Which MPV’s to buy

It’s obvious to most why family buyers choose MPV’s. Though when there is more than one person involved, sometimes buying a new car leads to confusing minefields of different preferences and ideals. Practical and spacious they often need to cope with everything from the school run, supermarket trips and even holidays. The handing and styling of people carriers have rapidly changed over recent years while versatility and improved seating systems. As such I have decided to put together a list of the MPV’s I would recommend people to buy.

The original C-MAX has now been replaces with two models, this C-MAX has five seats and a larger seven-seater called the Used Ford Grand C-MAX. Both as which are based on the same platform as the new Focus which means impressive handling and top levels of refinement. The latest model is fun, stylish and much better than the original and it’s a match for its contenders such as the Renault Scenic. The C-MAX is also fast but efficient EcoBoost petrol turbo and is practical and well built. In my opinion some of its rivals are more versatile but overall this car doesn’t put a foot wrong, you can’t go to far wrong with a good Henry Ford product.


It wouldn’t be right to have an MPV list and not include a Citroen as they aren’t short of a people carrier or two. The Second Hand Citroen C3 Picasso is the smallest in the range but it’s also one of the best with impressive practicality. It may have a boxy shape but it creates space inside the car and still looks distinctive.  The C3 Picasso has a raised driving position and gives plenty of room for passengers in the back.  The C3 Picasso offers a comfortable ride for family it does however offer lack storage space compared to some of its rivals.

The Mazda 5 is the next car to make my list. It may look a bit outdated but it offers a hugely practical cabin that has seven seats and a very flexible row of middle seats that can be configured in several different ways to suit your needs. The rear doors have an advantage over some rivals with its sliding rear doors making getting in and out easier. The Mazda 5 has lots of luggage space and is a comfortable ride and perfect for the conventional family. The only things letting this car down is the middle seat is quite space and the dashboard is quite confusing.

Finally the Used Volkswagen Touran makes my list. The Touran rivals the like of the Vauxhall Zafira. This is one of Volkswagens most versatile small MPVs on the market in the UK. The Touran offers high quality interior which is well constructed and comfortable and very quiet especially on motorway drives. The car comes with a range of different engines that make use of VW’s BlueMotion technology which improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions in all models. The VW badge means that the Touran is a desirable buy and has strong resale value on the used car market.  This car does however come with a higher pricetag then some of the others to make my list and the smaller engine models aren’t as powerful as you may want.

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What compact executive cars I would recommend

For many drivers the ‘executive’ cars the badge on the bonnet is as important as the car itself and it’s the three German firms – BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz which lead the way when it comes to brand status. I have compiled a list of my favourite executive cars which may suit your needs.

Although not one of the big three mentioned the Second Hand Lexus IS is up there for me. Lexus are known for their customer satisfaction and it explains why so many Lexus owners stick with the marque. The IS main rivals are the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C-Class, but offers a different approach with its choice of hybrid or petrol engines. The new styling has updated the car giving it a sportier and more distinctive look. The new model also handles better thanks to new suspension and better steering. With Lexus you know you will get terrific reliability and dealer service.


The Mercedes-Benz C Class coupe is a sleek and sporty-looking three doors which is there to rival the likes of the Second Hand BMW 4 Series and the Used Audi A5 coupe. It’s one of the most stylish in its class and has head-turning looks are thanks to its swooping design and the big three-pointer-star on the front of the bonnet. Not just a pretty face but it also is spacious inside. It combines superb build quality, a luxurious and comfortable interior and sport handling. It can come in an impressive economical diesel engine but does come with a relatively high price tag but that is expected with the Mercedes badge. If you’re looking for a cheaper and more practical version then go for the saloon model.

This list couldn’t be complete unless the BMW 3 Series was included. This car is one of the best compact executive cars money can buy and has won many awards over the past 10 years to suggest this. The latest model doesn’t look too different from the car it replaced, but it does have bigger dimensions and a more efficient engine and easily the best 3 Series yet. The main points of the 3 Series is that’s it’s one of the best to drive in its class in terms of fun, its beautifully built and has low running costs that you might not expect. The downside with the 3 series is that it does have expensive options and in comparison to some rivals the interior space is fairly average too.


Last but not least to make my list is the Audi A4. Arguably maybe this can’t compare with the 3 Series but it is an excellent upmarket car which is a competitor and can compete with the high-quality, all-round premium car with performance with the likes of the Mercedes C-Class. The A4 can’t match the 3 Series for outright driver appeal but I’d go as far as saying it’s a better all-rounder with more rear passenger room, a larger boot and the availability of Quattro four-wheel drive. In my opinion the A4 is an expensive car to buy when you can consider you can get cars more fun to drive such as the 3 Series which are also more efficient too.

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Vauxhall slash Ampera price

In an attempt to boost its sales, Vauxhall has slashed the price of its Ampera by £3,500. The decision has been made following poor sales for both the Ampera and its sister car, the Chevrolet Volt.

The price reduction means that the hybrid electric vehicle is now available from £28,750 including the £5,000 Government grant for plug-in vehicles.

vauxhall-ampera_lVauxhall’s Managing Director, Duncan Aldred, commented: “Ampera’s new price position brings the cost of electric motoring much nearer to that of a conventional vehicle. It also reinforces the multi award-winning Ampera’s position as the only solution to electric vehicle ownership that can be the sole family car.”

The Vauxhall Ampera is powered by a 1.4-litre petrol engine which is mated to an electric motor. Qualifying for free road tax, the model can travel on electric power alone for up to 50 miles. Its range is extended to 300 miles through the petrol engine. More information about the performance of the Ampera is at CarSite.co.uk.


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Alfa Romeo Reveal 4C

The first official photos of the 4C have been released by Alfa Romeo, ahead of its much anticipated unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

As can be seen through said pictures, the production version of the model looks almost identical to the concept car which was shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. It weighs less than 1,000g and produces more than 250bhp per tonne.13555_3_l

It is equipped with a 1.7 litre turbocharged petrol engine, but performance figures have not yet been mentioned. The model is predicted to have a power output of 275bhp and accelerate from 0 – 62mph in around 4.5 seconds. Impressive speed will inevitably be countered by poor fuel economy; however reliability is expected to be strong which will drive down servicing costs for the vehicle.
The engine will be mated to a 6-speed TCT dual-clutch gearbox, while the 4C also boasts Alfa’s DNA system, allowing drivers to choose between Dynamic, Natural and All-weather modes.

As with performance, Alfa has also chose to keep quiet on pricing details for now, but the 4C is expected to rival the Porsche Cayman and cost around £40,000.
The Alfa Romeo 4C is expected to go on sale in Europe shortly after it is unveiled in March at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

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Fuel Prices, Fool Prices

We all know that the change in fuel prices over the past decade or so has been grossly disproportionate to that of inflation in the same period. But how bad has it actually been? We often complain about how much it costs but there will be many drivers currently on the road who know nothing different. They have never paid, and probably never will, for a ‘reasonably’ priced litre of fuel.

The price for a litre of unleaded petrol in 1999 was less than 70p. Go to fill up your car with the same stuff today and you’ll be paying double. So how much more does this mean in terms of a full tank? Well for a 50 litre one you would have been paying around £35 before the millennium to fill it, now it could cost you over £70.price

At a time when the economic climate of the UK is in a state of recession, fuel prices can put a financial strain on even the wealthiest wallets. Add this to regular MOT and servicing costs, not to mention road tax, and driving becomes a very expensive aspect of life.

We’ve established that filling up a pretty standard sized tank of fuel costs about £35 more than it did in 1999, but how will that really affect the lives of young drivers in particular?
If you use your car to get to work and back every day, as well as for leisurely activities over a weekend, you will more than likely need to fill up at least every two weeks. An extra £35 every two weeks equates to £910 a year – something you probably don’t think about when taking your Renault Megane down to the nearest petrol station.

Think of this over a longer period and the extra cost becomes colossal. If you’re driving for the next 40 years you’ll be paying £36,400 more than you would have been, and that’s in the unlikely circumstances that prices do not continue to rise!pockets

It’s certainly something to think about. We’ve left you with a few tips on how to maximise fuel efficiency.


Don’t rev your engine too high.

Change up through the gears and into fifth as fast as possible.

Drive a little slower than usual.

Avoid congested city streets.

Reduce weight in your car by taking out any unnecessary items.

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