Peugeot Rifter in sunroof shock
A frosty reception
First cold morning of the year this week. The displays on both my car and my wife’s lit up like Christmas trees to warn us that we both had four flat tyres.
Gosh, I hate those systems, but it got me thinking: how would an autonomous car react to erroneous messages like that? Complete shutdown, probably. Nick Dawson Marlow, Buckinghamshire
Workhorses, not show ponies
The pick-up comparison (‘Mud, sweat and gears’, 17 October) was quite properly in Autocar, because none of the vehicles in your selection are truly commercial vehicles. They are pose-mobiles masquerading as commercial vehicles.
Most of the working pick-ups I have seen have fitted hardtops. They are commercial and double up as a family car at weekends. Fine. More fool Land Rover for missing that and the Land Cruiser market.
But your test selection? True, they are capable of taking stone or something dense that won’t blow away – but do they? The chrome bars and lack of cleats show that they are not designed for work. If you, as I do, have a frequent need to move garden and tree waste and bagged stuff, but not enough need for an open lorry, a pick-up on which I can rope down my load is ideal.
The Land Rover short-wheelbase pick-up is perfect, but I fear that no one in Land Rover’s current design team has done enough real (manual) work to understand what the rounded strip of metal along each side is for and that they mistake it for some kind of misplaced, unwanted decoration.
If the new Defender pick-up comes out with smooth, uncluttered (and oh so elegant) flanks, like those you compared, we will know that Land Rover too has sold its soul, joined the pose-mobile club and abandoned its workhorse history and potential. By all means offer swanky models with shiny chrome bars but,
please, above all make a genuine working model.
Perhaps they are, and if so I wish they would not keep us in suspense. Roderick W Ramage
Coppenhall, Stafford Two nostrils are better than one
I am a keen BMW fan and have owned five over the past few years. I currently have a BMW 4x4 and a great-fun-to-drive, low-mileage, Dakar Yellow Z3 2.2i sports car. Your recent article on its forthcoming range of EV vehicles (17 October) was therefore of interest to me.
While impressed with their general styling, I was very surprised and disappointed to see that the classic BMW two-aperture radiator grille had been altered to a Don’t buy the hydrogen hype in favour of a hydrogen car?
Why add the complexity of a fuel cell to an already completely competent electric vehicle along with a well-built tank (at least I would hope it is) to hold an explosive gas in a space that would otherwise be available for luggage?
More complexity means more servicing costs for the dealers, of course. But the big problem is hydrogen supply. This will be in the hands of big companies and the government will tax it, something they cannot currently do to home-charged electric cars.
I think I’ll stick with my Smart ED and wait for my Tesla. Enough gassing. Keith Houghton Via email
All hands to the pump
Shame on you for recommending that drivers purchase Adblue for their vehicles from dealers, motor factors and forecourts in large, expensive and totally unnecessary plastic containers (Readers’ questions, 17 October).
Adblue is freely available at the pumps, where it is typically 70-80% cheaper than buying it in plastic containers. If your usual or nearest garage forecourt doesn’t have a
dedicated Adblue pump (I’ll bet that most now do if you bother to look), find one that does. Virtually all lorries these days use Adblue so, if necessary, use a commercial vehicle forecourt that will almost certainly have a pump (no one will mind you using commercial vehicle forecourts, as long as you position your vehicle considerately so that you’re not blocking access to the main diesel pumps for large vehicles).
Saving the planet isn’t just about the rise of electric vehicles, it involves putting a bit of thought into what you buy, what you buy it in and how you dispose of it. You at Autocar should be leading the way and setting an example; plus, if you don’t already buy your own Adblue at the pump, you’re also wasting good money besides adding to the landfill problem. Leeds Holiday romance
I never really understood the Jaguar F-type until recently, when on a visit to Los Angeles I suddenly made sense of it all.
Heavy, burly and full of thrust, it was perfect for the wide local streets, freeways and open twisty roads in the nearby mountains. For the same reasons that so much of the Mercedes and AMG model line-up turns me off, with excess weight, power and a kind of flashy smugness, the Jag seemed made of similar stuff. On the right roads, though, with windows down and sound system up, you can cruise around in perfect contentment and seek out the hidden roundabouts of Santa Monica (whose locations I refuse to divulge).
It still won’t persuade me that Alpine, Porsche and Lotus have the wrong idea when it comes to sports cars, but most of the time, most are happy to drive in a comfortable, spirited and stylish boulevardier without a care in the world for steering-wheel feedback or trail braking.
Touché, Jaguar F-type. Via email
Jag F-type: Ben had some fun on Santa Monica Boulevard
Gordon’s Z3 has BMW’S classic grille
Land Rover pick-up’s clasps in action