Now I know, measuring “most disappointing” isn’t exactly an exact science with set criteria. But let’s face it, we all love a good list and what better way to bring in the new year with a nice juicy obscure one. So here we go, the 5 manufacturers DriveRSA is consistently being disappointed by…
Back in the day Peugeot used to be massive in SA. In fact you still see some of the old bangers limping their way around. Fast forward in time somewhat and Peugeot used to make some of the most exciting hot hatches around. They were the darling of petrol heads everywhere and you’ll still regularly be subjected to many a motoring journalist waxing lyrical about the brilliance of the 205Gti and the like.
The cold hard facts are however that talking about Peugeot’s these days is like talking about wallpaper paste. Not very interesting and no one is particularly interested.
We’ve all seen the adverts with Jean Claude Van Dame. We all know Volvo have tried over the last few years to raise their image, desperately striving to elevate themselves from soccer mom status into the lofty heights of silky chic and achingly cool currently so dominated by the Germans. Being Scandinavian you’d have thought they’d have a bit of advantage over the rest when it comes to cool, but despite their best efforts I still seem to find my progress to work hampered by a gargantuan barge driven inevitably by an octogenarian with the speedometer needle barely brushing the 40km\h marker.
Here’s a tip Volvo. You want to be cool? Try making some exciting cars for a change and not truck adverts with an ancient movie star impressing us with his disturbing flexibility.
Now speaking of style and chic, that is one thing that Audi has undeniably in bucket loads. Excluding the soft roader 4×4 types, as I don’t really think anyone makes a good
looking soft roader, Audi probably makes some of the most stylish cars on the road today. Ok the A1 is a large blot on their record, but so many people seem to like the look of this blot I’ve been somewhat out voted on it. Build quality is another area that Audi excels at. Most manufacturers have this aspect covered, but there’s something about sitting in an Audi over the past years that gives the impression they’ve taken things to the next level.
So why are they on this list? Well they also have some of the most disappointing handling you’ll ever come across. Let’s ignore the R8 for the moment as that’s really just a Lambo in a less flamboyant dress. It doesn’t matter which one you drive, they all feel exactly the same, they all understeer terribly, squealing louder than Maria Sharapova could ever dream of and that is just so depressing that it makes you not want to drive the thing properly. Quite an innovate safety feature I’ll grant you, but none the less it earns them the third spot on this list.
Not so many years ago we all laughed at the Koreans in the same way that today we laugh at the Chinese. But my goodness if they aren’t now taking the fight to the Germans and Japanese, providing the public with excellent quality, reasonable prices and cars filled to the brim with kit as standard. In fact if you’re not that interested in this whole driving business, although what lead you to this article I haven’t a clue, they really do provide some of the best modes of transport out there. Hyundai though makes this list for a simple reason. Kia does it better. It’s mainly a styling issue, but when you compare the range of cars that Kia and Hyundai provide, you’ll quickly discover they’re almost identical. Price, kit, performance, model diversity in their machines are also impossible to separate them on.
I really noticed the styling difference though at the Joburg Motor show last year. As per usual they’d set themselves up next to each other and side by side the Hyundai’s just looked behind the times, last year’s news, almost like they were styled in the late 90’s. That fact alone earns them 2nd place on this list as why would you buy a Hyundai when you know the Kia will look so much better. Come on Hyundai, catch up. Hire an Italian or two and join the rest of us!
Shocker I know. Who in their right minds would put BMW down as being even remotely disappointing? They’re the last bastion for the motor enthusiast for goodness sake. In fact it’s so rare for them to make a car that drives badly, something that we here at DriveRSA hold as a measure of a good car above all others, that it’s a bigger story when the occasional lemon comes along than an absolute peach. The best car I drove last year in fact was a BMW, the new 320i. An absolutely stunning machine, without trying to overstate anything, it is in fact all the car anyone could ever really need.
So back to the question at hand, why oh why is BMW the most disappointing manufacturer of them all? Well it’s quite simple really and it all has to do with the wonderful new computers installed in every BMW, service intervals and maintenance plans. You know, all those really boring things that you think about with your beige trousers on before buying a car. So the idea is your clever new BMW will actually tell you how long it is until you need another service. Brilliant in theory, however the big problem is BMW now expect you to drive like an old granny as not doing so reduces the time to service the harder you drive. What’s more the harder you drive the more likely you are to void the warrantee and maintenance plan. So in summary, BMW now make the best cars to drive, but wont let you drive them and in my mind that is the worst thing a manufacturer could ever do.