Say goodbye to the Grand Vitara, Splash and the Alto!

If you’re a big fan of either the Suzuki Grand Vitara, the Splash or the Suzuki Alto, it is with a heavy heart that we tell you they will be no more by next summer, maybe even earlier when it comes to the Grand Vitara depending on how long it takes to sell all the existing stock.


It may not be the conciliation you hoped for, but the Vitara name will live on in the form of Suzuki’s new supermini-SUV which is due for a debut at the Paris Motor Show in next month. There will be no such tribute paid to the Alto’s name though, instead it will simply be replaced by the all new Suzuki Celerio city car which will arrive at the beginning of 2015. The Celerio is said to be bigger than the Alto but smaller than the Splash. Whilst the Celerio has your attention it Suzuki claim it’s CO2 emissions will be under 99g/km they are also saying that the car will go on sale for less than £8000 which sounds very reasonable.


So as of next year you will only be able to buy second hand Suzuki Grand Vitaras splash’s and Altos, but hey, if you already own one, they could become a collector’s item and increase in value…. Though it probably won’t.


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Dodgy Cars

Welcome to this article about dodgy cars, though I fear I may have mislead you with the title, as this isn’t about cars that are unreliable or dubious, but about a brand of cars which are yet to really take off in the UK, they have dodged the limelight as it were… If you haven’t already guessed it, I am talking about Dodge cars.

I still find it fascinating that American muscle cars haven’t really reached UK roads, everybody seems to like them in the films, as a kid all my car toys where of the American muscle type, I mean you’re not going to play with a ford fiesta toy are you. I mean sure they don’t really suit British roads as they prefer straight roads, so they aren’t very practical, but neither are a lot of things we buy, so it is puzzling to me the muscle cars never hit it off with the English.

It isn’t just muscle cars either, it seems to be more of a brand thing than anything, with brands being exclusively popular to America, which strikes me as a little bit odd when you consider how much of the terrible Americanisms that us British absorb, yet I feel the one aspect of America that really is cool; we sleep on.  I have spent a summer in the US where I was lucky enough to drive around in my cousins second hand Dodge Nitro which was fantastic. The cars over there are just huge, which I guess is what puts off a lot of British punters as you probably wouldn’t be able to fit one on your street let alone your drive.

My favourite though has to be the Dodge Charger whether we are talking about the models from back in the 70s or now. The 70s model looks like an absolute classic and the new model looks like a monster that would tear up the roads from beneath its wheels. I can only hope that one day, Britain will move away from their love for dull hatchbacks and swap them for something a little more explosive and exciting, if a little vulgar.


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Up or the Fiesta?

When it comes to small cars the Volkswagen Up and the Ford Fiesta are two which have really nailed it and whilst you might not typically pitch them against each other, it does make for an interesting debate, and reflects the wider debate of whether or Supermini’s are better than City Cars, or are City Car’s eventually going to take over leaving the reign of superminis on weak legs?

Both the Volkswagen Up and the Ford Fiesta offer a good range of choice when it comes to the engines that are on offer. One of the recurring themes that keeps cropping up in the City Car argument is how they don’t usually feel too great on the motorway, but then again, why should they, they are City Cars after all. However the Up doesn’t struggle too much, and things only seem to be improving in what is a relatively new class. I was Volkswagen Up leasing for a while and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by how well it handled the faster roads, and it was so ideal for the city, you don’t realise just how good it city cars are until you are in the city and you reap the rewards of having a car which is purpose built for the roads you are driving on.

It doesn’t take Ford Fiesta Leasing to know that it is a great car, whilst I’ve never actually owned one myself I have spent plenty of time inside them, and actually learned how to drive in one. Whilst the Fiesta doesn’t have a bad interior there is something about the Up that really makes it excel in that sense, I guess it is probably because you don’t expect too much from a car like the VW Up, but it is so far ahead than any of its main rivals it starts competing with the cars in the class above. And this is why we decided to put it against the Fiesta, because we really think it can compete. Sure in some areas the Fiesta is much more established and capable, but the point is the difference isn’t that dramatic and the Up even wins some of the battles.


Another great thing about the Volkswagen Up is that it has good residuals especially for a city car so selling a second hand Volkswagen Up should get you a good return.

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First Car Buyer, HELP!

Are you a first time buyer? Are you finding the whole thing a little bit daunting and stressful? Worried that you are going to get conned by some unscrupulous car dealer who doesn’t really care if you end up driving a car that isn’t anywhere close to how it was advertised. Well we are here to help by giving you a few different tips and pointers on how to avoid any nightmare buying experiences.


First of all, before stepping foot in a car dealership make sure you have a clear idea in your own mind of the type of car you are looking for. Did you like the car that you learnt in? More importantly were you comfortable in it. I learnt in a Fiat Punto myself and felt like buying one as close to the model I learnt in would be a good idea, so that’s what I did and I didn’t have one accident. I’m not saying it works this way all the time, but after learning in a KA a friend of mine got insured on his dads second hand BMW X5 which was a lot more powerful and difficult to drive than the car he learnt in. And he believes it was for that reason that he himself crashed the X5 just two weeks after he passed his test. As a rule of thumb; the higher a cars performance is, the more driving experience you require to drive that vehicle safely.

On the other hand my brother is just recently learning, and he is doing so in a Fiat 500, which he does like but he’s not too keen on the idea of buying a second hand Fiat 500 for his first car as they are stereotypically a girl’s car, and they aren’t exactly cheap either. If you are in a similar position just do a bit of research and try to work out which cars are similar or built on the same platform. Otherwise task some family or friends if you can have a quick go in there car around an empty car park, though make sure they have the appropriate insurance before you get behind the wheel!

At the end of the day though, as long as you make a good solid choice and don’t go with something ridiculous you should be fine as even if it is a bit rocky to start you should be after a solid 10 hours driving in it. Just don’t think the only prerogative of a first car is that it is cheap. Again, my brother had his heart set on a second hand BMW Z3 because he found one really cheap on the internet and his thoughts were it is a beamer so it must be good, but there is always a reason if an originally expensive car is cheap, and it’s not usually a good one, beside like I said before, even if it was in good condition it wouldn’t suit a new driver.

In general, new drivers want to be looking at buying cars like your second hand Ford KAs, Fiat Puntos, Corsas, 206’s and other such models, with a l-1.2 litre engine, where you feel comfortable because it doesn’t really matter if you get a couple of dents or scuffs on them.

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Used Hyundai

Hyundai is a South Korean car manufacturer, founded in Seoul in 1967.

Hyundai’s rise has been meteoric and in just a few short years, the company has been transformed from a lacklustre also-ran, struggling to compete with the European competition, into a credible player. Hyundai produces some genuinely good cars, and because they’re cheap, they are often terrific buys on the used car market. Plus, because all new models get a five-year transferrable warranty, even second-hand buyers can benefit.

The Hyundai i10 city car was launched in 2008 to replace the ageing Amica (which replaced the old Atoz in 2000). The i10 is an excellent little car thanks to its low prices, low running costs, practicality and low CO2 emissions, making it a good choice for first-time buyers and anyone looking for a bargain on the used car market.

The Hyundai i20 supermini replaced the Hyundai Getz in 2008. Both models are still popular choices on the used car market thanks to their cheapness, reliability, ease of ownership and good build quality.

The Hyundai i30 arrived on the market in 2007 to replace the Hyundai Accent, and a second-generation model was launched in 2012. The i30 represents a good second-hand buy thanks to its high quality interior, good ride, good looks and impressive reliability.

The Hyundai i40 is Hyundai’s Mondeo rival, released in 2012 to replace the Hyundai Sonata. It’s a good used buy thanks to its low prices, premium feel and excellent reliability.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the more long-lasting models in the Hyundai range, which means there are plenty of second-hand models to choose from. Launched in 2001, with the second-gen model appearing in 2006 and the third-gen model in 2012, the Santa Fe is a cheap, practical and reliable off-roader. It’s also available with a good selection of diesel engines, making it a good used buy.

The Hyundai Veloster was launched in 2012 to replace the Hyundai Coupe. The Coupe was an excellent car thanks to its good looks and fine handling and the Veloster carries on in its predecessor’s tradition. The final-generation Coupe (2002-2009) in particular is an excellent used buy.

To find a great deal on a used Hyundai near you, simply search

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Online cars by 2014

Cars with online capabilities are set to be the next big thing on our roads, some are all ready available, and it will inevitably become common place in the coming years.


Ever find yourself sat in traffic wondering what an old friend from school who you no longer talk to is having for dinner? Well it seems that you will not have to wonder much longer, for analysts have predicted that major manufacturers will begin producing their cars with internet capabilities as standard.

There are already a number of online cars available, including the BMW 3 Series. The online world through the car is much different to that of your smart phone or desktop to help ensure that safety is not compromised. This means that most of your cars online experience will come through apps, whereby latest statuses are read out to you and you can choose to reply by voice recognition technology or steering wheel buttons.

To be quite honest though we are not interested in the ‘social network’ side of things at all, our lives are already awash with facebook and twitter updates, without having them built into our cars. But there could be some very useful apps which come as a result of the online cars such as apps which can find an empty parking space in a car park or locate the cheapest fuel price in your area.

If my experience with smart devices is anything to go by, they will probably cause more frustration than anything, what with apps not functioning properly, screens freezing at crucial moments and stupid games getting the better of you, it will also probably be a cause for higher service charges, but hey, at least you could book your car service online whilst driving.

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Alfa Romeo 4C

Photos of a fair few cars that are scheduled to be introduced at next month’s Geneva Motor Show have been surfacing on the internet over the last few days, and one of them that we are particularly excited about is the Alfa Romeo 4C. It is a sports car which marks the start of Alfa’s new growth strategy and it marks the brand’s return to the American market.

Thankfully it has stayed pretty true to its concept counterpart (which debuted in 2011) and it is looking good. It will feature a mid-mounted 1.7-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine which will supply the lightweight vehicle with 275bhp allowing the car to do 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds.

It is set to go on sale soon after the Geneva Motor Show as a rival of the Porsche Cayman, with its price starting around the £40,000 mark. With that in mind a used Alfa Romeo may sound more attractive, as £40,000 is pretty expensive, and as it’s an Alfa, you will probably have to shell out on servicing costs as well. For more information on any Alfa Romeos check out


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