Subaru Impreza

Past models of the Subaru Impreza have had the tendency to be really fast, really expensive, and reserved for a more elite group of buyers who could afford them. The newer model has been designed to appeall to the masses. The firm is now offering sturdy saloons and estates that boast many of the qualities that buyers are seeking. Qualities that include all-wheel drive capabilities, easy handling and excellent build quality.

Subaru is often associated with its fast car the Impreza. Upon closer inspection buyers will discover that there’s more to the Impreza than that. Subaru is known for building cars that last a lifetime. This reputation has been built on the fact that the Japanese car maker’s products always score well above average in reliability, durability and customer satisfaction. It is because of these consistent qualities that the lesser performing Impreza’s should be considered. They share almost identical styling features as their rally-replica counterparts. They share the same build quality and deliver the same ride, only at a slower pace. The Impreza Sports Wagon offers buyers a rugged compact load lugger. The car benefits from all-wheel drive, but offers good insurance rates and fuel economy. Running costs are higher than for a mainstream car, but with greater longevity and standard all-wheel drive.

 Practicality

The Impreza is affordable, well equipped and reliable. The Impreza is a very practical purchase. On the downside, the car is thirsty and offers short servicing intervals. The car’s residual values remain firm. The Impreza is on the compact side and boasts only modest amounts of cabin space. Items can be carried in the back of the car for convenience. Legroom is limited as could be expected in a car this size. The main dials and controls are large enough and easy to read. The steering, gearshift and pedals are also easy to operate. The minor controls to the right of the steering wheel could have been better designed, but other than that it is all functional and well laid out. Subaru’s sports seats are comfortable and supportive. They may not be as comfortable for larger passengers. The cabin is compact, but will hold two adults comfortably with good head and legroom. Rear legroom is limited. Cabin noise has successfully been suppressed even at higher speeds. The Impreza provides good access for front seat passengers. The doors open wide and access is good for a compact car. Rear access is more limited with smaller doors and less cabin room once inside. Accessing the car’s load bay is simple, as the tailgate doesn’t require much effort to raise or lower. The Impreza’s steering is light at low speeds making it fairly easy to maneuver the car while parking. Being four-wheel drive, the Impreza’s ability to make a tight turn is somewhat limited. All-in-all not too difficult to park.

 Life Style

The 2.0-litre R models can be a lot of fun to drive briskly. The four-wheel drive system adds a higher level of safety, while supple suspension, direct steering and a smooth gearchange complete the experience. The Impreza would make an ideal car for a growing family. Its compact size will allow it to navigate easily through town and crowded streets. The Wagon’s ability to carry strollers, shopping, and other odd sized packages will come in handy as well. With rear space limited, it is more suited to accommodate children than adults. The down side is the car’s fuel economy. Fuel could prove costly for a family on a budget. This is not likely to be the choice of most first car buyers. Running coists are too high, servicing costs are high, and insurance rates are higher than average as well. The car is easy enough to drive, it will just prove to be too costly for most novice drivers. Impreza boasts quite a respectable image. The Impreza brand has a loyal following from the turbo models to the slower cars. Some of the reasons for this following include good dealer service, excellent reliability, solid residuals and the benefits of permanent four-wheel drive. The car’s quality has had some trouble keeping up with the likes of Ford and Vauxhall.

 Security and Safety

 The standard specification on all cars  is remote central locking and deadlocks, a Thatcham category one alarm and engine immobiliser. It mayy be wise to invest in a visual deterrent as well. Driver and front passenger airbags are a welcome sight on the Impreza’s list of standard equipment, but the base 2.0R estate model doesn’t receive side airbags. The car also comes with anti-lock brakes and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.

  The Finishing Touches

 The only difference between the 2.0 and faster 2.5-litre cars is the inclusion of two extra speakers for the 2.5-litre version. The radio and CD unit is easy to operate, and delivers decent sound quality. Most exterior colours work well on the Impreza. Red is not very common, but looks very flattering. Silver and black are more traditional executive colours, but don’t look as good. Inside silver dominates the cabin, and although the quality of the plastics used has been improved the result isn’t as good as the quality of rivals. can’t match its rivals.

 Summary

 With so many compact load luggers around, the Impreza may have trouble competing. Buyers loyal to the brand may even be hard pressed to justify buying the Impeaza over other brands. With no diesel option and modest service intervals, the car costs a little more than average to run. There are positives though, it is a practical, versatile and stylish car.

2014-Subaru-Impreza-concept

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Mercedes Benz E-Class

Mercedes Benz E-Class

 Many offerings in the E-Class focus on sporty appeal, but the elegant-looking Mercedes’ E-Class is geared more toward comfort. The car has received several enhancements and now has even more to offer.

 The E-Class exterior boasts clean lines and has a very appealing look. This car is often seen as a choice for mature buyers who aren’t looking for anything risky or exciting. The E-Class is definitely delivers a comfortable ride. Designers were eager to make a few enhancements and broaden the car’s appeal but not at the expense of comfort or refinement. They sharpened the car’s responses so that it provided a better driving experience. By the time the designers had finished, the E-Class boasted over 2,000 changes. The enhancements were mostly under the skin and to the interior. By looking at the E-Class’ exterior it is difficult to pinpoint any external changes with the exception of the car’s bumpers, headlamps, and some trimming. The car’s steering has been improved and suspension changes have produced a note worthy change for the better. The car is now more capable of satisfying the needs of enthusiastic drivers while still catering to comfort. The car is also much safer than before and gives buyers a choice of several engine options.

 Practicality

 The E-Class comes with a high level of standard equipment. It is now more of a bargain than previous models. There are still many expensive cost options to choose from. Resale values should remain high, and opting for the diesel engine will give improved fuel economy. Cabin space in the E-Class is good, and four adults should be able to ride with plenty of room. Head and legroom is good in the front and headroom is good in the back with legroom largely dependent on the size of the front seat passengers.The car’s boot is large and can accommodate a decent load. The car’s displays are logically set up and easy to use. The car’s trip computer comes in handy and doubles as a display for the car’s sat-nav system. The car’s basic functions are duplicated on the steering wheel for driver convenience. The E-Class provides an extremely comfortable ride. Engine and road noise are successfully minimized, and the cabin is spacious with supportive yet comfortable seats. Accessibility to the front seats is excellent. Thanks to the large door openings most passengers should easily be able to access the front seats. Access to the rear seats is also good but somewhat more limited. Very few people should have difficulty accessing the rear seats. The boot is also easily accessible and shouldn’t pose any problems.  The car is large but it is not too difficult to park. The car’s steering is light at low speeds, and the car provides good all-round visibility. The car’s side mirrors are large and provide a ggod view of the car’s rear.

 Life Style

 Improvements to the E-Class include changes to the car’s suspension and steering, which has resulted in a more balanced and rewarding driving experience. The car comes with a selection of new or revised engines and transmissions. Many cars get a seven-speed auto gearbox. The E-Class could easily accommodate a family. It is spacious enough and delivers a good quality ride. The upholstery may not hold up well to grungy fingers and other abuse that children can dish out. The E-Class is expensive to buy and run, and even if a new driver could afford the car it is not likely to embody many of the attributes that attract younger or more novice drivers. The E-Class is an easy car to drive but is pricy to maintain and insure. The E-Class is quality built with high quality cabin materials. The E-Class tends to be less sporty than the competition but delivers a higher rate of elegance and refinement.

 Security and Safety

 Mecedes are always high on a thieves priority list. That’s why the car comes equipped with an engine immobiliser and a security alarm system. Of course, a tracking device may be an option worthy of the additional price. Remote central locking is also a standard feature. The car features a full array of airbags, electronic traction and stability aides, with the inclusion as standard of Pre-Safe, a system that effectively braces a car for an impact.

 The Finishing Touches

The car’s standard audio unit delivers an excellent sound quality and the systems basic features are duplicated on the steering wheel. A lengthy list of options are available and are costly yet very tempting. The car’s exterior looks best in dark metallic colors. The car’s interior looks more flattering in lighter colors. Dark colors and wood trim will be a popular choice for many buyers as well.

 Summary

 The E-Class gives buyers a more refined elegant alternative to the sportier competition. The car has improved past imperfections and now has a lot more to offer buyers in terms of quality and refinement.

 

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BMW 6 Series

The BMW’s 6 Series is making some serious waves with its new body style. Although many are giving the rakish new style the thumbs up, others are not as pleased. The new 6 is still smooth and just as competent as previous models. The head turning BMW has a bold fresh style, people either seem to love it or really dislike it. Either way, there is no denying the same great quality that has become a trademark of the BMW brand. The outside may look radically different, but the interior has the same familiar features of other BMW’s. The interior controls are easy to use and practical, although there aren’t many controls to figure out. This is due to BMW’s new iDrive system. The system requires a bit of practice in order to become truly competent using the system. The car travels well for a 6 Series. The 3.0-litre variant never wants for power and the car has a lot of pep for a touring vehicle. There are other engine options available for the buyer who wants even more get up and go.

 Practicality

 This is not a cheap car, and all of the extras will add to the already steep price tag. Insurance will run high due to the car’s premium grouping, and fuel will costly as well. The 6 is more of a two-seater, rear riding adults will not fit easily and will not be comfortable even for short distances. Gaining access to the backseat can be a chore, and once in; head and legroom are sparse. The rear seats would better accommodate children than adults. The boot is a pretty good size and would be able to accommodate a couple of smaller cases. The BMW’s iDrive is standard in the 6 Series. This system makes using the controls much easier. Reading the instruction manual first will lessen the frustration of mastering the iDrive system. A large color display screen is included and works well with the optional sat-nav system. Stereo controls are duplicated on the steering wheel for the driver’s convenience. Front seat passengers have good head and legroom. The front seats adjust for comfort and boast numerous settings and positions. Rear passengers have minimal head and legroom. Most of the niceties and creature comforts cater strictly to front seat passengers. Thanks to really large doors access to the front seats is very easy, but the front seats sit fairly low and may pose a challenge when getting out. Gaining access to the rear seats is much more difficult, climbing over folded down seats into a cramped area. This can prove to be a difficult task for many adults. The 6 Series is a large car and parking it can be difficult. The driver sits down low which makes it difficult to judge distance in the front and the rear of the car making parking sensors a must. This car will require adequate space to park, including enough room to open the large front doors.

 Life Style

 The 6 Series has good driver appeal. The 6 cylinder car has a lot of get up and go for a large car. It drives well around town and on the open-road. It has firm suspension, but not enough to make it uncomfortable. This car was not designed to be a family car at all. It could be used for a starter car for a family with small children, but loading and unloading from the backseat may prove to be somewhat difficult. This car would not make a good first car. It is too large and a novice driver may not be able to handle the car’s power much less be able to navigate the large vehicle successfully down a crowded roadway. The 6 is an expensive vehicle and is not cheap to insure either, it would not be a good choice for a new driver. The 6 has a commanding presence and impressive looks. It is difficult to find many faults with this car. BMW has managed to produce another quality vehicle with unique traits that catches the buyer’s eye. This car is all about image proudly and boldly displaying the BMW badge.

 Security and Safety

 The 6 Series attracts a lot of attention and that can mean trouble. BMW has equipped the 6 with an alarm and an immobilizer system to help deter theft. The car also comes with remote central locking, and other security options can be added. A tracking device would be a great idea as an add-on. The 6 Series didn’t skimp when it comes to safety. It is complete with air bags, electronic stabilizing devices, and other safety devices can be added on if desired.

 

The Finishing Touches

 The standard stereo unit is of excellent quality, and produces good sound quality. There are many upgrades available such as more powerful stereo systems, CD players, sat-nav system, and many other options. Dark colors are much more flattering on the 6 Series, mainly because they do a better job of masking it’s odd shape, I much prefer the shape of the BMW 5 Series. Black looks best and compliments the chrome trim. Dark trim is also more complimentary on the interior as well. Black leather is recommended in the interior cabin to complete the car’s classy style.

 Summary

 Even if you don’t like the cars exterior looks, it is hard not to be impressed with its driving capabilities and interior design. The cars horsepower is more than sufficient, and although the car is limited in rear seating space, it does have decent boot space.

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Robbers Use Cayenne As Battering Ram

A group of armed robbers in Sydney have used a Porsche Cayenne to smash through the wall of a bank in broad daylight.

The masked criminals crashed the 4×4 into the ATM machine outside Westpac bank.

It caused the building’s outer wall to collapse, allowing the men to enter the bank with weapons – namely baseball bats and sledgehammers – and extort an unknown amount of cash.

Leaving the damaged Cayenne behind, the thieves reportedly emerged with a bag each and then made their escape in a Subaru saloon. The car was ready and waiting outside for them with a getaway driver at the wheel.

An eyewitness who was working across the street had this to say: “I saw it go through the window, and came out just as two guys jumped out of the car.

“Everyone was just shocked.

“You don’t really see this every day in the CBD on a Friday.

“But it’s Friday the 13th.”

The Porsche Cayenne has remained at the scene, but will soon be removed for forensic tests.

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Compare MOT and Service costs online!

Is your annual MOT check creeping up around the corner? Are you looking to get your car Serviced? Well automotive site www.buyyourcar.co.uk can help. They are setting up a unique service whereby you can compare MOT and Service prices for free.

It is quick and easy; all that you need to do is enter the relevant model information into their system as well as your local area and you will be presented with a list of MOT and Service prices from your local area. All you need to do is a simple search, for example “Wolverhampton MOT and Service” Now all you need to do is pick out the price/garage which makes the most sense to you.mot

This service will be helpful to everyone, whether you own a Second Hand Peugeot or a brand new Bentley. The site also deals with used cars, new cars and car parts and spares.

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Driving adventures

Mongol Rally

The Mongol Rally is one of our favourites, and it offers “10,000 miles of pure adventure over mountains, deserts and some of the most remote terrain on the planet” If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, see a doctor. The rally starts in Europe and ends in Ulan Bator, Mongolia and the route taken pretty much rests upon the driver’s discretion.mongol

There are a few rules to abide by in the Mongol Rally; you can only enter a car with an engine of less than 1.2l capacity and any motorbikes need to be below 125cc. You and your team have to raise a minimum of £1000 for charity and the car must be under 10yrs old and it will be sold at the end for charity.

You do have to sign your life away as it is extremely dangerous, and unfortunately, people have died in the past. Whilst this is tragic, it is the danger that gives this Rally its true sense of adventure.

So grab yourself a second hand Fiat Punto, stock up on a few parts and spares (good luck finding them in the desert), and sign yourself up!

 

Plymouth-Banjul Challenge

The Banjul Challenge has a similar mantra  to the Mongol rally, it is another long (around 3700 miles) trip which is not a race, but more just a chance to go on adventure and see some places that you wouldn’t have otherwise.plymouth

The route is loosely based on the Dakar Rally and features a stunning two-day crossing of the Sahara Desert. You also get a nice dose of danger, when you pass through Mauritania a place which is worthy of the Foreign Office’s highest threat level and their strong recommendation that you don’t go there.

You can only do the challenge with a Left Hand Drive vehicle and it must be worth around £100. The cars are auctioned for/donated to charity upon arrival to Banjul and entry will set you back £375.

 

Great Arc/Rhythm of A Road Rallies

These rallies are centred around India and the one in 2013 is for classic cars. It is a ‘non-competitive touring event designed for adventurous drivers who want to see the real India’. This challenge is all about beauty and exploring some of India’s most awe inspiring sites including ancient forts, temples, and desert dunes.great arc

These Rallies aren’t as dangerous as the others, and are a bit more relaxed, yet still an adventure. Unfortunately you cannot enter the 2013 rally as it begins on the 24th of January. However keep an eye out for future ROARR Rallies, as they offer a brilliant experience. It is also organized in a way which supports a good cause, last year surplus funds of £10,000 were given to Women-in-Need to support women with leprosy in India.

 

Crumball

The Crumball Rally has been running since 2006 and will take you along a tour of some of Europe’s finest roads. The routes are themed to represent different classic automotive films, including: The Italian Job, The Great Escape, Grand Prix, Thunder Crawl, Mission Impossible and ‘Allo ‘Allo. You are expected to embrace the theme, usually people will dress accordingly, and decorate their second hand cars in homage to the Movie.crumball

This year you can do The Italian inspired rally, or the Mission Impossible one. The Italian Job rally is set to take place on the 7th of June, and it spans across France, Switzerland and Italy. The Mission impossible rally is set to take place on the 19th of July will see you cruising through France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany and finally Prague.

Unlike others you do not have to commit to a charity for entry into Crumball, though you do get plenty of chances to support a worthy course along the way, it is one of the cheaper adventure rally options, and it only takes 3-4 days to complete, so you won’t have to book too much time off work. You ditch your car (which should be worth no more than £200) at the end and get a flight home.

 

Gumball 3000

The Gumball 3000 is a 3,000 –mile international party crazed road rally event which takes place every year. The route changes from year to year and has done since the race was established by Maximillion Cooper in 1999. The Rally consists of 120 cars in total and most are powerful and exotic sports cars though they are open to more outlandish entries also.gumball

The Gumball 3000 attracts many celebrities every year and it is an event which caters more to the privileged amongst us, participants have included Jason Statham, Tony Hawk, Snoop Dogg and Xzibit.

They get thousands of applicants every year so you have to something extra special to offer, on top of the £30,000 entry charge. You can attend the public starting event however for free and it will take place on the 18th of May 2013.

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