Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mercedes Vision C 220 BLUETEC at Geneva

Mercedes-Benz has recently unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show its environmentally-friendly BLUETEC technology which is combined for the first time with a fuel-saving, four-cylinder engine. The Vision C 220 BLUETEC is also created to meet even the stricter EURO 6 emission standard which is expected to be applied to all-new vehicles in Europe starting 2015.

The Vision C 220 BLUETEC delivers an output of 125 kW or 170 hp and a potent torque of 400 Nm. It consumes an average of 5.5 liters of diesel per hundred kilometers. The Vision C 220 BLUETEC provides a glimpse of what to expect out from such initiative. The BLUETEC initiative was launched in the US last autumn with the E 320 BLUETEC.

The introduction of the BLUETEC initiative also coincides with the launching of low-sulphur diesel in North America. The E 320 BLUETEC records a fuel consumption of 6.7 liters per hundred kilometers making this car as the most economical vehicles in its class in the US.

Mercedes-Benz will be offering three V6 BLUETEC models namely the R-Class, M-Class and the GL-class---all with BIN 5 certification which the 50 states in US impose as early as 2008. It was at the Detroit Auto Show when Mercedes-Benz has demonstrated how suitable clean, economical, high-torque engines are for large cars and SUVs. The V8 diesel engine in the Vision GL 420 BLUETEC which made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show can produce an output of 216 kW/290 hp with a peak torque of 700 Nm and a fuel consumption of 9.8 liters per hundred kilometers.

The first four BLUETEC models of Mercedes-Benz illustrate the versatility of this type of innovative technology. After the launching of the BLUETEC initiative in the US, Mercedes-Benz also plans to introduce the BLUETEC in other markets in the world. The BLUETEC technology that is currently being developed is adapted to the European market requirements and scheduled for release starting 2008. The BLUETEC models that Mercedes-Benz will develop would make use of quality Mercedes auto parts such as the Mercedes brake booster which is a vital part of any Mercedes vehicle. Mercedes brake boosters amplify the pressure that a driver applies on the brakes of the car.

BLUETEC an exclusive DaimlerChrysler technology

The BLUETEC initiative is developed by DaimlerChrysler with the objective of reducing harmful diesel emissions, in particular nitrogen oxides which is high in concentration among diesel engines compared to their petrol counterparts. This is also one of the reasons why Mercedes-Benz engine engineers have focused in the engines and their combustion processes.

The Vision C 220 BLUETEC is equipped with a sophisticated four-cylinder powerplant and just like any standard production-engines the C 220 is fitted with four valves per cylinder, a turbocharger with variable nozzle turbine and exhaust gas recirculation. It also possesses a highly sensitive electronic engine management unit which reacts to a wide range of operating conditions which in turn optimizes the combustion process.

The BLUETEC technology in the Vision C 220 also includes an oxidizing catalytic converter and a particulate filter that reduces the level of carbon monoxide emissions as well as unburned hydrocarbons. A custom fitted durable NOx storage catalytic converter plus a patented on-board ammonia generation is combined with an additional SCR catalytic converter that reduces nitrogen oxides. Such exhaust-gas after treatment process does not in any way calls for additives.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Easy to Read Standard Trim Packages For the Ford F-150

Ford has been pumping out trucks for about 60 years now and they aren't slowing down. The Ford F-150 has several trim packages available on their F-series trucks and this article is going to run those down for you. You know those letters that accompany the name of the vehicle. They tell you a lot about what's inside and under the hood.

The base F-150 has the trim designation XL. This is also known as the work truck. You can add options to it, if you custom order one, but it comes standard with a 248-horse power, 4.6-liter 2v V-8 engine, four-speed automatic transmission. Black bumpers, mirrors, and door handles. No fog lamps and a dark interior environment with gray seats. Hose-out rubber floor mats and 17-inch steel or alloy wheels.

The affordable sporty F-150 is called the STX it comes standard with a 248-horse power, 4.6-liter 2v V-8 engine, four-speed automatic transmission. Body color bumpers, grille surround, fog lamps, dark interior with grey seats, 17-inch alloy wheels are standard, and 18's are optional.

Ford's most popular (best selling) F-150 is the XLT which has more options standard like: 248-horse, 4.6-liter 2v V-8 engine with a four-speed automatic transmission. Chrome grille, bumpers. The standard interior options are: black with gray (cool) or chocolate brown with tan (warm) interiors with silver paint on dash, dark finish on center stack, upgraded instrument cluster and 17, 18, or 20-inch wheels. The cab sizes for this model affect the engine size as follows: SuperCab and SuperCrew feature a 4.6-liter 3v V-8, six-speed automatic.

FX4 is also called the Euro truck trim and it comes standard with: a 310-horse power, 5.4-liter 3v V-8 engine and a six-speed automatic. Body color bumpers, door handles, and on the mirrors. Inside you get a black interior, with optional light gray seats, full-length center stack and center console with carbon-fiber look trim and silver gauges. The truck is complete with 17-inch wheels for off-roaders; 18s and 20s available.

Here come the serious option-having trim packages!

The Lariat trim refers to entry level luxury, you can add more luxury as you go, but standard with this trim package is a 310-horse power, 5.4-liter 3v V-8 engine with a six-speed automatic. Outside it has two-tone paint with Pueblo gold lower, a chrome grille with mesh instead of bars, body-color "skull caps" on mirrors with 18- and 20-inch wheels available. Inside there's wood trim on the center stack, console, and doors to complete the luxury feel.

The King Ranch trim package on the Ford F-150 means luxury, Texas style. With this trim package you get standard a 310-horse power, 5.4-liter 3v V-8 engine with a six-speed auto. Essentially, it's a Lariat with King Ranch leather on the seats, console and steering wheel, different wood trim and pale carpets. To complete the luxurious ranch feel are 18- or 20-inch alloys with premium paint trim.

It doesn't matter what you need a truck for, or if you need one at all. The Ford F-series family of trucks has you covered. For most people's general needs the F-150 easily handles the daily demands of their lifestyle.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Volkswagen - The Ultimate Collection

Blimey, VW have got a lot to offer these days! A dazzling array of vehicles from Trendy city cars to top of the range off roaders, whatever your requirements VW seem to have it covered.

First up we have the Fox and the smartly named "Urban Fox" these are three door hatches which replaced the very capable Lupo. The Fox is aggressively priced for what is a very competitive supermini market. A good range of equipment is available on both models with the Urban Fox being the higher spec of the two. Engines on offer are 1.2 and 1.4 with excellent fuel economy and low CO2 emissions. Expect usual VW build quality despite their small size.

The Polo has grown in stature and is now available in eight models with nine engines. Three and five door models start with the base E which comes well equipped right through to the GTI, with its 1.8 litre turbocharged engine producing 150bhp and propelling the car to 134mph making it the fastest production Polo yet!

The ever popular Golf now comes in no less than five different versions three and five door with engines from 1.4 litre to the awesome 3.2 litre V6 in the R32 with the iconic Golf GTI hot on its heals but costing some £4k less. The Golf Plus offers more head and legroom but to avoid the shopping trolley tag is available with 16" Alloys, 6 speed manual and 7 speed Automatic gearboxes and a whole host of other features to compliment its more practical leanings.

The Golf Estate comes with a Wapping 1550 litres of load space which should be more than enough to cram all those family items into when you go away which of course never get used!

The iconic Beetle is still a head turner if not a touch girlie. I mean a vase for flowers! Someone is just bound to put water in it resulting in a large garage bill. The Cabriolet looks the business and is no doubt a future classic and the 1.8T would easily see off Herbie! With quite a high centre of gravity ESP is a welcome extra in case you over cook things in the corners.

The Jetta is still available but even VW are describing it as an "Undiscovered Secret" so there may be an element of doubt as to who it is marketed at. Having said this the Jetta is an extremely capable saloon crammed with features and the top Sport model boasting 17" Alloys 0-62.5mph in 7.5 secs and a top speed of 146 mph!

The Passat oozes quality and is aimed at the discerning buyer. This four door saloon does not disappoint and is equipped with a high spec not to mention class leading safety features which affords the Passat a 5 star Euro NCAP rating. LED lighting and Auto Hold handbrake function combined with Dynamic starting assistant are nice touches. Moving to the Passat Estate which offers the same degree of quality with the addition of a huge load space. Also available is Tiptronic transmission and something called Dynamic starting assistant which allows you to drive away smoothly without having to release the parking brake first, clever eh!

The Passat CC combines coupe styling with the room and comfort of a saloon. With a luxury interior and positive sporty handling together with sleek aerodynamics the CC is a stunning vehicle.

Tiguan is the new compact 4x4 with VW's 4Motion four wheel drive system and a whole host of electronic gadgetry which at the touch of a button offers respectable off road capability. Available in four models with a range of engines this is a nimble little off roader which is well suited to urban driving.

The EOS is an attractive cabriolet with its impressive folding steel roof and an interior that is packed with the latest gadgets including touch screen sat nav. The 3.2 litre V6 version is certainly quick enough to ruffle you hair if you drive it with the roof down.

The Touran is a stylish seven seater with a staggering 500 seating variations and some 39 different storage compartments for the younger members of the family to deposit things. Five models are available with a range of diesel and petrol engines. Safety is an important consideration for a family vehicle so the Touran has a 5 star Euro NCAP rating as well as ABS ESP and multi stage Airbags as well as Isofix child seat fixings.

The spacious Sharan is available in four models from the 'S' to the Sport and can accommodate seven people plus all their stuff. Sharan comes with a choice of three Diesels and one Petrol engine with six speed manual gearboxes or a five speed tiptronic Auto. Safety features include Curtain airbags and a rigid body shell ABS as standard and ESP is available as an extra. A quality people carrier that holds it own in a competitive market.

Touareg is the big brother of the Tiguan and is a really impressive 4x4. A host of features include high ground clearance a centre lockable differential and high and low ratio gearbox, options include Air suspension. With a range of engines from the 2.5 litre TDI to the mammoth 5.0 litre V10. Sitting on up to 19" Alloys the Touareg really cuts it in the luxury SUV sector.

Finally we have the Phaeton, a rare beast which is hand crafted in a glass factory in Dresden! A truly luxurious vehicle with just about every conceivable feature you can imagine. Inside you are cosseted in a sumptuous world of leather and wood. With engines up to 12 cylinders which power the car quietly and effortlessly along. This is Mercedes S- Class territory with a price tag to match.

What a collection from Volkswagen!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Earn Money on The Internet: Think Also Strategy and Not Only Tactics

Let's start with a few words about tactics. They are various and some are very successful, but they are essentially changing and ephemeral. Some webmasters have earned fortunes for example using SEO tricks, sometimes using fraudulent deceits, to reach the top of Google. And their fortunes drop when Google has changed its algorithms and suddenly, their empire collapsed. Others tried to use so-called miraculous methods that have proven ineffective or obsolete by the time they were implemented.

It is good to know some tactics. Some still work very well and produce spectacular results. But in the end, do not rely too much on it to make money long term.

Try to imagine an alternative approach based on 10 simple steps:-

1. Choose a niche such as a market segment in which you have expertise, for instance. On the Internet, there is no real concern about having enough small niches. You choose a long tail niche such as 'visiting brazil for world cup 2014' rather than 'visiting brazil' which is a little too broad.

2. Select a product to sell. Rather choose a fast moving product at a reasonable price (no more than 20 Euro) and must have an excellent value for money. Note that you may require only a single product (or at most two or three) but certainly not a full range. If you plan to sell dozens of products online, preferably consider creating some additional sites with different content and schedule only a few products at a time.

3. Find a free gift, excellent quality and very attractive to your niche. In most cases, your gift will be an eBook, software or coupon. Make a squeeze page and collect emails from visitors in exchange for the gift.

4. Purchase at your e-shopping sites. You can occasionally add a surprise gift and this is always appreciated. Use an auto responder to manage the process in an automated way.

5. Build traffic to the sites. At this stage, it is still not relevant to try to get organic traffic, because it can take several months. You need immediate traffic to test and optimize your page, and the best solution is to consider a paid ad in Google, Yahoo, MSN or Facebook. On the other hand, you will be satisfied with very small budgets (the order of 5 to 10 Euro per day) until profitability is materialized.

6. Carefully measure the conversion rate of your visitors. Consider how many subscribers respond to your newsletter. Examine how many sales are converted during the sequence of emails. If the response rate is not satisfactory, you must optimize the process, that is to say, readjust your squeeze page or your e-mail recovery until a satisfactory rate is achieved.

7. Keep on sending interesting information to your subscribers by occasionally inserting free attachment. The frequency would somehow depend on your niche and your strategy. In general, it is good to send an e-mail every 7 to 10 days, and at least once per month. A free gift is nothing but a product which should logically interest those who purchase the first time. Absolutely avoid sending cheap and upsetting products that can destroy your goodwill.

8. Developing the traffic to your site. Once you have tested the response rate of your visitors, you have a good idea of what you can benefit from a new subscriber. So you can use paid methods to get traffic (PPC, ads... ) when the purchase price of the new subscriber is less than its cost. You can also use free methods such as viral traffic, press releases, organic traffic. But be cautious: these methods may look as if free according to your plan, but when you count the time you spend over there, you may be frustrated.

9. At this point, you have created your empire on Internet, that is to say, a community of enthusiastic followers who will buy something from time to time. From here, let's realize how important it is to provide only products (even free gifts) that are appealing and value for money. If your subscribers are frustrated right from their first purchase there is no chance that they will purchase again. Also note that with this first purchase, you have created an environment of trust with your subscribers, and if they would continue purchasing other important products from you depends on how you manage your relationship with them during the stage of pre-sale.

10. Repeat the process with other niches, preferably in related fields. This method of making money on the internet is perhaps not the fastest (although this is not proven at all), but it is certainly one of the safest and one of the few that allows you to progress virtually without limit. With this approach, you are totally protected from the whims of the search engines and you earn money every month with a minimum of maintenance.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Breakers Yards - Saving a Young Man's Love Life

There was a little incident, that saved me a couple of pounds (it was a while ago, before the Euro). It was not long after I learned how to drive, about a year, so I decided to take my girlfriend at the time to Galway for the weekend. What can I say Galway is a lovely city and it is cheap to stay in, money was not good in those days.

Now at this stage I did not have a car, all I had was use of my fathers car. So for the weekend he was nice enough to let me borrow his latest purchase, a nice little 1.25 Zetec engine, Ford Fiesta, it was white in colour with a dark interior, a fabulous little car I have to say.

So picked up the girlfriend and we headed off, on the way we stopped at a petrol station for some snacks, one of which was a small slab of toffee. It was very hard to break, so in my wisdom I decided to crack it apart on the gear sick shifter. I know it was not the brightest idea I have ever had, suffice to say not only did I break the toffee but I cracked the plastic on top of the gear knob as well.

I was young and was not happy about returning the car to my dad like that. So we reached Galway and checked into our hotel. I checked with the receptionist where the local Ford Dealer was and once I had directions I drove over to see about a replacement piece. Unfortunately they did not have any in stock; it would be mid next week before any arrived.

The repair manager suggested I drive out to the local car breaker, 10 minute drive away. I took a spin out there and was in luck. They had a Ford Fiesta there for breaking, it was not a Zetec unit but that did not matter. I parted with five Euros and had a nearly new replacement on the car with in minutes. It was as quick as twisting the old one off and screwing on the new one, you would not notice the difference and to this day my father still never knew.

Well after that I could relax and had a great weekend, but the moral of this story is that breakers yards are great for the small things for your car as well as the large expensive parts and they really got me out of a hole that weekend and allowed me to relax and enjoy the time with my girlfriend.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Affordable Sony Xperia S

The Sony Xperia S is the current flagship of the Xperia series. It comes fully packed with a 720p screen and a whopping 12MP shutter. This is also the design trend for the rest of the Xperia series handsets.

This handset shipped with Android Gingerbread and we all know that the latest Android iteration (the Ice Cream Sandwich) is now out and that a lot of new handsets are pre-installed with one. But then again, this should not be your reason in ignoring the Xperia S. There are tons of features that you will enjoy on this handset and soon the Ice Cream Sandwich OS will also land on this handset.

One of the factors why this phone is a must have is its affordable price tag. Unlike other new-fangled flagships this handset is quite easy on the pocket. Today, you can get this handset at 470 EURO or $616.84 USD. You can also choose to get this under contracts and the cheapest plan is roughly at 22.46 EURO or $29.47 USD.

Let's talk more about other juicy features of this handset. The phone measures at 128 x 64 x 10.6mm and it weighs in at 144 grams. It comes in with a pretty big built-in storage at 32GB. This handset will let you enjoy its 4.3" LED backlit LCD with a resolution of 720 x 1280p and a pixel density of 342ppi. It comes in with a scratch resistant glass for its screen protection. You will also enjoy the phone's Sony Mobile BRAVIA engine and Timescape UI on top of its current Android Gingerbread OS. There is also the phone's whopping 12MP shutter with a resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels and LED flash with auto-focus. Video recording is done at 1080p at 30 frames per second with continuous auto-focus and video stabilizer. The phone ships with a 1.3MP front-facing camera which can shoot videos at 720p at 30 frames per second. While other flagships are equipped with an 8MP shutter, this handset is heavily packed with a powerful 12MP shutter. Again, for its price you are truly getting an amazing handset with awesome features.

What's more is that this handset is not just all about its amazing screen and superb camera; it comes packed with features that no other mid-range handset can compete with. One of these is the phone's NFC features. With this handset you will get two smart tags (in the box) and an app support as well. You can place them wherever you want and make your life easier.

These are just some of the amazing features of the affordable Sony Xperia S.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Custom Tail Lights Showcase Fiery Rear Style

Let's pretend for a second that you are standing by the curb when you witness this breezy, stylish ride pull up in front. It's dusk, so the vehicle's headlights and tail lights are on full-bore. You take a glance at the center of the trunk to get a closer look at the make and model name. You're having trouble seeing it though, despite the fact it is not completely dark out yet. Before the driver turns the lights off and shuts down the engine, it quickly dawns on you: the tail lights are positively consuming.

Once a feature of European and upscale domestic models, LED and Euro tail lights (or taillights) have fast become a modifying staple for many different types of drivers. While these upgrades aren't exactly "new", they have, however, picked up considerable steam as of late. Some point to the speedy nature in which they can be installed, as more and more car owners have grown tired of long-term customizing projects. Others talk about the vividly contrasted luminance that upgraded tail lights often display, especially in comparison with original factory designs. But as with anything else custom-related, it all comes down to personal choice. And if one thing has risen out of all this, it is that custom tail lights are a relentlessly compelling aftermarket addition that benefits vehicles in more ways than one.

Why Custom Tail Lights?

The easy answer is "why not?" Of course, all drivers need to be armed with as much background information as possible, so it is best to look at custom tail lights with a bit more depth. Since the birth of the contemporary automobile, creative-thinking drivers have been finding ways to outdo the factory's presentation of rear lighting. They'd visit salvage yards to mix and match pieces, weld together home-made bezels, or even use the casings from bicycle reflectors to construct their own fixtures. Though times have evolved, the spirit remains. You give a driver who loves their ride enough time, and they'll find something to improve upon. Tail lights are almost inevitably at the top of that list.

Taillights are oft noticed identifiers. You are always in contact with them; you just might not recognize such unless a vehicle in front of you at a red light is sporting a brazen pair of LED taillights that are glimmering directly towards your retinas. But taillights are frequently intertwined with your ride, whether you realize it or not. It is for that very reason why so many choose a set that better represents their own interpretation of what automotive artistic value is all about.

LED Tail Lights - Tech Style, Tech Quality

Even in 2008, Light Emitting Diode technology is still considered advanced, and that's not by mistake. LED power is currently the most potent option for tail lights. And there is not a fair comparison between LED tail lights and OEM halogen bulbs. LED tail lights disperse a far more effectual tone of colorful radiance that is vivid and unmistakable. Because of this truth, LED taillights are a highly-discernible safety upgrade in conjunction with being reputable fashion accessories. Sure, they elicit sweltering style. But it doesn't hurt that they are easily noticed by a big rig behind you in the midst of some apocalyptic rain storm in the dead of night, either.

LED tail lights also have two other factors going for them. First off, they come in a virtual kaleidoscope of design patterns. Due to the versatile and efficient nature of LED lights, taillights can be patterned in different formats, styles, and colors. This is due to the vast array of shapes and sizes that LED lights are available to be housed and arranged in. And obviously, this presents a gamut of choices for manufacturers to work around, providing consistently fresh finishes for drivers to take a swing at. Secondly, LED technology is famous for going the distance. LED taillights last. They don't burn out for no good reason or dim to a futile, bland beam. LED tail lights are so widely used partially for this very reason, and are a dominant presence on the market.

Now armed with fiber optics, LED taillights are poised to break through even more. Even though "regular" LED tail lights will always be en vogue due to their cosmic appeal, fiber optics push the envelope even further. Fiber optic LED tail lights are featured inside the fixture as strips, delivering an added exotic element that will undoubtedly become the proverbial "next big thing." The grade of lighting is the same, if not improved in these sets, while the look is absolutely overwhelming when inserted into the right vehicle.

The Euro Invasion

Auto manufacturers abroad have traditionally managed to do just enough to offer a tangible aesthetic difference between their models and their competitors from around the globe. While overall body designs and shapes were never too far removed from anyone else's, the same cannot be said for other details on the exterior. Many foreign models incorporated different molding patterns, door handle placement, and of course - tail lights. Tail lights on certain BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Toyota and Lexus models were often "rounder" or shaped in a more animated fashion (referred to as "Altezza lights"). For many, it was a visually stimulating and exotic image that had to be duplicated, somehow and some way. When the Asian tuner underground rose up into the mainstream two decades ago, aftermarket "Euro" tail lights quickly found a home with custom-loving drivers around the world. And for the most part, that has remained unchanged.

Euro tail lights are available in multiple dozens of designs, and many times are LED-powered. What sets Euro tail lights apart from standard Western lamps? Many times, Euro taillights are "clustered" together inside the housing, and often feature circular lenses, but there are a host of other spirited options. If a set of Euro tail lights are LED, then the designs are near limitless. Boasting many housing selections, the spectrum is exponentially more expansive. The housing on both LED and Euro tail lights can be shaded several colors, providing a sportier and more eclectic backdrop for the lenses. This dynamic approach is what has set Euro taillights apart most drastically from usual American factory tail lights that come stocked in the majority of domestic models. It is also why along with LED tail lights, they are a near-requirement for those active in the aftermarket automotive culture.

What To Do When You Want In

The good news straight away is that LED taillights and Euro taillights are available for most models around, eliminating a good brunt of guesswork that can be associated with searching for aftermarket fashion. The first thing you want to do is make sure that your model is a candidate. Although it is a safe bet, do your due diligence. Just by utilizing an internet search engine, simply type in your model's name and year with the words "LED tail lights" or "Euro taillights." Undoubtedly, the page will fill up with a swoon of ads. But don't go crazy yet, just pointing and clicking your way to exotic freedom. Instead, take notes of the various sites that you visit, ensuring that in fact the tail lights in question are available for your vehicle. Compare prices, shipping details, and everything else that goes with being a good consumer.

For the most part, installation of LED or Euro taillights is a snap. Depending on the type of vehicle and so forth, all it really entails is popping off the original (or unscrewing) and simply wiring in the new fixture. Of course, any pair you order should come complete with directions. But I am fairly confident that even the less automotive-inclined could figure it out even without instructions if so pressed. Most sets are basic "wire-&-go" operations that take minutes to complete. In other words, it is fast and it is easy.

Synopsis

As we continue to find out, there are not too many types of people on the planet who are more creative than a customizing driver who is motivated. From rocker panels to spoilers and interior dome lights, there are layers and layers of available options to always explore when looking for an excuse to upgrade a vehicle. And most of the time, these decisions are good ones. But whenever it is a part of the ride that needs no explanation of where or what it is, then chances are it needs a stylish imprint. Automakers care about providing only the minimal amount required to make sure they sell enough units. And no one is complaining about that. Ultimately, it is up to us to find ways to get our cars or trucks to say more about who we are. And LED or Euro tail lights get it. They throw pizzazz, color, technology, and increased driving safety to the back-end in a way that not other addition can. It is certainly more than worth exploring a little deeper when you feel it's time for that molten exterior makeover!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sidewall Numbers and Letters Tell a Tale About Your Tires

Taking a close look at your tire's sidewall can provide you with just about everything you really need to know about your tires. But, before diving into the language of tires, let's consider what type of tires you have. Automobile tires generally fall into the following major categories:

P-Metric - P-metric sized tires are the ones with the "P" at the beginning of the tire size, such as P206/60R15. Their load capacity is based on an engineering formula which takes into account their physical size and the amount of air pressure.

European Metric- Euro-metric and P-metric tires in the same size, such as P206/60R15 and 206/60R15, are equivalent in their dimensions with only slight differences in their load capacity and inflation pressure. They are interchangeable if used in axle pairs or sets of four.

LT-Metric- LT-metric tires are equivalent to P-Metric tires, but have slight changes load abilities. Many 1/4-ton and 1/2-ton vehicles use Euro-metric and P-metric sized tires, while 3/4-ton and 1-ton vehicles use LT-metric sized tires.

Light Truck High Flotation - This designates tires with lower aspect ratio and higher flotation characteristics, which provide improved traction off-road. Information on these tires is always stated in inches.

T - Temporary Spare - If the lettering on a tire's sidewall begins with a "T," it signifies that it's a Temporary Spare designed to be used only a limited time until a flat tire can be repaired or replaced.

The set of numbers and letters on your tire's sidewall, 206/60R15 for example, can provide you a wealth of information. The first number represents the Section Width or the width of the tire. This is the distance between the outsides of the sidewalls of the tire, measured in millimeters or in inches on a high flotation tire.

The next number is the Aspect Ratio. This is the ratio between the tires Section Height, which is the distance from the rim seat to the outside of the tread, and the Section Width. The Aspect Ratio is typically expressed in increments of 5, such as 60, 70, and 75. So, on a 206/60/15 tire, the Aspect Ratio is 60% of the section width.

Another piece of information is the tire type. There are two basic types of tires:

* R -Radial: A radial tire is one with supporting belts, usually made of steel, running radially around the tire. * B - Bias: A bias tire (or cross-ply tire) is one with plies that run diagonally from one bead to the other. One ply is set on a bias in one direction, and then succeeding plies are set alternately in opposing directions and cross each other.

The final number in the size of a tire is the Rim Diameter. Tires that have a rim diameter expressed in inches are the most common type used. Tires and wheels that have a rim diameter expressed in half inches (14.5, 15.5, 17.5 and 19.5) are used on some heavy-duty trailers, trucks and box vans.

You can also find important information about your tires by looking at the Unified Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) UTQG lettering. The (UTQG) system measures three things:

Treadwear (520)

This rating indicates a tire's relative durability, based on government standard testing after about 7k miles of driving on a controlled test course. The rule of thumb is that you can add two zero's to the number to estimate the average service life you can expect to get from the tire under normal driving conditions.

Traction (A)

This rating is based on government tests to measure a tire's ability to stop a car moving straight ahead, on both concrete and asphalt surfaces. Tires are assigned traction grades of AA, A, B or C, with AA being the highest.

Temperature (A)

The temperature rating indicates a tire's relative ability to withstand high operating conditions. Tires are assigned temperature grades of A, B or C based upon testing with A being the highest.

The DOT Number on your tire's side wall also includes important information.

* The first two characters designate the tire manufacturer and plant code.
* Characters three and four denote the tire size.
* The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth (optional) characters identify the brand as well as other characteristics important to the manufacturer.
* The final four numbers denote the date the tire was produced.

Information contained in the tire's Service Description is the tire's load index and speed rating. The Load Index is an important number regarding towing or hauling. Load index numbers range from 75 (load carrying capacity of 852 pounds per tire) to 125 (3638 pounds per tire). The Speed Rating indicates how the tire is rated for its capacity to perform at high speeds as tested by the U.S. Government and is represented by letters Q through Z. In general, a higher speed rating will result in better overall handling.

Remember, your tires are your only connection between you and the road. Now that you know the language of tires, remember to treat them well.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Toyota RAV4 Is Getting Old And Outdated

Toyota RAV4 was first introduced in 1994 and was the first in the compact SUV market. It had a car like drive and a "tough street" look, that caught on. Many competitors followed Toyota to get their share of the market. The next generation was launched in 2000 and the latest in 2006. Though RAV4 is a very good car, but still it fades into the background. Perhaps it is its age or may be it doesn't have all of the features to offer like the rivals such as Land Rover Freelander, Honda CR-V and Nissan X-Trail.

It's weird that the third generation RAV4 lacks the sporty looks of its predecessor. It has an uninspiring design as compared to its direct rivals like Honda CR-V and Nissan X-Trail. RAV4 still supports the side hinged back door which feels so out dated as compared to top hinged tailgate. Having said that, the RAV4 makes up for what it lacks with its logically laid out interior. The materials and plastics used are of high quality. The driving position is quite high giving a good all round view.

The RAV4 might not be exciting but it sure does deliver. It gives a secure feel on the road,is comfortable to ride and performs well on the bends thanks to its four wheel drive system and high electric traction. The steering is responsive and light making it very easy to park. RAV has a soft suspension returning a smooth drive on bumpy roads. There are two engines to choose from a 2.0 litre petrol and 2.2 D-4D diesel. The petrol engine is much thirstier than the diesel. The 2.2D 4-D returns an economy of 47.1mpg considerable better than the CR-V's 43.5mpg.

The Toyota RAV4 only has a four star Euro NCAP rating. RAV4 is equipped with driver, side and curtain airbags, some models also have a driver knee air bag. Toyota is known for its reliability, and managed to score fifth position in Auto Express Driver Power Survey and RAV4 came 28th in model classifications indicating it is overall a reliable and safe car to own. For the extra peace of mind all models come with a five years standard warranty by Toyota.

The back of the RAV4 is spacious and the seats can be slid back and forth according to the required legroom. The boot has 560 litres of space which is much more than the Honda CR-V. The seats can be folded to increase the boot space. The side hinged rear door proves to be impractical and frustrating in tight spaces. It doesn't even open to full 90 degrees. One doesn't have to spend any extra money for the basic options as most of the models come with a decent amount of kit like parking sensors, Bluetooth and cruise control while MP3 compatible stereo, air conditioner and alloy wheels come with all models, which is not the case with its rivals. Overall RAV4 is good value and a well built car but unfortunately it is ageing now. The rivals have much more to offer than RAV4. It desperately needs a makeover to get its share in the fiercely competitive market.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Toyota Verso - Uninspiring Design But Practical

The Toyota Verso is by all means a practical and cheap to run compact MPV that gives a refined driving experience. However it has an uninspiring design and the interior is stuffed with cheap plastics which give the edge to other rivals like Ford C-MAX and Mazda 5. The cabin is practically designed with a high driving position.

The Toyota Verso has a very conservative van like design, and even the bumpy bonnet and the side lines on the body doesn't do much to hide this look. The front has a boring grille and uninspiring headlights. The only two things that give the Verso some road presence are the Lexus inspired rear lights and its wider track. Same is the case inside, where the cabin is more practical than stylish and cheap materials even enhance this message. If standing next to a Ford C Max, the Verso looks rather down market. The Toyota Verso might not have an engaging drive but it is smoother as compared to others in the class. The diesel engines are refined and suspension is soft giving a comfortable ride both on the city roads and motorways. The steering is light but gives a little feedback on sharp bends and the body rolls too. Having said that, it has an excellent driving position to redeem the driver's confidence.

The Verso has managed to score full five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. Overall Toyota has built a strong repute in reliability and the Verso is not any different. Toyota has won the 5th place in Auto Express Driver Power survey. The Toyota Verso is equipped with a host of airbags, electric stability control and ABS as a standard on all models making it a safe car to drive. It comes with a five years manufacturer warranty for buyers extra peace of mind. Practicality is where the Toyota Verso scores the top marks. The cabin might be simple but it is versatile with lots of storage cubbies. The second bench can be slid back and forward which allows to choose between the extra leg room or boot space. The rear most seats can be folded flat single-handedly resulting in huge 1,645 litres of boot space leaving the contemporary rival Mazda 5 behind by 160 litres. There is an option for seven seats which adds two small chairs at the back which are best for kids.

Unfortunately the Toyota Verso loses in terms of efficiency. The 2.0 litre diesel engine returns an economy of 53.3mpg with 139g/km of CO2 emissions, while the equally quick rivaling Ford C MAX manages 61.4mpg with 119g/km of emissions when powered by a 1.6 litre TDCi engine. Toyota has been stingy on the standard kit, the rear parking sensors only come with the range topping T Spirit and as an option with the rest and cruise control is not even available. However its practicality and five years manufacturer's warranty makes the Verso a good choice as a family car.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Redesign Of Volkswagen's Best-Selling Golf Model In Progress

Volkswagen AG, Europe largest automaker and producer of VW replacement antenna, has announced recently that the redesign of its best-selling Golf model is already in progress. According to Ulrich Hackenberg, the head of Volkswagen brand development in an interview in Berlin, "We are right on track. We are where we want to be.''

It can be remembered that when Martin Winterkorn, now chief executive of Volkswagen assumed the position last January he took a team with him from Audi that includes Hackenberg. The first agenda of Winterkorn includes the redesigning the next-generation Golf which was created during the terms of former CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder and Lieutenant Wolfgang Bernhard. These two former VW heads were responsible for developing the Volkswagen-brand of vehicles.

Hackenberg was recently in Berlin for a debate with German politician Renate Kuenast with regards to the car industry's role in climate change. Kuenast, who is presently heading the Green party in the lower house of parliament has created great controversy in Germany after she said that people should buy hybrid cars from Toyota Motor Corp.

Kuenast explained, "What I meant is that if the Germans don't have something to offer, then people should buy a Japanese auto. That is not to say that the Greens have made a decision on what the best type of engine is.''

The BlueMotion Technology
During his meeting with Kuenast, Hackenberg pointed out the fact that Volkswagen is offering a new line of vehicles as proof of its commitment to fuel efficiency. Vehicles sold under the BlueMotion label is capable of burning 30 percent less fuel compared to traditional models.

Volkswagen has presented the first BlueMotion car---the Polo subcompact which was released last year. The automaker will also be releasing soon the BlueMotion version of the Passat sedan hopefully in two months time.

Hackenberg further explained that the BlueMotion vehicles are better in saving fuel because they are lighter, possess gearboxes that shift more slowly and use tires with less road resistance. As a result, BlueMotion cars don't accelerate as quickly and are not as powerful as traditional models. The costs of the Polo BlueMotion are about 500 euros ($679) more than the standard Polo.

Juergen Kornmann, Volkswagen spokesman said, "We are sold out of the Polo BlueMotion until the end of June, early July. The order volume is three times higher than we expected.''

Hackenberg has assured Kuenast that Volkswagen will ``definitely bring out a Golf BlueMotion'' soon to which the head of the Green Party replied with BlueMotion expansion is "very positive".

The BlueMotion technology is a part of the program that the former Volkswagen brand chief Bernhard has announced at the Geneva Motor Show last February 2005 wherein he said that the company will spend two billion euros for over a five-year period to develop and build fuel-efficient cars.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Porsche Taking Over Volkswagen - The Continuing Saga

The rumor about Porsche taking over Volkswagen is one of the longest enduring controversies in the auto industry. And with the additional shares purchased by Porsche at the Wolfsburg-based automaker will further strengthen the speculation of the rumored takeover. But how true is it?

Despite the additional shares purchased by Porsche at Europe's largest automaker a takeover is surprisingly has never been the objective of the German sports car manufacturer.

The shares of Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker and producer of the popular range of VW head gaskets had rose and close at 5.24 euros ($6.96) or 6.5%, to 83.90 euros ($111.52) higher on Friday, after a report from Germany's Manager Magazin stating that members of Porsche's controlling Piech and Porsche families have purchased a third of Volkswagen's preference shares which means that they had likely gone higher than the 30% limit set by the German corporate law for the initiation of a full takeover.

But despite the announcement from Porsche that they will not be taking over Volkswagen, some analysts still believe that the families which include VW's chairman Ferdinand Piech have or will go beyond the set ceiling anytime soon.

According to Roman Mathyssek, Global Insight's senior automotive analyst, "The cost benefits of increasing the stake in Volkswagen are doubtful at the moment. This has to do very little with logic and that's why nobody believes it. From an industrial point of view there might be a good argument for the two companies to develop more products together, but you can do all that without increasing the equity stakes."

The earlier purchase of the 20% stakes of Porsche at Volkswagen in the year 2005 was viewed by most analysts as a defensive move geared at safeguarding Europe's largest automaker from any type of foreign takeover by hedge funds or by the likes of US corporate raider Kirk Kerkorian, who is a billionaire and president/CEO of Tracinda Corporation.

And from then on Porsche has been increasing its stakes reaching 27.4%. Chief Executive Wendelin Wiedeking announced just earlier this March that the company, Porsche is considering increasing its stake in Volkswagen to reach 30%.

Mathyssek said that the controlling families will not probably go beyond the 30% threshold not because they don't want to but they would like to first negotiate an exemption from the takeover law while waiting for Volkswagen's share price to drop significantly and once it does, "it wouldn't surprise me if they filed for an exemption (with the government) so that they can get a whole 40% or 50% and not have to launch a takeover."

About Porsche:
Porsche AG or Porsche is short for Dr. Ing. H.c. F. Porsche AG is a German sports car manufacturer founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, the engineer who was responsible for creating the first Volkswagen. The company is headquartered in Zuffenhausen which is a city district of Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg.

Porsche was awarded first place as the most prestigious automobile brand by Luxury Institute, New York in a survey conducted last May of 2006. At least 500 households with gross annual income of at least $200,000 USD and a net worth of at least $750,000 have participated in the said poll.

The current Porsche lineup includes sports cars starting from the Boxster roadster to their most famous product the 911. Another model similar to the Boxster is the hard top Cayman which has a slightly higher price range. The Cayenne is Porsche's mid-size luxury SUV. The Carrera GT Supercar was removed from the line up last May 2006. The upcoming lineup of Porsche includes high performance Panamera which will be offered in luxury saloon/sedan. Porsche was also the first to use variable geometry turbocharger in a gasoline powered production automobile.

Last 2006 J.D. Power and Associates awarded Porsche for highest Nameplate Initial Quality Study (IQS) of automobile brands. Porsche as a company is renowned for withstanding changing market conditions with its remarkable financial stability. Most of its productions are done in Germany unlike other German automakers that have moved their operations partly to Eastern Europe or overseas.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Shatter Your Night Driving Fear With Bright Headlights

Humans are not nocturnal organisms that are blessed with the highly developed senses of specially adapted eyesight. They are among the creatures that need some light source for properly seeing objects around them. Their eyes do not have the power of seeing in absolute darkness. That is why, when the automobiles were developed, auto experts outfitted them with the front lights so that a person can drive safely during the nighttime. When there is darkness all around you, it becomes extremely difficult to drive without any light source. Most of the people are scared of driving in the night as they have fear of collisions in their mind. They think that driving in the nighttime is risky which needs years of experience. They are absolutely wrong as experience matters up to some extent. Driving in the hours of darkness needs proper road view that gives ease in driving.

For proper visibility, there is a special light form that is present in front of the vehicle. It is known as headlight. Headlights enable the driver to see the road when the visibility is quite poor. These lights are designed to see the objects that are far away. It is achievable only if the light intensity produced by these front lamps is high. Today, all automobiles are equipped with bright lights, but old cars still lack this feature. Moreover, technologies are changing with every single day. Our automobile lighting industry is also getting advanced as the latest technologies are invading this industry. We have reached at a point where we have attained perfection in the car lights whether it is in the form of enlightenment or durability. Your old vehicles are still outfitted with lights working on old technologies, which do not serve the real purpose of headlights and hence, make you feel scared of driving in the dark hours.

Several such light forms that are ruling the automotive industry, as well as, hearts of the car enthusiasts include Projector, Euro, LED Projector, Euro Projector, HID Projector, Crystal, Glass, LED, HID, and many more. These latest light forms have replaced old incandescent and halogen based front lamps, which had several drawbacks. There are some features that these latest technology based head lamps own. These consist of:

1. Weather Stability

2. Water Resistance

3. UV Rays Protection

4. Vibration Anti

5. Heat Challenging

6. Shock Proof

7. 300% More Brightness

Those who have any plans of replacing their old car headlights with the new one must prefer only Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and Department of Transportation (DOT) approved front lights. This approval gives you an assurance that you are buying quality lights. Moreover, always make sure that the design and pattern of these front lights is according to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) guidelines.

People usually get confused when it comes to selecting headlights made up of diverse materials. Earlier glass casings were used that were prone to breakage. Nowadays, polycarbonate material is used which is quite strong and light weight, but still this material has some drawbacks. In the future, it is expected that fiber-optic technology will create a revolution in headlights.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Audi A4 Avant Engine Is Fabulous

The fourth generation of Audi A4 made its debut in 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show. But after half of a year later in Geneva Motor Show in year 2008, the public saw its Avant body style for the first time. The new A4 Avant had a better stability and the weight distribution was improved. Even the critics praised the use of Audi Modular Longitudinal Platform. The front overhang was reduced and the power-train's position was re-adjusted. The new model of A4 Avant had lightweight steel components, longer wheelbase and in came the new technological features like Servotronic steering, electronic park brake and MMI system. Audi A4 Avant now stands equal to its traditional rivals, the Mercedes C-Class and the BMW 3-Series, the new model drives as well as it looks.

The new model comes with seven-spoke alloy wheels as standard, but on the options list, five variations are available. S, SE and S-line (with sporty details added to the interior and exterior to the S-line) are the three available trim levels. The steering of Audi A4 Avant has been improved in accuracy. The DSG twin-clutch gearbox is brilliant and a worthy option. There is a superb Audi Drive Select (ADS) system which enables the drivers to sharpen the throttle response, adjust the dampers and optimise the power steering. The A4 claimed a five-star rating for adult protection by the Euro NCAP. As a standard all models feature Electronic Stability Programme, while other considerable options include the hi-tech Lane Assist and the Side Assist system with blind spot warning.

Audi A4 Avant engines are state of the art in their performance and economy. They are offered in three variations in petrol and two in diesel. The Audi A4 petrol engines include a 1.8-litre TFSI with 160 hp which produces 250 Nm of torque, achieving 0-62 mph in just 8.9 seconds with the CO2 emissions of only 172 g/km and the combined economy of 32.6 mpg. It comes with front wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox. There's a 2.0-litre TFSI with 211 hp which produces 350 Nm of torque, achieving 0-62 mph in just 7.1 seconds, the CO2 emissions are at 192 g/km and the combined fuel economy is 27.6 mpg. It comes with all wheel drive and automatic six-speed gearbox. And the last one is a 3.2-litre V6 FSI with 265 hp that produces 329 Nm of torque, achieving 0-62 mph in just 6.4 seconds, the CO2 emissions are only 216 g/km with the combined economy of 25.8 mpg. It comes with all wheel drive and a manual six-speed gearbox.

The Audi A4 diesel engines include a 2.0-litre TDI with 143 hp which produces 320 Nm of torque, achieving 0-62 mph in just 9.7 seconds with the CO2 emissions only 149 g/km and returns the combined economy of 41.2 mpg. Another 2.0-litre TDI is with 170 hp which produces 350 Nm of torque, achieving 0-62 mph in just 8.6 seconds, the CO2 emissions value is 154 g/km and does 40.5 mpg. The last one is a 3.0-litre TDI with 240 hp which produces the massive 500 Nm of torque, achieving 0-62 mph in just 6.3 seconds emits 188 g/km of carbon and does 33.1 mpg. All of these engines come with a manual six-speed gearbox.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Scooter Fuel Efficiency in Times of Rising Gas Costs

Scooters are becoming popular by the day. The sudden surge in scooter sales is because of the rising crude oil prices. People are looking for cheaper and alternate methods of transport. This leads them to ditch their high branded cars and SUVs. Besides it makes no sense to roam around in a larger vehicle, when u can do the same in a scooter in a lesser period of time. Scooters have always been a hit with the masses ever since they were introduced. Like mentioned earlier, scooters are often chosen basically for their fuel efficiency. Most of the scooters manufactured today have fiberglass or aluminum bodies. This helped in making the scooter lightweight, and thus increasing its fuel efficiency. It has been long proven that light weighed vehicles give more mileage.

Besides the engines are also constructed using aluminum blocks, which help in the further reduction in the gross weight of the scooter. Tires also play an important role in the fuel efficiency of a scooter. Improperly inflated tires may lead to increased intake of petrol. This can be explained scientifically. An improperly inflated tire has more contact with the road surface, thus increasing the amount of friction involved. Of course more friction equals to more drag and hence the high usage of fuel. Another recent innovation is the electric scooters. Instead of a petrol engine, electric motors are implemented in such scooters. These electric motors are driven with the help of rechargeable batteries.

As technology advances, the power storing capacities of the batteries are also increased. Besides just plugging them to the household electrical unit charges these batteries. Aerodynamics is an important factor too. This deals with the amount of drag induced on the scooter while it is in motion. While objects are moving at high speeds, the air surrounding it produces a dragging effect on the body. By aerodynamically designing the scooter's body, this can be reduced to a certain extent. Some of the vendors have started using newer engine technologies too. In the olden days only two stroke engine scooters were to be found. With the mandatory inclusion of Euro three emission standards in many countries, four stroke engines are largely replacing two stroke scooters.

These scooters posses higher fuel efficiency and higher power than their counterparts. Besides the transmission systems have also been modified these days. Manual transmission systems are slowly being replaced by automatic transmission systems. Although the comparison between manual and auto transmission is sure enough to start a bar fight, people prefer manual and auto transmissions according to their needs. The fairer sex always prefers auto transmissions as it helps them to learn and maneuver at a faster pace. Men prefer the manual transmission as it gives them more control over the scooter. Frequent usage of clutch will also lead to decrease of fuel efficiency. The clutch comes into play only for the manual transmission systems. For the auto transmission scooters, the clutch is deployed automatically. Whatever the reason be proper usage of the scooter will definitely add on the efficiency. Servicing is also to be done at regular intervals as mentioned by the dealer or the manufacturer.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Nissan X-Trail - The Best Value SUV

The X-Trail was added to Nissan's off road range in 2001 and is something of an unsung hero. It is a compact 4x4 with practical boxy lines. Dynamically, the X-trail drives great on-road making it better choice than rivaling BMW X3 or Volvo X360. The X-Trail is the best option for those looking for a dependable yet enjoyable 4X4 car. It also returns a great value for money in terms with generous standard kit and strong resale values. The overall look of the Nissan X-Trail remains the same since 2001 apart from the light tweaks it received in 2007, but the X-Trail doesn't really need any change in design as it is a winning formula that still feels fresh and has helped the Japanese manufacturer flourish through the off road vehicle market. The X-Trail has a rugged look thanks to its chunky bumpers and dark scuff plates. Inside it has a luxurious but practical cabin that feels upmarket with high quality materials.

Having said that, the dashboard looks a bit odd with centrally fitted screen which looks like a substandard after market accessory. The X-Trail is powered by a 148bhp 2.0litre and 171bhp 2.0litre diesels mated with a six speed manual gearbox. The gearbox is smooth but it drives a bit firm and on motorways there is a lot of road noise. Having said that, it performs great on the bends thanks to the firm set-up giving it an edge over the agricultural Land Rover Freelander. The X-Trail's appetite for revs makes it an entertaining car to drive. However, like other Nissans, the X-Trail is also not the best at stopping and takes 62.6 metre to stop when brakes are applied at 70mph, the rivaling Kia Sorento (larger in size) does the same in 52.6 metres.

The X-Trail managed to score only four out of five stars in Euro NCAP crash test rating, which is same as the Toyota RAV4 but one star less than the Land Rover Freelander. However, the standard safety equipment includes six airbags, AntilocCK Braking System and electronic stability control. The four wheel or two wheel drive can be selected with a touch of a button that adds to the driver's confidence. Nissan cars have a strong reputation for reliability and the X-Trail has performed really well in owner satisfaction surveys. It finished ninth in Auto Express Driver Power Survey.

The X-Trail boast 603 litres of boot space which can be increased to 1,773litres on folding the seats, that is 100 litres more than the rivaling Freelander which is larger in sizes. There is plenty of legroom for the passengers at the back and cabin boasts a huge glovebox and lots of cubbyholes. The driver enjoys a comfortable position thanks to highly adjustable seat and steering wheel. All of these make long journeys easy for both the driver and the passengers. The X-Trail returns fuel economy of 44.1mpg which is on a par with its rivals. However, it enjoys high residual values as compared to its rivals plus the kit levels are impressive. The Sport version gets a sunroof, Bluetooth connectivity and CD changer. All of these combine to make the X-Trail an appealing package for buyers.