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About sayerbloke

  • Rank
    Porsche Carrera 4S
  • Birthday 05/24/1982

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  • Location
    Norwich, Norfolk
  • Car Make
    57 plate Honda Accord
  1. I pick up my new (to me) car tomorrow...

    I set up some basic criteria in Autotrader to see what sort of cars were out there and then did the same in Drive24 (Which has some absolutely fantastic filters available!). I did the same thing earlier in the year and there was quite a bit more variety around at the time. Having found things that met the basic requirements, I could start paring it down in other ways. I eliminated anything that was too ugly to my eyes, which of course had to be done manually because neither site has a filter set up to do so . Next to go was anything I deemed too slow, which in this instance I decided should mean anything taking more than about 10 seconds to do 0-60mph. Perhaps that shouldn't have been quite such a priority but I'm not going to apologise for that (And I feel I'm perhaps in sympathetic company!). Also, I had a 1.2i loan car a couple of years back and for my journeys and driving style, it was no more economical than my 2.2i Astra coupe. Something capable of about mid 30s MPG would be fine and anything over that would be a bonus. Same approach with tax and insurance; ideally costing no more than the Astra and a bonus if it's less. After that I had a list of cars I decided I'd like to go see first, with a few more in reserve if they didn't work out. Mostly it was Vauxhalls in the first wave but I decided to start with something that wasn't. I figured I'd either be able to knock it off the list pretty quickly or, if it turned out to be any good, that I'd be comparing it to cars I already knew a fair bit about anyway and would hold few surprises. (Very) long story short, I took it for a test drive and decided, yeah, why not, something different will be a nice change! . Mini review and pictures to follow later, of course, but I will tell you now what it is. Rather unexpectedly, but later on this morning, I'll be picking up the keys to a... '57 plate Honda Accord.
  2. I pick up my new (to me) car tomorrow...

    Nothing quite that interesting, I'm afraid! The missus said she didn't mind what I went for, providing it had 4 doors. That was a sensible enough suggestion, given the boy is now big enough to be in the next stage of car seat and whilst swinging one of the baby seats into the back of a coupe was one thing, having to climb into the back of one each time to get him in/out would be rather more of a trial! We'll likely still be using the Signum as the main family car so it wouldn't be a daily occurrence, but it was something I was happy enough to go along with. I went into it with a relatively open-mind but still expecting there was a reasonable chance I'd be getting one of the last Vectras. I was OK with that, because whilst the first generation Vectra was generally regarded as one of the worst cars of its time, they got it right the second time round. This will be a long post if put everything in here, so I'll send this one and put the rest in a second post which I'll hopefully have done in a few minutes... .
  3. After nearly 6 years with the Astra Coupe, I'll be picking up a new car tomorrow. It's not a Vauxhall (or any other GM product), which would come as a surprise to anyone that's known my car choices in the past. Vauxhalls were certainly on the shortlist but a dealer near here had something else which seemed a decent enough car at a reasonable price... so I took it for a test drive, decided I liked it and, so, tomorrow I become the owner of a... Details to follow tomorrow! .
  4. '51' plate Astra coupe 2.2i owners review

    Closing thoughts; If you own an Astra coupe, don't drive it through a "puddle" that's about quarter of a mile long and a foot deep in places... It won't thank you for it.
  5. Cars you expected to be awful but were actually OK...

    I suppose the most obvious choice would be the Ford Transit Connect. I was expecting it to be awful because it was replacing the Ford Courier vans at work... and they were waaay beyond awful. They contained in one vehicle everything that can be wrong with a car; they were dangerously slow (not a word I'm using lightly either), none of the controls felt like they were actually connected to anything, VERY LOUD diesel drone, no-where in the cabin to store anything and not that big in the cargo area either, extremely uncomfortable on any journey over 10 minutes (and we would regularly need to drive 100+ miles away in them), and those these ones weren't of concern to me, they were also unreliable, expensive to maintain and got terrible fuel economy. They could not have been any worse... therefore it was a surprise when the Connects we replaced them with actually turned out to be pretty reasonable on all fronts.
  6. So what's the best car you've ever owned?

    I suppose a non-petrolhead would give it to the second car I owned; a '93 Vx Astra 1.4i LS. I had it for 2 years and it was always totally dependable, did everything reasonably well and cost almost nothing to run. But I can't really give this reward to anything other than the BMW. Yes, I spent an absolute fortune on maintenance, but of the cars I've owned, it was the best looking, the best performing (in every sense of the word), probably the most comfortable and certainly the car I miss more often than other cars. I think I worked out at the time that something like a third of all the miles I did over the 3 years of owning it were going to/from things like car forum meets or other "non-essential" type trips. Not bad for a car that was my only car at the time. So, that'd be my answer. 1995 BMW 328i coupe.
  7. The new car for the wife...

    Late last year we became a 2 car family when we bought my wife a car. I’ve driven it a few times so here’s a quick review What is it? It’s a ’57 plate Vauxhall Signum 1.9 CDTi Elite, with an automatic gearbox, FSH and 80k miles on the clock. First thoughts? The Signum never sold well when it was new (Mostly because it always looked overpriced alongside the Vectra estate) but secondhand values are much more sensible and you get a lot of toys for your money. To my eyes it looks better than the Vectra estate, albeit at the expense of some practicality due to the sloping rear tail gate, but the boot is a decent size and everyone gets plenty of legroom. We’ve also found it’s easier to get a baby carseat in to it than it is into my Astra coupe You mentioned toys? I did indeed. I think all Signums came well equipped and the Elite was top of the tree. Our car has the leather interior, SatNav, heated front seats, dual zone climate control, Auto-sensing lights (and wipers, I think), CD/MP3 stereo, along with the usual host of things like cruise control and electric windows and mirrors, etc. There are probably other things too, given the number of buttons and functions on the central display but I’ve not had much time to play with those. The only thing it doesn’t have that you might expect it to is parking sensors. Anyway, certainly the best equipped car I’ve ever owned What’s it like to drive? It’s good. Visibility is reasonable all round though everything is probably further away than it seems so far, particularly out of the rear window. The seats are comfortable and I’m sure would remain so over a long drive. I still not keen on automatic gearboxes, but the one in this is smooth enough and not too dim-witted. The ride is well judged; not crashing over potholes without feeling too “floaty”. The steering weights up as the speed increases but is always a bit too light and lacking in feel. That seems a common complaint of electric power steering and isn’t a major drawback in a car like this. On the move, everything feels solid… Good car. Decent engine/exhaust noise? Diesel. 4 cylinder. Automatic. Let’s move on… Running costs? It may be a diesel, but it’s a large car with an automatic gearbox. On the first tank of fuel we managed about 40mpg. Given we were still learning the car, it was all cold weather and mostly short journeys, that’s not too bad. It’s better than my car, so we save money on fuel whenever we take it. Tax is also less than my car and, whilst I hope it shouldn’t need much in terms of maintenance costs any time soon, it’s a Vauxhall so parts are cheap enough and easy to come by. Verdict? We’re both happy with it
  8. '51' plate Astra coupe 2.2i owners review

    Thanks, everyone
  9. '51' plate Astra coupe 2.2i owners review

    And a picture from last time I gave it a wash... quite some time ago
  10. '51' plate Astra coupe 2.2i owners review

    Hello. I still have it It's been five and a half years now, far longer than any other car I've owned (the previous record being the three years, three months that I had the BMW). The Astra has now done 78k miles, about 40k of them with me at the wheel. That's more than twice as many miles as all my previous cars combined. Also it's by far the highest percentage of miles I've ever added to a car’s total. Looking back, I'd say my original review(s) still stand. Whilst it has no real outstanding qualities, it does most things well, without having any real downsides. Of course, I could be saying much the same if I'd bought something more sensible and humdrum like a Toyota Yaris, but the Astra has quite a bit more going for it than that. That’s a fair point. Perhaps rather belatedly, I’ll try and redress things somewhat with my thoughts on the car these days. I still really like the way it looks, certainly preferable to me to a more normal hatchback or family saloon. It doesn't look cutting edge and modern but it's aged quite well, I'd say. Much the same could be said of the interior and it still only has the one intermittent interior rattle, which isn't bad for a 13 year old Vauxhall. With an official 0-60 time of around 8 seconds the performance is brisk rather than outright quick, but it does the job. It corners reasonably well, the gear shift still feels pretty good and it’s nice enough to drive whether you’re just pottering around, stuck in slow traffic or when pushing on. The ride never gets on the wrong side of uncomfortable, it’s pretty much spot on for that car. Fuel economy on the journeys I do these days tends to be mid 30s, which I'm content with, especially as a modern 1.2 litre courtesy car I had a couple of years back whilst the Astra was being repaired after being hit by an uninsured driver only managed about 2mpg extra. Not needed all that much spent on maintenance to date, either. So, all of this is, again, not amazing, but good. In my first review I said “It was a car I could buy with my head, but the looks and performance are just interesting enough to keep me smiling when I see or drive it.”. I’d say I still feel that way, which has to be a good thing. My life has changed a lot over the last five years. I got engaged and then got married. I moved house for the first time, originally renting and then got a mortgage on it. I changed my job, indeed my whole career, after leaving the place I'd been at for over ten years, my entire working life. Most recently, last summer my wife gave birth to our baby boy. As I said, a lot of change... But the Astra has been there throughout and has never put a foot wrong. I said when I got it that I wanted something "low worry" for a while; that cars were not the priority they once were but that I couldn't do completely normal and anonymous. It didn't have to be special in any way, so long as I liked it. It's been the ideal companion
  11. Someone I know on Facebook was looking for opinions about people carriers. Paraphrasing slightly, but the status read as "If I bought a people carrier, I would buy a _____ because _____". I considered how to answer for a couple of seconds but there was, of course, only one answer...
  12. Post a pic of your car

    Yeah . It's coming up on 4 and a half years... which is certainly much longer than I'd normally keep a car. In that time, I've also covered nearly twice as much distance as all my previous cars combined! My priorities were changing at the time that I bought it [a path which I've continued down] and it has always basically ticked all the boxes. I still think it looks good and it's just about brisk enough to be interesting. It's been totally reliable, maintenance costs have been little more than an annual service and I get reasonable MPG out of it. Actually, after I had a hire car for a couple of weeks while mine was off the road being repaired after I was hit by an uninsured driver, I found I only got 1 MPG more out of a 1.2i Corsa, lol. Within a couple of weeks it'll hit 70k miles, nearly half of those with me. I suspect I won't have it for another 4 years/30k miles, but for the moment I'm happy with it .
  13. Post a pic of your car

    Took advantage of a rare occasion when the car is clean these days to grab a photo...
  14. Nope. As a percentage of owners, it seems the hot-hatch brigade are guilty of other things, but not speeding. Interesting enough piece, even if there is some conflict between the text and the box of data at the bottom. Meaningless, but kinda interesting. Cars most likely to speed revealed - Yahoo! Cars
  15. As you guessed, someone else whose not emigrating to Canada, lol.