Give Your Car a Winter Health Check

The most challenging season of all is winter. Read on for our Winter Maintenance Tips.

Windscreen 

More than likely you will wake up to ice on your windscreen during the winter months. Do not be tempted to use a quick fix (jug of hot water) as this may crack your windscreen or worse.

Give yourself plenty of time, set aside 10-15 minutes extra in morning so you can fully de-ice and de-mist your vehicle. Stock up on de-icer and make sure you have a windscreen scrapper at all times, your car can freeze over quicker than you think in low temperatures.

Ensure you have full visibility before setting off, being safe is more important than being on time and causing an accident due to poor vision. Don’t forget to top your screen wash up regularly and check your wipers for damages.

Oil Levels 

Check your oil levels weekly, making sure the oil levels are between the maximum and minimum points at all times. This will help ensure no damage or wear is being caused to your engine from friction and heat.

Whilst checking the oil level also check your other fluids; screen wash, coolant etc.

Battery Levels 

The AA reported attending to an average of 1,150 breakdowns every hour in winter last year, with flat batteries being the most common reason for breakdown assistance.

The use of heaters, headlights, interior lights and other electrical components over time will cause strain on the battery itself. Be sure to switch off interior lights and headlights when they are not needed and make sure all lights are off when leaving the vehicle. After de-misting  the interior, turn heaters off to also help maintain the batteries life.

Tyres 

As the road conditions change in winter and across the seasons in the UK your vehicles tyres are increasing important to your safety. The AA recommends motorists have no less than 2mm of tyre tread all year round and preferably a minimum of 3mm in the winter.

If you are unsure of your tyre treads you can check them yourself or visit your nearest garage who may check them for you. It is also important to keep an eye on your tyre pressures and maintain the recommended PSI stated in your handbook. Blog divider

Review: SEAT Leon

Make and Model:

SEAT Leon SE Dynamic Technology

Engine Size:

1.6 TDI 110PS

Overview:

Carrying out 70mpg, 103 g/km C02 with a maximum speed of 121mph reaching 0-62mph in 10.5seconds, the Leon was perfect for commuting. The centralised 6.5” LCD display with added features such as DAB radio, voice recognition, full mobile mirroring and Bluetooth technology all add to the driver focused experience.

First Impressions – Exterior:

The Leon was Alor Blue in Metallic, this colour really had the WOW factor and a lot of passersby thought so too as we had lots of compliments. The streamlined look with the striking light design is set off with the powerful looking grill and alloy wheels.

The overall exterior look is very impressive.

First Impressions – Interior:

The detail stitching really did make the inside feel luxurious and unique. The dashboard is neat and tidy and provides good visibility with all the controls in good reach and easy to use. Having the centre console slide forward and fit the driver is an extra touch you will really notice when inside the Leon. Having the volume and radio controls on steering wheel was a great novelty.

Performance:

You can really notice the investment SEAT have put into the Leon with its safety features, having hill start assist is a great and helpful addition. Also, the tiredness recognitions system detects signs of drowsiness and the use of video cameras to aid with lane assist is exceptional. Overall the car handles well, accelerates well and is easy to drive. The benefit of the Start/Stop system makes the vehicle great for city driving.

Practicality:

Overall great family sized car, with adequate leg room in both front and back with reasonable boot space. The ease and efficiency of the Navigation system makes everything hassle-free and enjoyable.

Rivals:

Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, VW Golf

Overall Thoughts:

Great exterior, lovely to drive and inviting interior. The leather steering wheel is a good standard feature and it is fitted out with all the interactive mod cons for volume, radio and phone all adding to the driver focused designed making it extremely convenient and easy to use.

Score (out of 10): 

500x review score

Review: Jeep Renegade

Make and Model:

Jeep Renegade Limited

Engine Size:

1.6 Diesel

Overview:

The Renegade can reach 0-60mph in 8-10 seconds, CO2 emissions of 115g/km and can achieve 64mpg. The Jeep is great to drive and its modern appearance is striking.

First Impressions – Exterior:

The overall look is more masculine with its bulky shape and lines but the colourful modern interior brings a sense of individuality which is unique.

First Impressions – Interior:

The Bark Brown/Sky Grey leather with Anodized Orange Bezel accents and stitching took awhile to get used to, but the contrasting colours where quirky and fun and made the interior of the Renegade unique.

The cockpit was centred around the driver, making for a pleasurable and comfortable drive. Everything was in easy reach and perfectly placed to be visible to the driver yet they could remain focused on the road. The U-Connect system and the DAB radio worked really well. However, you had to press the main navigations buttons 2-3 times for it to recognise you where changing from NAV to Radio to Phone etc.

The additional heated seats, heated steering wheel and electronic lumber support controls where just what you needed when traveling a long journey in the winter. It is obvious they have thought all about the driver experience and tried to implement as much as they can to make it a comfortable ride for both driver and passenger.

Performance:

The suspension was rather stiff and you could feel every bump and hole on the country lanes, but the acceleration and the smoothness when on the average road was really noticeable.

Practicality:

The interior is very generous with leg and head space in both the front and back. Also the boot capacity and extra hidden storage is excellent.

Rivals:

Nissan Qashqai, Mazda CX-3/5 and Honda HR-V

Overall Thoughts:

Overall the Renegade is comfortable to drive, especially on long journeys. Great handling on both main roads and country lanes. Fantastic driver experience with all the gadgets and extras provided in this model.

Score (out of 10): 

500x review scoreBlog divider

Review: Kia Sportage

Make and Model:

Kia Sportage 4 CRD1

Engine Size:

2.0 CRD1 6 speed

Overview:

The Kia Sportage is a lot of car for your money. It is large inside and out, stylish and comfortable. At times it can feel slightly ‘boxy’ but it makes up for that by offering generous amount of space, gadgets and nice features.

First Impressions – Exterior:

The outside design is quite typical of a modern SUV / Crossover – but a lot larger. It has a pleasant, aesthetically pleasing shape and to keep the vehicle somewhat masculine and not too curvy, when viewed from the front is slightly square.

It is also relatively high and the average person will undoubtedly have to step up and into the car, this adds to the spacious feel.

First Impressions – Interior:

The interior was well executed, with all of the controls within easy reach.

It was impressively well-equipped with technology, the amount of information it provided was rather overwhelming but that is down to personal preference.

Both the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat had electronic adjusters and another charming feature, both seats were heated. The seats themselves are really comfortable and have adjustable lumber support – It really did feel like you were driving from an armchair.

The built in Sat Nav was simple to use and extremely helpful for example it noticed the fuel was low and asked if I wanted to go to the nearest garage – very handy!

It also had a DAB radio and media player which supplied excellent sound all around the vehicle. All of these operations were accessed by an 8” touch screen which sometimes needed to be pressed twice to get recognition but the overall experience and the ease of use made it an impeccable gadget to have.

The roof was full length glass, with tilt and slide open, this let in a great deal of light and air and added to the feel of there being ample room inside. The boot also had major advantages, it was wide as well as tall so perfect for family trips or lots of luggage.

Performance:

The car is deceiving but in a good way, it looks heavy to manoeuvre due to its size but is actually surprising light to drive, which makes a change to other SUV type vehicles. The drive felt positive and overall the vehicle was very responsive to different road conditions.

Practicality:

The car is best suited for those with large families or people with a requirement for lots of interior room.

Due to its sheer size, it makes narrow parking (even with the reversing camera) quite a challenge. However, the driving position is noticeably high above other vehicles so all round vision is very good.

Rivals:

Nissan Quashqai, SEAT Ateca, Renault Kadjar and Hyundai Tucson

Overall Thoughts:

The overall interior space, user friendly gadgets and comfortability are added bonuses to the sportier feel it presents on the road. The Kia Sportage is undeniably a worthy contender in the SUV/Crossover market.

Score (out of 10): 

500x review scoreBlog divider

Renault Twizy

Last week we had a new arrival, the Renault Twizy and it is safe to say it went down a treat with everyone here. We were the major attraction of the industrial estate, and it was definitely turning heads for the right reasons.

There are a 3 different models available and lots of accessories to choose from but we couldn’t just go for the regular model to test drive, we went for the Cargo model with no windows.

Renault states “The Twizy is innovative and complete fun” and we couldn’t agree more. The Twizy is exciting to drive and it really does feel like a higher up Go-Kart. Reaching a maximum of 50mph it was a struggle going up some hills, however once you reached the top there was no denying it was quick and nimble off the mark.

twizy2

Measuring in at only 2,338mm long and an astonishing 1,381mm wide, there is no wonder why Renault say you can fit 3 Twizy’s into one parking bay. It may seem petite on the outside, but the interior is the complete opposite and the additional storage options you can purchase as extras are located in exactly the right places.

Although the no window model is quirky, driving it without a coat would be for the more daring driver, especially as the English weather is hitting low temperatures at the moment. However, there is no denying the fun aspect and the individuality it can bring to either personal drivers or companies with its ‘Design you own Twizy’ paint work and its scissor doors.

twizy-exterior

Blog divider

 

Driving Myths | Conviction or Fiction

At Agility Fleet we take driver safety seriously, and we have noticed there are a few myths in the driving world at the moment. So, we thought we would take this opportunity to investigate these myths and bring you the facts.

Eating and drinking behind the wheel

This one is a tricky subject. It is not actually illegal to eat or drink (non-alcoholic) behind the wheel, however if the action is causing you to lose control or distract you in anyway if you are caught by the police you will be fined for driving without due care & attention (CD10). Being convicted under CD10 would mean a minimum of 3 points being added to your licence.

eating

Driving through puddles

Whether you intend to or not driving through puddles is an offence and if caught committing the misdemeanour you can be prosecuted under the 1988 Road Traffic Act for selfish or aggressive behaviour on the road.

puddles

Driving barefoot/flip flops

FICTION. As long as you can operate the pedals safely it is not an offence to drive barefoot or in flip flops.

feet

Speed cameras without white markers won’t catch me!

This is also fiction, there are many different types of speed cameras in the UK. Not all speed cameras have white markers on the floor to gauge your speed, it does not therefore mean they do not work. However, ensuring you do the speed limit should be the priority. Road safety is not a myth to be tested. A total of 3points and a minimum of £100 can be the result of receiving a SP30 or SP50 conviction.

cameras

You can use a mobile device whilst stationary

The law for using mobile phones or any hand-held device when driving is an offence. The definition of ‘driving’ includes whenever the engine is switched on. This being either in a traffic jam, at traffic lights or being parked up. The minimum penalty for using a handheld device whilst driving (CU80) is 3points and a £100 fine. http://www.rac.co.uk/press-centre/press-releases/motorists-muddled-over-mobile-phone-law

phone

Blog divider

Review: Vauxhall Adam | Slam

Make and Model:

Vauxhall Adam Slam

Engine Size:

1.4 Petrol

Overview:

Whether use choose the 86bhp version or the 99bhp the figures on CO2 are stated to be the same; 125g/km along with 52.3mpg. Reaching 0-62mph in 12.5seconds this 3 door hatch would be perfect for young drivers that wish to drive a modern, trendy, personailsed vehicle.

First Impressions – Exterior:

Visually very nice, the model we had was metallic blue with contrast black roof, providing the key in the style metallic colour as the car was a nice touch. The alloys set off the metallic finish

First Impressions – Interior:

The overall interior is simple, stylish and looks pleasing to the eye, the cloth seats were exceptionally comfortable and made the driving experience enjoyable. The additional gadgets; touch screen console and DAB radio where easy to use and placed in the right positions centralised around the driver improving the driver experience.

All these additional pluses made it easy to overlook the limited leg room in the back for extra passengers.

Performance:

The Adam was nice to drive and considering its engine size it was very nippy and light to drive. Unfortunately, the ride is also very firm and road bumps you can certainly feel. But, due to its large wheel size the Adam has lots of grip to offer on the road.

Practicality:

For practically the Adam comes across as a young person’s car. Equipped with all the modern gadgets and personalisation extras the Adam is extremely appealing, so if you can overcome the boot size and the rear passenger space being limited to have your own design car this is for you.

Rivals:

Fiat 500, DS3, Mini Hatchback

Overall Thoughts:

The car is very stylish and with over 80,000 different interior options and 60,000 exterior combinations it will be hard to find two Adams the same. Although the ride is rather bumpy, it is fuel efficient and the technology is easy to use and centralised around the driver creating a focused driver experience.

Score (out of 10): 

a3Blog divider

The All-New Mazda3 | Is it for me…?

Redesigned and now fully equipped with SKYACTIV Technology. The Mazda3 is the first model stated by Mazda to offer internet connectivity to apps such as Facebook and Twitter.  The 7” touch screen with MZD-Connect infotainment enhances the driver experience and makes commuting hassle-free.

Not only is the new sculptured body creating an uproar amongst consumers but also the low CO2 emissions (99g/km) and excellent fuel efficiency (74.3mpg) is generating lots of appeal.

The Mazda3 demonstrates class as well as entertainment so would fit perfectly into any business fleet. If you are interested in having the Mazda3 become a part of your fleet contact us on 01527 571605.Blog divider

Review: Renault Megane

Make and Model:

Kia Sportage 4 CRD1 

Engine Size:

2.0 CRD1 6 speed

Overview:

The Kia Sportage is a lot of car for your money. It is large inside and out, stylish and comfortable. At times it can feel slightly ‘boxy’ but it makes up for that by offering generous amount of space, gadgets and nice features.

First Impressions – Exterior:

The outside design is quite typical of a modern SUV / Crossover – but a lot larger. It has a pleasant, aesthetically pleasing shape and to keep the vehicle somewhat masculine and not too curvy, when viewed from the front is slightly square.

It is also relatively tall and the average person will undoubtedly have to step up and into the car, this adds to the spacious feel. 

First Impressions – Interior:

The interior was well executed, with all of the controls within easy reach.

It was impressively well-equipped with technology, the amount of information it provided was rather overwhelming but that is down to personal preference.

Both the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat had electronic adjusters and another charming feature, both seats were heated. The seats themselves are really comfortable and have adjustable lumber support – It really did feel like you were driving from an armchair.

The built in Sat Nav was simple to use and extremely helpful for example it noticed the fuel was low and asked if I wanted to go to the nearest garage – very handy!

It also had a DAB radio and media player which supplied excellent sound all around the vehicle. All of these operations were accessed by an 8” touch screen which sometimes needed to be pressed twice to get recognition but the overall experience and the ease of use made it an impeccable gadget to have.

The roof was full length glass with tilt and slide open options, this let in a great deal of light and air and added to the feel of there being ample room inside. The boot also had major advantages, it was wide as well as tall so perfect for family trips or lots of luggage.

Performance:

The car is deceiving but in a good way, it looks heavy to manoeuvre due to its size but is actually surprising light to drive, which makes a change to other SUV type vehicles. The drive felt positive and overall the vehicle was very responsive to different road conditions.

Practicality:

The car is best suited for those with large families or people with a requirement for lots of interior room.

Due to its sheer size, it makes narrow parking (even with the reversing camera) quite a challenge. However, the driving position is noticeably high above other vehicles so all round vision is very good.

Rivals:

Nissan Quashqai, SEAT Ateca, Renault Kadjar and Hyundai Tucson

Overall Thoughts:

The overall interior space, user friendly gadgets and comfortability are added bonuses to the sportier feel it presents on the road. The Kia Sportage is undeniably a worthy contender in the SUV/Crossover market.

Score (out of 10): 

500x review score