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Giant

Courtesy cars

Had all sorts of dramas sorting out a courtesy car when my car got hit the other week, basically it fell into a loophole between being drivable but insecure which meant they didn't have to provide a courtesy car immediately, but also my car had to be taken to a secure location.

The result was a last minute dash at 5pm on Monday to privately hire a car for a couple of days, and the only car available was an auto Meriva. Easily the dullest car I've driven in a very long time, regardless of the rear hinged rear doors, which appear to give little gain, even when putting children into car seats. Between the front seats were two cheap looking extruded metal bars, onto which a tray with cup holder slides back and forth. I think other units are available to fix into these bars, but the execution and quality of the system is like a student project.

Wednesday finally brought a courtesy car, a diesel pug 2008. It's all quite funky, if over styled, with an excessive amount of different materials in the interior. The ambient lighting is great though, with slashes in the roof lining and blue led rimmed instrument clusters. The engine is quite rough and raucous compared to the Astra, lacks torque and economy doesn't appear anywhere near as good. Best thing about it by far is the small steering wheel, which really encourages you to chuck it about. Seeing the dials over rather than through the steering wheel is odd for all of two minutes, after which it seems entirely natural and such an obvious solution. I have a perfect view of the dials, none of the issues Luddites have cited of the dials being obscured.

Overall I like it, although would never choose to own one. However it has really highlighted how much better (but duller) the Astra is (for me) in most areas.
gooner

My Civic, which I had for a year in 2008 had a similar setup of having the speed display above the steering wheel, although the tachometer was within as with most cars and it did seem odd at first because it gives the impression of the steering wheel being set too low. But once used to it I found it very intuitive. First impression of the dashboard of that generation of Civic was that it was an utter mess with buttons everywhere but when you start using it you found everything fell in to place so much easier than the switchgear of cars which have a tidier layout.

The 2008 seems similar to me, I've been a passenger in one and liked the idea of the smaller wheel with dials above. I just didn't like the idea of the hvac controls being on a touchscreen even if it does leave the dash tidier by reducing the amount of switches and knobs.
Bob Sacamano

Re: Courtesy cars

Giant wrote:
Seeing the dials over rather than through the steering wheel is odd for all of two minutes, after which it seems entirely natural and such an obvious solution. I have a perfect view of the dials, none of the issues Luddites have cited of the dials being obscured.



Oh you'll have a friend in Jesus with those comments (well, FB certainly)  
Frank Bullitt

Glad it's not just me that likes the driving position!

Sounds like you are in an Allure, I really like the interior trim overall and the quality, for what is essentially a car smaller than the Astra, is exceptional.

The allure is either 100bhp or 120bhp, they are easy to tell apart as the 100 is 5-speed and the 120 6-speed, I've driven a Cactus with the 100 and found the engine a bit flat
Giant

For some reason I get an error message when trying to upload a photo. It's a five speed, with chrome wheels, mirrors, window surrounds. Inside it has fake carbon fibre on the dash and shiny metallic effect on the door handles and surrounds. All a bit busy and bling for me, but as you say quality, superficially at least, seems decent, certainly far better than the Meriva or new Corsa I had a few months back.
One thing I did notice was the cruise control stalk is exactly the same as the stereo control stalk on a mid 2000s berlingo work van I had a few years ago.
Michael

Picture will be too large for the system. Take a screen shot of it and it'll load as it's a smaller file.
Roadsterstu

Giant wrote:
For some reason I get an error message when trying to upload a photo. It's a five speed, with chrome wheels, mirrors, window surrounds. Inside it has fake carbon fibre on the dash and shiny metallic effect on the door handles and surrounds. All a bit busy and bling for me, but as you say quality, superficially at least, seems decent, certainly far better than the Meriva or new Corsa I had a few months back.
One thing I did notice was the cruise control stalk is exactly the same as the stereo control stalk on a mid 2000s berlingo work van I had a few years ago.


Peugeot and CitroŽn certainly got value for money out of their early 90's switchgear. As did Renault (stereo controls on Captur being an example).

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