Mercedes-Benz all-electric EQC: Should Tesla be worried?

It has taken them a while, but then Mercedes Benz were never ones to rush things: the long-awaited EQ line is finally here, led initially by the fully-electric EQC crossover.

While the luxury electric SUV market is still in a fledgling state, car-makers know the segment will be big – pretty soon. That’s why Jaguar has revealed its electric I-Pace, Audi its e-tron, and BMW its iX3. While only the Jag is available to buy, the rest will be with us in the next couple of years.

For Tesla, having long dominated the luxury electric car segment, the arrival of these electric-powered rivals may cause some loss of sleep – not least for the CEO, Elon Musk.

But should Mr M – and his super alert shareholders – be worried? After all, Tesla’s own e-crossover, the X, has solidified its position as the segment leader.


The EQC’s styling is arguably more audacious than the X’s, with a vast yet elegant grille and a sci-fi demeanour. The Mercedes features fetching blue LED lights at front and back, while the X’s headlight set is fairly suburban.

Side-on, neither car are revolutionary, but the X does have falcon-wing doors – which can open in even the tightest of parking spots – and look immensely cool to boot.


In terms of performance, the EQC features a dual motor set-up, delivering 402hp and 564lb/ft of torque. It can hit 60mph from standstill in 4.9 seconds, with a top speed of 112mph. The 80kWh battery unit offers a range of 279 miles, says Merc – but we’ll wait for the official figures before we get too excited.

Most comparable to the EQC is the Tesla Model X 75D, with a 75kWh pack, providing 247 miles of range. It can hit 60 in 4.9 sec too, but has a top speed of 130mph. Speedier it may be, but the X only boasts 328hp and 387lb/ft of torque. That said, it should be noted that the 90D delivers 503hp and 487lb/ft of torque, with a range of 255 miles.


Tesla owners are often pleased with their purchases, notwithstanding the odd rattle. The EQC, in contrast, hasn’t been driven by the motoring press yet, so reliability levels are a mystery. That said, Mercedes Benz was the highest ranked premium brand in terms of dependability, according to a 2018 JD Power survey (although ranked 14th overall). Buyers should rest assured they won’t be left by the roadside awaiting their vehicle breakdown provider.

So should Tesla be concerned?

It’s not easy to compare the EQC to any of Tesla’s cars – no doubt a situation deliberately engineered by Mercedes-Benz. Looks wise, the EQX arguably pegs the Tesla, while the latter has an impressive futuristic interior, with its vast touch-screen.

The EQC hits the vacant spot between the 75D and the 90D – and that’s why it has a decent shot at Tesla’s crown. However, Tesla has a unique pedigree in this arena, and will be tough to dislodge. And let’s not forget, Musk and Co have other problems too – namely the Jaguar I-Pace and the Audi E-Tron.

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5 British custom car builders you need to know about!

British manufacturing is becoming a lost art, but these five car builders are shaking up the industry, one customised car at a time.


Based in the seaside town of Cornwall, Autostyl have been building and restoring automobiles for over ten years. Offering a range of services, from routine maintenance and body repairs, to custom roll cage manufacture and paint work, Autostyl is a one-stop-shop for all your motoring needs. The team’s enthusiasm, specialist skills, and workshop that is fully equipped with Baileigh industrial metalworking equipment, allows them to produce work to the highest possible standard.


Specialising in custom body paint and the fabrication of classic and custom vehicles, Charlie’s classic ‘n’ custom are renowned for their world-class attention to detail. Their restorations are making quite a name for themselves, having featured photography on Snap-on toolboxes and on the covers of popular industry publications; Retro Cars Magazine and Classic Jaguar! Check out their Facebook page for regular updates on their current projects.


Hampshire based restoration experts, South Coast Vehicle Restoration, focus on turning the wildest ideas into reality. With their newly equipped workshop, they can perform general servicing and custom modifications, to suit your unique requirements. SCV pride themselves on their goal to maintain classic designs whilst adding a modern twist. Our favourite project is their custom Mini, labelled ‘The screaming green meanie Mini’ in the October 2017 edition of Street Machine.


Volkswagen fanatics rejoice! JC Welding Services specialise in restoration and repairs for VW motors, and are just as passionate about these classics as you are. The Leicestershire based fabricators have worked on award winning projects, including the restoration of a burnt-out Samba Deluxe bus.


Last but certainly not least, Southan Metal Craft UK are self-certified as the best coach builders in the UK. Opting for a traditional approach, but maximizing state-of-the-art equipment, the Shropshire metalworking experts can provide the finest results. MD, Pete Southan describes his work as “artistry, with an engineer’s approach” and believes in treating each project as bespoke and individual, resulting in a detailed and seamless finish.

**Image source –**

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Everyday Family Hatchbacks Vs 100% Electric LEAF

There are a number of articles out there about the Nissan LEAF which focus on showing you how it is the best in its class. But, as an everyday combustion engine driver you don’t want to know if Nissan have produced the best electric car in the EV class, you want to know how the LEAF stacks up against the class equivalent of petrol and diesel cars.

So, that’s what we’ve done. Below you’ll find that we’ve compare Nissan’s 100% electric car to a Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf, all of which are family hatchbacks. This will give you a real life look at how the LEAF stacks up against your everyday cars.

Ford Focus

We will start with the Ford Focus. These figures are based on a 1.5 TDCi, below is what we found;

  • Boot Capacity (litres) – 316
  • Boot Space with Seats Laid Flat – 1,215
  • Power (bhp) – 95
  • Torque (Nm) – 250
  • 0-62mph (seconds) – 12
  • C02 Emissions (g/km) – 98
  • Fuel Consumption (mpg) – 74.3
  • Fuel Cost per Mile – 7.16p
  • Road Tax Cost Over 3 Years – £400
  • London Congestion Charge – £11.50 per day

Standard Model Specification

  • Automatic Air Conditioning – Manual Air Con Only
  • Bluetooth – No
  • Front & Rear Electric Windows – Front Only
  • Front Fog Lights – No
  • Push Button Start – No

Vauxhall Astra

The next family car we looked at was a Vauxhall Astra. We based our figures on a 1.4 Ecotec, below is what we found;

  • Boot Capacity (litres) – 370
  • Boot Space with Seats Laid Flat – 1,210
  • Power (bhp) – 100
  • Torque (Nm) – 130
  • 0-62mph (seconds) – 12.6
  • C02 Emissions (g/km) – 124
  • Fuel Consumption (mpg) – 52.3
  • Fuel Cost per Mile – 10p
  • Road Tax Cost Over 3 Years – £400
  • London Congestion Charge – £11.50 per day

Standard Model Specification

  • Automatic Air Conditioning – Manual Air Con Only
  • Bluetooth – Yes
  • Front & Rear Electric Windows – Yes
  • Front Fog Lights – No
  • Push Button Start – No

VW Golf

The next family car we looked at was a VW Golf 1.2TSi, below is what we found;

  • Boot Capacity (litres) – 380
  • Boot Space with Seats Laid Flat – 1,270
  • Power (bhp) – 85
  • Torque (Nm) – 160
  • 0-62mph (seconds) – 11.9
  • C02 Emissions (g/km) – 113
  • Fuel Consumption (mpg) – 57.6
  • Fuel Cost per Mile – 9.08p
  • Road Tax Cost Over 3 Years – £380
  • London Congestion Charge – £11.50 per day

Standard Model Specification

  • Automatic Air Conditioning – Manual Air Con Only
  • Bluetooth – Yes
  • Front & Rear Electric Windows – Yes
  • Front Fog Lights – No
  • Push Button Start – No

leafsimply 2 Everyday Family Hatchbacks Vs 100% Electric LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Last, but by no means least, we look the 2018 Nissan LEAF with its 40kWh battery. Below is what we found;

  • Boot Capacity (litres) – 435
  • Boot Space with Seats Laid Flat – 720
  • Power (bhp) – 147
  • Torque (Nm) – 236
  • 0-62mph (seconds) – 7.9
  • C02 Emissions (g/km) – 0
  • Fuel Consumption (mpg) – 0
  • Fuel Cost per Mile – 2p
  • Road Tax Cost Over 3 Years – £0
  • London Congestion Charge – £0 per day

Standard Model Specification

  • Automatic Air Conditioning – Yes
  • Bluetooth – Yes
  • Front & Rear Electric Windows – Yes
  • Front Fog Lights – Yes
  • Push Button Start – Yes

And there are the facts in black and white, written right in front of you.

This really challenges the old fashioned idea that purchasing a LEAF, or any EV for that matter, will be like driving around in an electric milk float. We’ve seen above the LEAF outperforms the other family hatchbacks at a standard spec level.

The LEAF has the quickest 0-60mph time at 7.9 seconds. It’s got the most brake horsepower at 147bhp and this hatchbacks torque is through the roof at 236Nm. That’s one fast milk float! You could roughly do a quarter mile in 17 seconds.

When looking at the standard specs that comes with the LEAF, Nissan has packed a lot in! Especially when compared against other standard spec family hatchbacks. The elements that come as standard are features that you’d assume wouldn’t, they are all powered by electric and so could be seen as drains on the electric-only power supply. And as you know from secondary school science or dodgy phone batteries, the more power you extract from a battery the quicker it will run down. Not the case with the LEAF, Nissan engineers have worked their magic here.

Let’s Talk Running Costs

That leaves us with the running cost of these hatchbacks.

Comparing this element across the models it would appear to be a no-brainer. The LEAF wins hands down, you don’t pay road tax for the first year and this could save you £400. You don’t need to pay a London congestion charge, making it easier to commute in and around London. And it only cost 2p per mile, 2p! I mean that’s cheap.

That means if you have a 20 mile daily commute (average commute) it will cost you 40p per day to get to where you’re going and back. If we look at our other hatchbacks we can see they cost;

  • Ford Focus = £1.42 per day
  • Vauxhall Astra = £2 per day
  • VW Golf = £1.80 per day

We looked at calculating the cost of fuel for these vehicles against the LEAF but because fuel prices differ so much across the country, plus they fluctuate in price by day, we thought it wouldn’t be an accurate figure we could provide.

What we can tell you is, to fully charge a LEAF it will cost you £3.

So charging an electric car at home costs £3 for a full charge, an average overnight electricity rate is 10p per kWh, which means charging you electric car to full power is the equivalent of running a dishwasher cycle in the evening. Most of us don’t think twice about flicking the dishwasher on once dinner is done. It’s never a case of ‘this is going to cost me’, you would get the same feeling everytime you take your petrol or diesel car out. But, by converting to become an electric driver you won’t think twice about the running costs. You may even be able to cut your costs down further by utilising the free electric charging stations available across the UK.


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The Dancing Man – DCT


Honda launched their first Dual Clutch Transmission motorcycle (the VFR12ooF) back in May of 2010, since then it’s popularity has grown with over 12,500 customers purchasing the technology in Europe alone.

In 2012 4 more models were released (the Integra*, NC700X, NC700S and Crosstourer) and in 2013 an additional 2 model (CTX700 and CTX700N) were added again.

So to show how much better 2 is compared to 1, Honda have released ‘The Dancing Man’ campaign to demonstration how much fun 2 can work together and how well they can perform.

The video is catchy so don’t worry if you watch it more then once, with some great gallery images and more info video’s connected to the ad, make sure you click through to find out more on this great technology and the models you can get it on.

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How Old (And Dangerous) Are Your VW’s Tyres?

One of the biggest advantages to owning and driving an older model Volkswagen Beetle is its history. It’s easy to sit back in the driver’s seat and imagine all the dreams your car has fulfilled over the years, and imagine all the wonder and excitement it will bring you in the coming years.

Just because your Volkswagen is old, though, doesn’t mean its parts have to be. As a VW Beetle owner it is your responsibility to ensure every Beetle part is safe, reliable, and functioning correctly, so your VW can keep on running like it should, and you can relax knowing it is safe to drive.

While the proper function of a VW is dependent on many types of Beetle parts, it is especially important for you to consider its tyres. Ageing tyres not only affect the way your Beetle drives, but can also be extremely dangerous.

Tyres and Old Age

In the past, car owners have been taught to always look at the tread of a tyre to determine its safety and age. If the tread was worn down, the tyre was said to be balding and it shouldn’t be used. This way of thinking is incorrect. Over time, the compounds in a tyre begin to deteriorate. This deterioration is not always visible on the outside, so it cannot be judged by the condition of the tread. Beetle spare tyres and even new tyres that have never been used but have been around for years can be just as deadly as older tyres with worn tread.

As a tyre ages, the rubber it is made of begins to crack. Think of it like a rubber band. If you have a rubber band sitting in a desk drawer for a year and one day you decide to take it out and stretch it, little cracks will be present in the rubber. On a tyre, these cracks are not always seen, but are sometimes visible on the inside of the tyre or the surface. Over time, this cracking can result in a separation of the steel belts located in the tread and the rest of the tyre.

When this separation occurs, the result can be deadly, especially if the car is in motion when it occurs. A driver can easily lose control of the VW, potentially risking their life and the life of others on the road.

Replacing VW Beetle Parts: How Long do Tyres Last

In most cases, tyres can last anywhere from six to ten years from the date they are manufactured. Several factors come into play, however, when calculating the expiration date for these Beetle parts.

• Heat- Research has shown that in warmer climates tyres tend to age much more quickly, especially in locations where the tyre is subjected often to sunlight and warmer temperatures.

• Storage- Whether you’re storing a tyre in a shop or garage or storing spares for your personal VW, the location is key. Spare tyres that are mounted on the back of a Beetle are left exposed to sun, weather, and dirt. Those that are stored in the trunk are exposed to high temperatures, especially in warmer climates. Thinking of it like baking the tyre in a miniature oven. Even if the tyre is sitting on a shelf, has not been inflated, and isn’t mounted on a wheel will still age, but much more slowly.

• Use- How do you treat your Beetle tyres? How many times have you accidentally hit the curb when pulling up to the bank’s drive through window? Do you only drive the Beetle on the weekend? The way the car is used will affect its ageing process dramatically, either slowing it down or increasing it. Always make sure you maintain proper tyre pressure, have the tyres rotated often, and have them inspected regularly by a professional.

Don’t be fooled by the thread. Old tyres, even those with thread in good condition, can be extremely dangerous on the road.

Need parts for your Beetle? Come to Veewee for the right parts and tools to keep your tyres in good condition, like gauges, footpumps, and cleaners.

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5 things you don’t want to hear from a mechanic

Going to the garage can be a bit nervy at the best of times, but here’s some of the post-check-up news you don’t want to be hearing…

A car is a complicated machine, albeit one that has very much become part of our daily lives. With over 28 million cars on the road in the UK, it’s the mode of transport for more than half of us adults.

After a small dip in 2010, it seems we’re back in love with the automobile but all that time spent behind the wheel can have some damaging effects. Given how much the technology and mechanics of modern cars have improved on the models of the 1950s, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s barely any work that needs to be done to keep them in shape.

Allianz Your Cover ( provides you with 5 nightmare mechanic responses to a ‘tickle’ in the engine which are usually the result of overlooking a basic maintenance task for your automobile.

1. Seized engine due to lack of oil
This is one of the nightmare situations. It means that your engine has fused and failed due to a lack of lubrication; the heat of the engine’s movements, combined with the lack of oil to smooth their journeys, causes them to melt together into a metal lump. You could be looking at up to £10,000 for a new or re-manufactured engine.

2. Hydrolocked engine
Also not news you’ll be desperate to hear: a hydrolocked engine is caused by water getting into the cylinders. This usually occurs when attempting to cross deep puddles in low-slung cars, or through flooding. It means that this expensive piece of machinery, which has the power to expel excess droplets and air molecules, cannot expel the load of water dumped into it. Again, you’re looking at several thousand pounds.

3. Broken timing belt
This one is embarrassing; you’ll notice that, if you read your guidance manual for the car, the timing belt is something that should be checked and changed around every 30,000 miles. If you have an interference engine (these are a modern invention: they allow the valves to open further and breathe into the oncoming piston), they rely on one of these to work. But the timing belt wears down and, if it isn’t replaced, you’re looking at £1,000 worth of damage to your valves and pistons.

4. Overheated engine
Sometimes a little smoke coming from the engine is fine, right? Be vigilant here. Catching an overheating engine early is fine but ignoring it, pretending it will go away, can lead to a blown head gasket, a cracked head or a cracked block. These three problems get respectively more expensive – heading up over the nasty side of £5,000.

5. Broken computer
Many cars these days have up to 20 computers inside them working away at once. Whilst we pay little heed to them, and some of the protective circuitry goes, it’s easy for one to blow the whole system and fry all its computer friends. If the problem is small, fine, maybe you can fix the one computer; otherwise you could be looking at getting a new car.

The takeaway:

If you conduct regular maintenance checks on your vehicle you will be able to avoid most of the issues mentioned above and spend your money on more enjoyable things such as taking your family on a road trip around France over the summer or getting the latest accessory for your car.

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Think Before You Buy A New Car

After a while everyone gets a bit fed up with their existing car and the urge comes upon them that it is time for a change. Well, there’s an old motto that goes ‘buy in haste, repent at leisure’ and this could well have been written about the act of trading up to another vehicle. There are plenty of excellent used cars on the market so why do people select the first thing that the first internet search throws up? It’s surprising how often this happens.

The problem is that treating yourself to a new car should, not unreasonably, be an enjoyable experience and in all the excitement common sense can be overlooked. The trick is not to be talked into a rash purchase. It is all very well standing on a forecourt being impressed by big talk from a sales person but all may not be as it seems. It is a crucial part of buying a car that a decision is made with due care and attention.

For example, how many people, even today, buy a car without doing a ? It is one of the great truths that you can’t take people’s word for things. A data check costs peanuts and can be done on the spot if for no other reason than peace of mind. In the same vein, anyone who buys a car without checking and verifying the paperwork is simply asking to get duped.

The other aspects that potential buyers tend to overlook are the costs involved in running this or that car. Vehicle Excise Duty goes up every year – or so it seems – and it needs to be costed into the equation. Modern cars are good and reliable but sometimes the servicing costs can be surprisingly high and spare parts expensive. To many people ignore these figures and only find out later what it is going to cost them.

Key to ensuring the budget is equal to the spend is looking into the price of car insurance. It may not be quite so exciting as it is to buy a car spontaneously but checking with a reliable insurance company like 1st Central Insurance before setting your heart on a particular brand or model may well be the difference between enjoyment and disappointment. This is especially true of younger drivers for whom a competitive quote is vital.

Buying a quality used car is fun. No matter how modest the purchase may be the new owner will still be looking out the window at their new pride and joy sitting outside. There are right ways to buy a car and there are wrong ways. Don’t get carried away by rushing a purchase. Car insurance is an important part of this decision. It matters, so choose wisely.

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The Gorgeous Ferrari FF Redefines The Hatchback

For the first time ever, it’s possible to use the words ‘Ferrari’ and ‘hatchback’ in the same sentence – the new Ferrari FF is a revolution on four wheels. It has the unmistakeable aura that you’ll recognise a mile off, bringing the essence of Ferrari together with a host of new features.

‘FF’ represents the theme of four throughout the model: the car seats up to four adults, runs in four-wheel drive, and offers a minimum of 450 litres of boot space. The two rear seats in the cabin aren’t just for show, and they fold down flat to make more room for luggage, shopping and sports equipment. As you’d expect from a luxury Ferrari, the full leather upholstery makes each drive that bit more relaxing. Drivers can also choose exclusive Ferrari upgrades and accessories to personalise their car.

There’s a breathtaking 6.3-litre V12 engine under the bonnet of the Ferrari FF, which produces both an envy-inspiring rumble and 615bhp. A dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox is fitted to match it, and both manual and automatic driving modes are available. The car reaches 60mph from a standstill in only 3.7 seconds, and has the potential to climb to 208mph.

Ferrari cars are legendary for their stunning looks and exceptional power – yet there’s an identical emphasis on passenger protection. By adding a range of reassuring security features, the manufacturer has tempered the model’s exciting appeal with safety befitting a road vehicle. The FF’s blistering performance is supported by advanced traction controls and anti-lock brakes. Should you be involved in a collision, the Ferrari deploys side impact airbags and seatbelt pretensioners to keep every passenger secure.

You can take the new Ferrari FF out for a spin from Helston Garages in Devon – give them a ring to experience this awe-inspiring car first hand. They’ll also provide full Ferrari FF specs, pictures and prices.

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The Family-Friendly Ford KA Is a Streamlined Stunner

As part of the refresh of the Ford range, the manufacturer is using their ‘Kinetic Design’ to adapt the look and feel of several popular models – and one of the most stylishly functional is the new Ford KA.

Styled with smooth and dynamic lines, the car stands out on the road with a more confident, purposeful aura. The vast customisation options and accessories for the KA are typical of a Ford, with free and paid upgrades available inside and out. A rearranged cabin layout creates more space and puts all of the main controls in a more logical place. The driver enjoys increased legroom, and every passenger travels in relaxed comfort.

A wide range of petrol and diesel engines are offered with every new KA, and the selection also gives drivers more choice when looking for an approved used version. It’s got one of the best levels of fuel economy in its category, with all low-carbon engines that reduce CO2 emissions from the exhaust. Business drivers and families alike will also love that the KA is in a low bracket for Vehicle Excise Duty.

Safety is also a key consideration in the design of every Ford – it’s an area in which the car maker has won plenty of awards. The KA is built with an Intelligent Protection system, which can sense an impact and put safety measures into place. Bluetooth with voice control allows for safe hands-free calls, and the rear parking sensors make those tricky backwards manoeuvres feel effortless.

If you’re interested in buying a new or approved used Ford KA, or in heading out on a test drive before making your mind up, visit Gates Ford. They offer the new car in a range of colours and trim levels, with special offers that are really competitive on price. Contact them at your nearest dealership today to find out more.

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Ford – The Market Leaders

Motorists today have never had it so good and there is a wealth of choice available to buyers of new cars and a thriving market for quality used cars. Competition is fierce and one company that consistently delivers the right car at the right time is Ford. Every since the day in 1903 when three Model A Fords were shipped to our shores from the USA, the name of Ford has been synonymous with the motor industry in Britain.
In recent years Ford have produced successive generations of cars that have maintained their popularity. This is because they have evolved over time to met the requirements of climate change legislation and high fuel costs, amongst other things. Notable in the company’s range has been the addition of EcoBoost engine technology.
EcoBoost encompasses a range of turbo-charged direct injection engines that produce the power and torque expected from engines with much bigger displacement yet still achieving far superior fuel economy and greatly reduced greenhouse gases. The star amongst these has got to be the one litre, three cylinder version that is beginning to appear across the vehicle range.
It is available in the evergreen Ford Focus. If ever a car online casino exemplified automotive success it’s this one. The first version released in 1998 was a revelation to drive and subsequent models have continued to improve the model. It remains a popular choice in the used car market where its reputation for reliability is a major selling point.
It is notable in recent years that customers are looking for frugal, smaller cars, these days referred to as superminis. This is a burgeoning market as drivers downsize, and the car that constantly appears at the top of the best seller list is the Ford Fiesta.
Now in its sixth generation the Fiesta is small, affordable, well equipped and cheap to run. Best of all it is great to drive – an attribute Ford seem to have been able to channel across the whole vehicle range. It makes for a great used car buy. With the 1L EcoBoost engine it produces a road tax busting 99g/km and will deliver over 60 miles per gallon.
The range of vehicles offered by Ford covers every need. From spacious family people carriers, SUVs and luxury saloons coupled with the above best sellers and the nimble Ka, they’ve pretty much got the market covered. There is a comprehensive range of dealers just a click away. Derbyshire buyers might like to try Matlock Ford for Ford used cars, for example. Car makers come from all corners of the world but it is the Ford name that is trusted by UK buyers.

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