Archive for January, 2014|Monthly archive page

Got a new motor?

In BMW, Hyundai on January 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm

IMG_00000895Yes really.

The old Hyundai i40 Tourer has gone, and my new car is a Hyundai i40 Tourer.

Funnily enough even though I spent 15 minutes unpack king the blue one it wasn’t until I went to drive away I noticed the one is significantly different to the “old” one.

At first I thought, oh goody it has a built in SatNav.

Then I tempered my enthusiasm as many cars sport a big screen for the radio, have the buttons for navigation but without the actual maps on the low spec models.

I tentatively put the key in the ignition, poked a few buttons and hey presto discovered this version DOES have SatNav.

Yippee do.

I decided to get comfortable, was it me or is the headrest in this model less awkward.

Oops no bar to bring the seat forward.

That’s because it has electric seats, and even electric lumbar adjustment.

Things were getting better.

I selected first gear and drove off.

Was it me, or was the steering more alert?

Once on the A380 I wondered if I might be accelerating a bit quicker.

Guess what?  There’s also climate control.

Another useful extra.

Fifteen minutes later I stopped for lunch.

Afterwards I thought I’d check my hunch.

The drivers door reveal on Hyundai’s reveal the BHP on tap.

Not just yer 115 diesel hires, but 136 chevuax.

I am blessed.

Thirty minutes up the M5 I thought “I bet it even has cruise control”.


All in all, this is way more satisfying than the base Blue model.

A nice little treat as I await the arrival of my 3 series.

MPG seems no different than before, about 46 miles to the gallon, and the car’s still only done 221 miles.

Things will only get better in time.

This i40 is supremely adequate.

Only negative points.

The boot lid which drips down your neck when opened whilst wet, and the centre console is SO BRIGHT, even on the dark setting.

Ah well, they’ll  catch the Germans within 5 years.

IMG_00000896Back home I discovered that big screen has a camera to help with reversing.

That’s the first time I’ve had that toy.

Just checking the stats I see my latest i40 can crack the 0-100 kmh mark in 10.6 seconds.

Although the performance is marked by a moments lethargy before the revs build, and let the turbo kick in.  My next continental jaunt may see a 124 mph top speed reached.  Although I doubt it, and this model is not as hunkered down as the blue one.

Here I am 5 days on from taking the keys to the silver i40. Today it totally lost traction and I had a “moment” as the car understeered on a new roundabout.  I guess I need to check if the tyres are over inflated, in 6000 miles in the 115bhp version it showed no such tendencies.

Also as I learn more about the car I’ve discovered the electric fold button the door mirrors, and at last the NIGHT button for blacking out the central screen.  Brilliant that there is one, but Hyundai offer just 4 settings, the dimmest of which is too bright.  Looking at a black screen isn’t the answer when using the map function.

Hyundai are getting better year on year, but these incidentals are a real let down to the busy sales rep. At least I can search for phone numbers on the move, but again the functionality is dire compared to BMW systems.

Other new discoveries are asking sensors in the front bumper, and the fact that the rear reversing camera is inferior to the BMW green/yellow/red mapping when it is dark or raining.

We’ve a long trip to Belgium coming up, I wonder how it will fair on that long run.





Bottom Rung BMW

In BMW, Hyundai, Skoda on January 12, 2014 at 11:22 pm

IMG_00000843Excuse the photo, but I was so busy driving I forgot to take a decent shot.  Last week I drove from Frankfurt to Brussels in the latest generation BMW 316 diesel saloon.

This detuned oil burner is the entry level 3 series, but it still looked quite stylish in metallic paint and with alloy wheels.

Having been whisked to Frankfurt in a nearly new 740i I was looking forward to a stint on de-restricted German autobahn.

Except it didn’t go as planned.

The first hour I probably never hit more than 20 mph, and the next three hours it rained, and all lanes were busy.

So what do I think of the junior version of my soon to be company car?

TBH, it wasn’t that thrilling.

My current Hyundai 1.7 oil burner is quieter from cold, and at low speeds.

Driving a left hooker on unfamiliar roads after dark wasn’t the best intro, but I wasn’t convinced by the six speed box.  After all this is no ball of fire.

Official figures show that it will hit sixty mph in about 10 seconds (but it seems slower) and might just carry on to 125mph given a fair wind and an empty carriageway.

Speaking of which, there was noticeable wind noise over 80 mph (but not as bad as the new Octavia).

Three up I managed to eventually hit 115 mph, but it may have been quicker in Sport mode.

The basic seats (in cloth) were ok, but the cabin was a bit cramped when travelling with a tall passenger behind the front seats.

The boot betters old 2010 3 series, and I liked the bottle holders in the arm rest.

Economy on our trip was 5.1 litres per 100 kilometres, which works out at 55mpg, which I reckon is pretty good for a nearly new engine that’s still loosening up.

All things considered I would safely say I’d rather not take the bottom rung 3 series, but would look elsewhere.

Uh oh

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2014 at 12:20 am

IMG_00000851Yesterday for what seemed like the first time in weeks it stopped raining.

So we decided to set out on foot and enjoy the countryside.

After an hour dodging puddles we began the last 200 yards back to our home.

To our surprise someone had lit a bonfire.

The prevailing wind swept billows of smoke across the road.

Several motorists will have had a nasty surprise.

Just 50 yards up the road a speed trap was in operation.

It’s only used occasionally, and most folk do 40 plus in this 30 zone.

The speeding motorists hadn’t a chance.

Thankfully I was only doing 3 miles an hour, well under the appropriate limit.

Marked improvement

In Skoda, Travel on January 4, 2014 at 10:02 am

IMG_2647 IMG_2649The third Generation Skoda Octavia seemed likely to be the ideal machine for my high mileage day job.

Lots of toys as standard, much better looks and what seemed like greater engine refinement.

But my test drive only lasted 15 minutes.  I’d already decided something was wrong by the time I’d hit 50 mph, and done less than two miles.

The problem.

Wind noise.  Even on a day when it wasn’t windy.

The car zipped up to sixty in no time, even in standard 140 bhp spec but I expected more.

So I’ll end up with a car that costs nearly £10,000 more just so I can have a bit of peace and quiet on the motorway.

So this new chiselled look Octavia merits a giant leap forward, but will only suit folk who aren’t car savvy.

People who think being deafened on a dual carriageway is de rigeur.

I also noted that the fab pricing isn’t quite that clever.  A lot of what I wanted on my next car came as cost options.

Be careful to Czech this out before signing on the dotted line.

In case your interested.  Yes it was well put together, and is quite comfortable. You might want more.