Archive | January, 2013

Honda City- The Sedan for the Next Generation

Every time I see a Honda City I drool. It is indeed the best sedan in its class and will give the other sedan a run for their money. It was first launched in the Indian market in 1998 and the newest version was launched in 2012. There has been no turning back since then. Honda has ensured that their designs fully satisfy their customers. They have built environment friendly and Cost effective cars.

The new Honda City comes with an electric sunroof which allows you to enjoy fresh air and sunlight. The exterior has been changed completely giving it a much more classy and elegant look. The radiator style grille with beautiful chrome finish makes the Honda city look classy. It has a ground clearance of 165mm and alloy wheels. It also has a new design of rear tail lamp and the most attractive bit is the rear view mirrors with indicators which are quite a catch. Truly a brilliant add on to the New Honda city. The exterior has a very aerodynamic look to it. For more information, picture and comparisons one can visit

The Honda city has a 1.5 liters i-VTECH engine for top performance and is environment friendly. It has a 5 speed manual transmission; however an automatic transmission option is also available in its More than 50% of drugs bought online from s that conceal their physical address are counterfeit, so don’t buy CIALIS from Web s that don’t provide a physical location. high end versions. The Honda city is a 1497 cc and hits 0-100 in 10 seconds with a maximum speed of 170kmph. In the manual transmission version the Honda can give a mileage of 16.8 kmpl and 15.6 kmpl in the automatic transmission version.

The Honda city has Electronic Brake Force Distribution with Anti – Lock Brake System. It has disc brakes in the front wheel and drum brakes in the rear. This ensures safety while braking. In terms of safety, Honda has the G-force control technology body which provides protection to the passengers during collision. Honda has also kept in mind the safety of the pedestrian in case of impact. Along with these it also has other safety features like the active headrest, dual front SRS air bags, Brake assist, ABS, EDB, rear windshield defogger and pre-tensioner seat belts.

The New Honda City interiors are very stylish and sophisticated. Excellent upholstery, adjustable steering wheel, enough room for leg space, cruise control, comfortable seating for 5, chrome door handles, air conditioner and heater strong enough for all passengers comfort, power door mirrors, power window, arm rests for the seats, a stylish dual dash board with storage space cup holders and a lot more.

The Honda city comes in several variants which are:
1.    Corporate
2.    E
3.    S
4.    S AT
5.    V MT
6.    V MT CNG
7.    V AT
8.    V AVN MT
9.    V AVN AT
10.    V Exclusive MT
11.    V Exclusive AT

The cost of the Honda City ranges from Rs 720000 to Rs 886000 (£8,440 – £10,390) and come in some great colors like the Urban Titanium Metallic, Bold Beige Metallic, Carnelian Red Pearl, Taffeta white etc.

The Honda City is the classiest in its category of sedan versions; making it a very good car to buy anytime of the year.

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Buying New Cars

Not so long ago, registration plates only changed once a year. That meant there was an almighty rush to the dealers to secure a new car on the new plate. This was not ideal for anyone. Customers had to wait longer and dealers suffered a subsequent extended flat spot. The trouble was that the kudos of owning a car with the latest plate was hard to resist and it also helped on resale values when the time came for a change.

The new system of twice yearly changes has been beneficial. Although it’s still nice to have the latest plate, it is only going to last six months so number plate envy isn’t what it was. More importantly, it helps dealers spread the load and, if you are prepared to accept a pre-registered car then often there is great savings to be made. In short – the new registration system  has worked, but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t still right and wrong times to buy a new car.

Timing is all if money is to be saved. Some things, if you think about it, are pretty obvious. If we are having a great and extended summer, car vendors are not likely to be offering good discounts on convertibles. If that’s the type of car you have got your heart set on that maybe the winter is the time to take the plunge. You probably won’t have to wait so long for your order either.

Conversely, it is probably not much good hustling on down to your 4×4 dealer when it starts snowing if you want some money off. The summer time is the right time for buying all wheel drive vehicles. Get in quick whilst all the customers are crowded around the convertibles.

It is usual for dealers to have regular targets and the car manufacturers expect and require their dealers to perform on sales. This knowledge gives the canny buyer a little more leverage on the ticket price. Similarly, the new year brings the new car shows when car makers display  their wares. Thus, from October to December all dealers are looking to achieve annual targets and may be open to shifting some bargains. The last couple of days of the month may be advantageous if the vendor has monthly targets to meet.

If a car is about to be superseded or face-lifted, would you consider buying the current model? If so, there are stocks to be cleared and the price might well drop. Finally, look to buy after the release of a new plate. The rush will be over. Always keep an eye on the car market and try to judge when things are good or bad for the sellers and right for you. If there is a glut of recent used cars on the market and prices are competitive, maybe that’s the answer. Either way, there are savings to made if you plan your campaign.

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Rolls Royce To Reveal Wraith

Rolls Royce Motors have confirmed that their new model will be called the Wraith and it will be presented to the world at the Geneva Motor Show on the 5th March 2013. First deliveries are expected towards the end of the year for those with very deep pockets.

The company are fond of resurrecting names from their noble past, as they did with the 2010 Ghost in honour of the 1906 Silver Ghost. This time the historical precedent is set by the 1938/9 Wraith which was sold to independent coach builders as a running chassis. Immediately after the 2nd World War the name surfaced again in the form of the Silver Wraith. This new Wraith, it is said, draws its inspiration from company founder and all-round adventurer the Honourable Charles Rolls, the first man to fly across the channel non-stop there and back.

Although cynics might say words to the effect of “well they would say that wouldn’t they”, Rolls Royce are really talking up this new car (although they will only release the teasing picture shown above for now). We are told to expect bold design, timeless elegance and dramatic performance behind the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet ornament.

This new found confidence has got to be down to the influence of the parent company BMW. No place for typical British reserve here, they seem to say. BMW are investing in RR with confidence as they clearly see no change at the luxury end of the car market where the value of traditional craftsmanship finds its buyers without problems.

Pushing the ghostly metaphor to the limit the Wraith will, when encountered, make the world stand still as it whispers by. Words like ethereal and breathtaking are being used and the hyperbole just keeps on coming. I quote: “Wraith alludes to an almost imperceptible but powerful force, something rare, agile and potent, a spirit that will not be tethered to the earth. It is the perfect name for our new model.”

The trouble is that, being Rolls Royce, you kind of want to believe it. The Phantom range of traditional Rollers are undoubtedly beautiful, especially the glorious Two-door Coupé ; a totally modern car that somehow seems to suggest a harking back to the big bruising powerhouses of the first half of the 20th Century. Maybe it’s just me. The addition of the Ghost bought a smaller, more realistic image to the range and the addition of the Wraith will continue to keep this Great British name at the pinnacle of motoring excellence. Let us hope that the car lives up to the introduction!

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Married To The Motor

Car ownership is like marriage. It goes through stages. First there is the anticipation stage. This is where the goods are examined closely and a selection process takes place. In the early days it is possible to make mistakes and, although they are likely to be expensive, they won’t be insurmountable. It is important to choose with the utmost care and attention. It may be helpful to consult a friend but on no account should you ever ask your mother.

These days it is popular to go online to find your new partner for the road ahead. There are many websites that cater for all tastes, some more, erm, quirky than others. The final choice might be virgin territory for first timers – although a used model may attract, ensuring that depreciation is taken into account, obviously – and it is important to make the correct decision before signing on the dotted line.

The pomp and circumstance of the union can be a bit tiresome and over-the-top as most are simply keen to get on with it; but the paperwork still has to be done – only then can things move forward with that heady mixture of apprehension and exhilaration. Next comes the honeymoon stage. This is the phase where the happy couple get to know each other more intimately, discovering that new and cool things are possible and a lot of mileage can be gained although it becomes apparent that love is like car insurance – more expensive than was first thought.

There will be pitfalls along the way. Arguments involving inanimate objects will happen and, like a spilt take-away coffee, the fabric of the relationship will have to be repaired. So the years pass. Routine maintenance will from time to time be needed to keep things running smoothly until one day some surprise accessories are added and life will never be the same again.

Sadly, time waits for no man. Although some go the distance others will notice a certain dimming of the headlights and have a sense that some parts are just about hanging in there. A certain amount of rededication to the relationship may help but for some it really is the end of the road. Why maintain an old model when there are new shiny delights out there? It is a choice all will have to make but remember, there is still a great sense of satisfaction to be had from maintaining a classic.

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News From Nissan

Camera technology has been featuring on cars for some time now and Nissan has carried the science forward to perfection with a new Qashqai model, the 360.  As the name suggests this version of the popular crossover uses four separate wide angled cameras situated at the front, back and sides (in the wing mirrors) to give a 360° view all around the car. This is translated rather cleverly onto the 5” touch screen as a bird’s eye view of the car.

This is a brilliant visual aid to the driver who can see how the car is orientated in a parking space and where the lines and obstacles are. The system is called ‘Around View Monitor’ and is standard equipment on the 360. Additionally, it helps the driver locate kerbs. This will help to ensure that the standard fit 18” Onyx alloy wheels remain unblemished by sloppy wheel-to-kerb alignment.

It seems that the average cost of simple and slow car park collisions resulting in mechanical and bodywork damage is around £1500. Investing in the Qashqai 360 should mean a bit more peace of mind when it comes to avoiding parallel and parking space accidents and higher premiums. All the usual extras are there as you’d expect and the best news of all is that this car is available at around a very creditable £20,000.

Also just announced is a new concept from Nissan called the Resonance (pictured). The company state that this boldly futuristic design is a statement for the future direction of Nissan crossovers. Described by the company in motor-speak as edgy and sophisticated, it signals the Nissan commitment to an environmentally sensitive power train coupled with intelligent utility. Roughly translated this means that the car will be clean and frugal with the added benefit of the very latest techno gadgets.

The Resonance has advanced aerodynamics (V-Motion) and is powered by a  new hybrid-electric power train. Inside, it has been described by Nissan as a ‘VIP Lounge’. Passengers will be welcomed by sequential interior lighting which, the company insists, will add warmth and drama. And you thought this was just a new car.

Nissan are scoring highly in the crossover sector with the Qashqai and the Juke and with this concept they are showing the way forward to the next generation. It is fair to say that in today’s market the need for power and speed is giving way to the car as a lifestyle statement where fashion and design take the place of brake horse power and adrenalin fuelled rides. If the cars of the future look as good as this then most of us won’t mind a bit. Just make sure you don’t kerb those 22” aluminium-alloy chromed wheels!

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To Lease Or To Buy A New Car?

Although it is by no means an essential purchase, buying a new car is an appealing prospect to anyone who likes driving. It’s something that most of us aspire to doing but there’s a snag. It’s called money. There are a variety of leasing options open that make sense to business users but does it work for the private individual?

A lot depends on how an individual feels about his or her financial security. Money can be saved and the full purchase price paid. The car is yours. Or money can be borrowed from banks or finance companies and the car is yours once those funds have been repaid. Both these options are usual and accepted but at the end of it all the buyer is left with a used car that will have lost a considerable portion of its value over the first two or three years. Some cars depreciate so much that there may not be enough value left to finance even a deposit on the latest offerings and so the cycle begins again.

So is it better to lease a car? A lease car never belongs to the customer so it perhaps wouldn’t suit someone who likes to feel ownership. The beauty of such a scheme though means that, although at the end of the contract term a customer has nothing to show for the financial outlay, it does mean that swapping to a new car is easy without all the rigmarole of part-exchanging or selling on the unwanted vehicle.

Personal contract hire is essentially a long-term rental agreement. The client pays a deposit and then a fixed monthly amount for the agreed life of the contract. At the end of the period the car is returned and an arrangement can then be made for the next new car. Some schemes also have the option to buy the car at the end of the period. Most will be governed by a reasonable mileage limitation.

The suitability of schemes like this is dependent on personal circumstances. High mileage users and individuals who can’t demonstrate the stability of finances that a steady job brings would not be accepted. Otherwise, if a new car every two or three years appeals – especially a prestige model that might otherwise be out of reach – then contract hire might just fit the bill. It is usually possible to cost maintenance expenses into the deal as well which helps annual budgeting.

At the end of the contracted period you give the car back and that’s that. Another contract can be organised or, in some circumstances, the customer can choose to buy the car. Obviously a contract like this requires a certain amount of responsibility on the part of the hirer. The company will want to see that the car has been properly looked after and that it is returned with no more than the sort of wear and tear that would be expected on a two or three year old car. Knock it about and it is going to be expensive.

Do your homework. Look into depreciation costs and see how the money lost on a new car purchased relates to the contract cost of a leased vehicle. Instead of owning a depreciating used car you could be driving a new car that is permanently under warranty!

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New Year New World New Cars

One of the best things about seeing ourselves into any new year is that we know Spring is just around the corner and we can look forward to gradually improving weather – or so we hope. Another good thing is the arrival of a new crop of car shows to delight car enthusiasts everywhere; and it all starts in Motor City – Detroit.

It’s inevitable that any American show is going to favour home grown products – like the awesome new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. This may well be the star of the show, resurrecting as it does the Stingray name from 1963, but it is less likely to interest the average UK motorist for whom such cars are just a primordial dream.

Much more interesting, yet probably never available to the UK market, is the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept. This is an SUV for the North American customers and is even bigger than the same company’s Toureg, although it does indicate the ‘face’ of VW SUV’s in the future. It’s a six-seater and would be instant must have for Tony Soprano – if he were still around.

Also at The Detroit Motor Show was a new Mercedes that will make fans of the brand very happy indeed. This car is seriously good looking as you can see from the image, above. It has all the style of the CLS but packed into a vehicle not much bigger than an A-Class. The CLA is part of Mercedes new small car family and is the first compact four-door coupé of its kind; although not for long as BMW will soon launch a 4-Series Coupé , as will Audi with an A3 saloon. More on these two cars shortly.

In keeping with the ‘let’s make them smaller’ trend Honda have shown their new SUV concept to be based on the forthcoming Jazz. It’s called the Urban SUV for now and, if it goes ahead, will rival the Nissan Juke and Renault’s Captur that we featured yesterday.

Mini fans will be delighted with the new John Cooper Works version of the Paceman. This 215bhp pocket rocket comes with four-wheel drive, is lower than the standard Paceman and is augmented by a more aggressive body kit and a rather splendid choice of paint jobs. At a starting point of around £30k however it might find itself price compromised. There are cheaper hot hatch offerings.

Jeep have revamped the Grand Cherokee and added a new and impressive front end which will give UK drivers who hanker for USA styling a bit of a lift. It is suitably butch but in an appealing way. Additionally on show are the new BMW M6 Gran Coupé , the Infiniti Q50 sports saloon and the revised Mercedes E-Class to name but three. World recession there might be but in the motor halls of Detroit – like speaking of the Dark Lord – nobody is mentioning it.

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Captur Captured

If manufacturers are going to keep naming cars in this manner then they have got to expect headlines like that. No doubt there will be more variations on the theme. In this case the car in question is the new Renault Captur, which will go into production this year having featured as a concept a couple of years ago.

That’s it in the photo and very good it looks too. There’s clearly no need to describe it here as you can see for yourself that it follows the design theme started by the new Renault Clio that will no doubt be the new face of Renault autos.

It is a small crossover designed to offer the expressive styling and driving position of an SUV whilst simultaneously offering the passengers the space and modular interior of an MPV. If that isn’t enough Renault also believe this car will deliver the agility and driving pleasure associated with a hatchback. So, all things to all men, then; and why not?

In keeping with current trends the Captur is based on the same platform as the Clio and the Nissan Juke. It’s bigger than the former and slightly shorter than the latter. An interesting addition that is sure to be popular is the exterior paint, offered in funky two-tone as standard. Equipment levels are good with parking sensors, hill start assist and keyless entry also standard on all versions. The wheels arches flare out to accommodate a set of butch wide wheels. The overall look gives a lot of kerb appeal.

Also available on option is Renault’s R-Link system which adds a touch screen media tablet that controls the stereo, Bluetooth and all the infotainment functions. The engines are as offered on the Clio including one diesel that will cough up a tax-beating 96g/km.

Like other manufacturers, Renault seem to be listening to consumers and our need for smaller, frugal cars that are still an attractive prospect to own. We want all the benefits yet require dynamic cars that offer good road holding and handling characteristics and this car looks to fit the bill. It is going to be built in Spain and will reveal all at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It will be interesting to see if the reality matches the hype.

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The Monte Carlo Rally in the WRC

Once again, this most famous of motor sport events will, in a few short days, kick off the 2013 season of the World Rally Championship as befits its iconic status. It is the longest running competition of this type in the world and sees its origins go back to 1911 when entrants were encouraged to ‘rally’ – that is to say, meet – at this historic venue. Slightly longer than last year, there will be 468 competitive kilometres of adrenalin fuelled action, run over eighteen special stages. The high spot as ever are the runs up the dreaded Col de Turini (pictured) which include a night run. Memorable.

Famous for the twisting asphalt mountain roads and an unpredictable weather mix when ice and snow are never too far away means that this is not an event for the faint-hearted. It is made worse by fans to will deliberately throw extra snow onto clearing roads to ratchet up their excitement and the driver’s fear.

This will be an especially good year as aficionados will see a new World Champion begin to emerge from the bunch. Now that the legendary Sebastien Loeb is curtailing his rallying activities after successfully securing the world crown nine times, someone else will get a look in.

The otherwise successful M-Sport team will no longer have factory backing from Ford – who decided to pull out, although they are allegedly having second thoughts – but will still mount a full campaign thanks to funds from the Qatar organisation of Nasser al Attiyah. He is presently on Dakar Rally duties. This year they are going for youth with a very strong first team line-up of Mads Ostberg, Thierry Neuville and Evgeny Novikov, three stars of the future.

It is also good to see the return to the WRC of Volkswagen, who are fielding a full factory team of Polo’s with three experienced pilots – Jari-Matti Latvala, Andreas Mikkelsen and Sebastien Ogier. The car is unproven but Volkswagen’s commitment to the sport is unquestionable.

The experienced Citroen team will be back with last year’s runner-up Mikko Hirvonen and the talented Spaniard Dani Sordo. We may well also the first run out for the new Hyundai team who are intent on running a full factory team in 2014. It is good to see manufacturers coming back to this top echelon of rally sport and may well account for Ford’s second thoughts. This change of heart is however mostly down to the fact that the WRC have this year gained full sponsorship from the mighty Red Bull organisation.

All this renewed interest and high anticipation does not seem to have rubbed off on British television. At the time of writing there has been no announcements from any station about possible coverage, even though an experienced broadcast company will be covering all the events. It is very sad that this most exciting of motor sports does not get anything like the UK coverage it deserves, alas. Keep your eyes peeled on the TV schedules. This year we are in for a treat.

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Audi A3 – New And Improved

There’s one thing that you can say about Audi and that’s the fact that they don’t exactly push the boat out when it comes to dramatic shifts in new car design. Conservative seems to be their watchword. The new Audi A3 continues the trend.

Nevertheless, this new car is just that – completely new. It just happens to look a bit like its predecessor; not that that’s a bad thing. The previous incarnation of the A3 was a very good car indeed. With class leading build quality it was considered a premium alternative to the Focus and Astra sector that is until the BMW 1 Series and the Volvo C30 entered the fray alongside the evergreen Golf. Although the A3 was everything the discerning buyer would expect in terms of the quality expected from Audi, it couldn’t match up to the driveability of the competition.

Audi hope to change this perception with the new car. It’s built on a new chassis and first and foremost is much more comfortable on the road than the last one. The steering has been improved so that, rather than the dead hand of automation, the driver can now feel what the road is doing. That makes all the difference. You can upgrade to the sports suspension and bigger wheels but apparently the basic set-up is so good you’d have to be a true enthusiast to warrant the extra expense. That’s the problem with premium cars – get tick happy with the options and the price goes up faster than your car insurance.

There are some nice touches. The interior is superb and put together properly. The touch screen rises from the dashboard like Excalibur from the lake. You can even opt for a concierge service that turns stuff on and off for you. See what we mean about options.

Although things are a little tight in the back, passengers remain comfortable. There’s a pretty deep sill when the hatchback is opened but Audi have got that covered. The floor can be raised up to accommodate loading. Genius! With the boot floor at this height and the back seats down there’s an almost flat load space as big as could be expected from a car in this hatchback sector.

If the customer likes the extra bling on the sports model but doesn’t want the harder suspension then that’s ok too. Standard set-up can be specified, so if you want sports performance but without the bone-jarring then your Audi dealer can arrange it. That’s good service.

There’s a good selection of frugal engines across the board and even the more powerful 2.0L diesel will return over 60mpg. The 1.6L will add another ten to that. There’s an interesting alternative for low mileage petrol users with a clever 1.4L with cylinder deactivation that will give diesel-like mpg.

Overall this is a far better car than the previous model and that was pretty good in itself. The Audi A3 is now a truly viable and genuine alternative to the BMW 1 Series and very welcome it is.

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