So here we are at the end of the working year and what a 2014 it’s really been. We snatched back AUTOBRITANNIA.NET after being really let down by the site host, Andy Goundry opted to launch his own site and my own work commitments has had an impact on the volume of content I would like to add. Well… all that is to change in 2015 with some new faces joining the site with some fresh new content, Vauxhall Motors will become a supporter in the New Year and some epic supercars will be going through their paces – so its going to be new for 2015.
Next year I shall be welcoming a new Co-Editor who has a rich and interesting background in the motor trade – more of him / her closer to the time. One thing is for certain, you’ll enjoy the new content… if not, you can have your money back. Patrick Warner will be joining us once again in the new year after taking time out due to a career change from Lawn mowers to a managerial position with one of the UK’s largest public transport groups.
But it’s your support as a reader that counts and we look forward to tasting the latest of British designed and built – A BIG THANKS to all of you who have stuck with this site – one of the very few who only concentrate on British themed vehicles.
Also, we’d like to thank the manufacturers who have shown their trust and confidence in AUTOBRITANNIA.NET, after all, without the generous support of them, we would have no vehicles to test. So a big thanks are extended to the following manufacturers:
Honda UK – Nissan GB – Jaguar Cars – Land Rover – Toyota GB & Vauxhall Motors Ltd
2014 has been a record year for car building, and we finally climb out of the black hole of recession, we were pleased to hear of an all time high in vehicle production. A great deal of the UK produced cars were destined for foreign lands which prove that the UK still hold importance so far as vehicle production and exports matter.
Other good news included continued Astra production on Merseyside as the plant celebrated 50 years of UK production – an all new model is launched next year. Jaguar Land Rover opened their all new engine production facility in the West Midlands which was part of a staggering £500 million investment so its full steam ahead for British manufacturing.
Below, we have collated a run down of the vehicles tested this year awarding for the good, the bad and the bilious for your festive delectation.
And that’s really all there is to say for 2014. Thanks for your interest and we look forward to the New Year with gutso. So until then, safe motoring and a very Merry Christmas!
AUTOBRITANNIA.NET End of the year round up:
Best All Round Car: Honda Civic 1.6 iDTEC EX
The current British built Civic provides a perfect antidote to class members like the Focus or Golf. It handles like a Go-Kart and manages to ride smoothly when cruising. Its well made, refined, bristles with technology, goes like the clappers and is super economical while feeling like a genuine premium class car. The Civic 1.6 Diesel is one of the best kept motoring secrets around.
Best Feelgood Car: Jaguar F-Type Coupe 3.0 V6 S
The Jag did nothing but attract attention… all the right attention too. Overtaking cars would draw parallel and gawp at the sleek shape and pedestrians would gaze and admire the barking growling exhaust. Stonking performance with an amazing chassis. A lovely car to drive and be driven in proving that Jaguar are super cool.
Biggest Surprise: Toyota Plug-In Prius Hybrid
Not UK built but we tested it anyway. I wanted to loath this car but walked away after a full week and lots of miles quite impressed. Such a relaxing car to drive and reasonably talented in the apex’s. Well equipped and ruthlessly efficient – everything you expect of a modern Toyota. tangible technology that works straight from the box and one of the smoothest motorway cars I’ve ever experienced.
BEST FAMILY CAR: Honda CR-V 2.2 EX 4×4
The big engined diesel all wheel drive CR-V was well designed, utterly practical. Its rock solid in quality terms and the test car came with uprated wheels with smart alloy running boards that gave the car a boost in its visual appeal. Blissfully soothing to drive with heaps of space and practical touches that the family motorist cannot fail to appreciate. Strong performance, tidy handling and a good level of equipment shows that Honda know how to build and design a car. A lovely motor to smoke around in or pound the motorway.
MOST ENTERTAINING CAR: Jaguar XF-R 5.0 V8
So very Jaguar in the 21st Century. Dangerous performance, a blood curdling howl from the engine, gravity defying road holding yet as docile as a kitten when driven off the boil. The epitome of understatement with a beautifully crafted and tasteful leather interior that smells as good as it looks. Still a handsome car to walk around despite being a few years old. New model due in 2015.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: MG6 Magnette 1.9 DTi TSE
Despite looking ok and having a good level of equipment, the MG6 cannot be considered a viable new car purchase. It hemorrhages its residual value and offers no USP or tax benefit to fleet drivers. It drove well enough but the test car came with tired juddering brakes, a bluetooth and sat-nav that kept crashing, shocking panel alignment and a party trick of stalling at low speed. On the third day, it broke down on my drive an hour before a meeting resulting in myself cracking open the toolbox to get it going. Rumours of unhappy dealers and some cringingly embarassing internet marketing cock ups only hamper the company becoming credible – only remotely recommended if the price is rock bottom as its outclassed by all the competition.