≡ Menu

3 Amazing City Cars

Although you may have always tended towards larger cars, a smaller size doesn’t mean reduced quality. In fact, going for a smaller model can often mean greatly reduced running costs, without having to sacrifice much in the way of looks and storage. You’ll also find a city car much easier to handle and park in built-up areas.

Whether you’re sick of saloons or you just want to save some money, there are many great city cars for you to choose from. Here are three of the best.

#1 Skoda Citigo

No matter where you look, the Skoda Citigo has a reputation as one of the best city cars money can buy. Take it out for a spin, and you’ll be able to tell why immediately! Like any city car, the dimensions make it very easy to manoeuvre. The cabin, however, is surprisingly roomy, and every last part of the car looks clean and smartly designed. There are four trim levels you can choose for the Citigo.

While the Monte Carlo trim is probably the best looking, I recommend going with the SE. This comes with electric windows and air con fitted as standard. There are two engines available; one litre at either 59 or 74 horsepower. Even if you go with the more powerful engine, CO2 emissions are low, letting you off of excise duty. The only real drawback of the Citigo is the gearbox. Many people have reported changes being a little jerky. However, this is nothing you can’t get used to, and is a small blemish on such a practical car. The low cost of these cars have made them popular at dealerships such as RRG Group, so get out there and start looking!

#2  Hyundai i10

Hyundai have always been known for their reliable, efficient city cars, and even among its peers the i10 stands outs. The latest version of the i10 is a five-door, which will save you all the awkward clambering into the back. Depending on your options, this could give it an edge over some Citigos. The space and refinement inside is way improved from the previous model, making this more like a hatchback than most other “city cars”. The whole vehicle feels nice and solid to drive, and the interior materials, though not luxurious, are of a fantastic quality.

Although there aren’t any high-tech bells and whistles, the engine’s very hard to put down. There are two petrol engines available; a 1.0 and 1.2. Both of them are efficient and dependable enough for short, day-to-day drives. The modern i10 is far more spacious than its predecessors, so you’ll have no trouble feeling comfortable at the wheel. The trim levels don’t make a huge amount of difference, although I recommend the mid-range “SE” end. While affordable, this trim still comes with a range of handy features, such as air con, cruise control and USB connectivity.

#3  Seat Mii

When you go looking for this car, you might feel like you recognise it from somewhere. There’s a reason for this. On the exterior, the Seat Mii looks a lot like the VW Up!, another popular city car model. Despite the near-identical looks, picking between these two cars isn’t a matter of your favourite front badge. You may find that the interior of a Mii is slightly more stylish than the Up!, with rounded trimmings and a more convenient dash layout. As an actual car though, the Mii is near identical to the Citigo. The two engines are both single litre, and the choice is between 59 or 74 bhp.

Obviously, you’re not going to take it on any track days, However, the engine’s great or urban driving and won’t be too strained on the motorway. The fuel economy is equal to the Citigo’s if not better, and driving the Mii feels smooth and comfortable. While this is certainly a great candidate for a city car, the price might be a little off-putting when you see your other options. Whether new or used, the Citigo is a much cheaper car, and often comes with more features. Despite this, the Mii is certainly one of the better city cars currently on the market.

Get any one of these cars, and you’ll have a brilliant little runner for urban driving. Any old vehicle can be small enough for easy handling. However, it takes a fine balance of size and functionality to make a truly great city car. You’ll find a lot of good cars in your search, but be sure to put these at the top of your list.

Image Source: Flickr, Wikimedia & Wikimedia

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
{ 0 comments }

6 Ways Smaller Cars Are Better

Believe it or not, but you could be cruising around in a car that’s far too big for your needs. By reducing the size and scale of your vehicle, you could potentially save a lot of cash every single year.

This is due to factors like upfront cost, fuel efficiency and maintenance.

Of course, not every kind of car will be for every person, but there are still considerations to make. If you think a smaller car would be suitable for you, read on to discover why it could be a smart economic decision.

#1 They’re much easier to park up

Unless you’re an absolute wizard, chances are you’ve struggled to park up at some point in your life. Whether it’s a tight bay on a busy road, or that parking lot is far too narrow, sometimes, it’s just plain difficult.

It goes without saying that a smaller car would be easy to park. What’s easier to pull up; a Mini Cooper or a Volkswagen 4×4? This saves you a lot of frustration, and saves any potential damage. You’ll glide into that parking space with ease, with not a scratch or dent to be found.

#2 They’re a lot cheaper to buy

This one is a no-brainer, and it goes without saying that the smaller the car, the cheaper it will be for you to buy. There’s less materials used, and less overall costs, which means your upfront cost will be lowered. That’s not to say they’ll be dirt cheap; it’s still a car. It’s just that in comparison to a bigger vehicle, small vehicles come out on top price-wise.

Let’s take a look at the aforementioned Mini Cooper again for this. Dealers such as www.coopermini.co.uk offer cheaper Mini’s, while other builds such as the Honda CRV are over £20,000. All in all, no matter which brand you choose to go with, smaller will save you money.

#3 They have better fuel efficiency

Because there’s less weight to drive around, smaller cars have lower running costs in terms of fuel. In the long run, these savings can really stack up, and you could end up saving hundreds each year. There are plenty of ways to find out how efficient your car is, such as www.fueleconomy.co.uk. But overall, the smaller ones win out.

Better fuel efficiency also means that the car is better for the environment, on the whole. Many people value this kind of eco-friendliness, and a compact car helps you do your bit for the planet.

#4 They’re a lot easier to drive on narrow roads

Everyone hates driving on those twisting country roads, and narrow lanes in between housing estates. However, with a compact car, these stresses will vanish! Well, they’ll be reduced, anyway. Just like the parking example, this can also minimise any damage that could be sustained, such as scratches or dents. The smaller you are, the less vulnerable you become. Compact vehicles are, by design, safer to drive, and it;s not hard to see how.

#5 They’re cheaper to maintain than bigger ones

Smaller, more efficient engines usually pay less road tax than other, larger ones. Also, the smaller the engine, the less moving parts there are that could fail. This means that you could end up paying less in maintenance costs, as the car won’t need to work as hard. If you give your car an easier time, it’ll fare much more better on the roads.

#6 They’re better for city driving

It’s quite hard to live in today’s world without having to drive in or around a city. With all those narrow lanes, complex junctions and tight roundabouts, it’s hard to maneuver in a chunky ride. Well, not anymore it isn’t, as you invested in a compact car!

Reports indicate that fewer and fewer people are venturing into the city, and this is due to bad traffic. With a smaller car, you can weave in and around other vehicles, finding the quickest route to your chosen destination. You’ll never be late for work or late for a meeting again.

Of course, as I previously mentioned, not every car will be for everyone. Sometimes, a bigger car will be much more suitable for you – maybe you have a family – and that’s ok! If you’re happy with it, then great. That’s what driving is all about.

But it is hard to deny the benefits of downsizing. If you find yourself in a position to do so – maybe you’re single, or a couple – then go for it. You can cut those costs, make it easier to drive, and get places quicker. There are plenty of rides to choose from, so choose wisely!

Image Source

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
{ 1 comment }

If you’re after a car that will house more than two people regularly, then there are certain features you must look out for.

Sure, we’d all love to own that fancy sports car or that convertible, but you can’t just think of yourself in this situation!

Luckily, buying a larger family car has never been easier. There are so many choices available today, from used to brand new, old to the latest model. This means you can afford to be both flexible and frugal, netting yourself a quality ride at a bargain price.

But, ultimately, what should you be on the lookout for? What features would be most beneficial to you in this shopping scenario? Both excellent questions, and one’s this blog post will attempt to answer in detail. Below, you’ll find several features that would make a car suitable for large groups, or indeed, families. Happy shopping!

#1 Lots of space

Of course, a car for more than one person or couple means that you’ll need room. Lots of it. Some cars, like the Honda Civic, are naturally large and contain plenty of storage. Other cars, like a Mini, are smaller and not generally suitable for families. Sometimes, it’s just obvious that a car will or won’t work for you, so bear this in mind when browsing.

Don’t just judge it off pictures, either. Some cars look smaller than they actually are, so visit a showroom to get the full picture.

#2 Low running costs

In all likelihood, you’ll be using this car quite a lot. Taking the kids to school, taking yourself to work, after school activities, going on days out and trips away. So, it’s important to look at cars that are cheap to run, or that are very reliable. The more reliable the brand, the less you’ll be shelling out in maintenance costs.

And these costs start with the initial purchase. Have a shop around with used dealers like www.harratts.co.uk, and don’t just jump at the first deal you get offered. Be patient! It takes a keen eye to spot a bargain. But starting used is the best way to go. Used doesn’t mean poor performance, or lowered reliability. Far from it. It simply means a lower price.

You have to factor in running costs like fuel, maintenance and repair, road tax and insurance. Some cars are more fuel efficient than others, while some family cars are more reliable than others. It’s up to you to decide when the time comes to purchase.

#3 Five doors

This one can be more of a minor annoyance than a dealbreaker, but still, it’s better to try and have everything! The increasing trend of cars having only three doors (driver, front passenger, boot) is becoming quite common. If you’re looking for a larger, family car, then this may not be suitable for you.

It can make stopping for bathroom breaks a nightmare, as everyone needs to climb over each other to get out. As we just mentioned, it’s hardly a dealbreaker, but it could save you a lot of hassle further down the line.

#4 Sliding and folding seats

Going hand-in-hand with the ‘create more space’ feature comes the ability to fold down seats. Basically, this will create more space in the rear of the car, perfect if you have fewer passengers but more luggage. You can even slide your seats to create more legroom, if you have a particularly lanky guest with you that day.

Sliding rear seats also make it easier to bring children closer to the front seats. This is good if you want to be able to talk to them more clearly, or pass them drinks more safely. Not all cars have this feature with them, so take a thorough look at the product description.

Occasionally, you may buy a car that says it can fold and slide seats, but you can’t work it out. Sometimes, it’s not really obvious how to actually fold your seats down! There’s plenty of information on this though, from sources like www.youtube.com, so have a look around.

#5 Little tips and tricks

At the buying stage, be on the lookout for any little tips and tricks that could make a particular vehicle more suitable for a family. It all depends on how many people the car will be for, and their ages, but there are some things that are universal.

For example, it would be a good idea to find a car with a child lock. This is especially useful if you have youngsters who are of a lower age, as it’s another security measure. Safety guaranteed! This makes your car safer to drive, as kids won’t be able to open the doors mid-journey.

Also, it might be a good idea to find a car that allows you to turn off the passenger airbag (if it has one). This is in case you want to place a child seat in the front passenger seat; you must turn the airbag off in this case. If you can’t, you could cause some serious damage to the youngster.

Elsewhere, since you’ll have a lot of people using the ride, it would be great if the car had plenty of small nooks and crannies to store items. This could be a small drinks holder, or underfloor storage areas sometimes found under the rear seat foot space. We previously discussed the merits of more space, but this kind of space is more item-specific – like drinks holders.

And finally, other features such as UV-tinted windows could protect you and your passengers from harsh sunlight. Also, rear-mounted DVD players and TV screens would be a good idea to keep any young passengers entertained. Actually, it would be good to keep any passengers entertained, too! There are plenty of other car tips and tricks to look out for, so keep those eyes peeled.

Of course, there may not be one particular car that hits all these points. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! Prioritise the features that are most important to you, and put them at the forefront of your shopping trip.

Image Source

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
{ 0 comments }

Rules for Choosing Your Next Car

There are plenty of rules for buying your next car, and you need to try to follow them where you can. If you can follow these ideas, you will be able to make the best possible decision.

It can be a lottery when trying to choose the right car. And that’s why we have these rules, so try to make the most of them.

Don’t be Seduced

When you’re shopping for a new car, it’s easy to be seduced by glitz and glamour. There are going to be a lot of really great looking cars. Some of them might even be available at very affordable prices. But, you need to keep a level head when you make your decisions. It’s important to remember that a lot of really great looking cars aren’t always reliable or fuel efficient. Don’t get seduced by sleek and sexy cars; try to make a sensible and practical choice instead.

Pick on Reputation

It’s very important to choose a car based on its reputation. You are going to be relying on the vehicle for so many things. So it needs to be something that is safe, dependable, and well made. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check out dealers like Currie Motors. They tend to stock selections of really great cars with solid reputations. And this is important for you because it will help you make the right choice.

Be Pragmatic

It pays to be pragmatic when it comes to choosing your car. You’re going to be parting with a significant sum of money. Plus, your car is vital for you in your day to day life. So, you have to consider what you’re going to be using the car for and where you’ll be driving it. It’s no good choosing a giant 4×4 if you’re going to be driving through small back roads and packed urban cities. You have to make sure you are choosing the most practical and sensible car for your situation.

Consider Costs

There are plenty of costs involved in owning a car. You’ll have to pay for the car when you buy it as well as fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs each month too. So, you should take these into account when you choose your next car. Will you buy something second-hand or brand new? Are you going to buy it outright or pay in instalments? Is there a way you can cut down on fuel costs? These are all questions you should consider to help you make the right decision.

Learn How to Repair

Everyone who owns a car should take steps to learn basic car maintenance. If you can make repairs to your vehicle, it’s going to make your life much easier. You can take care of problems that arise and really learn more about your car. Plus, it saves you having to make trips to the repair garage all the time. The best thing to do would be to try to stockpile spare parts so you can make repairs easily from your own garage.

These are some important rules you need to remember when you want to choose your next car. This is a big life decision so it’s one you have to make carefully. You should try to follow the points on this guide so you can make the best possible decision. These are important rules for choosing your next car.

Image Credit: Flickr.com

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
{ 0 comments }

We’d all love to be able to pick and choose the cars we drive due to our personal preferences. I’d love to have a sports for empty desert roads, and a people carrier for being a dad. Unfortunately though, beggars can’t be choosers! If you need to buy a car that will be a great all-rounder, then there are certain badges you should target and avoid. If you can’t afford a breakdown, then read on.

First of all, we have Lexus. Japanese brands are more widely known for their low running costs than their engineering. However, when it comes down to brass tax, Lexus have shown incredible performance. The 2015 RX in particular has been praised for its reliability. Its earlier predecessor was incredibly popular, and this great SUV crossover has certainly done a good job of carrying the legacy.

If you’re not into such bulky models, then the hybrid IS has also proven to be a hugely reliable car. Lexus interiors have also been on the up for the past few years as a cherry on the cake!

Next, we have Mercedes. I’m sure you’re not surprised to see this name here! Over the noughties, Mercedes’ reputation for reliable German engineering faltered somewhat. However, there are still a lot of Mercs in circulation which are some of the most reliable machines ever built. If you’re looking for a specific model, then the S-Class is the only name you need! These not only offer a comfortable driving experience, but holds one of the most reliable engines in Merc’s history.

There’s another advantage to this particular model as well. The S-Class has experienced a massive depreciation curve. Even for a mid-range saloon, S-Classes from the noughties and early teens are incredibly cheap. For the comfort and functionality you get from them, you’ll be amazed at the price you paid. The insurance is another story, but the point still stands! Keep an eye out the next time you pass a Mercedes dealer.

Finally, Toyota. If you’re into 4x4s, then Toyota is the only brand you’ll need to ask about. Almost all of Toyotas models have had a great reputation for their driving experience and reliability. However, if you want a machine that’s near indestructible, then you need to go for one of their SUVs. The MK7 land cruiser is the pick of the litter when it comes to Toyota’s 4x4s. The engine can take all kinds of abuse without a shred of damage, and the ladder-frame chassis is equally tough.

With all the crossovers driving around these days, you might feel a little retro at the wheel of this boxy beast. However, if reliability is your main concern, then I’m sure you can leave modern fashion aside. Whether you’re on the road or off it, any one of Toyota’s 4×4 models will offer an exceedingly rugged performance.

If it’s a reliable car you’re after, then you can trust these three badges. All companies have their ups and downs, true. With these three though, the ratio has been darn pretty favourable!

Image: Flickr

 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
{ 0 comments }

3 Ways You Can Make Your Car Safer To Drive

We all want to remain as safe as possible on the roads. Yet, so many motorists take so many risks – often without even being aware of doing so. Any good driver should be on the lookout for ways to improve their safety. There are, fortunately, many ways to achieve just that – and only some of them are to do with the actual driving.

Most safety precautions you can take have much more to do with the vehicle itself than your driving style. Although we will touch upon safe driving in this article, we will mostly focus on how to make your car a safer ride. Some of these tips are common knowledge, while others are a little less known. Let’s dive in now and take a look.

Check Fluids

It is important that you check your car’s fluids, for a variety of reasons. The truth is, this is one of the most basic checks to carry out with any car. Yet, the number of people who forget about it is staggering. You should, in an ideal world, check your fluids every six weeks. Of course, if you can check them more frequently than that, then do so. The more, the better. Allowing either the oil or water to get low can cause huge damage to your car.

Not only that, but it massively increases your risk of crashing the car. Don’t take the risk – stay on top of it, and check them regularly. This is much cheaper overall than having to take the car to the mechanic.

Use The Right Parts

This is an important point which is often glossed over. When it comes time to replace any parts in your car, it is vital that you use the correct ones. By ‘correct’, we simply mean that you stick to the make of the car. It can sometimes be difficult sourcing the right part, but it is always possible.

What’s more, if you do so, it is usually cheaper than allowing the mechanic to find the parts for you. Often, all you need to do is find the right dealer. If you drive a Toyota, for example, then find a good toyota dealer to provide your parts. The right parts are much less likely to have any underlying issues.

Take Basic Precautions

There are also a number of basic precautions which all drivers should be taking at all times. Much of the time, drivers are prone to falling into bad habits in terms of their driving. We are all guilty of this to some extent. No matter, it is important to remember the essentials. Always ensure, for example, that your mirrors are properly aligned. This simple slip-up could mean all the difference when you are on the roads. It is also worth mentioning the importance of safe driving.

Keeping a good distance between you and the car in front is just about the best safety tip for driving. Similarly, ensure that everyone in the car is always wearing their seatbelt. As the driver, it is your responsibility to check.

Image Credit

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
{ 3 comments }