Aston Martin DBS Review

The Aston Martin DBS is one of the best looking cars in the world. It is sensational to drive, a pleasure to spend time in and is a head turner for all the right reasons wherever it goes.

What’s not to love about this brilliant GT? Okay, you’ll need incredibly deep pockets to afford the price-tag but for those with the financial wherewithal the Aston Martin DBS offers sublime styling, cheetah-like pace and a chassis that is second to none.

As well as looks to die for it is a joy to drive. The steering gives more information than a 24-hour news channel and is incredibly accurate. When you turn into a corner be prepared for an instantaneous response because this car takes bends like it’s on rails.

The V12 engine is awesome developing 512bhp. But that is only half the story as carbon fibre body panels and carbon ceramic brakes save weight giving the DBS performance figures that amaze with relatively few revs on the counter.

Press the pedal to the metal and the engine emits a deep roar that would put a lion to shame. The result of an excellent power to weight ratio is a 0-60mph sprint time of 4.3 seconds. The top speed of the DBS is 191mph and if you buy one make sure you take it on a track to appreciate its abilities in full.

Practicality

This is an Aston Martin DBS so you’re not going to take the family away in one. That’s not to say it won’t handle your golf clubs, because it will. It’s just that holdalls rather than traditional suitcases are going to be the order of the day as far as luggage for the driver and passenger is concerned.

The DBS marries elegant style with even its most basic functions  – so when you unlock the car the cabin is bathed in a relaxing blue light making the luxurious leather interior all the more inviting.

There’s a metallic theme throughout the interior with lots of bare aluminium, including the gearlever which can be a bit chilly in winter. There’s also a chronograph-inspired dashboard which is a delight to look at as well as being informative for the driver.

It almost goes without saying that a comfortable position behind the wheel is easily found with all the controls and buttons well placed and simplicity itself to use.

A truly excellent GT must be able to cover great distances while making those on board feel cosseted all the way. The Aston Martin DBS does exactly that.

Life Style

Once the initial bark of the engine has died away and the car is cruising comfortably, there’s virtually nothing to disturb those ensconced in the Aston Martin DBS.

Wind and road noise are virtually non-existent and there’s just the pleasant rumble from the huge tyres to let you know you are safely on the road. Obviously the Aston Martin DBS is not the most fuel efficient vehicle ever built so there are frequent stops at petrol stations – but other than that you reach your destination with little to trouble you.

The Aston Martin DBS is an incredibly cool car. Open the door and the ‘Handbuilt in England’ legend on the kickplates tells you all you need to know about its classy pedigree. The interior uses the finest materials in a super-stylish design. The exterior is similarly top class with even the carbon fibre body panels beautifully painted and fitted.

Look after this Aston and classic car status is virtually assured. And when you think that a 1960s DB4 is now worth in the order of £250,000 it’s clear the DBS may prove a wise investment.

It may seem churlish to say, but the Aston Martin DBS isn’t the most environmentally friendly car of its type. So for those committed to a green life style choose the automatic Touchtronic model to keep emissions to a minimum.

Security and Safety

All the usual precautions are taken against theft and the Aston Martin DBS is also fitted with a security tracking system.

All Aston Martin DBS models are fitted with driver and passenger airbags. The expected level of electronic wizardry is included with the aim of keeping the car on the road. A security tracking system comes as standard.

The Finishing Touches

There’s a stereo system that makes it sound like you’re sitting in the Royal Albert Hall rather than an Aston Martin DBS. It can also be set up to control your iPod. The car comes with an efficient satellite navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity for your mobile phone.

There’s also climate control to ensure the cabin maintains a pleasant atmosphere and a host of other goodies that come with a luxury GT like the DBS.

BMW M5 Review

BMW’s M5 is the ultimate sports saloon. It rivals big name competitors in all out speed, and maintains BMW’s sporty, high-class look.  This car definitely has snob appeal with its good looks and saloon functionality. The 5 Series has caught buyer’s attention with a combination of looks, speed, and performance. There are lengthy waiting lists for the M5, despite the hefty price tag that the car comes with.

The BMW 5 Series is taking a more hi-tech approach to performance. The M5 offers a semi-auto gearbox, adjustable suspension, and a V10 engine. The engine is most impressive; it sounds great and runs fast. The powerful engine and rear wheel drive make this a very attractive vehicle. This car is not great on gas mileage, but that is not likely to matter to the buyer.BMW has created a fast, stylish car with a lot of power. The M5 is a fast car, but it is also a fun car to drive without sacrificing practicality. There are many brag points associated with this vehicle besides its complex V10 engine. For instance, it sports an F1 style gear shift, has adjustable suspension, and an array of lightweight components all designed using the latest technology.

 Practicality

The 5 Series comes with many perks, and the price is a direct reflection of those luxuries. This is a costly car to buy and run. Insurance runs high and fuel economy is fairly low, especially when driven hard. Front cabin space is good with plenty of legroom and head room for most passengers, back cabin space is also decent with good legroom and adequate headroom. Most adults should fit comfortably. There are several storage devices geared toward storing miscellaneous items and saving space.The car comes with two front cup holders. These come in handy, but their quality doesn’t match the rest of the cabin’s features. They just look cheap. The boot is a moderate size and is only big enough for shopping and maybe a few smaller suitcases. The controls and instruments are designed in true BMW fashion. They are clear, easy to use, and modern. The car’s head-up display projects speed, gear position, sat-nav instructions, and other useful information can be programmed to display only the information that you want. The 5 Series is more than reasonably comfortable. The seats adjust and support where needed, and provide a comfortable driving position. The V10 engine noise is a constant reminder of what’s under the hood, especially while changing gears. Access to the front cabin is spacious and easy enough, but the rear is a little more difficult to access. Smaller rear apertures somewhat limit rear access for larger passengers. Maneuvering the car to park is fairly simple. The good-sized mirrors are easy to use and visibility is good too. The process is simplified even further with parking sensors. The only drawback to parking this vehicle is the gearshift tends to be a little finicky at times.

 Life Style

This car has fantastic driver appeal. It is a nice looking car, but its looks do not do justice to its capabilities. It’s hard not to be impressed with this Series, the car has a 5.0-litre V10 engine, it’s fast, fun, dependable, and extremely easy to drive.The 5 Series does not have all the luxuries of modern family vehicles, but it is capable of providing reasonable transportation for a small family. The boot would not be very accommodating for strollers and similar objects, but it would hold a moderate amount of shopping. The 5 Series’ leather interior also might not be kid friendly .Even if a new driver could afford the car, it is not a good first vehicle for a beginner. The car boasts a top engine speed of 200 mph and is powered by a 507bhp engine; insurance wouldn’t be practical for a newly licensed driver. The 5 Series definitely has a quality fit and finish, which is reflected by its hi-tech design and high price tag. This car is stylish and sports BMW’s famous logo. Image-wise the car is doing great-people are literally lined up waiting to get their hands on one.

 Security and Safety

The 5 Series sports all the usual security devices. It comes with a standard remote central locking device, an alarm and immobilizer system. Given the car’s image and popularity it would be wise to invest in a tracking device as well. The cabin comes stocked with many airbags, and the aid of the head up display. Various gear-shift and traction modes add to the over all safety of the vehicle.

 The Finishing Touches

The 5 Series comes with a great stereo and sound system, of course the buyer is paying plenty for it. The sound quality is good and the visual display makes it easy to keep track of the various functions. Stereo control via the iDrive system can be challenging at first, but will get easier. The display makes reading the sat-nav system easy too. The 5 Series offers exterior colors that are unique to the Series. Most of them work well, lighter colors tend to fair better than the darker ones. The interior is leather with the option of various trim inserts.

Summary

This car has amazing performance potential and still manages to handle the rigors of daily life. This car is an executive family car that has the speed of a Ferraris or a Porsche. All things considered, this car delivers great value for the money.

 

Volvo S60 Review

The executive saloon market is one of the most competitive sectors in the market. The Swedish firm Volvo, doesn’t seem to be having any trouble keeping up with the competition. The S60 is able to hold its own even with stiff German competition.

Volvo is quickly losing their image of producing practical and less attractive vehicles. The firm’s latest generation of cars are stylish, luxurious, well-made and provide exceptionally good value when compared to rival brands. The firm does lag behind in the executive image area. Badge conscious buyers want something they can flaunt at work and at play with loads of style. The Volvo is still somewhat considered a car for practical minded buyers. Volvo does give their cars many positive attributes, with the top one being safety. All Volvos come with a high level of safety kit as standard. What Volvos lack in the way of style and image, they make up for two-fold in safety.

 Practicality

Compared to the prices of its rivals, the S60 is a great bargain. The car offers buyers good value for money with high levels of equipment. Fuel economy and servicing will run high, but residual values should be good when it comes time to sell. The S60 provides excellent head and legroom for all front and rear passengers. The cabin can accommodate five adults comfortably and the boot is large enough to accommodate most regularly sized items, such as groceries, or golf clubs. The controls and dials are well thought out and well placed of course. Volvo is well known for their attention to detail in the cabin area. All of the car’s controls are logically placed and easy to use and have an excellent feel to them. The S60 is extremely comfortable, and all noise for the most part is successfully suppressed. The car provides a quiet, comfortable and refined ride.The car provides excellent accessibility as well. The door apertures are wide and access to the seats is straightforward. Access to the car’s rear seats may be a little more difficult for passengers over six feet tall, but once inside even taller passengers should enjoy plenty of headroom. The car can be a little tricky to park. The steering is slightly heavy at low speeds and can make maneuvering the car difficult. Parking sensors are available as a cost-option and are highly advised.

Life Style

The T5 version is the most desirable model being offered. However, the S60 handles pretty well, too, featuring the widest platform in its class and offering plenty of grip. It may not be as much fun as some of the rivals, but it does offer higher levels of equipment, at a far lesser price. This is probably not going to make a good primary family vehicle. There is a serious lack of legroom in the back for larger passengers, and the boot is decent but may not accommodate all the items that accompany family life. If you just want a Volvo, there are more suitable family Volvos available.This is not a first car. It is too expensive and impractical as a first car. There are tons of better first cars available. Volvo’s drive to establish itself at the premium end of the market might be closer to reality now thanks to the S60 model. The company’s high level of standard and quality can’t be ignored, while being offered at a fraction of what rivals cost. Volvo is seriously beginning to give the German greats a run for their money.

Security and Safety

The car comes standard with an anti-theft alarm with an engine immoboliser and a panic function, remote central locking, and a visible Vehicle Identification Number plate. Locking wheel nuts come as standard, too. The car’s safety features include Side Impact Protection System, Anti-lock Brakes, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, Whiplash Protection System, and an Inflatable Curtain airbag. A Blind Spot Information System is offered as a cost option.

The Finishing Touches

The car’s standard audio unit includes a more than adequate sound system with excellent sound quality. The Dolby Logic Surround Sound job available as an upgrade is the best choice. The S60 looks more flattering in bolder colours. Ash Gold Pearl and Passion Red look the best on the car’s exterior design. Black Stone gives the car a more refined and toned-down look. The inside is attractively designed with Light Sand leather seats with aluminium trim detailing, black leather is optional.

Summary

The S60 is a very attractive saloon with a lot to offer buyers in the way of functionality and a very practical alternative to rival brands.

Peugeot 206 CC Review

The first in its class, the 206CC is an attractive three-door hatchback with a metal folding roof. The popular 1.6-litre HDi diesel engine was added to the mix for a very appealing combination. Whether cruising with the top up or down the 206 CC delivers an excellent ride.

The 206 CC’s goodlooks are very appealing and still greatly resembles the 206 even with the addition of a flat rear deck. The car looks like a very attractive coupe but can be changed into an equally attractive cabriolet in a matter of seconds. The roof requires the release of two hatches and the press of a button.The roof design cuts down on cabin space, the cabin has been shortened and the rear deck has been extended. The rear seats do not provide good passenger space and should only be used occasionally. The boot is a good size though, but when the roof is folded boot space is limited.

The 1.6-litre HDi engine provides a quiet and smooth ridewith impressive performance, even with the top down. Despite the increased weight of the CC the engine still supplies ample power. The engine also provides good fuel economy making the cabriolet very economical. The CC boasts respectable ride quality and excellent handling. Buyers will find that the CC is a very rewarding car to drive and own. The car still sports exceptional good looks and is an all-round fun car to drive.

 Practicality

The 206CC should be one of most inexpensive convertibles available. The car comes with a reasonable purchase price and good fuel economy. Servicing should be routine but insurance will be slightly high. The 206 CC provides adequate cabin space for front passengers, but rear passengers will not fair as well. Legroom is much more limited for rear passengers. The boot provides excellent cargo space, but when the top is down boot space becomes much more limited as well. The car’s controls and dials are straightforward and easy to use. Leather covers the steeringwheel and gearknob. The car’s instrumentation is easy to read and functional. Everything is logically located and within the driver’s reach.The car’s cabin is very comfortable for front seat passengers the seats are supportive and will be comfortable even on longer trips. The rear seats are not as comfortable and limited leg space in the rear provides comfort for short periods of time. The car provides good accessibility to the front seats, and with the top down accessibility is good all-round. Rear seat passengers will have a more difficult time with access. The car’s boot is easily accessible and shouldn’t pose any problems. Parking the Peugeot 206CC is easy with the top down and all-round visibility is excellent. Parking with the top up is another story, rear visibility is more limited and caution should be excercised when reverse parking.

 Life Style

The CC is a fun car to drive. The diesel engine provides plenty of power and the car’s steering is sharp. The suspension is firm and delivers good grip, and the car delivers a smooth but lively ride. Buyers will enjoy the ride and all the fun on offer. This is not a family car. The cabin is not spacious enough to accommodate a family and storage space is limited especially with the top down and won’t carry all the gear associated with a family life. The car could function as a second vehicle to a family or even a fun commuter car. The 307 CC is too expensive for most first time buyers. The car’s insurance rates are reasonable, but first time buyers will probably be more likely to buy the hatchback than the cabriolet. The exterior boasts exceptional style and will be very appealing to buyers. The interior boasts a unique and pleasant design. The folding top is as good quality as any top name badge on the market.

 Security and Safety

The car’s standard security features include the car’s hard-top design, a Thatcham Category One alarm, deadlocks, and a locking boot. The car alarm can be activated even with the top down and the boot requires a key for entry. The car’s safety features include twin rollover hoops and increased strengthening in the windscreen and the floor. The Allure model comes with side airbags and twin front airbags and ESP.

 The Finishing Touches

The car’s standard audio system includes a JBL system, with eight speakers and an in-the-boot bass box. The systems out put has been increased to 240 watts. The sound quality is good and the extra output helps to maintain sound quality with the top down. Allure models come fitted with leather trim and a choice of seven exterior and three interior colours. The cabin’s dashboard is black with light leather and the glovebox is also covered with leather giving the cabin an overall classy look and feel.

 Summary

The 206CC offers excellent performance and economy. The car offers good value for money with a low purchase price and a high level of specification. The 206CC should have no problem holding its own with the competition.

 

 

Greatest Automotive Advertising Campaigns

Volkswagen: Drivers Wanted!

The drivers wanted campaign brought you back to the basics when it comes to driving and the actual experience of it. It is devoted to the real drivers out there, who want to feel every gear shit and truly engage with their car. It brings a true sense of romanticism back to what, in Volkswagen’s eyes, was becoming a boring formulaic industry.

Honda: When things just… Work

This is one of the few adverts that I reckon will live in my memory for ever. The voice over which makes you feel like you’re in a cinema, the building up of suspense and the pure pleasure and satisfaction you feel when everything does just work, coupled with one of the best ever bass intros in hip hop’s history, makes this advert one of the all-time greatest.  It is ultimately an elaborate game of dominos using only Honda parts, but it is essentially brilliant.

BMW: MPowered Performance

The MPowered Performance campaign consisted of two adverts which demonstrated the BMW 1M’s precision. The first showed the 1M drifting through narrow BMW sized holes in a row of walls at epic speed whilst the second showed the 1M doing some wide doughnuts…. On top of a skyscraper! If this doesn’t make you want to get behind the wheel of a BMW, we don’t know what will. On the other hand we wouldn’t recommend driving like they do in the ads, as it won’t do anything for your servicing costs… or your health.

Mercedes Benz: Sorry

It is always nice to see an advert with a sense of humor, and Mercedes managed to let theirs shine through in a commercial for the Mercedes Benz E Class. The advert was clever and sophisticated with a subtle injection of humour added to the mix, demonstrating how the E-Class’s precision can be used to cheat death.

BMW: Fastest saloon car on the planet

It’s dramatic, the visuals are great and there is an excellent punch line at the end of this commercial for the BMW M5. Not much needs to be said about this commercial, apart from that it is awesome.

The Best Of The Best

Are you considering the purchase of a new vehicle?

If so then you’ll know that there is many a thing to think about, and it can be an incredibly tough and stressful decision. There are so many makes and models of vehicle available that it can all become a little overwhelming.

You need to think about which cars fall under your budget, whether you want to buy a used or new model, and what type of vehicle you actually want or need. Considering all the expenses which come hand in hand with driving, such as road tax, insurance, MOT and servicing, it is important that you make a decision which leads to the car which is right for you.

To give you an idea about the cars I think you should be considering, here are my personal favourites in five different classes. Nicole recommends:

 

volkswagen-golf_lMedium Family – Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is a superb medium sized family vehicle. It is available with an excellent range of engines and is priced reasonably compared with similar models. The Golf is reliable and delivers strong performance, whilst also providing a respectable amount of space both in the front and rear of the cabin. These Golfs have such a following there are numerous fan clubs and pages dedicated to the car, check out the fanclub facebook page.

 

suzuki-alto_lCity Car – Suzuki Alto

The standard of competition in the city car market is increasing year on year as people look to save money on new car purchases. It was a tough decision but I’ve opted for the Alto down its superb fuel economy and low CO2 emissions. The versions with manual gearboxes qualify for free road tax, and it is reasonably priced too. Perfect budget motoring.

 

bmw-3-series_lMedium Executive – BMW 3 Series

Another very competitive market, but in my mind there could only be one winner. The BMW 3 Series comes out on top in nearly every aspect. It is reasonably priced, looks fantastic, delivers superb fuel economy for its class and performs well on the road. Moreover, it holds its value well and offers strong reliability.

 

kia-sorento_lLarge 4×4 – Kia Sorento

There isn’t much in it when it comes to large 4x4s – generally they all do what they say on the tin. However, I believe that Kia’s model has the edge overall. It is well priced and offers acres of space inside the cabin and boot. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are decent compared to rivals, and it actually performs well off-road – something which many 4x4s fail to do.

 

dacia-sandero_lSmall Family – Dacia Sandero Stepway

I realise that this choice won’t lie well with many people, who might have punted for the Ford Fiesta or Renault Clio as their favourite small family model, but I can’t help it – I love the Sandero Stepway. Call it my guilty pleasure. It’s cheap as chips, looks good, delivers great fuel economy and emits low volumes of CO2. What’s more it comes with a superb array of internal equipment as standard – you won’t find anything else like it on the market for anywhere near the Stepway’s price.

Girly Car Talk

Hello, my name is Nicole Hennessey!

I love cars and everything automotive, which is why I have started my own site to blog about issues I think will interest my readers and enlighten the non-petrol heads among us!

Thanks for visiting, hope you enjoy!