I’m not going to bother you with all of the details from my trek to a certain Autoshow, as I would run out of material for this column for the next few months. However, since I have a duty to report the unvarnished truth, we’ll just call this conclusions from an autoshow…
I am and shall forever be a Jag man:
Frankly, this probably doesn’t need any explanation, but there are some rather strange people out there who prefer the products of a certain Swabian automaker better know for producing beige taxi-cabs. Apparently, there used to be some sort of reliability advantage, but Mercedes stopped living up to their brand image circa 1995, and Jaguar has been rated the among top automakers for reliability for over a decade at this point. However, some background might help in this instance…
You see, my love of Jags dates back to the late 1980’s and the early part of my childhood. My aunt, who was not only an arbiter of fashion and good taste, but also an amazingly woman, and her husband had his and hers XJ6s. Using a Jag as a family car may seem like a bad idea, and she did move onto a LWB Range Rover plus a series of Toyota Land Cruisers, but there’s just something about arriving in a Jag that lends a sense of occasion to the mundane. Picking the kids up from school becomes a treat, and the supple tan hides of a Jag beat the hell out of the vinyl seats of the neighbor’s Volvo 240 for one’s peewee passengers. Basically, every time I see a Jag in just the right colour, I just can’t help but crack a smile.
Yes, I do have an emotional connection to Jags, but there’s more to it than that. On a logical and rational level, I have to say Jags do something the German competition don’t do very well: value for money. You compare Jaguar and BMW spec for spec, and the Bimmer ends up costing you thousands more for a car of equal pedigree. Actually, the Jags employ some rather clever technology that the Germans just can’t match, so the Brits win that battle too. It’s as if the plucky car company from Coventry has something of a grudge against the Bavarians better known for their aircraft engines circa 1940, and therefore under cuts them on price with a better car? Oh wait, answered that one…
Also, the new F-Type may be the cause of more teenage petrolheads having wet dreams than all the spokesmodels… I’ll take mine with a V8 and a three pedals.
Stupid people are ruining cars for the rest of us:
Most modern cars now have a brake pedal so far out of plane from the others that you can’t help but hit it. Also, to further prevent idiots from pression the right pedal properly, the spacing is now too far apart from heel-toeing by anyone other than an NBA player. Fiat is one of the worst at this, as the 500 Abarth has a brake that gets in the way upon entry and exit with pedal spacing fit for driving in snowshoes. This has stop. Idiots don’t drive good cars, so why ruin the fun ones?
Ford makes the best mass-market cars:
I cannot stress this enough: top to bottom the Ford range is just excellent. If they ever got around to overhauling the dealers and ownership experience to Lexus-like levels, there would be no need for 95% of the motoring public to look elsewhere. The cars are just that good.