News: NEW VEHICLES DRIVE JAGUAR LAND ROVER TO UK SALES SUCCESS

Figures have recently been released regarding the performance of Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest car manufacturer. MotorMartin was allowed access to the following facts and figures when the powers that be announced their best-ever September UK sales, retailing 20,977 vehicles, up 31% on the same period in 2015. Impressive indeed.

As anyone with even the vaguest of passing interest in the vehicles around them on the roads today will have noticed the proliferation of Jaguars and Land Rovers as they become ever more popular amongst the more discerning driver. It’s because of this perception of quality and brand image that both Jaguar and Land Rover have contributed to the strong performance, delivering their best September sales figures on record. Land Rover, spearheaded by the Range Rover Evoque, sold 14,556 vehicles, up 30%, while Jaguar sold 6,421 vehicles, surpassing the brand’s previous best September in 2004.

The exact figures run to Jaguar having retailed 26,366 vehicles in the first nine months of 2016, up 47% on the same period last year whilst Land Rover have sold 66,978 vehicles, up 16%.

Commenting to MotorMartin on the performance, Jeremy Hicks, Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director said: “It’s no secret that September is an important month for manufacturers and we are delighted with this result. It shows that not only is Jaguar Land Rover delivering great vehicles, but we are delivering new products that car-buyers want.”

“The Evoque Convertible has added another, desirable string to the bow of the Range Rover Evoque which continues to dominate its segment, retailing 4,657 vehicles, up 142% on September 2015. For Jaguar, the multi-award winning F-PACE continues to capture the imagination of UK buyers, enjoying its best month since launch, with 2,367 leaving UK showrooms.”


Jaguar, which last week announced the intention to add an XF Sportbrake to its line-up, saw a sales increase of 33% on September 2015. The F-TYPE, boosted by the introduction of the SVR edition, enjoyed an impressive month, retailing 343 vehicles, up 74% on the same period last year. The all-new XF marked its first full-year of sales with 1,545 retails while the Jaguar XE, Auto Express’ Compact Executive Car of the Year, continued to make a dent in its competitive segment, retailing 2,026 vehicles.

Land Rover have also shared with MotorMartin that the Discovery Sport, Land Rover’s second-fastest selling model of all time, continues to be a sales success with its versatile package resulting in 4,359 retails, up 81% on September 2015. A week after the business unveiled its successor in Paris, with a world-record-setting reveal taking place here in the UK, the current Discovery reported an impressive month of sales. The iconic model retailed 2,542, up 60% on the same period last year.

Following on from the good news over their sales success it’s also, in MotorMartin’s opinion, an exciting week for the business with Panasonic Jaguar Racing making its FIA Formula E debut in the season opening race in Hong Kong’s iconic central harbour-front district on 9th October, the results of which can be read about here.

So it’s a carefully considered MotorMartin well done to all of the good folk at Jaguar Land Rover for their hard work and dedication. You make us proud.

Where will you go?

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Royal Enfield Bullet 500 EFI: I Got You (I Feel Good)

Over the last 20 years or so the motorcycling landscape on this green and pleasant island of ours has seemingly changed beyond recognition. Indeed, when MotorMartin first turned 16 at the back end of the 1980s it was a relatively easy decision to seek out a 50cc powerhouse and take to the roads for adventure and mayhem. 6 months in the company of The Wild One, Easy Rider and BloodRunners was all you needed back then as far as training went whilst looking forward to taking the old part 1 and part 2 if you had managed to make it to your seventeenth birthday.

Back in the good old days, you just stuck, sellotape or bluetacked a pair of ‘L’ plates onto your 50-125cc bike and away you went, with nary a care in the world. MotorMartin well remembers the sheer excitement of riding a white Simson s51 Back in the day around the lanes of Essex at heady speeds of up to 40mph, (downhill and with the wind behind you), dreaming of one day owning a Yamaha FZR600 described at the time, as being the four stroke RD350 YPVS F2.

There was still a thriving Classic British bike scene as I was experiencing motorcycling for the first time, which mixed comfortably with the sports bike riding scene back then, with regular Sunday lunchtime meets taking place all over the country. They’ll still be many readers who were based in Essex and North London at the time, who still remember their regular rides out to the White Bear at Stamford Rivers, a regular haunt of MotorMartin and friends. And over the following few years, on the aforementioned Simson, followed by a Honda 125 twin cylinder Bentley, Yamaha RD200 DX, Honda XBR500 and finally, a Yamaha RD350YPVS F2, all the while enjoying the sheer variety of machines that were being ridden to and from the meetings, autojumbles, bike shows and races that of took place, seemingly every weekend.

What all this rambling does is highlight a particular time, in the late eighties and early nineties, when motorcycling was truly accessible to all and less taken with the vagaries of fashion and although the bikes themselves were rapidly becoming technological masterpieces, they weren’t anywhere near the level of today. Even the best of the breed, the four cylinder Japanese Supersport bikes, culminating in the truly groundbreaking Honda Fireblade of 1992, were still able to be serviced and accessorised by an experienced home mechanic, or a dad who’d grown up making sure that their Triumph, BSA, Norton or AJS didn’t drown in a puddle of its own oil or destroy itself at a ton along the local bypass.

And now, in 2016, perhaps it’s a nostalgic desire to revisit those times before fancy electronics or maybe it’s about when engines weren’t quite up to the complexity of todays but there is definitely an increased profile and desirability for Royal Enfield today. In MotorMartin’s opinion, there’s a marked groundswell of people that want that classic bike experience without all of the associated classic bike pitfalls as motorcyclists’ remember the sights and sounds of their youth, a time spent watching those of the previous generation enjoying their machines.

Why Royal Enfield and how can you buy a brand new, modern Bullet 500 EFI today?

A little history lesson I think. In 1909 Royal Enfield rather amazed the motorcycling world by introducing a small Motorcycle with a 2 ¼ HP V twin Motosacoche engine of Swiss origin before developing their next model in 1911 which was powered by a 2 ¾ HP engine and included the well known Enfield 2-speed gearbox. Development of new models continued apace as in 1912 came the JAP 6 HP 770 CC V twin, this time with a sidecar combination. 1914 saw the 3 HP motorcycles this time with Enfield’s own engine which now had the standardised Enfield paint scheme of black enamelled parts and green tank with gold trim, a design which is still recognisable on Enfield’s machines today.

Rather than lose ourselves in the rather fascinating topic of Royal Enfield’s incredible history and innovative engineering, it’s time to forward wind a few decades to perhaps the most important decision that Enfield’s management made. A decision that meant that whilst we’ve witnessed the slow decline and eventual death of the once world beating British Motorcycle industry, (the reborn Triumph and Norton excepted) Enfield motorcycles have continued to be built and exported across the globe with last years output totalling around 400,000 units. But we’re getting rather ahead of ourselves here.

I’ll let Royal Enfield themselves take up the story from here: In 1955, the Indian government started looking for a suitable motorcycle for its police forces and the army for patrolling duties on the country’s border. The Bullet 350 was chosen as the most suitable bike for the job. The Indian government ordered 800 of these 350 cc motorcycles, an enormous order for that time. Thus In 1955, the Redditch Company partnered with Madras Motors in India to form what was called ‘Enfield India’ to assemble these 350 cc Bullet motorcycle under licence in erstwhile madras (Now called Chennai). As per their agreement Madras Motors owned the majority (over 50%) of shares in the company. In 1957 tooling equipment was also sold to Enfield India so that they could manufacture components and start full-fledged production. The Enfield Bullet dominated the Indian highways and with each passing year its popularity kept rising.

Hitting fast forward again and we see that UK production of Royal Enfields finally ceased in 1970 with the company being dissolved in 1971 and adding another headstone into the graveyard of once great British manufacturing brands. The thing is, Enfield India just, sort of, carried on making the Bullet in both 350 and 500cc form, improving it as they went along with their Bullet 500 now including a unit construction gearbox and a thoroughly modern, complete redesign of the venerable single cylinder engine, including electronic fuel injection as standard and putting the gear lever and brake on the correct sides at last, whilst not forgetting fully working indicators of course.

Which brings me rather nicely onto this weeks review of the Royal Enfield Bullet 500 EFI, a 27hp powerhouse of a motorcycle. Actually that’s terribly unfair and a way of looking at the Bullet that needs to be changed as you almost need to forget what you already know about riding motorcycles and adapt to the Enfield and it’s general outlook on life. It’s fair to say that although the Bullet is a comprehensively reworked motorbike, very different from the original 1950s model, compared to a Japanese single cylinder such as the Yamaha SR, it could be said to have taken a rather leisurely approach to development.

In part 2, MotorMartin will be discussing the riding experience and styling of this charming throwback to motorcyclings’ past.

Where will you go?

News: ENHANCING AN ICON: PEUGEOT UK APPRENTICES RENOVATE 205 GTI WITH APLOMB

Whilst writing for BlackTopMedia recently, reminiscing about the iconic Peugeot 205 GTi and its impact on a rather more youthful MotorMartin, it seemed rather appropriate that Peugeot chose that moment to get in contact with the news that back in 2013, PEUGEOT UK set its apprentices a challenge to develop their skills and to gain experience beyond the brand’s current model line-up by asking them to choose a historic model to restore and enhance. The choice wasn’t a surprise, and despite the car in question being 30 years old and a model from their parent’s generation, the unanimous decision saw one of PEUGEOT’s most iconic vehicles return to the UK headquarters; the PEUGEOT 205 GTi.

Peugeot have shared with MotorMartin that with the car found and delivered, the apprentices were quick to suggest ideas for the restoration. Performance was a focal point for the widely-celebrated hot hatch, with some keen to make a track-ready example. However, it was decided, correctly in MotorMartin’s opinion, to take the car back to its roots and create as close-to-original example of the car as possible, but with a twist to really push the skills of the team. Overall, the project took two years to complete, with every PEUGEOT UK apprentice during this time being involved in the project.

Initially, the apprentices systematically stripped the vehicle, labelling every component, ready for the body shop to start the body and paint repairs. Then, they overhauled the running gear during their training weeks, ready for it to be re-installed into the car.

During this process, adding more performance was debated and a more powerful PEUGEOT 1.9-litre petrol Mi16 engine was introduced to the project. Over the next two years, the car was meticulously rebuilt piece by piece to a condition worthy of the original specification.

Rather incredibly, this included the PEUGEOT Mi16 engine with factory fuel injection, an ITG intake kit, 4-2-1 stainless steel exhaust manifold and Mongoose stainless steel exhaust. Handling was improved with new brakes, with stainless steel braided flexi-hoses for better feel and performance, while Bilstein shock absorbers and springs have brought the original models legendary handling back to life. A new rear beam was also fitted at standard ride height and occupants sit in fully refurbished and reupholstered seats. The entire car is finished in its original Sorrento Green paintwork with all parts either being restored or replaced with original parts direct from PEUGEOT. And what an absolutely stunning job these apprentices have done over the last couple of years.

The project was recently completed with apprentice Dan Cook being personally involved with the build. Peugeot have explained to MotorMartin that he was a real driving force in the project, engaged with not only repairing and sourcing parts for the project but offering his own time in the evenings while on training. His passion for the car motivated not only the staff but the other apprentices to get involved.

Unsurprisingly for such a skilled and dedicated individual, Dan went on to win the PEUGEOT Apprentice of the Year competition in 2015 and recently became the youngest qualified Master Technician in the PEUGEOT network. However, Dan still regularly visits the Academy and speaks about his experience of the build.

With this particular Peugeot GTi being finished to such a high standard, it’s easy to understand why the finished car has remained popular since completion, attracting the interest of new apprentices joining the programme, turning the heads of members of the public and even gaining the interest of senior managers and Dealer Principals, who all reminisce of the days when this now historic model was new. Indeed, you can follow MotorMartin’s companion piece to this story by clicking here, which takes a more personal view of the late eighties most popular hot hatches, of which the Peugeot 205 GTi was up there as one of the very best.

Jason Giblett, Apprentice Programme Manager, informed MotorMartin that; “The 205 GTi is an important car in the rich history of PEUGEOT. Every apprentice knew this when working on the car and although the model has fun and performance in its DNA, the apprentices had a real challenge bringing one of the best driver’s cars back to perfect condition. Having driven the car, I have to say this isn’t just one of the best 205 GTis I’ve driven, it is one of the best cars I have driven! My congratulations go to all involved, I can’t wait to see what the next apprentices will create, but they have a very tough act to follow.”

Jason Giblett would appear to have hit the nail on the head here when he says that it’s not just the best 205 GTi he’s driven, but one of the best cars full stop.

Where will you go? 

Peugeot 205 GTi: Twist And Shout

The following is a re-edit of a recent MotorMartin post on BlackTopMedia, a new site that includes the talents of Tony Yates aka @XInterceptor, Mark Turner aka @BlackTopMediaUK and Yours truly aka @motormartin1 and as such, is well worth checking out.

On the mean streets of Chipping Ongar in Essex back in the late eighties, there always appeared to be a number of fast and furious hot hatches racing up and down the high street, whilst looking quite unbelievably cool to a young MotorMartin gazing on from the sidelines and dreaming of better days. From Ford there were the all conquering, in Essex at least, XR2i and XR3i, Volkswagen had the evergreen Golf GTi, although by 1989 this was now in its MkII incarnation, from Luton came Vauxhall’s Astra GTE MkII which was still immensely popular and had an extremely trick LED dash, whilst representing France was the stunning Renault 5GT Turbo and our subject matter, the Peugeot 205 GTi. Quite a collection I’m sure you’ll agree.

The thing is, by 1989 the hot hatch had perhaps reached its early zenith with the main protagonists producing around 110-130bhp in packages that offered fuel injection, lowered and stiffer suspension, wide wheel arches and glorious body kits consisting of side skirts, front splitters and the de riguer additional rear wings. A look that can be considered to be ‘right first time’ and one that has endured over the last 30 years or so because it looks so damn good. 

And of course in those early days of, shall we say, pre-Cosworth dream cars, the insurance wasn’t even prohibitively expensive staying just the right side of stratospheric for just a few more years. For those of us old enough to remember, this was a war that was to be carried out on battlefields consisting of supermarket carparks the length and breadth of this green and pleasant land of ours and in the pages of what passed for car magazines back in those long hot summer days before the nineties came crashing in.

So which one of those old warhorses are still with us, still generating an air of quiet menace when it’s rivals have all but rusted away? Common sense already dictates that any fast Ford from the eighties will have long since disappeared in a cloud of rusty arches and disintegrated floor pans whilst the least said regarding the longevity of the Astra GTE MkII, the better. For proof of the rarity value of any of the cars already listed just ask yourself, ‘when was the last time you saw a genuine, good condition XR3i, Renault Turbo, Peugeot 205 GTi?’

This rarity then is reflected in the prices asked, if you can find a decent example that is. A quick look at AutoTrader shows just two Peugeot 205 GTis, a cat C write off 1.6 for 8k and a glorious looking 1.9 for 18k, crikey! Poor build quality and poor driving are to blame but if you’ve got a good one tucked away in a centrally heated garage then you’re most definitely in luck. And the same, it has to be said for those of you out there searching for the Peugeot’s contemporaries, XR3i’s are starting to go up in price, especially the earlier ones, Renault 5 Turbos? They must be out there somewhere. Perhaps the easiest to find is the Golf GTi at the moment, purely because they made, are making, so damn many of them. 

As with any old car, it’s essential that you check for rust and poor repairs so take your trusty magnet, listen out for knocks with the suspension and budget accordingly, blue smoke on start up, and perhaps, most importantly due to the nature of these cars and their long list of previous owners, look very carefully for evidence of poorly repaired crash damage. Other than that, look for everything that you’d normally look for when buying a 20+ year old car.

The 205 GTi now as it was then, is the one which an impressionable MotorMartin was most enamoured with and, truth be told, still is. A glance at any of the pictures accompanying this piece, kindly provided by Peugeot for use in this article, show that the GTi is still a stunning looking car. The proportions are spot on, in MotorMartin’s opinion and have a cleanliness and sense of purpose that today’s 208 GTi can’t hope to compete against. That isn’t to say that the new 208 GTi is a poor car, far from it. MotorMartin has driven one around Millbrook proving ground and I can honestly say that it is a fantastic car, well worthy of that iconic GTi badge it’s just that the 205 was the perfect match of style and performance that you can’t help but look back on and reminisce.

Beginning life way back in 1983, from the pen of Gerard Welter and with interior touches completed by Paul Bracq, the humble 205 grew into the much celebrated 1.6 GTi in April 1984 with its 1.6 litre engine producing 105bhp and tipping the scales at less than 900kg, meaning that this new GTi could sprint from 0-62mph in 8.7sec and had a top speed of 116mph. As if that wasn’t enough, Peugeot then went and brought out the faster 1.9 GTi which was launched at the end of 1986. Incredibly, this new 1.9 boasted 130bhp and was capable of completing the 0-62mph sprint in 7.8sec whilst achieving a top speed of 127mph. Don’t forget, this was all achieved 30 years ago as well. And let’s not forget the Pininfarina designed 205 cabriolet and ‘CTi’ version released with the same sportier styling as the GTi, without it’s roof but still including, perhaps most importantly, the 1.6 litre and later, 1.9 litre powerplants.

Not wishing to be seen as resting on their laurels, during 1986 the 1.6 GTi was also upgraded, with peak power now quoted at 115bhp and keeping it ahead of the chasing pack. As with every car, whether with a GTi badge or not, the raw figures only tell half the story, after all, performance figures are bested each and every mid life refresh or revamp before the unveiling of the inevitable all new model a few years down the line. No, it’s how cars such as these make you feel when you’re behind the wheel, or even looking on from the outside as MotorMartin was all those years ago.

There has been much debate over the years amongst journalists and the car buying public regarding the two different 205 GTi derivatives with some preferring the peaky power delivery of the 1.6 litre and others favouring the increased torque of the 1.9, however the handling was the same with both. Not only was the 205 quick due to those amazing engines, but Peugeot had managed to engineer an extremely agile and communicative chassis. It was not for the unskilled and foolish as it’s super sharp chassis had an extremely tricky side to it if the driver didn’t treat it with enough respect. Indeed MotorMartin well remembers passing a number of GTis that had managed to send themselves and their passengers backwards through the hedges and fields of Essex in the heady summer days of 1989.

If one is wanted today, MotorMartin suggests you dig in and get ready for a long and tortuous journey. You need to be ready to travel as that prestine 1.9 that you’ve found could be based in Torquay or, just as likely, Glasgow. Unfortunately, geographical location is irrelevant if you want that perfect 205. Money, who knows, but what is guaranteed is that if you find the correct car, you’ll not only have a fantastic driving experience every time you get inside but you’ll never tire of that superb, classic styling. The Peugeot 205 GTi, a MotorMartin & BlackTopMedia Classic.

Where will you go?

News: COUNTDOWN FOR THE GOLF UPDATE IN NOVEMBER: THE SECOND GOLF – THE DNA OF A WORLDWIDE SUCCESS STORY

There are many cars that we all look at as being memorable, but iconic? That’s a whole different matter. It’s possibly the one word that the motor manufacturs wish to be associated with and that the car buying enthusiast is most likely to find themselves dreaming of. But you know what? In MotorMartin’s opinion, there are very few manufacturers that can truly claim to have created an icon, fewer still that still have that icon in production today.

The Golf then, Volkswagen say, is unique, forgery-proof. A design icon which, in November, they will show how this unique gem has evolved with their latest update of the Golf. A masterpiece in automotive design that has been continuously refined over seven generations. A phenomenon, because the Golf is one of the few affordable cars in the world that is truly classless.

Experts agree – the most defining moment in the history of the Golf came in the late 70s when the decision was made to create the Golf MkII by further developing the Golf MkI’s design DNA. And so the “Golf Phenomenon” came about – the Volkswagen of all Volkswagen cars; the perfect image of the brand; a compact car with a classless status reaching out to all levels of society.

Retrospective, what else was happening in 1983? Germany is thrilled when the German Ulf Merbold is launched into space on “Columbia”. Meanwhile Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller” rockets into unimaginable heights of sales and is the best-selling LP/CD on the planet. Apple presents its first mass-produced computer “mouse”. That autumn, meanwhile, the second-generation Golf is launched.

Volkswagen have shared with MotorMartin that their Golf MkII became bigger and more aerodynamic. The designers staying true to the Golf MkI’s DNA while creating progressive new details. Radical new features in the rear: the Golf MkI’s rear lights were right at the bottom just above the bumper – in the Golf MkII, they were moved much further up. In 1983 no other car had this. A bridge between the generations, the C-pillar configuration remains typical to this very day. In the words of Volkswagen in 1983: “The Golf must remain a Golf. So no redesign should move away from the Golf concept – yet it should still be a new car from bumper to bumper, abiding by the fundamental principles: concept continuity, progress in detail and quality.” It was the formula for world success and the evolution is clearly set out below on this short film, kindly provided by Volkswagen for motormartin.com

Video of the Golf MkII: https://youtu.be/dmY9BkQGviE

Where will you go?

News: ABARTH 124 SPIDER LEADS THE WAY IN SEPTEMBER SALES LEAP

MotorMartin has been rather looking forward to this car for quite some time now, especially as it looks just so damn good, improving upon the already superb looking, all new Mazda MX-5 upon which it shares its DNA. As is often the way, with the dust hardly having settled from the recent good news regarding the plethora of sales successes raised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the news desk up on the top floor of MotorMartin Towers lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree when Abarth came calling.

Once the valves, gears and ticker tape had settled down and the dust wiped from the news screen, it became abundantly clear that this new Abarth 124 spider has helped Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ high performance marque to power ahead in terms of UK sales, as today’s new car registrations figures reveal.

The scorpion brand has posted its best month ever in the UK. In super September, Abarth sold 805 cars – up 14.02 per cent on the 706 sold in the same period last year.

The SMMT have informed MotorMartin that Year-To-Date, the brand’s 3125 units was 54.02 per cent up on YTD 2015 (2029), as an increasing number of people become owners of cars from Abarth’s stunning 595 and 695 ranges – including the incredible 190hp biposto Record – and the fabulous new 124 spider two-seater which, for 2016 only, will feature a unique numbered badge.

The result means the UK is now, perhaps surprisingly, the number one country for Abarth sales, year to date ahead, even, of Italy, although a quick look at the short video below, kindly provided by Abarth for use on motormartin.com, will give you a clear indication as to why Abarth are such a success at present.

Market share of 0.17 per cent for September was up from 0.15 per cent for the same period in 2016, according to figures supplied by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

“This year has been an excellent one for Abarth, with September being the pinnacle,” shared Gerry Southerington, Abarth brand manager with MotorMartin recently, “The new 124 spider has clearly helped us to carry the momentum on, and we look forward to continued success as we close 2016.”

Among the delighted new owners helping to make September a success for Abarth is Bertie Bryant, of Ascot, Berkshire, who was the first person in the UK to take delivery of a 124 spider. Lucky so and so.

“I’m absolutely delighted with my new car,” explained Bertie, founder of the Abarth Owners Club to MotorMartin. “I had been looking forward to the launch of the 124 spider for some time, and now I have one of my own, it’s everything I was hoping for.”

And you can’t say fairer than that.

Where will you go?

News: NISSAN QASHQAI RANGE SEES IMPROVED CO2, MPG AND BIK WITH EFFICIENT NEW 18” ALLOY WHEELS

You can’t help but notice the sheer number of Qashqais (is that even a word?) on the highways and byways of this green and pleasant land of ours at the moment, which confirms to MotorMartin that Nissan got it right first time with their ridiculously popular SUV. 

Not wanting to rest on their laurels, Nissan have announced to MotorMartin, through the MotorMartin Towers hotline, that they are pleased to announce that Qashqai models specified with 18” alloy wheels will now benefit from factory-fitted low resistance tyres delivering improved efficiency and reduced cost of ownership across the range. Great news indeed.

As a demonstration of the advantages that a branded tyre can give you, this special tyre design means CO2 and fuel consumption figures now match those of the 17” alloy wheel size, saving £130 in VED payments on some models with lower BIK across the line-up.

The update presents an enhanced offer for fleet and business users with all Qashqais equipped with 18” alloys gaining a 1% BIK improvement. On selected models this means BIK is as low as 19%, with combined fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg. So savings all round.

The improved efficiency of the tyres means dCi 110 engines on Acenta with Premium Pack, N-Connecta and N-Vision grades now deliver CO2 emissions of just 99g/km. DiG-T 115 and dCi 130 4WD versions now emit 129g/km, which means they’re exempt from VED in the first year, saving customers £130.

Kieran McMenamin, Category Manager for Qashqai at Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd shared with MotorMartin that; ‘Qashqai has always offered a great balance of style, technology and affordability so we’re delighted we’re improving the model yet again with these wheel improvements that will reduce cost of ownership, improve environmental credentials and add presence with the slightly larger alloy size.’ 

And you really can’t say fairer than that.

Where will you go?

News: 3-2-1….THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS TO TEMPTING AUTUMNAL OFFERS FROM SSANGYONG

It’s certainly true to say that here in the U.K., SsangYong’s most definitely riding the crest of a wave at the moment. With much improved products, a raft of positive reviews from the mainstream motoring press and motoring sites, SsangYong are poised to cash in on the goodwill emanating from press and public alike. And so as the nights draw in and the heating goes on, SsangYong is announcing three tempting offers to warm its customers this autumn. Lovely.

SsangYong have shared with MotorMartin that their ‘3-2-1’ offer provides three years free servicing, two years’ additional roadside assistance and one year additional VED (vehicle excise duty), no matter which car you purchase in October. All SsangYong models already come with the most comprehensive five-year limitless mileage warranty.

Additionally, on its Italian designed Korean built Korando crossover, you can now step up to a two-wheel drive Korando EX but for the same price as an SE at £16,250, or with 4×4 from just £17,750. This gives you ‘free’ heated front seats, rear privacy glass, auto dipping rear view mirror, automatic air conditioning, 7” touchscreen with rear view camera, rear parking sensors and 17” alloy wheels. Not a bad list in MotorMartin’s opinion.

And on the rugged and highly capable Rexton 4×4, the SE & EX models now come equipped with free Mercedes-Benz automatic transmission and metallic paint from just £23,500.

“In addition to offering great value and extremely well equipped cars, we are always looking to go that extra mile to help reduce the cost of motoring for SsangYong owners,” commented Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK to MotorMartin.

“SsangYong is a real value-brand and we demonstrate that whenever possible. Korean built and comprehensively equipped, affordable prices and with a warranty no other marque can match, we are confident that with such highly tempting offers as these you will be seeing many more SsangYong cars on our roads this winter.”

MotorMartin doesn’t think Paul’s going to be wrong either. 

Where will you go? 

News: MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV SALES TOP 25,000 IN THE UK

Incredible really, all is quiet on the PHEV front for a couple of months and then two stories arrive at MotorMartin Towers all at once. MotorMartin has already discussed the rather excellent news that Mitsubishi and Chargemaster have teamed up to offer a free 3.6kW Chargemaster Homecharge unit and free fitting to owners of new Outlander PHEVs and now MotorMartin has been informed that sales of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV have topped the 25,000 mark in the UK. Incredibly, this accounts for approximately half of the total number of plug-in hybrids registered in the UK since the very first of such vehicles were registered in 2010.

By the time the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was launched in May 2014, a total of just 2,770 plug-in hybrids had been registered for use on UK roads but by the end of 2014 that total had risen to just over 10,000 vehicles, with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV accounting for 5,354 of those vehicles.

By the end of 2015 a total of 13 plug-in hybrid models had entered the market, bringing total segment registrations to 19,000 vehicles, yet despite the increased competition the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV continued to resonate with customers seeking an ecologically-sound vehicle that didn’t compromise their practical needs or their budgets. Of those 19,000 vehicles, 11,681 were Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV registrations, accounting for 61 percent of the burgeoning segment. So far in 2016 Mitsubishi Motors in the UK continues to lead the field, with almost 7,800 Outlander PHEV registrations in the first three quarters of the year.

Lance Bradley, Managing Director Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, shared with MotorMartin that, “We’re extremely proud of the role the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has played in building awareness and acceptance of electrically-powered vehicles in the UK and thanks to its unmatched combination of practicality, ease-of-use, elegant styling and low running costs, we are confident of maintaining our market-leading position well into the future.”

Furthermore, Mitsubishi have informed MotorMartin that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is now even more affordable thanks to a new three years’ zero-percent finance and zero deposit offer, as well as competitive PCP deals with a deposit contribution of £2,500. In addition, all new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV customers are eligible to have a 3.6kW Chargemaster Homecharge unit, as mentioned earlier, which is worth £279, supplied and installed at no cost to the customer. The Chargemaster Homecharge unit charges 60% faster than a standard 13A socket and is the quickest, safest and easiest way to charge the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV at home.


This all adds up to make the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, in MotorMartin’s opinion, an extremely tempting and far more affordable prospect that it already was. Well done Mitsubishi.

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News: FREE HOMECHARGE UNIT FOR NEW MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV

A few months ago, MotorMartin had the immense pleasure of spending a week in a gorgeous Orient Red Outlander PHEV, which was followed up in the post Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GX5h: Electric Boogaloo and on MotorMartin’s YouTube review. In fact, there was a sadness around MotorMartin Towers when the extremely impressive PHEV was returned back to the land of Mitsubishi, leaving, as it did, an Outlander shaped hole in MotorMartin’s heart. 

So when news arrived up on the top floor of MotorMartin Towers regarding a further incentive to encourage you into your Local Mitsubishi dealer then MotorMartin had to awake from his slumber, sit up and take notice. Mitsubishi Motors have shared with MotorMartin that customers purchasing a new Outlander PHEV -the UK’s best-selling zero-emissions capable vehicle – can now have a Mitsubishi-approved Chargemaster Homecharge unit supplied and fully installed completely free of charge.

Mitsubishi go on to say that Private, business and fleet customers will save £279 on a 3.6kW Chargemaster Homecharge unit, which includes full standard domestic installation. The unit charges the Outlander 60% faster than a 13A socket and is the quickest, safest and easiest way to charge at home. Just what you need then.

And not only that, but in further good news for the Outlander PHEV owner, to keep drivers fully-charged when away from home, all new Outlander PHEVs also come with a free POLAR Plus membership card, which gives unlimited instant access to Chargemaster’s rapidly-expanding network of over 5,000 public charging points for a six month period. As the UK’s largest charging network, this means Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV drivers can access more than three times as many public charging points than those of any other network and makes recharging away from home easy and hassle-free. Which regular readers of motormartin.com will recognise as helping to solve one of MotorMartin’s concerns regarding electric vehicles (EVs), their range. As MotorMartin previously discovered, regular charging prepares the PHEV for fully electric commuting which it does brilliantly.

Chargemaster have let it be known to MotorMartin  that they are the exclusive official charging partner of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK and are renowned for their customer service and satisfaction scores, as well as the quality and reliability of their units, which come with a three-year guarantee. Chargemaster have also explained to MotorMartin that they have a dedicated Homecharge team which makes the whole process as simple as possible as it’s specialist engineers aim to complete a trouble-free installation for an Outlander PHEV customer within two weeks – available nationwide.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV drivers can apply for this offer online, at www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/chargepoint or by calling the Chargemaster Homecharge team on 01582 399 412 and MotorMartin certainly recommends that you do so.

David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, informed MotorMartin that: “Customers buying a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV can make the best use of its range by charging it every day. Our free Homecharge offer now makes this even easier. Chargemaster is committed to making charging easy and accessible for every EV motorist, and the team can’t wait to get started on the campaign and future Homecharge installations to support Mitsubishi.”

Chargemaster, the UK’s largest provider of EV charging infrastructures, has already supplied over 30,000 Homecharge units in the UK and was recently featured in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 for the third year in a row. Impressive indeed.

To take advantage of this offer you need to move reasonably quickly as this offer is open to new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV customers registered between 14 October and 28 December 2016, with an installation date of 31st January 2017 or earlier, who are also eligible for the OLEV Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme grant.

Well done then to Mitsubishi and Chargemaster for removing another barrier to an even better take up of the very impressive and, it has to be said, extremely handsome Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

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