Category Archives: Vehicle

New Honda Civic mk 10 / X

Well after having the hardest time getting information out of Honda, I swear they make it as hard as possible to find about the cars. It actually took about 2 months to arrange a test drive, then 3 months after that to get literature and booklets to tell me about the car and specifications and around 2 months to actually get to the point of buying one. 

Honda Civic mk10 Blue

Honda Civic MK 10 Sporty Blue

I really liked the look of the 10th Generation Honda Civic, since the 2006 Model they have been slowly progressing from a Hot-Hatch into a saloon style model while maintaining the Hatchback appeal (and boot hatch). Honda this time around have produced a Saloon, Coupe and Hatchback, sadly the UK only gets the Hatchback at this point but I suspect there will be a Coupe with the Type S or Special Edition TI / SI model. The whole world is actually getting the same basic shape, where as different regions have always had slightly or very different shaped cars, some of them as different as a Ford Fiesta and a Ford Focus, so not just like different grills and lights units. This is what they do between Mk 9.0 and Mk 9.5 where they changed the daylights from a row of LEDs to Neon Wire type stuff.

My Test Drive

When I finally got my test drive, I was given the Honda Civic with the baby 1.0 litre 3 cylinder turbo engine, paired with Honda’s CVT Gearbox in Cosmic Grey for a full 8 hour test drive. First up, I really didn’t like the colour at all. The engine was nice, nippy and the turbo was perky and fast. I’ve read there is a few seconds artificial delay in the turbo’s spooling up, but I really didn’t notice this. What I will say is, CVT’s are quite loud, but add in the 3 cylinder and its generally quite loud when you push it. The trim was really nice, lots of gadgets.

Cosmic Grey Civic Sport Plus

Cosmic Grey Civic Sport Plus

I later tried the 1.0 Litre 3 cylinder engine paired with Honda’s 6 Speed Manual Transmission in the standard SE Trim. Again the engine is plucky and nice, but wasn’t a fan of the manual box, not as nice as the older 6 speed used used in the 9th Gen or even with the 8th Gen both of which was really nice. Lastly I test drove the 1.5 litre 4 Cylinder Turbo with the Sport Plus Trim and CVT Transmission which was really really nice but horrible seats, so very many toys.

I had settled on the 1.5 litre 4 cylinder turbo engine with the Prestige luxury trim, the CVT Transmission and in Brilliant Sport Blue Metallic Paint. I also went with the Black Line Edition so it has a front, side and rear splitter and body kit all in Black, 2 rear spoilers and really quite nice gadgets.

Fully Loaded Gadgets

Its amazing how many Gadgets the Japanese have crammed into this car, many of them come as standard on even the basic SE Trim, such as all around parking sensors, traffic sign recognition, traffic migration, auto hand brake, capless fuel tank and intelligent cruise control, lane keeping tech, adaptive speed control and more are all standard. 

Smart Cruise Control

Honda Civic SE Steering Wheel

Honda Civic SE Steering Wheel

This is a masterpiece. Basically using the cars on board radar and proximity sensors, the car detects how close to the car in front you are (its variable from the full Audi to a fall back position), and maintains an active speed lock, both slowing down and speeding up with traffic and keeping the distance. It can also detect when a car cuts in on you and brake appropriately. It gets better, with the lane guidance the car uses the on board front facing cameras and radar to steer the steering wheel with the lines. 

It feels a little weird the steering wheel pulling and turning without you doing anything. Honda also have sensors in the steering wheel to ensure you don’t take your hands off for safety reasons. 

Speed Adaptive Power Steering
This is the MOST bizarre feeling, basically the slower your travelling the lighter it makes steering so you are more agile. The faster you are going (I’ve only gone 73 mph), the heavier it makes your steering so you can maintain smooth control. This means you can change lanes gently without worrying about flipping the car or any sudden jerking movements. Its ultra smooth moving lanes and fast at turning in the road.  

Fully Keyless Operation

Honda Civic Keyless Door Handle Prestige Trim

Smart Keyless Entry Door Handle

Touch Locking is a nice little touch, you can lock, alarm, and fold the power folding mirrors without taking the key out of your pocket. There is a button on the door handle which One Press locks and alarms the car, a Second Press folds the power mirrors and super locks the doors. 

Inside the door handles by your index finger is a sensor which will unlock the door drivers door only, or if using the passenger door it will unlock all the doors. Lastly the boot has a sensor with unlocks when you touch the button, and then locks and alarms when you close it, this doesn’t unlock the other doors when using the boot only. 

You can also use the remote, 1 press of the unlock unlocks the drivers door only, 2 presses unlocks all 4 doors. There is also a boot unlock button on the remote which auto locks when you close it. 

Triple View Reverse Camera

Honda Civic SE Parking Sensor

Honda Civic SE Parking Sensor

This is really quite fun, you have a 150 degree camera view, then you can change to a 90 degree camera view and finally a camera which points downwards so you can see rear bumper and whats directly below said bumper making it easy to see and park.

The Standard Edition or SE Trim, doesn’t include the camera but it does have all around parking sensors, with a nice big display which shows you which sensor is close, on a car layout plan. I’ve seen other cars which just tell you front or back but the Honda shows you which corner or which end, with increasingly loud beeps. 

The prestige trim shows you a little diagram in the corner of the rear camera or in the map when going forward. 

 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Top 5 Silly MOT Test Failures

March is a big time in the annual vehicle cycle, lots of Marques release their new versions Models and Revisions to Existing models be it a slightly altered body, new lighting array, or just a collection of tweaks and improvements. I believe this march Honda are releasing their new diesel engine too for example. This is partly fuelled by the the new Number Plate revision which will be AA18 Range. With these new models and new financial tax year means lots of new cars are bought and sold around this time which makes this MOT Season, now is the time to prepare.

There very many reasons for a vehicle to fail its Annual MOT, I’m obviously not talking about serious safety or dangerous issues here. I’m talking about some of the very easily avoidable failures; of which there are nearly 75,000 each year. Many of these are often down one of three things (1), simple ignorance, (2), lack of basic maintenance/upkeep and of course (3), blatant stupidity. Many of these common problems can be fixed or least checked in mere minutes and take no time at all for the vehicle owner to rectify. Other problems cost a few pounds and a little time to solve in advance but could cost much more on the spot. Especially if you leave your MOT to the last minute and don’t have the time to shop around or could require a second day off work to re-test. 

Maintenance Trinity

I have bundled these together has the top trinity of common failures which aren’t really within my silly list but are easy and basic tests and shouldn’t be so common. (1), Tyre Tread Below 1.6mm, (2), Headlamps Poorly Aimed (usually too high) and (3), Brake Pads Below 1.5mm. At least 2 of these should be routinely checked, and easy to do within seconds at home. 

Tyre Wear Indicators by Bridgestone

Most tyres have Tyre Wear Indicators (TWI) in the tread which you can easily see and/or feel, I recommend this Tyre Wear Guide by Birdgestone. It shows you wear patterns, and how to find the TWI. Bottom line, if you can feel a good lip on your TWI, your legal, if its a slight/smooth lump your in advisory town, and if its level and smooth, its fail city.

Hella.com Guide

If your headlamps are illuminating the entire car in front of you, and certainly if they are illuminating the drivers cabin in front or lighting up the cars on the other side of the road, you either have High-Beam on, or they are aimed too high for your load. Your headlights should illuminate part of the curb side, and half way up the average car in front and not shine into the cabin of the car in front and not shine across into on-coming traffic. This simple guide will help you avoid a failure which could be avoided by simply turning them down using the height adjuster.

Alternatively this FREE PDF Guide to Headline Alignment may help if you want to check your alignment yourself more than height.

Brakes, well unless you know what your looking for this can be tricky, but you can often see some of your pads and feel if they are thin. If you have a quality pad they often have special metal rod inserts which once worn down to near the legal limit they start to make a squealing / screaching noise to alert you and the noise gets louder and louder the more of the inserts are exposed. A good rule off thumb If its been a lot of miles since your last pad change, its worth asking them to do a quick check before hand. 

Number 1 – Poor Hygiene and Filthy Vehicles

Almost 2,500 people was refused an MOT, because the test centre refused to even enter the vehicle. This could because of mud and dirt specially on off road vehicles, but other cases its been due to fungus and mould growth in the vehicle. Masses of fast food containers, left overs and other general rubbish. 

Spend Ten Minutes giving your car a quick clean up, doesn’t need to be Kim and Aggy but does need to be reasonable or the test centre can refuse to do it. 

Number 2 – Screen Washers and Wipers

Almost 1,700 people failed because they had no screen wash fluid in the vehicle. This is a routine maintenance task and would take a few minutes, but it will require a retest and booking more time off work. While checking your screen wash, check how effective your windscreen wiper blades are, perished, ineffective or damaged wiper blades can all lead to a failure which several thousand also failed for poor wipers. A few squirts and cleans and you’ll easily see if you need replacements, if the window isn’t clear after the wipes, replace them. 

Number 3 – Registration Plate Issues

Over 1,500 people failed due to various number plate related issues. The vast majority was dirty number plates, too dirty to easily read, so give them a quick wipe if they look cruddy. Other common issues was incorrect colour plates used (Yellow/White or Black), Illegal Fonts and Spacing.

Over 125 people turned up with a missing or no number plates at all on their vehicle, part of me thinks these people was thinking road worthy test rather than MOT but still, check your number plate is in good condition and actually there.  

Number 4 – Obstructions to Drivers View

Almost 1,000 people failed because of various things obstructing the drivers view. This can be things hanging from the rear view mirror, satnav / mobile phone suckers, stickers on the windscreen. 

When you checked your windscreen wipers, a quick look whether anything is obstructing the path where your wipers clear should indicate if its a potential problem. Its worth removing it to be sure, or asking if you are unsure. 

Number 5 – Accessibility

If your boot is full to the brim with sporting goods, shopping, rubbish or you have child seats fitted or anything else which obstructs free access to the vehicle, you could end up with an MOT Failure. 

Child Seats can be removed (to allow seat best tests) and put into the boot, most test centres are fine with this, but other stuff, leave it at home. 

Bonus Round – Lights

A quick check of your indicators, side lights, main beam, high beam, reverse lights can save you some hassle, time and money. When it comes to checking your reverse lights, your engine does NOT need to be running, so you can get in, put the car in reverse and climb out and take a look. Checking your Break Lights I tend to wait until its dark, turn off my normal lights then look how much of whatever behind me is illuminated

Its worth being a good driver and letting people you see in carparks know if you spot their lights out, you never know they may save you time and money, so return the favour. 

Any Dashboard warning lights will need sorting out before a test, you have little or no hope of passing, so don’t waste your time. 

Time and Money

While re-tests are generally free, if you have left it to the last minute, you maybe left with no car to drive as no cert = no drive. You also have to consider the time off work and the hassle of a re-test so 10 minutes of your time before hand can save you serious time and money. 

I was told 2 of my tyres was close to the legal limit, based on my driving mileage we estimated I had a few months wear. The dealership would have wanted approx £140 per corner to replace, balance and fit. A local independent or black circles or similar, would be about £170 for the pair, so considerable saving.

You can always ask the garage if they offer pre-MOT tests, which are usually a 10-15 check of the most common failure points, all of these reasons I listed here would be covered by this quick check which is often free with your MOT or Service or costs a few pounds. You can then shop around and handle some of the repairs/replacements yourself. 

Beetle Image by Gratisography

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Electric Vehicle Charging Lamp Posts Are Coming

A while ago I blogged about Electric Cars, and more specifically about Tesla and some of the charging station issues I observed personal and Tesla was already reacting. Another huge point is the problem of 45 million drivers, 30 million vehicles and the fact their are just 14,000 (currently) charging points in the UK.

Ubitricity Lamp Post Charger image by Ubitricity

Ubitricity Lamp Post Charging a Tesla

Just for giggles I thought I would do the maths. It would work out around 2,000 potential electric vehicles per single charging point in this country if every vehicle were electric. Lettts Get Reeeeeaaaady Toooo Ruuuumble, 2,000 range-anxiety fuelled drivers running their engines on sparks, all of them fighting for the only available plug socket?. Given these charge stations are for potentially slow-charge ports, which could take around 5 hours 30 to charge a Toyota Prius and around 7 hours to fully charge a Nissan Leaf. That means that even if people lined up end to end, 24/7, it would still be around 700 to 1 trying to charge at any given time (allowing for differing driving, mileage, etc) which is still hugely unacceptable.  

A company called Ubitricity is aiming to convert public lamp posts into public charging points to try and combat this problem. Each of these conversions come in at a cost of £1,000 each to convert an existing lamp post into a charge point verses £6,000 to install a new public charger. I have reached out to Ubitricity to find out if they are slow or fast charge points, and I’ll update, if and when I hear back, given I mentioned charge speed above.

Wallet Opening Time

You’ll need a few things, an Ubitricity Account, An Ubitricity Charging Cable and potentially an Ubitricity Subscription. The subscription depends on what you pay for your cable. If you pay £199 for the cable, you will have to pay £7.99 a month subscription, alternatively if you pay £299 for the cable, there is no subscription charge.

This isn’t the end of the wallet emptying, you will then be charged £1 each and every time you plug your car into the charge point, so even if you only connect for 1 minute, you’ll still be hit with £1 connection fee. Remember that subscription fee, if you pay the £7.99 a month, it then costs you £0.15p per kWh to charge your car, if you don’t pay the £7.99, it will cost you £0.19p per kWh to charge your car.

If you leave your electric vehicle plugged in for more than 24 hours you’re charged a further £1, its not clear how often this £1 is charge, but if the Tesla solution matches, you could end up in a world of hurt by morning.

At the end of each month, you will be sent an itemised bill, which breaks down your usage, and gives you the total. 

The Pound of Flesh

Ubitricity Lamp Post Charger

Ubitricity Lamp Post Charger

I thought I’d do some more maths, lets look at a standard 40kWh battery like found in a Nissan Leaf, it would cost you £1 connection fee, then assuming you had 8 hours to wait, and you paid £299 for the cable it would cost you £0.15 x 40 (+10% variance) = £7.60 to charge your Nissan Leaf. If you apply this formula to a Tesla which can have a 85kWh battery, its over £15 to charge your car.

An average Nissan Leaf will do around 80 miles per charge, they quote up to 110, but people I have spoken too, tell me it can be as low as 50 miles but usually around 80 miles. I’m going to make the assumption that the charger cable to last about 24 months before needing replacement, so I’m going use a cost of approx £12 per month for the cable just to give it a price for the calculation. I have reached out to Ubitricity to ask what, if any warranty is provided with the cable, based on mobile phone cables used regular, it may have a short life. 

I do approx 500 miles a month, lets convert that approx £0.09.5 per mile, using Ubitricity’s costing, which makes it £47,50, now add on the £12 cable cost, we have £59,50 per month in fuel bills.

The Honda Civic is a 1.8l VTEC (Euro 5), I put £50.56 in petrol to fill the tank, I get approx 325 miles, with the range showing 30-40 miles remaining, but I never let it get empty as its bad for the engine. Lets say I get on average 35mpg, which makes the average mile in the car cost £0.14p, which gives me a monthly petrol bill of £72.35. There are far more economical cars then the Civic, the Honda Jazz for example, would cost approx the same amount in petrol as the Leaf does in electricity using the councils lamp post chargers at least.

Considering the council say this is renewable electricity, its hella expensive, compared to charging at home, where on average it will cost you around £3.40 per full charge (£21.25 per 500 miles).

Charge Point Locations

Ubitricity Lamp Post Charger image by Ubitricity

Ubitricity Lamp Post Charger

According to the press release these Simple Socket chargers will be located next to pay and display parking bays. I have reached out to Ubtricity for clarification on if you will be expected to pay and display on-top of the charging tariff. In Manchester this cost is approx £3 per hour with 2 hour maximum stays in the city centre. Which means it could end up insanely expensive, more so if they are slow chargers.  

It does however say there will off-street charging points for residents who don’t have off-street parking, so I would assume regular side streets with free parking will be included. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

90% of All Car Radios Are About to Stop Working

The government is looking to permanently switch off analogue radio broadcasts, switching over to digital transmissions, specifically DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasts). This is much like the big switch over for TV’s from Analogue to Digital (Freeview). 

Car Infotainment System by Ingo Joseph

Car Infotainment System

The official statistics show that just 10% of car drivers listen to DAB, compared to 50% who listen to DAB at home, this has been interpreted to mean that 90% of cars on the road do not have DAB radio capabilities. If the government go ahead with the switching of transmissions from analogue to digital the odds are very good that you will no longer have a radio in your car. This means you’ll have to almost exclusively listen to CD/Tape/MP3 or shell out for a new stereo / head unit. The latter option won’t be available for many motorists, for example the last 3 cars I drove including the current Honda Civic and Audi A4 the head unit is built into the dashboard along with the infotainment and the head-up displays. Adding DAB is simply impossible without manufacturers stepping in to provide an upgradable central unit. Currently a replacement central unit for the Honda is around £2,000, you can only imagine how much a DAB Upgrade would cost. 

Matt Hancock who is the governments Minister of State for Digital, is urging manufacturers to make DAB the standard for ALL new cars, but kind of neglects the 27,000,000 (27 MILLION) motorists who don’t have digital.  

Traffic Announcements

I have tried to find some information on TA/TIM/TP, but its not clear if they will switched off along with the analogue transmissions. These work by embedding a small amount of digital data within the FM frequency range, which would indicate that when the FM Transmissions are retired Traffic Announcements along with TIM/AP, will all stop working. 

Its also not clear if all frequencies FM/AM/MW/LW will all be switched all at the same time, or slowly phased out or the exact plan of action. I suspect more will come out over the coming year, if TV is anything to go buy it took about 2-3 yrs for it come to fruition. Given cars are anticipated to be replaced every 3-5 years, I would guess a similar time frame would be suggested.  

It has been suggested this plan could be put in action as soon as next year, depending on how quickly the government push ahead. I think a notification would come in the next year then a transition period, so I think 2020-2022 are most likely deadline. 

Future Protection

Pure Highway Dab Radio Kit

Pure Highway Dab Radio Kit

The take home here is that, if you’re looking for a new or nearly new or pre-owned, I would seriously factor in, if the infotainment system is digital incorporating DAB Radio.

The good news is many modern systems are using mobile data and mobile wireless (MiFi) which means they download traffic data, mapping and even stream audio from the internet. 

There is also the option of using a DAB Converter Kit (right), which plug in via AUX, Bluetooth or even Local FM Transmission. This works in the same way that Handsfree Converters work. A little research showed that there are Hands Free Phone DAB Radio kits, Speed Camera DAB Radio Kits and various other multi-function DAB Radio Conversion Kits. Maybe now is the time to go Hands Free Phone, iPod Connectivity, Spotify and DAB in one fell swoop, this Alpine DAB Kit will fit the bill. 

Alpine EZI-DAB Hands Free, Spotify, DAB Radio.

AutoDAB Hands Free, Digital Radio.

Cootway DAB, SD Card Player, Bluetooth Hands Free.

Yinuo 5-in-1, DAB Radio, SD Card Player, Bluetooth Hands Free, Fast Charger, FM Transmitter.

 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Main Dealer Car Satisfaction Scores

I posted a while ago the results of the AutoData most serviced cars in the country survey, which I interpreted to mean cars worth paying out to keep solid. Old bangers an wrecks don’t get serviced they get run into the ground. A perfect example of this is in this months Car Mechanic magazine, where a car has never been serviced nor an oil change, just top ups until the conrod has smashed through the engine casing, terminal death. 

Honda Civic mk10 Blue

Honda Civic mk10 Blue by Honda

This dataset is collected from 8,300 people from all over the country and it was carried out by What Car? Magazine. All of people surveyed use a main or franchised car dealer (i.e. Honda, Toyota, Lexus, Vauxhall) to service and maintain their motor vehicles. In this survey the people were asked about the Staff (Polite, Attentive, Helpful), Quality of Workmanship and Skill of Mechanics, and of course about how they felt regards to Value for Money provided by said dealer. These 3 Major Points giving each franchise an overall percentage score of how satisfied the car owners are with the servicing of their car by their cars main dealer.

Lets be honest for a minute no one is going to be surprised when the top of the chart is basically an advert for the Land of the Rising Sun’s car making ability (Japan). 

What is a shocker is that the more expensive marques where you expect a better service and a higher standard, only the British Jaguar made the top 10. Aston Martin only just scrape in the top 15, all the others are half way down the table, Merc and Porsche barely avoid the bottom of the barrel which is a surprise. 

The Top 10 Most Satisfying Dealers

One of the more interesting facts which this survey carried out by What Car magazine revealed is, that the older the car the less attentive and satisfied customers are. However the top few manufacturers, especially Honda which were singled out provide a high standard of workmanship and value throughout the lives of the car regardless of the age of the vehicle. 

  • Honda – 91.2%
  • MG – 90.9%
  • Lexus – 90.2%
  • Hyundai – 89.9%
  • Dacia – 89.5%
  • Ssangyong – 89.4%
  • Subaru 89.3%
  • Kia – 88.9%
  • Jaguar – 88.8%
  • Toyota – 88.8%

The Full List

The full list of 34 Dealers is below. 

  1. Honda – 91.2%
  2. MG – 90.9%
  3. Lexus – 90.2%
  4. Hyundai – 89.9%
  5. Dacia – 89.5%
  6. Ssangyong – 89.4%
  7. Subaru 89.3%
  8. Kia – 88.9%
  9. Jaguar – 88.8%
  10. Toyota – 88.8%
  11. Mitsubishi – 88.5%
  12. Skoda – 88.4%
  13. Mini – 87.3%
  14. Susuki – 87.2%
  15. Aston Martin – 87.2%
  16. Renault 86.6%
  17. Volvo 86.6%
  18. BMW – 86.2%
  19. Ford 86.0%
  20. Seat – 85.5%
  21. Mazda – 85.5%
  22. Fiat – 85.2%
  23. Peugeot 85.1%
  24. Nissan – 85.0%
  25. Audi – 85.0%
  26. Vauxhall – 84.8%
  27. Land Rover – 84.7%
  28. Volkswagen – 84.7%
  29. Mercedes-Benz 84.4%
  30. Alfa Romeo – 83.0%
  31. Porsche – 82.9%
  32. Citroen – 82.1%
  33. Smart – 81.8%
  34. Jeep 75.6%

 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

AutoData Reports the Top 10 Serviced Cars

AutoData has released its annual Top 10 Serviced Cars of 2016 a few months back but I’m still working through my backlog. This really important information, it puts slant on used car buying and packs a punch. AutoData has access to about 67% of the auto workshops in the UK, and all which are using AutoData’s online services, so its a fairly comprehensive data set on the scale of things.

One of the things which screams good car, isn’t really about how many millions have been sold, how many you see on the road, or how long its been in production. Its when you see plenty of the on the road beyond 6 yrs old, when the warranty’s have run out AND they are worth spending on by having services and upkeep. No one regularly services a banger, its good money after bad.

I would say this dataset is bordering on definitive, the only larger dataset is the governments log of all registered cars, and perhaps the MOT log. I don’t believe these 2 potentially larger datasets would be more helpful. You MUST have an MOT, and it MUST be registered, but neither says its a good, reliable car or well looked after vehicle. However a voluntary willingness to spend, to service and maintain says the car is worth the effort and probably well looked after, hence being a better dataset for your car buying arsenal.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is, when there are very few cars left on the road of a hugely popular (in its time) car, it usually means total nightmare or many faults. Without further ado, here is the list and later on in this post I’ll point out some examples of popular cars gone so very wrong.

Autodata Top 10 Most Serviced 2016
Position (2015 Pos) Make Model Year
#1 – (1) Ford Focus (2004-on)
#2 – (6) Vauxhall Astra H / MK5 (2004-on)
#3 – (4) Peugeot 206 (1998-on)
#4 (New) Ford Transit (2006-on)
#5 (New) Vauxhall Corsa D / MK4 (2006-on)
#6 (New) Volkswagen Transporter T5 (2003-on)
#7 – (2) Volkswagen Golf V / MK5 (2003-on)
#8 (New) Peugeot 307 (2001-on)
#9 – (3) BMW 3-Series (2005-on)
#10 – (5) Renault Clio II / MK2 (1998-on)

Once you remove Working vehicles and the evergreen BMW, you’re left essentially with half a dozen of the most popular cars in country, Focus, Astra H, 206, Corsa D, Golf V,  Clio II and 307 (larger class), that’s a really rock solid selection to find a used car from. Its also includes 3 of the cars my own extensive research lead me to (Focus 2006-2008, Astra 2007-2010 and Golf 2007-2009). 

It would have been nice if they had differentiated between iterations of Focus, 206 and others so you could get an idea of the mk or series, much like with the Astra mk H, Golf mk V, but beggars can’t be choosers.

My local independent garage swears blue by the 2008-2010 era Ford Focus, this is to the extent that he talked me out of buying a Hyundai i20 off him, and he didn’t even have a Focus to sell me. It would be interesting to see raw numbers like Ford Focus, total number, number of each year, number of each engine, but the dataset would be huge, useful as you could rule out problem engines, problem boxes etc but so very huge.

Previous Year Drop Outs

I thought it maybe interesting to include 2015’s Top 10 Drop Outs. I suspect in the Top 20 you would find some of the following, the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Honda Jazz, Honda Civic, Audi A4, Audi A3, Ford Mondeo, Merc A-Class, Nissan Qashqai, and maybe a Citroen C4 in there. A few of these dropped out of the top 10 since 2015, I didn’t think the Passat were that popular, I’m surprised the Fiesta Dropped out, its always hugely popular. 

AutoData Top 10 Most Serviced 2015
Position Make Model Year/MK
#7 Volkswagen Passat  
#8 Ford Fiesta  
#9 Ford Mondeo  
#10 Audi A4  

I am somewhat surprised none of the Japanese, Korean or other Eastern Marques made any sort of entry, I though the Kia C’eed, Honda Jazz, Honda Civic or Hyundai i20 would have made the list. Perhaps they don’t use AutoData at the marques dealerships.

As someone in the process of buying a(nother) car, I have been searching long and hard, and have paid the price for some mistakes, and this data tallys’ quite well with my own research so I’m sharing the data with you. Of course don’t take this as written in stone, but if you’re looking for a car in this class (small-medium car) then this data should hit the nail and give you a solid starting point. 

When Popular Cars Go Bad

Scrapyard Cars

Scrapyard Cars

A few examples I have experienced first hand are like the early model Fiat Punto, they were like buses, two at a time everywhere you looked, the Canary Yellow were so popular, and it was horrid. Now you rarely ever see them on the road due to the diabolical electrical problems, they used to go up the road like a damn disco. The early Ford Escorts pretty much fell apart with rust, I remember the boot floor and rear wheel arch turning to thermite ingredients, the Capri were almost as bad. 

The Aygo/C1/107, the early versions at least had a transmission made out of rubber bands, which literally died for a giggle. I’m not sure about the current models. I once saw a garage were buying them with a failed tranny for scrap, then fitting the uprated 190mm gearbox from the Toyota Yaris which isn’t made of rubber bands and reselling them as rock solid runner.

The Mercedes A-Class, the old 2002-ish Auto, the Gearbox ECU were a known fault. Due to the whacky way its set out you have to lift the whole engine out of the vehicle to get to the transmission. This means its silly expensive not only for the parts being a Merc but also in labour costs. While on gearboxes the more recent M32 Gearbox in lots of current cars means they are often resold at the first sign of slipping, then they are reconditioned by garages and sold out again.

Its always worth checking into known faults, check ebay and breakers to see how many of your car are for sale for parts or repairs, and figure just how bad the fault it. This is also a good indicator of parts availability too. 

Future Updates

I have fired off an email to AutoData to see if they will A, reply to a small time blogger like myself and B, provide me with the top 20 for a few years so I can do a more inclusive plotting. I will ask for 3 to 5 yrs so I can build a better image, I’m also hoping they will give me actual numbers so I can attempt to place them in an all time top 10, least the ones with more than 1 year beyond top 20.

I’m not sure they will already have that data or even if they will provide it for free even if they do.

I will of course report back with any replies I get. 

Beetle Mechanic Photo by Gratisography, Scrapyard by Emmet.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

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