Cars that suit their name

Nissan Cube

The Nissan Cube is a curious character, I haven’t seen a car like it, they almost look like a car post body kit transformation from a Pimp my Ride kind of outfit. It is billed as a front engine, 5-door hatchback and you can get it either with front wheel drive or four wheel drive. It is built on a Nissan B platform and is related to the Tilda and the Versa. The Nissan Cube is very cube looking car, every angle seems to be a right angle. The Cube saw it’s final days in 2014 and was discontinued for the 2014 model year. Second hand Nissan Cube models vary between £2,790 and £6,495.


All Minis

Mini is another that really seems to suit the name, however there is one that has a derivative that is also fitting, the Mini Paceman. It looks like a Mini Evoque, with the sloped roof looking a little more pacey than any of the other Minis. The Paceman also makes me think of Pacman, for obvious reasons, and I can really imagine a game where Pacman is replace by an animated Mini Paceman.

Model Range - 5 models 1200 x 480

Jeep Patriot

What kind of things do you start thinking of when you here the word Patriot? The military, global warming denying obnoxious yanks, you’re right to bare arms and your right to pollute the world. I think the Jeep Patriot ticks all those boxes, I can imagine it being used in the military or secret service to transport the president, I can also imagine an obnoxious yank driving it. Having said all this, I actually really like the patriot and think the name suits the perfectly! Unfortunately the Patriot it going to be discontinued next year, but it will be replaced by a new Jeep model which is exciting.


Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender looks like a car that would do just that, defend you. Defend you from the elements and any treacherous road conditions, it even looks like it could defend you from a bullet (disclaimer: it couldn’t) in the form of relentless attack. It has been described as unbeatable off road. The Defender will be discontinued this December after 67 years of production! Though I assume that the second hand Land Rover Defender will be in circulation for many years to come


Nissan Figaro

The Nissan Figaro is an old school classic and its name couldn’t be any more fitting; it is camp, liberal looking, it is flamboyant and it is very summery looking. It is a two door convertible city car. It was designed by Naoki Sakai and put into production in 1991. Only 20,000 were ever built though there are plenty second hand Nissan Figaro deals online, and they are still pretty cool, with a number of celebs (kind of)  driving them including the really good looking bird from the Saturdays… and Vanessa Feltz.



A few other notable cars include the Volkswagen Scirocco, though I’m not sure why, I think it is probably because I don’t know what a Scirocco is or whether the word even existed before VW, so obviously the only thing I associate the word Scirocco to is the Volkswagen Scirocco, ergo the Scirocco suits its name. Oh and while I’m on the subject of Volkswagens and cars that suit their name just because, the Volkswagen Lupo is another one.


Are Electric Cars all they are cracked up to be?

I found an interesting green car post the other day about a man who owned a 2012 all electric Mitsubishi I-Miev which he swapped for a 2014 Chevrolet Volt which had a gasoline engine. The gist of the story was the guy made a statement claiming that all things considered, he believed he would use less gas with the Volt than he did in his all electric car over the course of the year. Obviously this sounds a little odd, for how could you possibly use more gasoline as the owner of a car that doesn’t use gasoline in the first place? The reason behind it comes down to the persons lifestyle.


First off he did a fair few road trips with substantial luggage including a motorbike, and due to the fact that the second hand Mitsubishi I-Miev wasn’t capable of doing these kind of workhorse tasks, he had to rent a van for them, which aren’t known for their fuel efficiency. Meanwhile in the Volt, he could attach a trailer, and make the drive in that with a much higher fuel efficiency.

Owner Ben Rich had this to say about the hybrid Volt and how it fits in with trying to be green.

Overall the Volt is a great car for people who need greater flexibility in their driving range. It’s a comfortable car with good acceleration, comfortable seating, great climate control, and modern styling.

I remember having a similar discussion with my sister in-law when she was thinking of buying a second hand Smart City Coupe, I knew it wouldn’t suit her lifestyle which is a factor that needs to work in harmony with the car if you desire efficiency. I guess what I took away from this article is that when making the choice to ‘Go Green’, you should consider all the different variables so your effort to do good isn’t in vein. In the end my sister in law did just that, she got the smart city coupe despite my advice, and less than a year later traded it in for a second hand Volkswagen Fox.


My Uncle Fred’s Fords

I was having a really interesting conversation the other day with my uncle Fred, which got me thinking about the way in which people perceive different vehicles today and which sort of cars are popular with young people.

My uncle Fred is 59 now and has been passionate about cars since his early twenties. He owns three vintage Ford models and was telling me about how young people don’t appreciate classics anymore. In a way I had to agree with him – a lot of young people wouldn’t consider driving a car much older than 5 years, 10 at a push, and certainly not a model from the 70s or 80s. There is little thought taken to decide between a used Ford Fiesta and a used Ford Escort these days. In some ways there are many good reasons for this, but it got me thinking and I did a little research into the cars he owns.

The Ford Cortina was introduced way back in 1962. My uncle owns a Ford Cortina Crusader mk5. In fairness I think the Cortina does have a vintage look, but it just isn’t a car you would ever expect someone in their twenties to be driving – mainly because production ceased in 1982 before they were born! I did however see a used Ford Cortina online priced at £20,000 so they clearly appeal to some people!


The Escort made its debut a little later than the Cortina, in 1968. It was actually on sale for 34 years with production only ceasing 12 years ago in 2002. Even taking this into account and the fact that the Escort is one of the best-selling vehicles of all time, I still can’t remember the last time I saw one on the road.

My uncle’s other car is a used Ford Capri. The Capri was actually produced in three different stages: from 1961 – 1964, 1969 – 1986 and 1989 – 1994. Personally I don’t think it looks like as much of a classic as the Escort or the Cortina, but used models are still selling for over £10,000 so I suppose it is all a matter of opinion.

What I think I’ve realised is that young people will almost never choose a vehicle for its classic looks when so much technology is on offer in modern cars.

Don’t Doubt The Duster

I am not usually one for writing articles about vehicles which I haven’t owned, or at least driven a fair few times, but today I’m going to do just that and my vehicle of choice is the Dacia Duster. Why, you ask, because a very close friend of mine bought one six months ago and has not stopped talking to me about it since! As a result I said I’d write a bit about it in my next blog providing he gave me the keys to it for a day – he eagerly obliged.


If you are not familiar with the Dacia brand, it is a Romanian subsidiary of Renault. The company has made many headlines in recent years regarding the incredibly low list price of its Sandero model, which is on sale as new from just £5,995. The Duster is certainly not in that league when it comes to the financial side of things but used Dacia Dusters are on sale for less than £10,000.

I must confess that as much of a car lover as I am, I had very little knowledge of Dacia as a brand or Dacia vehicles up until around a week or so ago (the day I got the keys to my friend’s Duster). You could be forgiven for thinking that Dacia is a budget brand and as such have low expectations with regards to how its vehicles may perform on the road. Well I can tell you first hand that I was more than impressed with the way the Duster handled both in the city and on the motorway.

As the car approached 70mph the cabin was well refined with little wind or road noise to be heard. When driving through town I thought that the Duster’s handling was sharp and road grip was really good – there was almost no body lean through corners, and I was taking some of them at a pace let me tell you! When looking online I saw some Dacia Duster leasing offers for less than £200 a month which can’t possibly be interpreted as anything other than excellent value for money. There’s loads of room inside the cabin and in the boot, and you get a superb level of standard equipment considering how cheap the Duster is.

I currently have 4 months left on my Citroen C5 leasing deal to run, and while I am not saying that in 4 months I’ll be rushing out to get a Duster, it is without doubt a car which I’ll consider. Next time you are in the market for a vehicle, and particularly if you are on a tight budget, I would highly recommend spending some time having a look at Dacia vehicles.

Cars For Large Families

Are you searching for a large family car?

There are a great deal of family cars available and in today’s market they are not just limited to saloons and hatchbacks – in fact there is so much choice that it can actually make life a little confusing. Before buying you really do need to evaluate exactly what you are looking for from your vehicle, and then you’ll be able to narrow down your options. What makes matters more difficult is the fact that there are so many similar cars, for example most people may not have any idea what the difference is between a Ford B-Max and a second hand Ford C-Max.fordcmax

Below is a list of some of the most popular large family cars along with the key features. Hopefully this will aid you in your decision.

Ford Galaxy – The Galaxy is a large MPV which offers acres of space inside for all passengers. One of its main advantages is how practical and versatile it is, which makes it an ideal vehicle for trips away and long journeys. For its size it is a surprisingly fun vehicle to drive, however many rivals are significantly cheaper. Of course, you won’t pay a lot for an old model, but for a used Ford Galaxy less than 5 years old you’ll be looking at £8,000 or more.

Mitsubishi Outlander – The Outlander is more of a medium sized family, however I have included it in this list because of the space on offer inside. Used Mitsubishi Outlander models are available for very reasonable prices, however the diesel engines aren’t as efficient as they could be.

Citroen C5 – The Citroen C5 has been on the market since 2001 and is available as either a saloon or an estate. The saloon is stylish and very well refined which makes it an excellent motorway cruiser. It is roomy inside but is probably best suited to carry no more than four passengers. You can find a decent second hand Citroen C5 online for around £5,000.

Hyundai i40 – Very similar to the C5 is Hyundai’s entry into the large family car market, the i40. Like the C5, it is produced as both a hatchback and a saloon. It looks similar and comes with an excellent level of standard equipment. Additionally, it is actually less expensive to buy and generally more efficient. Because it was only introduced in 2011, you will be lucky to find a second hand Hyundai i40 for under £11,000. This still represents great value however.

Nissan X-Trail – Another Japanese crossover which makes it into this list is the X-Trail. One of the X-Trail’s main strengths is its off-road ability. It is impressively spacious and used Nissan X-Trail models are available for as little as £2,500. Because of its heavy weight it can be a little sluggish though.

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso – The C4 Grand Picasso is, like the aforementioned Galaxy, a large MPV. It works well for families with a larger brood, thanks to its huge cabin. On top of this most versions boast a wide array of equipment and are relatively frugal. You can find a second hand Citroen C4 Grand Picasso online for less than £4,000, which represents superb value.

Ford Mondeo – Lastly and certainly by no means least is the Ford Mondeo. In fact, I have probably saved the best of the lot till last, well that’s certainly the case if most reviews are anything to go by anyway. The Mondeo has won countless awards and been recognised across the globe as a superb car and a class leader. Its handling is second to none; however some rivals do boast a better interior. Second hand Ford Mondeo prices vary greatly, with recent models (younger than 5 years) starting at around £6,000.


Used Porsche

Unfortunately, only a select few can afford to buy a brand new flawles automobile, but there are many great used models on the market. One of the most popular brands is Porsche.

Porsche was founded in Stuttgart in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, the man behind the legendary VW Beetle. The company began building sports cars in the late 1940s, beginning with the 356 which would eventually evolve into one of the most recognisable sports cars in the world, the Porsche 911.

Porsches are renowned for their handling finesse, their evolutionary good looks and their horizontally-opposed, or ‘flat’, engines.

91The Porsche 911 first went on sale in 1963 and has since undergone fifty years of automotive evolution. Although the basic design (not to mention the rear-mounted flat-six engine) remains the same, Porsche has continually honed the 911, making it one of the best sports cars in the world in the process. The 911 is an extremely popular sports car on the used car market thanks to its comparative ease of ownership, everyday practicality, blistering performance and rock-solid reliability.

The Porsche Boxster was launched back in 1996 and underwent major revisions in 2005 and 2012. The Boxster is one of the finest roadsters on the market thanks to its mid-mounted flat-six engine, sublime handling characteristics and its desirable badge, and the used car market is stuffed full with good second-hand Boxsters, making it an excellent — and tempting — choice.

The Porsche Cayman, launched in 2005, is a coupe based upon the Boxster. It’s just as desirable as its drop-top brother, and is an excellent choice for those looking for a second-hand sports coupe.

Introduced in 2010, the Porsche Panamera is the Stuttgart firm’s first luxury four-door saloon. Although the styling is not to everyone’s tastes, the Panamera is a superb long-distance cruiser thanks to its sumptuous interior and strong engines, making it a popular choice on the second-hand market.

The Porsche Cayenne is the company’s first 4×4 SUV. Launched in 2002, and thoroughly updated in 2010, the Cayenne combines the luxury and off-road capability of a 4×4 with the desirability and road-holding of a Porsche sports car. Consequently, it is a popular used car choice.

To find a great deal on a used Porsche near you, search for the best deals.

4x4s – Yay or Nay?

4x4s, off-roaders, whatever you want to call them – undeniably they make up a relatively large proportion of the vehicles on today’s UK roads. They come in all shapes and sizes, and with different purposes. From the small Audi Q3 to the mighty Range Rover Sport, and from luxury models to true dirt riders in the Land Rover Defender – there is a 4×4 for almost everybody.

However, many people are against the idea of them and many who could easily afford one opt for smaller, less extravagant vehicles. So why do 4x4s only seem to attract motorists with an acquired taste?RangeRover_1024_286254k

Well as with all types of vehicle there are advantages and disadvantages. Here are our top five reasons not to get a 4×4.


Fuel Economy

Fuel economy tends to be a lot worse in 4x4s – they guzzle it. With the current economic climate of the UK in a state of recession, saving money on fuel becomes important to more and more people – especially considering high insurance and MOT and servicing costs.


Safety Of Others

Because 4x4s are generally very large and their car parts aren’t exactly made of carbon fibre, they are very heavy and should you be unfortunate enough to have a collision in one you will probably be fine. The Nissan Micra you crash into however will probably be a write off.



Because 4x4s need a lot of fuel, they also produce a lot of CO2. This is bad for the environment, and what’s more it means higher road tax for you to pay every year.
Off-road Capabilities

If you are planning on buying a secondhand Land Rover Defender then you’ll be fine trekking through the jungle, passing through mountain ranges or travelling over pretty much any terrain you need to. This cannot be said for most 4x4s however, particularly the more luxurious ones, which are only a little better than any other vehicle when taken off the tarmac.



Because of their large size, off-roaders can often make parking a difficult task. Many UK car parks supply spaces which are barely big enough to ease a small family car into, let alone a Range Rover.

Nobody Likes Change

For well over a century now, people have been using automobiles which are powered by a combustion engine – one which runs off some form of petrol or diesel. Unfortunately this won’t be able to continue forever, because at the current rate of consumption it is very likely that the global supply will run out during many of our lifetimes.

For this reason we must find an alternative method of powering our vehicles, and it looks as though electric motors will be the way forward.

All-electric vehicles have come a long way in terms of development over the past decade or so, but just how well do they compare to their petrol and diesel counterparts? Of course, they are cheaper to run which is a great benefit when you consider how expensive other costs are such as insurance, road tax, MOT and servicing. However there are some drawbacks. Here are our top five reasons to make you think twice before purchasing an electric car.



Planning a trip from Portsmouth up to Newcastle? Well you won’t be completing the route in one journey in an electric car. The average model only has a range of about 100 miles, and then needs to be charged up again. Any petrol fuelled automobile will have a much larger range than this, even something small like a Ford Ka.
Mitsubishi i-MiEV production version

Electric vehicles are actually a lot more expensive to buy than petrol powered ones. You could pay around £30,000 for say a Mitsubishi iMiev whereas something similar like a Nissan Micra would cost a fraction of the price. Car parts could be more expensive too.


Lack of Power

Generally there is a lack of power in electric motors compared to combustion engines. This is shown particularly in faster models – you wouldn’t have much of a chance in an electric vehicle up against a Lamborghini or Ferrari.



Batteries in electric cars make them very heavy, which can put pressure on them on cause them to drain out quickly. It also impacts upon speed and acceleration.
Charging Stations

Because of the lack of electric vehicles on the road, there is currently a shortage of charging stations. This means that long journeys are extremely difficult – you would have to stop off at somebody’s house to charge your car.