Monday, October 19, 2009

Top Gear corner

InsigniaOver the weekend, I had a hire car. A Vauxhall Insignia. It's quite exciting for me to drive a modern car. Therefore in the spirit of Clarkson, I feel a review coming on:

  • The car had all the toys. I mean ALL the toys - the steering wheel had more buttons than Jensons. The radio was more complicated than my hifi. Headlights started to work automatically, good news when you have forgotten to work out to to switch them on. There was cruise control too but I couldn't work out how to operate it.
  • The seats were comfortable.
  • 6 gears - yes 6. Why ? Old cars managed with 3, here I get twice that, or more if you count reverse. They had even put the gear stick in a proper place.

  • The handbrake is in the wrong place and can only be operated by a contortionist.
  • There is a box behind the handbrake which now has a dent the shape of my elbow.
  • It's silver. The colour people choose when they can't be bothered to choose or have no imagination.
  • I think there is a hole in the petrol tank, or it drinks fuel like I drink tea.
  • There is no space in the back. I mean look, Hellingly Hospital is a tiny layout no longer than 6 feet long and yet it still struggles to fit in the back. This is no tiddly shopping car either, it's a proper repmobile which will in theory hold 4 people. When will car manufacturers think about the railway modeller market ? I mean we need space to move train sets and that is what matters, not rubbish like ride quality or lights or performance. I want a box that moves stuff. A bit like my campervan but suitable for the M25.

Can I have a job on the telly now ?


Michael Campbell said...

Hi Phil, it was good to meet you on Saturday, and see the Hospital.

I don't think Jeremy Clarkson has anything to fear! 6th gear makes a lot of sense on a long motorway cruise, though usually more on Diesels which have a narrower power band. However the reason it is there is to allow a lower CO2 figure in the emissions test!

As for space, you should have hired the estate version. I gather that is the size of a hearse!

James said...

I feel you're harsh about the colour Silver! One of my Rover 620ti's is silver, a lovely bluey-silver metallic which looks lovely in cold winter sunlight!

Phil Parker said...

Michael - Nice to meet you too.
6th gear is great on the motorway, but the car still only gave 31.8mpg despite most of the running being this sort of thing. I'd have had the estate but hired through Enterprise car hire and you don't get a choice of cars, just a rough choice of size. A decent hatchback would have done but you can't guarnatee it so I went for a size "D" and this is what I got. I'll be looking at other hire firms next time unless Enterprise finally rent me a teleporter like wot they have on the telly show :-)

Phil Parker said...

James - bet it looks fab in fog too. :-P