Archive for August, 2018|Monthly archive page

Class Leader?

In Volkswagen on August 10, 2018 at 9:54 pm

FACEWhy on earth did VW try to wangle the system?

That’s the question I found myself wondering when I was in Ireland a few weeks back.

It’s patently obvious they make excellent cars, so why bother to try and be clever and risk the future of the company?

Take this 3 pot 108 PS Golf as a case in point.

For want of a few horsepower it would be all the car you’d ever need.

Agile, economical, comfortable, attractive, and fitted with radar controlled cruise control.

Okay I think I’d want to add Sat Nav and an auto box, but really this is a 9 out of 10 car, and I’m no VW fan.

The sad fact is it that the base Golf is a way better drivers car than any entry level 1 Series BMW, whether you pick a petrol or derv powered machine.

My one had snazzy alloys, but decent squidgy tyres, and was way better than a BMW M Sport on bumpy roads.


How could Volkswagen make it a 10 out of 10 car?


Reduce the price by £2500 and it would be perfect.


The new BMW X2

In BMW on August 9, 2018 at 10:41 pm

X2 b or 1It’s not often I get to drive cars soon after they’ve been launched.

Today my 225xe was in for a service, and I was given an auto X2 2.0 Diesel M Sport as a courtesy car.

I was quite grateful that the default 3 series in my name had just been sold.

First impressions?

The burnt orange and grey highlights make this X2 look remarkably handsome.

X2 b or 2The twin exhausts create a purposeful rear end, and the boot was a wonderful shape which swallowed up my sales kit well.

Mind you the parcel shelf obstructed the egress of my sample cases.

X2 b or 3Inside it was my chance to sample the latest generation of BMW ergonomics.

I liked the optional speed limit indicator, but in Britain surely readouts for 30, 50, and 70 would make more sense than 20, 40, 60 and 80 mph?

Changes to how the centre console read outs are displayed were an irritant. First up the Sat Nav was too dark, and input post codes now seems less simple.

The opportunity to have 4 “tabs” open might suit some, but the icons were so small that it seemed a pretty pointless “improvement”.

The M Sport seats proved comfortable, but with a low roofline and acres of black leather my overall impression was akin to being inside a coffin with the lid slightly raised.

In total I covered 160 miles at an average speed of less than 35 mph, whilst hitting over 48 mpg.

X2 b or 4Low profile tyres look good, but the broken surfaces on the a27 sent shudders through the cabin.  My advice would be to choose the next model down in the range with smaller wheels.

Performance looks good on paper but the diesel rumble is intrusive, and overtaking was less urgent than in my hybrid Active Tourer.

Bottom line, would I want one.

Not really. I’ve got 4 wheel drive already, and on battery power the 225 whispers where this X2 rumbles.

All the same, thanks to Chandlers BMW for spicing up my day.