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Alf McQueef

A couple of crap reviews of hire cars and a "ride in&qu

On of the joys of more travel is hiring the odd car. However, it is usually a hire which involves going straight from the plane into the car, driving to a meeting, back the airport, and dumping it. Especially if I'm with a colleague, that means very little time to actually take in much on the car front.

Which is my excuse - along with having just been in fear of my life landing at Glasgow in some February storms where the lady next to me said "I didn't know whether to cry or throw up" when we landed - for not even knowing what the first car was. A Peugeot, petrol, with a 3 cylinder engine and a sort of mini-SUV look but I'm pretty sure smaller than a 3008. That much I got. And brand spanking new with 20 miles on the clock. It distinguished itself by being surprisingly peppy at motorway speeds for something of obviously minuscule performance levels overall, and for only using something ridiculous like 7 pence per mile in fuel.

On the debit side, I can't stand the weird low wheel high dash thing going on in small Pugs currently, it stank like burning plastic - not something other brand new cars have done in my experience - and it had the worst clutch action of anything I have ever driven. Only a Caterham Superlight that I repeatedly stalled in the pitlane at Rockingham, to the amusement of Mrs ALF, comes close. The bite point was so high up and so slow to engage, I repeatedly thought I had let the clutch fully out then had a horrible lurch when I came fully off the pedal. Even knowing it was gong to happen did not help. I also did not like the 3 pot engine one bit, it just sounded broken to me and had pitiful performance pulling away, even if - a bit like a diesel - it was in its sweet spot at a cruising speed.

The next car was a 3008 (probably) and a diesel. It had the same slightly tragic interior layout, which I think is a new thing as I'm fairly sure 3008's used to have a more conventional layout. It had a big touch screen that was easy to use, an excellent sound system for the level of car, and again used barely any fuel compared to what I'm used to, averaging in the mid-50's for my trip from Edinburgh airport to Dundee and back - slowly. This was a decent enough car to drive, an example of how far basic models of car have come in recent years, it certainly gripped and cornered and braked with a degree of competence and even interest. Not Ford-like, but not a million miles off. The engine was very much a diesel, fine on a cruise but noisy and juddery around town, and insisting on you taking it out of gear or push the clutch in a long way before coming to a stop at a junction by trying to shake itself out of the engine bay. Overall an easy car to drive and quite likeable, though the prices seem astronomical for what it is.

Lastly I was driven in Belfast in a customer's Citroen DS (I'd like to claim I knew which, but I'd be lying - probably some flavour of DS4). I really like the DS5, and this car was very nice - smooth despite being a derv, great ride, very nice inside with decent leather. A good car overall, its a shame you don't see more of the DS5 in particular on the road.

But its fair to say I won't be chopping in my car for a french 4-pot any time soon...
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Re: A couple of crap reviews of hire cars and a "ride i

Alf McQueef wrote:
..... for my trip from Edinburgh airport to Dundee and back...

I did that journey many times back in the 90's, from the first "blobby" Escort to Mk II Cavalier to Granada Scorpio Cosworth (only it wasn't badged as a Cossie).  Hardly an epic drive but a reasonable variety of roads, and I'm not surprised that after a V-8 Jag you wouldn't step down to a 4-pot eurobox !
Frank Bullitt

The first one sounds like a 2008 (I've heard the comment about the clutch more than once, although I've never driven the 1.2 Puretech - Mrs FB has and she didn't mention and issue) - not sure on the second car you drive as only the 208, 2008 and 308 have the revised interior set-up.

As for the DS, the DS5 would likely have had a small glass panel above four head where as the DS4 has an extra-long windscreen. Both decent cars too.
Alf McQueef

Looking at their website left me none the wiser and the Avis paperwork does not list it. The first one seemed a lot smaller than the second and somehow weedier.

I think the passenger ride was a DS4, overall it compared well to a low spec "premium" brand, it certainly appealed to me more than many VAG products for example. I love the DS5's styling but unless they launch a 300 bhp 4WD/RWD petrol one I'm kind of out.

Will any car satisfy now that you have sampled 500hp, lots of FG, the space and comfort?

Went in a 2008 rental this morning. Obviously I never had a drive, but it seemed OK from the passenger seat.

Had a Polo 1.2 TSI on holiday. It was a silver 5dr and totally poverty spec apart from having four electric windows. It was no more than unmemorably mediocre and I couldn't help thinking that its Korean competition is probably at least as good.

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