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Award winning Kia e Niro sets the bar high in the electric car wars

It’s both an exciting and confusing time for those of you looking for a new car. Like many of you, I’m also caught in a situation where choosing what powers my next car is becoming increasingly more important than the badge.

Kia’s new e Niro has just made my choice of a new car much harder.

Like the increasing number of  “pure ev” cars on the market, the e Niro is powered by batteries alone, there’s no engine or range extender here. Replacing the archaic fossil fuel engine is a 150kW electric motor powered by a 64kWh battery pack. Combined, they propel the e Niro to 60 in an impressive 7.5 seconds for “up to” 282miles on a single charge. For the record thats over 2 seconds quicker to 60 than the e Golf and nearly 4 seconds quicker than the Zoe.

That’s impressive considering a price tag of just over £32,000 (with the government “low emission vehicle grant“). Compared to the similarly-sized Jaguar iPace weighing in at over £63k, it’s an absolute bargain. Couple that with Kia’s 7 year /150,000-mile warranty and you have a very tempting package. Surprisingly, the warranty covers the battery for the full warranty term.

The e Niro has scooped a trophy cabinet full of awards including the prestigious What Car: Car of the Year to name but one. 

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Posted in EV Electric Cars

New UK car registrations continue their downward trend driven by low business demand

car production line

You’ve seen the headlines. Our car markets are in turmoil, drivers are rushing to buy hybrid / electric vehicles – leaving diesel cars worthless.

Yes, there is some truth in that statement but it’s easy to ignore the hard facts. Armed with the SMMT’s most recent data, we’ve put together our top five facts from their September report.

1. Collapsing business demand for new cars is crushing the new UK car market.

Contrary to what you might think, registrations of new cars by Joe Public is actually up (very slightly) compared to last year. September saw a 0.1% increase of new car registrations by private buyers while business demand dropped a massive 44.8%. Blame #Brexit – poor consumer confidence and all that. The fact is that it’s not “our fault” and actually to do more with businesses tightening their belts in these uncertain economic times.

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Posted in new cars

VW settles up for AU$127m suit over Australian ‘dieselgate’ scandal

Volkswagen Australia has agreed to pay up to AU$127 million dollars (€78 million) in settlement for multiple class-action lawsuits from Australian customers over the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.

The settlement must still be approved by the Australian courts and will see owners compensated to the tune of AU$1,400 (£765). 

Julian Schimmel Principal Lawyer for legal firm Maurice Blackburn said, “This is an important step in providing a measure of justice and redress to the thousands of Australian motorists who claim they were financially impacted by the diesel emissions issue,”

In Australia, approximately 100,000 vehicles were equipped with VW’s diesel cheating software.

Compared to the figures being thrown around in the UK, £765 seems like a pathetic amount considering the financial hardship many have faced with both repair costs and increased depreciation. 

As for the UK legal action, it’s still very early days despite a very frantic start my many legal firms.  A final pre-trial hearing has been set for December to agree on the details and set a date for the trial in 2020. We just hope that this settlement by VW down under will set the precedent for the UK court cases.

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Posted in dieselgate

VW Skoda Seat Audi DSG Gear selector switch failure “Error: Workshop!… lever is in position P.” Fault 617752

I’ve been covering the Skoda Octavia MK3 VRS in some detail of late, with our Skoda MK3 VRS buyers guide proving to be very popular. Apart from water pump issues on early cars, the Mk3 VRS seems to have stood the test of time quite well. I’ve had high hopes for the VRS but I’ve been keeping my nose to the ground, searching for another common issue. We just might have found it.

The issue at hand is one that I personally have been experiencing with increasing frequency especially now that my 2015 VRS TDI DSG is starting to show its age (nearly 5 years old with 63k on the clock).

This being the error in the maxi dot that displays – Error: workshop! Leave vehicle only when selector lever is in position P.

This error only shows up momentarily but it’s quite unsettling and accompanied by a rather disconcerting error tone from the dash.

It’s not just the VRS either. Our googling has shown that the issue also affects the Mk7 Golf and countless other models fitted with the latest incarnation of the VW DSG gearbox.

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Posted in faults

Deliveries of half all new VW cars delayed as they fail to meet emissions standards

Half of all VWs current UK models have failed to meet stringent emissions standards meaning customers could have to wait until February for their new cars. 

Under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedures (WLTP) all new cars sold in the UK from Sept 1 are required to fulfil tough new emissions regulations. Just seven of VW’s fourteen models have been certified before the September cut off. 

The last thing that VW needs night now us more bad press with their recent “dieselgate” PR kicking. This latest drama will do very little to reclaim the confidence already lost in the brand.

Models affected have been confirmed as the VW: Golf, Polo, Tiguan, Touran and Sharan. With the VW Golf holding the number two spot in sales last month ** (behind the Ford Fiesta) we expect new months sales figured for models across the VW group to be impacted severely. 

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Posted in Volkswagen

EV and Hybrid car sales take up the slack as UK car registrations decline

New car sales in the UK have continued their downward trend with August showing a 1.6% dip. Figures from the SMMT show that a total of 92,573 cars were registered in the UK last month, 1521 fewer compared to the same period last year.

In contrast, sales of electric vehicles continued to flourish with an increase of 377.5% (3147 units). EV and hybrid sales still pale in comparison compared to “traditionally fuelled” vehicles. These figures are likely to rise rapidly as car manufacturers push to offer more and more electrified vehicles to their line up.

Surprisingly, the mightly Tesla’s Model 3 was the UK’s third best selling car last month, despite retailing anywhere between £36,000 and  £50,000. It wasn’t quite enough to topple the mighty Ford Fiesta from its long-lasting throne, but we expect that Tesla will continue to upset the car market as motorists opt for batteries.

Diesel continued its downward spiral with registrations falling by 12.2%, bringing the percentage of dirty diesel sales down to 27% of all vehicles sold this year. With tightening vehicles emissions regulations and some pretty bad press for diesel cars, we’re pretty confident to say that diesel has certainly had its day. 


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Posted in new cars

Skoda Octavia MK4 spotted

Make no mistake. I love the Skoda Octavia. Having owned my Mk3 VRS for nearly 5 years, I’ve been keen to jump the mess that was the double headlight Mk3 facelift in favour of the upcoming Mk4.

These pictures (Thanks to Carwow and Autoexpress) reveal the Skoda Octavia MK4 estate in all its glory. As you seen from the photos, Skoda has done away with the split lights and continued with the angular design as seen in the new Skoda Superb. Even in non-VRS form, I think you’ll agree that it’s a modest improvement.

 The MK3 will apparently see an all-new engine line up and also electrification for the first time. Pulling on the VAG hybrid parts bin (GTE), the Mk4 should see in the range of 40 miles from its batteries combined with a small 1.4TSI petrol engine. Could a 200+BHP VRS MK4 hybrid be in the works? If so… sign me up!

What do you think? Was it worth the wait? Which spec/engine would you choose? Let us know in the comments below


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Posted in Skoda