5 Reasons Why Buying Your First Car is a Great Idea

Last year, I managed to save up enough money to buy myself my first car. I bought a 2002 SEAT Ibiza finished in Amarillo Ovni Yellow, or in better words extremely bright yellow. I should also inform you, my girlfriend christened her Samantha. It took a lot of dedication, and even meant that I had to lay off the beer for a while for the simple reason that it was proving too expensive, to be able to afford it. But have I made the right decision by emptying my bank account for what is pretty much one of the most expensive things I have bought to date? Here are 5 reasons why I took the plunge.

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1. Freedom

Have you ever wanted to go to the gym, a friends house or to the cinema but couldn’t because public transport is too much effort? It sounds lazy but I can almost guarantee you that every single one of us has felt this at some stage. That even the thought of having to get the bus somewhere is just too much to cope. Well thats where you’re own set of wheels comes in fairly handy. You don’t have to wait at the bus stop or for your parents with the car to get home just so you can nip up to your friends house. Its the sense of freedom that everyone should have.

2. Enjoyment 

Only until you learn how to drive is it when you find the sheer pleasure of it. Sitting in the passenger seat in your parents or friends car isn’t as fun as being behind the wheel and in control of it all. Thankfully I was one of the first out of my group of friends to learn how to drive. I loved it, I used to just go on and on about how I drove here yesterday and drove there  at the weekend while the rest of my friends were stuck, sitting in bored out of their brains. However, of course this had its downsides as I was always asked to drive people places but as long as they threw me fiver for petrol, I was, secretly, more than happy to do it.

3. Cruizin’ wit da Boiz

This was the best part. Before I learned to drive, I often found myself with nothing to do on a Friday or Saturday night. It was usually spent sitting at home scrolling through Facebook or Twitter. But once that pink card came through the letter box, I was driving all over Dublin in my fathers Toyota Avensis packed to the brim with my friends, just driving. Aimlessly, in fact. But that was the whole purpose of it. Just to get out of the house for a couple of hours, just to go for a drive. It was then, that my friends and I came up with the idea of “McFlurrying”. This usually starts with a one worded text; “McFlurry?” then followed 20 minutes later with a few of the guys in the car going through the local McDonalds drive thru ordering the lasted McFlurry flavour. This lasts a couple of hours as it is usually followed by a cruise, of course.

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4. An Excuse Not to go Out

This may seem crazy coming from a student, but we always have that one weekend when all our friends are going out and you could just NOT be bothered. Right? Well a car will solve all this problem. You won’t have a choice of going out or not because owning a car in Ireland, for a young driver especially, is so ridiculously expensive that you might be able to use this excuse week after week. Not just the price of buying the car, but the price of petrol, tax, insurance and maintenance. Of course though in the long run this can be a bad thing. It just depends how much you love driving/your car.

5. A Community 

If you’re into cars, your first car will be the start of something new. As cliché as it sounds, its true. I attend Cars and Coffee Dublin. It is a monthly meet where anyone and everyone can go to view other car lovers to just look at or chat about cars. The good think about C&C is that its a casual meet. Unlike its Italian version – Brescia Cars and Coffee (which is invite only) – Cars and Coffee Dublin attracts all sorts of people, whether you own a Ferrari or a Fiat, a SEAT or a Porsche, a Honda or Horse! Its a very casual meet that I highly recommend to any car lovers. Have a look at the last C&C meet that Drivers Edition attended.

Of course there is one more thing owning your own car is good for. You know….

Stayed tuned for more posts from us here at Drivers Edition.

Ian

Mini JCW Convertible – Launched

Looking to combine power, cheap running costs and open top driving? Well you’re in  limited market so.

Lucky for you though as Mini have just launched a Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Convertible. The new Mini JCW Convertible is powered by a twin turbo 2 litre petrol engine pumping out 231hp and 320nm or torque. If that wasn’t enough numbers for you, the JCW can get from 0-100km/h in just 6.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of around 240km/h.

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Phew, now with all that out of the way we can talk about the Minis menacing looks.  The hard top version of the JCW is definitely handsome thing indeed, hell the the whole Mini range is quite handsome overall. The JCW Convertible is covered with air inlets to the engine. This helps with aerodynamics and keeping the engine cool allowing the driver to get the most out of the JCWs punchy little engine. The bonnet retains the air scoop and the bulge, a signature look on all sporty Coopers like the old JCW and Cooper S. To cater for the revised engine, the suspension, braking and cooling systems of the JCW Convertible has been suitably upgraded.The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible runs model-specific suspension settings, with a bespoke braking system and larger intakes to increase cooling capability. It is specced with Brembo brakes protected by either 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels. It has an attractive ride height thanks to the specially designed sports suspension set up by McPherson.

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Aesthetically, the JCW Convertible looks very similar to the regular convertible. It keeps the same cloth roof, that can be opened or closed in just 18 seconds and be done at speeds up to 30km/h.  From the rear, the only things to set it apart form the regular car are the added grills and vents and the mean looking twin centre exhausts.

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Inside, the car gets sport bucket-style seats with integrated head rests. Standard trim includes; a newly designed JCW multifunctional leather steering wheel, the JCW door sill cover strips, the JCW gear or selector lever, stainless steel pedals including driver footrest and cockpit displays with dark dials.

Infotainment/Electronic Equipment is strong in the Convertible range. Coming as standard are; MINI Visual Boost Radio with a 6.5-inch screen, MINI Connected, Bluetooth connectivity with USB audio, Rear Parking Distance Control and a Reversing Camera. Options can include; Other optional enhancements include MINI Navigation XL which features an 8.8-inch version of the central display, the MINI Touch Controller with a touch-sensitive surface and optional Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system.

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The 2.0 petrol emits Co2 figures of between 138 g/km and 152 g/km, depending whether you opt for the 6-speed manual or the 6-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox. This puts in the B1(€280/annum)  and C(€390/annum) tax brackets, respectively. Mini claims the JCW can achieve between 6.6l/100km(43mpg) and 5.9l/100km(48mpg). Of course, drivers with a keen foot will find this to drop but who cares when you’re having fun!

Although not launched in Ireland yet, the JCW Convertible sounds like an attractive package. Prices have not been announced yet but we will update this once they have been.

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Volvo S90 – NAIAS Launch

The NAIAS, North American International Auto Show, in Detroit is just kicking off and Volvo has decided that it would be the place it would launch is new premium saloon, the S90. Due to hit Ireland next year, Volvo aims the S90 at rivals like the Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6 and BMW 5-Series. Volvo has been known for making large, boxy, luxury saloons in the past. Take the 740 for example.

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Although the S90 is far from boxy. Starting in 2015 with XC90, Volvo is giving its line-up a whole new look. Volvo says that the S90s face pays homage to the P1800 and that the “T-Shaped Thor’s Hammer ” lights give it an aggressive look. It certainly does look well from the pictures we’ve seen and the XC90 definitely did not disappoint. But, we shall hold off all judgement until we see it in the flesh.

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It is said that the S90s interior takes after the success of the XC90s with a dashboard and instrument panel  inspired by it.

“We created our new flagship sedan, the Volvo S90, as a real game changer. It is classy and cool. The exterior is exceptionally well surfaced with a fantastic stance and the sort of clean lines that are singularly appropriate of a Scandinavian design. The interior masters the art of blending innovative technology and natural materials into an elegant, welcoming and tasteful ambience, Swedishness at its best,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design at Volvo Car Group.

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The S90 offers semi-autonomous drive as standard. This includes  Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert and the advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, Pilot Assist. The Pilot Assist helps with steering by keeping it in lane at up to speeds of 130km/h. Volvo says that this is another step closer to full autonomous drive, which is a huge innovation in itself.

The S90 will be offered with the plug-in hybrid T8 engine that is also available in the XC90. This engine produces 410 hp and around 640Nm of torque with the help both petrol and electric motors.

The S90 also introduces a world first function to City Safety – large animal detection – a feature capable of detecting large animals such as large deer, horses or moose/elk, night or day. This won’t be necessary in Ireland but hopefully it will warn you of loose sheep or cows on the road, eh?

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