You know those people who profess to be ‘car nuts’ or admit to being petrol heads, people who say they ‘love cars’? They’re lying to you, all of them. Ok, maybe not actually lying but certainly being selective with the facts, in that they aren’t revealing all of them. They aren’t ‘car nuts’ as they don’t love all cars, they don’t ‘love cars’ indiscriminately as they would be most put out if you suggested their only option was to drive the wrong car. A car not to their taste. When I say most put out, your average ‘car nut’ would rather walk than be made to drive the wrong car. I know I would.
I’m not a car nut, or a petrol head but give me the right car and I’ll love it very much indeed. Give me the wrong car and I’ll get a ride with somebody else. I once let three people push in front of me in a taxi queue because I didn’t want to ride in the rubbish taxi’s at the front of the rank, I wanted the car that was third in the line behind the moving dustbins more closely on offer. So I waited, my rationale was that if I paid money to a taxi driver who had chosen one of what I consider to be the worst cars in the world as his preferred method of transporting people, that was like funding the hopeless car maker itself, why would I want to do that? It’s my little boycott and I’m ok with it.
So, ‘car nuts’ and ‘petrol heads’ are actually just people who tend to know quite a lot about cars, the automotive version of a train spotter or a pigeon fancier, another version of a computer geek, or someone who works in IT, which as you know is the same thing. So as their interest is cars and not pigeons or trains or computers, they somehow believe their knowledge and willingness to share it is more socially acceptable if called a petrol head rather than say ‘automotive nerd’.
Never mind all that though, It’s just scene setting. I also like cars, like other people who like cars I don’t like all cars, but saying “I like some cars” sounds dumb. So given we won’t resolve the correct description for my enthusiasm for the cars I like and my antipathy towards those I don’t, let’s just now be comfortable in the knowledge that I know enough about cars to talk about the following. A car.
I went for a drive in a new car the other day, I could just say ‘I liked it very much and you probably would too’, but that would be doing the car a disservice. It’s excellent. which is also selling it a bit short. It’s perfect. If you were looking to buy a car of this particular size and budget and you didn’t buy this one, you’d pretty much be saying, “well this is the perfect car for me, but I’m going to buy something inferior instead”.
Let’s assume you are in the market for a car of this size and price and you chose something else instead. I’m going to offer up some reasons you might do so that would be reasonable arguments.
Maybe it’s the engine size with the accompanying low CO2 emissions which we all know to be important now. A reason not to choose this car might be because you have children who you are concerned might grow up to be adventurous and perhaps travel one day to Northern Canada where they’d get killed by a Polar bear that hadn’t choked to death on the carbon emissions from a car with a larger less efficient engine which you could have bought instead.
Maybe you like a car that goes less far on a tank of petrol because you enjoy chatting with people in fuel stations or you get a chance to buy a pie more often because driving makes you hungry.
Maybe you like a car that’s not so refined and quiet so you are less likely to overhear the conversations of the young or old members of your family you don’t like very much in the back seat which detract from your driving pleasure.
Perhaps you like to pay for all the optional toys and equipment in another car which come as standard in this one because you feel you appreciate something more if you’ve paid for it.
It could be you are a bit older and like a car with worse suspension and handling because you were a fan of cars which felt and handled like they were made from recycled prairie wagons for old times sake.
Of course it could be that you don’t like safety features too much as you feel that if there was more chance of you, other road users or pedestrians being killed in an accident, then everyone might drive more carefully in the first place.
Because if you see this car, drive it, find out how much it costs to run, own and live with. When you see how good it looks and how well it is made. What it is fitted with as standard and how it rides and handles and makes you feel when you sit in it…and you walk away? You’ve either met the worst sales person in all the world you’ve made a conscious decision to select something inferior instead, for some reason.
You might like to choose a car more sporty, but which will be an inferior purchase in almost every other respect. You might like to sit higher off the road, you might like to have a 4×4 because you live on a mountain. You might like a bigger engine because you have yet to read about how the old fashioned ‘size means power’ thing is no longer true. Or you did read about it but didn’t believe it because how could it possibly be true? Despite being true.
There are all sorts of reasons you might want an inferior alternative to this car as for some reason you can’t rationalise or believe what the statistics or the reviewers say even though they are considerably better informed than you. Let me put it another way. If this is the sized car and budget range you are shopping in, there is not one good reason to choose any other car, there might be what you personally feel are reasons, but none of them are good ones.
I’ve driven an awful lot of miles on innumerable roads across several countries in a considerable variety of cars over many years. I have never driven a car so refined, at any price. I’ve never been so surprised, nay, amazed by the power and economy, range, smoothness, quality, and equipment level combination in any car of any price.
Want a real life example of what I mean? The other day, I drove up the Brynderwyn Hills coming south from Whangarei. If you don’t know them, they’re quite steep, as steep as any incline on a main road in New Zealand. A steady shortish climb from sea level to 1500 feet or 450 metres at the top with a number of bendy bits you need to decelerate to navigate safely even going up hill.
I went up the Brynderwyn Hills in this car at the national speed limit of 100km/h until it drops to 80km/h for safety reasons about half way up. The car has a 7 speed gear box! I drove all the way up the hill in 7th gear, at just under 2000 rpm which is not much more than idling engine speed, the car never needed to chop down a gear, it just climbed the hill with no more effort than it had been on a flat road. In almost total silence inside the cabin, you could barely hear the engine, there was almost no road noise, it was like being in a library. A library with Bluetooth and iThing connectivity and a touchscreen computer in the middle of the dashboard. Ok, so not much like being a library but it was very quiet indeed.
I could have accelerated sharply up the hill anytime I chose to as I was using almost none of the power I had available to me, but I chose to stick to the speed limit instead because I am a good citizen and because New Zealand is covered in policemen and every single one of them is keen to give you lots of speeding tickets as they’ve not much else to do during the day as far as I can gather.
Then I came down the other side of the Brynderwyn Hills, The steeper, more dangerous side. Lots of very sharp bends with big bluffs to tumble over for the unwary driver. I smiled a lot on the way down. Usually one frowns with concentration driving down the south side of the Brynderwyn Hills. I just smiled.
I have a lot to smile about these days. I’m back home in New Zealand and now I’ve got a new job, a job with a car allowance so I had to choose a new car. Which did I choose?
The car I’ve been talking about of course. This incredibly well equipped, and well made, very powerful, yet very quiet car has a 1.4 litre (yes, it does) turbo charged petrol engine which will manage nearly 1000 kilometres between fuel stops if I concentrate on not getting speeding tickets from all the keen New Zealand Policemen. It is absolutely amazing, awesome, or oarsum even.
It’s world car of the year 2013. The new generation Volkswagen Golf 1.4TSI DSG. The DSG bit is to do with the gearbox, it’s both manual and automatic somehow, very clever. It’s my new car and I absolutely love it. It’s perfect.