Ford Focus estate, turbo diesel
The only left-hand drive car I’ve driven, I hired this for a week on a holiday to Spain. I hated it. Nothing wrong with the car, but when you go from an underpowered petrol car with a sensitive clutch and good throttle response to a diesel with turbo lag and a huge clutch that’s quite an adjustment. As James Hunt said “when you put your foot down in a turbo the first thing that happens is nothing, and the second thing that happens is EVERYTHING!” Add in all the mirrors being the wrong way round and after quite looking forward to driving a car with some decent power for a change I quickly took a dislike to it.
Honda Jazz, automatic, a.k.a “Geoffrey”
This was a courtesy car after a BAW* wrote poor Bertha off. This was one of the shittest cars I’ve ever driven. Dull. Poorly engineered. Full of daft touches. What kind of Honda driver needs gearshift switches in the steering wheel? And how the hell can you design an automatic car with no rest for the driver’s left foot? Also alarmingly unstable in a crosswind. Such a poor car compared to the Polo.
This is my girlfriend’s parents’ car, which I drove briefly to a garage where I did some maintenance on it. Left no lasting impression, except that the speed-sensitive power steering switched modes rather unsubtly, which took a little getting used to.
Peugeot 207 SW, a.k.a “Nagging Nellie”
Mum’s old car. I took it over to France on the ferry for Christmas 2009, and drove it occasionally since. Probably THE shittest car I’ve driven. Mum loved it, but she was literally the only person who did. The plastic screamed CHEAP. The noise for the indicators was annoying. The way it bleeped at you to put your seatbelt on was annoying. The way the throttle had a teensy bit of lag was annoying. The fact that it was almost impossible to perform any maintenance on it without some sort of fudge was annoying. None of the controls had any feel at all, just the same as her last Peugeot (a 406). It had to be very carefully coaxed into passing the emissions test on its last 3 MOTs, and it drank oil. We hadn’t even bought it before I took a dislike to it – I test drove it and managed to pull the gear level clean out of its socket, while we were moving! Some poor sap took it in part exchange, and good riddance!!!
*Black Audi Wanker