10 January 2010

Cars Today Are Borrrring

The car of today is based around trying to climb the JD Power customer reliability ranking. So nothing too risky, nothing exciting; dull and reliable is the way to go. Let's face it, Toyota has built an empire based on that solitary quality. Reliability. Dull, yes. Boring, yes. Unimaginative, yes. Bullet proof, absolutely.

I recently drove a Honda car which I wrote about here. It was well built. I sensed you would get miles of trouble free motoring. But I nearly fell asleep driving it. I bought a new Japanese car a few years ago and when I asked the salesman how reliable they were, he said he would only see me for routine servicing. They just don't break down. The car handles on the open road with all the panache of a brick on wheels. But it gets me there and back. For many, this is what they want and that's fine. I didn't buy it for dull reliability but it was a bargain price, and that got me into a new car so hey, who was I to complain?

Some months ago, the Top Gear NZ car magazine test drove the Jaguar XF. This is a classy car. It looks good, handles superbly and is different. It has a gear selector that rises out of the console when turned on.

The ventilation caps swivel open at the same time. In other words Jaguar dared to be different. All the daft tester could really focus on was how reliable the gear selector might be. He then was largely dismissive of the whole car, based on this, it seemed. I fired off an email of course, but what an attitude! I don't know how reliable the selector might be any more than her does. What I do know is if I was buying a car in that sector, I would want want something different.

If I was in the market for a premium car, would I want a Audi 'fridge'? A Mercedes "washing machine'? Or a Lexus 'vacuum cleaner'? Reliable maybe, but borrrring? I know so. I'd take the XF any day. It looks better, has more exciting handling and features to delight. Who knows, the gear selector system could outlast everything else on the car. I don't know and I don't care. Well done Jaguar for being different.

The bottom line: I'll have my XF in....just dreaming.

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