Actually thinking about buying a car

I’m trying very hard. Thanks to the demise of the Rover, an opening has appeared on the fleet. There are three conflicting qualities I want in my new car, four if you include cheapness.

Comfort has to be key. The Nippa and RAV4 don’t even understand the concept of the word. That makes a hydropneumatic Citroen seem a good idea. Hold on though, because there’s a problem. Firstly, the strut Citroens (BX, Xantia and XM) have a surprisingly poor ride over broken road surfaces at times. Secondly, and most importantly, they’re utterly hopeless over one of my favourite hoon routes. Hydro Citroens do not like crests. They just bounce off the bump stops and it’s all rather unpleasant. It has surprised me no end that the Rover and RAV4 were far, far better over crests. I wasn’t expecting that. I forgot how normal cars behave.

One of these would be nice. I think. Pantograph wiper...

One of these would be nice. I think. Pantograph wiper…

Another thing ruling out Citroens is the need for something Japanese or Jaguar. Sure, I don’t HAVE to have something to reflect Retro Japanese or Classic Jaguar, but it makes sense to have something to write about my experiences with.

Now, Jaguars are certainly available within budget, and at this price, would certainly generate plenty of copy. I suspect I’d be doing a lot of fault-hunting. That doesn’t thrill me to be honest. To qualify for ‘Classic’ on my title, it would have to be an XJ40. There are fewer and fewer left under a grand that aren’t utterly ruined. I’m not sure I’m brave enough. Plus, I’m really not a fan of single wipers.

Fortunately, the Japanese have rather a lot of wafty motors that would be entirely suitable. The Lexus LS400 and GS300 fit the bill nicely, as do the Honda Legend, Nissan Maxima, Mazda Xedos and a host of imported stuff you’ve never heard of – like the five-cylinder Honda Inspire. Wow. Quite a lot of these cars are rather bland though, especially the Honda and Nissan. Especially when so many are grey, or silver. I have found one Legend that’s almost pink. Perfect! But then a friend warned me that they’re rather too wafty and not enough nice in the bends.

Perhaps I don’t need nice in the bends – I have the RAV, Nippa and (later this year) the 2CV for hoon fun. But, I really don’t like driving a car that doesn’t inspire confidence. I’m also a little worried that the Lexus is just a bit big. I mean, the XM felt a bit bloody big at times. The roads here, and a great many parking spaces, just aren’t that large.

Which makes the Honda Accord V6 seem a good idea. I love the rear styling, though I’m not sure why. Absolutely none of these lovely Japanese cars address my love of a rear wiper either. I’ve just remembered how the lack of one often bothered me in the Rover.

I do like these. Isn't that a nice back end?

I do like these. Isn’t that a nice back end?

And this is the problem. Once you start analysing which car to buy, it can take an awful lot of the fun out of it. Buying cars shouldn’t be an entirely sensible thing! No car out there is going to fulfil every desire I have. I should know. I’ve tried quite a few.

I have no idea what I will buy, but rest assured, it will probably be something that meets none of the above criteria in any shape or form!

What are your thoughts? Do share them!

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