Author Archives: kcautotrader

Big brother’s little car

Toyota IQ surveillance car

Toyota IQ surveillance car

Drivers in Plymouth are being watched by a new mobile spy camera.

The Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership is using a Toyota IQ fitted with a telescopic camera system to look for drivers committing traffic offences such as jumping red lights and talking on the phone while driving. Continue reading

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Filed under Speed Cameras, Topics, Toyota

Have you been affected by the snow?

Drivers struggle in the snow in Cheshire

Drivers struggle in the snow in Cheshire

Heavy snow fall and ice formation across much of Britain has made driving conditions treacherous in some areas and impossible in others.

And with more snow and sleet hitting the south of the country this evening it’s only going to get worse.

Has your driving been affected by the bad weather?

Auto Trader offers advice on how to drive in winter.

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Filed under Driving, Topics

What car gifts do you want this year?

Hoping to find a sat nav in your stocking?

Hoping to find a sat nav in your stocking?

Christmas is just over a week away and there’s lots of other festive celebrations going on.

So what are the must-have gifts for drivers in 2009? Continue reading

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Filed under Driving, Topics

Chevrolet Spark drives us bananas

Chevrolet tried an imaginative method of drawing our attention to the virtues of their new Spark while we were on the launch last week.

Me and co-driver Tom Webster tackled their challenge to see how quickly we could pack several crates of bananas in the boot, secure three monkeys on the back bench, get in the front and close the doors.

The record time of the day was 34 seconds – we were a full ten seconds off the best time. Watch the video above to see how we got on (apologies for the poor quality, it was filmed on a phone). Continue reading

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Filed under Chevrolet

Is the Polo a worthy Car of the Year winner?

Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo has beaten the Toyota IQ and five other rivals to be crowned European Car of the Year 2010.

Which car do you think deserves the award? Cast your vote and leave a comment below.

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Filed under Mercedes, Skoda, Toyota, Vauxhall, Volkswagon

Changes to Auto Trader car search and menus

The revised Auto Trader search box and menus

The revised Auto Trader search box and menus

We’ve made a series of changes to the new Auto Trader website today in response to the large amount of feedback we’ve had in the past few months.

Here’s a quick guide to how the site has changed. Continue reading

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Filed under Auto Trader

BMW 5 Series design splits opinion

Six generations of the BMW 5 Series

Six generations of the BMW 5 Series (click to enlarge)

A new BMW 5 Series has been unveiled, leading to a predictable argument among the Auto Trader editorial staff today about whether its conservative new design is an improvement over its divisive predecessor.

The sixth-generation 5 Series harks back to the plainer look of past BMWs. For some BMW devotees this will be a welcome change after the Chris Bangle-designed E60/E61 model.

But not me. I was a big fan of the last BMW’s looks and although I can’t say I dislike the new model, it is rather staid compared to the last car. Continue reading

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Filed under BMW

Have you been affected by the Cumbria floods?

Severe floods have hit Cumbria

Severe floods have hit Cumbria

Towns in Cumbria have been hit by severe flooding which have left hundreds stranded.

Drivers have been told not to take to the roads unless it is absolutely essential.

See the Auto Trader website for advice on what to do if you find yourself having to drive on a flooded road.

Are you in one of the areas affected by flooding? Have you had to drive in the flood waters? Leave a comment below and upload pictures and video using our drop.io.

Keith Collantine, expert guide editor

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Filed under Driving, Topics

No manual gearbox for Ferrari 458 – but will anyone miss it?

Ferrari 458 Italia interior

Ferrari 458 Italia interior

It’s two decades since Ferrari first introduced a paddle-shift semi-automatic gearbox on its F1 car – the 640 raced by Nigel Mansell in 1989.

Now Ferrari has phased out manual gearboxes entirely in the 458 Italia – its replacement for the F430. Has the onward march of technology needlessly sacrificed the joy of swapping cogs with your own hands and feet?

In a word, no. Continue reading

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Filed under Ferrari

BMW 5 Series GT: Another new niche

BMW 5 Series GT

BMW 5 Series GT

What to make of the BMW 5 Series GT? The latest big car in BMW’s range is pitched somewhere between the 5 Series and X5, yet is based on the 7 Series.

Would you buy one – or is this just another sub-niche too far? Continue reading

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Filed under BMW