Tag Archive | "buy new cars"

Age Shall Not Wither Our Older Cars.

Older cars are enjoying the strongest demand in the second-hand market as used car dealers hunt for vehicles that will compete best against cheap new car deals. Research has revealed that the impact on the used car demand pattern from low finance rates and discounts to encourage new car registrations has had a marked effect on the used car trade.

Overall trade values across the market are notably stable and – in some cases – rose during the second half of August thanks to restricted volume coupled with on-going solid retail demand. Surprisingly, the thirteen registration plate has had no effect on new car registrations and demand has remained strong in the used car market, although there are now signs emerging of some downward pressure on late plate values.
OLD21 Age Shall Not Wither Our Older Cars.
It seems that, for dealers, the most highly prized cars for retail are older cars in tip-top condition, Particularly in the 3 – 4 years old bracket, which look best value in comparison with newer cars. Here, some trade prices actually increased in the latter part of August as used car specialists worked ever harder to meet demand. The result of this is that one year old car values have depreciated slightly more than their older counterparts. This trend was anticipated by the industry and it is only really now that real evidence of values for late plate cars being more heavily affected than the rest of the age ranges has been seen.

September, coming as it does with the new 63 registration and the boost in sales of new cars, is seen as a pivotal month but it seems that trade values will change little in the short term. Factors that come into play are the likely influx of dealer part exchanges, the attractiveness of new car offers from manufacturers, and the determination of franchised dealers to hit their new targets.

The impact of more stock in the market from trade-ins is unlikely to have any major impact until towards the end of September. New car offers will be strong but may improve throughout the month as some manufacturers chase market share. Overall it looks like the both the new and used car market will remain fairly buoyant in the face of our economic gloom. Maybe things are looking up after all.

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Renault Scenic XMOD – A Fine Family Car

Renault’s popular Scenic has been with us now since 1996, yet the company continue to evolve the model and it remains a popular family choice. Well, now they’ve done it again with a refreshed design and some of the very latest technology. For the purposes of this article we’ve chosen the XMOD version. This is because, although it has no claim to any real off-road ability is perhaps the better choice for the outdoor family.

The restyling carries design hints from the new Clio and big brother, the Captur. With this new car the rather pedestrian nature of predecessors has been thoroughly upgraded. It’s a versatile car that is also, for its type, a decent drive.

The Scenic XMOD has a sort of crossover appeal with its additional butch body trim and this look might not appeal to all Scenic fans, but otherwise there is plenty to recommend this car. The car features ‘Grip Xtend’ which is supposed to deliver extra traction on rough surfaces. There are three different settings: Expert, Road and Loose Ground, selected via a rotary control in the cabin. The vehicle is fitted with mud and snow tyres for additional security as standard.RSX Renault Scenic XMOD   A Fine Family Car

As previously mentioned this is no off-roader but may well give an extra sense of security on Britain’s rough roads during the Winter. Motor Blogger has tried it on grass and gravel and it does seem to seek out that little bit of extra grip. With the added bonus of winter tyres this seems like the ideal car for the school run.

Boot space has increased over the previous Renault Scenic to 555 litres, which compares well with the competition. There is 71 litres worth of storage space in the cabin too and the seats are individually foldable and removable. The interior is comfortable and roomy. There’s a choice of four engines on offer. For its type, this is car is good to drive. Performance is perfectly adequate, the seats are supportive and the high-riding view out is excellent. As you would expect, all the usual goodies are either standard or on the options list. The Bose sound system is especially good.

The car industry does rather like to talk up its products in over-the-top language and Renault are no different. The company says that this car has been ‘designed for men who are more than just dads, ready for their own adventures’. Is it likely to bring out the explorer lurking within suburban fathers? No; but when it comes to moving the family about the countryside then it is just the job.

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New Audi A3 TDI Version – Economy And Performance

The Audi A3 is justifiably a best seller and there are several variants to choose from. Now there’s even more choice. A more powerful version of the 150PS offering, with a 2.0L TDI 184PS engine, has been produced. This new power plant  has a lowest-in-class CO² figure of a meagre 108g/km. The TDI A3 will sprint o 62mph in a swift 7.3 seconds and despite this, the company claim 68.9mpg – officially.

The car is immediately available in hatchback or sport back forms and a saloon version is in the pipeline. This latest car has the option of the legendary Quattro four-wheel drive (and why wouldn’t you?) and, interestingly, some new advanced LED lighting.

Audi have made something of a name for themselves where advanced lighting and diesel technology are concerned and they pushed the standard further forward this time as well. The Company is the first to bring the benefits of LED headlamps to the premium compact class. The distinctive and highly efficient new alternatives to the more familiar xenon gas discharge headlamps, which will continue to be offered, are available for every A3 and S3 variant. The option costs a tasty two grand but includes LED rear lights coupled with light and rain sensors.

Nine high-performance LED chips in two free-form reflectors generate the low-beam light in the new headlights for the A3, while the high beam uses ten high-performance LEDs to emit light through an aluminium aperture. Static turning and all-weather lights are housed in a separate module, while the daytime running and parking lights and the indicators are formed by a light guide that wraps around the upper and inner headlights.

There are also motorway and junction functions and the all-weather light produced eliminates the need for separate fog lamps. This is amazing technology for which Audi are justly famous.

Just about everyone on the planet knows about Audi’s successes in endurance racing and this has helped them to develop their sophisticated diesel technology. What’s less well known is that have also used this lighting technology on their racing cars. This is a classic example of how motor racing experiments and innovations advances the technology in regular road cars.

Of course, with a premium product comes premium prices. The new A3 2.0L TDI costs between twenty four and thirty thousand pounds depending on the chosen spec, which is a lot for this size of car. On the other hand the buyer does get a lot for the money including Audi build quality which is second to none.

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Dacia Duster Black Edition

The budget Dacia range has certainly gained a foothold in the minds of British drivers. In these days of high motoring costs the budget ethos of the Dacia brand has stuck a chord with car buyers.

The Sandero is the cheapest car available today and whilst it won’t win any premium prizes it is certainly an attractive and functional car that pretty much gives drivers all they need even if it isn’t everything they want. A new car for shockingly affordable money is hard to resist.

Dacia, recently subsumed under the umbrella of the French manufacturer Renault, has made an enemy of the unnecessary and makes a simple range of cleverly designed, high quality vehicles which unashamedly favour function over frivolity.

Dacia have not forgotten that some drivers need something a little more rugged and the highly regarded Duster fits the bill. To date – since its introduction earlier this year – the company have taken some 4,000 orders already so now they’ve announced a new special version threateningly called The Black Edition.

The Black Edition was originally supposed to be a one-off made especially for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Such was the interest shown that the decision was made to actually offer this model for sale. Orders are being taken now for October delivery.

black2 Dacia Duster Black Edition

The Black is a Duster Ambiance dCi 110 two-wheel drive and it is loaded with a host of extras including a brushed black vinyl wrap finish. The interior has ash leather and a Kenwood media system. The Kenwood set-up includes a high-res screen, Garmin navigation (with traffic info), Bluetooth, DAB, hands-free and the usual connectivity. Buyers of this rugged motor will not just be delighted with the car, they’ll also be delighted with the price which is hugely competitive at £17,575.

As can be seen from the images the cars certainly looks the part – the image shows the optional roof mounted spots which might prove to be useful for campers or late night pizza hunters.

There must be something in it. Already the Sandero and Duster have won a selection of awards. It’s a no nonsense brand that doesn’t waste money on the things that – for most motorists – are only marginally of value. Instead it concentrates on real value for money. No doubt the we’ll see a goodly number of Black Editions on the road come next winter.

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Vauxhall’s Monza Concept Teaser

Opel/Vauxhall (themselves subsidiaries of GM) are not giving away too much in the image above which features Company Chief Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann alongside the Monza concept, but there’s a fair amount of information on offer regarding the future direction of this long-established company. Their philosophy in the usual auto-speak – that has evolved like an alien language over the years – is going to be: The evolution of sculptural styling with innovative connectivity for individual mobility.

This then is the future and it pretty much falls in line with the general trend. The cars of the future are changing even as we watch although they still can’t make a decent cup of tea.

The Monza Concept will appear at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. It is part of the ongoing development programme of next-gen cars being worked on by a large workforce of engineers and designers. This is thanks to the not inconsiderable sum of $4 billion handed over by GM America that has been earmarked for future European developments.

Aerodynamics are clearly playing a big part as the car sits very low with a very defined bonnet and fluid shape. We have to admit it does look good. Although we have to assume that this is simply a design exercise it may herald the future ‘family’ look for Opel/Vauxhall products or even presage a new GT car. Expect a low-capacity, high-powered range of petrol engines with electrical assistance.

The Company are saying that we can also expect a ‘quantum leap’ forward in material use and of the infotainment systems. There’s a suggestion that the car may be based on the front-wheel drive Cascada platform although first whispers said rear-wheel drive. We’ll see.

It is interesting how these design philosophies filter down through the years. A long time ago, at the Geneva Salon in 1966 in fact, the company showed the world its XVR concept. That’s it in the bigger picture – note that the test driver is wearing a suit and tie! The design is widely indicative of the things that have actually come to pass. With its wide, low profile tyres you can see the design cues of cars to come.

monz2 Vauxhall’s Monza Concept Teaser

No major details yet, then, on the Monza Concept and none at all on the interior but Opel/Vauxhall are saying that with trend-setting technologies they will change the driving experience. We are very much looking forward to Frankfurt.

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Hot Wheels From Kia

In the crowded hot hatch sector, enthusiastic drivers have never had so much choice. All the usual suspects are there sporting GTI badges or something similar. Some are better than others; most are pretty good. So why, it is fair to wonder, would Kia try to elbow their way into this testosterone filled motoring mosh pit.

Let’s be frank here. When Kia first appeared on the market they were not, to be charitable, very good cars. Those days are now gone and their automotive offerings are very good indeed; excellent value and a decent drive have meant that the brand has burgeoned in popularity with their range of good value family cars of which the Cee’d stands out. Add to that an impressive seven year warranty across the range and business is looking sweet.

So why then has the company decided to enter the fray up against some mighty and established competition? The Kia pro_cee’d GT goes on sale in three-door form next month and will cost around £20,000. A little more if the buyer opts for the three or five year all inclusive service and care package which looks to be good value. A five door is expected next year.KIA2 Hot Wheels From Kia

OK; so it’s a good looking hot hatch, competitively priced but what makes it special? 0-60mph is achieved in a decent, but not class leading, 7.4 seconds – achieved by flooring the 1.6L T-GDi engine. (Don’t worry – it’s not a diesel, it’s a Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection). This develops 201bhp at 6,000rpm. This is the first problem.

Just as an example the refined SEAT Ibiza Cupra produces less brake horse power but is actually faster, as are most of the opposition. Buyers select these flyers because they deliver great performance for relatively low cost and it is hard to see how Kia can make any inroads into the sector. The GT has a six-speed ’box and there is no paddle option which seems like an oversight.

That said, this car is very well priced and has the Kia seven year warranty which helps to make it a more attractive proposition. Also, it could well appeal to the keen driver who wants a sporty drive but still expects comfort and practicality; something, it has to be said, that is not available on some of the more hairy-chested hot hatches. Insurance is likely to be more keenly priced as well, so maybe KIA are on to something after all. Let’s hope the car is well received upon release.

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Too Many Cars?

Since the beginning of 2013 Motor Blogger has reported on all the various car shows from a round the world and we’re not finished yet because there will be plenty more before the year is out. It seems that barely a month can go by without there being a flock of new cars and concepts for our delight and delectation. This is a good thing.

Or is it? In 1909 Henry Ford was quoted as saying, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.”

The Ford Model-T was a people’s car and the grand old man of motors knew that what his customers wanted more than anything else was, basically, a ‘faster horse’. Buyers were content. What they didn’t ask for was a ‘floating roof’ or a choice of a zillion different colour schemes or a communication device that can hack into NASA.

Such is progress. Car manufacturers have already effectively built the ‘perfect’ car. They are generally well made and reliable. There really isn’t much further they can go with the internal combustion engine and four wheels. So they look instead for other ways to relieve us of money. New car buyers have the chance to individually customise their purchases without giving any thought to its resale value. Trendy infotainment centres make the flight deck of the Enterprise look like a crystal set. The car has ceased to be transport and become a lifestyle accessory.

As if that wasn’t enough, we are now offered a bewildering choice of different models from different manufacturers that pretty much all do the same things in the same way. A new variation is always just around the corner and a stream of ‘concept cars’ with increasingly daft names tee us up for what is to come. Enough already! We don’t want all this. It is hard enough for most people to put a vehicle on the road at all without having to consider whether or not a chequerboard roof will match their underwear or go down well at the pub.

Unquestionably, the car companies have worked wonders giving us frugal new cars and designers have managed to squeeze a lot of usable space out of some very small dimensions. This is what we want. Naturally there will always be a market for powerful or expensive cars. There will also always be a market for pointless cars for people with more money than brain cells but the majority of customers just want a car. It needs to be competitively priced, cheap to run, long-lasting, reliable, drive well and get us from A to B as required.

For economy’s sake Renault, for example, have scaled back their catalogue and are the better for it. They have something for everyone without going overboard with a million variations on the same thing. In Henry Ford’s day the car was seen as a modern automotive substitute for the horse. Different manufacturers produced a sufficiency of cars to give a buyer a simple selection to choose from. Possibly today’s manufacturers could alleviate their financial problems in a weakened market by cutting back on all the bling.

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European Car Sales Fall In March

“The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow, and what will poor motorist do then, poor thing?” – with apologies to the nursery rhyme. That’s how things are these days; the ravages of winter and the parlous state of the economies of Europe are taking their toll on the car industry. Sort of like the Robin in the children’s story, new car buyers are sitting in their homes and hiding their heads under a duvet. Despite the fact that cars have never been better or better value, the market has gone flat and, not for the first time this winter, sales are falling.

Car sales have dropped consistently over the last eighteen months as recession continues to bite. Since March 2012 overall sales in Europe have dropped by 10.3%. Essentially, this is the cream at the top of the milk as far as manufacturers are concerned and they are starting to hurt. The worst casualty is the Peugeot Citroen conglomerate with Toyota coming a close second.

Bizarrely and despite the best efforts of the Chancellor, sales in the UK have actually risen by nearly six percent! This may not be quite as exciting as it appears because dealers are cutting prices to the bone to try and battle the economic stagnation. One excellent dealer known to Motor Blogger has just started offering the entire ranges of two manufacturers at cost price as they try to fulfil their annual quota. This has got to be good for sales but at what price in the long run? These are tough times.

Germany is consistently the best economic performer in the EU yet it saw the biggest drop of all with new car sales down by a mighty seventeen percent despite heavy incentives of anywhere between 2000 – 3000 from the industry. This picture is repeated across the Nations, particularly in the countries especially badly hit, like Spain.

The French car makers were not the only ones to suffer. General Motors saw sales falling by 12.8% and even mighty Volkswagen dropped 16 points compared to this time last year. On the good news front, one company bucking the trend is Jaguar with sales buoyantly rising by a stupendous twenty one percent. They obviously know something that the others don’t – or is it just the case that some buyers are pretty recession proof? Whatever, it’s good to see a British company (yes, we know it’s owned by an Indian outfit but let’s not be pedantic) doing so well against the trend.

So if you are in the market for a new car and feel like cutting an especially good deal, it is almost certain that your local dealer can help you out. He may also let you marry his daughter.

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