Archive | Motoring

Kia Soul – Test Drive

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Kia Soul – Test Drive

Posted on 03 October 2014 by Dave Ridgeway

Always looking to try new things the opportunity to test the 2014 Kia Soul was eagerly accepted. The model delivered was the Connect Plus 1.6 CRDi 6 speed manual. First impressions were good, it’s subjective but the front end looks mean and moody, the body is boxy but sleek lines certainly give it a certain amount of style. It makes a statement of intent and looks like it could be good fun. The ‘Acid Green’ paintwork may not to be everyone’s tastes, personally I liked it, but other options are available.

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A long test run to Devon and back was as enjoyable as it was smooth and fast, the twisty, steep Devon hills presented no problem. The Kia seemed to eat up the miles with ease. Sure, it’s a diesel so there’s a bit of engine noise but I didn’t feel it was excessive. I certainly couldn’t hear it anyway over the DAB digital radio which meant I could listen to my favourite London radio stations all the way, whilst switching to FM/AM if needed with options to plug in your own music via USB/AUX ports. There are almost too many gadgets and controls around the steering column and dash’ but this merely means the car takes a little bit longer than I had to get used to and should be worth it over the longer term.
The 8” Touch screen dashboard display is clear, very handy for the built in satnav and also the reversing camera complete with traffic light colour coded grid to show just how close you can get to the car behind when parking.
Even around town the Kia didn’t disappoint. A morning commute meant plenty of gear changes and nipping through traffic but the Kia’s agility despite its size and weight made it a joy to play with the rush hour traffic tests thrown at it.
The interior is roomy enough for 5 to travel in comfort. The boot space is still cavernous. I tried to fill it with a fully stuffed holdall, a sport kit holdall, backpack and a set of golf clubs. I could have got another full set of bags in, were it not for the fact I ran out of bags.

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Overall I enjoyed my time with the Kia. The drive was smooth enough, with plenty of power available and it handled well. The well-publicised Kia warranty with a price tag of £17,500 for this particular Soul makes it an option worth considering.

www.kia.co.uk

 

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FIFTH GEAR PRESENTER REVEALS TOP TIPS ON GIVING YOUR WALLET AN MOT

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FIFTH GEAR PRESENTER REVEALS TOP TIPS ON GIVING YOUR WALLET AN MOT

Posted on 31 March 2014 by Chris Ford

New research by CarTakeBack.com has found that Brits who own cars 5 years and older spend an average of £6,407 purchasing their cars and spend almost an additional £1,000 a year maintaining, repairing and servicing their car. But why do we keep on spending money on something that is decreasing in value each day? Over half (62%) of motorists admit they simply can’t afford to buy a new car, with more than a quarter (28%) believing they are preserving the value of it by maintaining and servicing it.

Although a car is something many of us can’t live without, does the cost of keeping them really have to affect the way we live?

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Fifth Gear presenter Tiff Needell, reveals his top 5 tips for minimizing the cost of car ownership, something we could all do with learning! This video will take you through a step by step guide on how to maintain your pride and joy until the very end.

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Sponsored Video – Surfs Up!

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Sponsored Video – Surfs Up!

Posted on 19 December 2013 by Chris Ford

Mercedes , I always wanted one as a kid now strangely I feel too young to own one, when I was young they were seen as a sign of wealth and doing well in life but it’s funny how your mind and tastes change as you get older, which has happened yet again after seeing this new video featuring the Mercedes E-Class , maybe you can be young (well in my 30’s) and cool in a Mercedes? This group of guys certainly seem to pull it off!

The Sound track to the video is provided by Los Angeles synth-rock trio Wildcat! Wildcat! Who themselves have been on my radar having recently co-starred with Passion Pit in the Sam Jones documentary short ‘ Hello Everywhere’ which itself is well worth checking out. I really think these are a band to watch who I’m sure will explode with their debut release next year.
The Short film is directed by Aaron Platt who is known for directing some great music videos including Queens of the Stone Age – “Sick, Sick , Sick” which of course comes across and the film certainly feels more like a music video than a advertisement for a car.
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So will I buy a Mercedes? Maybe one day, I certainly don’t think they are exclusively for the retired city worker or eastern European cab drivers as I once did, so yeah there’s a pretty good chance I’d say… just need a pay rise now
For more information on Mercedes and the E-Class head over here
And their facebook page here

Surf's Up

This post has been sponsored by Mercedes but the words and thoughts are our own.

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The New MINI, and Competition !

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The New MINI, and Competition !

Posted on 29 November 2013 by Chris Ford

Last week MINI launched the new look MINI here we have a great video of the launch event

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Don’t forget you have just a few days left to enter to win a few MINI branded prizes . these will go to two readers that come up with our favourite roadtrip playlist that you would put into Deezer to play while cruising in your MINI.

Heres a example of mine :

Passenger – Iggy Pop

Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

Get Lucky – Daft Punk

Don’t Stop Believin – Journey

Highway to Hell – AC/DC

So all we need is you to email us the names of your ultimate five track roadtrip playlist to enterthecomp@gmail.com , I will the select two winners on December the first who will both win a MINI gear stick umbrella and MINI coffee mug.

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The coolest steering controls in the world

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The coolest steering controls in the world

Posted on 21 November 2013 by Chris Ford

There’s no denying it: there’s nothing better than a super cool gadget with loads of little buttons, controls and functions. What do they all do? What happens if I move this? What happens if I press the red button?
It feeds our inquisitive nature but also lets us be in control of something. And when that something has four wheels, double bonus points.

The coolest steering controls in the world - Lotus wheel
The F1 steering wheel
[Lotus wheel image credit: By Francesco via Wikimedia Commons]
A Formula 1 steering wheel varies slightly from make to make and team to team, but they have the same standard components. The controls adjust the running parameters for the engine, transmission and differential. Being in the seat of a F1 car, you’d surely feel like you were controlling the Millennium Falcon.
In this video, Nico Rosberg talks us through the controls of a Mercedes steering wheel:
The Lotus F1 guys recently created a joke steering wheel for Kimi Raikkonen, which contained a ‘call mum’ button, a tweet button and an option to deploy an Angry Bird. If only this were real. Perhaps LG, sponsors of Formula 1, could start branching out into the automobile field…

Bond car features
Ok, so it’s not the steering controls as such, but the Aston Martin V8 Vantage in The Living Daylights had a secret control panel by the gearstick which included buttons for spiked tyres, lasers which cut through steel, retractable skis and land to land missiles – pretty cool!
Check out the chase scene in this video:
Meanwhile, the Lotus Espirit seen in The Spy Who Loved Me could actually turn into a submarine. That’s a pretty handy feature to have, that’s if you use your car for more than just shopping at Tesco.

Steering the Batmobile
How could we write a post about cool car controls and not mention the Batmobile? The steering wheel of the 1966 Lincoln Futura, used for the original Batmobile, was cut into a U-shape. The star of the TV series, Adam West, disliked the shape so much though that the designer replaced it with a standard Edsel steering wheel.
The latest portrayal of the Batmobile is the Tumbler, seen in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy: a much tougher vehicle, worthy of being called a ‘machine’ rather than a car. The chassis, suspension and steering were all custom built by the film’s special effects department to host hydraulically operated aerofoil flaps, a jet burner, 20mm cannons in the nose cone and rear ejecting spike mines. To quote Jim Gordon, “I got to get me one of those”.

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MINI Connected – Deezer

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MINI Connected – Deezer

Posted on 18 November 2013 by Chris Ford

I’m always interested in anything new or different in the tech world, a sucker for new gadgets and gizmos I’m a early adopter of a lot of new tech sometimes to my benefit sometimes to my downfall (HD-DVD anyone?).

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So it was with great excitement I approached the offer from MINI to check out their latest in car entertainment system called ‘MINI connected’.

The idea being you connect your Iphone (sorry no Android connection currently) to the usb socket in the car via the supplied cable and MINI connected springs into life, MINI  connected offers a whole host of info about the car via the app such a mileage  fuel consumption etc but what really interested me was the music integration.

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First of all the MINI communicates seamlessly with the Iphone displaying track information and artwork directly from your Iphones library , with the large round screen in the centre of the console  beautifully displaying everything you need to know this alone had me impressed, the menu system and controls are very  intuitive and not the sort of system you need to read the instruction manual for ( I never do anyway!)

One of the nice things about MINI connected is Deezer integration.  Deezer if you didn’t know is a online cloud based music service where you stream music directly to your phone over the internet , you can create playlists, listen to custom playlists created by others or what they call ‘Radio stations’  which constantly play ( much like a radio station) tracks from a specific genre or theme , and with access to over 30 million songs with Deezer you go way beyond the memory limits of your phone or the music you own on it.

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So the integration is really simple, once your Iphone is connected you run the Deezer app on the phone and then select Deezer from the MINIs menu.  Then you are free to use internet streamed music in your MINI ! The music also plays in exactly the same way as it would if stored on your phone with full artwork and track and album information included, very impressive!

WIN STUFF!

So as you can tell I was pretty impressed with the Deezer service in the MINI and Im happy to announce MINI are kindly giving away a few MINI branded prizes to two readers that come up with our favourite roadtrip playlist that you would put into Deezer to play while cruising in your MINI.

Heres a example of mine :

Passenger – Iggy Pop

Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

Get Lucky – Daft Punk

Don’t Stop Believin – Journey

Highway to Hell – AC/DC

 

So all we need is you to email us the names of your ultimate five track roadtrip playlist to  enterthecomp@gmail.com , I will the select two winners on December the first who will both win a MINI gear stick umbrella and MINI coffee mug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The all new MINI

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The all new MINI

Posted on 12 November 2013 by Chris Ford

 

Recently I took a MINI for a bit of a road test to check out some of thecool  tech they are now  integrating into the cars ( post to come soon)  but it seems MINI are about to launch a brand new model !
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On 18 November, the all new MINI will be unveiled to the world in London on the day that classic Mini designer Sir Alec Issigonis would have turned 107.

 

 

 

For an opportunity to win tickets to the world premiere in London, or for more details and to register your interest in the car, click HERE

 

 

 

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A MINI Update….

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A MINI Update….

Posted on 29 October 2013 by Chris Ford

Just a quick or ‘MINI’ update to readers, you may have noticed a lack of post in the last month for this I can only offer my apologies but regular life has somewhat got in the way with things being rather busy of late.

But things are about to get back to normal, we have some exciting stuff happening over the next month including one feature in conjunction with MINI exploring the  tech they are integrating into their new cars which promises to be interesting stuff as well as a chance to win some MINI related goodies in a exciting competition…. stay tuned

 

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A Mini Vison of the future?

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A Mini Vison of the future?

Posted on 09 August 2013 by Chris Ford

Our first family car was a Mini so I have a bit of a soft spot for them, so I was excited to hear news today that there are plans for a brand new British made Mini to be released in November its great news for Mini lovers and the British car industry.

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There arent any details of the new Mini yet but I wonder if they will be taking any style points from this recent concept design Mini are showcasing

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I’m a sucker for blue LED lighting and this concept has it in spades! , in fact you can customize the lighting to suit your mood!

By far the most outrageous feature though is the disco style led floor which I can’t imagine ever actually being made but if it did, well wow!

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I hope to bring you more news and info on the new Mini as November approaches.

https://twitter.com/BMWGroup

 

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Sponsored Video: Trailer: All-New Range Rover Sport, Pikes Peak Driven Challenge

Sponsored Video: Trailer: All-New Range Rover Sport, Pikes Peak Driven Challenge

Posted on 10 July 2013 by Chris Ford

This post was Sponsored by Range Rover

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