Modern mainstream cars are boring. - Alex M
Having recently upgraded to the plush luxury (relative to what I used to have) of a 2001 Honda Accord 2.0 SE Exec, I can't help but feeling nothing more than "content".

Wondering if it was just my choice of an old man's car (I'm only 27) that was causing my perfectly comfortable but equally dull driving experience I had a thrash about in a few other cars.

Father in-law's 110bhp 1.9TDi Golf (Mk4)
Friend's 1.8 GTi Golf (Mk4)
Friend's 2.0 GTi Golf (Mk3)
Brand new 1.6 Civic (courtesy car - now that did get a serious thrashing) - my Accord was in for a minor hi-fi tweak.

The Mk3 GTi was OK, but all the others were seriously dull, all competent, all sturdy, all safe, all boring. And I'm the sort of person who thinks (or thought)that it's a bit sad when people criticise cars for not being "fun".

Take my Accord, you couldn't wish for a sturdier, better built, safer, more comfortable car, but the thing damn near sends me to sleep (and yes, I would have liked a Civic Type R but I'm paying £800 insurance on the Accord....), all this modern efficiency stuff means you need to dial the thing past 4000rpm to get it do anything and even then a passenger could have a cup of tea and a scone in the passenger seat quite comfortably.

As a final test I had a word with the guy I sold my Mk2 Golf 1.8 GTi 8 valve to, and he was happy to let me take it out for a blast for old time's sake. And guess what, it was the most fun I'd had behind a wheel since I sold it. Despite (or because of?) 150k, thrashed, raw, no air bags, no anti lock anything, no side impact this and anti-roll the other, light as a feather and a pleasure to kick into a corner at 90mph and feel it twitch (I live on the Isle Of Man so this sort of thing can be done quite legally and safely on a quiet unrestricted road).

Modern cars are the dull, overpriced equivalents of extra-safe condoms. They'll get the job done, but you won't feel much along the way.

I wish I would have just bought the £10k Jap Import Celica GT-4 and used the change from the £13k the Accord cost me on the £2300 the insurance company wanted to cover me on the GT-4. (And even then the new GT-4 is just a shadow of its former self).

Oh well, maybe when I have more than one year's no claims to offer.....

Alex.

P.S. I realise that the comeback on this is "Well why did you buy the Accord then?" - but my point is that all modern mainstream cars that come in below Insurance Group 15 are pretty much of a muchness, all safe, all reliable, all boring. In years gone by "normal" cars could still have a bit of kick and fun about them, but that's been all but designed out. Pfffftt.
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - Tomo
Yes, it's very sad.

If you want to know if a car is really good, ask for an insurance quotation; if that is not prohibitive, it is not!

It is nothing to do with risk, it is an amenity charge.

Some years ago a very hurt person from insurance wrote in Motor Sport (about what angry people had been writing) that sports cars were a bad risk and his figures proved that they made a loss. When challenged to provide them, he declined to produce them, on the grounds that that would help the competition. We thought he should have been glad to help his competition to that loss!

After all, we are not going to have no car at all, and the industry is going to get their whack anyway; together with the bonus that some of us will cough up more.

Anyway, yes, most cars now have not much character.
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - Phil
You laid down the gauntlet with that one - I had to go in search of a fun (fast) car under insurance group 15 and affordable:

2.3 V5 [170bhp] SEAT Toledo - Group 14
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - Steve G
I can see your point of view. Did 1000 miles last week in a 1987 XR2 (customers part exchange) have'nt had so much fun in a car for a long time ! . Ok it rattles,has litttle safety protection but its involving to drive (like a go-kart) all for £200.
Suppose people want safe, quiet, reliable cars rather than excitement. Maybe you should have bought a older hot hatch for £ 10000 then use the left over on insurance ??
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - Honest John
I like the metaphor in Alex's posting. But unfortunately it will get the snip if I ever try to use it in the Telegraph.

HJ
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - David W
Alex,

You're too young with too many years of motoring in front of you to sink into this way of thinking. You need to find enjoyment in all forms of road transport to go the distance as an enthusiast.

Perceived character often equates to defects, simple as that.

I drove a tiny but very fast older hot hatch the other day. That had character....

I hit my head on the roof as I got in, the sports bucket seats bruised my thighs, the power on/off torque steer was wicked, the massive low profile tyres wandered with every road undulation, the 16V ehgine might as well have been on my lap from the levels noise and harshness, just touching the throttle exiting a sharp bend lifted the inside front wheel, speed bumps were a 2mph max or you'd be through the roof and missing the exhaust.

To be honest I was pleased to hand it back for something with a little less "character" so I could go a bit faster with internal organs in the right places.

David
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - Ian Cook
David

I lent my son the C15 van last week, and in return he left me his Alfa GTV for a couple of days.

Once I got used to the "lying in a deckchair" pose and looking out of the pill-box windows I quite enjoyed it. Not my sort of car, really, but better than a lot of the things they call "hot hatches". Took me back to the time when Dad owned Alfas - they always made a nice noise, and never looked common.

Mind you, I popped down to Tesco's and was horrified to find that the boot would only just about hold two carrier bags of shopping.

A quick blast up the A38 on the way home (just to clear its throat) almost kindled desires. Then common sense got the better of me. I had some rubbish to take to the tip, and didn't think that my lad would like that stashed on the front seat. Couldn't wait to get the van back!

Ian
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - Phil P
David, I'm guessing Pug 205 1.9?
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - David W
Phil,

Can't say (nothing sinister, just can't) but it could so easily have been. And I think you'll realise I was only picking on the downsides for a bit of fun......except for the lack of speed bump ability.

Just a shame I never had time to rest it on the tip run.

David
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - Alwyn

HJ,

If you had the snip, you would not need a da, da, da, da, da.
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - John

So, if i have 8k burning a hole in my pocket and long for a rear wheel drive fun car where do I go? There's plenty around that are front driven, but hey I'm old enough to prefer oversteer to understeer!
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - Phil
Porsche 944 Turbo or S2 - you could get quite a nice one for 8 grand. Legendary handling, many people consider it to be better than a 911. Porsche reliabilty and cache. 'Accept no substitute' as porschophiles say.
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - THe Growler
Well expressed. The other thing is they all look the same. Apart from the badge I couldn't tell a BMW 3 series from a Toyota Corolla. I'd probably buy the Toyota anyway.
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - boost
So compared to a van a GTv has less room for takin stuff to the tip.
Thats the sort of comparison best left to Driven ......
Bet your son is dead chuffed you used his GTv for a rubbish run.

I despair
Re: Modern mainstream cars are boring. - Ian Cook
Ah, Boost - but I didn't. I waited till I got the van back.

The comparison between the van and the GTV was, of course, tongue in cheek! However, I wonder if "Driven" would have spotted it.

HAND

Ian
 

Value my car