If your car has developed a fault, or for consumer advice, turn to Honest John by emailing [email protected] Rodent rage A rat managed to get into my new BMW by chewing through the low-level rear cabin air vent. Having done so, it caused £2,500 of damage to wiring, control units and so on. BMW's head office gave me a complete brush-off when I suggested that using plastic for the vent was poor design and that a metal mesh should be incorporated to stop such problems. What do you think? DP A metal grille would have rusted. These plastic one-way cabin vents are fitted to almost all cars these days and can also let in rainwater. The word must have spread among the rodent population. Fuel... To continue reading this article Start your free trial of Premium Access all Premium articles Subscriber-only events Cancel any time Free for 30 days then only £2 per week Try Premium Access one Premium article per week Register for free … [Read more...] about Honest John: a rat gnawed its way into my new BMW. What I can do?
Lifestyle sells better than reality, explaining why wherever cars are promoted they’re inevitably pictured with annoyingly young and good-looking folk doing exciting outdoorsy stuff with mountain bikes or surf boards. Such is the justification for SUVs and crossovers. But it’s also spawned a sub-genre of regular hatchbacks and estates with faux off-roader plastic cladding, raised ride heights and an inflated sense of self-importance. In sartorial terms it’s the equivalent of self-consciously marching up the high street in your Gore-Tex and hiking boots as if you were striding along the classic Lake District path of the same name. From the Dacia Sandero Stepway to the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain... Register for free to read this article, or log in to your Telegraph account Register Log in … [Read more...] about Ford Focus Active review: surprising substance beneath the lifestyle pretensions
5 You’re probably bored of it by now. The endless praise heaped upon the Mazda MX-5, that is. Since this latest version arrived on the scene four years ago, it’s been one long collage of simpering rapture, praising almost everything there is to praise about this little sports car. It’s beaten its rivals; it’s won awards. It’s even made your humble correspondent’s bottom lip tremble a bit when his long-term test car had to be returned. You might, therefore, have reasonably believed that the MX-5 could do no wrong; that it could not be improved. Not so; in fact, its detractors have always maintained that a sports car should be faster, sharper… well, sportier, frankly, than this. This new version... Register for free to read this article, or log in to your Telegraph account Register Log in … [Read more...] about 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF review: the best just got even better
The less there is of it, the more it costs, observed my father many years ago as he sat waiting for Mum to choose a new bikini. It's a bit like that with cars. Colin Chapman might have coined the phrase "simplify, then add lightness," but he omitted the inevitable third step, which is to double the price. So the list of stuff M.I.A. from the spec sheet of this new, limited production 600LT Spider is extensive. This is the fifth long-tail car in the modern series, and McLaren won't say how many they'll make; just that it will be produced to order for one year only. Expect around 500 examples to be built. Compared to the weight of the more road-biased 720s Spider, they've saved 99.7kg, with lightweight carbon fibre race seats (21kg), lightweight wheels with Pirelli Trofeo (sporting cup) tyres (17kg), deleted air conditioning (12.6kg), stainless exhausts that exit on the top of the rear decking (12.6kg), lightweight suspension components (10.2kg), carbon-fibre coachwork panels … [Read more...] about McLaren 600LT Spider review: stripped-down ‘racer’ takes its top off
We all pretty much accept that, given environmental concerns and current (as well as pending) legislation, mass electrification of cars is inevitable – but are we so accepting of the concept of battery-powered classic cars? Is it sacrilege to replace a Colombo-designed Ferrari V12 with an electric motor and a massive hunk of batteries in the boot? Or should we embrace modernity and ensure that classic cars can still be seen on public roads if indeed the future is fully electric? Is the argument even that black-and-white? These questions and many more were up for debate during the 2019 London Classic Car Show, when ERS, the LCCS specialist motor insurer partner, hosted The Big Electric Classic Debate in front of a rapt audience of show-goers. Classic car and motorsport stalwart Tiff Needell was the moderator for a lively debate on the pros and cons of electrifying historic vehicles. The panel included TV presenter and engineer Edd China, … [Read more...] about Should classic cars be converted to electric? Watch the debate