You can feel the excitement of driving the Ford Focus just by looking at it.
Someone say something?
I've never really had much of a choice or budget before, so I can actually look at more than just the lowest possible price. How come there are so many utterly boring cars around these days?
Does no-one have any imagination when selecting colours for current models? Who thought metallic blue was an exciting alternative to the otherwise universal silver or grey?
And why do they virtually ALL look like tedious boxes with varying degrees of edges creased into the metal. The only exceptions to that seem Peugeots and Renaults, neither of which I'm really willing to risk spending real money on. BMWs appeal slightly, but they're too darn expensive, there's no local dealers I know of and they look depressingly similar to Vauxhalls range.
OK. What I'd like is something with some interest and some styling, both inside and outside.
It needs to be large enough to carry amps and guitars, luggage for holidays, 5 adults for medium length journeys. It must be small enough to park without too much difficulty in a smaller space.
It MUST be diesel. No petrol engine could ever win me back for serious ownership, no matter how fun it was to drive for a day or a month.
It must handle well in terms of being well controlled through corners between 40mph and 70mph for country lane driving and stable at motorway speeds without the need for white-knuckle concentration from the driver (hello Volvo - have you fixed the V40 yet?).
It must feel reasonably solid, thereby eliminating pretty much any Asian car manufacturer not already ruled out by what might be termed 'styling'.
It must make at least *promises* of reliability. Goodbye Fiat, Renault and Alfa.
I have a feeling that no vehicle matching all of these criteria really exists.
There's a sense of dread that we'll end up with a car in silver - an even more bland colour than beige. If that's the only compromise we'll have probably got away lightly.