Three new models recently launched by European manufacturers have been independently tested for safety by Euro NCAP. The Alfa Romeo Giulia, the SEAT Ateca and the VW Tiguan all reached five stars with safety equipment which is fitted as standard throughout the European Union.
From the beginning of this year, Euro NCAP applies a Dual Rating scheme where the default rating issued is based on standard safety equipment available throughout the range. Manufacturers may apply for a second rating, showing the additional safety provided by an optional pack, however, the Giulia, Ateca and Tiguan come with superior standard safety equipment as standard throughout Europe.
All three vehicles offer autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems that help to avoid or mitigate collisions between cars and with pedestrians. Testing of this important safety technology was introduced by Euro NCAP in 2014 for car crashes and this year for pedestrian crashes. The car industry has responded quickly and is fitting an increasing number of models with these life-saving systems.
Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said: ‘Euro NCAP shows what can be achieved when governments, consumer groups and motoring clubs from across Europe collaborate. Together, we can exert an influence on the car industry that would be hard to achieve otherwise. We are glad to see some of the major manufacturers making safety equipment standard across EU28, although we know that markets outside the Eurozone are sometimes less well served.’
Volkswagen’s Passat is proving to be hot property as it moves faster off the forecourt than any other model in February, selling in just 19 days. Not only was the Passat saloon the fastest selling car nationally, but the estate version was the eighth fastest selling car.
Both are 2013 versions when the well-equipped R Line derivative was added to the range. The combination of frugal engines, well-built, premium interiors and plenty of room for both passengers and luggage, especially the estate, prove particularly attractive to executives and families alike.
Volkswagen’s other models have a strong showing in some of the region’s fastest sellers too, with the Golf being the second fastest seller in the East of England. The Golf also takes fifth, sixth and ninth places in Northern Ireland’s fastest sellers, plus it was fourth quickest out of dealerships in the West Midlands.
Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader Retailer & Consumer Products Director said: “Our Market Report noted that while there was a dip in market share for new VW models in January, average used car prices for Volkswagens remained relatively unchanged according to our Used Car Retail Price Index. Car buyers’ appetite for these cars hasn’t dropped off either as online classified ad views on Auto Trader showed stable results across the board for the last six months.”
February’s national best sellers also included five crossovers and 4x4s, with Toyota’s RAV4 whipping off the nation’s forecourts the second quickest. The Toyota RAV4 originally launched in the mid-90s with a car firmly aimed at smaller families and delivers a decent on-road driving experience. The latest generation first went on sale in 2013 and it’s this generation of RAV4 that is proving quick to be snapped up by buyers.
Also notable is the appearance of Volvo’s XC90 in the nation’s quickest selling cars. The 2015 model is proving in demand with car buyers as it ranks as the ninth fastest used car to shift from British showrooms, plus the Swedish company launched the all-new XC90 in early 2015 too.
Of the top 10 best-selling new cars in 2015 none make an appearance in February’s national top 10 fastest sellers, but the Ford Focus is the fastest selling car in the East of England and it’s joined by a number of other best new car sellers including the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Polo and Nissan Qashqai all showing a quick pair of heels off the East of England forecourts.
|Rank||Description||Average Days To Sell||Average Retail Price|
|1||2013 Volkswagen Passat Saloon Diesel Automatic||19||£11,732|
|2||2013 Toyota RAV4 SUV Diesel Manual||21||£16,964|
|3||2012 Vauxhall Insignia Hatchback Petrol Manual||21||£7,094|
|4||2011 Hyundai i30 Hatchback Petrol Manual||21||£5,231|
|5||2013 Hyundai ix35 Estate Petrol Manual||21||£11,125|
|6||2013 Honda CR-V SUV Petrol Automatic||22||£17,372|
|7||2015 Ford Kuga SUV Petrol Manual||22||£18,151|
|8||2013 Volkswagen Passat Estate Diesel Manual||23||£11,580|
|9||2015 Volvo XC90 Estate Diesel Automatic||23||£48,950|
|10||2013 Toyota AYGO Hatchback Petrol Semi-Automatic||23||£6,033|
It’s also interesting how many times Volkswagen models rank not only in the nation’s fastest selling cars but in quite a few regional ones too. It’s clear buyers are not shying away from purchasing models from the German brand and ties in with one of the key findings in the Auto Trader Market Report that showed VW average used values have remained steady in the past six months
Warranty Direct reprised the title sponsorship of the What Car? Car of the Year Awards for the fourth year running, at a prestigious ceremony at the Grosvenor House hotel in London during January. Nineteen awards were up for grabs at the ceremony which saw the Audi A4 3.0 TDU 218 Sport take the top honours for Car of the Year.
According to What Car? the Audi motor earned the top accolade by bringing a new standard of “refinement, interior quality and technology to the compact executive class.” The Audi A4’s awards tally for the night doubled as it also won the Compact Executive Saloon of the year.
The awards for the Audi A4 were part of a very successful night for owners the VW Group. The motor manufacturer dominated the awards by winning nine out of the nineteen categories. Despite a turbulent year for VW Group, which included the emissions scandal, the German automaker is still considered to be producing some of the best cars on sale today.
Other awards were won on night by the Ford Fiesta ST-2 (Hot Hatch award), the new Mazda MX-5 (Convertible award), Volvo XC90 (Safety award), the Nissan Qashqai (Small SUV award) and the Land Rover Discovery Sport (Large SUV award).
In addition to being the headline sponsor, Warranty Direct also sponsored the individual City Car Award category, revealing the best new city car currently on the market. This award was given to the Hyundai i10 1.2 87 SE for its practicality and drive.
Warranty Direct has sponsored the highly regarded Car of the Year Awards since 2013, working with What Car? to support the judges with invaluable insight on car reliability and running costs.
Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “The What Car? Awards represent one of the most important celebrations on the calendar for all those who work in the automotive industry.
“The Awards honour the accomplishments of individual car manufacturers, which then creates the substance from which expert advice can be offered to any consumers considering their next purchase.
“Warranty Direct always keeps close watch on the Awards success stories, because we then update our unique Reliability Index*, which analyses cars and measures their overall reliability.”
* – Any new cars released this year, which are contenders for the 2016 Awards sponsored by Warranty Direct, will not appear on the company Reliability Index until 2019.
Need a small family car? It has to be either a posh VW Golf or a hardworking Ford Focus.
No one ever made a mistake by choosing a VW Golf. Even now, after the diesel scandal, these are still regarded as well built, practical and reliable. The Ford Focus has a bit more of a twist, it is still practical and cost effective to run, but it is also fun to drive. Many buyers like that.
The 2004-2009 Golf is regarded as the period when the model returned to form. They have decent safety equipment and the SE is the best spec. The all-new Focus had a tough act to follow, but it is stylish, spacious and reliable. LX specification has air conditioning.
Are they reliable?
The Golf has proved to be very trustworthy, the trouble is that fixing the Golf is always more costly than the Ford, by some margin. Also, Warranty Direct makes it clear that overall the Focus has proved to be the more reliable buy. So for cost and overall reliability the Focus wins.
How much do they cost?
It is now possible to buy high mileage examples from 2004 to 2005 at below £2000. Late examples are now around £8000, usually the high spec sporty ones. The focus is often discounted and around in large numbers so prices start at just over £1000 rising to £7800 or so.
Sum Up: Golf means style and quality, but it will cost more to run. The Focus means low running costs and reliability, the sensible choice.
Average Repair Cost: £306.97
Axle and Suspension: 19.41%*
Warranty Direct Rating: Average
* Failure rate
Average Repair Cost: £280.83
Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average
* Failure rate