The Fiat Grande Punto is – as its name suggests – bigger than previous Puntos. But that’s not to say it’s lost its youthful charm.
The Fiat Grande Punto is surely the prettiest supermini on the road. Its front is reminiscent of the Aston Martin DB7, which can only be a good thing, while the rear and sides carry on the curvy theme. There are plenty of neat touches around the Grande Punto.
So often interiors fail to live up to the expectations set by the bodywork. Not so with the Grande Punto.
As the Fiat Grande Punto has grown since its predecessor, so has its levels of practicality. There’s lots of room in the front, and all but the tallest of rear passengers can fit in the back fairly easily. At four metres in length, Fiat says the Grande Punto is the biggest in its class, although at 275 litres,
The Fiat Punto feels sure-footed and composed at speed, which has a lot to do with the extra width of the larger car. The steering is precise, although not so razor sharp as other models in the supermini class.
Fiat has been working tirelessly to iron out the niggling little problems which used to beset its vehicles and the Grande Punto seems as well built as anything else from Europe.
With prices starting from around £7,500, the Grande Punto is an exceptionally cheap machine. Even our top-of-the-range test car weighs in at well under £13,000; and that has plenty of bells and whistles. Huge demand (the Punto is one of the 20 most searched for car on autotrader.co.uk) keeps second-hand values healthy.
The Grande Punto oozes style from every angle. It’s great fun to drive, especially in the 1.9 Sporting guise. But best of all is its tremendous value for money.
The Vauxhall Vectra has a ride and level of refinement which competes with the best cars in its class. It is a practical car which shouldn’t let you down as you effortlessly cover mile after mile. It doesn’t have class leading looks and dynamic handling, but for the majority of customers it won’t matter.
Vauxhall Vectra is one of the most common car on our roads. But as a popular choice for fleets, many owners drive a Vectra out of obligation not choice.
This is a car designed to be practical and functional and with so many around it simply fades into the background.
The Vauxhall Vectra is a large car and can seat five, although we found it suits four adults the best. There is a handy space just behind the handbrake lever which is perfect for a mobile phone or sunglasses.
Due to the Vauxhall Vectra’s popularity as a fleet car, the biggest hit to running costs is its poor depreciation. It can be expected to retain between 30 and 37 per cent of its value after three years.
The Mercedes E Class has traditionally gone head to head with the BMW 5 Series. But while BMW took some huge risks with the look of the Five, Mercedes has followed its traditional route – classy and understated.
For anyone who hasn’t driven a Mercedes before, there’s a huge sense of occasion staring down the bonnet at the three-pointed star sitting proud on the car’s nose. It’s a true automotive icon.
The Mercedes E Class range offers something for everyone – from a wheezy 1.8-litre petrol, through a variety of excellent diesels to the supercar slaying E 63 AMG. The 3-litre diesel fitted to our E 280 CDI was superbly refined and offered very good performance – 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 149mph. Having said that, the E felt slower than the figures suggest.
Despite its facelift in 2006, many of the E Class‘ components date back to 2002, and are well proven. In fact many of the replacements were to answer reliability problems with early cars, and needed to be extra tough
The E Class is an excellent all-rounder. It remains competitive in terms of the way it drives and the comfort it offers. With its understated styling, the E-Class has – and will continue – to win over thousands of motorists.
Read more about Mercedes Cars
With the credit crunch biting, you’ll want to get as much money as possible when you sell your car.
Here is your complete guide to seeling your car.
Preparing your car
- An oil change won’t cost the world, and can make a big difference when the buyer checks under the bonnet.
- Check tyres – make sure their pressure is correct, any punctured tyres are replaced and tread depth is at least 1.6mm deep.
- Repair or replace any damaged car part which affects driving
- There are a number of cleaning jobs which can make your car gleam with pride, ready for the all-important advert photograph.
- A car’s interior is just as important as its exterior – car buyers want a comfortable drive which looks great inside as well as out.
Setting the price
- Set the price too high and you may receive little interest from buyers – set it too low and you could miss out on hundreds of pounds.
Wording your advert
- Use bullet points to accentuate the car’s best features – whether it’s climate control, alloy wheels or low mileage (cars usually travel 8,000 to 12,000 miles a year).
Advertise with Auto Trader and your ad will reach over 10 Million people every month.
Sell My Car – Usefull Links
UK car buyers aren’t short of choice when it comes to family saloons – so car makers have to offer something different.
With the Honda Accord Sport GT you get aggressive looks, punchy performance and Japanese reliability.
The flagship Sport GT is only available with one engine – a 2.2-litre diesel pushing out 138bhp and 251lb/ft of pulling power. But it’s one of the best diesel engines on the market and is refined, smooth and impressively quiet.
The Honda Accord is packed with safety features. Standard aids include anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, driver and passenger airbags and an alarm and immobiliser.
if you’re looking for a family saloon, which is different to the norm then the Accord – for a slight premium over the ubiquitous Ford Mondeo or a considerable chunk less than the BMW 3 Series – should be seriously considered.
Honda Cars Hub – Find any Honda car information.
Good tyres are essential for safe driving and affect steering, braking and acceleration. Here’s some essential checks to carry out.
Damage – Examine the tyres for damage regularly; bumps or bulges, foreign objects, cuts, cracks and tread wear (often a result of kerbing/scraping). ACTION: Replace the tyre if damage is evident.
Tyre pressures are vital for balanced breaking, maximum grip and maximum tyre life. Recommended pressures vary according to load or speed. The part of the tyre in contact with the road is the ‘footprint’. Wrong tyre pressures will cause rapid wear and shorter tyre life. ACTION: Check the pressure in your tyres daily and when the car has been parked for at least 3 hours. If you think a tyre might be low, try and check it immediately with a tyre gauge and do not forget your spare tyre! The recommended cold tyre pressures are usually given on the tyre information label on the rear doorjamb on the driver’s side and can be checked at the majority of petrol garages.
For more essential checks, visit our basic car checks page.
Minimum legal depth for tyre tread for cars in the UK and EU is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre tread width, though the AA recommend at least 2mm. ACTION: To check your tyres, visually check and measure the 1.6mm tread depth indicators on the tyres
The life span of tyres is dependant on the type of car, the amount of use and the driver! Reasons for changing tyres are usually legal (ie safety reasons and maybe driver preference). The tyres that are fitted to the car from the factory are generally the best tyres for your car. ACTION: Make sure the installer balances the wheels when you have new tyres installed. This increases riding comfort and tyre life.
Warning: Old tyres may make driving dangerous, depending on their tread depth and strength. But weather can also affect your driving – read about skidding and how to avoid it for more information.
Watch Youtube Videos on – How to change car tyres?
Auto Trader – Used Cars guide
Buying a used car can have potential pitfalls – but it needn’t be a painful experience if you follow a simple set of rules and checks.
Do your research
It’s vital to research thoroughly before buying a used car. Search our used car ads online or in your local Auto Trader magazine to find out the model’s going price.
Find the right car for you
- Browse Auto Trader’s car reviews
- Read user reviews at drivethedebate.co.uk
- Read the latest car news at Auto Trader’s News Hub
- Use Auto Trader’s used car search to find the best deals on new cars
- Search from more than 300 insurance quotes at Auto Trader’s Car Insurance Centre
How to sell your car
We help you get the most money for your car with our complete guide to selling.
Stay safe with our essential selling advice.
Dealing with buyers
For many owners the worst part of selling a car is having to deal with potential buyers, but it doesn’t have to be like this.
Seal the deal
Get the most money for your car and a quick sale in five simple steps – from payment to paperwork.
Car Depreciation Advice
Depreciation is the single biggest concern for thousands of car buyers – we help YOU beat it.
Essential test drive advice
Buyers won’t buy your car without taking it for a test drive first. We list the do’s and don’ts of the test drive.
Setting the price of your car
We show you how to get the true market value for your car.
Wording your car advert
Read our complete guide to wording your advert correctly and find out how to get it right first time.
Preparing your car for sale
From washing your car to repairing damage, we show you the essential steps before putting your car for sale.
You should NEVER hand money over to canvassers – over the phone. Read our advice on how to avoid being a victim of fraud.
The Peugeot 207 CC is the successor to the UK’s favourite coupe-cabriolet, the 206 CC. That model sold more than 600,000 units across Europe in six years, and Peugeot hopes its replacement will be as – if not more – successful.
The current crop of Peugeots all have a feline quality to them, with their ready-to-pounce stance and big gaping grilles. The Peugeot 207 CC isn’t as pretty as the 206 CC, but it’s far from an ugly car.
Like the exterior, the cabin is well designed and easily identified as a Peugeot. There’s a sporty feel about the dash that few other hatchback – hot hatches aside – can match, with chrome bits on most models.
Despite its sporty appearance, the Peugeot 207 CC is not a sports car. There’s a bit of body flex when the roof is down, so the car feels more suited to a brisk cruise, rather than a country lane thrash.
Peugeot offer three 1.6-litre engines with the 207 CC, one diesel and two petrols.
The Peugeot 207 CC seems well built. Although its predecessor suffered from patchy build quality, newer Peugeots generally feel more solid.
Few worries here. The Peugeot 207 CC scored a maximum five star rating in the EuroNCAP crash test programme.
It’s the successor to the smash hit 206 CC, and improved in virtually every way.
The all-new 2008 Ford Fiesta is a big deal for Ford. It’s one of its most popular cars, which over six generations has sold more than 12 million vehicles. Last year saw more than 100,000 sold in the UK alone.
The name Ford Fiesta means a lot to many people. There are few who, since the late 1970s, have not learned to drive in one, owned one or at least been a passenger in one. It is one of the very few affordable cars currently built to reach the status of an icon.
The new Ford Fiesta wears the Blue Oval’s new bold, corporate face, with its signature lower grille, chrome accents and long, sweeping headlamps. It’s largely unchanged from the concept car, save for a pedestrian-protecting bar across the grille onto which the number plate is mounted.
This stylish nature is echoed in the cabin, which is built using the tactile materials and craftsmanship befitting a car twice the price.
Behind the wheel, visibility is good, and thin windscreen pillars which don’t obstruct the view of other vehicles when pulling out of side turnings. In fact, the only complaint we had was a very upright steering wheel, which we found a little uncomfortable.
The 1.6-litre petrol engine, and found it eager to rev and was tractable enough to cope with second gear starts. Only climbing some of the steeper hills around Siena did the 120bhp engine start to lose its edge.
The new Ford Fiesta hasn’t been put through the EuroNCAP crash test programme yet, but the company is confident of a full five star rating. Ford says the new Fiesta is 10 per cent stiffer than the previous car, and is loaded with safety kit.
Other stand-out features available include a start button and a USB socket into which can be connected a cheap memory stick loaded with MP3 tracks. These can then be searched via the car’s standard audio controls from the steering wheel, and avoids the security issues of carrying an expensive iPod in the car.