ESM’s 2012 Car Buying Predicament #5

I realise that calling this series of posts a “predicament” is somewhat of a dramatisation. Like having to decide on whether to pick a Cheryl Cole or Megan Fox calendar for the ESM office, this is a nice first world problem to have to deal with. But at the same time it is hardly like…

ESM’s 2012 Car Buying Predicament #4

So after weighing up the benefits and pitfalls of PCP car financing, I managed to come to the conclusion that if it enables me to get a better, newer car (tailored to my specification), then it is probably a necessary evil. Having been tempted by the seemingly generous offers available from MINI, it seemed sensible to…

Bye Bye GTi – Saying Auf Wiedersehen to a Wolfsburg Legend

Tonight, ESM’s Mate Steve explains why he’s surrendered ownership of the iconic MkV Golf GTi, along with noting the highs and lows of owning a hot-hatch legend. Last week I handed back the keys to a VW Golf GTi MkV, you might ask why, hopefully this will become clear. Just over 3 years ago I…

ESM’s 2012 Car Buying Predicament #3

So after all the hours spent researching cars that would fit into the £8k used budget, ESM’s mate Steve threw a spanner in the works. As you’ll discover later this week, he’s just got a cracking deal on a brand new MINI Countryman for his better half. Given the state of the economy, car dealers…

ESM’s 2012 Car Buying Predicament #2

Previously on ESM, I set out a rather lengthy list of criteria that I wanted the Polo replacement to have. Somewhat predictably, I then went away and spent several hours days searching AutoTrader and other classifieds. When you’ve given yourself a string of demands which make your average terrorist blush, unsurprisingly the options were limited, with…

ESM’s 2012 Car Buying Predicament #1

The problem of being someone who writes about cars, and is generally consumed with thoughts of an automotive nature, is that it makes picking your own vehicle difficult. For instance, in the past twelve months I’ve owned the following: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 TDI Sport, 2008 Fiat Panda 1.4 100HP, 2006 Volkswagen Polo 1.4 SE….

Friday Photo From the Archives #2

After a rather lengthy summer hiatus, ESM is back once again. To kick things off after the holidays, I figured another Friday Photo From the Archives might be in order. In fact, this is one taken four years ago this week: This is my Audi S3, also known as the “worst car I’ve ever owned”…

The Random Volkswagen Collective

Writing about the Polo earlier this week got me thinking about my appreciation for VAG products in general. The result being a list forming, photos being researched and this post about some of the more obscure models to emerge from Germany that I have a fondness for. These are not in any particular order, just…

Filling The Hole: The Polo

Yesterday I mentioned how I would save the details of the Panda 100HP’s replacement until today. As promised, here is the new contender to fill the (obviously quite petite) shoes left by the baby Fiat: Yes, like an errant homing pigeon finally finding the coop, I’ve returned to the Volkswagen stable. This 2006 Olympic Blue 9N3…

End Of The Road: The Panda 100HP

Up until owning the Panda 100HP, I’d only ever had VAG products. Three Volkswagens and an Audi to be precise. This presented me with something of an existential crisis as someone heavily opinionated on cars and the motor industry. How could someone who had only owned products of one (albeit huge) manufacturing group, really offer…