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martinrobinson

martinrobinson
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Member since: 08.05.2011

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    • Toyota Celica Standard / Car / 42 Readings / 42 Ratings
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      25.06.2011 14:33
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      A great, fun and practical coupe!

      Toyota Celica 1.8 VVTI 140bhp INTRODUCTION These new Iphones present a certain danger to ones financial health nowadays due to the fact that the owner has the potential to walk around with a lot more than just a phone in his or her pocket. For example, I have apps such as Ebay, Amazon, Play.com, The Lotto and Just Eat on my Iphone which are all readily available at any time of the day or night wherever I might be. It was one day last year that I sat at home bored and decided to take a look in the "apps store" on my Iphone. Whilst browsing I suddenly stumbled across an app for Autotrader and immediately downloaded it. Three weeks later I had increased my debts by another £4000.00 and was the proud owner of a black Toyota Celica. In the coming weeks I would soon come to find that this was money well spent. As mentioned above I have had my Toyota Celica for around a year now and I must stress that it is the best car that I have ever owned. It gives me a nice comfortable driving experience and has great performance when it is needed. In my opinion the Toyota Celica looks great and handles very well too. When driven carefully I get relatively good fuel consumption from it so it isn't always like driving around constantly looking for a petrol station. Particularly important nowadays with our current ridiculous fuel costs. LOOKS Ok, so lets start with the looks. This shape Celica is the seventh generation of the Toyota Celica series. It was first released all the way back in 1999, but its futuristic sporty shape keeps it looking modern and up to date. I'm sure that most of us know what the Toyota Celica looks like as they aren't a rare car at all, but for your benefit I have uploaded plenty pictures of mine so that you can see what I am talking about. For the Toyota Celica my favourite colour has to be black, so long as it is kept clean. My Celica is black and looks amazing when it has been cleaned well and waxed with a good quality carnauba wax. If neglected though black soon looks dirty and if I am honest its quite a high maintenance colour for any car. I have recently grown quite fond of the silver Toyota Celica's and I think that silver would be an attractive option when buying one. If you take a look at any pictures I am sure you will agree that the Celica's shape is hiding its age somewhat. In some pictures you are actually looking at a nine to twelve year old car and don't forget that this shape was released way back in 1999. A shape that still looks quite current for one developed twelve years ago. Toyota have clearly produced a shape to last with this generation of Celica. COST The price of a Toyota Celica varies from place to place but they are generally quite reasonably priced now. I bought my Celica last year for £4500.00. For my money I got a Celica on an 02 plate with 55,000 miles on the clock. It had two previous owners and a full service history (in fact it has actually been over-serviced). The car had no damage and no previous problems. I got a 12 month used car warranty, full service and a new MOT pass certificate plus 6 months road tax. The Celica I bought had a few extras with it as it was bought with the "sport pack" which included things such as a Sony CD player, electric sunroof and rear spoiler etc. If you shop about I would imagine that you could find a Celica similar to mine with the same miles for around the £4000 mark today (June 2011). RUNNING COSTS? Ill start by talking about the major cost of running any car, fuel. The review for this Celica is based on the 1.8 litre engine. Toyota Celica's have a 55 litre fuel tank and take unleaded petrol. To fill this tank from empty at today's average petrol price of 136.09 pence per litre would cost just short of £75.00. This sounds quite scary to me if I'm honest! Lets work out how long this would last or how far you should get from a full tank. 55 litres is 12.1 gallons, so if we work on the Toyota Celica's average fuel economy for combined urban/extra urban driving of 36.7 mpg, a full tank should get you 444.07 miles. For urban driving the fuel economy is 27.4 mpg which should get you 331.54 miles. Finally, the fuel economy for extra urban driving is 45.6 mpg which works out as 551.76 miles from a full tank. Just for fun lets try something really scary and work out how much you would spend in a year if you drive 11000 miles at 36.7 mpg. Oooofffttt! 11000 miles at 36.7 mpg when the cost of fuel is 136.09 pence per litre is an annual cost of £1854.35. Try working this out for your own car at http://www.fuel-economy.co.uk/calc.shtml Another major running cost if you are my age or similar is insurance. The 140bhp Toyota Celica falls into insurance group 13. For me this means an annual premium of £550.00 fully comprehensive, that's with two years no claims discount and I am 24 years old. I do have an occupation which lowers my insurance premium a lot but for now I find swiftcover the cheapest. For road tax costs my latest tax disc just reminded me that I paid £200.00 for twelve months tax in march 2011. That stings a bit. HANDLING This is an area of the review which I am reasonably well experienced enough to comment on. Driving cars fast is all part and parcel of my job and I have been doing this for four and a half years now. Driving quickly and well in excess of the speed limits is something I do daily at work (legally) and during this time I have driven a number of different vehicles with different qualities in handling. Being trained to drive fast safely including skid-car training has helped give me a good understanding of car handling too. The seventh generation Toyota Celica is now only available in front-wheel drive. The drive is comfortable and very pleasant when driven carefully and with consideration. It has the right amount of power when it is needed for overtaking and feels like driving a low seated saloon car. If you put your foot down you can bring the car to life. When driven hard the handling is exceptional but you will need to keep the revs high in order to keep the car lively. Between 4000 and 7000 rpm the car sounds great. On country roads this car tackles corners enthusiastically and goes around them as if attached to railroad tracks. There is very little lean in this car as its suspension is a bit harder than an ordinary car and it is lower to the ground making its centre of gravity closer to the road. I really like this quality when on winding country roads as they can be navigated quickly and comfortably in a nice stable car which always feels flat to the ground. As I said earlier this car is front wheel drive so the usual type of skid you would expect if over pushed will be a front wheel skid (or under steer). When navigating tight corners or round-a-bouts on wet roads it is fairly easy to induce a minor front wheel skid or under steer if you are driving too quickly. This of course is not desirable but only happens if the car is driven dangerously or overly hard in the wet. I have found this car to be very safe and more than stable when driven properly, I am merely trying to explain that the car has enough power to cause this to happen with a careless foot. On dry country roads I have found my Celica to have excellent road holding. The steering is nicely responsive in the Toyota Celica and the stability is excellent. You can expect a comfortable drive in a Celica and not too much of this comfort is lost when we get onto those quiet country roads and increase the speed a little bit. Compared to the handling of other cars which I have driven hard at work I consider the handling of the Toyota Celica to be excellent. PERFORMANCE The acceleration of the Toyota Celica from standing feels a bit tepid and that's because it is. 0 - 62 miles per hour takes the Celica 8.7 seconds which is fairly slow for a coupe. The Variable Valve Timing Intelligent (VVT-i) engine must be revved hard to get the most from its performance. The Celica does have enough power to provide fun and does so when driven in the upper third of its rev range. When driven in this manner you can feel the car pulling hard out of corners and during overtaking. The Toyota Celica has a maximum speed of 127.31 miles per hour (205 kilometres per hour). It has a six speed gearbox and in my opinion the gear changes are smooth. All in all it manages to deliver a decent driving experience with plenty of power in reserve for fun when you need it. PRACTICALITY The boot space is a fairly large size for a coupe (see photo) and this is helped due to the fact that this car has a hatchback rather than a small boot lid. I have had fifteen bags of food shopping in the boot on one occasion. On top of this the rear seats fold down for extra room and a more practical choice when buying a coupe. I have also transported a coffee table in my Celica with the rear seats folded down. The inside offers as many cup holders as seats and a couple of extra little storage compartments. The glove box isn't anything special in terms of size but there is an extra storage box above the radio which has a door and I use this to keep my phone and wallet out of view. There is another storage box at the rear of the centre console for a few extra small items you might want to hide from view. COMFORT The two rear seats are seriously restricted to accommodating either children or really small adults. Legroom is minimal and the long sloping rear windscreen decreases the headroom the further back it gets and it's not so easy to access. The front seats are very comfortable and full leather is standard. Behind the wheel I find a sporty environment with a leather seat in a low-slung position. I find that I get plenty of support from the drivers seat and the height can be adjusted. The controls are really well placed around a nice leather grip steering wheel. The view in the interior mirror is good and there is only a minor obstruction from the spoiler. On the motorway some of the road noise does permeate through into the inside of the car and driving like this is not particularly quiet. Getting in and out of the car is only a little harder than a normal car as it is a bit lower to the ground. I find that I lean in as far as I can then just drop to the seat when getting in. Getting out needs just a little more effort than usual but you soon get used to it. SAFETY The Toyota Celica has four SRS airbags. One in the steering wheel, one in front of the front passenger and one in each of the front seats which explode forwards to separate the driver/passenger from the door windows. The Celica also benefits from an anti lock braking system. All Celica's have remote central locking, fitted alarm systems and an immobiliser. I have noticed that whilst washing my car it automatically locks itself after a few minutes but I am not sure if this is standard. Toyota didn't put the Celica through any EuroNCAP crash tests, so it has no rating. SUMMARY The Toyota Celica is a fantastic car and I would not hesitate to recommend it to friends. It is one of the more practical coupe cars and is fun to drive. Please view my photographs which I have submitted to supplement this review. I hope that this review has been helpful, thank you for reading and if you have any further questions please message me. Martin.

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      • More +
        24.06.2011 11:51
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        Great product for road legal calling.

        I immediatley invested in my Parrot CK3000 after hearing a friend receive a call on his whilst in his car. The kit itself consists of a number of components and most of these are hidden away when the parrot is installed. Along with these components comes quite a lot of wiring but this is also hidden away after installation. Once installed the only parts of the parrot visible are the small three button interface which mounts discreetly to the dash board and the microphone which is usually mounted near to the interior light on the ceiling. When I bought my parrot I decided to have a go at installing it myself as the kit comes with clear and concise illustrated instructions. The installation took me around half an hour to complete and I found it to be suprisingly easy. I have no electronics experience and this was the first time I had removed my car stereo/cd player. The installation involves wiring the parrot to the back of your car stereo/cd player and hiding a lot of the hardware behind the stereo. after this the small three button interface is mounted to the dash board and the mic installed to the ceiling. This parrot uses the cars own stereo speakers so there are no speakers to install like other handsfree kits. Once the parrot is installed you can use the menu to pair your mobile phone to it via bluetooth. The parrot has a facility to pair with up to three phones if more than one driver uses your car. Once your phone is paired to the parrot they will automatically connect with each other whenever you get in the car (so long as the bluetooth is switched on on your phone). This particular parrot has no screen so when using the menu the options are read out by the device through the car speakers. I have found this very easy to use. My parrot is paired with my iphone so to call someone all i have to do is press the green button and say the contacts name. This uses my iphones voice command feature so no need for adding voice tags. For some phones you may have to assign voice tags to your contacts so that the device knows who to call. This is done on the parrots menu. When you receive a call your ringtone comes through the car speakers and you answer the call by pressing the green button on the user interface. The sound quality is very good and sharp. The volume is adjusted on the menu and the max volume is very loud. I have spoken to family members after calling them on the parrot and their feedback is always that they couldnt tell any difference in the sound quality during the call. This device cost me around £70.00 from Halfords which does sound to be a bit on the pricey side to be honest. It is a lot of money to spend but I can confirm that this device is worth every penny. Especially when the cost of a fixed penalty ticket for using a handheld device whilst driving is £60.00, plus three penalty points on your driving licence! To sum up this parrot is easy to install, easy to use and has very good quality sound. The best part of course is that it makes calling safer and road legal. I would recommend this to all drivers.

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        • Apple iPhone 4 16 GB / Smartphone / 38 Readings / 34 Ratings
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          08.05.2011 21:22
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          Great little device with many uses!

          I have had my Iphone 4 for a half a year now and I have to say I am still very impressed with its variety of features and quality, The Iphone 4 is very easy to use and the touch screen is very accurate. Eye Candy? Lets start with the handsets aesthetics. If you ask me this little device is quite pleasing to the eye. I think the colour they refer to is "piano black" and when new it looks so smooth, shiny and has that "good quality look" about it. I have kept mine in a case the entire time I have owned it and I have managed to keep the back of the handset scratch free. As for the front of the phone, which is mostly screen, the handset is just as pretty. I guess you could describe the appearance of this phone as a mini tablet? Just look at the pictures at the top of the review, I haven't added any of my own photos as there are already so many on here. When the handset is switched on and the screen is in use it is very vibrant, clear and bright. The brightness can be adjusted of coarse in the settings so that you can still see the screen easily on a sunny day. Signal I have heard reports that there is a problem getting a signal with the iphone 4 but to date I have had no problems with mine. This problem generated a lot of publicity for the iphone 4 and was apparently sorted out shortly before I ordered mine. From what I understand the problem was that the phones aerial was positioned at the bottom left of the inside of the phone and when covered with the hand caused signal loss. This would be particularly annoying for left handed people who would have covered the aerial every time they held the phone to their ear! If there was a real problem I'm guessing that it was in fact rectified because I have had no such problems. Don't forget it is a phone aswell! With so many features on modern phones it is easy to forget that the primary function for a mobile phone is for making phone calls! Making calls on the iphone 4 can be done using the address book, touch screen keypad or voice activated feature. Like all phones the iphone 4 has the capacity to store contacts in an address book and friends etc can be added to this list. The iphone 4 will give you an extra option of calling by "facetime" to those contacts who also have an iphone 4. Facetime is basically video calling between two iphones. The touch screen keypad is fairly easy to use too. If im honest with you I have what my girlfriend describes as "sausage fingers" and I am led to believe this is because they are wide? Anyways, despite this condition I am still able to press the button I want first time when dialling. The voice activated calling is great, there is no need to record voice tags for this feature, you just hold the iphone button and say a contacts name. The phone will automatically call the contact after telling you which contact it heard you say. This is very useful when driving especially when used in conjunction with a "PARROT" hands free device. Apps There are thousands of applications available to download from the "app store" and a lot of these are free. The app store is on the iphone itself so there is no need to plug the phone into your computer every time you want to download one. there is an app available for almost everything you do. For example I cycle to work every day and there is an app which will tell me how many miles I have cycled, how long it took me, my average speed and even the elevation of my route. It will even plot the route onto a map as I cycle along for me to record and look back on and this was one of the free apps! (imapmyride if your interested). Lots of these good apps are free and I would say that the majority of the non free ones are 59 pence. There are some more expensive ones such as my "beat buddy" which cost me around £4.00. Text Messaging The Iphones text messaging is displayed as speech bubbles between you and the whoever you are texting. This allows you to view the messaging as a chat setup so you don't have to check a separate "sent box" to see what you sent them in the first place. The screen is clear and easy to read. Your sent messages are displayed as green speech bubbles and your received messages show up as grey speech bubbles. The keypad is on the touch screen and the buttons are small. Sometimes I press the wrong button by mistake but I do have sausage fingers remember! What else can it do? The iphone 4 comes with a few extras such as a free map/gps application. It also has things such as a compass, calendar and 5mp camera. There is also a second camera on the front of the phone for video calling. The contacts, weather, stocks, youtube and settings are automatically installed on the Iphones main menu. Please do not forget that this is also an ipod for all you music lovers and of course the iphone comes with headphones. The sound quality is great. In my opinion the Iphone 4 is at the forefront of its game and is still far superior to its rivals. I would recommend this product to almost everyone renewing a contract as there is a use in it for all of us. If I had to choose a disadvantage of this product I would tell you that the battery time could be improved and that the phone needs a feature which allows the user to disable the screen tilting for when you're lying in bed. All in all apple seem to have made an excellent product which makes life easier and more entertaining.

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