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Report of front nearside suspension strut top bearing on 9,000 mile 2015 BMW noisy when turning and has been replaced under warranty. The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is another niche-filling model from the German manufacturer. The chassis and certain engines in the 2 Series Active Tourer are shared with the MINI range, which is no bad thing.
Those seeking a practical family car with a prestigious German badge now have three options - and the BMW is as impressive as its rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.
The RS3 is a hot hatch heavyweight, with its turbocharged 2.5-litre engine producing a colossal 367PS.
The RS3 is a lot of fun to drive though and the five-cylinder engine is packed with character, starting up with a deep, throaty burble that crackles and pops along as you progress rapidly through the gears. That said, it isn't just a blunt instrument of straight-line power and a Haldex four-wheel drive system provides the necessary stability and control to keep the RS3 in-line. At its limit, the RS3 is brutally quick, with lots of grip in the corners and outstanding straight-line acceleration. If you don't want to push it to its limits then the RS3 returns lots of comfort and refinement as a daily driver. The Audi is also extremely practical, with five-doors, a decent sized boot and enough cabin space to cope with a family of four. With its useable nature and wonderful 2.5-litre engine, the Audi RS3 ia an enduring car to drive and it'll easily outgun larger rivals for straight-line speed. The Caddy has seen duty as a panel van, five-seater, seven-seater and a slightly rugged Cross Caddy.
The engine lineup begins with a 1.6-litre petrol engine that produces more power (81 kW, as opposed to 75 kW) and 155 Nm of torque. There are four models available in the new Caddy range – Panel Van, Crew Bus, Trendline and Alltrack (this model replaces the Cross Caddy). The Caddy isn't unattractive, but it still looks more like a commercial van than a fashionable people mover. The front-end features the latest generation LED daytime running lights and xenon headlights are optional. The Volkswagen Caddy is available with a flexible warranty system that allows owners to decide whether they want to extend their vehicles' service plans and warranties. Ashley has been riding or driving some sort of motorised vehicle since his 4th birthday when he got a Yamaha PW50. The FIAT 500L MPW and Trekking are two further examples of how a successful name is used to sell cars.
The truth is, the 500L bears as much resemblance to a FIAT 500 as a MINI Countryman does to a MINI, never mind the original tiny but groundbreaking ten foot long  cars they were reincarnated from. The car will be available from September 2013 as a 5-seater with a huge load area for around £800 more than a FIAT 500L. A team of FIAT engineers led by Giovani Mastrangelo have taken FIAT’s MultiAir valve operation and applied it to an all-new 875cc twin cylinder turbocharged engine. Generating very little friction, it revs extremely freely, but the electro-hydraulic inlet valves prevent it from over-revving.
And, of course, the car has the suspension improvements developed by Ford for the Ka, then refined by FIAT for the 500 Abarth and 500C before becoming standard across the 500 range from 2010 model year. Together they transform the 500 from a car you forgive because of its looks into a really fun drive with excellent ride quality.
Running on Shell V-Power, my 1.2 is very sweet at low revs, happy to run at 30mph in 5th, corresponding to around 1,300rpm. The TwinAir is geared the same and, though its maximum torque of 145Nm at 1,900rpm is much greater, there’s nothing much there below that, so you need 4th in a 30.
At speed, though, the engine smoothes out beautifully and is very happy to cruise quietly at 60mph. The 65PS and 85PS versions will also find their way under the bonnets of next year’s new FIAT Pandas.
But this also translates to a combined fuel economy figure of 68.9mpg, and no one seems to have come anywhere near achieving this.


Over Christmas and New Year I made two 600 mile journeys in it and the average over them was 46.91mpg. Which is why testers trying the car for a few hours or for a week on FIAT’s petrol only get 35mpg on the consumption meter.
85 miles of my runs were cross-country, over my favourite road that has every kind of corner (apart from hairpins, every kind of incline and every kind of surface ranging from racetrack smooth to rally stage rough. That showed up the biggest difference between my 2008 500 and the current car with its vastly improved, much softer rear suspension. If you have to drive into London regularly and want something that’s stylish as well as fun, and very low on BIK, a FIAT 500 TwinAir is the only obvious choice. Happily, though you won’t ever get anything like the EC combined mpg figure, you will do a lot better than 35mpg.
Given the success of cars like the MINI, the Fiat 500 and the Citroen DS3, it’s easy to see why Vauxhall decided to introduce the Adam.
Larger than a 1 Series but not quite an estate car, the Active Tourer is BMW’s rival for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and the Volkswagen Golf SV.
There’s room for five in the cabin, plus there is a large boot with an electronically operated tailgate as standard. The Active Tourer successfully blends ride comfort with a good level of grip through corners. Entry level petrol and diesel engines are 1.5-litre three cylinder units shared with the MINI and they are fine for most - but motorway or rural drivers will benefit from the extra power and torque offered by the more powerful 218d diesel or 220i petrol. The B-Class and Golf SV offer better practicality, as does the Citroen C4 Picasso, but the 2 Series Active Tourer feels every bit as plush as a larger car like the 3 Series, plus it offers great driving dynamics and plenty of technology. As a result the Audi will reach 62mph in just over four seconds, while its unrestricted top speed lies somewhere north of 170mph. Acceleration is smooth too, with 465Nm of torque available from just 1625rpm, which means you get the full RS experience within a nanosecond of flattening the throttle.
A seven-speed S tronic transmission is also standard, with sharp and intelligent automatic gear changes, with the option of going manual via a set of paddles behind the steering wheel. However, for all of its technical brilliance, the Audi lacks agility in the corners, which makes it feel heavy on tight roads, while feedback is poor due to the overpowered and numb nature of the steering. Motorways are quiet and sedate, while the forgiving ride provides lots of comfort at low speeds, which makes it a relaxed drive around town. The interior quality is typical Audi, with a solid feel throughout and lots of soft-touch materials. Unfortunately, its colossal price tag isn't quite so easy to accept, especially compared to the Golf R which is £10,000 cheaper. The newest addition, launched in KZN in January 2016, is an evolution of previous versions but VW has made a concerted effort to make the Caddy more appealing to the passenger car market (in other words, families). All models except the Alltrack are available in long wheelbase (Maxi) as well as short-wheelbase models. However, passenger vehicle buyers will be buoyed by the fact that Volkswagen has engineered its newcomer to incorporate several passenger-car attributes. The tailgate has some new creases designed into it to make it look less like a barn door, but the result is still unmistakeably van-ish.
Crushed by the expense of motor racing, Ashley took up journalism and became a writer for some of South Africa’s best motoring magazines and online publications. A young girl from the other side of the World once said to me, “John, I just saw a really cute little car. It’s why the Austrian built MINI Countryman massively outsells the standard MINI in the Far East. Having called the Large FIAT 500 the 500L, it had seemed entirely logical to name its 20 centimetre longer version the 500XL. And with the full complement of seven seats and belts for around £1,500 more than a 500L.
Regarding the 500L Trekking as up against the hugely successful Nissan Juke and the increasingly strong-selling MINI Countryman. The TwinAir has great steering that puts you fully in touch with how the front wheels are gripping and what’s happening at the back.


The big difference between it and the 1.2 is that, if you want to accelerate from 60, instead of slowly gathering pace, you can quickly get up to 70 and illegal speeds above that.
Why deliberately use more fuel than you have to in order to average pretty much the same speeds? Everything else that’s Congestion Charge exempt is a hybrid or a diesel, or is the Toyota IQ or the Hyundai i10 Blue. Comes with high spec off the shelf so buyers do not have to customise their car from the long options list.
It’s available with a huge range of customisation options including a contrasting roof, a selection of alloy wheel designs, various interior colours and even an illuminated head lining. There’s a colour combination to suit all tastes and styles, from aggressive and sporty to cute and cuddly.
None of these is particularly impressive and refinement, performance and economy could be better.
It’s not a particularly practical car, nor does it have an impressive range of engines.
Space might not be as generous as a Mercedes-Benz B-Class, but it’s still ample for most families. There is very little in the way of body roll and the controls are perfectly weighted, making driving easy yet enjoyable. However, the RS3 does have some drawbacks, with numb handling and a huge price that makes it very expensive compared to the Volkswagen Golf R.
The sports seats are also suitable for long trips, upholstered in Nappa leather with lots of lower back and upper leg support. The RS3 is also lacking in standard equipment, which means you have to add thousands more to its gargantuan price to get the necessary sports exhaust, magnetic ride, cruise control and navigation. VW has also designed a new model to compete with the Toyota Avanza, Honda Mobilio and the Suzuki Ertiga. Turbodiesels with manual gearboxes produce 81 kW and 250 Nm, while the DSG-equipped versions deliver outputs of 103 kW and 320 Nm. On the flipside, the Caddy is extremely versatile, spacious and drives as smoothly as a Golf. And the passenger seat-back flops flat forwards so the cabin of the car can accommodate things like surfboards and ladders up to 2.6 metres long.
Only two back seats, and even children struggle to fit if there are tall occupants up front. Other optional technology includes an Advanced Park Assist system which measures parallel spaces and then automatically steers the car in while the driver controls the brakes and accelerator. The Citroen DS3 is more practical, while the Fiat 500 has a broader range of engine choices and the Audi A1 carries more prestige.
There are some sumptuous upholstery choices on offer, including cream leather, plus various designs for dashboard inlays, with wood or metal finishes depending on the trim level. We were able to test the turbodiesel engine in both states of tune and, even though neither Caddy was heavily loaded, the motors pulled smoothly with surprisingly little turbo lag.
What's more, the VW can be specced with handy features such as a reverse camera and parking sensors, a fatigue detection system and additional airbags for rear passengers. Furthermore the boot is fairly tight at 170 litres and it has a high load lip, so it’s awkward to load heavy items. Thankfully, folding the rear seats frees up 600 litres of space, which is plenty for bulky objects. Loading space, even in the seven-seater, is plentiful behind the final row of seats and legroom is decent for all rear passengers.
For looks, though, I think the less capable Renault Captur (no 'grip control') beats it handsomely.



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28.10.2014 admin



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