driving

15 Jan 2018
   The Ford Fiesta first hit the tarmac here in Blighty in 1976 and ever since then it’s been instantly familiar. It was the car that many moons ago I passed my test in, and in XR2 guise was the first proper hot-hatch I ever drove. (I “borrowed” my cousin’s C-reg example one evening). I’ve even raced one, albeit briefly and against the clock; a red ST at the now defunct Cholmondeley Pageant of...
29 Dec 2017
    The arrival of Suzuki’s new Swift complete with Boosterjet engine and in SZ5 spec I might add, here at Chez Bird also coincided with a Ferrari GTC4Lusso being here too. I know, go on… say it: how I suffer for my art. And it’s at this point that you’re probably thinking “I bet that Suzuki didn’t get much use then did it?”  Well, you’d be wrong.     You see, both the Swift, and, err… the very...
19 Nov 2017
     From January onwards you’ll no longer be able to walk into your local Volkswagen dealer and order a 3-door Polo, they’re not going to make them anymore. You can’t buy a 3-door version of the new SEAT Ibiza either, or the Skoda Fabia for that matter either. As people downsize (and ironically cars get bigger) the people in (the predominately German) suits have declared that there’s no longer a...
17 Oct 2017
   Quite where the line is drawn between what makes an SUV an SUV, and what constitutes a crossover these days is hard to determine, but what can’t be argued is the fact that we car-buyers love ‘em – and especially so if they’re considered “premium”.    At the time a writing, and just a couple of weeks after their glitzy unveilings at The Frankfurt Motorshow, I can name at least another half-...
20 Sep 2017
      Think of a GT car and your thoughts quite naturally turn to the likes of 1960’s Aston Martins, Bentleys, Ferraris, and Jaguars; exquisite luxury leather-lined coupes with effortless power, sleek styling, and more-than-likely astronomical price-tags. GTs are cars in which an intercontinental drive would be a pleasure not a chore - GT stands for Grand Touring after all GTs.  They’re the kind...
11 Aug 2017
     The last time I drove a SEAT Ateca was in Manchester, as part of its UK launch, and like many motoring writer that day I returned full of praise for what is the Spanish manufacturer’s first foray into the ever-growing, and indeed ever-popular, family SUV market place.    It was Autocar Magazine however that really put the Ateca on the map by bestowing upon it their “Game changer Award”; one...
16 Jul 2017
    A friend of mine, we’ll call him Tim, often asks me if I can come up with a one word review for the car I’m currently driving. Over the years I’ve used words such as imperious, luxurious, capable, charming, swift, brilliant, stunning, dreadful, awful, excellent, challenging, and many more besides to succinctly describe my feelings for everything from Adams to Audis, Fiesta to Ferraris,...
26 Jun 2017
   I’m pretty sure that if you asked a teenage boy to draw you a sportscar the end result would bear a striking resemblance to a Subaru BRZ. Long bonnet, short tail, two doors, coupe roofline… and if the sketches were anything like the ones I used to scribble on the back of my exercise book during double biology, wheels that look a tad too small and struggle to fill the arches. I never could get...
10 May 2017
      The last time I drove a Volkswagen up! (that ! may become annoying – apologies in advance) was soon after its launch. I declared it brilliant; an opinion I’ve kept ever since. I also thought its mechanically identical sisters, the SEAT Mii and the Skoda Citigo were excellent too, as was the similarly sized Hyundai i10 for that matter. It was the perception of VW’s final extra “polish”...
14 Apr 2017
      We car buyers are a fickle and fashion led bunch. Not so long ago we snapped-up MPVs like… well, they were going out of fashion. No self-respecting school run parent was without a Sharan, a Galaxy, a Touran, an S-Max, an Alhambra, a Zafira, a Carens… Or of course an Espace or Grand Scenic, it was after all Renault and their Espace that kicked this whole mono-box family mini-bus thing off in...
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