Recap: Here’s What We Saw at the New York Auto Show

We simply came back from press days at probably the most important vehicle occasions of the season: the 2018 New You are able to Worldwide Auto Show. Here’s what caught our eye:

Interactive Displays: Automakers got creative and accepted augmented reality and virtual reality to be able to display their latest cars and technology. How did they are doing it? Dodge featured two Demons placed in an online drag race. The cars bucked in position and provided vibration feedback because the motorists sped lower the strip.

At Nissan, users donned a set of glasses to discover the most recent security features around the Leaf via augmented reality. To discover specific features, users simply centered on different icons floating before them. It’s more interactive than the usual marketing video (and far cooler, too).

Toyota desired to make its Fine-Comfort concept vehicle more interactive, so that they produced a VR experience. Yes, the headsets are clunky, but when they’re on, you can sit within the driver’s seat and backseat. Toyota’s strength was making its VR experience feel a lot more like walking to return. Should you required a 360-degree look, you can begin to see the interior from the vehicle entirely.

Consensus? These encounters won’t switch the traditional try out in the near future. However for shoppers who wish to visit a car’s interior or do a preliminary walk around? AR and VR may help motorists through the shopping process.

Encounters: Ever thought about if you could fall over a Jeep Wrangler? We attempted at Camp Jeep. Attendees drove cars over some obstacles to focus on the need for ground clearance and articulation. The ride was short, but Jeep will get credit for creating an event like this in the center of New You are able to City.

Toyota labored with professional race motorists to demonstrate the awesome side from the Camry within the Camry Thrill Ride. It felt a bit more unrestrained than Camp Jeep. To show handling, motorists floored it and maneuvered the vehicle around tight turns. Then they spun the vehicle 180 and 360 levels.

Consensus? Roller-coaster fans will like this.

New methods to fight distracted driving: Both 2019 Acura RDX and Subaru Foresterhave introduced technology to combat distracted driving. The Forester uses facial recognition software to consider indications of sleepiness within the driver. The RDX built a 1-of-a-kind trackpad which makes it simpler to move with the infotainment system.

Classic Cars, Supercars, and Concept Cars: We had a classic Lamborghini in addition to a concept vehicle from Genesis having a mostly glass exterior. And, obviously, we ensured to visit the Koenigsegg station…

Consensus? We can’t wait to determine what’s going to attend the brand new You are able to show the coming year.

Need to see more coverage out of this year’s New You are able to auto show? Take a look at our Facebook page, and don’t hesitate to incorperate your comments, photos or perhaps video of your show visit.

New Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible 2018 review

As Mustangs go, a four-cylinder turbocharged automatic Convertible couldn’t be further from the American dream if it was made in North Korea in a factory staffed by Russians. But bear with us, because Ford has been busy working on the facelift of its sixth-generation Mustang.

We first drove the revised V8 GT last year, but we’ve had to wait until now to try one of the European-spec cars due in UK dealers in the coming months. Along with a light nip and tuck at the front and rear, Ford has added new digital dials and a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

• New Ford Mustang V8 review

Curiously, the four-cylinder 2.3-litre EcoBoost’s power output has dropped in order to reduce emissions and improve economy. But despite peak power dropping from 313bhp to 286bhp, it’ll sprint from 0-62mph one-tenth quicker (5.7 seconds) and hit 145mph flat out.

Of bigger significance is that new 10-speed automatic gearbox. Having sampled it in the V8 previously, we concluded that while it’s an improvement over the six-speed auto it replaces, it still doesn’t offer the immediacy and performance advantages of the best double-clutch units favoured by the likes of Porsche, BMW and the VW Group. Could its true calling be in a cabrio with half the cylinders?

•Best performance cars

It’s the sound that hits you first. Or rather the lack of any noise ruffling your ear hair. There’s a gentle rasp from the EcoBoost engine on start up, but for a car with the bonnet acreage of a Mustang, the mute soundtrack doesn’t make the strongest first impression. Switch between the driving modes – Normal, Sport, Track and Snow/Wet are now joined by Drag mode and My Mode, the latter allowing you to configure engine, exhaust sound and, if fitted, the optional adaptive dampers – and the tone doesn’t improve greatly, either.

Noise aside, the new drivetrain is a marked improvement over its predecessor. The ratios in the 10-speed unit are tightly stacked and remarkably close (the EcoBoost and V8 share the same set-up) and once you get your head around being in seventh gear at less than 40mph, it’s as effortless as you want it to be. Crucially, when you up the pace, there are few objections from the powertrain.

Upshifts are quick enough when left in D, but knock the selector back to Sport or use the paddles on the steering wheel, and you can neatly match your upshifts to the engine’s output. This is useful, because the four-cylinder becomes breathless once you reach its 5,400rpm peak, and there’s little to be had from chasing the redline some 600rpm later.

Downsides? Well, while the downshifts aren’t too slow, the time-lapse between you pulling the left hand paddle and a lower gear being selected is too long if you want to make the most of the Mustang’s performance.

Of greater significance, is the transformation the optional MagnaRide adaptive dampers make to the car’s chassis – especially in the Convertible car. Previously, a drop-top Mustang would pitch into a corner and wait for the body to catch up, before wobbling through the exit. Now, though, there’s poise and body control, but it doesn’t come at the expense of the Mustang’s more gentile approach to ride quality.

The set-up adds a level of precision and composure that was previously lacking, too; roof up or down, a MagnaRide-equipped Mustang Convertible closes the dynamic gap on its Coupe equivalent. Ford charges £1,600 for the dampers, and they’re worth every penny.

Elsewhere, the new 12-inch TFT instrument cluster is clearer to read and offers more functionality than before. There’s additional safety kit including pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control. The seats are still a little too gentleman’s club for our liking and the roof-down buffeting can be tiresome, but overall it’s a marked improvement on its predecessor.

UK speed limits: everything you need to know

UK speed limits are a bone of contention with many drivers, but they are a vital part of the UK’s road network. They are the front line of road safety, as they dictate the speed of all traffic, and by setting maximum speeds for different types of road, it means consistent regulation across the country. It also means it’s easier to prosecute those that exceed the speed limit, whether it’s by police enforcement, or via the use of technology.

While the use of speed limits is an issue that can be discussed until the cows come home, speed limits are there, and a safe driver will know that they are in place for a reason, so will adjust their driving accordingly. To help you stick to these basic laws of the road, we’ve compiled this feature to help you stay on the right side of the limit, even if you’re driving a vehicle that requires you to know a different set of limits to the ones posted.

If you’ve passed your driving test, then the round speed limit signs will be some of the first pieces of road furniture that you will need to be able to identify. They are unique, with a white circle surrounded in red with black numbers within. These cover 20mph, 30mph, 40mph, 50mph and sometimes 60mph. In addition, there’s the National Speed Limit sign, which is a white circle with a black diagonal line through it. This means the national limit applies, which is 60mph on single carriageway roads, and 70mph on dual carriageways.

However, as time passes, many drivers that simply use their cars to get from A to B without any involvement could even forget what the assorted limits are.To make matters worse, speed limits can be changed on roads without much in the way of notification, then there are other limits you need to be aware of, such as variable limits on smart motorways, or reduced speeds when roadworks are put in place.

When you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle other than a conventional car, or if you’re using your car to tow a caravan or trailer, then the speed limit that’s posted at the roadside won’t necessarily apply. These limits could be difficult to work out, but they will definitely be lower than the posted maximum you see on road signs. They will vary depending on the type of vehicle you’re driving, too and when you add-in regional variations between Scotand and England and Wales, then it’s easy to be confused about which speed limit is the right one for you to stick to.

Lexus IS F: Spotted

In the pantheon of great V8 super saloons, many will see the Lexus IS F at best as a bit-part player. After all, what they’ve taken here is the second-generation IS, in other words the dullest version of one of the greyest cars the firm ever made – and that’s saying something – and enlivened it with a course of steroids. So, while it may well be beautifully made, and the dealers polite and welcoming, at heart the car lacks the style, flair and panache we’d expect from a first division four-door rocketship.

However – and it’s a big however – those steroids included a 423hp 5.0-litre V8 transplant that revs to 7,000rpm and transformed this dullard into a thing of refined brutishness. Its power, with no nasty turbo to spool up, is instant, thrilling and addictive. On most roads, certainly most real everyday roads, it enjoys complete dominion over other traffic. Performance is in the order of 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds, and the top speed is a more than adequate 168mph. An eight-speed automatic gearbox of rare civility makes all that seem rather easy, too, and its accurate steering and excellent chassis balance mean corners can be attacked with gusto – sideways if needs be. Despite its relatively sober-sided appearance – bonnet bulge and cooling gills aside – this is actually a hugely enjoyable and highly exploitable car.

It isn’t a BMW M3 killer, not quite – it isn’t as sharp to drive and the ride is too fidgety – but it is a pretty good effort. It’s also excellent value, and of course it’ll never let you down. The one we’ve found in our classifieds has done a mere 58,000 miles, has a full service history, a long warranty and looks temptingly wicked in its black livery on matching 19-inch BBS wheels. It’s £22,995, which seems a fair price for something so quick and potentially so naughty, and dammit so full of V8 vigour. Inside you get a suitably sporty and adequately luxurious interior that, in the language of the trade, is fully loaded, and even includes Isofix fittings, so you can strap young Harry and Hermione in the back and let them enjoy some sideways action too.

And that’s a huge part of the appeal of a V8-engined saloon car like this one – it can do practical and it can do speed. It can potter to Waitrose one day and hammer around the Nurburgring the next, although if you do that don’t forget to make sure you’ve removed all your shopping first.

SPECIFICATION – LEXUS IS F

Engine: 4,969cc, V8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 423@6,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 373@5,200rpm
MPG: 24.4
CO2: 270g/km
First registered: 2011
Recorded mileage: 58,000
Price new: £51,000
Yours for: £22,995

Help for a Gummed-Up Seat Belt Latch

ur kids admitted that they spilled soda on the passenger-side belt buckle of the car they use. Now it doesn’t latch in cold weather — not a good thing in Minnesota. My son’s solution is to pour water on it and park it in the garage until it dries out. Not only would that make a mess, but one guess whose car would sit outside in the meantime? I’m also concerned that that would screw up whatever electrical sensors tell the car that the belt is buckled.

My husband says to spray it with WD-40. I know from working with locks that that will eventually gum up the works. I’d wager that the graphite I would use on a lock would mix with the pop and gum things up, too. Given that it’s essential safety equipment and I don’t want the kids to die, I think it should go to the dealer to be fixed. Any support for any of our solutions? — Lisa

Hm, what dissolves sugar? I know! Hot coffee!

No, don’t pour black coffee on it, Lisa. What you need is a solvent — something to dissolve the sugar that’s gumming up the latch mechanism. And you have little to lose by trying to fix this yourself. If it doesn’t work, the worst that’ll happen is that you’ll then have to take the car to the dealer and have the seat belt latch replaced.

So my suggestion would be to try a product called Contact Cleaner, made by CRC. That’s a fast-evaporating spray-on solvent that’s designed to be used on sensitive electronics. So it’s very unlikely to damage anything.

Since you don’t want the kids to die, I’d have your husband apply this stuff, since it might dissolve brain cells, too. And since he’s obviously already lost most of his already, let him take the risk. The kids might still need theirs.

I would get a few rags and cover up the surrounding area, because gunk might drip out. Then spray Contact Cleaner liberally inside the latching mechanism. Then work it — latch and unlatch the seat belt a number of times. If it seems to be helping at all, keep doing it. I’d do it in the garage and leave the car’s windows open.

If it doesn’t work, you can try a stronger solvent — something like Brakleen, which dissolves even more stuff, including more brain cells.

And if nothing works, then you’ll need to put yourself at the mercy of the dealer, and deduct the cost from the kids’ soda allowance. Good luck, Lisa.

One of 50 Lexus LFA Nürburgring Editions heads to auction

Lexus models normally don’t ton consignment lots at big-name auctions, but we’d wager greater than a couple of your customers will step-up to invest in this 2012 Lexus LFANrburgring Edition.

The special LFA will elegance the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction, which runs from April 12 to fifteen, and also the vehicle is among 50 ever built. Lexus debuted theLFANrburgring Edition in the 2011 Geneva auto show, even though the vehicle did not offer a lot more power than the usual stock LFA it featured enough mods to really make it a significant track vehicle. At some point, it had been the quickest production vehicle round the track whose name it bears.

To begin, Lexus bumped themid-front-mounted 4.8-liter V-10 engine’s switch on to562 horsepower. Regular LFA models produce 552 hp. Furthermore, a number of carbon fibre components,a bigger front spoiler, along with a fixed rear wing help to improve downforce and handling. Meanwhile, no added bits compromised the supercar’s top speed or acceleration. The LFA Nrburgring Edition can achieve 202 miles per hour, and -62 miles per hour occur in 3.7 seconds.

An activity-tuned suspension, grippier tires, and special multi-spoke wheels further set theNrburgring Edition aside from standard LFAs. Not too a typical LFA is a very common sight.

This specific model wears just 1,600 miles and sports a clear CarFax—no track-day mishaps here. Furthermore, Toyota has serviced the vehicle because of its faulty Takata airbag inflator.

What’s going to be truly interesting would be to observe how this LFA fares around the auction block. A normal LFA set buyers back $375,000 initially, and theNrburgring Edition cost an additional $70,000. Surely, the LFA is going to be something of the collector item, however a $445,000 hammer cost appears a little bit positive. Thankfully for potential customers, there is no reserve.

Used Volkswagen Passat review

Few family cars are more polished than the Volkswagen Passat. This model has it all: cutting-edge safety features, a spacious cabin, lots of equipment and excellent build quality.

But the sober design inside and out means the VW has a dowdy reputation, which isn’t entirely deserved. Add keen prices into the mix and you can see why the Passat makes a great used buy.

Sure, you’ll pay more than you would for an equivalent Vauxhall Insignia or Ford Mondeo, but we’d argue that the Passat is more well rounded than either of those less premium alternatives.

Here we guide you through what is on offer and what to look out for.

Models covered

  • Volkswagen Passat Mk7 (2010-2015) – Capable family car makes even more sense second-hand.

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT MK7

Best van deals 2018

Smart business owners know how to manage their finances properly. And if your company needs a new van or pick-up to get the job done, then it’s arguable that finding the best financial deal is more important than the kind of options you can get. So we’ve rounded up the finance deals that can help you to keep costs down on your new van or pickup.

While buying a van outright is one option, it’s not necessarily the best deal financially if your outgoings and income are limited. And if you secure a van or pickup on finance, then you have the option of upgrading to the latest model when your deal is up for renewal. That means you’ll have a well turned out new van every few years that will give customers a good impression, rather than an ageing work vehicle that will soon look tired and shabby.

Many manufacturers offer competitive deals for commercial vehicle users, with small deposit amounts and surprisingly small monthly costs. But there’s more to these deals than simply offering low repayments, as maintenance and servicing deals are likely to be the kind of sweeteners that are included to tempt buyers into the van of their choice.

We’ve scoured the websites of a range of commercial vehicle makers to find the best offers available on a variety of new vans and pick-up trucks on sale today. All of these offers are as advertised by each manufacturer, but we reckon you can get to your local van centre and skim a little bit more off the top to seal the deal, so try and treat these numbers as the starting point for your negotiations!

Prices and figures quoted are excluding VAT (except where stated), because it will typically be reclaimable for business users.

BEST VAN AND PICK-UP DEALS 2018

FORD RANGER

Ford’s tough Ranger pick-up is available through a range of offers on Ford’s website,and the well specced Limited 2 Double Cab with the 2.2-litre 4cyl diesel can be yours for £291 per month on contract hire.

The Limited 2 model nets you a lot of equipment, including 17-inch alloys, Ford’s latest SYNC3 infotainment system with Bluetooth, leather seats, rear parking sensors and more. That monthly figure is yours if you can stump up six months in advance rental and keep on it for four years. Ford will also pay the road tax, breakdown cover and a 48 hour courtesy vehicle in case of breakdown.

• Check out our round-up of thebest car dealson today’s market

Contract Hire Initial payment: £1,746 47 monthly installments: £291

MERCEDES X-CLASS

It’s only been revealed in concept form so far, but demand for Mercedes’ new double cab pickup truck is so strong that Mercedes-Benz Vans is already taking £1,000 deposits for the newcomer. The deposit is fully refundable, but if you want to be one of the first behind the wheel when the X-Class finally arrives in 2018, then log on to the Mercedes website now.

MITSUBISHI L200

TheMitsubishi L200 has been king of the tough 4×4 pick-up truck segment for years – so much so that the Series 5 model was our Pick-Up of the Yearin our 2016 New Car Awards, the second year it took the title.

Still, the latest L200 is an able workhorse with its new and efficient 2.4Di D engine, and in popular Titan spec can be yours in Double Cab mode for just under £200 per month via Mitsubishi’s own contract hire deal – as long as you’ve got twelve months payment to put down up front.

Contract Hire Cash price: £21,249
Initial payment: £2,388
35 monthly installments: £199

NISSAN NAVARA

TheNissan Navara is the smoothest drive around in the 4×4 pick-up segment, thanks to a fancy multi-link rear suspension that still retains all the off-road capability owners have come to expect.

It’s not quite SUV-smooth to drive on the road, but it’s close, and that quality means the Navara appeals strongly to business users who want the tough style and practicality of a pick-up as an everyday vehicle. Chances are if you want to use a pick-up every day, you’ll be wanting a decent amount of equipment. This where the Navara Tekna comes in; dual-zone climate control, reversing camera and part-leather trim are standard. However, beware that there’s a 10,000-mile annual mileage limit.

Contract Hire Initial payment: £1,800 35 monthly payments: £300

TOYOTA HILUX

Toyota’s durable and reliable Hilux can be yours for £271 per month.

That’ll net you a 2.4-litre diesel Hilux Invinciblemodel that comes laden with kit. Every Invincible model has a touchscreen infotainment system, LED headlights, cruise control, climate control and a multitude of safety systems including pedestrian safety assist and traffic sign recognition.

Contract Hire Cash price: £24,922
Initial payment: £1,626
35 monthly payments: £271

FORD TRANSIT

With a multitude of different models – incredibly Ford lists 450 variants – from panel vans to minibuses, a trio of fuel-efficient and torquey diesel engines, and improved driving dynamics, the latest Ford Transit is an impressive proposition.

Load volumes are up by 10 per cent for panel vans, and the driver’s environment is excellent too.

It all means the Transit is right at the top of our best panel van top 10, but if that’s not enough to make you want one, Ford has some tempting low interest rate offers, like this 0.9% APR and £2,700 manufacturer contribution on a four year balloon payment deal for the Transit 350 Trend L3 H2 2.0 TDCi EcoBlue 130PS RWD model.

Finance purchase with balloon payment Cash price (with £4,500 contribution/dealer savings): £30,714 (Inc VAT) Customer deposit: £10,121
48 monthly payments: £399
Final payment £5,717

VOLKSWAGEN TRANSPORTER

The latestVolkswagen Transporter featuresan upgraded engine range, plus significant in-cab enhancements to make sure it retains its place in the sales charts.

As well as the company’s renowned build quality, the Transporter now features a full range of Euro 6 diesel engine options and a raft of safety kit such as Active Cruise Control, Lane Change Assist and Post-Collision Braking. With Caravelle and Shuttle minibus options, the sharper Sportline trim and optional four-wheel-drive, the Transporter still plays to its enduring strengths – a fact which helped it clinch the 2016 International Van of the Year Award. You can drive away in a T26 SWB 2.0 TDI Startline 102PS for £239 per month with a Volkswagen finance purchase, including a £500 VW contribution to your down payment.

Finance purchase with balloon payment
Cash price: £24,813
Volkswagen contribution: £500
Customer first payment: £1,434
36 monthly payments: £239

Behind the looks of the latestVauxhall Vivaro,

its carrying capacity has been enhanced across the range, it’s very comfortable on those long-haul motorway trips, and there’s an excellent line-up of turbodiesel engines that offer terrific economy and efficiency.

Best of the bunch is the 118bhp (120PS) 1.6 CDTi BiTurbo which, with ecoFLEX stop-start, can return up to 47.9mpg on the official government combined test cycle.

If you want to buy one, Vauxhall’s 4x4x4x4 deal should appeal, with 4 years’ zero per cent APR credit, 4 years’ free servicing, 4 years’ warranty and 4 years’ breakdown cover thrown in. But leasing looks attractive too, at just £235 per month for the Vivaro L1 H1 Sportive 2700 1.6 CDTi BiTurbo.

Contract hire

Cash price: £22,758 Initial payment: £2,892 23 monthly payments: £241

MERCEDES SPRINTER

For customer facing businesses in particular, the prestige of a Mercedes badge on the grille of your van can make a subtle but appreciable difference to your public image.

But in spite of its popularity and impeccable credentials, the Sprinter is coming to the end of its life, and we’re expecting a new version to be unveiled in 2017. Which is good news if you want to buy a Sprinter now, as you can drive away in a 214 CDI SWB Premium Edition for £289 a month on Merc’s Agility balloon-payment lease deal – thanks to a hefty £3,450 deposit contribution from the manufacturer.

Finance purchase with balloon payment
Cash price: £26,091
Customer deposit: £7,180
Mercedes deposit contribution: £3,400
48 monthly payments: £289
Optional final payment: £7,600

CITROEN BERLINGO

The Citroen Berlingo feels as though it’s been around for donkey’s years, but a refresh in 2015 gave it a worthwhile new lease of life.

Sure, there are newer competitors around that are more pleasant to drive, but you can’t argue with prices for the panel van that start at just £10,226. Euro 6 BlueHDI engines are also offered on the Berlingo spec sheet, giving up to 68.9mpg and 109g/km of CO2, along with a six-speed automatic gearbox, and a 7-inch colour touchscreen option.

Granted, you won’t get all that on the Berlingo Panel Van HDI manual L1 in Enterprise spec, but at least you do get parking sensors. And for £189 per month on a Citroen contract hire deal, it’s almost as cheap as chips.

Contract hire
Cash price: £15,500
Initial payment: £1,074
36 monthly payments: £179

For more optionsvisit our sister site BuyaCar for new and used van deals.