Next-generation Camaros don’t come along very often – the 2016 model is only the sixth in the nearly 50 years since the car went into production – so when one does appear, it’s an understandably big deal.It was certainly a big deal when Chevrolet resurrected the car for 2010. The “heritage”-style homage to the iconic first-generation design was an unqualified hit. To date, Gen 5 Camaro sales have surpassed 500,000 and has outsold the Mustang for the past four years. In an age when car buyers are turning increasingly to crossovers, that’s no small feat.We’re going to argue, however, that the all-new Gen 6 Camaro is more significant. In our admittedly limited experience with preproduction examples and careful evaluation of the elements comprising it, it’s more of a driver’s car. We don’t mean to cast aspersions on the unquestionably popular Gen 5, but it was a car trimmed to fit an existing platform – one that … [Read more...] about Find Out Why the 2016 Camaro is the Best Ever!
Among the depreciated exotica of the classifieds, Aston Martin's V8 Vantage draws more covetous eyes than most, and those eyes will widen to see Gaydon's perennially suave coupé now listed from less than £30,000. But that's for the original, 380bhp 4.3-litre version launched in 2005. The 420bhp 4.7 that replaced it in 2008 is the driver's preferred choice, and you'll need around £45,000 to bag a decent example of that thoroughly upgraded model. Tantalising as that is, the same sum buys a brand-new high-performance coupé that has been ringing our bell as loudly as any of late: BMW's tearaway M2, Autocar's current pick of the M breed. While its diminutive, bulging form evokes a French bulldog, the M2 has the heart of a mastiff in a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six making 365bhp, all of which - as in the Vantage - is sent rearwards. It's actually a bigger car than the Aston in all but width (it's just 11mm skinnier), despite the Vantage's lowness and sleek … [Read more...] about Head-to-head: new BMW M2 vs used Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Right, then: what car is best off-road? That sounds pretty straightforward, doesn't it? Only it isn't. Not by a long way. Because off-roading, like no other discipline in this game, brings with it myriad complications. Shall we start with tyres? I wouldn't usually, because they're not that interesting, but we should here, because they're what you need to worry about most if you're trying to find out 'what car is best off-road?'. You see 'what car is best off road?' can quickly become 'what tyres are best off-road?' if you're not careful. Not that tyres are the only thing to bother you, because there's always the 'are you sure that bit of off-road is the same as it was three minutes ago, when you were driving a different car over it?' headache as well. You don't get that at Silverstone. At a race track the bit of circuit you've just driven around once will usually be in the same place you'll find it next time. This pesky off-road stuff changes every few minutes. And then there are … [Read more...] about 4×4 heroes – the best off-roaders compared
Mazda is justifiably proud of the current MX-5’s lightness, with the entry-level soft-top barely disturbing the weighbridge at just over a tonne. The hard-topped, quasi-Targa RF (for Retractable Fastback) version adds 45kg, most of which is located high up, but chassis adjustments are said by Mazda to have preserved the roadster’s entertaining dynamics. Top-down thrills and closed-cockpit comfort in a pint-sized package, then, and all for £25,695 if you go for the 2.0-litre Sport Nav version. But similar money can also command a plusher alternative in a used Mercedes SLK – the car that brought folding hard-tops to the compact roadster segment in 1996, when combat trousers were en vogue. At this price point, you can take your pick of current-generation 1.8-litre SLK 200s, such as the Palladium Silver AMG Sport model featured here. Less than two years old with an inconsequential 3700 miles covered, it’s a snip at £21,000 – nearly £16,000 … [Read more...] about Mazda MX-5 RF vs used Mercedes-Benz SLK – which is best?
Every year on April 1, manufacturers try their hardest to fool us with their best attempts at April Fools' joke stories. We've rounded up our favourites, from last year and previous April Fools' days. MG invisible concept car - 2/5 MG's team of engineers and designers - although we don't quite know why the latter were employed on the concept - have developed 'the world's first invisible car'. MG's head of sales and marketing, Matthew Cheyne, praised the concept, and the team behind it, saying “We were really honoured to have Professor C Thrue and chief designer Avril F’ouil working with us on this new project... It definitely makes parking in busy cities easier, as traffic wardens can't see the car to put a ticket on it." Verdict: Unfortunately, we saw straight through this one (sorry). There are a few legal, safety and ergononic issues, too. Is the driver invisible once inside? How do you find the door handles? Hyundai Virtual Reality Entertainment System - 3/5 Hyundai … [Read more...] about April Fools’ Day: last year’s best jokes from car manufacturers
I don't want to be the one to throw cold water on Detroit's billion dollar beauty pageant, but someone's got to do it. The workers' demonstration outside Cobo Center turned out to be a damp squib (probably because the workers in question enjoy a union contract that guarantees them job security, a comfortable salary and comprehensive health care). The mainstream automotive press isn't about to bite the hand that RSS feeds. So I'll step into the breach with a simple statement: the last thing Detroit needs right now is a bunch of new cars. Once upon a time, the Detroit auto show was The Detroit Auto Show, not some gussied-up international flying circus. Carmakers showed off wild, inherently stupid concept cars that would never, EVER be built and the latest update to their showroom models. And then everyone headed off to open bars and hooker-laden hospitality suites to do what comes natural to middle-aged white men. Now the suits are serious and the web is alive with the sound of clickery, … [Read more...] about And the Band Plays On
There’s no automotive segment in Malaysia that is quite as competitive as the B-segment sedan market. The crossover may be the darling of the car-buying public right now, but the affordable three-box, four-door with a small engine and a big boot remains firmly in the mainstream, and pretty much every mass-market carmaker that has a proper foothold in the Malaysian market has an entry in this cutthroat sector. For years, the Toyota Vios and its arch-rival, the Honda City, have sat at the top of the food chain, being the progenitors of the genre. At the time when the latter was an ungainly Jazz sedan, the world’s largest carmaker showed with the original Vios that you could have a handsome, reliable sedan for minimal outlay, and it established an early dominance. Fast forward to today, and the City has turned into a formidable competitor, with thrusting, square-edged styling hiding a new drivetrain and plenty of new toys. Hamstrung not least by an engine and gearbox … [Read more...] about 2016 Toyota Vios review – new heart, but any better?
We’ve already driven the new Kia Rio in its petrol form, which is predicted to be the best-seller in the range. We concluded that while it was a capable if conservative supermini, the overall package left us a little cold. However, a change in spec can often make the world of difference in a modern car – so here we’re trying the most powerful Kia Rio diesel for the first time to see if the more frugal car can deliver. • New Kia Rio 1.0 T-GDI review This 1.4 CRDI isn’t expected to be the volume seller in the range – that honour goes to the strong and refined turbo petrols. Still, the diesel will surely appeal to private or company car buyers who intend to rack up big miles in their supermini. For them, it should prove very cheap to run, as the base 76bhp unit promises over 80mpg on the claimed combined cycle and emits just 92g/km of CO2. We’ve got the more powerful version of the same engine here, however. Producing 13bhp more but the same 240Nm … [Read more...] about New Kia Rio 1.4 diesel 2017 review
The all-new Honda Civic is almost around the corner, and we have all you need to know about the new tenth-generation car. We've got a massive gallery of pictures, a full price and specs list and all the info on the new design and interior. We've even been for a drive in an early prototype. It's been on sale in North America for some time now, but the all-new Civic is about to hit UK dealers. The £18,235 price tag will net you an entry-level S-grade car with the 127bhp 1.0-litre VTEC turbo engine and a manual gearbox. There won't be any diesel engines from launch, so the only other engine available is a punchier 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo engine, while your transmission choices consist of either a six-speed manual or a CVT automatic. Trim levels start from S, move up to SE, SR and then EX, but no equipment levels have been announced just yet. However, we do know that Honda's SENSING suite of safety kit is standard across the whole range, as Honda aims for a full five-star crash test … [Read more...] about New 2017 Honda Civic: pics, specs, price and release date
The all-new Honda Civic has been on sale in North America for some time, but the Brit-built Renault Megane rival is about to hit UK dealers. Full pricing has been announced, with the model starting from £18,235 when it goes on sale in March. It first debuted in European spec at last year's Paris Motor Show, and Honda has been drip feeding information ever since. The entry level pricetag brings you an S-grade car with a 127bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine and a manual gearbox. No diesels are initially available at launch, so the only other engine choice is a 179bhp 1.5-litre turbo petrol which starts from £22,470 in Sport spec. The 1.0-litre is also available in SR spec (from £20,180), and EX trim (from £23,040) which comes with an optional £500 tech pack. the 1.5-litre is also available in Sport Plus (from £25,335) and Prestige (from £26,085). Honda hasn't announced equipment levels for each trim yet, however. • First … [Read more...] about New 2017 Honda Civic: UK prices and specs announced
Hman writes: Howdy, Long time reader, first time emailer. (Except for two published Ur-Turns.) Anyway, I’m in a two-piece “rock” band and we are doing a 6-week tour in April and are shopping for a van. I’ve long been a Toyonda/Hondota fan, but alas, they make no full size cargo vans, so I’m forced to go domestic. A prior band of mine used a Ford E250 to great effect, and I’ll admit I’m partial to the brand. Craigslist is chock full of Econolines of all trim and year. I’d like to solicit the advice of the B&B here at TTAC ASAP! I.E., years to avoid, brands to avoid, etc. All suggestions welcome. Mr. Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist has $3-4 grand to spend, so lots of miles is expected. All told we will have three people, one drum kit w/trimmings, three vintage Fender tube amps (Hi, Jack!), two guitars, one bigass pedal board, t-shirts, cd’s, vinyl, and clothes. This will be a coast-to-coast-and-then-some trip, so reliability is … [Read more...] about New or Used: Dude, Where’s My Gig Van?
At this time of year, as the days get shorter and darker, you might notice your headlights are not all they should be. Bulbs dim with use and, particularly if they are standard lamps, there are big gains to be had by replacing and upgrading. The continuous improvements to bulb tech have seen top performers claiming at least twice the light of standard bulbs at some point in the beam. But are the claims justified? We tested nine in Philips’ light tunnel in Aachen, Germany, to find out. How we tested them The beam is most important here. With our single-filament H7 bulbs in a VW Golf Mk7 headlamp, we measured the light in the centre and at the side of the road 50 metres ahead. It was also measured at 75 metres on the kerb. We doubled the 75-metre reading, plus the two 50-metre measurements, to give our final beam rating. The figure is an average of two bulbs. Samples were bought or selected from multiple packs to prevent filtering and, as with other safety items like tyres, the … [Read more...] about Best car headlight bulbs: group test
After sharing with you a couple of world updates (Top 150 best-selling models in June 2012 and our monthly World Roundup for July 2012), its is with a solemn tone that I announce to you that today is a special day. Today I am launching the Africa Project, to try and bring African countries to a similar level of data and car sales information as the rest of the world. If you live in Africa or have data on any African country please be sure to comment on this post and I will get in touch with you directly. Africa not your thing? All good. You can visit 121 additional countries and territories in my blog, one by one, in the comfort of your own lounge. Travelling the world doesnt get any cheaper than that! Back to Africa. There are only 2 countries (out of about 50!) that report models sales data monthly. This is where you come in… In terms of new car sales, Africa is the last frontier, with only a few countries having set up regular reports. However, no less than 1.4 million … [Read more...] about Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: The Africa Project
Let’s face it: the Lincoln Town Car is the best car in the world, and that’s why at least two TTAC staffers are Panther owners. Unfortunately for Ford, however, production of new Town Cars is completely dependent on a rare earth. Well, it’s actually dependent upon Rare Earth, the band, which generates a mineral known as “awesomtonium” every time they play “I Just Wanna Celebrate” in public. A dearth of recent appearances by the band, the members of which are now all over one hundred and ten years old, means that Ford has been forced to schedule the end of Town Car production for this fall. What can Lincoln do in a circumstance like that? The honorable thing to do would be for every employee of the brand to publicly apologize to America right before committing ritual suicide. I’m told, however, that an internal vote regarding that topic ended up strongly on the side of “seeing our children again”. In that case, the only thing … [Read more...] about Meet The New Town Car, Same As The Old… No, Wait
I don't want to be the one to throw cold water on Detroit's billion dollar beauty pageant, but someone's got to do it. The workers' demonstration outside Cobo Center turned out to be a damp squib (probably because the workers in question enjoy a union contract that guarantees them job security, a comfortable salary and comprehensive health care). The mainstream automotive press isn't about to bite the hand that RSS feeds. So I'll step into the breach with a simple statement: the last thing Detroit needs right now is a bunch of new cars. Once upon a time, the Detroit auto show was The Detroit Auto Show, not some gussied-up international flying circus. Carmakers showed off wild, inherently stupid concept cars that would never, EVER be built and the latest update to their showroom models. And then everyone headed off to open bars and hooker-laden hospitality suites to do what comes natural to middle-aged white men. Now the suits are serious and the web is alive with the sound of clickery, … [Read more...] about The Detroit Auto Show: And the Band Plays On
At this time of year, as the days get shorter and darker, you might notice your headlights are not all they should be. Bulbs dim with use and, particularly if they are standard lamps, there are big gains to be had by replacing and upgrading. The continuous improvements to bulb tech have seen top performers claiming at least twice the light of standard bulbs at some point in the beam. But are the claims justified? We tested nine in Philips’ light tunnel in Aachen, Germany, to find out. How we tested them The beam is most important here. With our single-filament H7 bulbs in a VW Golf Mk7 headlamp, we measured the light in the centre and at the side of the road 50 metres ahead. It was also measured at 75 metres on the kerb. We doubled the 75-metre reading, plus the two 50-metre measurements, to give our final beam rating. The figure is an average of two bulbs. Samples were bought or selected from multiple packs to prevent filtering and, as with other safety items like tyres, the … [Read more...] about Best car headlight bulbs: 2016 group test
This is the new Hyundai i30, the latest generation of the Ford Focus and VW Golf rival that’s been unveiled at the company’s European HQ in Frankfurt ahead of a public debut at the forthcoming 2016 Paris Motor Show. UK specs and prices have yet to be announced, but we’d expect the new i30 to stay broadly in line with the figures of the car it replaces. That should give it a starting price of around £15,500. The new i30 has to build on Hyundai’s improved profile in Europe to deliver mainstream sales - and its styling is clearly aimed at the masses. The firm’s design chief Peter Schreyer says, “To create a car for everyone, we focused on a wide range of different people.” The overall look is neat but conservative, with less of the dramatic bodywork surfacing of the old i30 but what Schreyer calls a “more mature approach”. The i30 also gets an inverted curve in part of its hexagonal front grille; this is going to be a trait … [Read more...] about New Hyundai i30: Focus rival pops up ahead of 2016 Paris Motor Show debut
Some of the world's biggest automakers and suppliers are joining together to push back against tech juggernauts from dominating in-car infotainment systems. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Ford and Toyota announced they would form a SmartDeviceLink Consortium to independently manage the open-source platform. Although SmartDeviceLink was announced several years ago, major suppliers such as Harman, Panasonic, and Pioneer signed letters of intent to potentially join the cooperative, which could put even more pressure on tech giants Apple and Google. CHECK OUT: The best new car features of 2017 Additionally, Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki, and PSA Peugeot Citroen also announced they'd join the alliance. SmartDeviceLink was born out of Ford's own AppLink with the goal of creating a single, standardized open-source platform ripe for developers. Ford opened up AppLink to developers, but having Toyota and other automakers on board could provide a large enough market for third … [Read more...] about Automakers band together to push back on tech giants for infotainment
Road tax is just one of the many expenses that goes into running a car in the UK, but it can be a minefield when it comes to figuring out which cars attract which fees. Though it's officially called VED (Vehicle Excise Duty), most people still know it as road tax - a name which harks back to the days when any money collected was spent purely on maintaining and fixing roads. Whether you like it or not, VED is here to stay and must be paid if you own and drive a car. You're liable for the road tax from the moment you take ownership of your car - and if it's a brand new car, it attracts a special 'first year' rate too. That's why it makes sense to figure out exactly how much tax your car will attract before you buy it, so there's no chance of any unwelcome surprises. So to help shed light on how the current UK road tax rates could affect you when considering a new or used car purchase, we’ve compiled this road tax online guide to help you weigh up the costs. It’s not a road … [Read more...] about UK VED road tax bands explained
It's now 2017, which means the new rules for VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) or road tax are set to come into effect very soon. This means big changes to the system, including a switch up to new road tax bands which will affect anyone buying a new car from April 2017. The big question for new car buyers is this: is it better to wait until April 1st, or is it more cost effective to change cars before the new regulations come into force? The answer depends entirely on your planned vehicle and most importantly its CO2 emissions. • Guide to road tax bands The car tax changes were set in motion by former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, as a response to falling CO2 emissions levels from new cars in the Uk. Under the current VED scheme, most new cars are paying little to no tax - costing the Treasury millions. The new road tax regulations will mean higher tax prices for all new cars in the first year of registration, and a flat rate of £140 for most cars thereafter. Fewer … [Read more...] about New VED road tax: do you have all the facts on the 2017 UK car tax changes?