In the market for a second-hand vehicle? It can be daunting to navigate such a large market, but when you know what to look for and how to find it you should not have too much trouble. It is vital that you are thorough with your search and are not rushed into any decisions as there are a lot of dishonest sellers out there and the vehicle may not be as advertised.
Checking the Car Over
Once you think you have found the right vehicle, the first thing to do will be to check it over and take it for a test drive. This will involve much more than simply kicking the tyres – fortunately, there is a lot of helpful information online to help you with this process. In addition to this, a smart move is to enlist the help of a mechanic who will be able to provide their assessment of the automobile. This ensures that it is safe to drive and will give you peace of mind.
A lot of motorists think that this is enough to determine whether or not they should purchase the vehicle, but this is absolutely not the case. Equally important is learning the history of the vehicle – this will indicate if there are any recurring issues, how many owners it has had, how far it has travelled and if it has a hidden history (stolen, unpaid parking tickets, previously written-off, outstanding finance etc.)
A hidden history could reveal itself further down the line and cause a major issue for the buyer. In addition to this, concealing an aspect of the vehicle’s past may allow the seller to negotiate a higher price. This is why it is absolutely essential that you carry out a vehicle history check before making a purchase on a used-car. The seller may have done this themselves, but it is always worth doing it yourself for peace of mind.
Uncovering the History
These checks, available from companies like cap hpi, reveal an in-depth history and everything that you need to know to make an intelligent decision. You should ensure that there are no major issues with the car’s history, and also check that this information matches what the seller advertises.
Buying a used car can be daunting, but by knowing how to inspect a vehicle and how to reveal its history it should allow you to search with confidence and find exactly what you are looking for.
The Subaru BRZ is one of the best kept secrets of the auotmotive world.
Developed alongisde the near-identical Toyota GT86, it’s an affordable back-to-basics front
engined, rear-wheel drive 2+2 sports coupe.
For 2017, Subaru has given the evergreen BRZ a mid-life facelift, equipment upgrade and distilled the trim options down to just one – SE Lux.
The exterior design tweaks are subtle, apart from the old school aerodynamic wing at the rear. Elsewhere, there’s a new front bumper, LED headlights and 10-spoke 17-inch alloys.
You can choose from five colours, though Subaru’s iconic WR (World Rally) Blue Pearl is surely the one to go for.
Inside, a 4.2-inch LCD colour display is added to the instrument display, featuring such sporting essentials as a G-Force meter and braking gauge.
The leather steering wheel is now smaller and boasts audio controls, while plastics generally have been upgraded or replaced by leather, giving the cabin a more upmarket feel.
The Alcantra and leather seats are more comfortable than ever (the driver’s seat has a six-way adjustment), while a 6.2-inch touchscreen has been added to the centre console, though sat nav is a £1,250 option.
The infotainment system is not as hi-tech as the best of them, but it does the job and, of course, offers full connectivity.
Traditionalists will be pleased to note that the cockpit is still adorned with plenty of retro-feel knobs and toggle switches.
The rear passenger seats are fitted with ISOFIX anchor points, but as with most 2+2s, they are
almost totally useless. Better news in the boot where there’s 243 litres of space available – 1,270 with the rear seats folded flat.
The 2017 Subaru BRZ is more driver focused than ever. Sadly, there’s no extra power for the 2.0-
litre 200PS ‘Boxer’ petrol engine, but it is more responsive, it still sounds suitably throaty and CO2 emissions are slightly lower.
Elsewhere, Subaru’s engineers have made various changes (to the steering, suspension, dampers and
brakes) to tweak the driving dynamics and make the BRZ even sharper than before.
Priced from £26,050, the BRZ is one of the most entertaining cars you’ll find for that money.
The chassis is better than ever and it’s enormous fun on flowing country roads. Agile and engaging, it’s helped by a slick six-speed short-throw manual gearbox and it feels totally
For the record, the BRZ is capable of 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds (but feels faster) and it tops out at 140mph. Fuel economy is a claimed 36.2mpg (and it not far off that in the real world), while CO2 emissions are a very average 180g/km.
But here’s the thing. The BRZ is also now available with automatic transmission – and it’s a bit of a revelation.
It may sounds like sacrilege in a sports car package like this, but the auto box slams through the gears pretty well – even producing the odd pop on down-changes, allowing you to concentrate on the driving. The engine even sounds more sporty.
Verdict: The new, improved Subaru BRZ is better than ever. With a mild makeover inside and out, plus enhanced driving dynamics, it has to be one of the best-value, most entertaining sports cars
on the market – and it still looks just as cool.
KTM would like you to sign up for their monthly newsletter. In fact, they really, really want you to sign up. So much so, that you can win a 2017 KTM RC 390 if you do.
And it’s probably worth doing. Not only has the RC 390 received a range of updates for this year, but it’s also worth £5,099. Improvements to the bike include a new ride-by-wire throttle which aims to give smoother and more efficient power. You also get a larger front disc with a radial four-piston caliper and ABS. Plus a new power-assisted slipper clutch (PASC). The single-cylinder KTM also has a side-mounted exhaust from this year, we’re not sure that’s necessarily better than the underbelly version on previous bikes.
The other changes include span-adjustable levers, wider rear view mirrors and a more comfortable race-style passenger seat.
OK, so they’ll probably get quite a few people signing up to their monthly email when there’s an RC 390 as a potental reward. And you won’t get the chance to be selected until sometime after the competition closes on 26th November 2017. By which time, the model for next year will probably be on stands at various motorcycle shows. But it’s still the chance to win a free bike.
To enter, you need to sign up at www.ktm.com/gb/newsletter/. You’ll also need to be 18 or over, and have a full A, A1 or A2 motorcycle licence and be responsible for sorting your own insurance etc once the bike gets sent to your nearest dealer.
You’ll also need to remember to check your email after the closing date. Which means using a fake email address you never check probably isn’t the best idea. But given the number of UK motorcyclists who haven’t already signed up, the odds are still better than the lottery. And who wouldn’t want to win a 2107 KTM RC 390 for nothing?
As cynical as we are, we certainly wouldn’t complain. Although the fact we know the KTM PR people probably means they’ll spot our email address.
Thanks to our friends at CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE, here’s an outstanding Gen I Camaro, powered by an LS3 engine.
We started hearing about this beautiful ‘69 Camaro months ago. Keith Sultana, the owner of the car, as well as Man Made Legends in Davidson, North Carolina, invited us over one evening to check it out. Then, it was just a body that was receiving subtle and clean modifications. Keith, and shop foreman Bob Turner, told us they were going to drop an LS3 in it and make a Pro-Touring car. That’s when we really perked up. Those beautiful classic lines with modern, fuel injected performance is almost always the surefire way to the top.
Seat’s latest take on its long-running supermini is a mature and slightly predictable-looking effort – in styling, it’s a sharp remix of the Leon and Ateca. But don’t confuse its unsurprising looks with a less than progressive approach to its engineering.
The Volkswagen Group’s all-new MQB AO platform gets its first public outing in the fifth-generation Ibiza, big news for Seat.
The company is already making bullish claims about its packaging efficiency, claiming that despite being smaller than its predecessor, it has made great strides in terms of packaging efficiency and comfort.
It also says that the Ibiza, ‘comes loaded with the latest technology features, outstanding dynamics, and impressive improvements in interior space and comfort,’ and is a vital part of its portfolio review.
Our full A-Z preview guide to the Geneva motor show
Big claims for the new 2017 Ibiza… can they be delivered?
The ingredients are all there. Seat is being bold with the five-door-only Ibiza, because it needs to be. Parent Volkswagen wants growth in southern European markets, and a strong Seat will enable that to happen. Its fortunes and positioning within the group have improved considerably since 2010, and under the company’s new CEO Luca de Meo, are set to continue.
It’s grown in width over the old Ibiza by 87mm, but is shorter and lower – so it’s not a story of continued growth in overall dimensions. Space efficiency is improved thanks to a 60mm stretch of the wheelbase (now 2654mm). So, you get more rear leg- and headroom, and a larger boot (up 63 litres to 355), although Seat has yet to confirm whether there’s a weight penalty or not compared with the previous Ibiza.
All engines are now Euro6 compliant, and come from Wolfsburg’s latest line-up. So, there’s the 1.0 TSI with 94 or 113bhp, the new 148bhp EVO 1.5 TSI unit first shown in the Golf will be along in ‘late 2017’, and the venerable 1.6 TDI diesel engines will be offered in 78 and 93bhp form.
There’ll be a mix of five- and six-speed manuals, and a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG-auto gearbox will be available too.
Will it be another MQB hit on the road?
Again, on paper it looks like it. Seat promises great things from its new baby, and that is said to come from its new MQB A0 platform and 30% greater torsional stiffness of its monocoque.
The suspension layout will most likely ape the layout of the larger MQB cars, such as the Volkswagen Golf and Seat Leon, although Seat has yet to confirm whether its new small car will get a similar independent rear suspension layout. Either way, you can expect similar dynamics from the Ibiza, with an emphasis on sporting handling.
The FR version gets a stiffer set-up and four mode settings: Comfort, Eco, Sport and Individual, and the more comfort-oriented Xcellence trim will also offer this system, with an additional softer setting. Expect the driving modes menu to be exploited further when the hot Cupra version is rolled out, with a track-biased set-up – expected to be later in 2017.
It looks sharp, but is it a bit too derivative?
Seat would say no, and that the new Ibiza is an ‘important brand pillar’ alongside the Leon, Ateca and the upcoming Arona small crossover – so it would carry over elements of their styling. But the overt similarity with the Leon will play well with those looking for a more mature supermini experience.
It’s dripping with clever details – the sort of stuff you expect in premium products. So you get similar triangular LED headlights to the Leon, larger wheels, up to 18-inches in diameter (and that’s before the Cupra), sharp LED rear lamp clusters, and chrome trim in the top models.
Much of the tech on board filters down from the larger Leon model. The top of the range Xcellence version, for example, includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Full Link connectivity system, an Air Care filter that isolates the occupants from any type of allergens, Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link.
Other grown-up options will include Adaptive Cruise Control, keyless entry, a rear-view camera (on a supermini!) and a 300W premium audio option from Beats Audio.
That’s all well and good, but isn’t it a bit boring for a supermini?
Predictable, yes. Boring? On first impressions, no. The new Ibiza is a more grown-up kind of small hatch, promising to be a scaled-down C-segment car with a supermini footprint – and a sign that Seat has found its feet within the confines of the Volkswagen Group.
We’ll reserve judgement of its success until we get behind the wheel, but the signs are promising. In short, expect a sportier-driving, higher-quality, more user-friendly package from Seat.
It’s going to be a nicer place to spend time, with much more tech at its fingertips. Surely the big problem for Volkswagen now is – what can it do to make the Polo good enough to beat it?