Thursday, 9 May 2013

COLUMN - May 2013

Here is another chance to see my column from the May edition of The Local Herald. In this issue you can find a brief discussion on four cars, all of which can be found in the reviews section. There's a pickup thrown in for the country-lovers, and its an offering which you may not have heard much about. As well as this there are three hybrid Peugeots for the eco-warriors of this world, and also those interested in the new techonology available in cars. As this was a column bursting with write-ups, make sure you do check out the full reviews!

This month my column is bursting with yet more vehicle reviews, so let’s get straght into it.

First up we have some new technology, in the form of a Peugeot 508 RXH. Crammed with technology, it combines a diesel engine with an electric motor with the goal of creating better efficiency. It works, too. CO2 emissions are 107 g/km and combined fuel consumption is 68.9mpg. What you have to remember is that this is a large, executive estate car. Costing £20 for a year’s road tax is a big bonus, and coupled to excellent fuel economy the big 508 can offer lower running costs. The best thing about the 508 RXH is the styling. On the outside it combines sleekness and ruggedness in a package which works exceptionally well. From the ‘claw’ daytime running lights, to the full panoramic sunroof, the RXH oozes class. On the inside you will find all sorts of gadgetry. With the very clever multimedia system, a heads-up display and the switchable drive mode, the 508 RXH is a car that will keep on surprising you. I really liked the fully-electric ZEV mode, allowing the car to pass through a village without making a single sound. One thing’s for sure; it’s one hell of a hybrid.

Jumping straight into a larger vehicle, we have the Isuzu D-Max. You may be aware from previous write-ups that I have a soft spot for pick-up trucks. The D-Max looks great from the outside; there are bold lines and a certain toughness to the body. Sadly the inside was ruined somewhat by some brown seats and cheaper plastics, but these aside the cabin was a nice place to be. The engine is a 2.5-litre, 163PS, 400Nm powerplant. Coupled to the 5-speed automatic gearbox the drive is effortless. The ride is good too, once you get use to the bouncy rear suspension. This is just how pickups are; they have to be able to cope with heavy loads in the rear bed hence the rear suspension is firm. With the auto box combined fuel consumption is 33.6mpg, and you can tax it as a Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) for £215 a year. Overall the D-Max is one of the cheaper pickups on the market today, and you get good value for your money.

Another Peugeot featuring an electric motor in the boot is the 3008 Hybrid4. This has essentially the same running gear as the aforementioned 508 RXH, but wrapped up in the 3008’s crossover body. For reasons completely unbeknown to me, it’s sub-100g/km CO2 meaning free road tax, yet has exactly the same engine power and torque as the RXH. Inside the control systems are very much similar too. There’s the same heads-up display, and drive-selector. The short, stubby gearknob is the same too. The drive is very much different, partly due to the 3008 being a taller car. For a family, the 3008 is a brilliant car. The boot is still a reasonable size despite the large electric motor, and the cabin is vast. It does lack the looks of the 508 RXH though, and the higher driving position is less suited to those looking for a sporty drive.

Finally the 508 Hybrid4 is worth a mention. This is a saloon 508 with the hybrid running gear. Here you get an executive saloon car with some green credentials. It, too, is free road tax and offers 78.5mpg combined. There’s a big boot, a vast cabin, and all the gadgets you could use. I did miss the panoramic sunroof in this model though…

As always you can find full reviews for all these vehicles on my website.

Dan

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