Saturday, 7 October 2017

Improve your car; improve your winter

It’s a known fact that the wintertime is a very dangerous time for drivers. What with the falling of snow, the forming of ice, the dark mornings and nights and the other hazardous things it brings, wintertime is nightmare for drivers. And one small collision in their car for a driver caused by something like the black ice winter creates on the roads can be enough to ruin that driver’s whole winter. Not only this, but it is a known fact that wintertime can be a very annoying time for drivers too, just because of how cold it is. But there are ways to stop your winter months being ruined in such ways — if you are willing to improve your car and take heed of the advice below, that is.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

REVIEW – Ford Focus TDCi ST-3

I have always loved fast Fords. From the Escort Cosworth – the poster car of my youth – to the Fiesta ST: a car I loved so much I just had to buy. I have previously tested the Ford Focus ST, and I did quite like it. But now, you have an alternative to the 2.0-litre, 250PS petrol engine: a 2.0-litre, 185PS diesel. It’s an interesting concept: all the sporty trim with a more efficient engine. I was certainly intrigued, so booked one in for review. But would it be able to live up to the ST badge, or would it be all style with no substance? Let’s find out, shall we…

Saturday, 30 September 2017

REVIEW – Audi RS 6 Performance

Ask any car lover about their lottery garage, and they will usually rattle off their top 5 cars instantly. I won’t give my list here, but I will say that one of the cars on it is the Audi RS 6. So when I had the opportunity to test one, I was feeling a reserved excitement. On the one hand, they say you shouldn’t meet your heroes. But on the other, how many of us can say we’ve had the chance to drive our dream cars? Well I can, and it was actually the RS 6 Performance, which is even more bonkers than the standard car. So after living with it for a week, would the Audi remain in my dream garage?

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

REVIEW – Ford Edge ST-Line

Anyone who has ever been to America will have seen that Ford has a vast range of vehicles in comparison to the ones we can buy here in the UK. And time and time again the question has been asked as to why more models aren’t sold here. Well, in addition to the Mustang, Ford has also brought the Edge to Europe. Whilst in the USA this looks like a mid-size SUV, it’s actually rather large by our standards. But because it has been engineered for European markets, it shouldn’t feel like a big American car. So I grabbed one for a week, and was rather excited to get behind the wheel.

Friday, 22 September 2017

REVIEW – Peugeot 3008 SUV GT-Line

You will by now have seen the TV advert in which that chap knocks over a glass of water, as a new 3008 SUV drives around. The thinking behind this is to highlight the new i-Cockpit, which is the centrepiece of the new car. I have to admit, I wasn’t much of a fan of the previous 3008. But then I have been impressed with the new cars in the Peugeot range. So it seemed only fair to give it a chance. Before long I had a shiny new 3008 SUV GT Line on the driveway, and boy am I glad I gave it a chance…

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

COLUMM – September 2017

Here is another chance to see my column from the September editions of The Local Herald and The Clitheroe Local.It was another expensive month of test cars, but I have to confess that I rather enjoyed driving around in a Range Rover Sport. And at £108,000 I enjoyed it while it lasted, because I don't foresee ever being able to afford one of my own! Next up was the Ford Focus ST, although it was a diesel version. Could it really wear the ST badge with pride? Full reviews are available on the Reviews page.

Friday, 15 September 2017

5 mods to make an old car safer

For most classic car buyers, safety isn’t high on the priority list. However, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Car safety has come on a long way and you old car may be a deathtrap by today’s standards. Wear and tear may have also caused parts to become loose or ineffective, which could further pose a danger on the road. You’re never going to make an old car as safe as a new car, however making a few modifications to your car could make a world of difference. Here are just a few fix-ups worth considering.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

REVIEW – Audi S5 Sportback

The problem with the ‘hot hatch’ is that they are generally overstated, in your face and a bit yobbish. Now when you’re a young 20-something, that’s precisely what you are looking for. But as you get older, priorities shift. Family is important. Your career is important. But that doesn’t mean you don’t still enjoy driving. So what do you choose? If you find the Focus RS and Civic Type-R a bit garish, then how about this: the Audi S5 Sportback. Whilst ‘RS’ Audis have always been a bit bonkers, ‘S’ models have opted for a more reserved approach. So I grabbed one to see how it measured up.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Want to keep wasting money on your car? Then keep reading...

The fact you’ve decided to read this post suggests you aren’t particularly happy with the excessive costs associated with modern driving. Well, guess what? You are not alone. Driving is a truly life-changing skill to learn and can make modern life far more enjoyable. However, millions of motorists struggle to keep up with the various overheads involved. The financial strain causes many people to give up while others are forced to make sacrifices in other aspects of their lives. Thankfully, you needn’t fall victim to those outcomes.

Monday, 11 September 2017

The biggest challenges in choosing a new car

So you’ve made up your mind. You’re going to do this. It’s going to happen, and you can’t wait! Then, of course, the reality of the task starts to sink in. Excitement and anticipation quickly turn to worry, stress and dread. Do you have enough deposit? Will you pass a credit check for the finance? And will the salesperson offer a good deal or rob you blind?

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Put your mind to these car money matters

You can spend a lot of money on your car. There's the car itself, plus all the other costs you have to pay just to keep it running. You need to make sure you spend your money wisely, or else you might regret it. Whether you're on a big budget or a small one, you should still give a lot of thought to several of your car-related purchases. Before you rush into buying anything, you should look at it from all possible angles. Here are some of the most important things to give careful consideration to if you don't want your money to go to waste.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Pimp your ride – small and large adjustments you can make to your car

Everyone has been there at some point in their lives. They look around for that car that is simply going to leave your hairs standing on end. You search high and low on the internet, you trawl around from car showroom to showroom, until finally, you find something that you can do something with. Something to make your own and be turned into the car of your dreams. Whatever the manufacturer is, whatever the model you go for, there are changes that you can make to your vehicle, small and big, that can really pimp up to match your style and vision.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

If you 'wheelie' want to get there on time, check your tyres!

Most of us have plenty of great excuses for the boss when we turn up late for work. But what about all those genuine reasons for getting in well past the hour? Surprisingly, many of those reasons might be caused by the same underlying problem - tyres! The blowout and the flat are the most common causes of delay (after the obligatory traffic jam.) The skid that caused the prang, that lack of grip in the rain, and that general sluggish feeling in the drive can all be down to poor tyres. How many of those things might have caused that jam you’re stuck in?

Friday, 25 August 2017

Motoring blunders that will drive you up the wall

Driving is one of the greatest things in the world, but there’s no doubt that it can bring grown adults to tears. Many things can go wrong in a car owner’s life and, in many cases, those problems are self-inflicted by common blunders.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Should you DIY repair your car?

Mechanics are expensive. We all know that; the feeling of worry the moment our car develops a fault and the mechanic comes to tell us what the damage is going to be. The slow realisation that just to get back on the road, we're going to need to kiss goodbye to a frankly staggering amount of money. Buying a car is expensive in and of itself, but then you factor in the maintenance costs and it all begins to feel insurmountable.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

COLUMN – August 2017

Here is another chance to read my column from the August editions of The Local Herald and The Clitheroe Local. This month featured three reviews. The first two were the Peugeot 3008 SUV, a delightful new crossover with a futuristic cabin. The second was the Ford Edge, a less delightful SUV with a rather plasticky cabin. Last up was a real treat, as I got to take my lottery car for a spin: the Audi RS 6 Performance. They say you should never meet your heroes... they're talking rubbish!

Monday, 14 August 2017

REVIEW – Ford Fiesta ST200

Many cars have been called the ‘king’ of hot hatches over the years, the most common of which is the Golf GTi. But I would argue that the king of the hot hatch in recent times the has been the Fiesta ST. Granted, I could be seen as biased – we own one – but it’s not just me who has spoken so highly of it. The Fiesta has kept the classic recipe: huge bucket seats, plenty of power, manual gearbox, but above all the ability to embarrass much more expensive cars on a country road. And it certainly works: there’s a fair few Fiesta ST’s on the road now. So what if you want to have the Fiesta ST, but still stand out from the crowd? Well, there is this: the ST200. I got hold of one to see if it could really stand head and shoulders above the standard car.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Could you be part of the classic car revolution?

Owning a classic car may have been a dream of yours ever since you were a little boy and saw your dad driving his Bentley around the estate after his second round of golf on a Saturday morning. If your family wasn’t one to mingle with the landed gentry, then perhaps you have fond memories of your dad squeezing into his Ford Capri on a Sunday morning and giving it a run as your mum began cooking a Sunday roast. Cars are evocative. They make us remember the good times in our lives, and before we know it, we can begin to ache to recapture a feeling.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Simple tweaks that could make your car safer in seconds

There are lots of ways to make your car safer, and most people don’t know about them. It’s not uncommon for people to simply climb into their cars and start driving without a second’s thought. But if you want to make sure that you are a safe as you can be, and your vehicle is not going to experience any problems, there are some things that you should be sure to do.

Monday, 31 July 2017

REVIEW – Volvo S90 Inscription

I  have always sung the praises of Volvo. And it would appear that over the last year or so, people are starting to realise why. They offer innovative technology, and are at the forefront of automotive safety. But where they have previously struggled is in making desirable cars. People still have it in their head that a Volvo is a big, boxy estate car; and that couldn’t be much further than the truth. If you read my review of the XC90 a few months ago, you’ll see what I mean. Continuing with the ‘90s’ I grabbed an S90 for a week. This is Volvo’s executive saloon, rival to the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. So can the Swede defeat the Germans in the battle of the businessman? Time to find out…