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laptop, geek, MacBook, bursting, breakout

Car Poll

Poll #711826 Small Car Poll

So. If you just happened to have a hankering to replace your old and battered Fiat Cinquecento, and you didn't actually drive very many miles, but wanted a new-ish car which was at least some fun at the same time as being practical, would you buy...

MINI Cooper
Toyota Aygo (Or the Citroen C1, or that other one which is basically an Aygo...)
Honda Jazz
Volkswagen Lupo
smart ForTwo
Other, specified below. But note that Fiats aren't allowed, because while I like the cars, the local main dealers are a bunch of complete fsckwits and I'm never going to deal with them again.


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Not voting, as I don't have an opinion on any of those cars. However one thing I recommend is that you check out the safety scores for any car you are interested in. The EURO NCAP tests rate the safety of a large number of cars (results for superminis are found here - http://www.euroncap.com/content/safety_ratings/ratings.php?id1=1 ).

I never paid much attention to safety ratings before, thinking that all new cars must be pretty safe. But then I saw an episode of Top Gear where they showed what cars of different ratings looked like after a crash. It was a real eye-opener. A 4 star car when crashed preserved the passenger cabin space. A 3 star car had some denting to the cabin space, and you'd get some injury. A 2 star car had the cabin space completely mashed. It made a real real difference.

When I was car hunting, I narrowed my selection down to 4 and 5 star cars only.


In the main, these cars are 4-star; I have been looking out for the NCAP ratings, but I hadn't thought to look at all the NCAP ratings to see what else was out there, so ta for the link! I'm going to take a look at those 5-star ones (except for the Punto, because (a) it's a Fiat, and (b) it's significantly larger than any car I'd call a Supermini!)

On the other hand, if they'd been doing these tests back when my car was made, then I doubt it would've scored even as high as two stars, so the only way is up, really... I suppose I have quite a blase attitude to safety; it probably stems from only doing about 4,000 around-town miles a year, which I imagine does a lot more for your safety than choosing a four-star car over a three-star car.

...in fact, I just saw that the Seicento, which replaced my current car in Fiat's line-up, is the lowest-scoring car in that list, coming in at one-and-one-struck-out stars. So I'd guess mine would have trouble getting one star...

Hmm... if you're not a fan of Fiats because of their dealers I would also cross Citroen off the list. Kavey's little AX was a lovely little thing but the dealers were almost universally crap (as were every Vauxhall dealership in London, but I did find a competent garage in Knebworth eventually).

As for the rest, I've been very happy with our Honda and every Honda dealer I've dealt with; the Jazz may not be the most exciting car in the world but if it's a Honda it'll probably be reliable and fairly cheap to service :-)

Okay, the Citroen can go, then. I've had enough of crap dealers.

I do think the Jazz is probably too boring to be on my list. But it does some interesting practical things, and I did have a very reliable Honda before myself (well, actually it was a Rover, but it was that 216 model with a Honda engine in a rebadged Honda Concerto bodyshell...)

My problem, I think, is that the car I want is a MINI Cooper S which gets serviced by a Honda dealer and is as reliable as a Toyota, drinks the same amount of petrol as a Smart, and is as cheap as a Fiat. Hmm. Something's got to give, I'm just not sure what it is yet...

Well, so far that's one vote for a ForTwo, one vote for a smart Roadster, and one vote for a Mazda RX-8. Hmm. And having discussed it in Another PlaceTM, I'm all confused about what I want now.

I might go and see if I can have a look at/drive in a smart Roadster this weekend. There's a dealer about five miles away...

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