We are back with our first vehicle, and it's one that should have arrived far earlier, however it's here now... it was delivered yesterday and it's a Lifestyle pick up, the Isuzu D-Max XTR.
We had the D-Max Blade last year, a very capable pick up with a great price, the XTR capitalises on the D-Max and specs it up, quite literally.
XTR is one of the lifestyle variants of the pickup, lots of additions especially in the styling department e.g. the front guard which literally surrounds the grille and headlamps, extended wheel arches and even Kevlar ceramic brake pads, it's 25 mm higher and sports bespoke Pedder suspension.
Powered by 1.9 turbodiesel engine and a six speed automatic gearbox, it offers responsive throttle response, yet has short first few gears, makes sense they are made to be work horses primarily. You can also get a manual if you prefer it has on the fly four-wheel-drive and four high four low and descent control.
When offroading you want beastly tires, you get 17 inch wheels and 32 inch Pirelli Scorpion tyres, the sidesteps are designed to glance off rocks and there is lots of underside protection too.
When it comes its capabilities, on road feels well planeted and we'll find out when we go offroading in the next few days.
In a nutshell it can tow upto 3.5T and carry 1.24T on the bed, it comes with a fourcab allowing your passengers to travel in comfort, for this model including VAT it is around £43,000 and you can choose from four colours and they're all complimentary.
If this isn't quick enough you can even tune your vehicle for £800, which makes it as fast as a Raptor, it has 161 brake horsepower and 360 nm of torque, granted it's not the quietest engine in the world and its not that fast either hiting 0-60 in around 12 1/2 seconds but that's not what it builts for.
It's a very capable pick up with decent economy, superb looks and exceptionally good offroad, and if you want to something less sporty or something more sporty there's a range to choose from.
Watch out all this week on our YouTube channel to see what we get up to with the XTR.
Welcome to planet auto Winter update it’s been a rather hectic time we have now uploaded a number of videos the road trip with the SsangYong Musso, Mitsubishi ASX, Vauhall Astra K, Skoda Kamiq, BMW 330e and more reviews and of course show coverage and some rather interesting vehicles from Goodwood FOS 2919 including some futuristic offerings from Citroen and VW.
We have a few cars coming up, starting with on Monday the Kia eNero yes a fully electric vehicle or EV.
We will be demonstrating the capabilities, range how to charge this vehicle and giving our general thoughts on the Kia eNero.
Expect some interesting challenges, we will also film our regular lives such as a preview and 5 things we love as well including something like a mini road trip, watch our youtube channel for the latest.
There is lots of news about the automotive industry at the moment in the news one of those today been the launch of the new Citroen AMI, a micro car that you only have to be 14 years old to drive fully electric and we saw the concept of this model whilst the Goodwood Festival of speed last year with Citroen 19_19.
We've also heard for the first time ever I think that the Geneva motor show has been cancelled it makes good sense though wait till the world gets in better shape and then put on all these bigger car events again.
As you've likely see from our recent videos we have a number of project cars including the Honda Civic, that being said the Santa pod challenge is back on in April, we will be doing some little things to the car, meeting up with the rest of the channels and hopefully this year doing a couple of runs down the Santa pod Raceway.
Last year we had Annabelle's challenges, however looking all good this year.
The Mercedes is now home, yes our 230 CE W124 that we picked up wiith the Ssang Yong Musso. The car has now gone on its second adventure gone and into a local Mercedes specialist for some rather heavy duty work including subframe mounts, new shock absorbers, new springs, new brake lines, new discs etc.
We expect the vehicle to be in the workshop for up to a month, the challenges that have been revealed are very common on the W124 platorm, for some reason the mounts on the rear of the car seem to separate from the chassis.
Mercedes Benz recognised this and made a custom plate that can be welded straight in and goes exactly where the existing one is, you then need to strengthen up the area around it.
We should hear back early next week to see what needs doing in more detail.
Our Mk2 Golf GTI is well underway as well, the 16 valve ABF engine is in and in a word it's running, the exhaust needs fully connecting up, the driveshafts need reconnecting and then the rest of the car needs building up the electrics but in backing and things like that but we've overcome the first hurdle of getting the engine actually running we've also noticed a touch of welding that needs doing on the driver's side sill and into that floorpan of the front seat's.
After the Mercedes returns home the Golf will be going on a trip to the same place to get the welding completed.
We visited Micks Garage last week when we drove the Mercedes through at around 20 miles an hour due to its delicate predicament, its also booked in for an MOT, it literally took an hour to do a trip that should take around 22 minutes however she got there all safe and sound and looks fantastic.
Micks Garage just outside Kirby Lonsdale was the perfect place, Ben has used Mick at a previous gargage when he owned his C180 and used to look after that, we did some research and found he was still local and worked on classic cars as was the ideal as he's a Mercedes specialist coveted over many a Mercedes Forum.
When we arrived we saw a W124 estate parked on the pavement, and that sealed it.
Mick has already carried out this subframe mount challenge, literally it's a case you could be looking at the car one day and jack the vehicle up the next day and the mount will have be separate and there is no warning.
Our project cars are all well on the way we also have a number of review vehicles coming up including the Ford Ranger Raptor the Mercedes eVito and a number of others.
Spring will be with us very soon, we've started to see Sun already, also it is a leap day today, a day that only comes once every four years and with that we send our best wishes and don't forget to check out the Planet Auto YouTube channel and subscribe if you enjoy our content.
It's been a rather busy couple of months, as you no doubt have noticed, now that we've retrieved our Mercedes-Benz from our former partner. We've also driven a fair few vehicles as well, including the Skoda Kamiq, the BMW 330e, and - obviously - the SsangYong Musso, which we used to tow the Mercedes back, and drop into Autosport International as well.
Coming up, we've got the Subaru e-Boxer XV, the Kia e-Niro, the Ford Ranger Raptor, and the Suzuki Ignis...and that's just the tip of the iceberg!
However, we've also got a car show to go to at the London Olympia, as well as a restoration in the Classic Car and Restoration Show at the Birmingham NEC.
Currently, Annabelle and I are both working on videos - I am putting together a video comparing the J and the K Astra, as well as a review for the 330e, a review for the Musso, and 30 years of premium luxury, watch the video above, where we compare the BMW 330e with the Mercedes W124 - it is quite staggering how advanced our Mercedes was for the time! Both retail for around £48,000.
What is coming up this month? Well, our aim is to put a blog out probably twice a month, just to keep you updated on what we're doing. If you want to watch most of our content, why not go to YouTube and search Planet Auto and you'll find our latest videos.
We have live broadcasts, cinematics, previews, walkabouts around the latest vehicles including the VW ID Buzz, and don't forget we also do put up some content with classic cars: for example the Peel P50.
We're also going to be uploading a video of the Frisky and lots more show content will be unveiled over the coming weeks.
Our YouTube subscribers are flying, with 4,593 subscribers and it goes up daily...we are getting well over 500,000 minutes watched a month, which is around 138,000 views...everything is increasing, it really is!
Watch out for work on our Mk2 Golf, and our 230CE project is well underway.
We've also got something coming up at Santa Pod as well with the Civic - more on that later..
There you go, that's January and February for you!
Big Automotive news today, the possibility of a massive merger combing the forces Fiat Chrysler Automobiles or FCA and PSA Groupe. That's right, talks are being are held again with the possibility of merger talks with PSA who own Citroen, Peugeot, DS and recently acquired Vauxhall - Opel know, these car companies have been in talks over the last few months previously.
FCA has been trying to grow the empire and have held talks with Renault Groupe, talks broke down when neither of the firms could reach an agreement.
This merger possibility would build a car giant with a worth of around £40 billiion, a combo of many of world’s biggest car brands. Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Maserati, Lancia, Ram, Chrysler - while Groupe PSA who have recently upped their game with vehicles like the The French company owns Citroën, DS, Peugeot and Vauxhall-Opel.
PSA have also expressed interest in JLR, Jaguar Land Rover and also previously held talks with FCA. Carlos Tavares PSA Boss lead the buy of Vauxhall Opel, and is looking to expand the company.
PSA issued a statement this morning saying: “Following recent reports on a possible business combination between Groupe PSA and FCA Group, Groupe PSA confirms there are ongoing discussions aimed at creating one of the world’s leading automotive groups.
The merger has been approved and FCA and PSA are going in on a 50/50. It'll be interesting to see how this evolves the automotive giant.
Our latest Subaru e-boxer videos for the Forester and XV from Latvia
What a great day namely for one of our cars, we'll get to that though - It's time for an update first things first our 1999 Honda Civic ek4 or Santa pod challenge car as its been dubbed has passed its MOT, it received one advisory for a tire that could do replacing sooner rather than later, not dnagerous though.
Mind you that doesn't matter because we are fitting some BBSs from the Mk2 Golf to it next week, they'll look cool combined with the livery, and apart from that it's all go at planet auto HQ.
We've lots of things coming up including:-
Subaru Levorg early next week and a roadtrip to Farnbrough.
Forester and XV e-Boxer models Latvia special Michaels last content for the channel
Youtube car Reviews being released ASAP are the MG ZS EV, Swift Attitude and New Subaru Forester
There's also lots of other cars coming up before Christmas including Mitsubishi, Honda, Vauxhall and Subaru as well as some heritage Honda cars to look forward to.
Planet Auto l The place for the latest car news, car reviews, luxury supercars and highend classics - We feature the finest marques in the world including the Youtube and Instagram famous vehicles including Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Range Rover to name a few. Why not step into their owners lives and find where to see these great cars with our own car show calendar.