BMW £123d Coupé M Sport
Mileage 21,200 miles
The little BMW has now proved itself to be the perfect holiday companion. My wife and I went to the Lake District for a camping and hill-walking holiday, and the 1 Series Coupé took absolutely everything we needed — just.
We had to fold down the rear seats and apply a little forethought when packing the car, but all of the living and walking gear that we needed for the trip squeezed in — and there was still some room left over for us to get in too.
The car was very relaxing on the motorway journey up there, and fun on the single-track roads of the area, too. The fact that we managed to do the entire holiday on just two tanks
of fuel was a bonus, too.
Honda Type R 2.0 i-VTEC GT
Mileage 12,355 miles
The Type R has been mixing with some exotic company recently. After socialising with performance cars on a track day at Brands Hatch, this month it’s been helping us film some supercar video road tests for whatcar.com.
The low boot lip, which comes in handy when you’re loading heavy objects into the back, meant that we could get some great shots of the cars from the track. However, after filming them for several laps from the back of the Civic, our cameraman wished he’d taken a cushion to sit on.
Mileage 5300 miles
It took quite a bit of effort to get these 67 balloons from our Used Car of the Year photoshoot into the back of the 6 Estate. I usually leave the clever but cumbersome loadbay cover clipped in place, because it hides the rubbish in the boot and it lifts with the tailgate for access — but I had to take it out to get the balloons in. I found it was a bit awkward to remove when you need the extra boot space.
Also at the back, I find it odd that the rear wiper doesn’t come on when I put it in reverse and the front wipers are on.
Suzuki Splash 1.3 DDiS
Mileage 4000 miles
The Splash lived up to its name this month, when picture editor Jo Richards borrowed it for a visit to Cornwall’s surfing capital, Newquay.
Jo had to crank up the stereo on the motorway, but the car was surprisingly agile on the winding Cornish roads and there was more than enough room for two people and their holiday luggage.
Best of all, though, was the economy. The Suzuki ran on just a splash of fuel – averaging over 50mpg, which meant Jo was almost back at her home in Reading before she had to fill up. That’s not bad on a 500-mile round-trip, particularly considering today’s inflated fuel prices.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X FQ-300 GSR SST
Mileage 9200 miles
A word of warning to fellow Evo drivers: don’t be a clumsy fool like me when filling the windscreen washer reservoir in the boot. If you manage to drop the filler cap behind the panel, it’s a tight squeeze to get it back again. Oh, and the awkwardly angled filler neck means it’s easy to spill the screenwash – yes, I’ve done that, too.
Toyota Auris T3 2.0 D4-D
Mileage 11,790 miles
The silver paint of my Auris may not be flash, but it has been good at hiding all but the most caked-on dirt. However, I wasn’t so keen on it when a stone left a tiny chip on the rear quarter panel, about an eighth of the size of a stamp.
I didn’t want to use touch-up paint, but my local Toyota dealer wanted a whopping £455.32 for a respray. I got that down to £250 at an independent garage, but it’s still a huge bill for a small chip. Why so much? It’s because the rear door and panel needs to be stripped and resprayed to get a good colour match.
Volvo V70 D5 SE Lux
I’ve always got a boot full of camera gear, so the V70’s folding load protection grille gets a lot of use. Without it, if I were in big shunt I’d probably be decapitated by a rogue tripod. It also doubles-up as a pretty handy dog guard.
Is it worth the extra £143? I think so, but Volvo’ XC70 gets one as standard.
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
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