snowgood

Posts Tagged ‘cars’

In Focus

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I don’t suppose I’ll ever buy one, but every now and then I get a chance to drive this 1.6 diesel Focus.

Perhaps I represent the biggest problem to Ford’s future success in England.

For years people like me were forced to drive “The Blue Oval” as worked as salesmen for bigPLCs.

My previous Fords include an Escort 1.4L, another 1.4 GL(with sunroof), and a Mondeo GLX 2.0 litre auto.  I also endured a dreadful last of the “new shape” 1.4LX Escorts for two weeks whilst waiting for a new Subaru.

But back to today’s car.

The good bits.

Excellent ride, super dynamics simply floating over all the adverse cambers Hungarian roads could serve up.

Clear instruments, plenty of space inside, and reasonable looks outside.

All of which is all well and good, but Ford always seem to serve up something to spoil the overall package.  I once thought about a Focus ST, but couldn’t accept the low rent interior.

Interestingly this mid-range vehicle is better inside than the fancy sporty ones, although half the gear knob fell off and chafes your hand when rowing it along.

Then there’s the performance.  Adequate, but just like the Golf the other day, there doesn’t seem to be enough torque.  Once up and running its ok.

In bright sunshine you can’t read the time on the hideous mid-dash music system.

Maybe I’m fussy, and just don’t like diesels or perhaps the 150 bhp unit in my Cadillac mated to an auto box was just that much more suitable for relaxed driving.

So for me the Focus gets say 6 out of 10.

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My Korean Ferrari

In Hyundai on July 8, 2012 at 8:59 am

Meet one of the prettiest cars I ever owned.

A Hyundai Coupe V6 auto.

I bought this after racking up thousands of miles in a Civic Type S.

Back in 2006 “Evo” magazine had been running a manual coupe and giving it praise a plenty, so as far as I was concerned it came with good credentials.

Then there was the other significant factor.

The price.  Back then Joe Public didn’t seem to have an appetite for big engines, and most of the Coupes being sold had a pretty decent 2.0 litre 4 cylinder unit which knocked out 40 mpg when driven sensibly.

At this time the official importer had various V6s knocking about collecting dust, and a few dealers were gamely trying to flog them at the list price £19,995.  Just one was taking a different approach, and had one on Autotrader at £13,000.

Armed with this information I strolled into Renwicks Hyundai in Exeter (now long gone) and asked if they could price match.  The sales girl scurried into the manager’s office.

The answer was yes, and what’s more I had a choice of colour, and gearbox and all this for a new unregistered machine.

In red this 4 seater Hyundai looked a million dollars, and that’s what I ordered.

The car that arrived and it never ceased to give me that “feel good factor” when I looked at it from my bedroom window.

Here are the good bits;

Handled flat, with no ungainly roll to spoil my cornering.

Those looks.

A good old fashioned multi-dial dash.

Sun Roof.

Roomy when carrying my work paraphernalia.

It only lost £4,000 in 40,000 miles motoring.

Bad Bits;

Cheap interior finish, naff leather and rock hard seats.

Naff plastics.

Not really that quick.

Rear headroom, passengers had to duck if you shut the tailgate or risk being banged on the head.

Gearchange shudder at random times from 2nd to 3rd on light throttle settings, which in turn lead to a new box being fitted under warranty (which didn’t cure the problem).

Renwicks were incompetent, and eventually went bust.