Regular readers will know I don’t own a car, I hire one when I need one. Most of the time, I get a newish mid-range Ford or Vauxhall, and I think “this is an excellent piece of design and engineering which does the job of ferrying me about, efficiently and unobtrusively“. Occasionally, I get upgraded. Sometimes it’s a Bigger car, like the VW Passat, which was excellent. So good, I remember nothing about it except I’d have one over a Mercedes, so relaxing and comfortable was it to drive.
My most recent “upgrade” on my hire car however was another in the ‘Crossover’ class; this time a Pugeout 3008. I am not a fan of these cars, being neither fart nor shit. They’re supposed to look like a 4×4, but are rubbish off road. But with an elevated driving position, they aren’t as safe-handling as a hatchback or coupe, but give a feeling of safety to the people driving them nonetheless. This means you’re more likely to drive like an idiot, but less likely to be able to get out of it.
They’re marketed at mums for the school run because they feel safe, but they scream “my husband isn’t doing QUITE as well as he promised when I married him… I want a Range-Rover like that Bitch, Sandra. I bet her husband doesn’t have trouble keeping it up. The slut…“. Unlike the Qashqai, which grew on me, the 3008 was a piece of shit from the off, and did nothing to change my opinion. The radio didn’t scan properly and seemed to be set to the Local commercial station as a default, the AirConditioning wasn’t up to keeping the car cool, even in this anaemic summer, it was so bad, it made a little girl cry.
The seating position seemed designed around the let’s-see-how-close-I-can-get-to-the-windscreen position occupied by the absolutely terrifying occasional female driver. The seat wouldn’t go back far enough, and the pedals were too close to the seat for my 6’3″ frame.
There was no hand-brake. Instead there was some silly fart-arsing button behind the gearstick, which wouldn’t release unless you had a foot on the brake, rendering a hill start nigh on impossible, unless you can heel-and-toe. I know terrifying occasional female drivers can’t do hill starts anyway, let alone heel-and-toe, but even if a man is driving, don’t get close behind one at the lights on a hill, unless you want a dented bumper.
The seats were uncomfortable, the visibility to the side was poor, as my vision was blocked by the pillar. The cup-holders got in the way of the gear stick. The arm-rest was un-adjustible, and not very comfortable. The ride was mushy, the engine gutless at low revs but had a horrible step in the power delivery. You didn’t know whether it was going to lurch forward or wheeze astmatically when you put your foot down. I had NO inclination to take it off piste, onto the twisties.
What’s more, it looks worse than the QashQai, as its wheels are too small. So it’s not even cool; quite what ‘what car’ were smoking, when they awarded it ‘Car of the Year‘ in 2010, is unclear as it’s a hateful, horrid, badly designed little car. About the only thing that was any good was a very easy to use Bluetooth hands-free system. This car only makes sense for blind people who don’t drive, but who like to use a steering-wheel to answer the phone. It’s a car for the dead inside and their hateful snotty infants. If you still care, they’re available from £15,000, though the one I drove was worth over £19,000. If you’re spending that on a car, and you think “This is the best car for me for that money”, I really pity your horizons and you should be euthanised before you add more piss to the shallow end of the gene-pool.