Wednesday November 23rd, 2011 17:32 The World’s Top Cars for Toughness and Reliability

When most people buy a new car, they’re looking for something that looks cool, is in their price range, and will suit their needs – you won’t see a family buying a two-seater, for example. However, there’s one selling point that’s becoming increasingly important these days, and that is reliability.

With winters getting harsher, and incomes getting smaller, tough, reliable cars are becoming preferable to sportier models. How does your car stack up compared to the toughest cars ever built? The following cars have all scored highly on reliability tests, and have had a minimum of warranty issues over the last ten years:

Toyota

The Toyota RAV4 is a four wheel drive that’s fun to drive. If you’re looking for something sporty but hard-wearing then this is a great choice. It’s expensive to find one second hand, but worth the money.
If you can’t find the RAV4, then look for other Toyotas – several of their cars scored highly.

Honda

The Honda CR-V is a flexible, easy to drive, 4×4 that doesn’t eat up the entire road. It’s easier to find a low cost used Honda CR-V than its Toyota counterpart, and it’s a perfect suburban car. Honda is another brand that generally scored well.

Land Rover

The Land Rover Defender is in a class of its own. It’s a tough, iconic vehicle that most definitely means business. Land Rover service fees will add to the total cost of ownership, but if you want something that you could take on safari, then this is definitely the vehicle for you. The 400 and the 75 models also made it on the reliability list.

Volvo

The Volvo XC90 has definitely proved itself as a serious, heavyweight vehicle. It looks great inside and out, is smooth and powerful, and performs well on all kinds of services. As an added bonus, it’s not an expensive car to pick up second hand, and Volvo service costsare good value considering the kind of performance you’re getting for your money. The S/V40 also scored well.

Nissan

This may come as surprise, but the Nissan Micra does well on the reliability stakes. You couldn’t take it up mountains and across bumpy fields, but for day to day driving it’s a tough, roomy, and reliable car that’s easy to drive and cheap to own.

Nissan Micra

All of the vehicles listed above are relatively new ones, simply because they’re the ones that statistics are available for. That’s not to say that older vehicles are any more or less reliable. If you’re looking for a cheap, hardwearing car that will serve you and your family well for many journeys to come, then don’t dismiss an older model just because of its age.

There are many old models that have good reputations, and that are perfect for someone with a little know-how when it comes to maintaining a vehicle. However, if you’re the type that just wants to buy and drive, a newer vehicle that is still under warranty is a much better choice.

This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Main Dealer Discount who offer access to discounted servicing for most makes and models of vehicle.

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Sunday July 10th, 2011 14:48 Honda’s MUGEN hybrid car collaboration revealed at Goodwood

 

Visitors attending last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed witnessed the debut of Honda‘s latest hybrid concept car – The highly anticipated MUGEN Honda CR-Z Hybrid Concept. Two concept models were on display, the Honda CR-Z MUGEN RR Concept and the MUGEN CR-Z Concept.

The goal of the collaboration between MUGEN and Honda was to prove that hybrid cars could be exciting to drive. Colin Whittamore from MUGEN Euro, talking about the MUGEN CR-Z Concept, said: “We wanted a car that has genuine performance available at the touch of a button, but can perform just like a standard CR-Z and offer good fuel economy when the driver wishes. For that reason, we’ve kept the three driving modes, so the driver can select ‘eco’ or ‘normal’ to switch to economy and low emissions for the daily drive, but press the MUGEN button for the full-blown ‘weekend warrior’ settings!”

While the car retains the Honda IMA electric motor, the car’s original 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine has been rebuilt to MUGEN specification, with bespoke upgraded and strengthened internal components. The introduction of centrifugal forged-induction will help the CR-Z MUGEN to deliver over 50% more power and torque from the Honda’s petrol-electric drive train. Power output for the car is in the region of 200bhp.

Although there are no official performance figures for the CR-Z MUGEN as of yet, early tests with a prototype car give the concept car a 0-62mph time of around 6.6 seconds. As there will be up to a 15% increase in power to come from the engine, and an approximate reduction in chassis weight of 50kg, expect overall performance figures to be even better than.

In terms of fuel consumption, Whittamore was encouraged by early tests in this area. Fuel economy ranges from 50+ mpg in ‘eco’ mode, and 35+ mpg when using the boosted power in the ‘MUGEN’ mode.

As for the Honda CR-Z MUGEN RR Concept, its appearance suggests it is more focused for track use. It has a unique front aerodynamic bumper, front fender, side spoiler, rear bumper, rear wing, and 18” wheels. The “RR” moniker was adopted in order to represent the racing spirit of MUGEN. Unlike the MUGEN CR-Z Hybrid Concept, performance details are currently unavailable.

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Monday March 28th, 2011 22:48 Japanese Ultra Tuners Mugen to Unleash the CR-Z

Honda CR-Z Hybrid

From the island of Japan comes news of a performance tuned model of Honda’s CR-Z in the works, hopefully as fast and efficient as its samurai roots. Japanese ultra tuner often referred to as Mugen Power will be modifying the CR-Z to live up to the translation of their name: “Unlimited”.

Its 1.5 litre petrol hybrid engine will be perfected by the tuning masters to pump up power and torque, hopefully in a similar fashion as was achieved when Mugen mastered the Civic Type R and increased its power to 237bhp and pushed its red line to 8,600rpm, partially thanks to their extensive access and utilisation of the Honda wind tunnel. Plans for the CR-Z include bespoke brakes, suspension tuning, and some major weight loss without losing durability. This is possible due to the switch to a carbon-fibre bonnet and by introducing lightweight alloys.

Far from being an eyesore, the CR-Z will sport visual modifications to match its newfound speed capabilities, including dual bumpers and a rear spoiler.

Renowned for their racing tuned Hondas, Mugen has been closely associated with Honda since its founding by Hirotoshi Honda, son of Honda founder Soichiro Honda.

Honda made the request for this project recently, and during a press conference a Honda spokesman unleashed the truth about this car, saying it will be “one quick hybrid” and concluding with the hopeful statement that “It promises to show how hybrid cars can be even more exciting to drive.” Let’s hope to see more super tuned Honda hybrids in the near future!

Expect to see the car hitting the pavement at the Goodwood festival of speed, which occurs on the 30th of June to the 3rd of July.

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