Ye olde Kia Sportage

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2019 at 11:08 am

The last time I drove of these I’d just hopped out of a Jag XF.

An agricultural Diesel engine and power sapping auto failed to impress.

Several years later a 6 speed manual hire car seems somewhat better, even if the one I booked was supposed to be the new shape version.

What can I say? Comfy seats. Certainly not  a hint of sportiness- but quite a likeable barge.

There are loads on the roads of Ireland, a land where badge snobbery seems to be non existent.

Would I buy one? Not really – but a petrol version new shape would be tempting.



Hyundai Kona 1.0 litre 120PS manual

In Hyundai on January 11, 2019 at 1:13 am

kona f and s 1I was offered a good spec Focus when I arrived at Dublin Airport.

It’s extraordinary, the rental firms NEVER have what you reserve on line.

Having hoped for an i30 I asked if they had any Hyundais available.

Luck me, they had a 3 pot Kona.

During the course of three days I covered 530 miles in it.

Much of my driving was on motorways and dual carriageways, but I also did a mountain pass and the best part of a day in Dublin.

VERDICT? A remarkably good car.

Looks? 10 out 10.  It doesn’t look like anything else, which is very unusual in this day and age.

Comfort? 8 out of 10. Supportive, and comfy (heated) seats.

Performance? In the context of the class, it must be worth 9 out of 10.  It never felt short of puff.  Those 120 ponies are aided by a slick shifting 6 speed gearbox.

Road Noise? 7 out of 10. Three cylinder growl going through Sally Gap was quite pronounced.

Accommodation? 7 out of 10. I only used the boot, and drivers seat.  Things might be a bit tight in the  back.

kona f and s 2

Roadholding? 7 out of 10.  No complaints, this isn’t a sports car.

Economy? 6 out of 10. Mixed driving, much of it at 75mph, and I got just under 38 mpg.

Technology? 9 out of 10. No DAB radio!!!! Countered by fabulous lane departure/guidance control.  It took 10 minutes to build up confidence, and I found it fantastic.  helpful in the fog too.

Lights? 8 out of 10. Incredibly good for a budget version.

Instrumentation? 9 out of 10.  Marked down by silly “do you need a break” 15 minutes after I got in the car after lunch.

Brakes? 8 out of 10.  Stopped as intended, but higher spec cars appear to offer automatic braking when the driver isn’t paying attention.  A good option to have.

Value/Warranty? 9 out of 10. Five year warranty.  AA cover (in Ireland).  Great value new or used.

Is it better than a certain i20 we know quite well?  Absolutely.

I might try and get the quicker high spec 1.6 litre auto for my next company car.

BMW 218D M Sport Active Tourer Auto

In BMW, Vauxhall, Volkswagen on December 11, 2018 at 11:41 pm

218 D MSport active T 3Last week I swapped my top of the range BMW 225xe Luxury Active Tourer for an M Sport diesel.

My usual car boasts up to 220 BHP (assuming there’s charge in the hybrid motor), whilst the 218D represents the second lowest access point to the range with 148 BHP.

One might therefore imagine I felt short changed?  The truth is the diesel was way better than anticipated.

The slower car 2.0 litre diesel always has 148 bhp on tap, but the 1.5 litre 225xe only has 136 bhp when the battery has been exhausted.

All of which means there are times when a brisk overtaking manoeuvre can sometimes take longer than anticipated.

So the £4500 cheaper car serves up quicker progress more of the time, and the 2.0 litre lump is incredibly quiet.

In every day driving the petrol hybrid returns 47 mpg, but that doesn’t allow for the electricity I pump into it each evening.

The 218D managed just over 43 mpg in my hands, but I’m guessing the engine was still “tight” and mpg would improve over time.

218 D MSport active T 4

So how was the 218 in the cut and thrust of 200 odd miles of motoring?  Surprisingly good.

The road holding seemed better than on my 225xe (which is currently on winter tyres).

I really noticed the 218D feeling far more agile than the 218D Grand Tourer.  The pearlescent white Active Tourer also had a sliding back seat (not available on the 225xe).

The only things I missed were heated seats, and steering wheel, and my big glass sunroof.

The latter helps with ventilation, and the 218D misted up when it was raining.

On balance if your looking for a 5 seat MPV the BMW 218D Active Tourer M Sport auto would make a fine choice.

218 D MSport active T 2

Would the private buyer miss the nigh on silent 20 odd miles of battery powered propulsion each day?

Probably not.

So would I recommend one?

Not really.

The A and B pillars block out too much vision (whichever engine is chosen).

I reckon the set up must cause numerous accidents each year.

Most folk would be better off with an Astra 1.4 turbo reviewed yesterday, or a Golf!