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:


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.


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.


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.


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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Friday June 24th, 2011 12:29 Toyota to export the British-built Avensis to Japan


Toyota has announced that it will begin exporting the British-built Avensis to Japan later this year. The news comes as a further boost to the UK motor industry after BMW and Nissan both recently pledged to put significant funds into their UK production facilities.

Currently, the Avensis is built exclusively at Toyota’s factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire, and the third-generation version of the model already ships to 47 countries worldwide. Since production of the Avensis began in 1997, over 1.8 million Avensis vehicles have been built at Burnaston. As a result of Toyota’s decision, from July, an extra 750 Tourer estate models will be produced for export per month.

Toyota’s decision to introduce the Avensis to the Japanese market came after an upturn in demand for European styling and engineering from Japanese customers. These customers will be offered cars that are powered by 2.0-litre petrol engines along with a CVT gearbox. This will allow the Avensis to produce a more fuel efficient and low emission performance.

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, welcomed Toyota’s decision and described it as an endorsement of British manufacturing skills and quality. He said: “Toyota exports 85 per cent of the car and engines it makes at its UK plants in Burnaston and Deeside. Today’s news that it will now export its Avensis model to Japan is a tribute to the skills of the workforce, the efficiency of the plants and the quality of its products.”

Toyota’s UK Managing Director, Katsunori Kojima added: “We are very proud that the Avensis has been selected for export to Japan. This is yet another vote of confidence for the factory and the high quality of our products.”

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Sunday June 19th, 2011 13:45 New Yaris unveiled by Toyota

Toyota have released the first details of the latest incarnation of its widely successful Yaris model. Described by Toyota as “compact outside, spacious inside,” the third generation Yaris is expected to be launched in the UK some time this summer. Construction of the Yaris, just as was the case with the previous model, will take place at Toyota’s factory in Valenciennes, France. It has been designed with engineered there to deliver the highest possible build quality.

Buyers of the Yaris will be able to choose from three different engines. Two of these are petrol – a 1.0-litre and a 1.33-litre engine – while the third option is a 1.4-litre D-4D diesel engine. However, Toyota will make the Yaris one of the first small cars to adopt battery technology when a petrol-electric hybrid model joins the Yaris range in 2012.

Toyota are confident that the hybrid version of the Yaris will be able to deliver “truly remarkable” economy and CO2 emissions.

One of the new features that marks the Yaris apart from the previous model is the introduction of Toyota’s “Touch and Go” media system. This system, first debuted on the Verso-S, combines a 6.1-inch touch screen, along with Bluetooth connectivity. A sat-nav system is also optional. Toyota anticipates that 95% of Yaris models will feature the 6.1-inch touch screen.

The President and CEO of Toyota Europe, Didier Leroy, has high hopes for the new Yaris: “With its new levels of ingenuity, efficiency and quality, we are confident it can build upon Yaris’s previous success and help Toyota rejuvenate its presence in Europe and move towards one million annual sales in the region in the medium term.”

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Sunday November 21st, 2010 20:38 Toyota Rav4 EV Unveiled

The new Toyota Rav4 EV was unveiled on November 17 at the L.A. Auto Show. This model is a joint project with Tesla Motors of California. Tesla put a Tesla electric powertrain into the crossover. This is what separates it from the Toyota Rav4 which has been available for a number of years.

This is actually the second Toyota Rav4 with an electric operating system. The company previously created a Rav4 for the lease market in early 2003. They announced at the time that the company is dedicated to the idea; however, due to poor sales of just a few hundred they said the timing was not right for the new concept.

Rumors regarding the electric Toyota Rav4 EV started last summer. The company released some teaser images of the new car recently. The new EV has the body of the SUV although it has the same powertrain as the Tesla. The electric model is set to go on sale in the United States in 2012. The company has not yet released the sticker price. The full specs of the SUV will not be released until it is unveiled at the LA Auto Show.

The joint effort of the two companies producing the Toyota Rav4 EV allows Tesla to benefit from Toyota’s manufacturing expertise. Toyota intends to learn from Tesla’s EV technology capabilities. The company also plans to benefit from the responsive and flexible approach to business and decision making that their partner offers.

The new SUV is a further example of Toyota’s efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels as well as to cut CO2 emissions by developing more efficient and alternative powertrain technologies. The company has led the auto industry in the development of hybrid petrol-electric systems. The Prius, Auris hybrid and other models in the worldwide market are examples of their dedication.

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Saturday November 6th, 2010 18:21 Toyota Prius Generation X

Happy birthday, Toyota Prius! In honour of the Toyota car’s 10th year in the making, the company has introduced the Toyota Prius Special Edition, a suped up car with plenty of features for appeal and bling. The Toyota Prius Generation X is made for UK car enthusiasts, featuring blacked-out windows and a body kit with plenty of pizzaz.

The Toyota Prius Generation X is known for its economical values. The Generation X keeps up with the tradition of electric cars being set forth by the Toyota Prius, with a touch of edginess appealing to the modern generation of car owners. Toyota has made the Generation X available in two colours – pearl white and astral black. The car is equipped with 17″ alloy wheels, front, rear, and side skirts, and smoked privacy glass.

It does not stop there! The Generation X Prius is equipped with all of the economical features you have come to know and love. The car can receive up to 70.2 mpg highway mileage, with a CO2 emissions at just 92g. Toyota always offers more bang for the buck!

The Prius also offers consumers BlueTooth connectivity, rear parking monitors, cruise control, park assist, and head-up display. Generation X is a site for sore eyes, without losing the accessories and features you want and need in an automobile.

The 10th anniversary car will be released in the winter of 2010, with a price tag slightly more than that of the orginal version. Only 1,000 units of the car will be made available, with a price tag of around £26,150.

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