According to the automotive data experts Cap HPI, the SsangYong Tivoli 1.6 litre SE is the cheapest diesel SUV to run. The study looked at the overall total cost of ownership for the cars to discover the one with the lowest motoring costs over the first three years. Taking into account all servicing, fuel and other motoring costs, it was the Tivoli SE that came out top. "The SsangYong Tivoli is one of the best-value cars you can buy," said Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK. "And this endorsement of the SE diesel being the best performing diesel SUV from such a respected organisation as Cap HPI firmly underlines that." The annual cost to run the best performing diesel SUV was £11,583.50 or, £321.76 per month.
Yesterday's Queen's Speech introduced the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which could see every petrol station and motorway services being required to install electric charging points. Alison Bell, Marketing Director of Venson Automotive Solutions welcomes the new move. "Research we conducted recently found that 85% of motorists would consider buying an electric vehicle, however 69% said that the lack of charging points across the UK would be the biggest deterrent. Whilst both Total and Shell earlier this year confirmed their intention to install charging points at their stations across the UK, the move to make every petrol station offer charging facilities is extremely reassuring." Uptake of electric vehicles has been slow, but it's beginning to emerge that access to charging points and limited mileage range of the vehicle could be the real issue, rather than cost. "Easy access to charging points is crucial to the successful take-up of electric vehicles in the future," adds Bell. "And the new Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill is set to ensure this is addressed."
Nissan's ProPILOT technology that will enable autonomous drive functionality in single-lane highway driving has arrived with the new, 100 percent electric Nissan LEAF. This technology will control the steering, acceleration and braking in a single lane on the highway, assisting drivers during heavy traffic congestion or during long commutes. Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles, Nissan Europe said: "Adding ground-breaking ProPILOT technology to the new Nissan LEAF will prove invaluable in unlocking many of the benefits of electric vehicles, creating less congested, cleaner cities for future generations." In the coming years, Nissan's ProPILOT technology will offer increasing levels of autonomy, with the system eventually able to navigate city intersections.
Independent body shops need to specialise due to the wide range of equipment and skills investments that will be necessary for the repair of new vehicles. That's the advice from Dean Lander Head of Repair Sector Services, Thatcham Research. "Gone are the days of accepting every job that comes into the workshop," he said. "The investments required to cover all bases are just not feasible. Tough management decisions lie ahead for independent body shops, as they define what their business should focus on." The proliferation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and new materials used in the construction of cars has changed the landscape within the industry. Many independent repair outfits have concerns around investing in expensive and specialised equipment, with potentially short shelf lives. "Taking these business-critical investment decisions from the most informed position possible is now vital. Body shops should begin with a clear vision of the area in which they will specialise, and then reverse engineer an equipment and skills investment strategy that will get them there," said Lander.
Vauxhall's all new Insignia Sports Tourer is on sale now priced from £18,685 on-the-road. "Vauxhall's best-ever product portfolio is further enhanced with the launch of the new Insignia Sports Tourer," said Rory Harvey, Vauxhall's Chairman and Managing Director. ""It has all of the elegance of its Insignia Grand Sport sibling but with even more practicality, including a boot that is more spacious than its predecessors." It is based on a completely new vehicle architecture, and its revised proportions result in more luggage capacity. The length of the boot has grown by 97mm to 2005mm versus the previous model and 40/20/40 foldable seats are standard across the range. For those pulling a caravan or a trailer, towing capacity for the Sports Tourer is up to 2200kg. There are high-tech features such as the ultra-modern all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and the new eight-speed automatic transmission to exploit their strengths to the full. It also has the next generation IntelliLux LED matrix lighting, Lane Keep Assist, Head-up Display and unique AGR-certified premium seats. The new Insignia is also the first Vauxhall with an active aluminium bonnet, improving pedestrian protection considerably.
The Road Haulage Association's chief executive Richard Burnett has commented on the death earlier this week of a Polish van driver was killed as a result of migrant action. "Our worst fears have become a reality, we have been predicting this for two years," he said. "The lives of innocent people, who want no more than to be able to go about their daily business in safety are being put at risk by those whose only aim in life is to reach the UK. They don't care about anyone but themselves and as a result a life has been lost." The van collided with three trucks that had been forced to stop on one of the Port's main approach roads, the A16, as a result of migrants blocking the road with trees trunks. The van subsequently caught fire and the driver died. "The security forces currently in place just cannot cope. It's not just Calais itself that need protecting; it's the approach roads too. President Macron must get a grip of this situation and we urge him to deploy the French military to provide safe passage for the thousands of UK-bound hauliers that use this route every day."
The all-new Kia Stonic that is set to be on sale in Europe during this year's third quarter, will prove to be an important model for Kia in one of Europe's newest and fastest-growing vehicle segments. The B-SUV segment currently accounts for 1.1 million new car sales in Europe each year - around seven per cent of the market - and is forecast to expand to more than two million annual sales by 2020. Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, comments: "The Kia Stonic will be one of the most compelling new cars in this rapidly-expanding class, backed by Kia's unique warranty, and the brand's reputation for reliability, quality and contemporary design. As the segment expands, the Stonic looks set to become one of our best-selling cars." This eye-catching and confident compact crossover, combines agile handling and a sporty ride with smart packaging and a spacious and versatile cabin. Its range of lightweight, downsized engines coupled with a strong, lightweight body and new driver-assist technologies gives a reassuring and exciting drive.
For the first time ever, the Central Feature at Goodwood's Festival of Speed over the weekend of June 29th to July 2nd, will celebrate an individual. Known the world over simply as Bernie, Bernie Ecclestone is one of the most influential people in the history of motorsport. His life and influence will be honoured with a towering sculpture outside Goodwood House displaying cars from the five different chapters of his life, as driver, manager, team owner, impresario and ultimately, legend of the sport. "This is not so much a tribute, but rather a Goodwood celebration of a racer who has had such a huge influence on the sport we all love," said Lord March, the Festival's founder. Bernie will attend the Festival of Speed along with a host of World Champions, team owners, engineers, designers and mechanics from his life in motor racing. Staged every summer since 1993, the Goodwood Festival of Speed Presented by Mastercard is the world's largest automotive garden party. Saturday and weekend tickets for the 2017 festival are already sold-out, with Thursday, Friday, and a limited number of Sunday tickets still available on a first-come, first- served basis. For more details visit www.goodwood.com or call the Goodwood Ticket Office on 01243 755 055.
Volkswagen new Polo is set to take the sales market by storm with a host of new innovations for the popular model. This is the largest Polo ever being 4,053 mm long with a 94 mm longer wheelbase that vastly improves the car's excellent ride comfort. This Polo plays in a higher league technologically too with Front Assist, Blind Spot Detection, ACC and LED headlights like in the Golf class. It also is the first Polo with digital instruments - the second generation of the Active Info Display celebrates its world premiere in the new Polo. Dr Frank Welsch, Board Member for Development of the Volkswagen Brand said: "The new Polo brings the future to the compact class. A whole lot of space., the world premiere of a new generation of the Active Info Display, the latest infotainment systems and forward-thinking assistance systems - these qualities enable this Volkswagen to overcome traditional class boundaries." It seems that the sixth generation Polo is going to continue the model's success story. With over 14 million cars sold to date, the Polo is one of the most successful vehicles in its class.
A third of UK drivers' time spent on the road is unenjoyable, according to new research from Direct Line car insurance. On average people spend two hours and 17 minutes a week driving, equating to roughly 20 minutes per day, and a fifth of drivers admit that driving is just a means to an end and they do not expect to enjoy it. The top three pet hates for driving are: having to face aggressive drivers, being stuck in traffic jams and road rage. The study also found regional differences between both time spent driving and the amount of time drivers spent enjoying driving. Wales and the East Midlands are hotspots for unhappy drivers with one in eight (13 per cent) drivers not enjoying their time behind the wheel. Finding a parking space and driving in busy town centres made the top ten list.