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Pulling your (su­per)leg­gera

The clue is sup­posed to be in the name, yet the As­ton Martin DBS Su­per­leg­gera weighs a good 400kg more than the Mclaren 570S in the same is­sue (21 Novem­ber). That’s more than five ex­tra pas­sen­gers! Vi­vian Bush Bev­er­ley, East York­shire

Cruising for a bruis­ing

I en­joyed John Evans’ ar­ti­cle on buying a used Toy­ota Land Cruiser (21 Novem­ber), but may I ad­vise cau­tion? In my ex­pe­ri­ence, they are not as tough as their rep­u­ta­tion sug­gests.

My first Land Cruiser was a Colorado, pur­chased nearly new, and it went for 150,000 miles (in­clud­ing tow­ing) with­out fault. It felt well built too. Its suc­ces­sor was a 120 LC3 diesel auto. It did not feel as well built. Around 120,000 miles passed with­out ma­jor in­ci­dent, but then the big bills started. Among other things, it needed new in­jec­tors (hugely ex­pen­sive), a rear hand­brake mech­a­nism, new brake calipers (twice), var­i­ous ma­jor pieces of front sus­pen­sion be­cause seals had per­ished and dam­aged the bear­ings – and, worst of all, when driving down the M5, I had a com­plete catastrophic brake fail­ure re­sult­ing in re­place­ment of the brak­ing sys­tem (and a state of ter­ror on my part!). This was a lookedafter car reg­u­larly ser­viced by Toy­ota, but still cost me thou­sands in re­pairs.

Don’t buy one of th­ese with­out a thor­ough ex­pert in­spec­tion. Sadly, I have lost my faith in Land Cruis­ers. Alex Ral­ton Chip­pen­ham, Wilt­shire

Light on re­al­ity

Ben Adams has rather let his en­thu­si­asm for elec­tric cars cloud his think­ing if he be­lieves a 250kg fourseat car is a pos­si­bil­ity! (Your Views, 21 Novem­ber.)

Com­par­ing e-bikes and elec­tric cars is a point­less ex­er­cise, not least be­cause there are no reg­u­la­tions re­quir­ing an e-bike to be crashed into a wall at more than 30mph with­out killing its rider! Also, e-bikes are ‘pedal as­sist’, but an elec­tric

car needs to be wholly pow­ered by its bat­tery pack – a con­sid­er­able weight penalty. Then there is the small mat­ter of lighting, weather pro­tec­tion, safety sys­tems and heat­ing, and the weight of the glass alone would make the 250kg tar­get weight an im­pos­si­bil­ity. I think it will be a real achieve­ment for any­one to man­u­fac­ture a fea­si­ble elec­tric car weigh­ing less than 1000kg.

Fi­nally, if Ben be­lieves £25,000 is gen­uinely af­ford­able for ev­ery­one, he hasn’t un­der­stood the real rea­sons for Da­cia’s ever in­creas­ing mar­ket share. Dun­can Fin­layson Via email

Where did it all go wrong?

Re­cently when I worked out how much I could af­ford in or­der to buy a new car, I dis­cov­ered it was £20,000. So I bought a used VW Touareg.

I marvel that there are so many very ex­pen­sive cars on the road. I see queues of Range Rovers at school sports matches and on my com­mute, not to men­tion all the su­per­cars. But what re­ally con­founds me is that the most pro­saic fam­ily cars typ­i­cally cost well over £40,000.

Who are the le­gions of peo­ple who can af­ford them and where have I gone wrong? It’s very de­press­ing. Giles Hamil­ton Lon­don

Strife be­gins at £40k

The let­ter pub­lished on 21 Novem­ber from Paul Large res­onated with me. I also pur­chased an Audi S3 last year with an eye to bal­anc­ing de­sired spec­i­fi­ca­tion and per­for­mance against the £40,000 tax thresh­old. My choice was in­flu­enced by the points raised by your cor­re­spon­dent and I was sur­prised by the ab­sence of at­ten­tion to the tax thresh­old by deal­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers’ sales or mar­ket­ing de­part­ments.

I could not es­cape the opin­ion that mar­ket­ing de­part­ments have missed a trick through fail­ure to en­sure that at­trac­tive com­bi­na­tions of ex­tras are in­cor­po­rated into des­ig­nated mod­els priced at £39,999. All as­tute mo­torists will avoid buying an ex­tra that tips a car into the pe­nal­is­ing tax band. David Mc­ch­es­ney Bal­ly­carry, Car­rick­fer­gus

That tanned alien look

In your test of the As­ton Martin DBS (21 Novem­ber), you state “the tri­ax­ial quilt­ing [of the leather] looks the part”. No, it does not. It looks like they skinned and tanned a Doc­tor Who alien. It’s hor­ri­ble. The or­ange trim colour is also wrong. Did you only test it in dull weather, as I’d be sur­prised if the dash top did not re­flect in the screen? Thank­fully, the leather quilt­ing and colour are op­tions.

Al­though I could live with the ‘alien’ leather as I would not see it when sat on it, the steer­ing wheel would be a deal-buster un­less they of­fered a proper round wheel. Thank­fully, they have not fit­ted point­less pri­vacy glass. Tim Grundey In­verurie

Don’t glaze over

Politi­cians of ev­ery hue tell us that choice is good. But when I am

look­ing for a mid-mar­ket SUV, the im­porters seem obliv­i­ous to con­sumer sovereignty in one area of spec­i­fi­ca­tion, namely glaz­ing.

Un­less you elect to go for ‘poverty spec’, sun-pro­tec­tion glass seems to be a ‘no delete’ op­tion. Sales­men look baf­fled that any­one would want a ve­hi­cle with­out it, even when I ex­plain that I’m not ex­pect­ing money off. Some say it is im­pos­si­ble to pro­cure the ve­hi­cle with stan­dard glaz­ing, while oth­ers talk of six-month de­lays in the build queue. The brochures pa­tro­n­ise the con­sumer with non­sense about the health-giv­ing prop­er­ties and height­ened safety of hav­ing drug-dealer win­dows fit­ted, but the pho­tog­ra­phers un­der­stand the in­con­gruity of asym­met­ri­cal glaz­ing since most of the mar­ket­ing ma­te­rial seems to air­brush out such fea­tures.

De­spite my cyn­i­cism about con­sumer choice, this is one area where the im­porters need to recog­nise that sales are be­ing lost due to their mis­taken be­lief that Uk-based SUV buy­ers don’t de­serve the op­tion to choose the glass fit­ted to their new cars. Robert Bish­opp White­smith, East Sus­sex

Kin­dred spir­its

Your Alpine 110 vs Mclaren 570S fea­ture was a good read (21 Novem­ber), and few would ques­tion the spec­tac­u­lar en­trance the Alpine has made to the mo­tor­ing world. You con­clude that both are en­joy­able and ac­ces­si­ble, as op­posed to more cir­cuit-fo­cused van­ity ma­chines.

In­ter­est­ing. So how would Porsche’s 911 T fare against th­ese two? It sits some­where in the mid­dle with six cylin­ders and around 370bhp – about 100 more than the Alpine, but 200 shy of the Mclaren.

Porsche al­legedly raided the parts bin so the 911 T would be a road­fo­cused car com­pared with a 911 GT3 RS, and it is also much less pow­er­ful and less ex­pen­sive than a 911 GTS.

So, is the 911 T an­other – rel­a­tively un­known – of­fer­ing that could be a kin­dred spirit to th­ese two he­roes? Philip Lunn Tun­bridge Wells

911 T: in same es­teemed com­pany as Alpine 110 and Mclaren 570S?

Land Cruiser: Alex was out of his depth

Wheel, colour and pat­tern of­fend Tim

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