Engine power choice - Deft

Let's use a standard hatchback as an example, like a Golf.

If money was no problem, is there any reason not to go for the mega power (e.g. an R). I'm used to driving a "warm" hatch rather than a hot one - but was wondering whether I am missing out in life. I'm not a track day person so in some ways it seems a bit silly to get a 300 BHP engine or similar, but then why not? It's nice to have a bit of poke to get out of trouble or overtake if needed. I remember having an underpowered Polo courtesy car and it felt quite disconcerting to put your foot down and literally get no response. Fuel consumption not a major priority as don't do big mileage.

Any maintenance or other worries about going for the most powerful engine in a range? I suppose the car is more likley to come with large wheels and thin tyres so a firmer ride.

Engine power choice - craig-pd130

If money was no object, then there's no reason not to go for the most powerful engine option available in a given model of car, but as you say, that model is also likely to have silly rubber-band tyres and firm suspension, which can get very annoying on the average pockmarked road.

In general usage, there's no reason why the more powerful engine should need more maintenance than others in the range. There are exceptions, of course - my brother-in-law had a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, which had a specified service interval of 6,000 miles, but that's a rally homologation model.

However, a punchy, pokey engine is usually available in other, more comfort-oriented models in the range if you choose carefully. For example, the Golf GTi has 210bhp, and a wide spread of torque, which will give you all the performance and overtaking punch you're ever likely to realistically use on the road.

My 10p worth is, the power output and 0-60 standing-start times that are always quoted mean nothing. What's more important is in-gear acceleration, especially 30-70 in 3rd gear (manual gearbox) or kickdown (automatic box). Good in-gear acceleration is a product of torque output, which is more important on the road than outright peak power.

Test drive lots of different models until you find one that suits you!

Engine power choice - Happy Blue!

If money was no object, then there's no reason not to go for the most powerful engine option available in a given model of car, but as you say, that model is also likely to have silly rubber-band tyres and firm suspension, which can get very annoying on the average pockmarked road.

In general usage, there's no reason why the more powerful engine should need more maintenance than others in the range. There are exceptions, of course - my brother-in-law had a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, which had a specified service interval of 6,000 miles, but that's a rally homologation model.

However, a punchy, pokey engine is usually available in other, more comfort-oriented models in the range if you choose carefully. For example, the Golf GTi has 210bhp, and a wide spread of torque, which will give you all the performance and overtaking punch you're ever likely to realistically use on the road.

My 10p worth is, the power output and 0-60 standing-start times that are always quoted mean nothing. What's more important is in-gear acceleration, especially 30-70 in 3rd gear (manual gearbox) or kickdown (automatic box). Good in-gear acceleration is a product of torque output, which is more important on the road than outright peak power.

Test drive lots of different models until you find one that suits you!

"My 10p worth is, the power output and 0-60 standing-start times that are always quoted mean nothing. What's more important is in-gear acceleration, especially 30-70 in 3rd gear (manual gearbox) or kickdown (automatic box). Good in-gear acceleration is a product of torque output, which is more important on the road than outright peak power."

I agree. Sometimes it pays to go up a class/size and get the bigger engine in a comfortable body with better ride and seats. Also a normal looking car with a mean engine (a Q car) has less chance of being pulled over by the rozzers than one with skirts, stripes, decals and wings.

Engine power choice - Stanb Sevento

I see cars as being on a kind of spectrum, at one end are the super quick high tech cars like the BMW M5 and the low tech basic cars like the MX5. In one you have massive power, grip and the computing power of NASA to look after everything for you. Then at the other end the MX5 has only enough power and grip,to go quickly you need to work at it, and you can get it wrong if you dont concentrate. One is effortlessly fast the other you need to work at. After a 50 mile A/B road drive the BMW will be there first but the MX5 will have the bigger smile on its face. To get fun from the BMW you need to do licence sheddihg speeds.

Is more power good,? yes it is but its not the be all and end all. It depend what your looking for. Most of us end up with something in the middle, a jack of all trades and where on my spectrum you place yourself is purly a matter of choice and money.

A magazine did a test on motorbikes, some lower power and some superfast bikes. It was a race around a given route, 25 miles mixed urban / opem road / motorway. The only rule was not to break the speed limit and you can probably guess the result. no differense to speak of, the fast bikes only used 30% of their power and the slow bikes used 55% of theirs. The real world keeps a lid on things.

Edited by Stanb Sevento on 07/05/2017 at 10:21

Engine power choice - SLO76
The most powerful option isn't always the best in the range. Often overfirm suspension, too wide wheels and ultra low profile tyres conspire to ruin the handling and ride balance and more often than not the middle ground is the sweet spot in the range.

Mk I Ford Focus, the Yamaha designed 1.6 was a better car than the ST 170. Sweeter engine and nicer handling and ride.

Peugeot 306, the 1.9 turbo diesel was a far better car than the 2.0 XSi.

Rover Metro, the 8v GTa was a much nicer drive than the 16v GTi.

Ford Mondeo Mk I, the 1.8 Zetec was a sweeter better balanced car than the bigger engined variants.

Rover 216/416 was better than the 220/420

Volvo 440 GLT better than 440 Turbo

Etc etc



Engine power choice - John F

If money was no problem, is there any reason not to go for the mega power (e.g. an R).

None whatsoever. The possibly lower reliability, longevity and higher running costs will not be an issue.

It's nice to have a bit of poke to get out of trouble or overtake if needed.

This is probably the best reason for having a large amount of instantly available naturally aspirated power, preferably in an ordinary-looking car as another poster has observed for good reason. It's certainly the most fun.

Fuel consumption not a major priority as don't do big mileage.

Quite so. Nowadays there is overemphasis on incremental fuel economy which detracts from the huge profits the motor industry now makes from depreciation, heavily disguised as various financial deals. At extremes, 4000m per annum at 20mpg will need 100gals more than 40mpg, around £550 pa.

Any maintenance or other worries about going for the most powerful engine in a range?

Depends on the engine. Large naturally aspirated ones with less than 80bhp per litre and a good evolutionary pedigree are likely to last longer and have fewer repair and maintenance bills. The jury is still out on thrashy turboed small ones with more than 100bhp per litre.

I suppose the car is more likley to come with large wheels and thin tyres so a firmer ride.

Probably, but these can be changed.

Engine power choice - Big John

It's usually best to get the most common engine of a particular car model as the most R&D will have been done with this engine. If you buy a version with the biggest engine shoe-horned in then the development cycle might not be 100% - eg suspension balance, brakes, maintenance (eg cambelt change involves removing the engine - which can only come out from under the car after suspension removal!)

Engine power choice - badbusdriver

I have to say, i am genuinely curious to learn what kind of trouble you are getting into that you need a 300bhp golf to get out of?!

The 2nd part of that statement regarding overtaking left me rolling my eyes at the apparent inability of the 'modern' driver (shall we say, the 'Clarkson generation') to overtake, or indeed, simply travel quickly in a low powered car. To suggest that you need a 300bhp golf in order to overtake?, seriously?. My transit connect van has 88bhp and probably about 155lb/ft of torque at 2000rpm. When i leave the house in the morning the half ton of water in the back means it weighs pretty close to the 2.3 tons GVW. Yet i have little difficulty overtaking slower moving traffic, so i have no idea whatsoever why you cant manage in your 'warm' hatch.

You dont need a powerful car to travel quickly, just the skills to read the road properly, and know how to exploit the car you are driving. Back when i first got into cars it seemed that most of my favourite motoring journalists had owned a citroen 2cv, it seemed like a right of passage. Entirely understandable though, because driving a low powered car makes you a better driver by learning about reading the road, looking ahead, preserving momentum by carrying as much speed as possible through the corners and only using the brakes when absolutely necessary. The 2cv was the perfect car for this as its soft loping suspension and ability to keep on gripping long after you expected the 125 section tyres (yes really, like your space saver!) to give up, meant that it could be driven flat out more or less everywhere, getting round the impossibility of going 'fast' (70mph top speed), by simply never going slowly!.

Once, back in about 1993, i drove from Wigan to my home in Aberdeen in exactly 5 hours. Taking into account the 15 minute stop for fuel and toilet, that worked out as an average speed of 70.6 mph!. The car?, a 1986 mk2 fiesta diesel with over 80% less power than a golf r (54bhp). Despite having driven some very powerful (for the day) cars, my most memorable journeys are all ones done in very low powered vehicles, such as the above.

I dont really have much interest in modern 'performance' cars, it seems to have desended into a contest of who has most power and who can get round the'ring fastest. I'll take a 1.5 mazda mx5 thanks

Engine power choice - craig-pd130

Once, back in about 1993, i drove from Wigan to my home in Aberdeen in exactly 5 hours. Taking into account the 15 minute stop for fuel and toilet, that worked out as an average speed of 70.6 mph!. The car?, a 1986 mk2 fiesta diesel with over 80% less power than a golf r (54bhp). Despite having driven some very powerful (for the day) cars, my most memorable journeys are all ones done in very low powered vehicles, such as the above.

You've reminded me of the fastest journey we ever made to visit my wife's parents. The journey from our house near Macclesfield, to theirs near Hull is 116 miles. Around '93 we made it in 1h43m, a door-to-door average of 67.5mph in ... an Escort Mk3 1.3 with a 4-speed box. We used to cane that car mercilessly but it never, ever let us down.

My current Volvo has 3x the horsepower and 4x the torque of the Escort, but I have never managed that same journey in less than 1h50m in the Volvo, despite its huge performance superiority. Current road conditions and managed motorways see to that. I'm sure I could beat the time if I cruised at 3-figure speeds, but that has obvious risks both to safety and driving license.

Engine power choice - gordonbennet

My fastest journey times have been either at night or in the very early hours, in the 80's in lorries, the days before limiters and small gutless engines ruined the job.

The problem with the most powerful versions of cars is that they might be a tad disappointing if the gearboxes clutches suspension/wheels are not smooth in use or the engine is soso up to a certain revs then its suddenly wakes up and gets going, i detest engines like that personally.

All round all weather grip and decent suspension travel in a less powerful car can make a vehicle very difficult to keep up with even if you've got something more powerful but is so hard sprung that it's hopping across bumps and losing traction, and if its not driving all the wheels so you can't get the power down on any surface.

Engine power choice - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

Ability to cruise steadily and overtake with ease does not need huge power.

For most of us more relaxed non boy racers that means torque. A turbo diesel or petrol fits the bill for me.

My current 1.4 TSI Skoda petrol 150 bhp and my previous PDI diesel 140 bhp are equally as good.

Engine power choice - Big John

Actually - going against my earlier statement of not shoe-horning a large engine in - Er well in the past I had an Austin Allegro Super Sport 1750 that was actually pretty good - lots and lots of torque

Engine power choice - Terry W

Plusses for having a big engine:

- adrenaline rush for 6 seconds joining a motorway + occassional country road blast

- won't be embarrassed on track days assuming you have the skills to match the power

Reasons not to:

- race tuned suspension - hard and uncomfortable

- seats designed for hard cornering not comfort

- noisy on long journeys and a pain in traffic (3000 rpm before dropping clutch)

- cost to buy, service, and fuel

- less likely to lose licence for 5 seconds inattention

Personally providing the car has power adequate to readily get up to motorway speed on a slip road (mid/upper range family hatchback?) I would place more emphasis on comfort, costs etc.

Excitement, - high power, high speed = bigger accidents. The fun is in ably piloting (say) an MX5 exercising driving skill at a well balanced cars limit.

Engine power choice - kiss (keep it simple)

My best ever time from London to a climbing hut in North Wales was achieved in a 1980 1.1 litre Fiesta. Pedal to the metal on the M1 and it went round the bendy bits of the A5 like it was on rails.

Engine power choice - Deft

Yeah that's the thing, for the fraction of usual driving that I'd use the extra power it seems like a bit of a waste. Like badbusdriver and others have said, in reality I don't need a million BHP to drive around the UK or overtake.

Looking at the Golf range, the 1.5 TSI 150 PS would be plenty of poke and sits about in the middle of the range. But then I think, oh I might as well spend a bit more and get the GTI. Then I think what's the point of having the second fastest Golf, might as well bump up to the R for completeness. Maybe that's just my stupid brain!

I do like the idea of a Q Car. Things like the Golf Estate R seem hilariously nondescript.

Engine power choice - badbusdriver

Yeah that's the thing, for the fraction of usual driving that I'd use the extra power it seems like a bit of a waste. Like badbusdriver and others have said, in reality I don't need a million BHP to drive around the UK or overtake.

Looking at the Golf range, the 1.5 TSI 150 PS would be plenty of poke and sits about in the middle of the range. But then I think, oh I might as well spend a bit more and get the GTI. Then I think what's the point of having the second fastest Golf, might as well bump up to the R for completeness. Maybe that's just my stupid brain!

I do like the idea of a Q Car. Things like the Golf Estate R seem hilariously nondescript.

Have to agree there Deft, as much as i am not really into 'performance' cars, there is something deeply amusing about driving about in a car that is a lot faster than it looks!. And it doesnt even need to be a car. Once, a long time ago saw an old scania 142 tractor unit (i think it was 420 or 450bhp) beat a ratty old XR3 full of 'youths' away from a set of traffic lights in Aberdeen. One of the funniest things i have ever seen on the road, i nearly wet myself laughing!. Another incident involved my driving a volvo b10 coach on which the speed limiter was broken. I was heading north out of Aberdeen trying to make up time lost to the football traffic. The look on the face of the kid in the back seat of a passat estate i passed was utterly priceless. I didnt know exactly how fast i was going at the time as the speedo only read up to 75mph, but when i pulled out the tacho later, i realised i had been doing over 80mph at the time (oops!).

Engine power choice - Avant

I think this all depends on what you want from a car. If your journeys are mainly short, the 1.4 / 1.5 TSI engine as in the Golf or SWMBO's Audi A1 will do a great job - and it will also do a very good job with excellent economy on longer runs. Skidpan has told us on here how good his SEAT Leon 1.4 was on a trip to the Highlands of Scotland.

But if you often have the need for effortless cruising, and instant but unfussed acceleration from, say, 50 to 70 mph (or faster if you travel in Germany!), then the bigger engine will be worthwhile. I agree that it's a pity that so often you can't have it without rock-hard suspension and rubber-band tyres.

The VW Group 1.4 / 1.5 engine is a particularly good one. With other makes a 1.4 in a medium-sized car can be pedestrian at best.

Engine power choice - SLO76
To me there much more enjoyment from having to keep a small rev happy engine with limited resources on the boil. I've had many enjoyable drives on our glorious (mostly clear) Scottish roads in small engined hatchbacks (K series Metro, UNO 45 Fire and a 1.4 Pug 306 were real highs) that just wouldn't have been as much fun in a powerful bruiser.

Had a very enjoyable time wringing the neck of a Fiat Panda 1.2 round Rhodes last year that reminded me how much fun these wee cars can be. Give me a Suzuki Swift Sport or Fiesta 1.0 Zetec S over anything else on a twisty highland B road.
Engine power choice - Stanb Sevento

Got to agree the roads in Scotland are a drivers dream, particularly north of Glasgow, not that there are not good roads in England, there are plenty but in Scotland there are enough that you can drive all day on them. They are well engineered with camber and crossfall and uniform radius, they dont suddenly get tighter as you go round. Another factor is the absence of walls and hedges on bends to interupt your sightlines so you can plan ahead and press on hard with confidence.

Wife and I drove from Glasgow to Sky in the MX5 with the top down on a nice sunny day. A couple of hours having a BBq on the shore and drove home, something like 350 miles.Driving down Loch Lomond late at night with the top down was sublime. Shower, wisky and bed as we were exhausted. Next morning we both had sore necks and sholders from bracing our heads against the G-force over so many hours. For me that is driving heaven.

Edited by Stanb Sevento on 09/05/2017 at 00:43

Engine power choice - SLO76
Great way to see the place Stanb. Small 2 seater soft top on a nice day/evening with a free flowing quick road like the A82. Wee stop off at The Green Welly in Tyndrum then pick your road, they're all great. We had a bargain bucket MK II MX5 for a few years that I wish I'd never sold. Brilliant wee things on the right road.
Engine power choice - Cymrogwyllt

Does it really matter? Overtaking on modern roads with modern traffic volumes is generally a no no.

Way back when I got my 37 bhp Herald from home to Newcastle upon Tyne in five hours including the time to use the CB to get destructions for the final mile. Mate was in the pub expexting me to arrive two hours later. Chariot was understressed enough to sit at full throttle for hours at a time.

Engine power choice - corax

Personally on the engine front I find having instant throttle response and plenty of mid range torque most satisfying. So a large naturally aspirated engine, which aren't made any more in main stream cars, or a relatively large engine in a small car, something like the old Peugeot 205 1.9.

But like others here I find small cars with nimble handling and little power great to drive, maybe not on motorways but everywhere else they make sense if you don't need the carrying capacity, which unfortunately I do.

Engine power choice - Manatee

"A good big 'un is better than a good little 'un" fits with my natural behaviour.

"Enough is as good as a feast" is more rational.

Hence I have a tendency to overdo things, but I try to resist it.

Buying too big a back pack means I will put in it more than I need, because I can, and then regret that I have more to carry. Buying a higher performance version of a car, even if I can resist temptation and keep my licence, means spending more money to buy, drive and insure.it for no real benefit. Buying two sandwiches instead of one means I put on weight. The fourth pint is the one that gives me the headache. Et cetera, et cetera.

I love driving, in nearly any car as long as I can get comfortable. The car I most enjoy driving is my old MX5 which although a 1.8 is a slug because I won't use much more than 5000rpm. It matters not at all. It's 18 years old and getting past it so I want a better one - if I can find a good one, it will be a Mk2 1.6. For some reason the 1.6 although "slower" seems nicer engine. When your backside is 9 inches off the ground you always feel as if you are doing 100 miles an hour anyway. You also never escape the sensation that if you hit anything it is likely to hurt. It's real.

Of course we all have our prejudices. I still can't like the idea of 3 cylinders, especially something like the 1.0 Ecoboost in a 1500Kg Mondeo. I'd have to have the 1.5 4 cylinder if I bought one of those.

I think there's a lot of vanity involved in car buying.

Engine power choice - gordonbennet

We all have different wants and pleasures when it comes to cars, which is a good thing, give me all wheel drive with soft long travel suspension and a large capacity torquey powerful enough engine mated to a silky smooth torque converter autobox and i'm as happy as larry, headline BHP figures largely irrelevant unless it makes good torque from tickover revs upwards.

Small engines that need to be worked and revs kept in band involving instant and multiple manual gearchanges do little for me, my worse nightmare would be an a small turbocharged engine of either fuel featuring the usual lag saddled with an automated manual gearbox, rather walk.

Engine power choice - badbusdriver

Of course we all have our prejudices. I still can't like the idea of 3 cylinders, especially something like the 1.0 Ecoboost in a 1500Kg Mondeo. I'd have to have the 1.5 4 cylinder if I bought one of those.

I get the impression your prejudice about 3 cylinder engines in a car the size of a mondeo has more to do with the fact that it is just a 1.0 and not specifically about the cylinder count?.

I was reading a bike magazine this morning, looking at the triumph rocket 3 motorbike. It has a 3 cylinder engine, but a huge 2.3 litres!. Not very powerful for an engine of that size, it produces 145bhp, but apparently has, for a motorbike, huge amounts of torque. On the other hand, back in the late 1940's BRM developed a V16 engine for a racing car, but unbelievably it was only 1.5 litres!. Unfortunately they couldnt get it to work reliably, but if they had, with its 600BHP it would have wiped the floor with the competition. If anyone is interested, you should look up on youtube for a sound clip, it is an astonishing noise which will raise the hairs on the back of the neck of anyone with an ounce of petrol running through their veins!

Engine power choice - expat

I am glad I am in Australia where I can get a 4lt 6 cylinder motor with a torque convertor gearbox. Heaps of power and relaxed cruising. I don't think I could stand one of those over stressed lawn mower motors with a hair dryer on top that you Poms have to have.

Mind you the big engined Aussie sixes are going out of production now so it looks like we are going to be landed with the tiny motors soon. I shall be keeping my 2003 Ford Falcon going as long as I can. As for fuel consumption - who cares? It is on LPG at 78 cents a litre.

Engine power choice - Stanb Sevento

Hang on a minute Mr expat I’ll have you know that these are finely tuned high performance hairdryers and some of them are even made by Dyson. Yes there is something nice about a big fat lazy engine but then like all dinosaurs they will very soon be extinct.

From what I know of it the roads in Australia are very different from the UK, your either in town or on long straight roads ( boring ) but enjoy your Falon while you can.

Edited by Stanb Sevento on 09/05/2017 at 16:42

Engine power choice - corax

On the other hand, back in the late 1940's BRM developed a V16 engine for a racing car, but unbelievably it was only 1.5 litres!. Unfortunately they couldnt get it to work reliably, but if they had, with its 600BHP it would have wiped the floor with the competition.

It's an incredible sounding engine, but I'm not sure it would have wiped the floor with the competition. Sterling Moss when interviewed said he hated driving it, the power band was all wrong and the car itself was unbalanced unlike the Maserati 250f.

If a racing driver is unhappy with the car he won't get the best out of it. But I agree about the noise, it's scary in a good way and a total antidote to todays Formula 1 hoovers.

Engine power choice - Manatee

The BRM was supercharged with 60 or 70psi boost IIRC. No wonder it wasn't reliable!

Having a supercharger of course it would be a lot, lot noisier than a more or less equivalent turbo car with the exhaust passing through the turbine.

Engine power choice - galileo

The BRM was supercharged with 60 or 70psi boost IIRC. No wonder it wasn't reliable!

Having a supercharger of course it would be a lot, lot noisier than a more or less equivalent turbo car with the exhaust passing through the turbine.

The main problem with the supercharger was it was centrifugal type, which meant the boost was not proportional to engine revs but more like revs squared, which is what Moss and others found hard to manage - slight increase in revs gave a big power increase.

Engine power choice - John F

On the other hand, back in the late 1940's BRM developed a V16 engine for a racing car, but unbelievably it was only 1.5 litres!. Unfortunately they couldnt get it to work reliably, but if they had, with its 600BHP it would have wiped the floor with the competition.

A decade previously Audi (then known as Auto Union) was building V16s that did work reliably, so they did wipe the floor with the sadly antediluvian UK competition.

Engine power choice - Manatee

A decade previously Audi (then known as Auto Union) was building V16s that did work reliably, so they did wipe the floor with the sadly antediluvian UK competition.

I've seen the replicas in action, awesome sight and sound. These well known replicas were British built by Crosthwaite and Gardiner.

www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article/july-20...c

There's a well known amusing story in the Telegraph's obit of John Gardiner. Having commissioned C&G to build the cars Audi, perhaps not unreasonably, tried to tell him now to do it he reportedly told them "Listen, all you've got to do is sign the cheques and tell us how big you want the swastikas painted."

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1564185/John-G...l

Engine power choice - badbusdriver

On the other hand, back in the late 1940's BRM developed a V16 engine for a racing car, but unbelievably it was only 1.5 litres!. Unfortunately they couldnt get it to work reliably, but if they had, with its 600BHP it would have wiped the floor with the competition.

A decade previously Audi (then known as Auto Union) was building V16s that did work reliably, so they did wipe the floor with the sadly antediluvian UK competition.

My reference to the BRM was not in any way to suggest that they were the 1st to use a V16 engine in a race car, it had more to do with the amount of cylinders not always corresponding as you might expect, to the engine capacity. As impressive as the auto union was, its engine, at 6 litres had 4 times the CC of the BRM.

Engine power choice - barney100

I had a Volvo xc 90 as a loan car with a 2 litre diesel engine, huge car but the engine coped really well to my surprise. It seems modern engines get excellent performance from small capacities.

Engine power choice - LikeFastCars

Really from what you've been saying it comes down to: you don't *need* it, but you can easily afford it and are wondering if it's worth it. I think the very fact you're asking the question, given resources aren't a problem, means you should get it otherwise it will forever niggle on your mind and you'll always have the itch to scratch of having a faster car. I'm a mature sensible professional and I have a car that is moderately fast (only 200hp but 0-60 6.2, much faster than anything I've ever owned before). I'm not a boy racer, I'm don't do track days, I don't need a genital extension (well I probably do but that's another matter!) but I LOVE the extra speed I have. As you say it just allows you to get OUT of trouble eg, I've lost count the number of times over the years I've had to put foot on gas to get out of a stick situation like some idiot charging into my last fast etc.. Also it helps with overtaking some tractor or other slow vehicle... again that's getting out of trouble in a way. i.e. with my slower bangers I've thought it's safe to overtake only to find that I misjudged the distance or the car I'm overtaking decided to speed up (almost always women who do this bizarrely, like they don't like being overtaken.. very odd) which is *extremely* dangerous. Now with a faster car it's much much safer. Anotehr example is trying to beat the lights when you're desperate. Easy. The other thing I've found is that I actually now drive SLOWER and am much more relaxed, because with a slower car you drive around thinking you have to constantly keep the speed and momentum up in case you need to overtake or beat the lights, knwoing that your car is too slow to accelerate. With a faster car you have the confidence and knowledge that if you need to you can floor it so ironically it ends up calming you down and you can drive at a leirsurely comfortable pace.

I think you need to try it.

Engine power choice - badbusdriver

"because with a slower car you drive around thinking you have to constantly keep the speed and momentum up in case you need to overtake or beat the lights, knwoing that your car is too slow to accelerate"

What a load of codswallop!

Another mention of this misconception that having more power 'gets you out of trouble'!. The 1st example, 'some idiot charging into my last fast', i have no idea what that means, so will gloss over that. Overtaking a tractor or other slow vehicle should present no trouble to even a 1.0 city car (and having spent 3 years driving a daihatsu sirion 1.0, i do know what i am talking about). If you overtake a car but have misjudged the space you need, that has nothing to do with a car's lack of performance (and again, i know what i'm talking about here as i hardly ever drive on anything other than single carriageway A and B roads). If a car you attempt to overtake speeds up, you speeding up even further to complete the overtake is also dangerous, as you end up in the wrong side of the road longer (therefore getting you into, not out of, trouble). The safe and responsible thing to do in that situation would be to abort the overtake and fall back in behind the car (regardless of how frustrating that is). And for the record, while this has happened to me a number of times over the years, it has never been a women driver!.

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car