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Grimmest car of all time


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2 hours ago, Parky said:

I would have to say Chevette but that’s based entirely on a miserable year owning one.  A good one might be a different experience.  It was good when it worked but an awkward sod when it decided not to.  Usually at the least opportune moment,  

Ever had that feeling on a cold morning when you just wanted the car to start?  It never would.  Job interview?  Yep, broken down again.  Hot date?  Ha ha ha ha ha, bad luck fella.  Disciplinary hearing?  Oh yeah, fired straight up for that didn’t it

That was exactly how my MK1 Sierra behaved, but as my dad and other folk had Saphires I knew it was a bad example rather than a bad model. My MK2 worked better.

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16 hours ago, DodgyBastard said:

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I saw someone thought the Chevette was grim but I actually quite enjoy using and driving it, it's a Chevette ES 2 door saloon which I believe is the lowest spec you could get. 

Absolutely identical to my first car! I love that. Mine was reliable, easy to drive, didn’t rust too bad, and I got to finger Tracey from the Co-Op in it. Happy times.

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4 hours ago, twosmoke300 said:

It looks like Vaughant is a bit of a lazy driver .

The 1.8 civic is like nearly all petrol hondas - they gotta Rev baby .

Pd vag stuff spoils a lot of drivers and makes them lazy ( and partially deaf 😂

 

That is a fair point, I am a bit derv biased and yes it was pretty quiet and refined but I just disliked it so much to drive, felt like you were always up and down the box, the satnav was one of the worst I've ever had the misfortune of using and fuel economy was dreadful. Did handle well though. 

It certainly felt a bit tinny as well and I didn't find it that comfy either. 

The latest model they've made, despite the styling being very USA orientated is a great car, that 1.5 turbo is a stonker of an engine and a really nice car. 

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6 hours ago, Split_Pin said:

Prior to my Megane I had driven some quicker cars. After I sold it I had a Clio 172. Nothing wrong with my frame of reference thanks. I still maintain it was nippy for what it was, all things considered. 

Maybe yours was in poor health, maybe you expected more.

I'm not going to add anything else here as the thread is moving from differences of opinion to becoming a bit dogmatic in parts. 

 

It wasn't in bad order to be honest plus I bought another one at auction to sell on which drove the same, flat as a pancake, especially compared to the vaux 1.4 8v of that generation which I had in Astra hatch /Estate and corsa 5dr form, awesome little engine. The Ford 1.4 cvh wasn't so good though but I still felt it went a touch better than the Megane. 

They were good cars though, no doubt about that, and sold easily as well but totally and utterly "an car" and nothing beyond that for me. 

I liked the scenic I bought at the same auction, that was a 1.6 and drove really well, had some clever little design features and again sold really easily with no fuss at all. 

We'll agree to disagree on this one I think. 

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The only grim car I can think of when growing up that we had was an Allegro. Only one my dad ever bought and it made my mum, sister and myself travel sick on every journey over literally a few minutes drive, we even took extra journeys trying out different ways to ward off travel sickness but that car was just not right. Sold on after 2 weeks and bought a metro instead. At about 20 years old had the chance to drive an Allegro for a week belonging to a friend and loved it, tried to buy it but he wouldn't sell and it rotted away on the drive after failing mot on rear arms collapsing.

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On 12/26/2020 at 8:24 PM, rusty_vw_man said:

There are a lot of low budget but ultimately practical cars listed - grim, but serving a market to keep the poor (or poorly sighted) mobile.

For me the grimmest are luxury* cars in base spec, probably summed up most by those nasty base spec Audi TT’s with tiny engine and single exhaust pipe with a blanking plate over the second hole.

If you only have so much to spend, use it to buy a nice car of marque and model you can afford (like a 20 year old Vauxhall Astra) rather than stretching yourself to buy the badge, but attached to a car with all the bits that would make it nice/fun/luxury/tasteful stripped off to make it just about affordable. 

Erm, even the base spec engine on the TT is the 1.8T which emits a minimum of 180hp...

For something released over 20 years I think the TT is pretty good bit of design.

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12 minutes ago, hpi_matrix said:

Erm, even the base spec engine on the TT is the 1.8T which emits a minimum of 180hp...

For something released over 20 years I think the TT is pretty good bit of design.

It's a 150bhp for the base model and rusty vw man is talking bollocks :D

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On 12/27/2020 at 2:37 PM, Justin Case said:

 I take back what I said  about the first Hyundais earlier as I have just remembered FSO's direst efforts. The 125p was grim,  even allowing for it being built for East European conditions. But worse was to come, it was rebodied in the late 70s as the Polonez , with the added grimness of being the only hatchback you could buy without a folding rear seat. However it had to sink even further in about 1991, the FSO Caro, a slightly uglier facelift with a Citroen N/A diesel from several generations back. I remember that when they finally died in about 1995 the list price was £5995 (not sure how that compared with a Fiesta) but even at that price they were so undesirable that the last few were knocked out BOGOF, yes a new 5 door hatchback for less than £3,000, and only 25 years ago 😮 I can remember this because I was working in Telford at the time and they were snapped up by local taxi operators as replacement taxis had to be less than three years old. I believe the policy was changed shortly after. 

Didnt the polonez have a habit of rolling over? 

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I still think context is notable by its absence.

 Just take aircon - It’s gone from a thing a rich person might tick as an option on a big money purchase to probably being considered a basic necessity. Grim if it’s not part of the spec even.

I do think lots of blanking plates on low spec cars is a bit grim on a psychological level as it’s a constant reminder of what you don’t have.

Mercedes understood this and for instance on w124s each car had the dash zebrano wood custom cut to allow spaces only for the options specified. Yes that extended to no blanking plate between the fan and distribution control if you hadn’t ticked the air con box.  Then there was a whole series of different cuts if you had specified fully automatic climate control- which very few did as it was very expensive. But there were no reminders from the dash that you didn’t spend more money (from memory in 1994 aircon from mb was £2k and fully automatic climate control even more) 

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Grimmest car of all time is an interesting question. For me, something overtly grim can take on its own charms on the very account of its grimness, like the abomination that is the convertible Range Rover or a bASe Escort mk4. If I were to pick, it’d have to be something somewhere in the middle of the “Grim Scale”®️, not so grim it’s a quirk, but utterly adequate and vanilla. Like a Qashqai, with a taped on boot handle...

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I probably haven't owned anywhere near as many cars as most on here, but I have hired a variety of 'what's the cheapest...?' cars from various unpromising countries. Some were dull but competent (no one wants an i10, but anything that can cope with doing 130kmh across the Sahara for hours then a few days later be fine in the snow in the Atlas mountains can't be bad), some were objectively a bit crap but had character (a Macedonian Panda in a base spec unknown to the UK with black plastic bumpers and no PAS, or a Nissan Tsuru that I used to run over a massive fucking lizard) but the only one without any redeeming features at all was a Daewoo 'Chevrolet' Lanos.

Saloon.

Auto.

I was sort of secretly looking forward to getting a Kia Picanto for a camping trip in Egypt and I got one of these as a free 'upgrade'. The accelerator made things louder, but with no apparent increase in speed. The aircon made things louder, but with no apparent decrease in temperature. It did comedy Yank cop car tyre squeals if you cornered enthusiastically, but without much of an attempt to go where you were telling it to. I tried the radio to drown all this out, it didn't work. And yeah, this was 2014 or something and they'd not been on sale in the UK for a decade but even compared to a Mk4 Fiesta or a Corsa B it was godawful.

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The grimmest car I ever owned was a Renault 9 Diesel.  Just fucking awful.  The interior was falling to dust, the dashboard creaked and groaned all the time, the engine was loud, gutless, not that economic and astonishingly heavy, meaning the steering was low-geared (unassisted) and hence completely devoid of any feel whatsoever.  It had no road-manners what so ever, no performance of any kind and handled like a wayward shopping trolley.

It also had absolutely no equipment to speak of, the driving position was cramped, the seat gave me shooting leg pains and my head was touching the roof all the time (which I really cannot stand)

I absolutely fucking hated it.  So I bridged it and bought something else.  Exactly what I replaced it with I can't recall, but whatever it was had to be an improvement.

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On 12/27/2020 at 10:44 AM, EightMegs said:

I was thinking about mentioning that era of Fiesta but I was dissuaded by the fun I had throwing a rotten one around an improvised track. I find the 2002-2008 Hyundai Getz to be fairly grim, but to its credit, my aunt drove one for thirty miles with the oil pressure light on without it seizing!

 

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We have 2 of these at work for runabouts, both have 1500 diesels. they absolutely fly. I have done a few long trips (3-400 km's) and loved the drive, still a cheap crappy interior but the performance makes up for a lot.

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On 12/25/2020 at 9:41 AM, ProgRocker said:

I actually owned one for 6 months! In L spec naturally aspirated diesel form!! (LD I think, having referred to @adw1977 's Ford brochure uploads on Flickr)

1994 Ford Escort 1.8 LD diesel1994 Ford Escort 1.8 LD diesel (ex police car)

It was ex-police, so it had the optional ABS and power steering so it wasn't as grim as it could have been! I actually quite liked that car. I think that the early 1980s Escort 1.1 base is a lot more grim - they even had vinyl seats if I'm not mistaken.

Re the BMW X3 in @sdkrc 's  O P, I would agree about this. I recall Jeremy Clarkson test driving it on Top Gear around that time and he was disappointed in it. Not much cheaper to buy than an X5 but dynamically a much worse car.

I have never owned this generation of Escrot or Onion, but when I was running cars from Central Garage in Gala I always seemed to end up with them as loaners when my cars needed warranty work.

First was a J-reg Orion, red - it would have been about four years old and the inside of the passenger door had a line of rust the full length of where the A-pillar seal was.

Second was an Escort, unknown flavour, blue. I had to drive it to London because the FDV on my XM had failed (again), and I swore and grumbled from Kelso to about Leeds. Then I realised it wasn't actually that uncomfortable, and felt better made than the Mk IV. Then I settled into it. Then I got back and drove it on the A697ish sort of roads and hated it all over again.

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15 hours ago, Parky said:

I would have to say Chevette but that’s based entirely on a miserable year owning one.  A good one might be a different experience.  It was good when it worked but an awkward sod when it decided not to.  Usually at the least opportune moment,  

Ever had that feeling on a cold morning when you just wanted the car to start?  It never would.  Job interview?  Yep, broken down again.  Hot date?  Ha ha ha ha ha, bad luck fella.  Disciplinary hearing?  Oh yeah, fired straight up for that didn’t it

My first roadworthy car was a Chevette - 1984 A-plate with about 75,000 miles, red four-door saloon (deeply uncool); I rejected an E-reg Uno 70SX with foglights and stripes in favour of it, which irked my parents no end (they already owned the Uno and it really was smart, but I couldn't drive the damn thing because of the offset pedals). That Chevette was smooth as anything, shiny, lovely to drive - I put brand new suspension on it at a Vauxhall dealer, had it tuned up every other month by the chap at the Sunday market with a Krypton tuner in a van, and it really was impressive to drive - smooth at 70, lovely snick-smooth gearshift, great steering.

Almost every other Chevette I have driven since has been complete shit by comparison; slow, bad running, wobbly, awful condition. I got really lucky.

There's one exception to this. A 1977 yellow four-door that had a numberplate hanging off and had to have the starter motor hit with a broom handle - that was Drew Forsyth's discourtesy car I got when my MG Metro ate its engine. It looked TERRIBLE but had all the bits he removed from his rally Chevette underneath it.

(He took me out in the HSR, it was also nice, but it's not really a Chevette once it's got a long wheelbase and 2.6-litre lump and a million crash repairs).

Saddest was the purple two-door I got for £100 but turned out to be truly terrible

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12 hours ago, hpi_matrix said:

Erm, even the base spec engine on the TT is the 1.8T which emits a minimum of 180hp...

For something released over 20 years I think the TT is pretty good bit of design.

+1, the only visual difference internally / externally being a slightly different valance on the rear, no blanking plate just one tip....oh the misery 🙄

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