You know the one I mean, the new one with the dual triangle exhausts and it looks like a weird bubble japanese spaceship type deal. I never minded the design that much when I just looked at it, infact at times I though it was actually 'ok'.
The reason I bring this up is im thinking about getting a new car. My current astra could possibly be my most favorite thing in the world, it is even better than contact with real people. I was sitting having a chat with owner of the company I work for about how I was going to pop down the 'phoenix' (this is a large car and bike dealership area outside of glasgow) at lunch and have a look about.
My main idea was to probably go for another Astra. A 1.8 SRi. I love mine but the milage is getting a bit high and I want to still have a somewhat decent trade in price before it reaches its 60k. The big boss said that I could test drive a company car he had sitting outside after someone had left the company. Its a 57 plate Honda I-VTEC 1.8 Civic 5 door with 8000 miles. Its just got a years tax and has been paid for by the company for a year. He said I could take it for the week and see how I liked it, if I did he would obviously give me a fairly decent deal on it.
Exited of the prospect of having a new car to play with I drove it home last night. As soon as I got into the car it felt stange. Im used to semi-sports seats but these things felt like wood. It has a large arm rest type thing right were your elbow moves around and really invades your space. Do you remember when cars always came with a massive thing back in the 80s and early 90s between the two front seats that you could usually pop the top off and put tapes in, they were especially noticable in the Nissan Bluebirds? Well it is as large as that and ****ing annoying. I know in larger cars these tend to be the norm, and thats fine. In a somewhat sporty hatch? Nah.
The dashboard is split into two parts. One very thin small area were you would expect a dash board to be and another level 'above' which gives you your speed and some other daft information.
After adjusting my seat for about 10 minutes I had managed to position myself so that I was able to both see through the wheel at the rev counter, fuel, temp and useless little tv screen in the middle of it that thought it was fun to tell me the abs is on even 30 seconds. It has a button to change from mph to kph. Awesome - just what I've always wanted. Seriously. What a ****ing useless thing to be able to do, not like every other car in the world can just tell you both at once or anything.
Time to have a squint out the back window. Erm, someone apears to have put a stupid ****ing back spoiler across the middle of the window.
This isn't the exact car, its just a google image search (notice the lack of decent exhausts)
I know this doesn't quite look that bad. Infact from outside it looks like you wouldn't be able to even use the bottom part. Once you are in the car though and the angle in which you sit the spoiler goes right across the middle of the window. Literally across it. Who the ****ing hell in a tin of orange peel came up with this???????
Now im not the smallest person in the world. Im around 6'4". This gives me 3 options for viewing. I can eaither:
1. View the complete dashboard (2 parts of it) and not see much out the back.
2. I can raise up slighly so the main dash is covered by the top of the wheel and I can read the speed and see somewhat decently out the rear window.
3. I can raise right up so my head touches the roof and I can see over the wheel and see the dash / speed / rear window. If i was however to look left or right I would see the curve of the roof and need to look down in order to use a side mirror.
Either way, I thought **** it - maybe its super fast and fun to drive so I drove out of my carpark and round onto the M8. High revs and decent power, not bad I thought. After about 3 minutes of making it make loud noises I thought it best be time to cruise along home.
Got to 80, stuck it in 6th and basically didn't touch it again.
Another large design flaw here actually. 6th is right were reverse is. Now obviously I don't want to destory my gearbox so I haven't attemped to go from 5th -> Reverse while going 80mph, so perhaps it has some form of safety feature that doesnt allow thing - all I know is that I havent had a smooth transition into 6th once and im too scared as its literally less than a cm away from reverse. Its one of those reverse gears that neither requires you to push or pull or even go a long way in order to get the gear.
Anyway, the ride was decent enough going in a straight line even though it felt like I was driving one of those little 1 person cars from Demolition Man only while being up a ladder pressed against the roof and that it was made of bricks. Once it was time to slow down the brakes were decent enough, however the steering was left something to be desired. I don't know if unresponsive is the word but its what ill use. It seems rather solid (in a bad way) at speed and rather 'floppy?' at town speed.
The overall look of the car isn't great unless your into hentai I guess, but for the deal I was going to get I though id give it a shot. Going back down the 'pheonix' today at lunch time to have a look at Astras.
How car you go from a decent little hatch like the civic was to this lump of nonsense?
No idea why I posted this, but I thought I would share anyway !