Drive Time: BMW: YOUR SAFE IN OUR HANDS
BMW has been presented with the 'Safe Car of the Millennium' award by the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA) in recognition of its pioneering ITS (Inflatable Tubular Structure) airbag which reduces the risk of head and, therefore, brain injury in the event of a car accident.
This is the first award ever given by the IBIA to recognise an automobile manufacturer's contribution to the prevention of head injuries.
"As motor vehicle car crashes are the leading cause of brain injury world-wide," explained George A Zitnay, President of IBIA, "BMW is to be applauded for its achievement."
BMW's unique ITS system is part of the BMW F.I.R.S.T. (Fully Integrated Road Safety Technology) philosophy.
HEADING HEADING HEADING
By EDWARD STEPHENS,
NISSAN ALMERA: Budget priced and well equipped
By DEREK WEEKES
THE flexible Nissan Almera had so many convenient touches that it even solved the problem of carrying home a goldfish won at the fair.
A dashboard tray served as a receptacle for my son's precious cargo, in its wobbly plastic bag, and got the goldfish home safely from Evesham fair.
Sadly, as so often happens, the hook-a-duck fish died and had to be replaced a couple of days later.
But it did help to illustrate how incredibly well-equipped was the budget-priced Almera. Sticky weather was also no problem, thanks to standard air conditioning.
The Almera demonstrates the secret of Nissan's success: finding out what people want, and giving it to them.
I drove the 1.4 Almera Ambition, with a 16-valve twin overhead camshaft engine. Though acceleration was a little leisurely, cruising speed was more than adequate on the motorway.
Fuel consumption averaged 33 mpg, improving to almost 40 mpg during gentle cruising.
A long wheelbase, backed by the multi-link rear suspension system developed for the luxury QX model gave the Almera a stable ride, with maximum carrying room.
Luggage nets and hooks provided extra safety, in a hatchback that felt like an estate.
The system, with a front anti roll bar, gave better grip by keeping more of the tyres on the road during cornering.
Standard features also included an automatic anti-lock braking system, driver's airbag and remote keyless entry.
Tinted glass, remote control door mirrors and a remote boot release added to the convenience.
Speed sensitive power steering made parking easier, without compromising the feel of the wheel at speed.
THE NISSAN ALMERA
Price: pounds 11,600
Engine capacity: 1.4 litre
Max power: 87 bhp
Max speed: 107 mph
Fuel consumption: urban 31 mpg; extra urban 49 mpg; combined 40 mpg.
HONDA S2000: Making its debut next month
HONDA has plenty to offer motorists looking for something new with a V-plate.
The Honda S2000 heads Honda's diverse line up joining the Accord 5-door and HR-V 2WD, all of which make their UK sales debut in September.
More than 60 models will be available - ensuring that Honda dealers have something very special for the first September UK registration change.
Twenty years ago when the 'V' suffix first appeared on UK car number plates, Honda was a small niche importer selling less than 18,000 cars per year.
It had just entered into a partnership with Rover, which had begun production of the Triumph Acclaim - effectively a re-badged version of the Honda Ballade. …