Friday 30 September 2016

'Top five' options worth having; Grow up, Top Gear; Powerhouse cars; Skoda for US?

Published 08/06/2016 | 02:30

Satnav: Regarded as almost essential on a prestige car and increasingly so for mainstream motors
Satnav: Regarded as almost essential on a prestige car and increasingly so for mainstream motors

People are always asking me what extras are worth having. I tell them it's horses for courses and all that but I see valuations experts Glass's have come up with what they think are bankers to add value when you're selling. It's a blunt assessment of how best to spend your money and I think it is helpful.

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Their director of valuations Rupert Pontin says few options increase value but there are the five exceptions. I'm not sure I'd agree with one or two but he's the expert.

Here's what he says: "Apart from these five, almost nothing that can be added to a vehicle has any real value. Even some options that are very expensive, such as advanced safety features and upgraded audio systems, offer little or nothing."

Here are the five:

1. SatNav

Regarded as almost essential on a prestige car and increasingly so for mainstream motors.

2. Upgraded alloys

Verdict: "After body colour, wheels tend to have the biggest impact on the appearance of a car. Opting for upgraded, larger alloys tends to improve the forecourt appeal of every vehicle."

3. Panoramic roof

Verdict: "Adds to everyday driving, providing extra light in the cabin. It is a definite plus point."

4. Bluetooth/car integration

Verdict: Being able to access phone functions and music through the car while on the move is seen as a deal maker or breaker especially for younger buyers.

5. Air con/climate control

Verdict: Few new cars sold without it as standard. Always worth upgrading. Difficult to sell cars without it. Climate control rather than air con is important at upper end of the market.

Everything else, apparently, isn't worth the money. If that is the case then an awful lot of options lists will be made redundant. Somehow I don't think that's going to happen.

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It is being reported that McLaren's 650S supercar successor will reflect mega progress on design and performance - and there will be a 'downsized' 6cyl engine coming along.

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I watched Top Gear on Sunday evening. They were clenching teeth and making brave sounds about some of the terrain they traversed in South Africa.

I'm not boasting but colleagues and I have driven over much worse and there wasn't a word out of us.

No yelling and whoohaing.

I'm not saying I'm the greatest of drivers off-road but these guys should come with us sometimes to see what real off-roading is like.

Such as going down a ski-slope in a Range Rover Evoque or up the sand dunes of Namibia in a Toyota Hilux. Just saying . . .

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A reminder that the Drogheda Motor show takes place this weekend (June 10 - 12). Go and enjoy.

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BMW are to bring out a 365bhp M2 version of the imminent 2-series Gran Coupé. That makes it a rival for the Audi RS3 saloon. Fun.

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SKODA, whose new Octavia 1.0TSI 3cyl petrol engine I look forward to driving this week, is considering if it should start selling cars in the US. It hasn't made any decision yet but if it did go Stateside it would be a huge move and indicative of how far the marque has come in the past 25 years.

Irish Independent

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