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therock

The ABCD and more of a road trip

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Viruses, Empty shelves, mask issues and more.. 

What a way to start the year 

well I have a plan B 

 

There’s only so much room for bad news and we’ve certainly had our fill of it

So what better way than to  drive off somewhere to chill out.. literally and take a almost brand new AMG A class out for a spin in the English B roads?

 

An offer from SIA for cheap tickets to UK and a business conference allowed me to grab a week off and visit the land of pies, beans and more. 

 

Given my limited time, I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of spots and I’ll be sharing them as we go along 🙂 

Let’s get to A...

Which stands for AMG A class!

So with B roads and many miles to cover, I was lucky and scored an upgrade from a Ford Focus to a Mercedes AMG A class. A brand new one with almost nothing on the odometer 

 

150 quid a day for a spin in a brand new car? Not bad at all 

First thing to note, this version is made in Germany BUT that’s a Renault Diesel engine... and don’t let that engine cover fool ..

It’s a 1.3l turbo diesel with a seven speed DCT but a proper multi link suspension. 

 

But if you get over that and get on with driving, it’s pretty good. The cabin surrounds you in nice well fitted plastics that have a soft touch. The steering wheel has great heft and the seats are really comfortable, even after 400 miles. Pick up is delivered like a wall of torque with instant reaction and within seconds you are approaching illegal speeds. 

Legroom at the back has improved greatly and whilst the ride is now both firm and yet comfortable despite the AMG package. The handling is superb and the steering reacts well without being twitchy. It firms up significantly at speed whilst remaining easy to use when parking and the dimensions of this compact sedan are good despite the improved legroom. Visibility all round is decent. 

The downsides? 

The noise insulation at speed isn’t good and the engine can be heard. It’s not a great soundtrack but I’ll forgive that given the power it produces. Plastics lower down are still hard but the cabin does feel well put together. 

 

The MBUX is a mixed bag.. the navigation works but the steering controls are not easy to use and the voice system is too sensitive. Whilst the steering well is meaty and lock to lock ratio is tight, there are too many things which feel gimmicky after the first five minutes. The LED screen does look nice but it’s not tilt able and tall drivers might not like the angle. Trying to make adjustments whilst driving is a little harder than it should be. 

Even so it’s a great ride and the fuel consumption is amazing. Didn’t even use a quarter tank after one full day out with eight hours of driving. On the B roads or the highway, this car cuts through the air and is such a pleasure to drive. 

When we were presses for time the car easily responded to our more urgent needs with great aplomb. 

 

 

 

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Renault Merc anyone?

 

What a lovely steering wheel 

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So into B

which is for Bath

Its about a three hour drive out of London and is a Roman Bath which remains well preserved. 

If you have time, Stonehenge is along the way but bear in mind the speed limits and the shorter days in winter. 

Will post more pics in the next post. I’m limited to 8mb ..

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A day trip IMO doesn’t do it justice.. try and stay overnight and go for a full spa treatment and sit down to chill in the many tea shops 

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FYI there a place inside to drink the warm spa water and it’s nice

no funny people putting eggs or their feet where they shouldn’t :D 

by the way highways limit you to 70 mph and A roads are usually around 40mph and in town it can go as low as 20 mph. If you think cameras are all round in Sg, well there’s plenty here too !

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Intermission :

 

E is for expensive ! Food, transport.. and masks!!

there are no cheap masks here 

a box of 100 surgical masks costs an eye watering 80gbp!

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F is for food

 British cuisine isn’t really going to titilate your palettes .. pies, fish and chips plus peas is the staple. You’re much better off eating Italian or Chinese aromatic duck say in bayswater Queensway..

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C is actually for Churchill 

We visited the war rooms used by him and depicted in “Darkest Hour”

Did you know he was a pilot, a Lord Admiral and a Scot Fusileers battalion commander?

amazing man  

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2 minutes ago, therock said:

C is actually for Churchill 

We visited the war rooms used by him and depicted in “Darkest Hour”

Did you know he was a pilot, a Lord Admiral and a Scot Fusileers battalion commander?

amazing man  

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I tot "C" is Chelsea. Hhahaha.

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C is also for c class 😉

my hyundai got upgraded for my final leg !

its a blessing in more ways than one.. on the motorways in the current storm, the heavier conti car is very stable and the noise insulation is good. The latest version uses the same steering controls but the old interface so it’s awkward to use and the cabin is more cramped especially for someone with a long torso 

The rear legroom isn’t anything to shout about either .. fit and materials are better and the ride is better .. but the1.3l  turbo diesel gives a bigger shove than 2l turbo petrol car .. 

the 9 speed is useful on the highway but you don’t get to use it in city traffic even though the car tries to upshift as much as possible 

I’ll take the AMG A class especially if they can improve the NVH ..

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F is for Fountain Abbey, Ripon 

a wonderful place 

it was flooded yesterday but fortunately they allowed us in 

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D is for the Dales in Yorkshire 

part of it was flooded but I still got to see some places

 

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5 hours ago, therock said:

D is for the Dales in Yorkshire 

part of it was flooded but I still got to see some places

 

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The signboard makes me think of the complicated turning at ECP toward changi. The one that I need to head to Changi Naval Base. hahha.

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H is for ..

hamburger, hail and home...

I hope the drive down south will be smooth as the peak of the storm seems to be over 

it was quite unnerving to be hit by a wall of water at 69 mph - what would you do ?

 

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Last burst!

Aromatic duck for dinner and some pie on the road ..

then it’s off to the airport with masks on the ready !

 

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Holiday inn express heathrow is surprisingly affordable with nice modern rooms and free breakfast 

the Hilton next door has a nice Chinese restaurant with good duck 👍 

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