The ALR forum

Our policy at ALR Tyres is to always provide an honest service to all of our customers. We hope this forum will help.

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  • � �CAR magazine's shiny new VW Arteon daily driver: this or a 5-series ? � �Our Volkswagen Arteon interior: ours is R-Line spec and jolly comf y More info on Volkswagen Arteon ► VW Arteon long-term test ► We live Volkswagen's biggest ► Regular daily driver diary updates  Month 1 of our Volkswagen Arteon long-term test review: the introductions Volkswagen reckons it’s ‘an avant-garde gran turismo with svelte fastback styling’. My colleague Tim Pollard calls it a ‘coupaloon’ (and desecrates the English language in the process). And on our first trip out in the Arteon, I told my wife ‘It’s like an Audi A5 Sportback’ – which drew a blank look from someone already exasperated with my attempts to explain the visual differences between a Porsche Boxster and Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet.  The VW Arteon is actually a replacement for the old Passat CC – but don’t let that put you off. The current Passat is really rather good, and the Arteon wades into the much-diminished Mondeo market with bloody good looks, a wheelbase stretched to almost three metres, and all the interior quality and elitist appeal a German badge offers above its common-or-garden competitors.  Prices start at just over £31k for a 1.5-litre with 148bhp, and go up to 40 grand if you want an Arteon with four-wheel drive and a detuned Golf R engine. As much as we do, we’ve settled for a 2.0 turbocharged petrol (this is a post-Dieselgate world) putting 187bhp through the front wheels. With another £195 spent on VW’s ESP-based, diff-apeing XDS system, I tell myself it’s a stealth Golf GTI. Except for the colour – that’s not stealthy at all. VW calls it Turmeric Yellow Metallic, a £595 extra which looks great on the Arteon’s chiselled lines – and unlike my old black Focus RS, I’ll never lose it in an underground car park.  The Focus RS – or more specifically, its appalling ride quality – is also the reason we’ve gone for Volkswagen’s £820 Dynamic Chassis Control, aka adaptive dampers that can cycle through Comfort, Normal and Sport modes. It’s familiar VW fare, but on the Arteon there’s now a Bentley-esque slider control so you can go even softer or even firmer. Currently I’m deep in the OAP end and so comfortable.  � � Ours is in R-Line spec, which means a beefier bodykit and inch-bigger alloys (now 19s), while inside there’s nappa leather. Although the wheelbase is not quite on a par with a Mercedes S-Class, it’s almost as roomy in reality. We’ve opted against 20-inch wheels, or spending four figures on a stereo upgrade, or adding any more safety tech, as the Arteon already has adaptive cruise control and lane assist. But we have spent £895 for VW’s top-notch 9.2-inch touchscreen, and £935 on a panoramic sunroof that disappointingly seems no bigger than any other sunroof.  We’ll get into the other options over the coming months, but for now it’s off to Wales. Had I still been in the Focus RS I’d have been dreading the 500-mile round trip but salivating at the prospect of a thrash through Snowdonia. This way around, I’ll enjoy the entire trip. I’m happy with that.  By Ben Pulman Browse more of our long-term test reviews Logbook: VW Arteon Price £34,380 As tested £40,600 Engine 1984cc 16v turbo 4-cyl, 187bhp @ 4180rpm, 236lb ft @ 1500rpm Transmission 7-speed DSG, front-wheel drive Performance 7.7sec 0-62mph, 149mph, 135g/km CO2 Miles this month 348 Total 564 Our mpg 40.2 Official mpg 47.1 Fuel this month £45.97 Costs None
  • BMW has told the BBC the cost of any new customs arrangements after Brexit would push up the price of its cars. Ian Robertson, BMW's UK special representative, said new border systems and warehousing would add to the cost of making cars such as the Mini. He said: "It's a potential risk... we would like to avoid." But he said BMW would be forced to invest in new customs systems by late summer if there was no clarity on the UK's trading relationship with the EU. He told the BBC's Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed that without clarity BMW would be forced in August or September to prepare for a hard Brexit and customs delays around a hard border. � �Media captionIan Robertson, BMW's special representative in the UK Mr Robertson said: "Those dates at the end of the summer are quite real. That's when the contingency plans get applied, and that's when of course we need to see clarity." But he added that BMW had no intention of moving its manufacturing operation outside the UK. "We would have to start to think about how our trucks are going to be managed at the border and how our stocks are going to be stored around our factories," Mr Robertson said. "It puts a burden on industry. It puts a burden on us to find ways around it, when ultimately we should be focussed on more constructive issues. "Our customers have expectations as to the value in their cars. They see innovation and technology as having a value. I can tell you, I have never heard one that says there's a value in customs." Japanese support While the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said that investment in the UK's car industry had halved in the last year because of Brexit uncertainty, some companies such as Toyota have continued to invest in the UK. In a separate interview, Kōji Tsuruoka, Japanese Ambassador to the UK, told Kamal Ahmed that the UK still had a strong appeal for Japanese car companies. He said: "The UK is an industrialised, very strong R&D supported economy, and there is flexibility in moving toward the future of the industry. The referendum result did not necessarily affect the attraction or the strength of the UK R&D high-tech basis, and you still see Japanese investment coming to those sectors of the UK economy. "But when it comes to trade, and market availability, they will have to reconsider, if there is any obstruction for doing trade with a major market to which they export from the UK - and the EU market is certainly one of them. They will watch very carefully and very cautiously." � �Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionBMW's Mini is produced in Oxford with its body panels made in Swindon In May, BMW was part of a group of business leaders including the heads of BP, Nestle, and Vodafone, who told Theresa May at a Downing Street meeting that a trade deal with the EU must be "as frictionless as with a customs union". BMW employs 8,000 people in its UK manufacturing operation and another 14,000 in its retailer network. It manufactures Minis near Oxford , Mini body panels in Swindon, Rolls-Royce cars at its Goodwood plant and petrol engines at Hams Hall in Warwickshire
  • Nissan says it has uncovered falsified data from car exhaust emissions tests at most of its Japanese factories. The firm said emissions and fuel economy tests had "deviated from the prescribed testing environment". The carmaker added that inspection reports had been "based on altered measurement values". Nissan pledged there would be a "full and comprehensive investigation" and said "appropriate measures" would be taken to stop any future recurrence. Nissan said it was looking into whether whether the issue affected vehicles exported from Japan to other markets. The company said it had rechecked "reliable" data and confirmed that all vehicles except the GT-R sports car conformed to Japanese safety standards. The GT-R was not included because it had not been able to check enough vehicles as yet. Analysis: by Jonty Bloom, BBC business correspondent � �Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES This is a very embarrassing affair for Nissan and it will damage its reputation, but it does not seem at the highest levels to have been deliberately trying to beat the system. VW was caught cheating emissions testing by deliberately writing software that meant its cars met emissions standards only when they were being tested but not at any other time. Nissan on the other hand seems to have been running its testing system very badly, they did not meet legal requirements and measurements were altered. That does not sound as bad as what happened at VW but it is still very shocking. This was going on at all of Nissan's factories in Japan, bar one; that means it is hardly a one-off accident or down to a few rotten apples. Nissan is still investigating what went wrong. But, if this scandal ends here, Nissan will probably be able to say it made a sin of omission rather than VW's sin of commission. Safety probe Nissan's shares fell more than 4.5% on Monday after the company alerted investors that a statement on exhaust emissions was imminent. Last year, Nissan recalled 1.2 million vehicles in Japan after regulators said safety checks did not meet domestic requirements. A subsequent investigation into why its safety inspections did not meet government standards has now led to the latest revelations. The admission by Nissan comes after a huge scandal involving diesel emissions test cheating by Germany's Volkswagen. Last month, VW was fined €1bn (£880m) by German prosecutors for selling more than 10 million cars between mid-2007 and 2015 that had test-cheating software installed.

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