Toyota MR2: The naughty sidepiece

We’ve all been there, we were young, we wanted to start a family, we met our first proper car and saw a great future for the two of us. The car is perfect, it does every thing you need it to, it takes care of the kids and provides ample room for your emotional baggage, yet you can help but turn your head when a newer, better looking sportier car passes you buy. You gaze at the rear as it disappears in to the distance. Sure the old comfortable, loyal and ample second hand Citroen C4 Picasso is what you want on a day to day bases, but on the weekend, every now and then, you desire a different kind of thrill.

Only thing is you cant afford to put the same amount of investment in a side piece, but at the same time you don’t want to end up getting inside one that is full of unsavory left overs from the previous owners, with a dodgy engine that splutters out a load of rubbish. You want something similar to you, something that has maybe had its day, but when you look at it, you still see a trace of youth and vibrancy, another that is lost in this world, finding a new void that should be mutually filled. Queue, the second hand Toyota MR2.


It might not be the best looking sports car out there, but it looks nice enough and the performance it offers is absolutely perfect, for me anyway. The other good thing is even though the MR2 can offer you this kind of performance, it isn’t a fortune to insure or tax, which surprised me, furthermore it’s running costs are surprisingly low, though I guess that’s easier for my MR2 seeing as a I don’t use it on a day to day basis. When me and my other half were considering getting a second car there were all sorts of cars in our shortlist, including the second hand Citroen C3 picasso and a second hand Mini Convertible, I’m so glad we decided to get a MR2 at the fraction of the price.

Audi A6 Review

Audi’s new A6 sports a new face, including a huge grille that gives the car a sleek, important look. The cars rear is more simple and conservative. The car boasts strong horizontal lines that contribute to the cars over all visual appeal.

The A6 is larger than the competition and has a larger rear cargo area as a result. This car allows the driver to be as involved or as uninvolved as the driver chooses (within reason). Interior quality is exceptional with displays and controls that are impressive and detailed. The cabin generates a very luxurious feel for both driver and passengers. Audi enlarged the overall car, and in doing so created more cabin and boot space. The new A6 is not a mid-size model or an executive barge, it falls somewhere in between. The additional space gives the buyer more for their money, and sets the Audi apart from other executive class vehicles. The Audi A6 offers versatility and gives the buyer a choice of engine preferences.


 The A6 like other executive class vehicles is an expensive car, but the A6 has managed to keep maintenance costs down. Price-wise, the A6 undercuts most of the competition. Businesses may still be tempted to opt for more economical and tax saving vehicles. The enlargement of the A6 provided much more space in the cargo area. The interior is roomy, but the boot can hold more cargo than many cars in the next class up. This is ideal for luggage and other larger items. The Audi A6 may easily have the most impressive interior design of any other car. The Audi A6 provides fairly basic seating arrangements, but very detailed and elaborate instrumentation. Audi’s attention to detail and precision is evident in the stunning display of instrumentation and illumination in the A6. Just sitting inside the A6 watching the controls and listening to the unique sounds the dials make is a rewarding experience. The A6 is complete with soft executive seats that are comfortable yet supportive. Front and back passengers have good head and leg room, and the steering adjusts to numerous positions for the driver’s comfort. The A6 is equipped with large lightweight doors that allow easy access to the vehicle for front and rear passengers. This Audi is capable of comfortably accommodating most passengers, even larger ones. The A6 is a large vehicle but it is easy to park despite its size. Parking sensors for the front and rear of the car may still be a wise investment.

 Life Style

The A6 provides all the luxuries that have come to be expected from the executive class vehicles and more. This Audi will have no trouble competing with other name brand giants in its class. Good steering and other amenities make it an ideal car to drive for long distances. The cars sleek important look is also very appealing. The A6 might appeal to the family who needs to show up somewhere in class, but would not be very suitable for carpooling cheerleaders and the soccer team. The A6 is a sophisticated adult-oriented vehicle and is not designed to withstand the challenges that children present. Every first time car buyer would love to own the A6, but it is not really a practical car for new drivers. It is fairly large, extremely expensive to buy, not to mention maintenance and repairs would cost a fortune.The Audi brand carries great prestige, and the A6 will keep with tradition and further enhance that image. The A6 proudly displays Audi’s new nose and is the company’s new pride and joy.

 Security and Safety

 The A6 is equipped with several ant-theft devices. This includes an Interior ultrasonic protection system, an electronic transponder immobilizer, and an anti-tow away device. Thatcham Category One systems come standard on all models. There are several security upgrades available as well. The A6 design did not overlook safety. Some of the standard safety features include airbags, durable body composure, and a safety steering column. Safety enhancements are also available such as rear air bags, and a first aid kit.

 The Finishing Touches

The Audi’s Multi Media Interface includes the stereo functions as well as the cars other electronic functions all displayed onto the same screen. At first glance this system seems too complex and overwhelming, but once the driver learns to navigate only the functions that will actually be used it becomes less intimidating. The standard MMI package includes a 6.5-inch display, CD player, and a DSP speaker sound system. Upgrades are also available. Audi offers 15 exterior paint colors for the A6. Metallic hues seem to fit the cars unique style and personality. The interior of the A6 is amazing with two different types of fabric upholstery, three different leathers, with aluminium, walnut, and beige birch.


 Audi has delivered a complete and comprehensive car. It is difficult to find any short-comings with the A6. The A6 is not economic on fuel and does offer a diesel version. However, if you can afford to buy an A6, then paying for the fuel should not pose a problem.

Volvo V70 Review

The Volvo estate has been around for more than 35 years. Modern day versions are more refined and stylish. The latest version is the V70 a much more attractive and all-round appealing vehicle. The only problem is the competition offers similar vehicles with similar levels of equipment and sometimes better levels of equipment.

Volvo will not be able to depend on the loyalty of buyers familiar with the company. The firm will have to stay one innovation ahead of the competition in order to tread water in the highly competitive premium estate sector. The V70 like all Volkswagens comes with a high level of safety as standard. The newest safety device is the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS). This system alerts the driver to other cars and motorbikes in his or her blind spot. This is just the latest in the company’s long line of safety features. A second-generation version of the Four-C active chassis system is available as an option on the V70. The driver will be able to choose between ‘Sport’ and ‘Comfort’ settings. Volvo is offering a good deal of equipment to tempt buyers away from the big German brand. Volvo’s new commitment to style and premium quality must have the competition’s attention.


 Prices are reasonable for V70s especially considering the space and versatility that’s provided. The 2.0-litre T engine isn’t the most exciting to drive, but the car should get reasonable insurance rates. The car gets decent fuel economy, and enjoys high resale values. The car offers good space and practicality. The rear seats fold to add extra storage space when needed. There is plenty of room for the legs and heads of front seat passengers, but taller passengers in the rear will not have good legroom. The car’s displays are clear and easy to read. The car’s main controls and dials are functional and well thought out. The car’s switch gear isn’t the most stylish, but it all works well and has a quality feel. Everything is located where you would expect it to be. The cabin successfully suppresses most road and engine noise. The car’s seats are comfortable, and the car itself provides a smooth and enjoyable ride. The car performs especially well on the motorways. The car provides wide door apertures, and allows for easy access to the car’s cabin. The driver’s seat adjusts to every position imaginable and should accommodate most drivers. Access to the cabin’s rear seats will be a little more difficult, but all but the tallest person will find plenty of room once inside the cabin. The V70 is an easy car to park, thanks to the high driving position, good visibility and light steering. The bonnet is difficult to judge, but parking sensors are available on the options list.

 Life Style

The Volvo V70 wasn’t designed for speed. All V70 models reach 60mph in under 12 seconds and top speeds range between 124mph and 155mph. The Four-C (Continually Controlled Chassis Concept) chassis with its Sport or Comfort switch is designed to give buyers a choice between a sporty ride, or a more comfort oriented ride. The V70 would make an excellent family car. With its van-like stowage capacity and reliability it has a lot to offer a family. The car is likely to attract younger buyers as well as more mature buyers. The car’s style and price will appeal to a younger crowd than previous models have. The V70 also offers loads of safety features that is sure to be appealing to families. The V70 is not a likely family car. The purchase price will run too high for most first time car buyers. Insurance rates are likely to be too high for younger drivers, and the car will not be the easiest to maneuver and park, especially for novice drivers. Volvo is known for its exceptional build quality and impeccable safety credentials. The V70 embodies both principles, and the car’s interior boasts a quality that is associated with more luxurious cars, such as the BMW 5 Series Touring or the Mercedes E-Class Estate. The car’s exterior looks durable and sturdy.

 Security and Safety

 The V70s standard security system includes a standard remotely operated alarm, an engine immobiliser, and VIN plates as well. The car comes with many airbags fitted as standard. The car also comes with SIPS, WHIPS, ABS, DSTC, TRACS, and IC. BLIS is a good idea, and the system is offered as a cost-option.

 The Finishing Touches

 The best choice for a car stereo is the optional high performance audio pack with six-disc changer, four, 75-watt amplifiers and 11 speakers is truly excellent with great sound quality. There is little or no distortion at high volume, and steering wheel-mounted controls are very convenient. Silver and dark blue look the most flattering on the car’s exterior design. Buyers have the choice of either aluminium or wood trim detailing for the car’s interior.


 Volvo’s V70 is an attractive estate with plenty to offer buyers. The car is second to none in safety, and the company has managed to add on a few new safety innovations as well. The Four-C chassis lacks any real bite and this may deter some buyers.


Renault Grand Scenic Review

The Grand Scenic is Renault’s midi-MPV designed to seven in comfort. The car boasts quality build and a quality interior design as well. The Grand Scenic shouldn’t have any problems luring buyers away from rival brands. The 1.9 dCi is the best choice of engines. The engine provides plenty of power, provides a refined ride and good fuel economy. Handling is excellent and body roll has been improved over past models. Cabin space is also excellent for all three rows of passengers. Even the rearmost passengers enjoy plenty of leg and headroom. The Grand Scenic also provides adequate space for luggage as well. The Grand Scenic enjoys the highest safety ratings in it class. The car’s safety will carry a lot of weight with family buyers. Add in the fact that the car seats seven and families will have a hard time walking away from all that the Grand Scenic has to offer. The Grand Scenic delivers a good all-round package. It can haul people and is versatile enough to carry cargo both large and small, and the Grand Scenic delivers a smooth and refined ride. These things combine to create high levels of comfort.


 The Renault Grand Scenic should prove to be an inexpensive car to own and operate. Insurance rates and servicing costs should be low as well. The Grand Scenic should prove to be reliable. The Grand Scenic provides excellent space and comfortably seats seven. The cabin is spacious enough to accommodate passengers and their luggage quite comfortably. The boot is large and seats can be adjusted to create better cargo space. The car’s steering-wheel adjusts for reach and rake; the car’s instrumentation is easy to use. The displays are large and easy to read. The car’s steering-wheel mounted controls are convenient and functional. The car delivers excellent levels of comfort. The seats are comfortable even on longer journeys; even the rearmost seats are comfortable. Cabin space ensures that passengers don’t feel cramped, and storage space ensures that there is adequate space for luggage and other items. The ride is smooth and refined and the cabin provides a pleasant overall environment. The Grand Scenic provides good accessibility. The doors are large and open widely providing a large aperture for easy access. Access is better for front and middle row passengers. Rear seats can be more difficult to access and should be reserved for children. Parking the Renault Grand Scenic is easier than it looks. Despite the car’s large size the Scenic handles well and is easy to maneuver at low speeds. The car’s large side mirrors help out a lot when reverse parking.

 Life Style

 The Grand Scenic wasn’t designed for performance but it does provide enough power to provide a very smooth and comfortable ride. Handling is excellent and the Grand Scenic is an easy car to drive even through crowded streets. This is a perfect family vehicle. The Grand Scenic offers high levels of comfort, a stylish exterior design and loads of cabin and cargo space. The Grand Scenic could hold family size loads without intruding on passenger space. The Scenic also scored the highest safety ratings in its class. This absolutely is not a good first car. The Grand Scenic is too large and too expensive for most first time buyers. The Scenic is easy to drive but may be difficult for novice drivers to maneuver around town. Renault has produced a variety of vehicles that are able to meet the needs of various buyers. The Grand Scenic is marketed toward family buyers and should market itself quite successfully. Rival brands will have a tough time beating the Grand Scenic’s prices and practicality.

 Security and Safety

The car’s standard security features include remote central locking and deadbolts. The Grand Scenic is not likely to appeal to thieves, but a visual deterrence may be desired for additional security. The car’s safety features include the whole array of airbags, ABS and has received a five star rating from the Euro NCAP. The car’s safety ratings will appeal to family buyers and will raise the bar for the competition.

 The Finishing Touches

 The car’s standard audio unit provides good sound quality. The units controls are large and easy to use. The unit’s display is also large and easy to read. The Grand Scenic boasts excellent interior and exterior quality. The car should enjoy good resale values and equipment levels are good on even on lower spec models.


The Grand Scenic provides excellent comfort and practicality. Families will have more than adequate passenger and cargo space. The car’s interior should be durable and withstand the abuse that children can dish out. The car’s ride is smooth and refined adding to the already high levels of comfort. The Scenic is a safe vehicle and is designed with family motoring in mind.

Volkswagen Jetta Review

The Jetta is Volkswagen’s Golf-like compact saloon. The car boasts exceptional levels of refinement, and manages to stand out among the other competitors in this sector of the market.

The compact saloon has faced somewhat of an uphill battle in the UK market unless it’s sported a premium badge. The exceptions to this have been Volkswagen’s Jetta and Bora. The Jetta is one of the most popular cars in the compact saloon sector. VW chose the Bora to bring the competition to its rivals BMW and Audi. The company has reverted back to the Jetta name. The Volkswagen Jetta is essential the same as a Golf, only with a boot. The Jetta is now closer to the slightly bigger Passat. The Passat and the Jetta share the larger car’s trademark grille. The Jetta also bears other similarities with the Passat that are not quite as obvious. The Jetta’s cabin shares many similarities with the Golf. The interior cabin provides excellent interior space and makes the cabin comfortable and relaxing. The Jetta is a large car with a large boot and plenty of space on hand.


The Volkswagen Jetta is an expensive car to buy, but running costs can be kept to a minimum. Servicing charges will be low, and fuel economy will be decent, if you opt for the diesel variant. Resale values will be high so the high asking price will be offset. The cabin is spacious and will provide more than enough room for all passengers. The car is capable of comfortably accommodating four adults. The boot is of generous proportions and is big enough to carry luggage for four. The car can meet the needs of family life quite easily. The gauges are clear and concise. They are logically placed and functional. The car’s main controls and dials are large enough and easy to use. The controls are functional, though not all practical. The sat-nav system is a bit complicated to operate and may take some getting used to. Passengers will be comfortable, though the seats are soft, they are supportive. With plenty of head and legroom, even the rear passengers will rarely complain. Wind and road noise are low and the only real intrusion is the diesel engine at motorway speeds. Accessing the cabin is easy with wide door apertures and a high roofline. The boot is easily accessed and provides a large opening and a low load lip. Most passengers shouldn’t have any problem accessing the car’s cabin. Parking the Jetta is relatively easy but for the less confident, parking sensors are optional on most models. They will prove to be invaluable when reverse parking as distance beyond the boot is difficult to judge.

 Life Style

 Volkswagen promotes itself as a manufacturer of stylish cars with a premium feel, but with the Jetta the driving experience lacks something to be desired. The steering and throttle response are somewhat disappointing, but the car does provide a smooth ride for the most part. The Jetta is able to deal effectively with most road imperfections, and the diesel engines are the best choices for power and fuel economy. The Jetta could function quite well as a family car. Its boot is large and rear cabin space is adequate. The car’s seating is not as versatile or plentiful as the Touran, but the Jetta could accommodate a smaller family. The Jetta could also function fairly well as a first car. The car provides excellent forward visibility, and when fitted with the less powerful engines will boast low running costs and low insurance rates. The Jetta is well built, and thanks to a trend in improved quality Volkswagen is gaining respect in this area. The Jetta is evidence of the company’s commitment to increased quality. The Volkswagen brand is highly regarded and popular among buyers.

 Security and Safety

 The Jetta comes standard with remote central locking and an engine imobilizer package. The door locking buttons are hidden from outside eyes, which helps keep the attention of an unlocked car to a minimum. Some additional security measures may be desired such as a steering wheel lock or a tracking device. The Jetta’s safety features include twin front, side, and curtain airbags. The Jetta also comes with anti locking brakes, and electronic security aids.

 The Finishing Touches

 The Jetta comes with a high quality audio package, with easy to use controls. The sound quality is good, along with the placement, which is high on the centralfascia. Some possible upgrades include a CD changer and a sat-nav system. For the Jetta, like many other VW models classy, but laid back metallic colours work best for the exterior. It’s also worth noting that light colors compliment the cars grille as well. The interior is made up of mostly dark plastics but has a nice feel.


 The Volkswagen Jetta boasts an excellent build quality and good levels of refinement. The car has a lot to offer, but more badge conscious buyers may look elsewhere. Other more practical buyers are likely to recognize the car’s quality and functionality.

Are You An Angry Driver?

Everybody can become frustrated when driving at times – it’s inevitable. None of us want to sit in traffic for hours wondering when it will ever begin to move, and there’s bound to have been countless times when inconsiderate motorists have pulled out on you without warning. Add these on road frustrations to those faced when we are forced to pay hefty servicing and maintenance costs, and a very angry driver is often the product. It is important to keep a lid on these frustrations however, as an angry driver can be a dangerous animal. So we have pointed out the top 5 traits or actions of the frustrated motorist to allow you to ask yourself: Am I an angry driver?


Speed up at lights
traffic lights
Do you speed up at all costs to avoid waiting at traffic lights, even if it means getting over as they turn red? Remember the lights only take a few seconds to change and you could cause and accident, plus the abrupt stop will not be good for your brakes if you don’t make it.


Swearing at others
People make mistakes when driving, it happens. You must be prepared for this however, and make a conscious effort not to react in the wrong way. Getting angry and swearing at someone could really ruin their day.


Beep your horn
If an old lady is driving her Renault Clio a little under the speed limit, try not to get frustrated and beep your horn – this could really unnerve an old person. Simply wait for the right opportunity and overtake.


Drive everywhere as fast as possible

Driving everywhere as fast as you can is never a good idea. Is saving a couple of minutes on your journey really that important? It could cause an accident and you’ll actually find that you’re more relaxed and will enjoy the ride more when you keep to speed limits.


Blaming Others For Your Mistakes

If you should make an error whilst driving, don’t immediately look for another motorist to blame. Accept that you have made a mistake and deal with it in the appropriate way, then carry on with your journey and forget all about it.

MOT and Servicing For Less

For several years now the economic climate of the UK has been in a state of recession, and hasn’t shown many signs of returning to a point of healthy growth in the foreseeable future. Unemployment across the country is higher than it has been for decades, as jobs become harder and harder to come by, while taxes have increased disproportionally with the price of goods. Cuts to government spending are continually putting strain on the capabilities of public sector services, at a time when disposable income is at an all-time low for many.

Needless to say, for whomever it wasn’t already a priority, the need to save money certainly is now. One aspect of modern life which proves difficult to cut back on yet continues to rise in its costs is driving. The vast majority of us cannot get around the fact that we need to drive, and of course fueling, taxing and maintaining our vehicles makes for some serious dents in the proverbial wallet. So we are all on the prowl for some cheap car servicing.

Unfortunately, the price of fuel is a variable upon which we mortals have no means to influence, similar to road tax. However, what we can save on is MOT and servicing. This may come as a new concept to many, who are used to taking their car down to their local garage and accepting the first price quoted. In all fairness, how is a person to know what a ‘good’ price is for an MOT or service, or which garages offer the cheapest deals?mot-sad-man

Well until now, there really hasn’t been an effective way to know where to find the cheapest price for a service for your vehicle. Thanks to a brand new service introduced by leading automotive site however, which is the first of its kind in the UK, all that is about to change. Aforementioned service is an online MOT and service comparison site which allows motorists to input the make and model of their vehicle as well as the area in which they live. Within seconds a list of garages along with comprehensive pricing information are displayed by proximity to the specified postcode.

This enables the user to make an informed decision on where to take their vehicle for its service or MOT. The site really couldn’t be easier to use and will undoubtedly save you £££s over years to come.happy-man For example, you can find out where is cheapest in Manchester to service a Vauxhall Corsa.