Monday, 23 March 2009

Is that a car?

I've been driving a small car for a few years now - tasty little Smart Brabus Roadster. Not the greatest car in the world, the passenger door has a habit of opening while travelling at speed, the soft-top leaks, I've had to get the aircon fixed on an almost annual basis, and when I'm travelling with the roof down there's so much turbulence that I actually have a job breathing.

It's a challenge to carry much more than two weekend bags and you can forget about suitcases. So as far as practicality goes I'd be better off riding a bike.

But despite all this, I love it. I can drive all the way to Norwich and back on £25 of petrol thanks to its 770cc engine, and because Brabus stuck a twin turbo on it, I can put my foot down and the little thing accelerates like the clappers.

Above all, it looks the part, and in this era of average speed cameras and 50mph limits, nothing else really counts. It has huge alloys, it looks sleek. A reviewer once likened it to half a 911 and I can see why.

I wonder what that same reviewer would make of the new Tata Nanom (above - the red thing). The "world's cheapest car," like that's something to be proud of. You can buy quite a lot of car for £1,400. An old BMW perhaps or something equally German, like a VW. All of which will most likely last thousands of miles longer than this boil on the roads of life.

But then I don't particularly care how reliable the Nano is or isn't. To me it stands for all that is bad about small cars. Its very existence makes me angry. It falls into the Gee Whizz category - intended to be cute but instead inherently offensive. It seems to have been designed by those people who draw up those childrens' buggies with the steering handle on the back and a hole in the floor for kids to push them along with their feet.

One saving grace is that because the Nano has been released at possibly the worst time in history to launch a car, production has been cut and it won't reach the UK until 2011.

That's long enough for anyone contemplating such a misdirected expenditure to see sense. You might not care how you look, you might not care how your car looks. But that's still no reason to buy a Tata Nano.

I've seen better designed dodgems.

People who read this post also read :

No comments:

Post a Comment