About me and my blog

There are many aspects of motoring that appeal, putting your foot to the floor, watching the revs rise, hearing the engine note change and feeling the acceleration kick in is a pleasure that we can all access no matter what car we drive. Finding the perfect road, matching revs to gears to corners so that the tarmac appears to flow underneath you never gets boring whether you’re travelling at 20 or 60, it’s the road, conditions and speed limits that dictate. The simple pleasure of a long drive to somewhere new, a different town, section of coast, even a different country perhaps. All made possible by the cars we drive.

Is the car that you want comfortable? Easy to drive? Does it have a good stereo? Bluetooth? Is it an automatic or manual? does it ride well? These are the things that I want to know but most importantly, and the whole reason for MotorMartin, is to answer the following: Does it work in the real world where there is no race track, where tenths of a second don’t matter, can you still enjoy the drive, the experience?

Looking out over Snowdonia. Jaguar S-Type 2.5 perfect for the journey.
Looking out over Snowdonia. A Jaguar 2.5 S-Type was perfect for the journey.

I hope that this appeals to you, dear reader and that you chose to follow me on this new adventure. Keys at the ready…

4 thoughts on “About me and my blog

  1. I like your blog. I thought that you would like this:

    I remember driving the Kia Pride, Hyundai Elantra and Sonata when working in South Korea, twenty years ago. Then Kia/Hyundai, state backed Chaebol businesses, were written off in the West, but look at them now.

    What can SAIC achieve with the MG GS, I wonder – Safety, Fast – with the backing of the World’s eighth largest car manufacturer?

    Well, for starters, it features China’s most powerful engine, the MGE 2.0TGI in-cylinder direct-injection turbo charged engine of 220 Horsepower and 350 Newton-Metres, giving 36 mpg – superficially, it sounds competitive with the Jaguar Ingenium petrol engine. The alternate SGE 1.5TGI turbocharged direct-injection engine, jointly developed with General Motors and giving 43mpg, also sounds contemporary.

    The GS comes with a full leather interior – heated front, electric driver and reclining rear seats, a sunroof, a TST 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, four wheel drive – engineered by GKN, handling developed by Porsche – with multi-link rear suspension like the Tiguan, not torsion beam like the Kadjar and a 0-100km/h acceleration of less than 8 seconds – what is there not to like? Styling may be Marmite y, but is fresh and could be good with two panel changes.

    The front biased, four wheel drive promises the GS superior wet weather handling (like the Golf R and Mazda CX 7 petrol turbo). Whilst ceramic brakes means that the GS 100 km/h braking distance of only 36.29m is less than a Porsche 911 Turbo S or Golf R (Motor Magazine (Aust) figures).

    The GS achieved a Five star C-NCAP (2015), which tests best selling cars, rather than allowing top of the range model features to enhance results. This is before considering the “fifteen-in-one protection” safety systems, whatever they are.

    The GS approach angle of 28°, departure angle of 23° and maximum ground clearance of 185mm sounds better than most soft roaders.

    There are some interesting videos, on line, of the GS doing standing starts – demonstrating 0-100km/h acceleration of less than 8 seconds – no special tricks, high speed slaloms through cones, going up 45 degree ramps and easily driving off whilst having diagonal wheels on rollers – the wheels turning on the rollers are not braked, which looks neat.

    MG drivers obviously like their cars, with the 2015 Auto Express Driver Power Survey showing the MG 3 at 10th, the MG 6 at 28th and the MG dealers at 8th.

    If pricing and equipment is similar to the MG6 – surely the GS is worth a punt at, say, £20k whilst also supporting British jobs at MG and GKN.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, I’m driving the MG6 and MG3 at the end of February and am really looking forward to them both. The GS looks really interesting and could shake things up if, as you say, they get the pricing right. I’m glad you like the blog. It’s been hard getting it up and running but we’ll worth it. Have a great weekend and please feel free to send in more info about MG or any of the cars or topics on MotorMartin. Thanks again. Martin

  2. Why did I choose an manual, 1.6 Petrol Turbo, Astra K SRI Sports Tourer?

    I became aware of GM’s newly developed SIDI (Spark Ignition Direct Injection ) Petrol Turbo engines – having already owned a car with one of the first generation engines of this type – a Mazda 256 BHP, 2.3 litre DISI (same as SIDI but reversed) Petrol Turbo engine, specifically designed to out accelerate conventional 3 to 4 litre petrol engined cars (in a Mazda CX7, 0-60 mph in 6.8 secs – second only to the Porsche Cayenne when the CX 7 was released in 2007 – it was the most popular SUV in Russia and Australia and won ten awards for low pollution in Japan). This engine’s block is the one used in the latest 2016 Ford Focus RS.

    Having had a Sports SUV, I wanted the space and pace of an 4.7 metre Sports SUV, but without the ridiculous markup being asked by most manufacturers of SUVs.

    I did not want many of the features being offered by many brands – things like key-less car entry (security issues here), push button starting, electronic handbrake (various roll away and other issues here), engines that remember how you drive, ridiculous double pull door opening on BMWs, dowdy colours like Audi’s, high servicing costs of Premium brands, non opening panoramic sun roof, fiddly screen controlled secondary services – A/C etc., screens instead of proper instruments, excessive safety aids, cars that have looked the same for ages, excessively downsized engines, a long bonnet, tricky to get into rear seats, cars that bash your head as you get into the driver’s seat, engines that shut down cylinders or do other things when they feel like it.

    I did want a car with a petrol turbo SIDI engine (fewer pollutants), manual so I was in control – not the car, an opening sunroof, an actual spare wheel, a manual pull up handbrake, fog lights, mud flaps, a decent colour selection, a fresh design, a Tax band around £140 (which even sub 100 gm/km cars will pay next year), a low insurance group – not Group 33 like a lot of modest performance SUVs and I also fancied a local dealer so I could walk home from leaving it for servicing rather than servicing being a whole day event.

    I toyed with the idea of getting a SAIC built MG GS – manual, four wheel drive, with a 217 HP two litre DISI turbo petrol engine and all the bells and whistles – mainly to see what Chinese built cars were like. It looked good on paper – but MG did not bring it over. Anyway, SAIC brought out a far better looking and Internet connected RX5 for ~£20k just before the MG GS was launched in the UK. I would have had one of these RX5s, if they were available in the UK.

    I looked for alternatives, viewing the Ssangyong Tivoli (nice but with a weedy petrol engine) and the Renault Kadjar (similar styling to CX7 – same designer – but overpriced and with a weedy petrol engine).

    Late in the day I came to my local Vauxhall Dealer and picked up and studied the blurb on the new Astra K, which I had read about in Autocar and knew was European Car Of The Year. I organised for a test drive of the 1.4 petrol manual and auto and a 1.6 Sports Tourer, if possible (the dealer had only seen one 1.6 at this time).

    On test drive day I drove the first 1.4 Turbo Petrol, Auto, Elite Sports Tourer that the dealer had had. I was smitten by the sharp looks, good access, good forward sight lines, space to match my CX7 and the way it drove. I quickly ordered the manual SRI 1.6 Petrol Turbo – to give me 0-60 in 7.2 sec pace – and which, with my options, gave me all of what I was looking for less than the price I had paid for my CX 7 nine years earlier. The bargain of the century!

  3. Dear MotorMartin,
    You once were able to edit two of my posts into one sensible one. I forgot some detail in my posting last night. can you please substitute what I have below for last night’s posting.
    Thanks. FP

    New posting:

    Why did I choose an manual, 200 BHP, 1.6 Petrol Turbo, Astra K SRI NAV Sports Tourer?

    I became aware of GM’s newly developed SIDI (Spark Ignition Direct Injection ) Petrol Turbo engines – having already owned a car with one of the first generation engines of this type – a Mazda 256 BHP, 2.3 litre DISI (same as SIDI but reversed) Petrol Turbo engine, specifically designed to out accelerate conventional 3 to 4 litre petrol engined cars (in a Mazda CX7, 0-60 mph in 6.8 secs – second only to the Porsche Cayenne when the CX 7 was released in 2007 – it was the most popular SUV in Russia and Australia and won ten awards for low pollution in Japan). This engine’s block is the one used in the latest 2016 Ford Focus RS.

    Having had a Sports SUV, I wanted the space and pace of an 4.7 metre Sports SUV, but without the ridiculous markup being asked by most manufacturers of SUVs.

    I did not want many of the features being offered by many brands – things like key-less car entry (security issues here), push button starting, 18 to 20 inch tyres – done that, electronic handbrake (various roll away and other issues here), run flat tyres, self parking, cold leather seats – done that, engines that remember how you drive, ridiculous double pull door opening on BMWs, dowdy colours like Audi’s, high servicing costs of Premium brands, non opening panoramic sun roof, fiddly screen controlled secondary services – A/C etc., screens instead of proper instruments, excessive safety aids, cars that have looked the same for ages, excessively downsized engines, a long bonnet, tricky to get into rear seats, cars that bash your head as you get into the driver’s seat, engines that shut down cylinders or do other things when they feel like it.

    I did want a car with a petrol turbo SIDI engine (fewer pollutants), manual so I was in control – not the car, a zippy engine with loads of torque – which doesn’t make a fuss on acceleration – and just delivers, an opening sunroof, a built in SatNav, an actual spare wheel, a manual pull up handbrake, heated seats and steering wheel, fog lights, mud flaps, a decent colour selection, tinted rear windows, a fresh design, all round parking sensors, a Tax band around £140 (which even sub 100 gm/km cars will pay next year), a low insurance group – not Group 33 like a lot of modest performance SUVs and I also fancied a local dealer so I could walk home from leaving it for servicing rather than servicing being a whole day event.

    I toyed with the idea of getting a SAIC built MG GS – manual, four wheel drive, with a 217 HP two litre DISI turbo petrol engine and all the bells and whistles – mainly to see what Chinese built cars were like. It looked good on paper – but MG did not bring it over. Anyway, SAIC brought out, in Summer 2016, a far better looking and “Internet Connected” Roewe RX5 again with manual or Double Clutch Gearbox, four wheel drive, the 217 HP two litre DISI turbo petrol engine and all the bells and whistles for ~£20k just before the MG GS was launched in the UK. I would have had one of these Roewe RX5s, if they were available in the UK.

    I looked for alternatives, viewing the Ssangyong Tivoli (nice, but with a weedy petrol engine and no petrol engine available for the Tivoli XLV) and the Renault Kadjar (similar styling to CX7 – same designer – but overpriced and with a weedy petrol turbo engine).

    Late in the day I came to my local Vauxhall Dealer and picked up and studied the blurb on the new Astra K, which I had read about in Autocar and knew was European Car Of The Year. I organised for a test drive of the 1.4 petrol manual and auto and a 1.6 Sports Tourer, if possible (the dealer had only seen one 1.6 at this time).

    On test drive day I drove the first 1.4 Turbo Petrol, Auto, Elite Sports Tourer that the dealer had had. I was smitten by the sharp looks, good access, good forward sight lines, space to match my CX7 and the way it drove. I quickly ordered the manual, 200 BHP, 1.6 Petrol Turbo, Astra K SRI NAV Sports Tourer – to give me 0-60 in 7.2 sec pace – and which, with my options, gave me all of what I was looking for less than the price I had paid for my CX 7 nine years earlier. The bargain of the century – including group 19 Insurance for a 146 mph car – it even includes an on board WiFi router and OnStar remote diagnostics and instant Personal support!

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