Fleet update

* The latest reports * All our cars updated * Up and downs of life on the road...

Author Avatar
What Car? Staff
25 November 2009

Fleet update

Our cars: fleet report
Here's what's been going on with the rest of the What Car? test fleet

Audi A4 TFSI 160 S line
Mileage 20,200
What Car? says

The sound of an alloy wheel being kerbed is right up there with fingernails being drawn down a blackboard. At least with the nails/blackboard scenario the pain finishes when the noise stops but with an alloy, the pain continues because you have to get it fixed.

Fortunately, there was minimal fuss after I made a quick visit to www.dentwizard.co.uk. Technician Tim Noke came to our office, did the repair on-site and the work took less than an hour. It cost just 45, too.

Nissan 350Z Coup GT
Mileage 13,100
What Car? says

The 350's low-slung front spoiler might look racy, but it can be a pain in car parks. It's just the wrong height for the kerbstones at my local supermarket, which means if I'm not careful, the car ends up taking it on the chin. So far the only damage is a couple of light scrapes on the underneath of the spoiler.

Honda Insight 1.3 IMA SE
Mileage 7200
What Car? says

The Insight isn't at its best as a long-distance cruiser. Maintaining speed on the motorway requires a lot of effort, the ride is bouncy and the driver's seat feels short of padding. Most colleagues feel the same except assistant data editor Mat Stevens, who drove the car to Scotland and back without any problems.

Ford Fiesta 1.6 Ti-VCT Zetec S
Mileage 14,700
What Car? says

I had the Fiesta serviced recently, and it now feels better than ever as though every single nut and screw has been retightened. However, the two front tyres were worn, and there was a nail in one of the rears, so off I went to HiQ in Kingston (020 8546 3311) to have four new Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres fitted for 520. Initial impressions are great: the ride's better and there's less road noise than with the old Bridgestones. I even like the way the name is engraved into the tread.

BMW 320d Convertible M Sport
Mileage 16,000
What Car? says

I didn't get a convertible with practicality in mind, but my 320d is a double-edged sword. The boot can carry a decent-sized suitcase (although not with the roof down), but there's next to no storage space inside. The glovebox is small, water bottles fall out of the cupholders and the door bins won't even hold my sunglasses!

Nissan Qashqai +2 2.0 dCi Tekna 4WD
Mileage 14,000
What Car? says

The Qashqai was recently serviced at WLMG Shepperton (0845 811 0349). Overall, I was happy it was done on time, my car was cleaned and the 223 bill was less than I'd been quoted. However, WLMG couldn't find a fault with the driver's door lock it had twice failed a while ago so I'll keep an eye on it.

Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Estate SE
Mileage 27,170
What Car? says

Two weeks before the C-Class is due a service, I make sure it requires urgent attention. While trying to avoid a pillar, I reversed the Merc's nearside rear wheel into a particularly high, sharp kerb so I didn't do the tyre any favours. It's still inflated, but the car won't be driven until the tyre-replacement service has been.

Mazda 3 1.6D TS2
Mileage 7115
What Car? says

The 3 makes a fine gardener's mate. Fold down the rear seats and you have a large, well-shaped boot; the wide opening and low sill make loading bulky items easy. A petrol lawnmower and a reel of chicken wire fitted a treat, and some bamboo canes rested on the front armrest. Job done.

Toyota iQ 1.0 VVT-i 2
Mileage 7800
What Car? says

The iQ and I disagree when it comes to mobile phones. I've had Nokias for years, but my car's Bluetooth system (part of the 930 multimedia pack) seems to connect to everything but. I thought it was just my phone that it didn't like, but other people with Nokias have reported the same problem.

Vauxhall Insignia SP' Tourer 2.0 CDTi 160
Mileage 7200
What Car? says

My Insignia's chunky alloys look great, so it was depressing to find one of the tyres was punctured meaning I had to swap one wheel for the horrible-looking spare. The charming chaps at ATS Euromaster, Twickenham (020 8894 1002) sourced a replacement tyre within a few hours for an eye-watering, but unavoidable, 220.