The worst thing, though, is the new satnav. Unlike the old system, which only told you where you’d been, this one only tells you to slow down. Constantly, with a series of bongs. If it even thinks there could be a speed camera nearby, off it goes, yelling and panicking.. I suppose I ought to point out as well that while the engine delivers all that you could ask, it is not quite as refined as the diesel engine you get in a BMW. And that’s it.. Prime One Twelve attracts the cr?me de la cr?me of show-offs. The cars in which they were arriving were mad. Jacked-up Camaro convertibles with spinners. Bentleys on 24-inch rims. One man arrived in a neon insect. Another in a lowered Rolls-Royce. I can only begin to imagine how terrible these cars must have been to drive – cars always are when you fit wheels that could roll a cricket pitch – but that doesn’t matter. In Miami cars are not for driving. They are for arriving.. I admire the Swedes for the stoic way they continue to go about their business. How they dismiss prangs as part of the price you pay for living among the Arctic foxes and the wolves. But let’s dispel any myth that they have superhuman gifts behind the wheel. Because they don’t.. The only slight oddness is the steering wheel. It’s the size of a shirt button and it’s located very low down. So low that in the event of a crash, your testes would get such a thump from the airbag you’d wish you had died.. Perhaps that’s why Peugeot says in its advertisements that the 208 is a car that lets your body drive. It does, leaving your mind free to think about stuff that matters to you: the Blitz and how it used to be all trees around here.. Apparently, the best drivers in Europe are the Finns. How can we be sure? I’m the only person I’ve ever met who’s been to Finland. The Brits come eighth, and there can be only one reason for such a poor showing: the sheer number of Audis you see whizzing about these days.. Problems? Yes. The traditional automatic gearbox with its torque converter has
been replaced by a multi-clutch system. Doubtless this is very good news for Johnny Polar Bear, but, like all modern flappy-paddle solutions, it is annoying.. That’s fine. But I will say one thing. It costs ?150,000. And for ?39,300 less, you can have the V8 Vantage S roadster, which is also an Aston Martin and which looks pretty much exactly the same.31 March 2013. It was only when we arrived in Antwerp that we realized we’d driven the entire way with our buses in the wrong order. ‘Live Gear Top’, said the message. And that was just the start of the problem.. A sports car must have direct, quick steering. But if you do that with a Range Rover, you will find the steering wheel bucks and writhes about on rough ground. A sports car must have firm suspension too, but that’s precisely what you don’t want on a ploughed field. Or on the M40, actually.. The electric power steering and the brakes feel cheap. So does the gear-change action, and so especially does the 1.6-litre turbo engine. It’s so lacking in torque that you often stall when trying to dribble away in second. And at the top end it sounds like a cement mixer full of gravel. Speed? Well, there’s some, but nowhere near as much as the red brake callipers and all those buttons would have you believe.. I’m sorry, Comrade. No Iron Curtain, no deal. Dacia Sandero Access 1.2. Then you had the much-talked-about and greatly missed Impreza. Available in many stages of tune over the years, it came with a bonnet scoop the size of the Sydney Opera House and a turbocharger that was even larger than the driver’s shoes. Imprezas made their mark in international rallying, a sport that’s very popular with rural types who went to school with the local bobby and have no need to worry about the breathalyser kit in the back of his panda car..