Archie – Update

As you all know, I bought a 2005 MINI Cooper S. You didn’t know? Oh, check out my recent purchase here so!

I have no plans on modifying the car but I will upgrade brakediscsome parts… no, its not modification, I swear! The car is fully stock, as far as I’m aware. I have just bought grooved discs from Mtec Brakes and will fit them. They came in at a very reasonable €220 for four painted and grooved discs and Mintex pads. I’m not expecting them to be the best in the world but at least they’ll be upgrade from the standard R53 brakes.


I also plan on putting a different exhaust on. Its the same, standard exhaust that comes on the Cooper S but it has the driver side resonator deleted. This makes for a better sound and more pops and bangs. The neighbours will hate me…


I am in two minds about the next two “upgrades”. I’m thinking of putting in a short shifter and upgrading the air intake. The short shifter seems like a pain the hoop because the exhaust and the heat shield have to come off from the under body. Thankfully I’ll be doing the exhaust anyway but it still seems like a pain to fit. The air intake would make a  massive improvement, apparently. I’m waiting on my insurance company to get back to me on whether my insurance will go up or not if I was to upgrade it. I have been told that the Orranje Stealth Cold Air Intake makes a world of a difference. Its about £125 but seems like its the bee’s knees. Not only is there a K+N Filter included but also an upgraded air box too. If I don’t put that system in, I will probably upgrade just the filter itself. Can anyone shed some light on this? Should I bite the bullet and spend the £125? Should I just upgrade the filter? Or should I just leave it stock?

As for cosmetic modifications, I’m unsure. The car is Hyper Metallic Blue all over. I don’t think dark blue and carbon would look well together…Or black and blue…or white and blue. I’m not sure what I’ll do cosmetically yet.

That is all I have planned for now. Once I get the brakes on and give them a proper going through, I’ll update you all. I have my name down and paid for a track day in October. I’ll get to know the Cooper a little bit better then. Don’t worry, I’ll take her handy!


Skoda Superb Combi – Review

In more recent years, Skoda have completely upped their game. In the 1990’s, Volkswagen acquired Skoda. Now, we begin to see more and more Skodas on the road. Don’t knock the Skoda brand, after all it shares a lot with Volkswagen. But, is that all the Superb is? A glorified Passat?


A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Skoda Superb Combi Style
Engine: 2.0 TDI diesel – 150hp and 340Nm
Transmission: 6 Speed automatic (DSG), Front Wheel Drive
Price: The Superb range starts from €26,995. The Combi starts from €28,195. As tested – €42,777, including options. 


The Superb is a long, elegant looking car. It measures at 4.8m in length and almost 1.9m wide. Packed into DSC_0050this ginormous car are lots of curves and angular edges giving the Superb a pleasant look about it.

The Combi may even be prettier than the saloon. The design team in Skoda have been able to incorporate the saloons angular features nicely into the bum of the Combi.


The interior of the Style trim is very executive. The seats are black alcantara on black leather throughout. DSC_0065These are electronically controlled forward and back, up or down and the lower back bolster can be adjusted to suit the driver. This flexibility gives these seats a very comfy feel about them.

The whole interior is nicely laid out and doesn’t feel busy. DSC_0060Its a very calm. Let me explain, a minimal amount of buttons have been used on the dash and infotainment system. There is a touch screen that controls the radio, media, sat nav and the vehicle’s settings. It is all very easy to use. The audio system I was blown away by, literally. The quality of the sound was great even though my phone took a little longer than some other systems to connect.

The rear is even more generous for space. Passengers have tons of leg and head room making any journey pleasant.DSC_0061 The mood lighting feature works well in the rear anytime of day thanks to the tinted windows. Users can choose from Green, Blue or a warm White, but is really Orange.

Practicality/Boot Space

Its apparent from the outside that the Superb Combi is a sizable estate. This translates well to the interior in terms of practicality. The boot space is a vast 660l and 1950l with the seats down.DSC_0058

Storage is plentiful throughout the cabin. The glove box and centre armrest storage bin are both cooled, just enough to keep drinks from getting too warm. Each door has storage space in it and the boot has bag hooks also.

On The Road

I found myself acting as a chauffeur anytime I drove the car, even without passengers. I calmly wafted about my journey. I would even go as far as to say that the Superb Combi is elegant to drive.DSC_0071 Combined with the nicely laid out interior and the comfortable ride, the Superb is a good drive. Although the 6 speed DSG doesn’t have the smoothest gear changes. Especially when taking off from the lights when the stop/stop is turned on. It kicks you as you take off or if you put your foot down and automatically changes gears. My test car had optional paddle shifts but I didn’t think it suited the car.

I did find that there was quite a lot of tyre noise coming through to the cabin despite Skoda’s best efforts to block it out.

Running Costs

The Superbi Combi emits 118g/km of CO2 which translates to €200 per year to tax. I averaged 6.2l/100km throughout my week in the Combi. This was a mix of both city and motorway miles.


The Combi range starts from €28,195. The Style trim pricing starts from €35,550. The test car I had fitted with some options is priced at €42,777. 


Toyota Avensis estate – Toyota is renowned for reliability and it has quite a following in Ireland. Although the styling is quite bland and boring.

Volkswagen Passat estate – A more “upmarket” Superb Combi. The Superb is just that little bit more exclusive.

Opel Insignia Tourer – Receiving a face lift in 2013, the Tourer has nice lines and looks quite fresh. Although the boot isn’t as big as the Superb’s.


None of it’s competition compares to the Superb Combi. If you need space and class, look no further. A game changer it might not be but I would be surprised if you were let down by the Superb Combi experience.