Motoring Research covers the car news that matters to motorists and car buyers. If it’s of interest to drivers and car owners (and motorcycle fans, van owners, even reluctant car buyers), it will be on MR car news. Also follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Half of all used cars go wrong ‘within a month’

With over seven million secondhand cars purchased in 2012, you’d expect one or two to develop a problem soon after purchase. But rather shockingly, as many as half of all used cars sold develop faults within a month of changing hands.

That’s according to a report by the Citizens Advice Bureau, which helped with over 84,000 problems with secondhand motors in the past 12 months. Drivers spent over £363 million on these problems alone, making it the most complained about problem Citizens Advice received.

The 20 best used cars

High mileage used cars you can buy with confidence

Amazingly, in as many as 139 of the cases, the car was deemed to be unfit for the road and only good for scrap. A pretty grim statistic, given than the average amount spent on a used car is just over £5,000. As scrap, the car is a few hundred pounds at best.

The findings come off the back of a new campaign aimed at steering people away from buying a dodgy used car.

The campaign – which is backed by the National Trading Standards Institute – urges people to ‘check it, don’t regret it’, encouraging motorists to ensure the car is safe and legal to drive, before handing over their hard-earned cash.

Many of the checks are basic and some are even free, such as checking the MOT certificate, service history and V5 document. Other checks involve a small fee, such as obtaining a report to ensure the car isn’t subject to outstanding finance or previously involved in a serious accident.

Three-quarters of all complaints involved cars bought from an independent dealer, cases in which the consumer has a number of rights.

Citizens Advice can tell you more, but in short, a car must match its description, be of satisfactory quality, be fit for purpose and be roadworthy.

If in doubt, walk away. There are plenty of used cars to choose from.

On Bing: see pictures of used cars

Find out how much a used car costs on Auto Trader

Used car guide on MSN Cars

Used Car of the Year Awards 2013

The 20 best used cars

High mileage used cars you can buy with confidence

2014 Nissan Qashqai teased… again

This is the first proper picture of the all-new, second-generation Nissan Qashqai SUV crossover, set to go on sale in the UK in early 2014.

As we reported last week, although the new Qashqai’s official unveiling isn’t until Thursday 7 November 2013, Nissan can’t help itself, giving us a sneak peak of what it’s got in store for the new car with this latest image.

On Bing: see pictures of the 2014 Nissan Qashqai

Find out how much a used Nissan Qashqai costs on Auto Trader

The studio shot was a bit dark and dingy when it dropped into the MSN Cars’ inbox, but thanks to some Photoshop trickery, we’ve managed to brighten up the picture to get a good look at the replacement for the UK’s best-selling SUV in 2012.

The 2014 Qashqai’s front end takes on Nissan’s new corporate face, with some very defined creases on the front bumper and on the bonnet. No doubt these have an aerodynamic purpose to help improve efficiency, too.

The headlight clusters feature a new LED daytime running light design, echoing the swage lines on the engine cover, with the light pattern following the U-shaped chrome grille detailing.

The lights and grille also appear to be slightly ‘hooded’ by the bonnet, which could be another aero-improving trick.

Despite revealing the image of the 2014 Nissan Qashqai, the Japanese carmaker has not been quite as forthcoming with any specification details.

However, expect the new Qashqai crossover to feature a similar range of engines to the current car – including 1.5- and 1.6-litre turbodiesel units, as well as 1.6- and 2.0-litre version of Nissan’s naturally aspirated petrol engines.

However, it’s also possible that the 2.0-litre petrol will be replaced by the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol DIG-T motor from the Juke. And don’t rule out a hybrid version.

There’s also potential for the electrification of the new platform to deliver hybrid four-wheel drive, giving extra traction and, in theory, helping improve efficiency at the same time.

MSN Cars will be at the official reveal of the 2014 Nissan Qashqai this Thursday, 7 November 2013. We’ll bring you more details on the second-generation car as soon as we have them.

On Bing: see pictures of the 2014 Nissan Qashqai

Find out how much a used Nissan Qashqai costs on Auto Trader

Nissan teases all-new 2014 Qashqai crossover

Nissan Qashqai 1.6 dCi review (2012 onwards)

Read a Nissan review on MSN Cars

New Nissan Qashqai teased


Can you remember a time when cars were divided easily into categories? There were small hatchbacks, big hatchbacks, saloons, 4x4s… and crossing these segments just didn’t happen.

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First 5 Minutes: Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall Mokka

Ah, haven’t we driven the Mokka before? We have. But that was a diesel. And with a different remit. This one is a short-term loan of a petrol 4×4 to review for a client: hello, then, 1.4T Mokka – your rear resplendent with 4×4 badge ‘n all!

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Charles Morgan dismissal appeal rejected

Charles Morgan’s appeal against his dismissal from Morgan Motor Company has been rejected, after the firm’s board of directors chose to uphold the ruling last Friday, 25 October.

In a short statement posted on his personal blog, Charles Morgan outlined, “I have been informed that Morgan has rejected my appeal and, as a result, I have been removed from Morgan Technologies.”

On Bing: see pictures of Morgan cars

Find out how much a used Morgan costs on Auto Trader

The former strategy director of the Malvern-based British sports car manufacturer went on to say that “it is incredibly disappointing news.”

Morgan – whose grandfather H.F.S. Morgan founded the company in 1910 – stated, “I have been dismissed on what I believe are very contentious grounds.

“Over the last 12 months it was made increasingly clear that my philosophy to modernise Morgan did not fit with the philosophy of the current management.”

As MSN Cars reported ahead of the appeal, new documents came to light that alleged Mr Morgan had committed four counts of misconduct, citing the reasons for his dismissal.

These claimed acts included posing as company chairman (despite being removed from this position back in February 2013), giving unauthorised support to the Morgan Le Mans team, revealing to Morgan owners that an updated version of its 3 Wheeler was in development, and taking two separate payments for television appearances.

In response, Morgan defended his actions on his blog:

“Morgan’s future cannot rely on its heritage alone. As such, I endeavour to introduce our unique brand to new markets such as China; to take Morgan racing again; and to engage the passion of a new generation using social media, and by doing interesting things such as the Gumball Rally in a 3 Wheeler.”

The eight members of the Morgan Motor Company board – on which Charles’ sister, Gillian Price, sits – chose to dismiss Mr Morgan from his role as strategy director.

Morgan does remain a shareholder in the business, however, but for how long is now in doubt following his comments.

“I remain a major shareholder in the Morgan Motor Company and am concerned for its future. I will take time to consider my next actions and potentially explore other opportunities available to me.”

On Bing: see pictures of Morgan cars

Find out how much a used Morgan costs on Auto Trader

Charles Morgan leaves Morgan

Misconduct behind Charles Morgan dismissal

Read a Morgan review on MSN Cars

The MR Index: Ford Tourneo Connect


Ford’s added yet another MPV to its line-up. This is the Tourneo Connect – a no-nonsense people carrier with acres of space.

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The best selling car in the world is a Focus


More people bought a new car with a Focus badge on the back than any other car on the planet, new registration data for the first half of 2013 has revealed.

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Audi: why it is happy not to be a UK top 10


Year to date, there are two BMWs in the SMMT top 10 best selling cars list. There’s not a single Audi. So, in the battle of the premium brands, is the Ingolstadt firm miffed by this?

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Launch Pad: Audi RS 7 and RS Q3


On a day of dire warnings as we experience the biggest storm on the planet right now, I’m off to drive two Audis with a collective 870hp.

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Launch Pad: Ford Tourneo Connect

Ford Tourneo Connect

Ford’s launching its new Tourneo Connect people carrier in Munich. Today (weather permitting), I’m off to find out whether it’s a cool lifestyle vehicle, or another Motability favourite.

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