I hate surveys. People unlucky enough to own a television are never far away from a show all about ‘the funniest TV moments ever’ or ‘the best people we love most who wear jumpers and were once on a tv show, slightly’ or something. A great opportunity to wheel out folk you wished were a part of history to make some ‘hilarious’ comments on how good these people they’ve never met are. Ugh.
Sadly, the car world falls for this scam from time to time. Autocar, for instance, has just released the results of a survey to find ‘The best ever British car.’ Why? What good can such a survey achieve? Considering it found the Mini to be the best car, clearly not very much. It’s proof that democracy doesn’t work. Yes, the best car we British have ever produced was horrible to work on, ran badly and leaked when it rained, and generated pretty much no profit at all. I guess it does at least prove that the Brits really do love something that’s hopeless. Like Eddie the Eagle Edwards.
Don’t get me wrong, the Mini does actually have stuff to recommend it. They do handle well, and they don’t take up a lot of space. The constant engine oil leaks ensure that the front subframe is the one part that doesn’t actually rust too.
But these surveys are just pointless. The Top Ten is basically a list of supercars that few people have ever been near, let alone driven and a slightly-sporty Ford Escort – the rather feeble, incorrectly feted Mexico. Again, not a bad car, but it was the RS models that actually had exciting levels of power and went on to rally successes. Why present the mild one as the best?
You really can’t go around comparing supercars with family bread-and-butter anyway. The word ‘best’ is so loose that really, it doesn’t say anything at all. It’s just a list of cars in a slightly random order.
It’s for reasons like this that I absolutely hate being asked what my favourite car is. I don’t have one, because there is not one car out there that does everything I want from a car. Many cars do many things well – the 2CV for instance. But the 2CV doesn’t have a V8 engine. The Range Rover does, and also does many things well (fourth in the pointless survey by the way) but it can’t deliver 40+mpg. It’s not as much fun to point down a tight, twisty lane as a Daihatsu Sirion either. I don’t have a favourite, because I like all of them. Not having a favourite doesn’t seem to cause me problems in day to day life. It is unnecessary.
There is no point trying to see one car as better than another. Don’t see a list of 100 ‘best’ cars as anything other than a list of cars to try. Even then, don’t rank them against each other. Just enjoy what they are! Cars are not to be ranked. Just enjoy them, and leave pointless surveys to pointless TV programmes.