Revealed: UK’s Top 10 used cars

Gareth Herincx

4 days ago
Auto News

Used car lot

Sales of second-hand cars are rocketing in the UK, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The amount of used cars changing hands more than doubled in the last few months. Year on year, the market grew 108.6% in the second quarter – that’s a near-record 2,167,504 second-hand vehicles.

The boom is being driven by various factors including pent-up demand after successive lockdowns, a global chip shortage that has dented production of new vehicles and people remaining wary of public transport as they return to work.

UK’s Top 10 used cars

  1. Ford Fiesta – 94,206
  2. Vauxhall Corsa – 73,366
  3. Ford Focus – 72,105
  4. Volkswagen Golf – 69,582
  5. Vauxhall Astra – 56,189
  6. BMW 3 Series – 48,849
  7. MINI – 48,140
  8. Volkswagen Polo – 40,372
  9. Nissan Qashqai – 35,897
  10. Audi A3 – 34,888

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Do you live in a UK car theft hotspot?

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Vehicle crime and car theft

Make sure you take steps to protect your vehicle – especially if you live in London and you drive one of Britain’s most popular cars.

Co-op Insurance has carried out a four-year study based on actual claims and nine out of the Top 10 car theft postcodes are located in London.

Top 20 UK vehicle theft hotspots (by frequency of claims)

1.        Lambeth
2.        Kensington and Chelsea
3.        Ealing
4.        Southwark
5.        Lewisham
6.        Wandsworth
7.        Greenwich
8.        Hounslow
9.        Watford
10.     Westminster
11.     Hammersmith and Fulham
12.     Three Rivers
13.     Preston
14.     Slough
15.     Spelthorne
16.     Stevenage
17.     Barking and Dagenham
18.     Havering
19.     Peterborough
20.     Southampton
*Co-op Insurance, 2016-2020

The research also revealed the makes and models of cars most targeted by criminals, with popular family cars (Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Corsa) heading the list.

“Having your car stolen is one of the most distressing experiences a person can endure and sadly, it is still something that blights everyday life, particularly in our cities,” said Paul Evans, head of motor insurance at Co-op Insurance.

“Our claims data shows that car crime rates in London have remained continuously high, but it’s interesting to see that places like Preston and Stockport are also emerging hotspots in the North.”

Top 10 cars with a theft claim reported (as a % of total theft claims)

1.        Ford Fiesta
2.        Ford Focus
3.        Vauxhall Corsa
4.        Vauxhall Astra
5.        Volkswagen Golf
6.        Land Rover Evoque
7.        Land Rover Discovery
8.        Audi A3
9.        Mercedes C Class
10.     Audi A4
*Co-op Insurance, 2016-2020

TV consumer champion and former car dealer, Dominic Littlewood, added: “Whether our cars are parked on the driveway or in an urban car park, they are vulnerable to car thieves who are becoming increasingly well organised in targeting the vehicles on their wish list.

“There are a number of really simple steps that car owners can take to make sure their vehicle doesn’t look so appealing – from simply turning your car wheels to face the kerb and investing in some simple deterrents like steering wheel locks.

“And don’t think it won’t happen to you, cheaper makes and models are becoming more attractive than ever to thieves. It’s also important to get the right car insurance in place so if the worst does happen, you’ll get the money to buy another car quickly and conveniently.”

 Find out the car crime rates in your area – https://www.coop.co.uk/insurance/hub/park-smart.

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Ford Focus RS Promises Cheaper Thrills

There was no question that the 2016 Ford Focus RS was going to be quick. That was always a given. No, the question was always “how quick?”.

Now we know. With 350PS and 440Nm the turbocharged 2.3-litre Ecoboost propels the Focus to 62mph in just 4.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 165mph. That’s nearly a whole second faster than the previous fastest Focus, the RS500, and it’s a lot cheaper than that limited edition RS.

It’s hardly a surprise that this is the fastest accelerating RS model ever, that’s progress for you! What is a surprise is the price that Ford are asking for this level of performance – just £28,940.

In terms of thrills gained against hard-earned money spent there’s nothing that can touch it. It’s cheaper than a 300PS Golf R and makes the Leon Cupra, Megane Renaultsport and Astra VXR look under-endowed. What it emphatically does is stick two fingers up at the Audi RS3 and AMG A45, who tried to convince us that almost £40k was acceptable for a hot hatch. Jürgen Gagstatter, chief program engineer for Focus RS, puts it quite politely:

“The all-new Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both our customers and premium automakers look twice. After experiencing the acceleration and cornering capability of the Focus RS, drivers will question the sense in spending almost £10,000 more on a premium competitor.”

So in other words, you’d have to be barking mad to spend another £10k on one of the German rivals. Unless you really, really want some of those pretty headlights.

2016 Ford Focus RS

Performance & Economy 2016 RS 2009 RS 2010 RS500
Engine 2.3-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol 2.5-litre 5-cylinder turbocharged petrol 2.5-litre 5-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmission 6-speed manual, front-engined, all-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front-engined, front-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front-engined, front-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp) 350 / 345 300 / 295 350 / 345
Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 440 / 324n(470 / 346 on overboost) 440 / 324 460 / 339
0 – 62 mph (seconds) 4.7 5.9 5.6
Top Speed (mph) 165 163 165
CO2 Emissions (g/km) TBA 225 235
VED Band TBA K L
Combined Economy (mpg) TBA 30.1 28.5
Price (OTR) £28,940 £27,925 £35,437

Ford Focus RS Promises Cheaper Thrills

There was no question that the 2016 Ford Focus RS was going to be quick. That was always a given. No, the question was always “how quick?”.

Now we know. With 350PS and 440Nm the turbocharged 2.3-litre Ecoboost propels the Focus to 62mph in just 4.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 165mph. That’s nearly a whole second faster than the previous fastest Focus, the RS500, and it’s a lot cheaper than that limited edition RS.

It’s hardly a surprise that this is the fastest accelerating RS model ever, that’s progress for you! What is a surprise is the price that Ford are asking for this level of performance – just £28,940.

In terms of thrills gained against hard-earned money spent there’s nothing that can touch it. It’s cheaper than a 300PS Golf R and makes the Leon Cupra, Megane Renaultsport and Astra VXR look under-endowed. What it emphatically does is stick two fingers up at the Audi RS3 and AMG A45, who tried to convince us that almost £40k was acceptable for a hot hatch. Jürgen Gagstatter, chief program engineer for Focus RS, puts it quite politely:

“The all-new Focus RS delivers stunning performance and innovative technology at a price that will make both our customers and premium automakers look twice. After experiencing the acceleration and cornering capability of the Focus RS, drivers will question the sense in spending almost £10,000 more on a premium competitor.”

So in other words, you’d have to be barking mad to spend another £10k on one of the German rivals. Unless you really, really want some of those pretty headlights.

2016 Ford Focus RS

Performance & Economy 2016 RS 2009 RS 2010 RS500
Engine 2.3-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol 2.5-litre 5-cylinder turbocharged petrol 2.5-litre 5-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmission 6-speed manual, front-engined, all-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front-engined, front-wheel drive 6-speed manual, front-engined, front-wheel drive
Power (PS / bhp) 350 / 345 300 / 295 350 / 345
Torque (Nm / lb.ft) 440 / 324
(470 / 346 on overboost)
440 / 324 460 / 339
0 – 62 mph (seconds) 4.7 5.9 5.6
Top Speed (mph) 165 163 165
CO2 Emissions (g/km) TBA 225 235
VED Band TBA K L
Combined Economy (mpg) TBA 30.1 28.5
Price (OTR) £28,940 £27,925 £35,437

2016 Ford Focus RS (08)
2016 Ford Focus RS Interior
Ford Focus RS Dynamic Torque Vectoring
2016 Ford Focus RS (09)
2016 Ford Focus RS (07)
2016 Ford Focus RS (10)

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Every Little Counts For SEAT Leon Cupra 290

Remember the SEAT Leon Cupra 280? Launched at the start of 2014 to a flood of praise and accolades (including from myself), it was seen as one of the best hot hatches on the market. Well, that’s so last year, because the Cupra 280 is gone.

SEAT Leon Cupra 290 01

SEAT Leon Cupra 290

Instead we’ve got a Leon Cupra 290 and, as you might have guessed, it’s got a power increase of 10PS courtesy of a mild ECU remap. Which might not seem like much but, as a certain supermarket giant likes to remind us, every little counts. It takes the Leon’s output even closer to the Golf R, beats the Focus ST with ease and matches the Megane 275’s recent power hike.

Not that you’ll notice much difference. The official acceleration times for the Cupra 290 are exactly the same at 5.7 seconds for the DSG and 5.8 for the manual transmission and top speed is still limited to 155mph. Economy and CO2 emissions are identical but the peak torque of 350Nm is at least available across more of the rev range than before, from 1,700rpm all the way to 5,800 rpm.

Of course, you could go to an aftermarket tuner and get 4 or even 5 times the power increase along with some extra torques for a few hundred quid. The trouble is that might upset SEAT’s warranty department so if you want a little more power this is one way of getting it without affecting your Leon’s warranty.

No official word on prices yet but expect to see a slight increase from the 280’s £28,485 OTR.

SEAT Leon Cupra 290 02

SEAT Leon Cupra 290

Model 2015 Leon SC Cupra 290 2015 Leon SC Cupra 290 DSG 2014 Leon SC Cupra 280 2014 Leon SC Cupra 280 DSG
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed dual-clutch automatic 6-speed manual 6-speed dual-clutch automatic
Engine 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power (PS / bhp) 290/287 290/287 280/276 280/276
Torque (Nm /lb.ft) 350/258 350/258 350/258 350/258
Kerb Weight (kg) 1,395 1,421 1,395 1,421
MPG 42.2 42.8 42.2 42.8
Top Speed 155 155 155 155
0-62 mph (s) 5.8 5.7 5.8 5.7
CO2 156 149 156 149
VED G F G F
Price £TBA £TBA £28,485 £29,840

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Continue reading Every Little Counts For SEAT Leon Cupra 290