Our "own" car reviews

NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
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Poolcar roulette yet again, and this time I ended up with a BMW 316d saloon.
Not much time with it sadly, most time was spent driving it, and thus, blurry cellphone pictures.

Interior

Sadly, someone thought it was a good idea to add a cream faux leather interior to an already too brown car. It was ghastly.
Clean though, but I would have preferred cloth over this Sensatec nonsense. Very big difference between this plasticy stuff and real leather.

IMG_20140516_074812.jpg

Seats were adjustable to within an inch of your life though, so finding a good seating position was simple.
Seat were nothing spectacular, but having sat in them for over 4 hrs (covering just 150 kms, traffic FTL) I was still comfortable.

One little detail that annoyed me to no end was the indicator stalk : it's one of those that don't click down, so you end up indicating forever, or try to cancel it and then indicate the other way by mistake. I realize this is mostly my fault and that many cars have this feature, but I just don't like it.

Dashboard/satnav/toys

Since it had a weaksauce engine I quickly stopped revving it (since there was no real point) and played with all the stuff onboard. And there was lots of it. This one came with the "Professional" satnav, which looked awesome, but was despite its hefty 3k? pricetag, not a touchscreen, and quite small. Something my 80? tablet does manage quite well.
Anyways...

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GPS worked fine, only took me a while to figure out that the white line is the one to follow, usually it's a much brighter colour, and the white is the road you don't need to follow. Also you can have a splitscreen with song/track info and even album art. Which is useless, but cool.
As you can see there is an old style radio below the screen, with big buttons for (I guess) old people who hate controls on the steering wheel.
The iDrive knob is unfathomable as always, but after hours in traffic I did get used to it. Still prefer the steering wheel controls as they feel more natural. One knob which you can click, screw, turn,jog left or right... it's just too fiddly.

IMG_20140516_074722.jpg

You get a tiny screen in the instrument cluster which you can change to different things like the song info, or even a detail of the satnav instructions like here. Very useful.

IMG_20140516_074952.jpg

These dials were the driving modes, aside from the normal "comfort" mode there was one "Sport mode" whith hilarious Hp and Nm of torque figures. Since this is the least powerful engine there is, and they don't adapt the scale from the most powerful ones, the most you could get at any time was half the scale...Sport mode did nothing but improve throttle response just a tad, so I quickly changed to ECO PRO

IMG_20140516_075831.jpg
This is the super eco mode that saves you tons of fuel by turning off the engine every chance it gets (even before you're even at a standstill) and tells you when it's charging the battery when you're coasting and stuff. All interesting for about 5 minutes, after which you want aircon back, and it switches itself off automatically. Unless you're in a hybrid or full electric car, these stats are just for hypermilers or pennypinchers...

Driving/Handling

Despite my fears and previous experiences the ride was not bone jarringly hard, BMW have learned that people's spine's aren't made from inobtanium.... despite biggish wheels and runflats, there was never an issue. Engine was much too weak (the same engine with 136 hp should really be the entrance level), but since it's RWD and you can turn traction control completely off, you can still have some fun :burnrubber:

Never once did I feel the car get really loose though.

Engine

It moved the car and consumed not a lot of fuel. That's all I got to say really. Far from "the ultimate driving machine".

Overall

I really liked the car, but it could have been so much better with a few minor details changed. Nonetheless it receives a healthy 7/10 from me.
 
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NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
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^ Mercedes is fun with their naming conventions. 122 horses? Lets round it up to 180! 122 for a 1.6 turbo is low, but I assume it's detuned and offered with more boost if you pay more monies?

I always thought the number on the back was relevant to the engine size, not the power. But now they're just being daft.
The 1.6 is called the 180, and the 2.2 engine can be anything from 180-200-220-250...
 

rickhamilton620

has a fetish for terrible cars
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Do I spot radar-guided cruise control in the instrument cluster? :squint:

That could just be a "blank" that just happens to light up if a car has that feature.
 

NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
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That could just be a "blank" that just happens to light up if a car has that feature.

yup, it didn't have that feature, nor the 'theres someone in your blind spot" sensor
Regular CC worked a charm though, even allowing me to shift and then resume accelerating (never had known that was a thing nowadays)
 

McRae

Well-Known Member
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Manual, I presume?
The 316d would probably feel a bit punchier with the many-speed auto.

Still, I'd go for less equipment, more 320d.
 

NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
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Manual, I presume?
The 316d would probably feel a bit punchier with the many-speed auto.

Still, I'd go for less equipment, more 320d.

Manual yes.
And I agree, more 320d. But Taxes on this are 123? a year, a 320d would be 1239? a year...
 

Davetouch

is un-Stoppable
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In case of my B-Class vs my Octavia, weight and height. In case of the CLA vs the A3 sedan, just weight - the Merc is 105kg heavier than the Audi.

No way on earth can 105kg make this much difference with the CLA and A3. It must be massively different gearboxes/drivetrains. Its a strange phenomena but certainly goes to show how power/torque aren't everything. If you ever get the chance to testdrive both - do it. NB the Golf 7 with the same 1.4 122ps engine feels very similar to the A3 if that's all thats available :p (yeah I like working at a car company where there is a lot of 'whatever you can fine' lying about the carpark whenever you need transport). Example; I wanted to borrow the A3 this weekend but someone else has it. Instead I've got the LHD 2013 Octavia again :lol:
 

Adunaphel

KLAUWD
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narf

Sgt. Maj. Buzzkill
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No way on earth can 105kg make this much difference with the CLA and A3. It must be massively different gearboxes/drivetrains. Its a strange phenomena but certainly goes to show how power/torque aren't everything. If you ever get the chance to testdrive both - do it. NB the Golf 7 with the same 1.4 122ps engine feels very similar to the A3 if that's all thats available :p (yeah I like working at a car company where there is a lot of 'whatever you can fine' lying about the carpark whenever you need transport). Example; I wanted to borrow the A3 this weekend but someone else has it. Instead I've got the LHD 2013 Octavia again :lol:

That difference is almost 10%, which should be noticeable. As for the Golf 7, that's about as heavy as the A3... same engine, same weight, same feel? :nod:
 

NooDle

Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas!
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:blink: is that a typo? ... here in Switzerland even a 8-litre Veyron is only 820? per year on taxes.
I was mistaken, thats the registration tax. road tax is omething like 300 for the 316 and around Veyron money for the 320d :dunno:
 

Perc

Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
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I always thought the number on the back was relevant to the engine size, not the power. But now they're just being daft.
The 1.6 is called the 180, and the 2.2 engine can be anything from 180-200-220-250...

Also, A180 CDI with a manual is a 1.5 liter Renault mill. If you go for the A180 CDI automatic (dual clutch), it's suddenly a 1.8 liter Mercedes unit. Both make exactly 109 hp.


And the number on the back is only relevant to power on the commercial vehicles, and that has been the case for decades and decades. Vito 109 CDI means roughly 1 ton carrying capacity and 90hp. 122 CDI is several orders of magnitude quicker. Actros 4165 means, well, you get the point.
 

AiR

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But the most powerful Actros only has 625 hp, not 650. Also pfffft 40 tonne continentals, so tiny :p
 

Adunaphel

KLAUWD
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'18 Clio; '13 Cube Hyde
As I posted last week, after a good 8 months and 18000km, time had come to say goodbye to the trusty Clio. Hopes were high for this round of the rental roulette. Would it be a Kia Rio, or a Ford Fiesta, or maybe a VW Polo?



Nope. It turned out to me by #1 most hated car in that class, the Opel Corsa. After tring to hide my disappointment as the Avis dude handed me the keys, I walked over to the car and took a good look at it. The model?s been around since 2006, so the shape is familiar, but the facelifts haven?t been kind to it. The bumpers look out of place, and the headlights look downright silly, like some cheap aftermarket units someone with a complete lack of taste would have tacked on. The pale green colour does suit the lines of the car, so all in all it?s not that bad a car to look at, although I prefer the older, non facelifted models to this one.




Opening the door and getting in was like going back in time 10 years after driving the Clio. No fancy design, high-tech look or large touchscreens. Just patterned black plastic, more buttons than a W140 S-class and a CD slot. The seats look nice, with high side bolsters, a funky quilted pattern and faux leather sides, but aren?t that comfortable for me to sit in. The lumbar support is too high, pushing my back forward, making me sit like Quasimodo. The aforementioned patterned black plastic dashboard is mostly covered with a rubber-like material that is not completely rock-hard, but isn?t exactly soft-touch either. The center console is adorned with the industry-standard fingerprint-magnet shiny black plastic which kind of looks nice. The other plastics in the interior, however, are harder than coco?s balls and look cheaper than a diseased Mexican hooker. Even the armrests in the door cards are barely padded, making my elbow hurt after more than 30 minutes of driving. At the top of the center stack is a dot matrix info screen that looks like it came straight from a 1999 Opel Vectra. When driving this screen prominently reads out the car?s (not very good) consumption figures, basic info about the entertainment you?re enjoying, outside temperature, and the climate control?s settings. Opel is still infatuated with self-cancelling stalks. I guess it's an acquired taste, but I really hate them. And t make matters worse, the Opel engineers seem to have found a new love, jog-wheels. Even the instrument cluster light adjustment is one, making turning the instrumen lights on or off a long and painsaking process, instead of just turning a wheel from one extreme to the other. The headlight switch is also an example of self-centering controls gone mad. The switch appears to have four settings, but in truth has 3, auto, parking lights and on. The on/off symbol is to turn the auto-lights feature on or off, but after turning the feaure off, the switch returns to the Auto position, making it impossible to see if you hve auto lights on or off, until the conditions change enough for the headlights to turn on.
The auto wipers and auto headlights are by far the most dimwitted example I've ever come across. After entering a tunnel, it take at least 200m before the lights turn on, and the wiper will enthousiastically continue wiping for the entire length of a 400m tunnel. Even the system in the 2001 C-class was better.







The car is a Cosmo trim level, and it?s quite nicely specced. There?s heated seats and steering wheel, climate control, parking sensors, auto wipers and lights, auto dimming rear view mirror, half (faux) leather seats, 16? alloys, and more. The glaring omission, though, is a Bluetooth hands-free system.

After digging through my cable box to find an AUX cable to hook up my phone to the car, I set off. The 100hp 1.4l unit is faster than the Clio?s 90hp 0.9l engine, yet it doesn?t feel faster. The culprit is the throttle response, which is lethargic at best. The engine is capable of getting the car from a standstill to motorway speeds noticeably faster than the Clio (while sounding quite decent, I must admit), but it lacks the midrange punch of the Clio?s turbo, which made the Clio such a nice long distance car. There?s also a cruise control, but the controls on the indicator stalk are a convoluted mess, and if you happen to need to indicate while accelerating with the cruise control, the acceleration stops until you release it and re-twist the stalk. The cruise control is of the old-fashioned type, that holds the speed when you press it, and it coasts and accelerates, but it lacks a display telling you what speed it?s set at, nor can you quickly tell it to accelerate or coast to a specific speed.





When you?re driving you will undoubtedly encounter corners. And when you turn the wheel in the Corsa, you might think that you?re in a state-of-the-art steer-by-wire car, because the wheel does not feel like it?s connected to a mechanical system at all. The condition of the road, where the wheels are pointing, or any feedback of that kind is nonexistent. The car goes in the direction you point it, and has decent levels of grip, but there?s nothing that inspires confidence in the abilities of the car. The other controls are as lacking in feedback as the steering wheel is, making the whole driving experience feel detached.
Suspension comfort is decent enough, a bit bumpy on motorways, but it soaks up speed bumps almost as good as the C3 did.




All in all it?s not as dreadful as I feared, although it is as dreary. The whole car feels unpolished, hastily thrown together in a half-assed way. From a company that loves to emphasise the fact that they're German, and that they 'live cars', I expected a lot better.
 
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IceBone

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Sounds like a car that wasn't cutting edge when it came out and 8 years on is very much showing its age. But what's your beef with self cancelling stalks?
 

Dr_Grip

Made from concentrate
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Sounds like a car that wasn't cutting edge when it came out and 8 years on is very much showing its age. But what's your beef with self cancelling stalks?
Opel introduced a new model of self-cancelling stalk with the Astra F and it's contemporaries. It has brought fear and hatred to motorists ever since.
 
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