The Diesel Car long-term reports in every issue give you the lowdown on the most important cars on sale today – here’s a reminder of how some of our testers fared in November’s issue.
Driven by Ian Robertson
Any kind of injury can prove to be a real pain when it comes to driving, and I feared the worst when I hurt my knee this month. It was pretty painful even walking, particularly up and down stairs, so I assumed that driving would be out of bounds until it felt a little better. But I’m made of stern stuff, and so I thought I would persevere, and as it happens the Grand C-MAX’s lofty seating position meant that I could drive without so much as a twinge. The leather upholstered chairs are just at the right height so you can slide across into position, and thanks to bolstering at the leading edge of the seat, there are good levels of support for your legs. And the angle of the dangle is important too – for the legs that is, when reaching the pedals – and in this respect, the C-MAX is nigh on perfect. Attempts to drive a Vauxhall Astra weren’t so successful.
And it isn’t just me that has found that the Grand C-MAX is comfortable; the family cat has made himself at home too. Where the bonnet meets the windscreen, and where the windscreen wipers are neatly tucked away, there’s a decent sized recess, and Simba, our ginger feline, has taken to perching himself there while waiting to be let in. It gives him a commanding view, where he can survey the locality and make sure that our other cat, Sox, isn’t getting any preferential treatment. He seems quite at home, and very often he’d rather be sat there in the sunshine, rather than indoors.
|Date arrived:||11th August 2011|
|Mileage to date:||9,066miles|
|Fuel consumption:||47.2mpg (official combined)
34.4mpg (on test)
Driven by Adam Sloman
There I was, happily minding my own business driving along a quiet section of dual carriageway when the peace was shattered. Almost literally, in fact, when a large stone flew up and hit the windscreen with a very loud bang. The damage made itself obvious immediately. A chip the size of a five pence piece with cracks emanating from it, making it look a little like a glass spider. Not good. The dangers of leaving a chipped or cracked windscreen are obvious and with my wife and daughter frequently in the car, I wasn’t going to take any chances. Thankfully local windscreen repair firm Phoenix Windscreens believed the ’screen could be repaired and organised to come and take a look the following day. True to their word, a van appeared the following morning before 9am and the technician was set at the glass. Using an ultra-fine drill bit he removed any loose glass left in the chip, before injecting it with a resin that seals the cracks, stopping them from spreading any further. The result is near perfect, but there’s still a rather annoying blemish that every now and then catches my eye. Still given the choice between an insurance-funded repair, or coughing up in excess of £180 for a new windscreen, I think I can cope with the repair!
|Date arrived:||7th January 2011|
|Mileage to date:||12,098miles|
|Fuel consumption:||49.6mpg (official combined)
40.2mpg (on test)
Driven by Jack Carfrae
Disaster struck this month. After eight months of seamless ownership with the A1, I’ve managed to kerb the wheel. Suffice to say, I was mortified. I hate damaging stuff, even if it is only a bit of a scuff and it’s made all the more obvious by the gunmetal 17-inch alloys. I also managed to shave a small patch of rubber from the nearside front tyre, which is even more irritating. What’s worse is that it wasn’t a complete accident. A white van driver, in his infinite wisdom, decided to pull out on me without a second look, forcing a manoeuvre (albeit at relatively low speed) into the nearest kerb. Thankfully, I managed to steer clear, and I could have been missing the front end of a car rather than a bit of lacquer and rubber, so it could be worse. Still annoying, though.
Other than that the A1 continues to operate without a glitch. The test fuel economy has crept up slightly – it’s now on the right side of 55mpg pretty much all the time as opposed to slightly less. The interior is wearing well and the exterior keeps turning heads. One small concern that has become more apparent during warmer months is how hot it gets inside. The roof comes quite a long way forward, so the cabin is a bit dark and dingy. Combine that with small proportions, and the Audi is something of a hot box on a summer’s day, requiring a good blast of the air conditioning or a few minutes with the windows open to air out.
|Date arrived:||6th January 2011|
|Mileage to date:||9,538miles|
|Fuel consumption:||70.6mpg (official combined)
56.0mpg (on test)