We are often asked what we all drive. Sometimes this is an easy question, sometimes not so!
However, currently, included in the UKMotorTalk stable are…
2017 Audi S3 Quattro 310PS (Suzi Quattro)
Really nice car to drive, sounds great, comfortable, performs in all conditions and goes like the absolute clappers (0-60 in under 4.5 secs) but does lack steering feel. Reputation for poor driving standards – we’ve all seen it, though this seems to be mostly rep-spec 2.0 diesels that are a gnats-nadger off your back bumper rather than the genuinely quick ones…
2007 Ford Fiesta ST (The Fist)
What can we say, takes an incredible amount of abuse, superb fun to drive but not that fast. Simple mods make for a great track car. Hard use causes the power-steering fluid to boil, so relocation is the way forward.
1990 Ford Orion Equipe (The Onion)
Ah. The Onion. The ubiquitous Dad/Grandad/Uncle car that was everywhere throughout the 80s and 90s and nowadays is nowhere to be seen. From popular to banger to retro-classic it’s now impossible to go anywhere without stopping to have a chat with people. Technically not a great car, but I could never part with it.
2001 Ford Puma (Best car I ever owned)
Cost me £900, hugely reliable and pretty economical. Superb handing and the 1.7 VCT engine is a peach, revvy too. Good looking car that sits too high and rots too well. Buy one whilst you can and enjoy the little coupe for all its worth.
1998 Land Rover Discovery 300 Tdi GS
Owned since 2000, unfortunately the Discovery doesn’t get used as an everyday runner any more and has now become more of a restoration project when time and money allows! I know, we’ve all heard it a million times before.
2003 Mini Cooper S
Borderline uncomfortable, ridiculously expensive to tax (at £320, twice the price of the insurance), not particularly well built and not even that quick by modern standards….BUT the supercharger whine is one of my favourite sounds, the steering is superb and its agility has made it one of the most fun cars I’ve ever owned… twice. A car you buy with your heart and not your head, still bargainously cheap (but buy a good one if you don’t want trouble!) and an unquestionable future classic in its own right.
2013 Skoda Superb Elegance 3.6 V6 4×4 FSi
Beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder and whilst I’m willing to admit that the proportions of my previous-gen Skoda Superb are a touch..unusual..it’s what’s inside that counts. (That’s what my Mum always used to tell me anyway).
Limousine-rivalling legroom, a luxurious interior and a kit list that lacks for very little make this one of the most comfortable places to be, whether behind the wheel or stretched out, plutocrat style in the rear seat.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s fitted with the same VR6 engine that parent company VW bolted into its own fire-breathing Golf & Passat R36?
Mated to a DSG-fed Haldex 4×4 powertrain this thing is indecently quick when it wants to be and is capable of causing a few red faces amongst the moronic M-way tailgating fraternity – the only clue to the iron fist secreted with a metallic beige velvet glove being the extra twin set of exhausts..
Most of the time it wafts along nudging early 30s mpg figures but in sport mode (and used as VW/Skoda intended, surely?) it’ll quickly drain its comically shallow reserves of super-unleaded.
Oh well, until they strap me into a battery powered, self-piloting roller skate..
2012 Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer 1.7 CDTi
Ok, not the most exciting car anyone can drive, but it is practical, can carry a reasonable amount of “stuff”, and, in this configuration with stop/start, is amazingly economical. For its present usage, it is a sensible balance, and only £20 road tax!
1999 Volkswagen Golf 1.8D (non-turbo diesel)
Now with 300,000 on the clock, it’s the base model diesel, and I suspect it’s the product of a dalliance between a small car and a cockroach. It’s just indestructible, and I think it’ll still be here driving us to Armageddon. It is so reliable it serves as unexciting transport when all of the other cars fail. Starts first time whatever the weather and regularly gives 50+ mpg.
2003 Volkswagen Passat estate 2.3
To prove not all VWs are boring/reliable, the Passat estate is as the legend goes… When it is good it’s very very good, but when it is bad it’s awful… and has been a real money pit… clutches, flywheels, starters, alternators, batteries, sensors, you name it by the truck load, and with a 2.3l, 4 pot it’s thirsty at any distance. I’m loathed to sell it but nearly everything has been replaced so maybe it’ll be ok for the next owner. Used Passat anyone?
2000 Volvo V70 2.4 (Brad)
With 255,000 miles on the clock this car still doggedly claws itself along like a faithful, farty labrador. Well used, it can take an almighty load of stuff without any real concern and as per its reputation is built like a tank. So much so, that reversing tight up to my garage I tapped the wall with the rear bumper and cracked…the wall. 5 cylinder straight 5 produces a nice warble, still remarkably slow considering its 170bhp.
2003 Volvo V70 2.4 16v 170bhp
The Volvo V70 is a bit elderly with 225,000 on the clock, but still comfortable and a great motorway cruiser.
Sadly its maintenance record in the last year or so reflects its age… driveshafts, brake discs, alternator, starter, battery, etc, etc… but it still gets us there most of the time and carries quite amazing loads, over ridiculous distances, in comfort and with enough toys to make it a decent habitable space.
I’m now on my 3rd V70 and possibly my last. Such a load lugger, but I’ve put about 150,000 miles on it in 6 years and it’s been a good un.