Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota have released a brand new hybrid car, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid! Way back in 1994, Toyota launched the original RAV4. This brought with it a new kind of car that could go anywhere and it had the rugged stance of an SUV. While it had the compact look of a hatchback. It made it’s own lane.

This spirit is also witnessed in this brand new version of the RAV4,  the fifth generation of the RAV4. It brings with it a brand new era of performance, capability and safety. Furthermore the advances are underpinned by the first use of Toyota’s new GA-K platform in an SUV.

The RAV4 has a low centre of gravity and an increased body rigidity. The new RAV4’s platform has superior handling, ride comfort and spacious interior. It also has an eye catching design with a lower roof/bonnet lines with higher ground clearance. While the cabin has more space and comfort with a fantastic finish throughout.


RAV4 offers a self charging and hybrid powertrain, the new 2.5-litre petrol hybrid Dynamic Force engine, offering 215bhp in front-wheel drive form and 219bhp with all-wheel drive. Which in turn brings with it a responsiveness and efficiency with best in class fuel economy and emission levels.

Furthermore the all wheel drive system allows the SUV to “drive on any road”. The hybrid electric AWD-i system has been re- engineered and enhanced to provide much stronger performance in challenging conditions. It also allows for secure handling on slippery surfaces.

Additionally the RAV4 is the first Toyota model to benefit from the Toyota Safety Sense that extend the use of advanced technologies to help prevent accidents. Providing greater driver assistance and a degree of automated driving functionality.


The foundation of the new RAV4’s dynamic qualities is the all-new TNGA GA-K platform.

This allows the car to have the strength of a low centre of gravity, lightweight and a strong, rigid and balanced chassis that delivers exceptional handling, stability and driver rewards.

This gives a really fun drive and enables a great design, both inside and outside of the car. Furthermore it brings with it an enhanced safety performance and comfort for everyone.

Every component has been made lighter and located lower down in the vehicle. Even the engine and the seats. Brining with it an incredibly low center of gravity. The platform brings with it a 57% increase in the body rigidity. This allows for a stable flat ride with incredible handling.

The GA-K platform defines the “confident and natural” driving quality that Toyota has sought for this new model. A confident driving feeling is due to the car not reacting adversely to disturbances and communicating a sense of stability. Natural driving feelins is due to the car reacting naturally to what the driver is doing.


The TNGA GA-K platform was beneficial to the designers of the new RAV4, as they wanted to give the SUV a strong character and style which helped to set it apart from other models in the SUV market.

Many standardised parts that have been implemented “under the skin” has helped to simplify the development process. This helped to give designers more time to create the look both inside and out.

The impactful look of the new RAV4 is helped by raising the ground clearance and using large diameter wheels (up to 18inch) which helps to make the car suitable whatever the use.

Inside the car is characterised by high sensory quality such as soft touch surfaces on the dashboard and door panels. Switchgear is new, with cleanly integrated buttons and pleasingly tactile controls. For example the button/dial to adjust the air conditioning.


The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a brand new 2.5L Hybrid Dynamic force engine. It combines fuel and emissions efficiency with a quiet operation and more power and greater responsiveness.

The full system maximum output of 219bhp/163 kW in the all-wheel drive model (215bhp/160 kW with front-wheel drive) compares to 195bhp/145kW for the fourth generation model. The SUV can also accelerate from rest to 62mph takes just 8.1 seconds (FWD model).

The self charging hybrid system used in the RAV4 is the 4th generation of the tech and will deliver multiple benefits. The power control unit and the nickel-metal hydride battery are now more compact and lighter in weight. The transaxle and transmission have also been engineered to reduce electrical and mechanical losses. The battery in the RAV4 is also 11% lighter and transmission losses are reduced by 25%.

The new 4th generation system also makes great use of the new 2.5l Hybrid Dynamic Force engine, allowing for fuel consumption and emissions that is best in class.

Performance has been improved with better acceleration from stationary, improved efficiency at higher speeds, overall smoother and more linear acceleration and better control when decelerating.


Toyota is also improving it’s AWD-i (Intelligent all wheel drive technology) to deliver enhanced performance, capabilities and control in all driving conditions.  Allowing to set itself apart as it has impressive on and off road performance. As it has fantastic and secure cornering performance and grip in all conditions.

RAV4 Hybrid with significantly enhanced electric AWD-i system

The AWD-i system will help give better fuel economy in urban driving, quieter performance at high speeds and better traction in slippery conditions. The system, compared to mechanical AWD systems is more compact and lighter, which gives a better fuel consumption.

The electric AWD-i system automatically optimises the torque ratio depending on the driving conditions. This will provide improved handling, stability and off-road performance, particularly in faithful line tracing through bends in slippery conditions, giving the driver a strong, confidence-inspiring feeling of all four wheels being in good contact with the road.

AWD Integrated Management

Furthermore the Toyota RAV4’s all wheel drive performance is further improved due to the AWD Integrated Management (AIM). This system will automatically adjusts different vehicle systems. The steering assist, brake and throttle control, shift pattern and drive torque distribution – according to the drive mode selected.

The driver can switch from Normal to Eco or Sport mode. When choosing Sport mode, AIM modifies the steering assist, throttle control shift schedule and drive torque distribution to gain better on-road performance.

Greater “escape” capability with Trail Mode

This new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is so capable in many different conditions because of the new automatic limited slip differential control, Trail Mode.

Trail Mode helps to ensure best possible grip and control on low grip surfaces. The system will also provide valuable assistance when in challenging off road conditions.

The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid will, once the Trail Mode has been activated via a button on the centre console. The free rotating wheel (if a wheel has lost contact with the ground on uneven terrain) can be braked and drive torque directed to the grounded wheel. The Throttle control and the transmission shift pattern will be adapted to help the driver keep the vehicle moving.


Equipment specifications for the new RAV4 demonstrate how Toyota continues to apply technologies to deliver useful innovations in safety, comfort and everyday practicality.

Features that are available as standard or as options, according to model grade, include a power-operated panoramic roof, smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated seats and up to five USB ports around the cabin for the connection or charging of multiple devices.

The new RAV4 offers generous equipment specifications across its range in Europe, with all models equipped as standard with the latest iteration of Toyota Safety Sense and an E call emergency contact function.

Second generation Toyota Safety Sense

Toyota first introduced the Toyota Safety Sense in 2015. To date, more than 10 million new vehicles have benefited from the Toyota Safety Sense. The system helps provide the driver means of avoiding collisions or mitigating the effects of an accident by warning the driver, preparing safety systems for optimum operation and, if necessary, triggering automatic braking or steering assistance.

Toyota have continued to build upon the system and move towards their goal of 0 road accident fatalities and injuries. The second generation of the Toyota Safety Sense is making its debut in all models of the new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

It features a single lense camera and millimetre wave radar. These will both expand the scope of hazard detection and functionality. Furthermore the unit has been made smaller, giving the driver a wider field of vision.

Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection

Second generation Toyota Safety Sense includes upgraded versions of the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Road Sign Assist and Automatic High Beam. It also introduces Lane Tracing Assist, which provides more advanced driving support.

The Pre-Collision System as been improved to allow the vehicles to detect pedestrians in low light driving as well as daylight. The system has also added the capability to detect and recognise bicycles in the vehicles path, at various speeds between 6 and 50mph in daylight.

In terms of vehicles the system can determine collision risks at speeds between 0 and 112mph. The vehicle will calculate if a collision is imminent the driver will be alerated and prepare the brakes (Pre-Collision Brake Assist). While if the driver doesn’t act on the warnings, the Autonomous Emergency Braking will trigger. This will reduce the vehicle speed by up to 25mph. Which could potentially stop the car and avoid an impact.

Adaptive Cruise Control System

An all new intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control System can work in conjunction with the Toyota RAV4’s Road Sign Assist System. When the car is travelling at a constant, pre-set speed, iACC can recognise new speed limits on major roads and let the driver adjust the speed to keep within the limit, simply by using switches on the steering wheel. While the system itself has been improved to recognise a wider range of road signs. Presenting the information on the drivers multi-informational display.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a new Lane Tracing Assist function, this provides the driver with a degree of automated driving support. The system will monitor line markings on motorways and principal routes and apply steering assist to keep the car within it’s lane (when traveling at speeds above 31mph). Allowing to reduce the collision risk and burden on the driver when making long motorway journeys.

Both the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Tracing Assist systems work together in slow stopgo traffic to help track the vehicle ahead within the traffic lane. Helping to maintain a safe distance and at speed. While bringing the vehicle to a halt when necessary. Furthermore moving off seamlessly when traffic resumes. Helping to relieve the driver of stress when driving in slow moving traffic. Helping to reduce the risk of low speed rear end collisions.

The Lane Departure Alert and Steering assist has been vastly improved to recognise road margins on straight roads when there is no lane markings. If it is difficult for the system to detect lane’s, for example in heavy traffic, the system will track the path of the vehicle ahead using the camera and radar. In combination with the LTA, it will provide corrective steering operation when lane departure without the driver’s intention is detected.

Dynamic grade

The Dynamic grade stands out with its bi-tone paint finish, striking a contrast between the bodywork colour (a choice of four) and a gloss black roof, plus projector LED headlights and black 18-inch alloys. In the cabin, sports-style seats, a black headlining and blue trim accents further emphasise the car’s distinctive quality. Options and accessories are available so owners can equip their RAV4 to perfectly meet their lifestyle preferences.

Panoramic View Monitor plus JBL audio system, panoramic roof

There are a range of premium features available on the all new RAV4. Such as a Panoramic View Monitor. This will provide drivers with a real-time 360-degree view of the area immediately around the vehicle. As well as a bird’s eye view from above.

This can be of use to drivers when they are off road. As you are able to better negotiate tricky terrain, help manoeuvring in confined spaces, helping to see hazards outside of driver’s line of sight.

The RAV4 can also come with a JBL premium audio system. While, it has been tailor made for the new RAV4. It provides you with concert sound quality in it’s 9 speaker architecture. The system features JBL’s signature horn tweeters, a powerful new subwoofer and an amplifier with Clari- FiTM music restoration technology.

While, you are also able to have an optional opening panoramic sunroof.

Connected Services

On the new RAV4 connected services have been introduced.

The services (alongside the roll-out convenience and peace of mind features from 2019) include: Last Mile Guidance, Send to Car Navigation, Find my Car, Driving Analytics and Maintenance Reminder.


While, the new RAV4 is available in four equipment grades, Icon, Design, Dynamic and Excel, offering a wealth of comfort, convenience and technology features that meet the requirements and preferences of today’s SUV customers.

So, at the entry point to the range, the RAV4 Icon is available exclusively with front-wheel drive. The standard features include: –

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Front fog lights
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Dusk-sensing headlights
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Push-button start
  • Roof rails
  • Parabola LED headlights
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Power-adjustable heated door mirrors with auto-folding function
  • Toyota Touch 2 with eight-inch multimedia touchscreen
  • Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Seven-inch colour TFT driver’s multi-information display
  • DAB
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2
  • eCall
  • Rear-view camera

Design Model

While, the Design model can be specified with front or all-wheel drive and adds features including: –

  • 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels
  • Smart Entry
  • Power back door
  • Front parking sensors

Excel Model

So the Excel model extends the Design specification with: –

  • Projector LED headlights
  • Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Power-adjustable heated door mirrors with auto-folding function and puddle lights
  • Heated front seats
  • Driver’s seat with power slide adjustment and lumbar support and memory function
  • Full leather seat upholstery
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Headlight cleaners
  • Windscreen wiper de-icer (front)

So, the options for the RAV4 Excel are a nine-speaker JBL premium sound system, packaged with a Panoramic View Monitor, and an opening panoramic roof (this choice replaces the spare wheel with a tyre repair kit).

Striking a more sporting appearance, the RAV4 Dynamic adopts (further to the Design specification): –

  • Black five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Heated front sports seats
  • Bi-tone metallic paint
  • Black interior headlining
  • Projector LED headlights
  • Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Power door mirrors with auto-folding function and puddle lights
  • Driver’s seat with power slide adjustment and lumbar support

The same options are available as for the Excel grade.

Customers can choose from a range of nine exterior colours, including new Urban Khaki, Cyan Splash, Obsidian Blue and Galaxy Black. Metallic paint and a bi-tone finish are included in the standard specification of the Dynamic models, combining a black roof and pillars with White Pearl, Silver Blade, Decuma Grey or Obsidian Blue bodywork. On Excel models, the leather upholstery can be specified in black, grey or beige.


Yoshikazu Saeki joined Toyota in 1987, he has taken many key important roles in the development of the Toyota Avalon, Camry and the Lexus brand.

As recently he has been involved in Toyota’s expansion globally. While, bringing his talents and experience to develop new technologies, platforms and models.

Saeki said of the new RAV4:

“The RAV4 has held a strong market presence since its introduction 25 years ago. It has gained a loyal following the world over, continually evolving to respond to changing customer needs. For the new RAV4, we set out to create a product that appeals to the next generation of customers.

“The first thing we considered was how we could redefine RAV4’s product value. We addressed the fundamental reason for its being and thought about how we could create an SUV that can withstand the test of time – one that can last for the next 25 years.

“It is never easy to create a new concept in such a strictly segmented and increasingly competitive market. We needed to deliver a ‘wow’ factor to customers, inspire them with a vehicle that has exceptional presence and highlight the benefits of owning it. These were the foundations on which we developed the fifth generation RAV4.

“Since the first generation model, there have been two over-arching views of the RAV4 – ‘driving performance suited to any road’ and a ‘user-friendly interior suited to any situation’. It was my mission to evolve these views.

“This means the RAV4 should have a strong presence and reliable toughness on any road while offering a stress-free driving experience for driver and passengers.


“At the very beginning of the design process we thought about how best to evolve the original concept. This led us to the new concept of Adventure and Refinement. Adventure sends out a simple, strong message that drivers can drive anywhere they want, expressing waku-doki – the equivalent of ‘heart-pumping excitement’ in Japanese. Refinement is expressed in a sophisticated design that fits in with an urban setting.

“Combining these contrasting elements enhances the new RAV4’s unique value. Furthermore, its wide stance, large tyres and raised ground clearance create a strong image which are further emphasised by the polygon design theme and the vehicle’s multipurpose capabilities. Just looking at the new RAV4 triggers the urge to get in and go somewhere.

“Where vehicle performance, handling and stability are concerned, we defined the key concept as ‘Confident and Natural’ – with the driver’s sensibilities at the heart of everything. As a team we put great effort into improving the driving experience by focusing on enhancing tyre-to-ground contact, stable and natural cornering and smooth, responsive driving.

“We’ve improved the RAV4’s performance to meet the demands of any road. Whereas a conventional SUV suspension makes for an uncomfortable, unresponsive ride in off-road conditions, the RAV4 provides saloon-like comfort and an enjoyable ride.”

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Tech Specs

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How to Choose Your Perfect Car

If you are looking for a new set of wheels, then you have come to the right place! Choosing a car is such a personal decision, so instead of choosing just any vehicle, why not ensure that you are choosing your perfect car instead?


Finding a perfect car can take a little more time and effort, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Deciding on the right car for you before you start shopping around can help to make the buying process so much easier. With a little bit of thought and planning, you could be driving your dream vehicle before you know it.


Know Your Figures

Everyone wants to get the most from their money, and when it comes to buying a car, this means that you want the best model at the best price. Before you fall in love on the forecourt with your dream car, make sure that you have done your sums and that the figures all work out. There is nothing worse than finding a vehicle that you absolutely love, and then realising that it is way out of your price range. You can avoid car buying heartbreak by setting yourself a budget based on what you can afford, and then sticking to it.


Perfect and Practical

It is so easy to fall in love with a car, and realise that you can afford it, but still have a nagging doubt lurking in your mind about it. This is usually the situation when you fall in love with a car that looks great, but is impractical for your needs. Buying a car that doesn’t do what you need is a big (and expensive) mistake to make. 


Nowadays, there is no need to choose between luxury and practicality as so many of the luxury car manufacturers have achieved this balance perfectly with their SUVs and estate models. If you keep looking, you should be able to find a luxury car that ticks all the boxes without compromising on looks.


Buy New or Buy Pre-Owned?

The decision to buy new or to buy a pre-owned car will depend on your priorities. If you prefer to have a brand new number plate and aren’t concerned about depreciation, then a new car may be the right choice. Also with finance owing you could trade in an old car for a new one you just can’t resist. If it’s perfect for your needs, you can essentially swap or sell the car you have for the new model you’ve got your eye on. However, purchasing a brand new model of your dream car may not be a practical option. Whereas, a premium quality pre-owned vehicle could meet all your needs and have all the specifications that you are looking for, with the added bonus of being realistically priced for your budget. 


Shop in the Right Places

When you’re shopping for your perfect car, you certainly don’t want to compromise on quality. Therefore, it is vital to source your new vehicle from the right car seller. Buying your car from a luxury car specialist such as JJ Premium Cars will provide you with an extensive array of vehicles to choose from, as well as an assurance of the quality of the vehicle that you select.

Mistakes People Make When Looking After Their Car



It does not matter what sort of vehicle you have, it is imperative that you look after it properly. After all, a car represents a considerable investment. The last thing you want is to throw your money down the drain because you have not looked after it properly. With that being said, in this blog post, we are going to take a look at some of the biggest mistakes people make when looking after their vehicle so that you can avoid making the same errors.

Not having it serviced regularly – There is only one place to begin, and this is with not having your vehicle serviced on a regular basis. A lot of people do not do this because they think it is going to be a waste of money. They do not want to spend money on their car when there is nothing wrong with it. Nevertheless, if you simply wait and wait until something goes wrong, you are only going to end up spending more money in the process. With servicing, you can ensure that your car runs efficiently and that any problems are picked up on quickly before they turn into bigger and more expensive ones.


Getting Complacent Behind The Wheel 

 This is an obvious point but one that a lot of people have trouble with. It’s easy to become complacent on the road when you’ve been doing it for so long. This means treating the car like it’s invincible and also misbehaving on the road. Needing a car accident lawyer isn’t fun when you end up getting into a little trouble. The ultimate way of looking after your car is to simply not get into situations that could cause serious harm. 

Choosing cheap spare parts – Aside from not getting your vehicle serviced on a regular basis, you need to make sure that you replace car parts with genuine replicas. One of the biggest mistakes people make is replacing their vehicle parts with cheap alternatives, which can actually damage the vehicle. This is especially the case if you choose second hand parts that have not been created with the make and model of your car in mind. 

Believing your car is stronger than it really is – Something that newer drivers are guilty of. Because people think their car is a big and strong machine, it’s going to withstand most of what you throw at it. But when you start to dress up your car with alloy wheels and new bumpers, you’d better have that alloy wheel repair supplier on standby! Your car can save you in a crash, but even a little scratch could cost hundreds in repair fees. Your car is not invincible.

Not choosing a mechanic with care – Another mistake people make is failing to take the time to do their research when it comes to choosing a car mechanic. There are so many different mechanics available today, yet they do not all provide a service of a good standard. This is why you need to do your research, and the Internet can help with this. Make sure you check out independent review platforms so that you can read comments that have been left by others. By using independent review platforms, you can be sure that the comments left are genuine and that they have not been manufactured by the company themselves. 

As you can see, there are a number of different mistakes that people tend to make when it comes to looking after their vehicle. If you can avoid the mistakes that have been discussed in this blog post, you can give yourself the best chance of making sure that your car lasts for as long as possible and runs efficiently in the process.

Not starting their car properly in winter

If your car has a valid MOT then it either has electronic fuel injection or a battery (or both if it’s a hybrid). It doesn’t matter if your car is a used Pentagon Vauxhall or an ultra-modern, self-driving city smart car. Those are the only two options and neither of them benefits from leaving the engine idling “to warm up”.

If your car has electronic fuel injection, then the way to start it in winter is just to put it in gear and drive off slowly. Give it five minutes or so and then start building up the speed (keeping it safe obviously). After about 10 minutes or so, you should be able to hit your regular cruising speed.

If your car has a battery, then, in principle, you should just be able to turn it on and go. In practice, your best chance of this happening is to make sure that your battery is on the maximum charge. Winter means cold weather and cold weather drains batteries quickly. This means that you should take every possible opportunity to give your car battery a charge.

It’s also a smart move to ensure that you have something in your boot to help your car tyres to grip when you move off from stationary. If you live in an area with regular, heavy snow then proper snow chains are a good investment. Just make sure you’re clear on the law about using them. For everybody else, rubber mats or old carpet will usually get the job done.

Get Yourself A Car That Will Survive The Winter



The thought of getting a new car is so exciting to the majority of us. It’s like getting a new toy that we never have to give back, will probably not break on us for the next couple of years, and allows us to have some new fun. It’s like getting a new phone, or buying a new house, the excitement is up there, and for some of you will definitely be a lot higher. Because for someone who is into their cars so much, a decision like this does not come lightly. You will no doubt be in love with the car that you have now, doing anything you can to keep it on the road if it’s packing up on you. Which every car eventually will do after many years of having an owner, especially one with bad driving habits. So you have to ask yourself, is your car going to make it through the winter, or is it time to think about bagging yourself a new one. If you know it’s time for a new one, we’ll show you how to make sure you get one that’ll last the winter, as well as the next few years with you!



One You Trust, From Somewhere You Trust


Getting a car that you trust is just so important. The more time you spend around cars, from all different manufacturers and ages, you realise that cars are just not that reliable, and nor are the people selling them to you. Unless you really know what you’re looking for, cars can be an absolute nightmare to buy. So first, go for a dealership that you know has a good track record with selling reliable cars, such as LMC cars. All it takes is one reliable dealership, and you have a place to buy your cars from for life. It’s not always ideal to go straight to the manufacturers themselves, because the money they charge is so much higher, and you can often find a better deal elsewhere.


The Best Winter Cars


Winter cars are not your average car. Some cars just aren’t made for the harsh weather, such as BMW’s due to their rear wheel drive, and older cars, because they’re more likely to pack up working during the harsh months. So the best car to have in the winter, is a 4×4, and they’re one of the best during the other months of the year as well. It doesn’t have to be a brand new one, and it doesn’t have to be an expensive Range Rover. There are so many affordable 4×4’s that you could look into, ones that we know will be suitable for the harsh weather. All you have to do is get searching through dealerships.


Keeping Up The Maintenance 


Maintenance of your car is so important. The more you focus on the maintenance of the car, weekly, the longer it’ll last for you. This involves making sure that there’s the right mix of screenwash and water in your car, the oil level is right, and the tyre pressure is right. It’s far more dangerous going out in the ice, and perhaps even snow when it comes.

What Drives A Man’s Love For His Car?

What is it about men and their cars? 


You see them on a Sunday morning, spending hours cleaning, waxing, and probably caressing their vehicles on the driveway. 


You see them salivating over car ads online, planning their next purchase (even if it’s only an imaginary pipe dream of a purchase), looking at luxury sports cars akin to the Ferrari 488 showcased on Wavertree Car Centre’s classified pages. 


You see them deliberating over each and every motor at the showroom, desperately trying to reason with themselves that yes, they can afford the latest and greatest car, even if it means taking on a second or even third job to justify the purchase. 


But why? What drives a man’s love for his car?


Is it a status-symbol thing? Driving down the road in the Lexus-LX, windows rolled down so passersby can see the driver at the wheel; it’s almost as if the guy behind the wheel is shouting ‘look at me.’ The bigger and more expensive the car, the better. A man’s car can signify that he has made it in the world. It can give the guy a sense of coolness that he might not achieve in other aspects of his life. A car can grant him kudos from his peers, and quite possibly, it can elevate his self-esteem, even if it does become more inflated than his newly-purchased tyres.


Is it a tech thing? Not only do guys love their cars, but many of them are tech-heads as well. And because today’s cars are stocked with the latest technologies, getting behind the wheel of a gadget-laden car must be akin to every guy’s wet dream. From the latest in sound system technology to more practical features, such as dashcams and digital assistants, it’s little wonder that men spend a lot of time behind the wheel. There is a lot to play and fiddle with! 


Is it a freedom thing? Life is stressful, right? Perhaps then, a guy loves nothing more than getting behind the wheel of his car to escape those aspects of his life that are getting him down. With nothing but the open road ahead of him, he has the freedom to escape life’s trials and tribulations. He is in control of the drive, with nobody telling him what to do or where to go. And if his car does elevate his self-esteem, and if it is laden with the latest and greatest in-car accessories, then he will instantly feel better about his life within the safe confines of his motor. He is free to be himself as he takes the freedom of the open road, without the pressures or criticisms of others. 


Are these the factors that drive a man’s love for his car? Maybe, and perhaps you can relate to what we have suggested. Or maybe there are other reasons why you spend a lot of time with your car, be that behind the wheel or caressing it on a Sunday morning with a loving wax and polish. We don’t know how you feel about your motor, but we do know this. Men do love their cars, and if you can shed any further light on why, please feel free to share in the comments section below. 

Lexus UX

Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40

No Space? No problem Check out what types of techy tricks Volvo Cars XC40 – has up it’s sleeve!

Posted by How To Kill an Hour on Tuesday, 23 April 2019


The Volvo XC40 is an award winning SUV, it’s small but BIG in technology. The Volvo XC40 has an impressive design and has storage in places you wouldn’t believe. Plus it has something we love here at How To Kill An Hour, smart technology.

Share you car

First up in this amazing car is the fact that you can share your car. Remotely. That’s right. Remotely. The XC40 has an innovative system that allows you, for a set time period, share your car remotely. This way you can allow a friend, a family member or a colleague access to your car. Wherever you are in the world and wherever your car is.

Easy Living

The Volvo XC40 is crammed full of tech and it’s designed to make your life a lot easier. Firstly the car has a 360 degree camera on it. It uses several cameras to create a view of the car as if it seen from above. Therefore allowingyou to clearly see where your vehicle is in relation to what’s around you.

While there is also wireless charging capabilities beneath the touch screen of the car. Allowing you access to your phone once you are parked and a place to charge your phone on your trip. Furthermore the XC40 has Apple CarPlay and Android auto. Allowing smartphone functionality on the centre touch screen. It even has Siri or Google Assistant.

Safe Tech

That’s not all the tech that’s inside the Volvo XC40 either. It has plenty of safety focused tech as well! It will act as your co-pilot so to speak. Helping you to avoid accidents and alert you if someone is about to crash into you.

Firstly, Crash Safety will monitor what is in front of you, it will identify a whole manner of things. Such as vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists even large animals. Warning you if a collision is imminent. If you don’t react in time, the car will even brake for you!

If there is crossing traffic when you reverse out of a space, the Cross Traffic Alert System will give you audible warnings. From the left or right side of the car and by displaying graphics on the centre display.

Plus Pilot Assist, with adaptive cruise control will help give you gentle steering support to keep you in the centre of lanes, at a set speed or distance from the vehicles in front.

Always Connected

You are always connected to your car with the companion app. You are able to find out where you are parked, control the cabin temperatures temperature. Furthermore you can lock and unlock remotely! Plus if you were to be involved in an accident a Volvo On Call operator will automatically contact you to help.

What is very impressive is once you get into the car in the morning, the car is heated or cooled depending on the ambient temperature. The car will tell you how much fuel you’ve got in correlation to how far it will take you, so no more guessing!

Where available, In Car delivery allows online shops to deliver to the boot of your car where it’s parked too!

Non-Tech impressive features

The Volvo XC40 has a gorgeous, beautiful panoramic windscreen allowing you to enjoy the view and the sunshine whilst driving. Plus the design of the car is just something to behold! The inside is made from 100% sustainable materials and has Harmon Kardon premier sound, sound systems installed.

Storage space is what sets this SUV apart. It has storage space in the door which will hold a laptop and 3 large water bottles. Under the centre armrest there’s an area for your things of course, but it also comes with a handy little bin. Plus if you like a takeaway there’s a hook on the glove compartment to hold it! The luggage compartment even features a folding floor which is lockable and allows for much more space to carry things. Even fold the backrest with a simple touch of a button.

This compact SUV may be small but it definitely impressed us, the tech side of this car is very very good. We love everything about it. The most innovative and impressive is the fact that you can SHARE your car. How cool is that?!

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Luxury Tunes

When you’re looking at luxury cars, sure you could get sucked into engine size, handling and performance. The interior styling is definitely worth some consideration and types of headlights count for something, but when you spend hours on the road, what you really need to know is how the in-car infotainment system stacks up.


In this blog, for people looking for that next luxury car purchase, we take a look at five infotainment systems and what they offer you for your money:




This so-called “virtual cockpit” is definitely up there when it comes to enhancing your driving experience. Featuring controls that translate to either steering wheel or the mounted interface, the Audi’s system is easy to access while you’re driving.


You’ll also benefit from Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and functions that allow you to limit interaction from teen drivers and impressive voice control.




With a long standing reputation for affordable luxury, the BMW’s infotainment system matches its impressive track record.


Easily integrated with your smartphone and smartwatch, the BMW system also connects to Amazon Echo and offers wireless smartphone charging.


You’ll find a few minor differences between the 5 and 7 series models but the concept remains the same and is a solid option both for entertainment and navigation.




At the top end of the range we have the Jaguar. With its famed design and performance power, the Jaguar doesn’t scrimp on the tech side either. The InControl Touch interface offers drivers customisable voice controls, talk-to-text functions, Spotify and Stitcher streaming Apps.


Naturally, you’ll be able to sync it to all your smart devices, which makes the New Jaguar F-Type well worth a look at.


Alfa Romeo


The more basic of these options, the interface still offers three USB ports with all controls featured on the central console.


A larger screen option is available in some models.


Land Rover


If you’re a fan of these luxury SUVs then you’ll be pleased with the options the Land Rover’s infotainment system offers you. In fact, this one needs no further explanation except to say that Land Rover and Jaguar share their interfaces, so you’ll find the same model in the Land Rover and Land Rover Sport as you would in many Jaguar saloon models.


It’s a great piece of technology and it’s no wonder these two giants have opted to install it in their vehicles.


We know that a great system isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to choosing your luxury car, but it is important. You’re looking for smart integration between your smartphone or watch and your car. For so many people, the car is an extension of the office so having access to your contacts by voice control is essential when you take those calls on the road.


If you’re willing to spend out on a luxury vehicle then don’t compromise on your tech. Find a vehicle that gives you the best of all worlds, with powerful performance, sleek curves and technology to match.


Diagnosing Your Car’s Gearbox Problem

A gearbox can be extremely costly to replace. Therefore, if there is a problem you need to make sure that it is dealt with immediately. You can save yourself hundreds of pounds via seeking a quick repair and ensuring that the problem does not get worse.


Nonetheless, in order to be able to do this, you need to be aware of the signs that indicate you have an issue with your gearbox. Nowadays, you can find out anything online. There are tutorials on how to regas your car air con, amongst other car matters. If you can diagnose a gearbox problem, then you will easily be able to send it off and get it fixed without major damage being caused to your bank account. Read on to discover some of the main symptoms of a gearbox issue…


Postponed engagement

Delayed engagement is a telling sign that there is something wrong with your gearbox. If you are noticing a delayed reaction when you shift gears then this should be a cause for concern. Nevertheless, when you are driving it can be hard to notice whether the shift in gears is truly postponed. The best way to get a good idea is to test the gears whilst you are sitting in park. Keep your foot on the brake and turn the engine on. Make sure your foot is still kept on the brake and move your gear into drive position. How does the car feel? If there is a delayed response this should ring alarm bells. But, if your car imminently feels like it wants to move forward then you will be fine.


Depleted fluid levels

Another sign that you may have gearbox troubles on the horizon is if you have low fluid levels. There is an easy way to check this. All you need to do is take a look at the transmission dipstick. If the levels are low then this is often an indication that you have a leak in your gearbox. It is not only about checking the level of your fluid either. You also need to make sure the oil is clear and that it does not smell. If you see black flakes or experience a burnt smell, then this is another signal that something isn’t quite right. If you are unsure regarding where to find your transmission dipstick, don’t worry as this can easily be located behind the oil dipstick. The difference between the two is that the transmission stick does not come up as much.


Jerky gears

And last but not least, the final telling sign that you have an issue with your gearbox is when the gears are noisy or result in your car jerking. First and foremost, if you can hear a noise when you shift gears then this is a telling sign there is a problem. Not only this, but another troubling indication is a jerky car. If you experience a jerky movement when you are switching gears it is highly recommended you get this seen to as soon as possible. After all, not only does it indicate your gearbox is damaged but it can also be dangerous too.


Making Your Daily Commute More Enjoyable

For many of us, driving to the city for work is one of the most daunting tasks, still it is necessary. You might feel like you are losing an hour or two every day being stuck in traffic, and you will never get that time back. There are, however, some great creative ways you can improve your experience and make the most out of your time behind the wheel. Find out more about them below.

Driving Cars HTKAH


Car Share

You might sign up for carpooling or car sharing scheme at work, or find someone you can share a ride with online. You can find apps that will help you find a car share in your region, so you never have to spend time alone dealing with the stress and anxiety caused by the traffic around you. Another person – and even small talk – can take your mind off being stuck in a traffic jam, and you will arrive more relaxed to work.


If your car technology needs updating, you might want to visit one of the dealerships and search for a vehicle that allows you to stream your content to the audio system, so you can make the most out of your time listening to podcasts or learning new skills. Talk to an expert at the Crystal Motor Company about the most suitable city models with advanced Bluetooth and navigation.   

Music Collections


If you simply want to feel more relaxed and comfortable while behind the wheel driving to work, and you often get frustrated by the amount of advertising on radio, you can also create your own music collection or playlist for the journeys. This will only take a maximum an hour, and you will be able to choose what to listen to every morning, depending on your mood.

Audio Conferencing

To improve your personal productivity, you might choose to catch up with your team and your employees while driving. While video conferencing is not advised, as you will need to keep your eyes on the road ahead, there is no reason why you should not jump on a call and discuss your plans for the day, so by the time you arrive at the office you can all be on the same page and get started with the work straight away. You just have to find the right car tech to accommodate this feature.

Record Your Ideas by Dictating to Your Phone

It is hard to keep your diary updated while you are driving, and some people will say that your best ideas are born when you simply cannot write them down. If you have a hands-free feature and an advanced microphone in your car, you can record your best ideas and even your to-do list, so you can write them down and remember them later.


Daily commutes might seem like a waste of time and fuel, but you can find some great ways to improve your experience and make your journey more enjoyable and more productive, too.