suspension and the snappy gear changes. However, I found I needed some time to adjust to the Mazda 2 steering characteristics, as the steering was far too light and found it does not help build confidence to push the car hard into the bends. The 1.5 petrol engine is both economical and quiet in town and on the motorway, but found a vibration through the pedals when the engine was pushed into the higher rev range. Moving into the cabin it is clear that the interior is well put together but seems slightly bland in my opinion and a little tight on the right hand side for the driver. The dashboard is nicely curved and all the controls are where you expect them to be, the exception is the dial to controlling the infotainment system which is set too far back and thus making it harder to reach. Furthermore, certain design features appeared borrowed from other manufacturers, a good example are the air vents which appear to be borrowed from the current Audi A3 as well as the hazard switch which seemed to remind me of one found in the Vauxhall Nova. The cabin isn’t all bad though, there’s plenty of space for rear passengers and more than you get in the Ford Fiesta. The boot is a good size too, with 280 litres of space but there is a lip which will make lifting heavy or big items slightly cumbersome. The Mazda 2 also has plenty of storage space in other areas, including front door pockets that can hold water bottles and space for mobile phones. This particular Mazda 2 is well spec’d, being equipped with Bluetooth, Satnav, cruise control and a novelty nowadays – a CD player. This last feature is great for those like me who haven’t embraced the 21st Century yet. I found the Sat Nav easy to use and I liked that you could search over the map and look at the surrounding areas, perfect if you get lost as I did when taking a detour. My only complaint with the Sat Nav was that at one point it froze and the only way to resolve the issue was to turn off the ignition and restart the engine but I admit this may be a fault with this particular Mazda 2. The radio is of good quality too and as you would expect it’s a DAB digital radio which like the Sat Nav was easy to use. I did find that whilst driving at higher speeds there was a lot of road and wind noise which meant the radio had to be turned up but even at high volumes the radio performed well. On the other hand, when the radio was turned off and had the wipers on I could hear the rear wiper motor whirring which did get irritating after a while but I guess that’s what the radio is for! The Motorist Guide Opinion: In my opinion the Mazda 2 is a midrange supermini, it’s not the worst in class but it’s not the best either. A definitive plus point is the 1.5 litre engine as it is more economical than the 1.5 litre engine you’ll find in the MG3 and as previously mentioned the rear legroom is better than what you’ll find on a Ford Fiesta. But I felt the steering let the car down due to it being too light for my taste as well as the interior being slightly bland, although well-built and well spec’d. However, I do think the current Mazda 2 will be a good seller, partly due to being keenly priced in line with the competition but also its an improvement on the previous model.
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  16. Brightest performance halogen without compromising on life Driving at night is challenging. There is a reduction in a driver’s overall vision, objects are unclear and road signs are less obvious from further away. To improve visibility, Ring has once again set the standards in vehicle lighting with the launch of the new Xenon150 performance halogen bulb. Xenon150 puts up to 150% more light on the road compared to a standard bulb without compromising the operating life, making it the longest lasting +150% bulb on the market. Xenon150 uses the latest advancements in filament technology. The filament has been engineered to be shorter, with a tighter wound coil to produce a brighter, whiter light output. When combined with 100% xenon gas in the glass envelope, the result is up to 150% more light on the road. Xenon150 also produces an 80m longer beam pattern, allowing other road users to be seen more clearly and give you more time to react to potential hazards when you need to. At 3700K, the light output is closer to daylight, providing better reflections from road markings and signs. Vehicle Lighting Product Manager, Matthew Flaherty comments: “Development of the Xenon150 has been complex and is something that all those involved in the process at Ring are proud of. We have engineered a brighter light that complies with all the legal regulations for light output, without compromising on the operating life when compared to our other performance halogens.” Xenon150 bulbs are available in popular H4 and H7 references, which are street legal and are a simple upgrade from standard bulbs, requiring no changes to vehicle wiring. Xenon150 is the ideal option for motorists who want more light for a brighter, more enjoyable night time driving experience. Follow this link to see which Bulbs will fit your car Fitting Notes: Something to note when fitting Halogen bulbs is to avoid touching the glass prior to fitting as the oily residue from skin can create a hotspot on the bulb which can lead to it failing prematurely. If you do inadvertently touch the glass, then you can clean it before fitting by using a lint-free cloth and if available some alcohol-based cleaning solution to remove the marks. It is always best to use Latex gloves to fit the bulbs and avoid touching the glass directly.
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  17. THE ‘ALL-NEW FIESTA HAS MATURED INTO A VERY PLEASANT SMALL CAR, WITH A BIG CAR FEEL ! OVERVIEW The all-new Fiesta is available in Style, Zetec (B + O Play and Navigation versions), Titanium (B + O Play and X versions), Vignale, ST-Line and ST-Line X. An all-new ‘Active’ Fiesta is due out in 2018, the first Fiesta ever to feature SUV styling. Engines available in both Petrol and Diesel – 1.0 EcoBoost, 1.1 Ti-VCT, 1.5 TDCi Duratorq and variety of power output applies across the engine range. Body styles are 3 doors and 5 doors with 6-speed Manual or Automatic Transmission options. ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN The 1.0 litre EcoBoost Petrol engine (as road tested) has an output of 100PS and with Auto-Start-Stop technology to comply with emissions standards for many years ahead. With power output from the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine being comparable to a 1.6-litre engine with performance enhanced by turbocharging, delivering both economy and driveability without compromise. The 1.5 litre TDCi Diesel engine output of 85 PS and economy figures quoted of 88.3 mpg (combined) with CO2 emissions of just 82-84 g/km. A 120 PS engine gives you 88.3 mpg (combined) and CO2emissions of 89 g/km. EXTERIOR The all-new Ford Fiesta exterior is still easily identifiable by its unique styling as Britain’s most popular but with a more up-to-date image. The Fiesta now comes with the option of a two-part, glass panoramic roof that either tilts or slides back over the rear roof section to create a light and airy interior. Whilst the roof allows natural light to flood in, solar reflective glass keeps you cool and protects you from UV rays. An electrically operated roof blind also enables you to cover or reveal the roof at the press of a button Halogen projector headlights with daytime running lights. A useful night-driving aid, Auto High Beam temporarily dips the headlights when it detects oncoming traffic or a vehicle ahead, stopping you dazzling other drivers. It then automatically reverts back to high beam, giving you maximum visibility. Body coloured electrically-operated and heated door mirrors with side indicators incorporate a Blind Spot Information System uses RADAR sensors to scan the blind spots on either side of the car. If they detect a vehicle you can’t see, an orange light that’s clearly displayed in the corresponding side door mirror illuminates to warn you. If you’re reversing out of a space, and have limited visibility of the traffic situation, Cross Traffic Alert can detect oncoming vehicles and sound a warning. The technology also illuminates a light in the wing mirror: left or right depending on the direction of oncoming traffic. Body coloured bumpers with mesh grille and body colour spoiler, door and liftgate handles further enhance the look of the All-New Fiesta. INTERIOR The Style version was used for the road test, however, there are many other features available for other variants within the range, either as standard or as an option, such as an Openable panorama roof and leather heated seats & steering wheel To further enhance the interior space, the Fiesta gives you more front and rear legroom than ever before by redesigning the rear seats to have sculpted, slim backs, therefore, the passengers can sit further back. Ford SYNC 3 is a state-of-the-art system that enables you to stay connected and control your phone, music and navigation system with intuitive voice commands, or an 8” colour touchscreen. It connects to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too, and with Applink, you can access smartphone apps, including Spotify. Live Traffic can also help avoid the jams. The Fiesta now sports Emergency Lights so that if you have to brake hard for an emergency, the hazard warning lights come on automatically to alert other drivers. The brake lights flash too, providing following vehicles with some advance warning of a potentially dangerous situation. In addition to the driver and passenger front airbags, side airbags provide thorax protection and are designed to direct the occupant away from the impact area. They’re also able to raise the arm of the occupant providing better space between them and the intruding structure. Curtain airbags provide maximum coverage and headrests offer protection from whiplash. With front and rear seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, plus seatbelt minders. TECHNOLOGY The Lane-Keeping System – including Lane-Keeping Alert and Lane-Keeping Aid works incredibly well but did have a tendency to seem violent in its approach to taking back control which can be a little disconcerting but overall, the accuracy of the system is not lacking in the slightest and is a very useful safety feature. Some of the following features are available as an option across the range: LED Night Signature to rear lights Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Alert Auto High Beam Rain sensing wipers Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Alert Power-foldable door mirrors with puddle lights Rear privacy glass Partial leather sports style front seats Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC) Cruise Control Ford SYNC 3 Navigation with 8″ Touchscreen Centre console with armrest, openable stowage and 12 V power point Auto-dimming rear-view mirror ROAD TEST SUMMARY First thoughts when driving it were how the 1.0 EcoBoost engine responded much akin to the performance from a 1.6 litre and also how the interior cabin area gives the impression of a seemingly much larger car. Accessing the interior was generally quite uneventful, considering it was the three-door version and where it seems that most modern cars appear to work on the principle of design over function, no heads were bashed on door pillars on entry and the dashboard did not claim any knees either! Accessing the interior was generally quite uneventful, considering it was the three-door version and where it seems that most modern cars appear to work on the principle of design over function, no heads were bashed on door pillars on entry and the dashboard did not claim any knees either! The Fiesta is relatively easy to navigate through all the myriad of controls and electronic wizardry such as the Bluetooth connectivity, which was incredibly easy to sync and control through the cars’ audio system. Engine starting is via the push-button and incorporates ‘stop-start’ technology, although no keyless entry. Hill Start Assist was useful when manoeuvring on a slope on the odd occasion. Safety and driver assistance technology contribute to leaving you with the belief that you are driving something that will get you to your destination safely and allow to feel quite relaxed even after a long distance. The relief of the car being able to facilitate your driving, and in some cases making better judgements in situations such as distance control and lane guidance, all of which can result in draining the drivers’ energy after some time at the wheel. Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control with Pre-Collision Assist is definitely a safety enhancement that is essential for safe driving at any speed. Ford has utilised the onboard technology to enhance the system to be an incredibly reliable and useful safety aid. Once used, it becomes difficult to switch off and solely rely on your own reactions. The system also features Traffic Sign recognition to allow the driver to set the speed limiting to stay legal at all times. Fuel economy was good but given the roads used, traffic conditions and speed travelled, we obtained between 49 – 53 mpg overall. For the size of the engine and the superb drivability experience, it is really quite hard to complain at those figures. The full-length opening panoramic glass roof is superb for allowing in natural light but stopping the harmful UV rays from swamping the interior. With the addition of the pop-up windbreak at the front reducing wind noise, it all seems to work very well. Overall, the all-new Fiesta is a car loaded with useable technology and features usually reserved for much more expensive and up-market brands but delivers a similar ‘feel good factor’ from the driving experience with a smaller price tag. Click here to see Ford Fiesta Mk8 models for sale TECHNICAL INFORMATION Engine 1.0 EcoBoost (998cc DOHC Turbocharged Direct Injection) Transmission 6 speed Manual (front wheel drive) Power (bhp / kW) 100 (74) Torque (Nm) 170 Mpg (Combined) 65.7 (extra-urban) 78.5 (urban) 52.3 Max Speed (mph) – 124 0-62 Mph (secs) 10.5 Insurance Group 10E Emissions Euro 6 CO2 (g/km) 97 Dimensions Length: 4040 mm, Width: 1735 mm, Width (with mirrors): 1941 mm, Height: 1476 mm Above information based on Fiesta Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost COST (effective from September 2017) Style – from £11,995 Zetec B+O Play – from £13,995 Zetec Navigation – from £14,515 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec – from £14.795 (model road tested) All prices are based on Dealer ‘On the Road’ price, including 20% VAT ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Original article written for the Ford Owners Club www.fordownersclub.com Special thanks to Evans Halshaw, Bedford for the loan of the Ford Fiesta used for road test For more information about the Ford Fiesta visit: www.evanshalshaw.com/dealers/ford-bedford/
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  18. So why don’t we all drive Hybrid cars? They’re slow, ugly and don’t inspire us on our daily commute….really? Just check out the BMW i8, Lexus RX450h, Porsche Panamera Hybrid and many more new models appearing every year. Originally, Hybrid cars produced by Toyota and Honda were a slightly lacking in visual appeal, however, over the past twenty years, Hybrid vehicle technology has improved to a level where some of the Worlds’ fastest racing cars are in fact Hybrid powered. Economy, durability and performance have all increased over time with the advent of new technological advances in science and engineering. Even looks have improved to satisfy our demanding aesthetic appeal. The majority of vehicle manufacturers are now onboard with the idea that consumers are becoming more environmentally aware when it comes to road transport and are demanding more miles per gallon and lower emissions for cheaper motoring. The environment also is demanding change with the introduction of strict new laws in cities to reduce the pollution created by conventional internal combustion engines. When it comes to fuel economy, none of us likes to pay out money to travel in our cars and hence the reason we constantly search for more economical solutions. Switching to a Hybrid vehicle is one such solution but it is also a lifestyle choice when it comes to which one to pick. Does the purchaser need a family car or maybe it is a performance car that is required but without the guilty conscience? Fortunately, there are now many choices available from the sedate shopping car to the high-performance supercar, all of which cost little to run and won’t destroy the planet. So what about durability and reliability I hear you ask? Well, seeing as Toyota and Honda have been producing Hybrid cars for around twenty years and they are still running today on original battery packs, then this should provide some confidence in their longevity. Reliability is also right up there, with the exception of the occasional battery cell (which is available as a single replacement unit nowadays) and the sometimes temperamental inverter playing up, in general reliability is superb. Value for money is something that is close to many purchasers’ heart, therefore, the decision to spend more quite a bit more money on a Hybrid over a conventional car is not one to be taken lightly. Research has shown that due to demand and increased popularity of used Hybrid vehicles, prices are staying high and represent a great residual value over many years. And finally, probably the most important reason for anyone wanting to switch to a Hybrid vehicle is that you would be reducing emissions and helping to do your part for the environment. Hybrids generally emit 90% less emissions than a conventional petrol or diesel car by using Electro-Motive Power to assist the Internal Combustion Engine. In addition to this, because the engine doesn’t have to work so hard to propel the vehicle to speed, a smaller capacity and different design of engine can be used which is also much less polluting than it’s rivals. How about Government incentives? Vehicle Excise Duty is also lower and there are incentives for inner-city usage which all adds up to saving money. So what are you waiting for? Go on, you know you want one!
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  19. Tom Barnard, a local author, racing driver, engineer, boat builder, track designer, car designer along with a string of other accomplishments. His book 'I gathered no moss', an autobiography detailing his fascinating life story His book starts with the advent of WW1 when his father returned from the war and purchased Bluepool at Furzebrooke. He then set about landscaping the grounds with rare plants and trees. Soon enough, tourists started flocking to this wonderful place of tranquillity. WW2 then disrupted proceedings and Tom writes about the Army taking over the land and buildings, overhead dogfights and near misses from exploding bombs. After the war, he schooled at Eton and entered into a social life in London. Around this time, he got interested in Engineering but also in Motor Racing. This was the golden era for racing and he was fortunate enough to compete in races with the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss and driving cars for Colin Chapman at Lotus. A few years later on, he decided to adapt his engineering business to small-scale racing cars that children (or an adult) could race on any track, The Barnard Formula Six. The car could be adapted so that it was safe for any youngster to drive at a very early age and the controls were within reach of a supervising adult. His early childhood, first in South Africa and then in South Dorset was suddenly interrupted by World War Two. The Barnards were evicted from their house, which became a military hospital, and bombs soon became part of daily life. After schooling near Swanage, and then at Eton, Tom was called up for National Service in the Army. He then spent sixteen years in his chosen profession of engineering but managed, during this time, to fit in seven years as a racing driver, mostly with Lotus. His invention of the Barnard Formula Six miniature racing car earned him enormous publicity in the UK and abroad with over four hundred models sold. This was followed by boat building, classic car restoration and then four years helping to develop Silverstone Circuit. His success with race track designing led to projects in a dozen countries spread over a further twelve years. Finally, with a quiet life in mind, he began a study of his family history and the writing of his book. The fourteen chapters confirm that the title is fully justified. He has been throughout his life, a true rolling stone. Buy this Book here
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  20. It cannot be denied that the Ford Escort has become a British motoring icon, and most people in the UK have encountered one. Either by your parents owning one, your mate’s dad owning one or having a ride in one to be dropped off into town. Since the launch of the Ford Escort in 1967 more than 4.1 million were built but now the Escort is becoming more of a rarity on our roads, but this should come as no surprise as the last one rolled off the production line in 2001 in the UK. The MK5 Escort was first launched in 1991 to replace the aging Mk4 variant and despite having a whole new body the mechanicals were transferred over from the Mk4 which meant buyers still made do with the HCS or CVH engines. As can be expected neither the motoring press nor consumers were fooled and as such the Mk5 got some negative press, excluding the RS2000. Ford set to rectify this in the later part of 1992 when the Mk5b escort was launched, which boasted the brand new 16 valve Zetec engines as well as slight cosmetic tweaks and a stiffer body. This meant the Mk5b ended up with a similar front to the Mk5 but a rear that resembled the Mk6. In 1995 the Escort received its final facelift which became known as the Mk6 which included newly designed bumpers, bonnet and headlights. The alterations weren’t just cosmetic as the Escort gained a new interior including, dashboard and seats but equally as important improved handling. Throughout the Escorts production run both manual and automatic gearboxes were available, and in manual form the Escorts with the 105bhp Zetec or less had the IB5 gearbox which was taken directly from the Mk1 Fiesta. The 130bhp Zetec and RS2000 were fitted with the MTX75 gearbox which is believed to be tougher. Over the Escorts 10 year production run there were various models and special editions produced, a brief summary includes: L – entry level with wind up windows and no power steering on early cars LX – gained electric windows and power steering Finesse – gained air conditioning instead of the sunroof as well as alloy wheels. Mexico – only available on the Mk6 and unfortunately was just a special edition with special interior trim and white dials. Ghia – plusher seats, rear headrests, air con, electric mirrors, electric windows and electric sunroof Ghia SI - only available on the Mk5b and was designed to be a sporty 5 door, with RS2000 wheels, wooden inserts on the dash and door cards. Ghia X – Only available on the Mk6 and boasted leather seats and wood dash inserts on top of the usual Ghia trim. XR3i – only available on the Mk5/Mk5b and fitted with a 1.8 Zetec engine which either came with 105bhp or 130bhp and sporty interior. GTI – only available on the Mk6 and replaced the XR3i trim and gained half leather interior, sideskirts and rear bumper spats as well as Cosworth look alike alloy wheels. RS2000 – available in Mk5, Mk5b and Mk6 forms and in 4x4. They were all fitted with a 2.0 litre engine, upgraded gearbox and suspension on top of having disc brakes fitted front and rear. Driving the Escort Now I appreciate that the Escort will drive differently depending on the model and engine but on test I have a 1993 Mk5b LX 5 door model, which is fitted with the 1.6 Zetec 90bhp engine and IB5 5 speed gearbox. I have to admit this particular Escort is in very good condition for a 25 year old car, and with no visible signs of rust which is surprising as the Escort was notorious for rusting on the rear arches and sills. On unlocking the car manually by placing the key in the door I slide into the brightly coloured driver’s seat. On getting into this car it is amazing how our tastes have changed as beside the black dash the seats are a vibrant colour, but I appreciate not all Escorts were like that. It also amazed me how airy this car is, thanks to thin pillars and large windows which helped greatly with all round visibility. The dashboard is simple but well laid out, and you can see where switchgear has been taken from Fords from the 1980s. After putting in the immobiliser key I turn the ignition and the Zetec engine bursts into life, that for me is testament to the Zetec engines build quality. I wonder how many older Ford engines start on the first turn of the key? And to make it clear the engine on this Escort has never been apart and has covered 112,000 miles. On the open road you have to drive the Escort as there are no electronic aids to help you, not even Anti-Lock Brakes unless selected from the options list. The benefit of this is that it gives you a greater feel of what the car is doing but it can become slightly fidgety if you hit bumps in the road too hard at speed, as the suspension doesn’t absorb the bumps as well as a modern car. This may have well been improved on the Mk6 model but some care is required as the steering can be slightly vague, but this is almost to be expected as the car is a quarter of a century old. The 1.6 Zetec naturally aspirated engine being revolutionary in its day isn’t going to win any drag races against modern cars as I found it accelerated the same as a modern 1.2 Fiat 500. None the less it made a refreshing change compared to the small turbocharged engines you find in modern day hatchbacks and it had no problem travelling at motorway speeds. However, at higher speeds wind noise becomes prevalent which requires the radio to be turned up. But then again, I am not surprised due to the age of the window rubbers. The gearbox was smooth, but it could have benefited from a 6th gear to help quieten the engine at motorway speeds. Overall, I enjoyed driving the Escort as I felt more involved with the driving experience compared with modern cars as I found it bare bones motoring. To buy one as an appreciating classic will depend on the spec and condition, but I would expect prices to rise in the next few years once the Mk4 Escort prices rise the same way as the models before it. But until that time I feel the Mk5 and Mk6 Escort are still considered as disposable but in light of that, now might be the perfect time to buy one. Click here to see Ford Escorts for sale : The Escort models that I consider will become desirable and classic are: RS2000 4x4 RS2000 2WD XR3I GTI – both 3 and 5 door but more so the former. Ghia SI Early mk5 models – early production run Final production run cars Most cabriolet models Potentially classics: Mexico Ghia Ghia X Please note I have deliberately excluded the Escort Cosworth from this article as it is a guaranteed future classic.
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  21. Steve reviews Roadside Relics American's abandoned automobiles With over 250 large colour pictures Roadside Relics America's abandoned automobiles highlights some of America's lost or forgotten vehicles in breath taking locations, which the author has found on his many travels around the United States. The book has 208 pages which the author has used to cover most American vehicle manufacturers from AMC through to Willy's, and gives an insight into the manufacturer or vehicle model in question. About the author: Will Shiers is a motoring journalist who has written regular features for Classic American magazine and is currently the editor for Commercial Motor magazine. He has travelled the United States for over a decade collecting pictures for this book and the results speak for themselves. The Motorists Guide view: Needless to say I couldn't put the book down and thoroughly enjoyed reading every page. So whether you love classic cars, American cars or abandoned cars or locations then this is a must have for you. Bibliographic information: Publisher: Motorbooks Publication: 2010 RRP: 14.99 ISBN: 978-0-7603-3984-8 Binding: paperback Extent: 208 Illustrations: 250+ Also available on Kindle
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  22. A diesel – yes, diesel – Chrysler 300C can be a mighty fine used buy: well equipped, square jawed, reliable, roomy, 35mpg and priced from £2500. We report Given how buyers are fleeing diesels, it might seem perverse to be championing an old EU4-emissions oil-burner worth thousands of pounds in scrappage allowance. Of course, most of the buyers doing the fleeing are of the new car variety. Their poorer (or more sensible) used car cousins are less squeamish. To them, a Chrysler 300C CRD, a sort of Vauxhall Senator for the noughties, makes total sense. Yes, it costs £305 to tax but it has a 215bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel producing a stump-pulling 376lb ft under the bonnet, driving the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic gearbox. It does 35mpg on a good day too. All this and prices start from just £2500. The 300C was one of Daimler-Chrysler’s few success stories. Based to a large extent on quality Mercedes mechanicals, it was comfortable and surprisingly good to drive and boasted real presence – and that’s without a Bentley grille. It arrived in saloon form in late 2005 powered by a choice of petrol engines: a fairly unremarkable 3.0 V6 and a more charismatic 5.7 V8 Hemi. The V6’s starting price of just £25,750 registered more than a ripple in the executive pond dominated by BMW and Mercedes, but what made a splash, a few months later in January 2006, was the more rounded CRD diesel, also costing £25,750. It was followed in the summer by the range-topping SRT-8, powered by a 6.1-litre V8 Hemi and dressed to impress with Brembo brake calipers and sharpened suspension. By rights, it’s the one we should be talking about, but it’s rare. The CRD diesel is much more plentiful and at a range of prices peaking at a ludicrous £12,000 for a mint, last-of-the-line 2010-reg CRD SRT-Design. The CRD is no pushover, either, with 0-62mph possible in 7.4sec. In any case, the SRT-8 was eclipsed by the arrival, also in summer 2006, of the 300C estate. It’s called the Touring and, thanks to its long, low roof, it looks even meaner and certainly sportier than the saloon. Sensibly, the mid-life facelift in 2008 left the 300C’s imposing nose unchanged. (It took the gen-2 version of 2012 to bland it out.) Instead, the rear lights were tweaked but, more important, the interior got a mild makeover and better leather. The CRD SRT-Design, inspired by the SRT-8 but without the power and handling tweaks, arrived too. Standard equipment from launch was good and included a sat-nav, a premium music system, heated leather seats and even an adjustable pedal set. But today, reliability and rust will be the no-cost extras buyers will be concerned about. Amazingly, for all the 300C’s solidly steel construction, corrosion doesn’t appear to be an issue. The diesel engine is a solid old thing too. Instead, it’s electrical gremlins that plague some cars. For these you need a clued-up specialist. Find one, find a good 300C CRD – and laugh in the face of scrappage. HOW TO GET ONE IN YOUR GARAGE: An expert’s view - ROGER BUDDEN, ROGER BUDDEN AUTOMOBILES: “Great value, comfortable and reliable: that’s how I’d describe the 300C. The diesel estate is the best version. It’s popular with sole traders, who’d rather have one than a van, and caravanners, who like its 2000kg braked towing capacity. Dog lovers like it, too, because of the removable load floor cover. It’s a tri-fold thing and, if you lift it away, there’s a useful additional space in which you can stand a large dog. Check it has the removable waterproof liner. Even with the low roof, load space is 1602 litres, more than the equivalent Audi A6 Avant and Saab 9-5 estate.” Buyer beware... ENGINE - Early diesels can suffer swirl port motor problems, resulting in a loss of power. Custom300cshop.co.uk has a patent £50 fix that sorts it. Check the starter motor turns because oil can leak past the gearbox seal onto it. Stalling after starting could be a sticky fuel control valve in the tank intended to prevent overfilling. Check surplus oil isn’t escaping from the filler neck onto the alternator because that’ll wreck it. GEARBOX - Check the underside of the gearbox for oil coming from a failed O-ring where electrical wiring passes through. Low-speed rumbling on a steady throttle could be the torque converter. Listen for a noisy diff. SUSPENSION AND BRAKES - It’s very heavy on front suspension. Lower front arm bushes let go at around 40k miles, so listen for clonking over bumps. Check the rear handbrake isn’t seized. ELECTRICS - The multi-plug for the tyre pressure monitoring system is located under the front nearside bumper. It can get wet from the road and from steam washing, and short circuits, upsetting the electrical system. Remove it and dry it. Check the wiring harness under the bonnet on the nearside inner wing hasn’t been burned by air-con pipes. Inspect the condition of the two WCM fuse boxes (engine bay and dashboard). INTERIOR - On pre-2008 cars, the leather on the driver’s seat bolster is prone to cracking. Trim plastics are easily scratched. Check the power seats work. The heating and ventilation system is prone to electrical gremlins. Also worth knowing: “Find a good specialist garage and cherish it,” says Paul Gizzi of custom300cshop.co.uk. He recommends 300cforums.com as a good source of technical information and advice. Try chryslerbreakers.co.uk for spares. It can supply body panels in most colours. How much to spend: £2500-£3749 - Early (2005-2007) CRD saloons and estates with around 110k miles. £3750-£4995 - Tidier 2006-2008 saloons and estates with sub-100k miles and good histories. £5000-£7495- High-mileage 2009 saloons and estates. Lower-mileage 2007-2008 cars. £7500-£9990 - Mid-mileage 2010 and low-mileage 2008-2009 cars, plus a rare 2006 SRT-8 with 65k miles for £9250. £9995-£11,995 - Low-mileage 2010 and first gen-2 cars. One we found: CHRYSLER 300C 3.0 CRD ESTATE 2008/08, 70K MILES, £5695: This private-sale car has full service history, a fresh MOT and two former keepers. It also has refurbished alloy wheels with almost new tyres. “Everything works as it should,” claims the seller. “Has to go because I’ve found a gorgeous new Jag.” John Evans View the full article
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  23. The Lexus SC430 long-haul comfort and its build quality is impervious to high mileage - here's how to get one for as little as £2750 Marmite comes in many forms, including this, the Lexus SC430 of 2001 to 2009. To most folk, it’s an ugly thing strangled at birth by clumsy handling and a lumpy ride, made brittle by run-flat tyres. Changes to the suspension in 2002 and 2004 improved things but mud sticks and it stuck especially well to this wannabe alternative to the Mercedes-Benz SL. Click here to see used Lexus SC for sale on PistonHeads Today, the SC is still no looker but it is different from the herd and on paper it has the kind of specification we’ll soon be drooling over in motor museums: a naturally aspirated 282bhp 4.3-litre V8 driving the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic gearbox, double-wishbone suspension and a folding aluminium roof. (No, it’s not broken. It really does take 25sec to do its thing.) The 2+2 cabin is a gadget-lover’s paradise and, this being a Lexus, you won’t have to worry about any of it not working. The climate control system can sense whether the roof is open or closed, as well as the speed the car is travelling at and the ambient temperature, and automatically direct chilled or warm air as necessary. There’s a knockout Mark Levinson sound system, powered and heated seats, electrically adjustable steering column and a touchscreen sat-nav. Obviously, the touchscreen system is seriously dated but cartronics.co.uk can swap in a state-of-the-art one that’ll talk to the Mark Levinson music centre for £2200. Pay a little more and they’ll wire in a reversing camera. It all fits snugly into the original space. The cabin is trimmed in leather and those door and fascia cappings are real wood, shaped and lacquered with the help of musical instrument makers Yamaha. Everything is finished and screwed together beautifully, qualities that serve today’s used SCs very well. Prices start at around £3000 for a 2002 car with 110,000 miles. If it’s a late 2002 model, there’s a chance it has the tweaked suspension that brought improvements to the ride, handling and refinement. Still not satisfied, Lexus added new dampers and tuned the chassis in late 2004. The result was a more absorbent ride, allied to sharper handling. These mid-life cars start at around £7500. In 2005, the SC was mildly facelifted with revised bumpers and redesigned 18in alloy wheels. SC owners are loyal and fastidious so you’ll find a lot of cherished cars with just one or two former keepers, full Lexus histories and reasonably low mileages. Even the youngest cars are now nine years old, so expect some wear-and-tear-related issues. However, the first are as old as 17. On these, check for underbody rust, clonky suspension, evidence of timing belt and water pump replacement, healthy fluid levels and a smooth gearbox. At all ages, oxygen sensors and the tyre pressure monitoring system are weak points. Still want one? Good – Marmite’s quite nice, once you get used to it. Click here to see used Lexus SC for sale on PistonHeads An expert’s view Lee Massey, owner: “I’m a former Lexus technician and have owned two SC430s, including my current car, a 2004/04 with 80,000 miles. I remember the SC430 from my Lexus days as being reliable and well built and my used ones haven’t given me any trouble. If you like wafting about in something powerful and different that isn’t going to give you sleepless nights worrying about repair bills, it’s hard to beat.” Buyer beware… ENGINE - Some head gasket failures have been recorded due to very low coolant levels. Check the condition of the lower radiator, which can leak into the gearbox oil cooler. Likewise, fluid from the gearbox can leak into the coolant. The oxygen sensor in the exhaust system can fail. Check the starter motor works okay since it’s located inconveniently beneath the inlet manifold, which has to be removed to replace it. The vapour canister is there, too, and these can fail, expensively. Timing belt change is every 100,000 miles. Water pump should be changed at the same time since it’s a weak spot, as is the centre belt tensioner. GEARBOX - It should be very smooth. If juddery, suspect coolant contamination. Transmission fluid should be changed every 45,000 miles. WHEELS, BRAKES AND SUSPENSION - Check for worn top suspension arms at the rear and worn front wheel bearings. If the ride on early cars is rough, suspect the front control arm bushes. Listen for clunks from here too. Steel parts in the aluminium suspension can rot. Check the brake pipes’ condition. Ensure the tyre pressure monitoring system works. Some owners disable it as the valves fail but it’s an MOT issue. Steering wheel noise when turning could be the spiral cable (an expensive repair). BODY - Check for underbody corrosion, especially at the rear around the back axle and subframe. FOLDING HARD-TOP - Position sensors can fail with lack of use. Check for leaks caused by perished seals and for roof corrosion. INTERIOR - Ensure the music system is fault-free: subwoofer and door speakers can fail. Also worth knowing Amazingly, you can still buy an approved used SC430 from Lexus. At time of writing, there were seven, ranging from £10,990 to £16,995. How much to spend £2750-£3500 - A cluster of high-mileage (120k) 2002- reg cars with partial service histories. £4995-£6995 - Mix of 2002-2003 cars with 100k miles in good condition, most with full service histories and few previous owners. £7000-£8995 - Mainly 2004-2005 cars with around 75k miles. £9000-£10,995 Mostly 2005-2007 cars, circa 70k miles. £11,000-£13,995 - More 2007 cars with around 50k miles. £14,000-£16,995 The best late-plate cars. One we found - Lexus SC430, 2004/54, 70K MILES, £7995 This SC has full Lexus service history, including recent timing belt replacement. It’s a mid-2004 model with the revised suspension set-up designed to cure the model’s questionable ride and handling. Autocar judged the changes to be successful. Click here to see used Lexus SC for sale on PistonHeads John Evans Read more View the full article
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  24. The complete history of one of the most famous 4x4s of all time The Land Cruiser is Toyota’s longest continually produced model. From its start as a utility vehicle built during a period of economic gloom and uncertainty after the Second World War, it is now a well-equipped, luxurious and highly capable prestige SUV. This book covers all the changes that have taken place over the years to provide a complete history of the Land Cruiser’s extraordinary heritage. The coverage includes the Land Cruiser’s outstanding success in some of the toughest environments of the world, and what it takes to modify it to meet the toughest of conditions. The author follows the extensive range history of the Land Cruiser from its earliest models, through the utility models, right up to the prestigious versions that exist today. The author draws on his considerable experience of both on-road and off-road testing to provide his informed professional judgement on this extraordinary vehicle. The first chapter deals with the origins of the Land Cruiser and how Military and Economic circumstances lead to the birth of a legend. The second chapter looks at the Land Cruiser range and how it varied over the years to accommodate the commercial and private markets. The third chapter looks at a specific model, the FJ40 and how it has evolved over the years to become one of the best 4WD vehicles ever built. The final chapter deals with modifying the Land Cruiser for expeditions, safari holidays and world speed record events! All in, this book is a fascinating read for any Land Cruiser enthusiasts and comprehensively covers the models from 1951 to present day. Numerous diagrams, data charts, photos (colour and mono) are used throughout to break up the written content making it easier the reader to pick up and put down as required and digest as much or as little information as desired. A very informative and attractively laid out book at a reasonable price! BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION Publisher: Amberley Publishing Publication: 15th December 2017 RRP: £14.99 ISBN: 978-1-4456-7173-4 Size: 234 x 165mm Binding: Paperback Extent: 96 pages Illustrations: 150 illustrations Rights: World, all languages Also available in Kindle, Kobo and iBook formats THE AUTHOR Nigel Fryatt is editor of the UK’s only multi-marque four-wheel drive publication, 4x4 Magazine. He has been a motoring journalist for over thirty years, having edited Sporting Cars, Cars and Car Conversions, and was also launch editor of MiniWorld, The Golf and Land Rover World. He has contributed to numerous international motoring publications. Nigel has been Publisher of IPC’s Specialist motoring titles and also Publisher at CH Publications and he is now a freelance editor and author. Besides editing 4x4 Magazine, he is currently a columnist and regular contributor to Classic Car Buyer. You can buy the book here Buy the Book
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