Sunday – 7-Year Itch


I wonder what I’ll be doing in seven years, or 100,000 miles time? I’m not entirely sure how manufacturers work out a warranty period but Kia and parent company Hyundai offer such a lengthy deal on all their new cars.

It’s easier for me to imagine seven years than 100,000 miles. I have friends who clock up 30,000 miles a year but despite a love of interesting vehicles, the thought of sitting in a driver’s seat for that long every 12 months is bum-achingly painful.

It would take me six years to hit the ton, therefore Kia must regard me as almost average when it comes to annual miles. So perhaps this is a good moment to point out that the Sportage wouldn’t be my first choice of companion.

I love the way it looks and funky colour but the ride is rather bumpy. The Kia is not blessed with refinement or strong handling either. I imagine the Sportage is due a mid-life re-vamp in 2015. I say leave the styling as it is and concentrate on the suspension…

Saturday – Cold Comfort


Jeremy The ‘lost in space’ mobile phone drama continued today as O2 tried everything in their power to make giving me a replacement as difficult as possible. Thank you, O2.

I won’t bore you with the details but it has been trying! I had to have a final search through the Discovery and only found the optional toolbox in the centre armrest this time. Worth every penny in the hot spell I’d say.

While the Land Rover has a heated front screen for fast demisting, I have one complaint with the ventilation system. It is almost impossible to turn the fan down to a comfortable level. The temperature is fine – it’s just that even on the lowest setting, it blows very hard.

Despite a week of fiddling, I can’t say that either Jessica or I have got to the bottom of it. And why when we have the temperature turned up high does it still blow icy cold air of out the vents?

Everything else on the Discovery is straightforward and intuitive.  The air con is not.

Wednesday – What’s In Your Glovebox?


Jeremy It’s a little known fact that Jessica has an issue with car manuals. Being a fashionista, it’s not the way they look, the fabric manufacturers use on the cover or the feel of the material, it’s more about why we have car manuals in the first place.

Flicking through the RXH manual together this morning, I could feel the argument about to surface again. She believes that all instructions should simply be available online – and that we should tap in via our smartphones or laptops.

This would not only save a small forest of trees (have you seen the size of car manuals these days?) but free up space in the glovebox. It would also provide dedicated manuals for each model. For example, the RXH manual is really just the same as a standard 508 estate handbook and therefore, extra complicated. It’s the same for most cars these days. You very rarely get a manual that is specific to your car.

So, while I think part of the joy of owning a new car is sitting in the driver’s seat and digesting endless pages of dashboard trivia, her argument does have some weight, provided you own a smartphone of course.

I have to agree with her that the RXH manual isn’t the easiest to navigate. I’ve certainly struggled with the DAB radio instructions, operating the tailgate and adjustment to the head up display screen. But imagine life without car manuals – what else would a man do on a Sunday morning…?

Monday – Split Decision


Jeremy Monday evening and it feels like the weather is about to break over the Cotswolds. In fact, I’m sure I could hear the distant rumble of thunder as I climbed out of the RXH earlier, or could it have been from the back seat…?

The 508 is proving a mixed back in terms of build quality. While the seats are wrapped in sumptuous leather, there is  every type of electronic gadget – from auto-dip headlights to massaging driver’s seat – the squeaky leather rear seat has now been joined by a rattle, which seems to be originating from under the floor of the boot where the battery packs are located. This is starting to annoy me and it would definitely be back to the dealership if I had spent £35,000+ on a luxurious, 4×4 estate.

At least I have got the hang of the DAB radio now and the sat nav is behaving beautifully. The automatic rear boot door opens from the keyfob but I can’t get it to close using the same button!

So, I’m still not 100 per cent over whether I like the RXH or not. It’s all minor niggly stuff but to compete with the Audi allroad or a Volvo V70, I think it just needs to up its game a bit.




Thursday – Super-Safe Hatch


Jeremy Our V40 is going to require some serious understanding if we are going to get the maximum out of it over the next seven days. Why? Well, underneath that long, lean profile is a car packed with the very latest in safety equipment.

I’ve just spent half an hour in the car swotting up on everything – and I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface. However, the key feature I can’t wait to try is Park Assist Pilot, which will parallel park the car for me without any need to touch the steering wheel! I’m sure every car will have this feature in the future but I still can’t believe it will park better, or more safely than me.

One standard feature on V40 I hope I don’t get to try is the under bonnet pedestrian airbag. As part of the Driver Support Pack, there’s also full-speed collision warning, which alerts the driver to a potential impact,  plus blind spot monitoring, road sign information and much more!

This has to be the safest car I’ve ever driven. I’m sure it’s going to shout something nasty if I spill my coffee or listen to crap music on the radio. It’s that sophisticated I’m just wondering where the next warning signal is going to come from…