any - Best car you ever drove. - barney100

Last year due to a van re designing our Volvo we were loaned...don't ask me why.... a brand new Mecedes S class 3.2 diesel. It has comfort, enough power for anybody, a boot you could get a small sofa in and everything seemed excellent quality. Economy was v good for a large car too. If money were no object I'd have one tomorrow but the thought of the bills would keep me awake at night.

any - Best car you ever drove. - SLO76
I'm not a speed freak or boy racer but the best all round car I've driven to date is the Nissan GT-R 3.8. Ugly as sin but surprisingly comfortable and biblically fast plus it's capable of stepping in when you run out of talent without overly mothering you. I can't describe just how brilliant these things are to drive on the track. I would take one of these over any supercar.

I just wish A: Nisssn would employ a decent design team to give it a whole new look and B: that I could afford one.

any - Best car you ever drove. - RT

The first car to put a real smile on my face, after decades of Ford/Vauxhall company cars, was a Subaru Outback - only 170 bhp but it would rev up to its limit (and beyond!) and the ability to go to/from mild understeer to mild oversteer on the throttle (helped by the 4wd increasing rear torque as the throttle increased) was just a wonderful feeling - although the high clearance and long travel suspension allowed quite a lot of roll, the grip was still amazing. It really shouldn't be able to do all that given where the engine weight is, in front of the front axle - but it does.

Other markets got turbo and twin turbo versions of the Outback, I'd love to try one of those.

any - Best car you ever drove. - craig-pd130

Jensen Interceptor III which I rented for a weekend, courtesy of my family.

By modern standards, it was only just a bit quicker than a 2 litre diesel repmobile. Its handling, while tidy, had very modest limits on its relatively skinny, high-profile tyres. The brakes were, frankly, cr@p. It leaked transmission fluid on my drive like a tomcat marking its territory. It drank like Oliver Reed (1.5 miles per pint - you do the maths!). The interior was permanently perfumed with the unmistakeable 70s scent of unburnt fuel and hot oil.

But just seeing it outside my house made my heart leap. Sitting in it, turning that key and hearing the V8 catch like a rumble of muted thunder was wonderful. Poking the pedal at 50mph to overtake, hearing the distant throb harden into a guttural snarl as the secondary venturis open on the carb, the bonnet rises, the rear squats and the 385ft-lb of twist is unleashed ... well, you get the picture.

Likewise, money would have to be no object to actually own one. That's why I'll keep buying the occasional lottery ticket.

any - Best car you ever drove. - Big John

Best car owned was my Saab 9000cs. Amazingly comfortable (I've not found anything to match it since - older Volvo S60 came close ) , stunning suspension (remember crossing a field without fuss when camping wheras my firends came bouncing in) , very refined , reasonably economical but what an engine/turbo.

Edited by Big John on 24/07/2017 at 23:09

any - Best car you ever drove. - nick62

Subaru Legacy 2.0 litre petrol estate 2006 model, (the first one with the twin cam heads).

Dreadful power delivery after being used to a diesel (you have to drive it like a 600 motorbike and rev the n*ts off it to make it go), but roadholding to die for. There is an argument that every car should be 4WD purely on safety grounds).

I would have loved a 3.0 Spec. B, but the economics just didn't add up, I may regret this when I'm a bit older though?

Edited by nick62 on 24/07/2017 at 23:33

any - Best car you ever drove. - RT

Subaru Legacy 2.0 litre petrol estate 2006 model, (the first one with the twin cam heads).

Dreadful power delivery after being used to a diesel (you have to drive it like a 600 motorbike and rev the n*ts off it to make it go), but roadholding to die for. There is an argument that every car should be 4WD purely on safety grounds).

Yes they do need to rev - but they thrive on it and the earlier one (before the exhaust manifolds were equalised) sounds glorious.

Your argument needs a rephrase - every car should use Subaru 4wd - the best of the others may match that but most 4wd are posers.

any - Best car you ever drove. - RobJP

The best car I've ever driven ... it's a tough one. Different cars for different purposes !

The most relaxing motorway cruiser would have to be a Range Rover - a TD6 from 2005 in my case. The visibility is extraordinary, you are looking over surrounding traffic and stuff ahead, and it makes anticipation ridiculously easy. I'm sure GB will agree, as he gets it even more so from a HGV cab. Also, luxuriously comfortable. You can drive 400 miles, get out and be ready to crack on. Though I'll admit, I was a bit younger. Maybe not so much now.

Performance .. I'm torn. The Volvo 850 T5-R I owned was great fun. Then again, so was the TVR Chimaera 450. And as for the Lotus Carlton.... well, how I avoided a driving ban back then I've no idea. All of them utterly reliable too.

Economy and comfort, the old, old shape Audi A6 Avant in 2.5TDi form (6 speed manual) was pretty good. Quick, spacious, 40mpg, V6 wall of torque ... what's not to like ? I did 147,000 miles in one of those in just over 3 years.

As you can tell, I've owned a few cars ! Which probably makes my overall choice quite surprising.

My current 325d touring. Had it 3.5 years, and still not bored of it. It's pretty quick (0-60 sub-7), it's relatively economical, the handling is brilliant. In fact, the only downside with it is the rear legroom - not helped by the transmission tunnel.

any - Best car you ever drove. - Avant

I've loved both the convertibles I've had (the Z3 a few years ago and the newly-acquired 125i) but the best all-rounder has to be the Audi A4 Avant 2.5TDi that I had just got in 2004 when I joined this forum (hence my nom de clavier). Same reasons as with Rob's A6.

It's no coincidence that all the above cars have had 6 cylinders - there's something about a six that a four just can't do (although the three Octavia vRSs were fours and they ran the A4 pretty close).

Best small car we've had by far is SWMBO's current A1 1.4 TDi - although we had a very soft spot for the Ford Ka she had in 1998, and another three years later.

Edited by Avant on 25/07/2017 at 00:50

any - Best car you ever drove. - RobJP

That reminds me - SWMBO had a 2002 Z3 with the 2.2 straight 6, manual box. Snick-snick gear changes, and that stunning engine note.

any - Best car you ever drove. - craig-pd130

And as for the Lotus Carlton.... well, how I avoided a driving ban back then I've no idea.

You might like this, Rob - a classic article from Car Magazine by the late Russell Bulgin, about taking an LC to Germany to try and max it on the autobahn:

www.carmagazine.co.uk/features/car-culture/rain-st.../

any - Best car you ever drove. - skidpan

I love the Caterham, the right day on the right road and its truly unbeatable. Totally different character now with the lazy but very torquey Ford Zetec 2 litre (175 PS - 155 lbs torque but still revs to 7000 when I want to play) compared to the old steel x-flow that revved to 8500 and only really lit up when you passed 5000.

But as a daily driver to use either fast when conditions suit or slow when they don't my choice would be the Leon 1.4TSi in 150PS (or 140 PS if 2nd hand) form and with SE trim. Enough space, comfortable ride (on 16" wheels) and enough kit and relatively cheap. Whats not to like. Shame it was a bit small for our current needs. Had 2 Golf Gti's from the mid 80's to the mid 90's which were great cars but the Leon would destroy them in a comparrison today.

any - Best car you ever drove. - Steveieb
Detect a common theme for Subaru s here. The most exilerating drive I had round the high speed parabolica at Milbrook was the Impreza . Total control at 120mph which I have yet to experience on any car I have driven there over the last 20years.

But I read recently that although JK of Jameriquai has one of the finest selections of super cars, his day car which he drives most of the time Is an Audi S5. Another common theme
any - Best car you ever drove. - craig-pd130

I love the Caterham, the right day on the right road and its truly unbeatable. Totally different character now with the lazy but very torquey Ford Zetec 2 litre (175 PS - 155 lbs torque but still revs to 7000 when I want to play) compared to the old steel x-flow that revved to 8500 and only really lit up when you passed 5000.

Wonder what a Caterham would be like with that 1.4TSI motor in it?

any - Best car you ever drove. - skidpan

I love the Caterham, the right day on the right road and its truly unbeatable. Totally different character now with the lazy but very torquey Ford Zetec 2 litre (175 PS - 155 lbs torque but still revs to 7000 when I want to play) compared to the old steel x-flow that revved to 8500 and only really lit up when you passed 5000.

Wonder what a Caterham would be like with that 1.4TSI motor in it?

Not sure it would be right in a Caterham since getting one set up to run perfectly like they do in a VAG product would be virtually impossible unless you had thousands of hours to test and develop. Setting up the Zetec using Jenvey TB's and a MBE ECU was pretty simple using no more than a data logger and a wide band lambda.

And even if it were set up correctly it would probably not suit the car. Only driven one Caterham with forced induction and although very fast it felt unexciting. Seen severl on the track and the thing they all have in common is their desire to kill the driver when the boost comes on mid corner.

Read a comparison recently between the new MX5 and the Fiat 124 sport which as you will know are the same car with either a Mazda 2 litre N/A or a Fiat 1.4 turbo. The Fiat was faster but the testers all felt that it did not suit the car and I think the same would apply to the Caterham.

any - Best car you ever drove. - SLO76
Agree totally. A simple high revving normally asperated engine suits the nature of a lightweight two seater sports car more than a turbo. The MX-5 v Fiat 124 is the perfect example and Fiat are playing to their engines strengths by aiming it as more of a small GT convertible than an out and out sports car. Abarth version excused of course. I would however take the MX-5 every time, the more basic the better.

I've had many enjoyable runs in a Series 2 Lotus Elise with the standard K series motor. Not Britain's finest moment engine wise but it suited the lightweight Elise while it was working and once the head gasket issue was sorted properly with the upgraded kit it proved to be totally reliable. Why did Rover not fit it at the plant when they knew it was an issue I'll never know. It would've cost pennies at production and would've saved the K series from its tarnished reputation.

Edited by SLO76 on 25/07/2017 at 10:49

any - Best car you ever drove. - jc2

I love the Caterham, the right day on the right road and its truly unbeatable. Totally different character now with the lazy but very torquey Ford Zetec 2 litre (175 PS - 155 lbs torque but still revs to 7000 when I want to play) compared to the old steel x-flow that revved to 8500 and only really lit up when you passed 5000.

Wonder what a Caterham would be like with that 1.4TSI motor in it?

Not sure it would be right in a Caterham since getting one set up to run perfectly like they do in a VAG product would be virtually impossible unless you had thousands of hours to test and develop. Setting up the Zetec using Jenvey TB's and a MBE ECU was pretty simple using no more than a data logger and a wide band lambda.

And even if it were set up correctly it would probably not suit the car. Only driven one Caterham with forced induction and although very fast it felt unexciting. Seen severl on the track and the thing they all have in common is their desire to kill the driver when the boost comes on mid corner.

Read a comparison recently between the new MX5 and the Fiat 124 sport which as you will know are the same car with either a Mazda 2 litre N/A or a Fiat 1.4 turbo. The Fiat was faster but the testers all felt that it did not suit the car and I think the same would apply to the Caterham.

Didn't someone build one with a tuned 1.8 Ford TCI diesel-relatively low revving but huge amounts of torque-left the petrol ones as if they were standing still!

any - Best car you ever drove. - concrete

For all round satisfaction my thrid generation Honda Accord 2.0i. Simply excellent in all aspects. For sheer driving pleasure, obviously before I married, I owned a TR5 and then a 911T Porsche. Both were great fun to drive and own, surprisingly reliable the both of them, and of course great 'bird pullers'. Most of cars I have owned have had their own charm. The first Mini, the first Spirfire, the first and third Cortina GT's. All good in their own way. I suppose it is like picking your top ten favourite songs, you end up with a list of 40!!!

Nice thread though. Cheers Concrete

any - Best car you ever drove. - Finguz

So far, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, with the ZF gearbox.

any - Best car you ever drove. - sandy56

Some thoughts;

a Vauxhall estate car, a Velox? with 3litre straight six petrol at full chat...very stable, with reasonable brakes, Aberdeen to Glasgow trips were not a problem in the 70's...

BMW 730I on the autobahn, Porsce 911 tubo on the California Freeway-what a ride!

Jaguar XJS- so quiet on a cruise, and a 911RS( a track car)- scary and too crude for me. Morgan plus8, too ancient, nice engine though.

Rover 350sVP Aberdeen to Poole, Dorset, overnight, average speed- HUGE, very stable car at speed, memorable.

Ford Escort RS, a GREAT car!

Ragging a Opel Commodore at full chat acroos the desert roads in south Iran, dangerous but fun.

any - Best car you ever drove. - csgmart

Jag XF. Quick, quiet and comfortable.

any - Best car you ever drove. - Manatee

Define best.

I had a go in a Jaguar F-type roadster, the V6 340bhp one. It was absolutely ridiculous, although nicely kitted out. I stopped in the middle of Thame, and felt very embarrassed when, unbidden, it did its crackling exhaust routine on start up in the busy high street with the top down. It can be turned off, apparently - it really is just for show. Such machines are not about transport, or even enjoyment of driving, but status and conspicuous consumption.

On the other hand, a friend had for a while a topaz 1992 Bentley Continental with a plum leather interior which I drove on a number of occasions and I admired it tremendously. But it was really impractical for all sorts of reasons.

The car I have most enjoyed, which was mine for a while until it fell to pieces, was a series 6 Morris Oxford, 1965. 1600cc B series, 60bhp, 0-60 in over 20 seconds. A great people carrier. It always started. The leather bench seat, shiny ebony steering wheel with chrome horn ring, and the lustrous dark blue paint just delighted me. I loved it.

I currently have a Mitsubishi Outlander, for mainly practical reasons although I like it well enough - it only dawned on me after I had signed on the dotted that I probably chose "Tanzanite" (formerly known as Cosmic Blue) because with its showroom shine it stirred the memory of that old Oxford.

Edited by Manatee on 26/07/2017 at 22:09

any - Best car you ever drove. - badbusdriver

Ebony steering wheel?!

Bakelite surely?

any - Best car you ever drove. - Manatee

Ebony in colour. I was being descriptive. Probably some other thermosetting material - it was very shiny, and not so hard as Bakelite - maybe vinylester.

any - Best car you ever drove. - craig-pd130

@ Manatee: here's a period Autocar road test of a Morris Oxford VI, it's the 'traveller' estate but it might make nostalgic reading: www.flickr.com/photos/triggerscarstuff/sets/721576.../

any - Best car you ever drove. - Manatee

Marvellous, thanks Craig. That's what I call a car review.

"Although there is no syncromesh [on 1st gear], only moderate skill at double-declutching is needed for an easy and silent engagement on the move."

"It is not possible to 'heel-and-toe' between the brake and accelerator pedals."

No mention of soft-feel plastics or cupholders. Seat belts £5 extra (each).

any - Best car you ever drove. - Avant

"1600cc B series, 60bhp, 0-60 in over 20 seconds."

Yes, but the B-series had masses of low-down torque so it never felt as sluggish as that - at least mine didn't. My first-ever car was a 14-year-old Austin A50 - always started and never let me down. It would go up quite steep hills in top gear (fourth) and was far more relaxed at cruising speed (60-65 mph) than the new MG 1300 which followed it.

any - Best car you ever drove. - Manatee

I never thought of it as slow. And for 1965, even 1976 when I got it, it wasn't, really.

any - Best car you ever drove. - JEREMYH

FSO Polenez

This car tested my driving skills as you had to properly drive it as it had no driver aids and handled like a ferry

This car brought the driver out in me and not out of choice

any - Best car you ever drove. - badbusdriver

FSO Polenez

This car tested my driving skills as you had to properly drive it as it had no driver aids and handled like a ferry

This car brought the driver out in me and not out of choice

Ah, the FSO Polonez, the Polish marina!. I knew a guy that had a pick up, said it was a great work horse!.

In technical college in the late 80's I had a 1984 Lada 1600 saloon. I loved that car, built like a tank!. Very heavy steering, very sharp brakes, red velour upholstery and opening quarter lights. In the owners manual, there was a little gem of info. It said the cars maximum cruising speed in km/h, which I think was 115 or 120, but it said the car could do this on paved or unpaved roads!.

At the technical college, me and my mate were the butt of the motoring jokes because he had a skoda 105s!. We didn't care and were happy to go our own way!.

any - Best car you ever drove. - RT

"1600cc B series, 60bhp, 0-60 in over 20 seconds."

Yes, but the B-series had masses of low-down torque so it never felt as sluggish as that - at least mine didn't. My first-ever car was a 14-year-old Austin A50 - always started and never let me down. It would go up quite steep hills in top gear (fourth) and was far more relaxed at cruising speed (60-65 mph) than the new MG 1300 which followed it.

Just had to look up the original specification www.automobile-catalog.com/make/morris/oxford_3/ox...l the 1622 B-series was 62 PS / 122 Nm, about the same as a modern 1.3 non-turbo.

any - Best car you ever drove. - John F

I have owned very few cars in my 50yrs of driving, but the best is the one I've had for the past three years - Audi A8 sports quattro W12. Astonishingly quick, effortlessly powerful, surprisingly nimble, reassuringly reliable.

But the most fun was the then stunning performance of my quick-rusting Triumph Dolomite Sprint back in the 1970s with its clever 4 valve single OHC design and overdrive box. (overtake in third at 40mph, click seamlessly into overdrive 40mph later...) All the above plus the prefix un- for the last two words! (water pump kept leaking).

any - Best car you ever drove. - Metropolis.
Range Rover P38 4.6 vogue, when the air suspension worked!
any - Best car you ever drove. - Falkirk Bairn

My brother bought a Rover 2000 in 1965 & I thought it was great - all I had driven until then was a Morris Minor 1000 & a Morris 1100.

However, it was trouble & a Triumph 2.5 Fuel Injection replace it - only some 130BHP or so but it was rapid, smooth................... & was really great UNTIL it was written off when a drunk came through red lights & t-boned it.

any - Best car you ever drove. - Oli rag
In the late 70's, a mates mother had a new first generation Honda Accord. I remember being gobsmacked the first time I went in it. It was quiet, smooth, beautifully built, in fact everything that all the other cars I was used to weren't, it was like a quantum leap from everything I was used to.Have loved Honda's ever since.

any - Best car you ever drove. - papakevkev

Nobody has mentioned the humble Mini - the Issigonis one. I have still to drive another car with such surefooted handling. Unfortunately, it was a dreadful car in all other respects - terrible driving position, uncomfortable seats, corroded before your eyes and a devil to work on. Nevertheless, it could outperform anything on a B road thanks to its kart-like handling and its dinky dimensions.

Back in the seventies - when I owned my first example - I got to borrow one of the bosses' company cars (they were all treated as pool cars). Everyone who drove this particular one - an original Granada GXL - raved about it. It had everything my Mini didn't have - comfortable seats, nice driving position and rotten handling. I couldn't wait to get back to my own Mini (Complete with its flaws).

any - Best car you ever drove. - argybargy

I'd agree re the Mini. We only owned one example, an orange and rust-red W reg model bought one night in the rain, the full horror of the state of its bodywork not being revealed till the next day. Holes in floor, pitted all over with the red stuff..we had serious work to do. But done it was.

And what fun. No need to slow down going round corners. The excitement of approaching a roundabout in a turbo charged shopping trolley, never knowing whether you'd reach your intended exit unscathed, or be wiped out by another motorist who was incapable of noticing any vehicle below their eyeline.

The intimacy with every bump in the road and that driving position...just wonderful.

Best car I ever had, however, was our 1990 Primera. Wonderfully reliable and dependable, till a local garage got their hands on it when I asked them to replace the timing chains, and because they couldn't manage to replace the seals properly, despite several attempts, an engine which had never leaked a drop of oil became a messy disappointment.

Edited by argybargy on 16/08/2017 at 17:34

any - Best car you ever drove. - Happy Blue!

In terms of all round suitability for its job as well as providing great driving enjoyment, I nominate two cars:-

  • Ford S-Max
  • Subaru Forester XT

Why? Well the S-Max has the ride, handling and steering to rival cars which are much smaller, shorter, lower and lighter as well as having an excellent driving position which means getting in and out is case of sliding your bottom rather than dropping in or climbing out. It really is the car Ferrari would make if they built a seven seater. I 'only' had the 2.0TDCi with six speed auto, but fully optioned up as mine was, it was a luxurious car that did me very well for five years. The five pot T5 would have been interesting but it was only manual not auto. I would have another today without doubt, if I needed a large family car. Having driven all the competitors, it was just streets ahed of them all.

The Subaru had a lovely 2.0 light pressure turbo so always had lots of torque without the lag. A great driving position again, with armchair seats and clear dials. In reality a very niche car - who wants a small, slightly 'on-stilts', estate with lots of performance? Well it suited me as it was like in reality an Imprezza estate without the stupid noise. A great Q-car.

Both cars fulfilled their roles perfectly and were replaced for good reasons not bad. The Forester was nicked by my father, who gave me the chequebook and I went out and bought an Outback 3.0. Also a great car, but not as good in its role as the Forester was in its. I would have it back now.

 

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