Monday, February 27, 2012
What's a new car buyer to do?
A couple of weeks ago one of the comments left on my blog was that most of my posts are to do with things I dislike, and why didn't I write something positive? Well - out here in the real world of motoring, there's not a lot of happy things to write about. Roads are choked. Politicians are legislating cars out of existence. Abominable car designs continue to pour on to the roads. Cars have more and more distractions to stop the driver from concentrating on the job at hand, and the police - by and large - are more interested in stopping people for doing 5mph over the limit than they are in stopping people who are committing properly dangerous offences like lane-hogging, crossing the gore, shooting red lights, jumping railroad crossings and such. However there are some bright spots. In my opinion, Ford is one of them right now. I've always been anti-Ford and anti-GM. I thought they were both purveyors of awful cars. In GM's case that's still true - there's not a single vehicle that company produces that is even slightly appealing. I've always been a VW/Audi fan, or in some cases the odd Honda or Toyota. Ford however have had a turnaround. Over the last few years their European vehicles have become properly decent - they look OK, drive well and have some appeal. With the latest generation now making their way over the pond, if I were in the market for a new car, I'd be seriously looking at Ford right now. I love the Fiesta - it's a pokey little rollerskate that is fun to drive. The new Focus I think looks really good, drives well, handles way above average and has a semi-decent interior. I love the look of the 2013 Fusion - looks super-classy, like an everyman's Aston Martin. And the Kuga (to be called the Escape over here) I think is destined for success based on drives I've taken in the old generation ones in the UK. I think that Ford are also benefiting massively because they didn't take any government handouts. It's not all sunshine and roses though. The Expedition, Explorer and Edge I think come from the old-school Ford where ungainly ugly designs filled with cheap plastic and thirsty engines abound. But as a buyer I wouldn't be in the market for a road-tamed Panzer. I'd be looking for a car - a crossover or compact SUV at the most. Between the Hyundai Veloster, the VW Tiguan, the Fiat 500 and all the new Ford vehicles, I'd be spoiled for choice. Now if only Citroën would bring the DS3 Sport to the US, we'd have some proper competition.