Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

Winking Hyundai

In Hyundai on November 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm

IMG_00000521Here’s my interim motor.

Yet another Hyundai.  In some nations it wears the Sonata badge, but here it’s the i40.

It’s my 4th Korean car in 7 years.

What’s it like?


Big? Check.

Bland? Check.

Competent? Yup.

Anything else?

IMG_00000593 (1)Well before I answer that take a peek at the i40 wagon’s saloon predecessor.

That’s my son’s 2.4 auto on the drive.

Despite being 8 years older it looks infinitely better.

The newer car has a touch of the older model’s floatiness around corners, but feels far more planted.

It’s also got the “Blue” eco diesel engine that gives over 50 mpg.  Pretty much double what the petrol auto 2.4 returns.

On paper then the new car’s a winner!

Except it’s got the headrests make one’s neck uncomfortable.  I’m also less than impressed by the irritating electronic handbrake, and then there’s the boot.

It might have a vast load area, but it also has a big thick cill which makes getting stuff in and out rather awkward.

At night the headlights wink as you drive around country lanes.  Rather than “bending” to match the steering one set of lamps suddenly illuminate without warning.

I’d wouldn’t be surprised if this novel idea is illegal.

The i40 also features the first bluetooth pairing device that defies logic.  I had to read the manual to make it work, and even worse was to come when I tried to dial a number.

The voice recognition guarantees you call the wrong person every time.

Given the choice I’d pick the older design every time, although it never came here in an estate format.

In their desire to create a more European car the Koreans have made a bland bus.



I’ve now racked up over a thousand miles in our first week together, it’s time to re-evaluate.

Truth is, by shoving the headrest up high I can get comfortable.

Not only that, but I’m really enjoying my first manual gearbox since my 2011 Renault Wind.  The chassis may float, but all things considered I’m really liking this humungous machine.

I’d like a DAB radio, and an integrated Sat Nav.  The free Tom Tom the hire company let me have does get me to destinations , but is hard to read and tinny to the ear.

At the weekend the huge load bay swallowed 180kg of garage storage equipment, and lugged it home from Brighton whilst still returning over 50 mpg.

Despite a measly 115 bhp being on tap the engine never really struggles.  The lack of cruise control isn’t too bad either.

Looking at similar machines on Auto Trader I can find several with 30,000 miles on the clock for around £13,000.

Good value.

In 48 hours “my” i40 will have gone.

It has, and I’m not grieving.

The NEW car is another i40 to a higher spec, and with another 21 bhp.

TBH this one was happy cruising at 85, the lack of grunt overtaking was the only issue over our 6000 miles together.


BMW 125M Sport Diesel auto 5 dr

In BMW on November 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm

IMG_00000411As documented elsewhere on this site I’ve been looking to purchase a new shape 1 series 5 door.

Having tried the 135M Sport (sublime), and a 125 M Sport petrol it was time to try a derv version before making our final selection.

As soon as i took the wheel I scrolled through menu onto the mpg read-out.

40.7mpg so far in the first 2500 miles of its’ life.  Thirteen more than the petrol version on offer in Maidstone.

Out on the congested streets of Blackheath the oil burner didn’t seem particularly noisy, and the red seats looked gorgeous.

In the end it was a “problem” with the seats led us to choose the petrol version.


As much I like the idea of an economical hot hatch we didn’t fancy a cold backside during the winter months.  There aren’t many leather equipped BMWs without heat seating, sadly this was one of them.

A few moments after saying goodbye to Stephen James BMW we called Arden and paid our deposit.

If you fancy a 125D you won’t be disappointed, just make sure there’s a chance to heat your bum!

one thing thou lackest

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

IMG_00000405The BMW salesman thought we were mad, but I ignored him and went for a Kia test drive. Why not?  Badge snobbery isn’t my bag.

I’m glad we tried out the new C’eed.

Here’s what I’d call the stand out features.

Quality. The photos make it look a bit cheap and shiny, but the feel on the “3” model was just fine.

Warranty. Nobody comes close to the 7 years offered by the Korean marque.

Style.  In the right colour this is one very smart car.

Sat Nav. A nice big screen, even though this isn’t an executive car.

But to quote a greater man than I, “One thing thou lackest.”



The rich young ruler had too much money, and it ruined his prospects.

The Kia auto has just 133 bhp, and if you hit the loud pedal the smooth shifting box kicks down, and the engine emits a hideous din.

There is no corresponding increase in urge.

Had we been used to a noisy Daewoo Matiz this would have been the car for us.

Having been spoilt with multi cylinder beauties we decided to skip the Korean hatch.

If you are in the market for a Focus sized plodder I’d suggest this may be the best choice, and I bet the manual version is better still.

IMG_00000404 (1)