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The most disappointing car you ever drove

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  • The most disappointing car you ever drove

    We may have done this before but hey no harm in a roast pea.

    For me - the F Type R. I drove this (briefly) on the Old Military Road in the Scottish highlands. It may have been a damper setting or one of the modes it had for stuff setting that was not, well, turned on at all or else set for a smooth racetrack, but I couldn't wait to get out of this car. I literally hated it. It wasn't that it was slow, quite the opposite, it was almost 458 fast, and faster than the much better 997 I drove immediately afterwards, but it just snorted and roared and pogo sticked around the place like some demented Tigger. At best it made me scared and irritated because of its tendancy to just lose grip without any warning and the constant vile sromach wrenching pitching it did while making unpredictable snorts and roars and lashing gobs of torque at random into the drivetrain. At worst I wanted to drive it over a cliff to kill it, even at the expense of myself, because I really, really hated it so much. I will admit I didn't give it a fair crack of the whip, but this was because it was so instantly just hateful and despicable that I wanted it taken away and killed. This is the kind of car to be dealt with like the Argentinian Junta police dealt with undesirables (by their standards) for whom a trial and publicity would be inconvenient, a one way helicopter ride over the Atlantic. This car does not deserve sad relatives knowing what happened. I know this will be somewhat controversial because others kind of liked it or didn't hate it. But that is my view.

    A contrast - the BMW M850 cabrio I hooned around Austria in. In many ways it drove like the F Type R and it had a similar layout and engine/drive configuration (much bigger and can't remember it may have been 4wd) but it was a likeable old bruiser and if you tweaked the modes you got rorty V8 goodness and grunt and sufficient grip without wanting to end your misery by driving off a mountain. The F Type R should be a good thing - what's not to like about a big V8 cabrio made by Jaaaagwar? But the XKR I had before was a far superior thing. I think it was so so bad, after the excellent XKR, that I had the wrong set of expectations coming in to the experience.
    sigpichttps://mingshitters.wordpress.com/

  • #2
    Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution.

    For me, it was the ultimate "never meet your heroes" vehicle.
    Slow versus what I had built up in my imagination since 1998.
    Current Bad Ideas:
    Daily - 1998 Pajero Evolution
    Project - 1990 BMW e30 1JZ
    Previous "Better" Ideas: 2 x Stage III Audi B5 S4, e30 m3, e34 m5, Inca Orange 2002Tii, '89 325iS, '89 318i, '90 318iS, '91 318iS, 2 X '87 316, '89 320i, '81 e21 316

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    • #3
      Lots but I think I would mostly insult people so probably not worth talking about it. It's pretty scary when magazine reviews meet reality. I've driven quite a few 4.5* star cars that I would probably give 2.5*.

      On the positive side, I'm nearly always impressed by [European] Fords. That's probably one of the most underrated brands out there. The smaller BMW's are often really good as well.

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      • #4
        Porsche 944 2.5.
        Completely "meh".
        www.PatHoranMotors.com

        E39 M5, Mk2 GTI, Mk1 GTI, E30, Caddy vanyadda yadda

        Stupid questions are better than stupid mistakes.

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        • #5
          Golf Mk7 R is up there for me.

          Fast in a straight line (if you’re into that sort of stuff) but overall dull to drive, poorly made and exceptionally disappointing overall, I don’t get the obsession with them.

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          • #6


            I was fully prepared to be disappointed the moment I clapped my unfortunate eyes on this hire car. Still out disappointed my low expectations.

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            • #7
              Interesting. the problem here Ming is you've set the bar too high - I haven't driven enough cool cars to add much of interest here really. I was a passenger in a top of the range Opel Vectra v6 as a child and I remember being absolutely shocked that something with so much power (by the standards of 90s ireland) could feel so terrible inside. Even as a 15 year old I felt the scuttle shake and general shonkiness.

              The Alfa 159 was a gross disappointment too - the 1.8 GM engine in particular.

              "All the finesse of a badger." (cdiv)

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              • #8
                One thing that doesn't get mentioned too often in discussions like these and is something I've come to realize is that if you want to get to really get to know a car you need to drive a good example on the roads the car was designed for. This tends to get harder as cars get older.

                I remember when I was back home last I either had an Up! or Citigo rental and on a drive somewhere on a small rural backroad in the middle of nowhere I thought to myself that while the car was a horrible pile of junk, on those roads in particular it would have been lots better than either the Challenger we had at the time or the Mustang, both of which would have been utterly dire there.

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                • #9
                  A 1973 Corvette C3. In America, when I was 17. I had driven very few cars at that stage. But my god, it was an appalling, sloppy heap of junk.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SJ View Post

                    The Alfa 159 was a gross disappointment too - the 1.8 GM engine in particular.
                    I test drove a brand new 159 1.8 in Alasta Autos. An unbelievable disappointment.

                    I did end up in a 2.4jtd a few years later. A lot better. Felt like a different car altogether.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ryan View Post
                      One thing that doesn't get mentioned too often in discussions like these and is something I've come to realize is that if you want to get to really get to know a car you need to drive a good example on the roads the car was designed for. This tends to get harder as cars get older.

                      I remember when I was back home last I either had an Up! or Citigo rental and on a drive somewhere on a small rural backroad in the middle of nowhere I thought to myself that while the car was a horrible pile of junk, on those roads in particular it would have been lots better than either the Challenger we had at the time or the Mustang, both of which would have been utterly dire there.
                      The F-Type is a very good example of that, as it happens. Seeing as I drove it for 3-4 days. I can't say I loved it or anything but on the particular stretch that Ming drove it on, it just wasn't the right car. Lots of undulations and twists and turns that don't work in a heavy car setup to be more comfort oriented. But the F-Type is the best convertible I've ever driven on a motorway. No buffeting, perfect climate control, etc. And it was pleasant enough when tooling around and quite entertaining going through villages playing with the exhaust. But absolutely not a hoon car. Which maybe is surprising but most definitely totally at sea when the going got good with more challenging roads. Like I said at the time, it's like an SL. I still don't know why magazines talk about it like it's a 911 because a 911 is never at sea. Well I do know, Jaguar told them that this was the positioning as you always want to be in the same sentence as a 911.

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                      • #12
                        Back in the 80's in my yuppy (without the money) days when I drove a fairly new Mk II Golf Gti - a car way above my station in life as one sergeant complained to an inspector once who thankfully dismissed it as nonsense I aspired to bigger and greater things. Top of my list was a Mercedes 190D 2.5 or a BMW E30 320i. I was given a 320i to test drive for a whole weekend and while it was just a beautiful car to drive and that silky smooth 6 cylinder engine was magical I knew at the rate it drank juice that I would not be able to afford to put petrol in it.

                        So then it was the Mercedes 190D 2.5. This would have to have been a UK import as I was never satisfied with the quality or bog spec of Irish used models. But before going to all that expense I test drove one just to get the feel for it. What a complete dog it turned out to be - slow, noisy, crude - it was like driving a small truck. The model I test drove was a manual and had fairly big mileage but even so I knew straight away this was not the car for me.

                        Also the Alfa Romeo Brera was another disappointment. I only test drove the 1.6 petrol variant but that car had none of the Alfa flair of previous models - mainly it sounded just like every other car and the styling looked pretty awkward when you see the car in the metal. Not half as pretty or characterful as my Alfa GT 1.9d that I was driving at the time .

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                        • #13
                          Did you buy the E30?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cold View Post
                            Did you buy the E30?
                            No continued with my Gti for a year or two longer and then bought a BL mini as I was building a house and did not believe in getting a mortgage. It wasn't until 1998 my BMW itch was finally scratched with a new BMW 318iS coupe m sport.

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                            • #15
                              Pity. An E30 would be a nice part of the fleet. Not that anyone ever has that foresight back in the day.

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