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Speakers Corner


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VW "Up"


Bingalau
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I am thinking of buying a new car, the ash tray is full on my present one.

Seriously I am looking at the new model VW Up which comes on the market here sometime in March. I've looked through the specifications and read all the guff about it and it seems to be a nice little car. Apart from included items like heated seats and passenger air bag switches, luxuries such as cruise control and parking sensors can be added pretty cheaply. But one thing that puzzles me about it is that you have to spend extra to have a spare wheel.

Is this a modern trend? Are they adding luxury items but taking away necessities? Do other car producers do this too?

I had better have another look to see if it has an ash tray! I need somewhere to put my sweet wrappers.

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WhiteTruckMan

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quickbeam

Sad but true. I can quite easily see the day coming when simply lifting the bonnet will invalidate the warranty unless you are a suitably qualified person.

WTM

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amonra

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I wholeheartedly agree with WTM, GET A SPARE ! I have been unlucky enough to have had punctures in wild, remote areas and although the book says you can fill the tyre with "goo", if the tyre has shredded itself then NO amount of goo will get you home.

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Fruit Bat /\0/\

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My car has one of those tiny spares there isn't enough room in the well for a full size wheel. :0(

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Bingalau

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Fruit Bat... Well, stick one on the back seat.

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Quickbeam

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Or do as Landrover do... they mount spare wheels on the bonnet, the rear door, the roof, why you could even use the spare wheel as steering wheel and you'd get double value for your money if you trade UP!

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Cymro.

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Vauxhalls no longer have the old-fashioned spare wheels or at least the one I have does not. They just have a sort of get you home version that has a steel wheel fitted with a cheap narrow tyre. Some of the top of the range versions have the “bottle of goo and an air compressor” mentioned by Quickbeam

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Bingalau

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WTM. Yes I have experience of cruise control and I love it. As you say you do not consider it a luxury but probably to you it is essential, especially on heavy trucks. But of course years ago heaters in cars were a luxury. In fact when I bought my first car which was a mini, I remember paying extra to have one fitted. (That took the price up over the £500.°° mark). These days if you can find a modern car without a heater or an air conditioner fitted, you will be disappointed. They are considered "essentials".

I have also read all the guff on the Internet about the "Up" and I think at the price, it looks quite attractive. Can you specify what you don't like about it? It seems to have good safety features and looks a comfortable little car for two people. Can you as a professional driver recommend an alternative model?

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interzone55

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Most small cars now come with either a space-saver or a can of foam, both are only good for 50 miles at low to medium speeds.

There simply isn't room for a full size spare in the boot of most small cars, these days, and the days of slinging the spare underneath the car like on Peugeots are gone, as the wheel is vulnerable to theft, and there's not enough ground clearance these days.

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WhiteTruckMan

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As a professional driver I lean towards this sort of thing

pdf vehicle brochure

but I think you might like something easier to park. As far as cars go, with odd exceptions I dont like 2 doors. But I do recognise the advantages the (2) bigger doors give for getting in and out if one isn't as limber as you used to be. I also gather that they (the VW's) come with 3 cylinder petrol and 2 cylinder diesels. I dont think a 3 would have all that smooth a power delivery (memories of small vauxhalls and suzuki's spring to mind) and as for the twin! Ask any old biker about parallel twin vibes you got from old brit bikes. Then think diesel. I have no doubt that VW's engineers have put a lot of time and effort into overcoming the inherent shortcomings of these units, but inherent they are.

I would personally recomment the fiat panda, as I have mentioned before. Forget the name, fiats these days are not the rot and problem ridden jokes of years gone by. And it's my opinion that VW, although gaining themselves a justifiably good reputation for quality engineering in years gone by, are no longer the top of the heap they once were. Others have significantly raised their game or gone out of buisness trying.

But try for a test drive.

WTM

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Bingalau

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WTM. The stuff I've been reading about the VW Up doesn't mention a diesel model. But I think I did read somewhere that there will be one in a couple of years time.

The bigger entrance space provided by a two door is one of the factors I considered. Also the heated seats, I love a bit of comfort, the parking assistance which I hasten to add I don't need, but my lady friend may find extremely useful (Is that being sexist or honest?). The VW brand is also very good of course. Most other cars I have looked at seem to be a lot more expensive. I think a full sized spare wheel is going to cost £40.°° which seems reasonable to me.

I was offered a measly £1800.°° for my present car which is a FIAT Punto Active. Glass's guide puts it at around £1400.°° but as I reckon I am being robbed at those prices for a well maintained and clean vehicle. I am giving it away for nothing to my son, whose present car is falling apart.

By the way my lady friend has a VW Golf which is 13 years old and has only done 7080 miles. She is the proverbial one lady owner who keeps it in a garage and polishes it every week, dries it off when it is wet before putting it away in the garage for the night/week/month. She mollycoddles it and has the services done on it regularly too.

Her husband bought it just before he died of a heart attack and didn't even get to drive it once. I've told her she mustn't sell it on any account as it will soon qualify for inclusion in a VW Museum somewhere. Last month she got a scratch on the bumper paintwork. She asked me if I would be able to paint it in with the original tube of paint she got when it was bought. I said "No" but I got a professional to come and do the job. She is as pleased as punch because she can't tell where the scratch was. If I had done it there would have been a big lump or something showing up. I'm frightened to touch the thing in case I mess something up. But I have to back it in to my driveway for safety when she is here for any length of time. She thinks my gateway is too narrow.... But I am as proud of it now as she is. She is now driving it about 25 miles a week. I must look up the value of it in the Glass's Guide out of interest.

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