After much careful consideration over the festive season, I’ve decided that God is almost certainly a German. He created the world and festooned it with all sorts of unusual creations, none of which he liked very much. So then he killed them off and started again. Then he didn’t like that lot either, so he turned all the dinosaurs into birds and gave one of the apes opposable thumbs.. To make matters worse, there was recently a great disturbance in Saab’s force. General Motors had bought half the company in 1989 and the rest in 2000, but realized last year it didn’t want it any more. The production lines stopped and for a while it looked as though the company would be gone. But then it was rescued by a Dutch outfit that makes the Spyker supercar.. Those yurt dwellers have got it right. I’m regularly told by people there that cars caused the hole in the ozone layer, usually when they are getting something from their trendy old fridge, or applying some deodorant. The other day, someone even blamed the motor industry for deforestation, even though the only car company still making its cars from wood is Morgan. And I hardly think a cottage industry making seventeen units a year in Malvern can be blamed for all the logging in southeast Asia.. I don’t like kidney beans, either. Or Piers Morgan. I know that he has a nose and a liver and all the other things that qualify him to be classified biologically as a member of the human race, but he grates, and I find myself gloating in an unkind way over the true fact that his new television show now has fewer viewers thanKerry Katona: The Next Chapter.. So there you are, in a country where they drive on the same side of the road as us, speak the same language and have the same head of state. And the same summer weather, if my recent trip is anything to go by. But it’s not the same at all.. However, it was nothing like a modern car to drive. Yes, many of the components were brand new, but you couldn’t get away from the fact that the basic architecture came from a time when people would travel miles to gawp at a top-loading washing machine.. These, then, are just some of the tricks being used by car makers to shoot their cars through the EU’s goalposts. And every single one of them makes a car a little bit worse.. It doesn’t tear your face off, and it doesn’t make much of a noise, but this car can make serious progress, blurring its way though the eight cogs in the optional automatic gearbox and humming a happy little tune to itself as you scythe past other traffic and arc through corners as if you were a world championship water-ski-ist. This car is more like a scientific instrument than a means of transport. It’s delightful.. Seeing that bureaucracy would prevent him from recording how fast I’d actually been going, the extremely good-natured policeman said, ‘Listen, son. I know and you know how fast you were going. But, hell, it’s a beautiful evening. Let’s call it eighty-five.’ And then, after I’d said I was going back to Britain in a week, he gave me two weeks to pay the fine…. The company spent a billion quid on designing the new lightweight chassis. And then clothed it in a modern-day interpretation of what made the last car such a massive hit, not just with people who wear nylon shorts at work but also people who wear tweed shorts at play. It is a fantastic car. Not just the best off-roader in the world, but one of the best cars full stop.16 December 2012. Where the hell did they hide the‘keeping up with Italians’ button?. Dragging extra pounds around means spending more pounds at the pumps. And that means more emissions, which is bad news – if you believe that sort of thing – for Johnny Polar Bear. So tax it. I certainly won’t complain because weight also blunts a car’s performance – not just its acceleration but its ability to go round corners. A heavy car will never be as much fun to drive as a light car.. And yet. My inner man loved foraging about in the Merc, finding solutions to problems that no one knew existed. It also comes with an engine.27 October 2013. After you set off, it continues to impress. It’s quiet and comfortable, and the driving position is perfect. There are lots of places to put your stuff, and nothing is rattling around in the enormous boot because a cargo net is holding everything in place. I especially liked the position of the gear lever in relation to the wheel, and was deeply impressed by the tiny gate through which it moves. First, third and fifth are no more than a few millimetres apart. It’s as if Kia has taken the best bit of every hot hatch that’s yet been made and put them all in the Pro_Cee’d GT..