Jump to content

Is it shit? : your car reviews


Andyrew

Recommended Posts

Fiat 126 , small fun car , good for short journeys , easy to fix , leaks like a sieve in the rain ..

Fiat 127 , ok car , the 1050 engine 5 speed was good , did some serious miles , easy to fix

Strada Mk4  1.3 5 speed ,was fun , good tyres and gas shocks , could handbrake turn on a sixpence , rear suspension needed new upper bushes for some reason , fun car

Tipo 1.4 .. pile of shite , last Fiat I would own , expensive to fix every month , shite performance , I was always under the bastard

Volvo 240 estate , built like a outhouse , survived a few bumps , did mega miles and trips , rust got it just short of 250K , heavy to work on

Micra  Mk11 ,  great car ,  a bit  slow . still fun

Vauxhall Zafira Mk1 , great car with the 2.3 oil burner , a real family work horse , shame about the subframe rot and build quality

Vauxhall Meriva , rust , steering issues , rattled like fuck , last Vauxhall I would own , I cried with relief as it went on the scrappers lorry

Ford Focus Mk1 1,6 , great car , shame they are not made any more

C1 , good little worker  , needs a bit more space in the rear and boot , the C2 is prob  what it should of been , compared to the superminis of the past its in its own league

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This may change but provide a simple current review.

1963 Mercedes Benz 190DC 2 liter diesel 40kw 0 to 60 approx next Tuesday.

Comfy and a nice place to be, forces you to relax and driving it makes me happy.

This is as far from sporty as it gets acceleration from a standstill takes its time but maintains speed well when in motion.

The brakes are terrifying when coming from a modern car. 1 circuit drum brakes without servo. Maybe they are not quite as they should be?

Overall a nice car if you have plenty of time and get used to the brakes. I like it a lot.20230507_111144.thumb.jpg.be855bec30465af5db2aa28cd3a44e93.jpg

Edit.

These got better brakes from about August 1963, then 2 circuit with discs at the front and servo.

Edited by Dyslexic Viking
Brake info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2006 Hyundai Accent 1.4

20230618_203852.thumb.jpg.85e7d4a6723ea8acdb2aca5d42d9476b.jpg

20230618_203902.thumb.jpg.cee4f5f443ab779c3dddb3c49a1b891e.jpg

Is it shit? 

Id say not.  Okay so the styling is certainly on the boring side and the wheels appear comically small. Its certainly not ugly, its just "An Car"

For a cheapish end of the scale car .The build feels very solid when your inside. And given this example gets zero love from its owner ,the grubby interior is holding up well for nearly 140k and theres no rattles or squeaks to be heard. The  Gear shift is clunky yet firm which feels like a very much like i remember the pug 206 feeling ( infact all french cars seem to have that loud hollow clonky gear shift now that i think about it).

For a small 1.4 engine it seems refined, as the gearing feels long keeping the revs down its a fairly quiet car to drive. Possibly good sound deadener aswell.  The suspension is very soft and id guess if pushed hard it would be a bit wooly on the bends.  

20230618_203911.thumb.jpg.5c5832a806af9f7b9afc89ea258bf871.jpg

Would i buy one?  Yeah if the price was right. 

Pros: cheap, hard wearing. Comfortable

Cons: spares can be a bit hard to find sometimes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2006 Ford Focus (MK2) GHIA 1.6 Petrol Ti-VCT

Probably one of the best cars I've ever owned in terms of value for money. Had it for just shy of 4 years and the only things it's needed alongside servicing, tyres, bulbs & wipers is a wheel bearing, a coil spring, instrument cluster repair (and a couple of engine mounts which weren't essential). It's coming up to needing a few hundred quid spent on the rear brakes, cambelt + water pump + thermostat housing but I think it's well worth it. 

Drives very boring indeed, but you don't buy a MK2 Focus if you want something fun. Utterly dependable, as the cliché goes, I'd do 500 miles in it tomorrow if I needed to. 

Decent on fuel, 40 mpg on a run. 35 combined. Add another 5mpg onto both when the thermostat is working properly. 

Very comfortable and well kitted out being the GHIA. It's got velour rather than leather, which is a good thing. The only thing it's missing is climate control and ESP which was only fitted to the 2.0 petrol and diesel GHIA variety AFAIK. 

It's even got cruise control!

2006 Citroen Xsara Picasso - 1.6 Petrol 

Ok, the value for money statement might be topped by this one. But I can't comment on long term running costs yet. Cost me £600 and it's done less than 40,000 miles. 

Comfortable, practical, reliable. What more could you ask for? 

I've had this thing for over a year now and it's actually spent most of that time unused. I'm thinking of taxing it next month.. 

When it came up for sale I just couldn't refuse it. You just don't get such a good cheap car for that money these days. 

2008 Ford Focus (MK2) LX 1.6 Petrol

This was a bit of a stopgap when the other Focus died and before I got the Citroen. It was a good enough car but it was very neglected and scruffy. 

Despite that, it was still good enough. Approaching 150k miles though it was very worn out. I had to overhaul the power steering with a new pump and pipework and it still needed a steering rack if you were fussy. So it basically needed everything at that sort of mileage. It had a severe oil consumption habit which would give a prince engine a run for its money! The Duratecs and earlier Zetecs can get very oil thirsty. My other one above is absolutely spot on though and doesn't drink any oil between changes at all. 

Build quality was poor being the LX. The plastics and upholstery was noticeably cheaper compared to my GHIA

It was the watered down 1.6 99bhp. A tiny bit better on fuel than the Ti-VCT but I think this is only because of the latter's faulty thermostat. Pretty gutless, definitely a "town queen". 4th gear was needed to make any progress at speed uphill, making it rev it's tits off to do some work never helps fuel consumption. 

2004 Rover 45 (MK2) - 1.6 Petrol

Probably one of my favourite cars. 

It was interesting, not all that practical being a saloon. I'm not sure what purpose the 45 serves as a saloon. It's not supposed to be executive like the 75. At least not the 45 in Club spec. 

On the subject of spec, since Rover trim levels never made any sense it was actually kitted out with everything apart from climate control and leather seats. It had the 50/50 cloth/faux alcantara seats, which were pretty comfortable, and heated! 

Electric windows all round, air con which I could never get to work, definitely didn't just need a regas m9 🤣

Despite the previous head gasket job by a fred in a shed, the engine was absolutely sweet and never gave any bother. 

This car was my daily runner at the time. I only gave it up for the 06 Focus because parts scarcity was starting to stress me out. Rebuilt the alternator when it packed in, hence buying the Focus, and sold it for £50 more than I'd paid for it 2 years prior! 

2003 Nissan Micra K12, 1.0 E

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. 

An absolute steaming pile of hateful shit. 

Plagued with a stretched timing chain and numerous electrical faults, thanks Renault for your input there. 

Suffered water ingress that makes a Smart Roadster look ok. 

Bought as a stopgap when the following Rover 414 shit itself. 

1997 Rover 414 (HHR)

This is a tricky one. I'd say I loved this one as much as I did the 45. 

Also an absolutely fantastic dependable car. Never gave any trouble. Never broke down once. 

It was interesting, decent to drive thanks to the Honda underpinnings and utterly reliable. 

I don't know what else to say about it really! 

Was a low mileage giffer owned example.

I was gutted to get rid of it. The clutch went the day before I was heading off to a funeral a very long distance away. It was stuck on the side of the road that evening and I was heading off the following morning. 

My only* option was to head to the nearby bombsite dealer, pick out the aforementioned Micra and hand them the keys to my beloved Rover with a derisory P/X allowance for them to recover, never to see it again. Or so I thought. 

When I did see it again a couple of years later, it wasn't nice. Because it was going through a police auction having been smashed up 😭

I'm impressed they actually fixed the clutch though rather than immediately baling it!

2003 Daewoo Tacuma - 1.6 Petrol

This was probably the most "modern Autoshite" car I've ever owned. I paid about a grand when it was a few years old! 

Had it for 4 years, pretty decent to be fair and far surpassed my expectations. 

I always called it a clever/poor man's (delete as appropriate...) Vauxhall Zafira.

Practical, but was very expensive to run for a 1.6 petrol. It was in the top tax band which was about £280 at the time, and would be £395 now! 

Not really much to say about, didn't cause loads of trouble aside from normal repairs and maintenance. 

I killed it by ignoring* a coolant leak and topping it up with plain water.. an unexpected frost came over that night and cracked the head, or block, or both. 

Bye bye Daewoo! 

My memory is getting hazy now, can't think back much further in terms of my cars before that lot 🤣

Link to comment
Share on other sites

300tdi land rover discovery

20190201_141731.thumb.jpg.b40b927123dea0a231be653f91ff4a58.jpg

Is it shit?

Sort of but they are fun,  Firstly ignoring the obvious Rusting like no tommorow issue which we will come back too in a bit. 

These are great to trundle around in, they have that land rover seating position that just makes you feel comfortable. With everything falling to hand nicely. A huge centre console that will have you leaning over in comfort as you leave you hand on the gearlever at all times when in 2nd or 4th or talking more with your left hand as your palming the steering wheel with your right.

Off road it wallows and effortlessly gets up and over most things in comfort. 

I like the sound of a clattery old diesel but it is just that and i always found motorway driving a bit to busy as its power range just doesnt suit 70mph cruising in my opinion. With the example above having new HD stock height suspension and bushes it handled lovely on the roads for something of its size and height.  Brakes i always found were good enough. 

The ability to carry a metric shitload in the back made it very useful.

The downsides are very much known with these things. They rot like an absolute bastard and its pretty much everywhere. They are however nearly 30 years old. 

The upside is that parts are so plentiful and cheap. And everything mechanically is avalible. 

Would i buy another? Maybe. Most are rotten now but a nice jap import would be a lovely thing to own if heavily wax and treated. 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2003 Volvo v70 diesel manual, it's a volvo, comfy motorway muncher. Engine has tons of power and torque but very frugal, load space massive, almost everything works, okay it doesn't do twisty roads but if you do bin it then it's built like a tank, turning circle of a ferry

98 Toyota corolla 1.3, thanks to st Jude this is a wee hooligan, drives like a kart, fun, yes you have to work the engine and it's probably slower than it feels but it's so much fun. Basic and uncomplicated but feels like a rally car.

2005 Subaru forester turbo, a sleeper, more power than a Sierra cosworth, 4wd and rally suspension, it's about too good, fast and corners like it's welded to the tarmac, eats not hatches and you can fit a washing machine in the back. Ducking nuts

97 Toyota granvia, the bus, drives better than it should, engine has plenty power, don't ask it to go round corners. Great load lugger with the seats out, even better camper with the seats in, massive bed with space to relax, and with great ground clearance. Can handle any conditions, good driving position

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2005 Saab 9-5 Aero saloon.
Straight away let me say I think the estate looks better and is probably the one to have but the boot in this is huge so...

Even though it's old enough to vote it still feels well screwed together and safe, and inside it's a very nice place to be and supremely comfortable, even if the 'sporty' Aero suspension sometimes isn't terribly happy on Glasgow's shit roads, but I hear it rather than feel it.
It's my favourite types of car, a big comfy 3 litre automatic luxoabrge, except it's not a 3 litre. It's a 2.3 that feels like a 5 litre V8 thanks to the previous owner spending £££s on a Stage 3 Nooobtune upgrade. Hit the sport button  and it's comedy fast. I had some fun the other day joining an uphill section of dual carriageway coming off a roundabout with a 71 plate Porsche Cayman nailed to my back bumper, he no doubt expected this old grey shitbox to move out his way. I suppose I did, just not in the direction he anticipated...

It's not especially cheap to run, next year's tax will be a bawhair away from £400 and it averages mid 20s mpg round town but it's surprisingly cheap to insure, like most Saabs.

Annoyances?  Not much and mostly little ergonomic flaws which grate in a Swedish car. Despite being huge inside there's bugger all easy to get at stowage for phones, wallets, bits etc. The door pocket's tiny and everything else needs a lid opening. A big bin on the centre console would make all the difference. The stalks are made of smooth slippery plastic and could do with being rubber coated or at least a better shape. Far too many switches are hidden from view behind the too big steering wheel which does adjust but not far enough in for my liking and the auto wipers can GITFS, they're so bad it might as well just have two speeds with no intermittent wipe at all.

But all in all, not really shit. I've enjoyed it.

PXL_20230613_154553754 (Custom).jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spaceship Civic (Mk8) 2.2 cdti.

Pros- Insanely practical, very reliable, nice engine giving a serious turn of pace, nice gearshift, seat material wears well. Generally very well built interior wise. Fantastic multi tier dash design. Looks (especially the front).

Cons- A ride so unsettled it potentially ruins the car for many. It did for me. Part prices, for a common car that was assembled in the UK, it is utterly insane how much is hard to get hold of, and how much of it is at 'Has to come from Japan M8' prices. Rot potential at the back end (it killed mine), Electrical problems (random overnight battery drains and jump starting a near impossibility, even with the key out the ignition, it would usually wipe the codes for the immobiliser). Poor rear visibility.

I kind of view it as Japans take on a wacky Citroen. It nails so much of that brief, yet fails utterly miserably in one key one, ride.

Overall rating- 5/10. A car i wanted to love, that is so close to being a fantastic every day car made unlivable by the decision to give it next to no compliance in the ride, especially at low speed. When i say it's abysmal, i mean it. Wouldn't have another.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Dyslexic Viking said:

This may change but provide a simple current review.

1963 Mercedes Benz 190DC 2 liter diesel 40kw 0 to 60 approx next Tuesday.

Comfy and a nice place to be, forces you to relax and driving it makes me happy.

This is as far from sporty as it gets acceleration from a standstill takes its time but maintains speed well when in motion.

The brakes are terrifying when coming from a modern car. 1 circuit drum brakes without servo. Maybe they are not quite as they should be?

Overall a nice car if you have plenty of time and get used to the brakes. I like it a lot.20230507_111144.thumb.jpg.be855bec30465af5db2aa28cd3a44e93.jpg

Edit.

These got better brakes from about August 1963, then 2 circuit with discs at the front and servo.

Forgot some info about brakes on these yesterday which is useful to know if anyone is considering buying one so added that now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, MikeR said:

Tipo 1.4 .. pile of shite , last Fiat I would own , expensive to fix every month , shite performance , I was always under the bastard

Tipo 1.4 i.e., third Fiat I owned, bought for peanuts from a lady who was quoted absurd amount of money for front brake discs/pads replacement by a cowboy mechanic. It never let me down, spacious and very practical car. It even had an airbag, which was not standard in ye olden days. Succumbed to terminal rust. It only had one bad habit - the door locks were not watertight  and sometimes froze in winter. I even remember its paint shade name - "Grigio Zermatt".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vauxhall Zafira 1.6 Life...

Is it shit? No. It’s much worse than that. 

I didn’t own it, I just wouldn’t stoop that low but my dad had one, I believe by virtue it was easy to get my grandfather in and out of. I have explained this offer will not be extended to him. 

Where do I start? It does all the car things of starting, stopping and keeping the rain off your head but it’s what it says that really pisses me off. Inside it was absolutely horrible, being the ‘Life’ spec it feels as if it was made purposely miserable, the seats were just flat and hard, completely unyielding and in this pattern that gave me a headache. The plastics were in that dreadful hard stuff that Vauxhall seem to make that despite being made from the hardest substance known to man have the ability also to be incredibly brittle and scratch easily. I could go on but I won’t as it’s getting me down enough by this point, the absolute worst aspect of this vehicle was it just said ‘I have produced some kids and now I have given up’, you’d see them sat outside Matalan with a man inside dressed in George looking like the clothes were holding him together. It was so sensible. I built up an image in my head, if it were a person it would go to a chain pub once a month for gammon and chips because it was £6, it would only have one pint of Carling once a week that would be flat and lifeless. It wouldn’t have any strong opinions on anything, it would do as it were told. Once a year it would go to Rhyl for a fortnight in February but somehow pay £2,000 for the privilege, it would have to get a specialist in to change a plug. 

I would gladly crush the last one left. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another Fiat Tipo 1.4ie review (1994 model):  Owned since Feb 2013 (my son for the first few years, then 6 months lent to a friend, then bought back by me about 4 years ago to bankroll a fair bit of MOT work - brakes and welding) and has been completely reliable, a 'drive anywhere without preparation' sort of car.  It's roomy, comfortable and pleasant to drive.  Performance is leisurely, although it will happily cruise at 70-80mph when it eventually gets to such speeds. Economy is poor compared with modern machinery, typically achieving around 35mpg unless driven extremely gently when 42mpg can be eased out of it.  It is happier running on E5. Roadholding is very good: Predictable and quite neutral, with decent, compliant suspension.  It handles better than my 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage Juro which feels skittish by comparison and has idiotic electronic assistance* when cornering forces exceed 0.01G, either by cutting the throttle or doing something else unpredictable which messes up a good cornering line. Rust resistance is reasonable as the bodywork is galvanised - except for the floor pan which required some welding about 3 years ago.  Considering its Latin roots, its character is very subdued and difficult to detect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gonna start with my namesake, as its the first proper car I've had any experience working on/driving. 

2007 Kia Picanto GS

Solid little car, has put up with it's giffer PO and my dad giving it as little mechanical maintenance as possible for the past 60,000 miles. 

Driving-wise it is rather plain, pokey up to about 40 but then gets a bit asthmatic. Perfect little town runabout and can be fun on countreh roads once she's up to speed.

Only main drawbacks that come to mind are it's hilariously small boot and the lack of legroom for this six-foot tall idiot. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Andyrew said:

300tdi land rover discovery

20190201_141731.thumb.jpg.b40b927123dea0a231be653f91ff4a58.jpg

A huge centre console that will have you leaning over in comfort as you leave you hand on the gearlever at all times when in 2nd or 4th or talking more with your left hand as your palming the steering wheel with your right.

 

No wonder all the gearboxes crunch into second 🤣

very true though, they’re nice position to drive in. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was going to do the right thing and review one of these last week, solely for you guys. 

2E8A1E4D-AEB1-409A-AAD8-2FA1EDD8908C.thumb.webp.26dbc50b06bd4d5210892eb06dd2cd09.webp

 

and it still can be, but it’s a short one. 
 

I was given one from enterprise-rent-a-shite on Wednesday last week, to go on a course at wentworth park for two days. Thursday I had planned to take a50, M1….. then on return, head back through the Peak District for some country lane fun. 
 

Thursday night, shift ends at 6pm and my hire car is waiting in the car park. It’s hotter than satans ballsack inside, and doesn’t smell much better either. Fag ash and grime everywhere. But that’s not the cars fault. I tried to lower the windows. No joy. The mirrors are also folded in. They won’t fold back out. I drive it round to the workshop and have a fiddle. Lock, unlock, try again. Nope. NOTHING is working off the drivers switch module. The windows will open off the key, and the passenger windows off each door. But not the drivers. Mirrors? I can fold them out manually, but they don’t lock into place, and fold back in too easy. Boss, about to leave, says enterprise are now closed. He has a fiddle with it, and I tell him to park it up and I’ll go in my own car. 
 

the hateful thing didn’t even give me the option to review its lame ass. 
 

I had a lovely drive up through Buxton, dove holes, Castleton, Hope and onto Barnsley in the Audi. It’s never been in sport mode so much! 
 

moral of the story? Buy something reliable.

8581AB44-A96E-41C2-AC06-9155D347594C.thumb.jpeg.e726f9747c457eb5b9c866b534c862d8.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Austin allegro 1500. 1975/76

Screenshot_20230529-075936.thumb.jpg.720112875f301cd6703595d501415829.jpg

Is it shit? 

Yeah lets be honest its pretty shit. Probably on the same level as most 70s tat in its defence.

Weak soggy brakes, gear shift like stiring porridge with 5th gear not being where it should and seems to have no positive feel to tell you if you are in gear or not. The suspension ride is soft and bouncey on the bends. 

The boot while a decent size the opening is small in comparison. The interior is comfy but dash and switches squeak and creek and everything feels done to a cost. 

The 1500 lump is a rattly old thing and sounds like death at 60 plus. 

Cons : parts are very limited, and people will constantly ask you if it has the square steering wheel m8

Pro: the ride is comfortable and ermmm . . . they came in some cool colours. 

20230521_204343.thumb.jpg.9e67d1c28da438aa130958a0113d6833.jpg

Would i buy another?  Hell yeah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you looking for old shite or new shite?
Up until Covid, I did a lot of testing for our company cars. I could probably give some impressive reviews of fairly new cars.

Let's start with some old shite I remember:

Rover 213S - you don't see these on the roads. There's a reason. It was an OK car if it wasn't for that K series engine that ate through head gaskets. Strangely, my ex-Father-in-law ran one for nearly 20 years until oddly enough he bought my......

Rover 75 V6 - One thing I'd say about this car was that it was a lovely place to be. A proper old barge, but with some power under your foot. I had 2 young children at the time and was putting 25k a year on it. I bought it with something like 180 miles on it and sold it with 110k some 4 years later. Loved it. Would own another or its MG stablemate.

Vauxhall Carlton - another barge, this one a RWD that I learned to drift in (indavertently). Had a big rear-end accident on the M25 and I expected it to get written off, but the insurance co rebuilt it for me.  Again, lovely drive. I was only 25 at the time and all my mates were driving beaten up Festers, I was swanning down the road in my purple barge.

1997 Hyundai Coupe F2 Evolution (import) - this is one of the weirdest cars known to man. I did enjoy driving it like a lunatic (still in my 20s at this point). The biggest problem I found with this car was that it was so light, you could literally floor it and sit there for a few seconds with the tyres burning out. So whilst it was more than capable up against other cars of its age, you couldn't actually floor it. I ended up putting some really soft rubber on it which fixed the problem, but meant I had to change the fronts every 6000 miles or so. Looked like this
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Hyundai_Coupe_F2_Evolution.jpg

Ended up having it written off by a bloke in a Renault 19 that decided to overtake on a blind bend. Whilst I avoided most of the impact, it ripped the axle off the car and buckled the chassis. Shame, at co-part (or wherever it ended up) it would have looked really nice from one side. Was barely 3 years old.
You can pick these up dead cheap and honestly, they'd be a good buy. They have a few niggles, but very few compared with most cars of this age. I'm really surprised they didn't turn into a modern classic.

Right, what else? ooh light blue Vauxhall Nova 1.0. Can't even remember what model it was, but it was the most basic of basic cars I ever owned. I bought it for my ex-missus to learn to drive in, but she couldn't be bothered, so I used to rag it around. It had terrible rust on the bottom of the doors, so I sanded it down, filled it and painted the bottoms black, like they did in the 80s. Sold it for scrap for more than I paid for it. It ended up getting "stolen" (yeah, right) from the scrap yard and was used in a robbery. That wasn't a pleasant police visit - although I'd done my bit of the v5, they hadn't, so officially, it was still registered to me.

She did end up with.... a very early 2001 Kia Rio in black. If you remember, this was the model. The one before it looked like a Korean Fester.

Kia Rio (2001 - 2005) used car review | Car review | RAC Drive

As above, we had 2 young children (1 and 5 at the time), and being like a mini-estate with a 1.3 engine (she'd just passed her test), this was ideal. Quite honestly, it was gutless, but for the money it was amazing. The car was probably a year old and the thing about these was, that they were only £5883 on the road brand new. We paid I think 3.5k for a year old one with about 12k on the clock with warranty left. She used to drive it to her Mum's, 250 miles away quite a few times a year.

I've had 3 MR2 Roadsters (so far). Definitely recommend buying one of these. They're more fun than an MX5 (I did try a bunch of those out before moving to the MR2). Rear engined fun for the price of a Cat D Ford Focus. You can genuinely get one for around a grand if you're lucky. They do have known faults, but I think everyone should have one for at least one summer. Even Richard Brunning (him of Project Binky) has just bought one and joined the Facebook groups.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1988 Volvo 240 GLT

Writing this in the hope it will encourage me to fix it.

resizer_16416783786343.jpg

I wasn't sure what to expect from this car, as I bought it for the sake of having a project while having never set foot in one before. I did however very much appreciate its style; in my opinion it looks exactly like a car should look.  Big, boxy, functional, sort of brutal, yet still with lots of attention to little details like the most excellent flush door handles, the chunky and reassuring shoulder on the bodyside and the tremendous deep-dished alloys. It has so much presence.

pxl_20230501_1428145132.jpg

Inside, it's the same story with 'chunky' being the only word to describe everything. The dash is obelisk-like, the gear shifter in-your-face, the instruments big and bold, the switches industrial and heavy duty, and even the indicator and wiper stalks big, monolithic and with a somewhat satisfyingly long throw. You don't do anything in this car by accident. Driving this car after coming from a bloated modern full of needless tech, it's simply good for the soul.

resizer_165208601823231.jpeg

At the same time, it's attractive. The corduroy effect carpet on the doors, the fine chrome accents and the use of very high quality materials make it incredibly pleasant to sit in. The buttoned heated leather seats are effectively big chunks of chesterfield sofa, and I don't think I've ever sat in a car seat that is so forgiving and yet supports your lumbar in such a healthy way.

If I have one complaint it's that the centre console is so chunky that it can impede on my left knee, but then I have been told I 'sit funny', and to be fair I have the same problem with many RWD cars that have large transmission tunnels. The Lexus LS400 is way worse in this regard.

It doesn't feel like a luxury or even an upmarket car, as such. It is completely unpretentious. But it does feel like someone set out to build something that does everything to the best of its ability, and to last a lifetime. This one hasn't been babied, yet there isn't a single crack or chip in the dash or instruments after 35 years, and I suspect you'd have to really be abusing it to cause one. 

For an 80's car a surprising amount of thought has went into storage. It has door pockets that have bottle holders. It has shelves and cubbyholes everywhere, plus a cavernous glovebox. It even has an indent under the windscreen for holding coins in the days you'd pay tolls manually. The boot is big enough to hold a number of dead bodies and or several hundred grand of coke.

All of the instruments are backlit in a way I can only describe as '80's', which is stunning. 

pxl_20220901_201043535-1.jpg

The sound system has plenty of volume and is surprisingly clear and crisp, but has hardly any bass.  Adjusting the mini-EQ on the head unit only results in distortion. The small door speakers lack the power to give low frequencies a chance. I suspect a speaker upgrade would be needed to get the full benefit of the head unit which itself is actually very good.

pxl_20220715_080935923.jpg

Driving the car at first is a little bit disconcerting as the power steering is unfathomably light. No doubt this was meant to appeal to those who didn't like the idea of driving a 'big' car but I'd definitely say it crosses the line into being over-assisted.  As such, it really never does feel like a big car especially when navigating tight spaces or parking.  The shape is so square, the visibility so good and the mirrors so huge that you're never in any doubt as to where exactly you're putting it. This is a car a learner could drive.

The visibility makes driving in general a very relaxing experience. Motorway driving in particular is much easier with the narrow pillars and wide mirrors giving you almost no blind spot to worry about.

pxl_20230102_111751116-1.jpg

The B230E 2.3 mechanically injected engine is the opposite of rev-happy. It's torquey. It drives like a diesel. Most of the power is available from around 1000RPM and pulls hard to around 3500rpm, where it smoothly tapers off.  Country and motorway driving is supremely relaxed, and gear changes are few and far between. RPM at 70mph is around 2500, at which point the engine is mostly drowned out by road noise. Smooth and supremely competent is the best way to describe it.  0-60 is around 11 seconds, which although it isn't even warm, it's enough to never feel slow .

Pushing the car on a twisty road was an eye-opener for me. It didn't take me long to realise it is surprisingly capable for such a big sensible safety-focused lump.  At no point does the car feel heavy or unbalanced.  The GLT has a lower, stiffer setup from other trims and it can be thrown around with significant enthusiasm without ever feeling unwieldy. The biggest surprise is how accurate the steering is at speed, even on uneven ground, especially given how overassisted it feels. It's a car that can be flicked into place without much thought and is surprisingly eager to corner.  There always feels like there's plenty of torque available just when you need it, and the brakes are possibly the strongest and most reassuring I've felt.

Some of the competence must come from how incredibly solid this car is. I've had the pleasure* of welding it back together and can say with confidence it may be one of the strongest cars ever built. The steel is twice as thick as some cars. The pillars even have an integrated roll cage of sorts. It's absolute overkill.

resizer_16416783786345.jpg

Where the car really shines is in poor weather, snow, or rough ground. The suspension has plenty of travel and never feels crashy, and the back end always feels more planted than you'd expect. Driving through floods and snow it still feels always competent and almost feels like it relishes the prospect of a good storm. If you wanted a simple, solid, comfortable car to drive to the Arctic Circle tomorrow, make no mistake, you'd want a 240.

resizer_16416783786340.jpg

Except when it's broken (as mine is).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, juular said:

1988 Volvo 240 GLT

Writing this in the hope it will encourage me to fix it.

resizer_16416783786343.jpg

I wasn't sure what to expect from this car, as I bought it for the sake of having a project while having never set foot in one before. I did however very much appreciate its style; in my opinion it looks exactly like a car should look.  Big, boxy, functional, sort of brutal, yet still with lots of attention to little details like the most excellent flush door handles, the chunky and reassuring shoulder on the bodyside and the tremendous deep-dished alloys. It has so much presence.

pxl_20230501_1428145132.jpg

Inside, it's the same story with 'chunky' being the only word to describe everything. The dash is obelisk-like, the gear shifter in-your-face, the instruments big and bold, the switches industrial and heavy duty, and even the indicator and wiper stalks big, monolithic and with a somewhat satisfyingly long throw. You don't do anything in this car by accident. Driving this car after coming from a bloated modern full of needless tech, it's simply good for the soul.

resizer_165208601823231.jpeg

At the same time, it's attractive. The corduroy effect carpet on the doors, the fine chrome accents and the use of very high quality materials make it incredibly pleasant to sit in. The buttoned heated leather seats are effectively big chunks of chesterfield sofa, and I don't think I've ever sat in a car seat that is so forgiving and yet supports your lumbar in such a healthy way.

If I have one complaint it's that the centre console is so chunky that it can impede on my left knee, but then I have been told I 'sit funny', and to be fair I have the same problem with many RWD cars that have large transmission tunnels. The Lexus LS400 is way worse in this regard.

It doesn't feel like a luxury or even an upmarket car, as such. It is completely unpretentious. But it does feel like someone set out to build something that does everything to the best of its ability, and to last a lifetime. This one hasn't been babied, yet there isn't a single crack or chip in the dash or instruments after 35 years, and I suspect you'd have to really be abusing it to cause one. 

For an 80's car a surprising amount of thought has went into storage. It has door pockets that have bottle holders. It has shelves and cubbyholes everywhere, plus a cavernous glovebox. It even has an indent under the windscreen for holding coins in the days you'd pay tolls manually. The boot is big enough to hold a number of dead bodies and or several hundred grand of coke.

All of the instruments are backlit in a way I can only describe as '80's', which is stunning. 

pxl_20220901_201043535-1.jpg

The sound system has plenty of volume and is surprisingly clear and crisp, but has hardly any bass.  Adjusting the mini-EQ on the head unit only results in distortion. The small door speakers lack the power to give low frequencies a chance. I suspect a speaker upgrade would be needed to get the full benefit of the head unit which itself is actually very good.

pxl_20220715_080935923.jpg

Driving the car at first is a little bit disconcerting as the power steering is unfathomably light. No doubt this was meant to appeal to those who didn't like the idea of driving a 'big' car but I'd definitely say it crosses the line into being over-assisted.  As such, it really never does feel like a big car especially when navigating tight spaces or parking.  The shape is so square, the visibility so good and the mirrors so huge that you're never in any doubt as to where exactly you're putting it. This is a car a learner could drive.

The visibility makes driving in general a very relaxing experience. Motorway driving in particular is much easier with the narrow pillars and wide mirrors giving you almost no blind spot to worry about.

pxl_20230102_111751116-1.jpg

The B230E 2.3 mechanically injected engine is the opposite of rev-happy. It's torquey. It drives like a diesel. Most of the power is available from around 1000RPM and pulls hard to around 3500rpm, where it smoothly tapers off.  Country and motorway driving is supremely relaxed, and gear changes are few and far between. RPM at 70mph is around 2500, at which point the engine is mostly drowned out by road noise. Smooth and supremely competent is the best way to describe it.  0-60 is around 11 seconds, which although it isn't even warm, it's enough to never feel slow .

Pushing the car on a twisty road was an eye-opener for me. It didn't take me long to realise it is surprisingly capable for such a big sensible safety-focused lump.  At no point does the car feel heavy or unbalanced.  The GLT has a lower, stiffer setup from other trims and it can be thrown around with significant enthusiasm without ever feeling unwieldy. The biggest surprise is how accurate the steering is at speed, even on uneven ground, especially given how overassisted it feels. It's a car that can be flicked into place without much thought and is surprisingly eager to corner.  There always feels like there's plenty of torque available just when you need it, and the brakes are possibly the strongest and most reassuring I've felt.

Some of the competence must come from how incredibly solid this car is. I've had the pleasure* of welding it back together and can say with confidence it may be one of the strongest cars ever built. The steel is twice as thick as some cars. The pillars even have an integrated roll cage of sorts. It's absolute overkill.

resizer_16416783786345.jpg

Where the car really shines is in poor weather, snow, or rough ground. The suspension has plenty of travel and never feels crashy, and the back end always feels more planted than you'd expect. Driving through floods and snow it still feels always competent and almost feels like it relishes the prospect of a good storm. If you wanted a simple, solid, comfortable car to drive to the Arctic Circle tomorrow, make no mistake, you'd want a 240.

resizer_16416783786340.jpg

Except when it's broken (as mine is).

I love the look of that. It looks like driving around in your Grandad's favourite armchair. I couldn't own one, but I'd love to have a drive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reliant Regal MKVI (1961).   Owned since 1992, bought as a project.  Project not completed until 2005 and has been road legal for most of the time since then.  These are very much an acquired taste and usually only considered by those who used the motorcycle licence route to drive a 'car' when this was the norm and who thus developed some affection for a three wheeler which could actually accommodate 4 people.  Engine is a side valve 4cyl 4 stroke of 748cc derived from but not the same as that of a pre-war Austin Ruby (7).  It develops just 17.5bhp.  This, together with the three wheel configuration and an extremely fierce clutch really does hone one's driving skills as roadholding and gear changing is unforgiving. Anticipation, concentration and gentle handling of the controls will allow reasonably safe, albeit defensive driving on quieter roads. It won't out accelerate an electric Ami or any modern agricultural tractors but will, eventually, better them on cruising speed which is anything between 35-55mph.  Economy is around 45mpg.  The driving position, despite a very basic looking seat, is comfortable.  There is no heater but the engine sits behind the front wheel, in a cowling which is mostly between driver and front passenger and provides compulsory heating and considerable noise, so no radio is necessary.  Boot space is ok.  Access to the engine is better than later Reliants.  Has character.  You might not like it though.   

100_0059.jpeg

100_1733.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

heres my reviews of everything i’ve driven more than once

2003 Citroen C5 2.0 petrol auto:

engine is a superb match to the car, lots of power through most the rev range, smooth, quiet and actually pretty quick! economy isn’t bad for a large petrol either mid 30s-mid 40s on a run

gearbox is good, i mean its an AL4 so itll fail eventually but for now its good

ride and handling are excellent, handling is very excellent with the hydractive in sport mode……very solid and a reasonable ish amount of feedback through the wheel

NO CRUISE!!!

i would buy another

2003 Citroen C5 2.0 HDi auto

was a very troubled car but managed 180k before the gearbox completelt shat itself

engine was good until it wasnt, plenty of power, surprisngly not that economical though, it would struggle to touch 40 mpg towards the end but i think it was just broken

ride and handling were excellent, however handling wasn’t as good as the green one due to no sport mode and being an estate but it went down the road lovely

i would buy another

it had cruise control

2005 Citroen Xsara Picasso 2.0 HDi

this wasn’t a bad car at all really, it was badly neglected when i bought it so it wound up being a bit troublesome but otherwise it was a decent car, not that quick nor did it handle that well but it drove nicely and had enough power

economy was excellent, would easily touch 55mpg 

broken cruise control i could not fix, also it was ruined by a so called mechanic, lost interest in it and wound up selling it as it never drove the same afterwards

i would maybe buy another, perhaps a 2.0 petrol

2009 Citroen Xsara Picasso 1.6 petrol

exactly as above, however i must admit this drives better than the HDi did, much much quicker and the engine seems a decent match for the car, has been very reliable in the 4 years my grandparents have owned it despite being neglected 

economy is around 30-35 

i’d maybe buy one

2007 Citroen C4 1.6 HDi

i was given long term loan of this car when i passed my test, it shat itself big time on the A19 between Peterlee and Sunderland at 4pm on a friday……..that was fun!

surprisngly as a serial citroen licker i didn’t like it!

very flimsy feeling, drove nicely but felt a bit loose, lots of stuff broken and just couldn’t trust it really

i would not buy one

1993 Citroen XM 2.1 TD

superb, superb!!!!!!

surprisingly reliable, drove beautifully, very economical and was just fantastic in every single way, unfortunately job loss led to the sale which i regret every single day, i absolutely loved that car and i’d swap my C5 for an XM

i will be buying another, i miss that car

2010 Honda Civic 2.2 i-ctdi

this was my dads car, what a great little thong they are! loads of power, good on fuel and that engine is an absolute peach! really drives well

well put together, quirky and never went wrong

ride was a bit firm however

i would buy one

2018 Honda civic 1.5 turbo petrol

dads car, nice enough car, decently sized and looks good! however it’s been quite troublesome lately and just feels a bit meh

i would not buy one

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...