Life with KN63 JXD has settled down, and a very pleasant motoring life it is, too.
A few recent long runs have established a window of 52 to 58mpg fuel economy that covers most types of motoring, with 60mpg plus attainable with a little effort and restraint, whilst only a spell of sustained hard driving would breach the bottom line of 50mpg. The fact that I’m now driving a bit harder, with the engine loosening up, probably explains why my running fuel economy has slid downwards a little.
I’m a touch disillusioned with the £495 SD card-based optional satellite navigation system after a couple of experiences when my native wit proved superior to its abilities. On both occasions my instinct told me to drive in the opposite direction to its instructions, which would have taken me further away from my destination. Quite why, I cannot puzzle out, but my instinctive diversion choice west around Stow-on-the-Wold (apparently blocked by a road accident) took me towards Cheltenham, with a viable route north through some minor roads towards Winchcombe, and on to my destination near Broadway. But the satellite navigation insisted that I was getting further and further away from Broadway until, suddenly, a claimed 22 miles from the selected destination, its persistent instructions to make a U-turn ceased, and it confirmed my route choice and then correctly guided me the last eleven miles. I shall avoid any accusations of sexism by declining to identify the gender of the satellite navigation guide voice!
Mechanically, the Sportback continues to be faultless, although I do struggle a little with the fuel filler, with its anti-misfuelling insert, which cuts the pump action very early, making it difficult to brim the tank for accurate fuel economy checks. Just occasionally, the gear lever has kicked back out of first gear after selection at a standstill, but so far I’ve blamed myself for this. On a couple of occasions, the electric engine cooling fan has run on after parking up for rather longer than I would expect, but I’m pretty sure that all is in order under the bonnet. The generally poor recent weather and state of the roads, both in repair and in cleanliness, has made me think a couple of times whether I would actually undertake changing a punctured tyre for the space-saver spare tyre, particularly in the dark, or instead call for roadside assistance. I’m not sure whether this is me getting soft, or maybe just wiser with advancing years. I certainly would not fancy attacking a wheel change on a cold, wet night on a busy road, and I’m wondering if others share these sentiments?
Continuing the theme of adverse weather, on a very misty recent night, and at the end of a long trip, I was very grateful to have the opportunity to legally light up the Sportback’s fog lights, front and rear, and they certainly improved my forward vision, and presumably my visibility to other drivers, oncoming and following. It certainly made a change to see maybe four out of five drivers using their fog lights as intended, whilst those who are cruising around with one headlight bulb blown and no fog lights look particularly foolish, and dangerous. I wonder if radar-assisted adaptive cruise control could, or should be used, particularly on motorways in thick fog, when such an option is fitted.
|Whats Hot:||Over 2,000 plus miles on the on-board computer and brim-to-brim mpg checks are running very close, with only a 0.6mpg difference, 55.5mpg vs 56.1mpg.|
|Whats Not:||The SD card based satellite navigation has been misbehaving, and my faith in it has (hopefully temporarily) wavered a little.|
|Date arrived:||4th November 2013|
|Mileage to date:||2,318 miles|
|Fuel consumption:||74.3mpg (official combined)
55.5mpg (on test)