Ohhh Gosh. It’s the new Audi TT and it looks bloody awesome. To be honest I’ve always pied the TT off as a bit of a girly car for hairdressers (no disrespect to hairdressers), however the new one actually looks pretty blokey, a little more squared and aggressive rather than round a bubbly.
Despite maybe looking manlier, the Audi TT has also managed to lose weight and become more agile. Changes have also been made to the TTs interior. The Cabin is built around the excellent Virtual Cockpit System which is very unique. Rather than having a screen in the centre, Audi have opted to put the screen directly behind the steering wheel. The standard TT comes with climate control, DAB radio and leather seats.
Prices start at £29,770 and can get as high as £35,335 depending on which model and trim you go for, making this the most expensive TT yet. Though as far as we can tell the price is justified: From what we have heard it is great fun to drive as well with improvements made to performance and handling. Whilst performance has improved C02 emissions have been kept low, especially for a sports car at 120g/km. Furthermore it should retain its value pretty well, so selling the Audi TT second hand shouldn’t leave you with tool much of a loss. So if you viewed the Audi TT the same stigma that I have done, it might be time to consider it as a proper good car!
The Lexus SC is a sporty looking convertible that provides seating for four but only comfortably seats two. The stylish head-turner includes all the gadgets and technology that has become associated with the firm.
The car’s interior design is very sophisticated and impressive. The wood design on the car’s fascia gives the car an even more expensive and classy feel. Front seat passengers will have an adequate amount of room; legroom will still be slightly limited, but rear passengers if there are any will feel cramped even if they are children. The rear seats are better suited for luggage or occasional use.
car’s suspension has been enhanced and the car now delivers a sharper ride without sacrificing quality or refinement.
The car has also received enhancements to the car’s steering while maintaining the positive aspects of the drive experience. The car also boasts one of the most technologically advanced climate control systems available. The system works to maintain a constant temperature even when the top is down.
The car is loaded with a good standard of equipment and technology. The car’s stylish exterior is very appealing but that is only the beginning of what the SC has to offer. Lexus has done an excellent job of fixing the cars less desirable traits while keeping the good ones and making the SC even more desirable to UK buyers.
The Lexus SC is an expensive car to purchase, but the SC does provide high levels of equipment as standard. Insurance and fuel expenses are likely to be high as well. Buyers who purchase the SC aren’t likely to do so because it is the practical thing to do.
Space in the SC is limited. Front seat passengers will enjoy decent amounts of space, but rear seat passengers will be cramped even if they are small. The car was not designed to carry cargo or really more than two people for that matter.
The car’s fascia is beautiful and well designed. All of the controls and switchgear are of excellent quality and buyers won’t ask what they are paying for because it is very obvious where the money went. The displays are large and easy to read and everything is where you’d expect it to be.
The car provides excellent levels of comfort for the front passengers. The seats are extremely comfortable with good adjustment and the car provides a comfortable and refined ride.
The car’s front seats are easily accessible, especially with the top down. Rear seats are a little more difficult to access, especially for larger passengers. Rear seats should only be used occasionally.
The Lexus SC is an easy car to park, thanks to its small size and improved handling. The SC provides good visibility all-round, especially when the top is down. Judging the car’s extremities is also not a problem.
The SC now provides a more engaging ride without sacrificing comfort or refinement. Buyers will not be disappointed in the car’s performance. The car’s V8 engine provides 281bhp and can reach 0-60 in a little over six seconds.
This is not a family car. Limited cabin space and seating rule the SC out as a family vehicle. The SC could be used to have around as a second or third vehicle to a family who could afford it.
This is not a good first car either. It is too expensive to buy and insure. The car also provides too much power on hand for a novice driver.
Lexus represents good build quality and the SC is evidence of the firm’s commitment to design the best convertible possible. The car’s technology and commitment to comfort and refinement makes it an excellent car to drive, but factor in the car’s ability to provide an engaging ride and the Lexus SC can’t be beat.
Security and Safety
The car’s security features include Valet lockout, locking fuel door, remote central locking, an alarm system and an engine immoboliser. The car comes with a comprehensive security package.
The car’s standard safety features include a first-aid kit, an emergency fuel shut-off device, driver and front passenger airbags, side airbags, and crumple zones. The car also includes three-point seat belts, side guard door beams and an anti-trap device for the trunk.
The Finishing Touches
The car’s standard audio unit includes a Mark Levinson Audio system. The unit provides nine speakers and is linked to a Sizewell-B amplifier driven by an AM/FM radio cassette and 6-disc CD changer. The unit provides excellent sound quality.
The car’s leather interior is available in black, saddle tan or ecru and is of exceptional quality. The SC’s seats are extremely wide and obviously designed to accommodate larger American rumps. The seats are highly adjustable and can’t be beaten in terms of comfort.
The SC is an amazing convertible that offers excellence all-round. Although the car is quite pricey buyers get the feeling that their money was well spent in terms of build quality, cabin quality and performance.
The Maserati GranTurismo is everything an Italian super coupe should be – elegant, sophisticated and glamorous.
It offers terrific levels of comfort – with space for four – and is enjoyable to drive.
As far as running costs are concerned, bills for the Maserati GranTurismo will be relatively high as average fuel economy falls below 20mpg anytime the accelerator pedal is grazed.
The cabin is a delightful place to spend time in and is obviously put together with great care. The driving position is electrically adjustable so all shapes and sizes can easily get comfortable behind the wheel.
There are a lot of features on the car so the dash is busy and some of the stereo and sat-nav controls can be a bit fiddly to use.
The Maserati GranTurismo is a practical option when it comes to carrying four adults – with back-benchers surprisingly well catered for even if they won’t quite be stretching out. The boot capacity though will limit the amount of luggage they will be able to pack away. However those buying a high performance coupe rarely put at the top of their list of wants the ability to lug packages and people.
Modern Maseratis hold their value better than many, making the GranTurismo less expensive to run than some in this class.
This is where the Maserati GranTurismo holds all the aces combining beauty, style and charisma in a package that just can’t be ignored when you take it for a drive.
The exterior is eye-catchingly gorgeous while the interior doesn’t let the side down when it comes to cosseting the occupants in a luxury setting.
This car is begging to be driven across a continent as it combines comfort with excellent handling thanks to near-perfect weight distribution, little body lean and good levels of grip. This means that it isn’t just a pretty face and will cut the mustard when there’s some serious driving to be done.
The steering offers pinpoint accuracy giving a good feel for what is going on on the road.
The suspension is firm but not bone-jarringly so. It gives the car an edge but not to the extent that its role as a grand tourer is undermined.
Cars of this ilk shouldn’t batter your ears on the long journeys and the GranTurismo generally meets this goal. The big tyres do create some road noise and the engines are audible on the motorway, but around town the power units emit a pleasant rumble.
If you’re a fan of the environment then the Maserati GranTurismo should best be avoided as it is a thirsty car emitting levels of carbon dioxide guaranteed to make a rain forest swoon.
Security and Safety
There’s little the Maserati GranTurismo lacks when it comes to warding of car thieves. A vehicle tracking system with automatic driver recognition and remote inhibitor back up the immobiliser and alarm to provide the car with formidable defences.
The GranTurismo has a raft of electronic gadgets to help avoid an accident along with the latest airbag and belt pretensioner technology to protect if one becomes unavoidable.
The Finishing Touches
The Maserati GranTurismo is extensively kitted out – but the Italians ensure there are a few exotic options available should you want to part with any more cash including coloured brake calipers and a wooden-rimmed steering wheel.
Leather upholstery, climate control, satellite navigation and electrically operated windows, door mirrors, seats (it’s probably easier to name something that is not powered) are standard. The stereo is good and hits the heights with the optional Bose surround sound system.
Maserati GranTurismo – Car Review Summary
Maserati’s beautiful GranTurismo coupe is one of the most exotic performance cars you can buy for under £100,000. It is a big step up on the previous Maserati coupe offering as it does a far more polished proposition.
The GranTurismo is fitted with amazing engines that do their work in a relaxed fashion with the power delivered through a silky smooth six-speed transmission.
Three models are available. They include the 4.2-litre GranTurismo, 4.7-litre GranTurismo S and the GranTurismo S Automatic. The entry level model is the 4.2-litre while the S is a 4.7-litre 434bhp machine that is set up to offer the ultimate driving experience with a firmer suspension and rapid acceleration.
The S Automatic plugs the gap between the two but is no makeweight as it is a top class cruiser with impeccable road manners.
There’s nothing like a good old fashioned road trip and we are about to set out on one though Africa starting in Uganda and finishing in Victoria Falls, Zambia after 5,880km and approximately 45 days. In this post we shall discuss the all-important issue of what car we will be using.
Obviously we will require a pretty rugged car which can handle some pretty tough terrains as we are planning on doing some off-roading, and from what we have heard the roads are no picnic for the most part. With that in mind I have got a feeling that the Mazda 6 I own wouldn’t be the best of choices. We are on a budget, so we wants something as cheap as possible, but it needs to be reliable and have enough space in the back for 2 tents and various other supplies.
Rob, my partner in crime drives a Jeep Grand Cherokee which I think would be pretty ideal but Rob isn’t too keen on the idea unfortunately, I guess I can see why. So our plan is to get a second hand 4×4 that has a good reputation for being a solid workhorse that can handle anything that is thrown its way, and then we will donate the car to a charity in Zambia at the end of our trip… if it still works. We have already had a few viewings and it is looking promising, so let me break it down for you.
The first car we looked at was a Subaru Forester and it was priced at £1,995 but we managed to get the dealer down to £1,750 which would mean £875 each, which isn’t too bad but we’d read a few different reviews on the Forester and we weren’t exactly sold on it, though many of the reviews had commented on a how it was ‘rugged and reliable’ so we weren’t ready to count it out just yet.
Since the Forester we have viewed a number a Land Rover Discoverys which is looking like it might be the likely model that we go with. The only problem is that there are so many unreal deals which seem too good to be true, and usually they are. We viewed one second hand Land Rover Discovery which cost less than £900 which obviously appealed to our stingy side in a big way, but as we viewed the car problems were unearthed, the exhaust back box was rusty to the point that there was a hole in it and we were unsure as to how it had passed its MOT, nut it did so apparently at a Croydon MOT and Service garage. On the other hand there were some that seemed perfectly fine for around the £1000 mark, but we were still a little sceptical. The guy who owned the Discovery wouldn’t stop trying to sell us cars after we turned down the Land Rover, he swore blind that the Mitsubishi ASX would be the perfect car for the trap, about an hour after the Discover was ‘definitely the best car for the job’
The third model we looked at was the Jeep Wrangler which was a little pricey but reasonable for what it was, and me and Rob fell in love with it. It is very basic but that’s kind of what we wanted for such a road trip and it really does look the part. Having said that there were a few things that did put us of such as the prospect of no air conditioning under the hot African sun. The second hand Jeep Wrangler was £2,195 and in the end we couldn’t justify spending that when we could get a decent Discovery for less than half the price, which is what we ended up doing in the end.
So there you have it, we have our wheels of choice which will need to get us through Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia…. Wish us luck!
Whilst we are big advocates for two wheeled vehicles and actively encourage people to start riding motorcycles, we are also well aware of the safety issues which must be taken firmly into account before getting on one.
It is not just a case of purchasing a bike, tootling up and down the country and taking it for an MOT and service every now and then; you are at more risk on a motorcycle than any car and you need to take the necessary precautions before hitting the open road.
If you are not quite sure just exactly what we are talking about, here are our top tips for motorbike safety – all of which you should think long and hard about before actually making the decision to purchase a vehicle.
A nice obvious pointer to start off with. It is almost needless to say but you must always wear a crash helmet, but we have thrown it in just in case you were wondering whether it might be OK to give your headwear a miss on say a sunny afternoon trip to the local shops. It is not only a legal requirement when on the road, but it could also save your life.
Leather Is Better
Have you recently been somewhere in mainland Europe, somewhere with a significantly warmer climate than the UK where everybody rides around in a t shirt, shorts and flip flops? Well if you’re thinking this is the life for you when summer hits you are sadly mistaken – unless you are planning to move out there. It is also a legal requirement of the UK that everyone on a motorcycle must wear full leathers for protection, no matter how hot it is.
Easy On The Throttle
It can be easy to forget just how powerful motorcycles are and how incredible their acceleration is. Make sure you get to grips with the capabilities of one before you try testing its power out on the M42. Many are even faster than a Jaguar XF for example.
Yes, one of the great advantages of two wheels is that you can scoot in between the lanes of cars when they are at a standstill in traffic. However you need to take extra caution as you are driving in a very confined space and there is increased risk of an accident. You don’t want to be knocking the wing mirror off of a Mercedes CLK that’s for sure!
Mad About Motorbikes
Here at EasyRoadRiders we’re big on everything automotive and our team has driven just about every vehicle you could possibly think of, but as you may well have guessed our true passion is for motorcycles.
If you already own a motorbike then you’ll know what we’re talking about, but the vast majority of you won’t have ever ventured away from four wheels on the road. Of course, there are obvious reasons for this in many cases – a motorbike won’t be suitable for families and you won’t be able to transport huge loads with it.
However, there’s a good chance that some of you potential motorcyclists won’t have even considered making that transition to two wheels. Well maybe it is time that you thought about how you could benefit from driving a motorbike – here are our top five advantages.
Better Fuel Economy
Generally, motorcycles will consume less fuel than their four-wheeled counterparts. They are smaller than cars and they are never going to have to carry four passengers. With the cost of petrol and diesel forever increasing, it is now more important than ever to save money when paying at the pump.
Another cost benefit when riding a motorcycle is that insurance will be less over the course of a year. You are never going to be responsible for more than yourself and one other passenger whilst on the road so insurance brokers offer better deals. MOT and servicing can also be cheaper.
One of the best advantages for motorbikes is cutting through traffic. We have all been there when you are sitting in what seems to be a never ending line of cars that simply isn’t moving. It is frustrating enough as it is and then you see a guy on a motorbike whiz past in between the lanes – well that could be you!
Needless to say – in our opinion – the experience you will achieve on a motorcycle is unlike any other in a car. There is nothing that compares to the thrill of that pure acceleration on a hot summers day. You simply won’t recreate it in a used Honda Jazz.
OK so in fairness this is down to personal preference and opinion but let’s face it – you just look so much cooler on a motorbike than in say a second hand Honda Civic or a Kia Cee’d.
***If you are mad about classic cars too then head to www.buyclassiccars.co.uk.