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The history of the automobile in Germany is long a lucrative. The Germans are renowned for delivering practical, functional vehicles that are durable and reliable. But not only that, they can be incredibly stylish too. Sadly, Britain has lost much of its car making industry. But the Germans are still developing pioneering cars. Cars that are breaking records and changing expectations. As well all love a countdown, let’s take a look at the best German car manufacturers to keep an eye on.



Volkswagen



With a history dating back to the 1930s, VW hold a place in the heart of car lovers all over. They’ve produced some of the most iconic vehicles on the road today. This includes the loveable Beetle and hippie-friendly campervan.

Known as the ‘peoples car’, VW continue to make some of the most reliable cars you can take out on the road today.




Porsche



The word Porsche has become synonymous with sexy. Thanks to their hard working German design team, Porsche cars are some of the most coveted vehicles around. They’re known for impeccable style and sensational speed. 


They continue to break barriers and remain loved by teenage boys all over the world. The distinctive shape of the Porsche Carrera GT  is instantly recognisable all over the world. There are now Porsche enthusiast clubs that partake in rallies in Germany and internationally.





BMW



Where Porsche is all about sex appeal, BMW is all about style. A favourite of those in the world of business and leisure, BMW is one of the most respected car brands in the world. James Bond even took a break from his beloved Aston Martin to take a spin in a BMW. Although admittedly it didn’t end up in the best condition (though his cars rarely do). It has been existence since 1917 so you can be sure these guys know what their doing.




Mercedes



This is another iconic German brand with a rich history of pioneering design. They’re perhaps the only car company to have inspired an instantly recognisable song: “oh lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz”. With their headquarters still based in Germany, Mercedes are very much an international company. Mercedes provides services for buyers and owners of Mercedes vehicles in the UK. And when you’re a Mercedes driver, you want only the finest service.




Audi
Known for producing some of the best quality automobiles on the market, Audi are a trusted name in the world of car engineering. They are among the best-selling luxury cars in the world. One of the most recognisable products from Audi is the Audi TT. They seemed to be everywhere on roads throughout Europe and America for the best part of the 2000s. Jeremy Clarkson may have described them as a “hairdressers car”, but that didn’t halt their popularity. Audi has origins that date back to before the 19th century. As with other German car manufacturers, they’re known for combining reliability with luxury.

As you can see, the Germans have to be thanked for playing their part in developing some of the most loved cars in the world. Danke Deutschland!

If you want to talk about seriously cool cars, then I must draw your attention to the Volkswagen Scirocco. When it burst on the scene, everyone was taken aback by the striking looks and cool design. Today, we’re going to have a look at this car and find out what’s good and bad about it. And, we’ll answer the question; is it the coolest coupe on the market?



(Photo source: https://goo.gl/KiXSxB)

Design & Looks

One of the standout features of this car is its design. Throughout the years, the models have undergone slight tweaks here and there. But, every model is extremely stylish, in my eyes anyway. What I like about the Scirocco is that it looks like a sportier VW Golf. Golfs have always looked cool, but they just seemed a bit too big and robust for me. This car takes the classic VW design and makes it better. It’s lower than the Golf, and a tad wider too. You end up with a fantastic streamline shape; that adds to the sportiness.


I think my favourite thing about the exterior design is the front. The grill and lights work together so well. They’re designed in a way that makes the car look menacing. If you take a look at a Scirocco face on, it looks like it’s glaring at you. I love this because you know the car means business. I’m all for sporty cars with mean looks; I don’t think they should look friendly. Volkswagen has done exceptionally well with the exterior design of this car.


Take a trip inside the car and things are very crisp and refined. It looks like a Volkswagen interior, but with a bit more class. The air vents have a nice trim to them, and I like the overall colour scheme. Having said that, there are a couple of things that aren’t quite up to scratch. The main center console screen is a bit crazy. There are so many buttons, and it just looks too cluttered. Secondly, the gearstick is a bit odd as well. It just doesn’t have a very good grip on it; I think it can be improved.


Overall, the design and looks of this car are very good. It’s certainly one of the most stylish coupes out there on the market today.


(Image credit: https://goo.gl/Ax6X0M)

Drive & Performance

Naturally, the thing most people are interested in is drive & performance. When you’re looking for a sporty coupe, you want one that can give a little more than your average car. So, let’s take a look at what the Scirocco is packing under its bonnet.


At the top of the spec range, you can get a Scirocco with a turbocharged 267 bhp engine. That’s a lot of power in a medium sized coupe like this! If you think this is too much for you to handle, then don’t worry! There are versions further down the chain with around 100 bhp to satisfy you. Generally speaking, all Sciroccos are great to drive. They feel smooth on the roads, and you definitely feel some quickness when moving through the gears.


Part of the good driving experience comes from a great suspension. It makes the car glide over bumps and deals with difficult road surfaces. All in all, a Volkswagen Scirocco does everything you want it to do. It can get you from A to B in a comfortable manner. And, if you want to put your foot down on the motorway, this little beauty will bring the thrills.


Price/Value For Money

The price of a Scirocco does depend on a few factors. Firstly, are you going to buy used or new? A new one can set you back between £20 – 33,000. Naturally, the base models are the cheaper ones, and they’re much closer to that £20,000 mark. The more you pay, the more features available for the car, hence the higher price.


As far as used Sciroccos go, you can get some pretty good bargains. The great thing about this car is that it’s ultra modern. Even ones that were built back in 2010 can hold their own today. It won’t take you long to find one within your budget if you shop around online. In fact, a quick look at AutoTrader coupe’s and you’ll see some for around £10,000. So, ask yourself, do you want a new model with all the updated specs and tech? Or, would you rather pay half the price for a used one? There’s no right or wrong answer here, it all depends on your personal budget.


So, having looked at the prices, does this car represent good value for money? Looking at the current market, I’d say the Scirocco comes in at an attractive price. Some of its rivals, like the Nissan 350z are far more expensive, both new and used. For what you get, a sporty yet practical coupe, you end up with great value.


Safety Features

Everyone is always keen to know what safety features a car has these days. Throughout the course of time, Sciroccos have had more and more cool features introduced. If you find parking a wee bit tricky, then the parking sensors will make life easier and safer for you. There’s also something called ESC which is pretty cool too. This is Electronic Stabilisation Control for the more modern versions. I won’t bore you with the technical mumbo jumbo, but this feature helps prevent skidding. So, you can feel much safer when on wet and slippery roads.


Volkswagen also makes sure that all their cars have proper airbags installed in case of collisions. Furthermore, Sciroccos also have an exceptionally sturdy body.  This means you’re safer if you ever get hit by another vehicle.


Generally speaking, the safety features are a little underwhelming. Other than ESC, there’s nothing here that you wouldn’t find in any other coupe. The fact that Volkswagen brag about the airbags on their site shows that there’s not a lot to cheer about in this department.


To conclude, I think that the Scirocco is a fine car. There are very few negatives about it, and it’s a hugely practical coupe. When looking at similar cars, you’ll find it tough to beat a Scirocco regarding looks, performance, and value for money. Is it the coolest coupe on the market? In my eyes, it certainly is!

Ever since the Golf GTi first made its appearance back in the 1970s, car makers have spawned a lot of hot hatches. These days, VW’s hot hatch is now in its seventh generation. But, if you’re a fan of the “Blue Oval”, you might be wondering which Ford models are the best.



My first encounter with a hot hatch from Ford was the iconic mk2 Fiesta XR2. A friend of mine bought one and let me take it for a test drive. As you can imagine, this was some time ago but I can still remember thinking how brilliant that car was when I drove it! They are a rare sight these days, given that most of them are now scrapped or in a museum somewhere.


Today, one of the most popular hot hatches sold by the Ford Motor Company is the Fiesta ST. Here’s why I think you will fall in love with this car:


It has a powerful yet eco-friendly engine under the bonnet


Engine technology has come a long way since the days of the XR2. All modern engines feature fuel injection and get controlled by an ECU. In case you wondered, it’s a car’s electronic “brain.”
The Fiesta ST features a 1.6-litre engine, just like the old XR2. But the only similarity between the two engines is the displacement. That’s because the ST engine is a 16-valve turbocharged EcoBoost unit. As standard, it boasts 180 brake horsepower.


When you fit such an engine into a lightweight Fiesta shell, it gives you phenomenal power. From a standing start, you can reach 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds! You also have a top speed of 137 mph.


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The 1.6 EcoBoost isn’t just popular for its power. As you may have guessed, it sports green credentials too. Carbon emissions are just 138 g/km, and combined fuel economy is 47 mpg. The engine works in tandem with a six-speed manual transmission. Having test-drove a Fiesta ST from TC Harrison Ford, I can confirm the it feels positive and smooth to drive.


It’s agile


Some of you might be thinking that such a car might not handle well. After all; a lightweight body and a powerful engine can mean trouble, right? Well, in this case, you would be wrong!


The Fiesta ST offers excellent handling, even at high-speed driving. And if you happen to make a bad move, the car’s electronics will put things right again for you.


It’s a technology geek’s dream come true


The Ford Fiesta ST features all manner of modern equipment that you’ll need in today’s motoring. As standard, you get air conditioning, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth. The Ford SYNC technology is brilliant, and can handle most tasks via voice control.


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If you opt for the ST2 trim, you also get things like keyless entry and LED daytime running lights.
Conclusion


If you’re after a reliable hot hatch, and you don’t want a German car, stick with Ford and get yourself a Fiesta ST! The price point is also fair, making it in reach within most people’s budgets.

Last month OSV Ltd compiled an interesting report on the UK’s most searched for car brands of 2015 so far. This month, OSV have taken the report one step further and matched the results with the UK’s best selling cars from the start of the year. Are the most searched for car brands the best selling? Read on to find out.

When you read the list of the top ten best selling cars it will be easy to understand why these cars are the UK’s best sellers. Each have their own fan base, but they also have a few common traits. Generally, all the cars in the list are considered reliable and are competitively priced. But is reliable and cheap what the UK internet user searches for?

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), we’ve run down the best selling cars of the year so far.

Ford Fiesta

Why?

The Ford Fiesta has dominated the UK Car market for as long back as we can remember and it’s no surprise why. The Ford Fiesta is great to drive, it’s comfortable, handles well, stylish inside and out and there are some great deals available. What’s not to love?


How does it compare to our most searched car brands list?

Ford dominated our most searched car brands list so this result comes as no surprise.


Vauxhall Corsa

Why?

Ford’s biggest rival Vauxhall comes in at second. Like the Fiesta, the Vauxhall Corsa is well priced, spacious and has a range of engines to suit every type of driver. But does this mean Vauxhall are Ford’s biggest competitor when it comes to Google?

How does it compare to our most searched car brands list?

This result is one of the most surprising of the whole report. Vauxhall, who are Ford’s closest competitor in best selling cars is nowhere near them when it came to most searched car brands. Vauxhall found themselves in 4th position but does this mean car enthusiasts are losing interest in the brand? Only time will tell.

Ford Focus

Why?

Safety is one of the main selling points of the Ford Focus. In at number three, and the second Ford entry, the Focus is considered to have the best handling, it’s refined and has low C02 emissions.

How does it compare to our most searched car brands list?

As mentioned above, Ford dominated the search list, so we’re not surprised to see more than one car in the best selling list.

Nissan Qashqai

Why?

Considered one of the most practical small SUV’s, the Qashqai is reliable, smart, economically friendly and extremely refined. What more could you ask for?

How does it compare to our most searched car brands list?

The Nissan brand didn’t make it in our top 5 list which may come as a surprise to many considering the Qashqai is so high on the bestsellers list. Nissan came in at 6th and was narrowly pushed out of the top 5 by Mercedes.

Volkswagen Golf

Why?

Comfortable and an enjoyable drive, the reliable golf comes in at number 5. With it’s modern and practical build and strong resale values, Golfs are a popular choice for a number of car buyers – but are they popular with UK internet users?

How does it compare to our most searched car brands list?

Volkswagen barely made the top 20 let alone the top 5, they came in at an unbelievable 17th. Maybe it’s because people feel they know the brand inside and out or maybe they’re losing interest. It will be interesting to see if they retain their position throughout the year.


Audi A3

Why?

The beautiful Audi A3 is the 6th best selling car of the year so far. Surprising? We think not! Audi have struck the right balance between comfort and control with the A3 and with some great Audi A3 lease deals on offer, this is a perfect choice for many drivers.

How does it compare to our most searched car brands list?

Audi landed the impressive third spot in the most searched for car brands list and as a brand, they’ve gone from strength to strength. They have a strong following and a beautiful range so it’s no surprise they made both lists. If the A3 was slightly cheaper then maybe it would be higher on the bestsellers list, but with a slightly more premium price tag we think they should be happy with their position.


Mercedes-Benz C Class

Why?

This seriously classy car is one of the most desired by women, it also makes a very popular company car. Here at OSV we’ve a range of great Mercedes lease deals which are always really popular so we’re delighted to see the C Class in the list.

How does it compare to our most searched car list?

Mercedes just made the list by landing in at number 5. The luxury car brand are often in the news so it’s no surprise that they are searched for and purchased on a regular basis.

They’ve also recently shown off their driverless car which has made headlines across the globe. If driverless cars become more talked about maybe Mercedes will rise to an even higher position.

Volkswagen Polo

Why?

It will come as no surprise to many that another Volkswagen makes the top 10. The VW Polo is competitively priced, comfortable to drive and has a plush inside cabin.

How does it compare to our most searched car brands list?

As we already mentioned Volkswagen not being higher on the most searched car brands list, will come as a huge surprise to many. Maybe next time we do this they’ll be higher on the searched list or lower on the bestsellers. Watch this space.

Fiat 500

Why?

With it’s unusual design, cheap price and safe reputation, the Fiat 500 is in at number 9. This supermini is the perfect car for a variety of drivers.

How does it compare to our most searched car brands list?

Fiat, like Volkswagen, placed fairly low on the most searched car brands list, coming in at number 16. Unlike Volkswagen, we weren’t too surprised with Fiat’s position. With a trusted and well known range, it just goes to show that people aren’t necessarily searching for cars they’re going to buy.


Vauxhall Astra

Why?

Our second Vauxhall in the list and in the tenth spot is the Astra. With its great looks, smooth ride and secure handling, this car is a perfect choice for many. But many will be surprised that the Astra is only in 10th position. Usually the Astra is a lot higher in the bestsellers list so it will be interesting to watch where this places by the end of the year.

How does it compare to our most searched car brands list?

With the Astra falling to number 10, this could explain why Vauxhall are only at number 4 in the most searched list. Are the car brand losing its following? Only time can tell.

Finally, it may be interesting to note that BMW are the only car brand that was featured in the most searched list to be excluded from the best sellers top ten. With its premium price tag, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. But what car do you think would be on the top sellers list if money wasn’t an option?

About OSV Ltd

OSV are the UK’s best independent vehicle supply professionals, providing every funding method imaginable. Trading since 1997, we have the experience to provide our customers with the highest level of service and are proud to be members of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association.