Drive for Him and for Her

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AUG16-17-1MINI Clubman Cooper S review for her

by Helen Carstens

The Mini Clubman is like a little SUV Mini. No, it is not a SUV, but it is larger than the well-known Mini Cooper.  When climbing behind the steering wheel, the first thing I noticed was the vast distance to the rear of the vehicle.

The 4-and-a-bit door Clubman is snazzy and smart.  The wheel arches are trimmed with black.  The jutting roof has a sporty fin and it appears as though the windows slope from front to rear.

I found everything pertaining to the Clubman circular in design, from the headlights to the dash and dials.

The red detailing alluding to sportiness, including the defined steering wheel which has indents for your thumbs.  The centralised circular dash has a display screen and below are the air-con dials.  Directly below this is another row of dials – unusual – but very functional.  The steering wheel is leather-wrapped, adjustable and includes multifunction controls.

At first, I must admit, the cabin area felt a bit cluttered, with dials and buttons everywhere, but one soon becomes accustomed to it.

The Clubman offers many interesting features that also allude to luxury and refinement.

The list of standard features is extensive, with several others being available as optional extras.  Standard features include electric windows front and rear, electric side mirrors with folding and auto-dimming features optional, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic air-conditioning and climate control for driver and passenger, cruise control with adaptive being offered as an extra.  Rear park distance control is standard, while front pdc and rearview camera are available as optional extras.  Radio with CD player, Aux, USB as well as Bluetooth audio streaming and telephony are standard with voice control and navigation being available as extras.

The Clubman Cooper S includes ABS with EBD and brake assist. Hill hold assist with electric parking brake as well as keyless start and optional keyless entry.

The drive is nippy, sturdy and sporty.  The sport mode offers a whole different experience.

Everyday driving is comfortable with smooth handling and clear, smooth gear changes.

The boot is a fair size. With tailgate consisting of two doors that open outwards.  Rear-seated passengers are afforded space and comfort.

An amazing feature, which clearly sets the Clubman in a different category, is the Mini emblem emanating from the driver’s door that illuminates onto the ground when the door is opened – rather a nice, and unique touch.

The Clubman certainly has many bells and whistles, offers a great drive and most definitely has a refined, sporty and luxurious appeal.

HC

AUG16-17-2Ford Everest 3.2 4WD XLT review for her

by Helen Carstens

The new Ford Everest is big, macho and strong. It is a vehicle of navigating serious terrain.

I must say, as a suburban driver, I found it rather big and heavy, as if it wanted to do more than just drive from stop street to stop street.

But, it is a very nice offering.  Comfortable and spacious, with leather seats and a number of USB and Aux points throughout.

Being high off the ground, there is a hand grip and step rail to aid stepping up into the Everest.  The cabin is spacious with a large central touch display with air-con dials and buttons below.

The multifunction steering wheel is wrapped in leather, adjustable and includes controls for Bluetooth functionality.

A nice feature, and one of my favourites, is auto door locking and drive away.  Auto lights and auto high-beams are both very handy features, as are the lane deviation warning and blind-spot warning indicators in the side mirrors.  Another favourite of mine are the heated seats with various heat settings, all controlled via the central touch display.

The Everest drives well, although I found it to have a very large turning circle, being such a big, muscular, heavy vehicle.  Thank goodness for the reverse camera that displays in the central screen.  This definitely helps with navigating in and out of parking bays and tight spots, should you manage to find yourself in one.

The automatic gearbox shifts smoothly and cleanly and the 3.2l V6 engine provides more than enough power to move this hulking behemoth.

The 7-seater provides plenty of space for the whole family.  Open the tailgate with the push of a button as it raises and you will find buttons to auto fold the last row of seats with one push, to create more boot space.

The lovely double-sunroof provides extra light into the cabin and really adds to the feel of being one with nature, if you decide to take the Everest off the streets and release it into the wild as this is something you really should do as the Everest is a fully-functional off-roader with one touch control for various terrain types.

The Everest is a multi-purpose vehicle that is able to take on many identities, all in great comfort.  It offers luxury, refinement and, at the same time, off-road capabilities that would place this vehicle in a class that is anything but refined.

The large body, arched wheels, curved bonnet, strong front grille, large side mirrors and step bars all point to the Everest being a strong, versatile ride.

HC

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