The Super Estate - THE ONLY CAR YOU NEED
Car manufacturers waste millions developing hundreds of variations of cars, however they could get away with only making one! Here's why:
I've recently been trying to find a suitable replacement for my Jaguar X-Type 3.0 V6 AWD Sport Premium Estate. I've flirted with various cars, but ultimately almost every option on the table means giving something up!
The car is only worth about £1200 - £3500 depending on whether I traded it in or sold it privately. I bought it because I wanted something cheap, enjoyable to drive and useful. It ticked all these boxes!
The useful but quick Jaguar X-Type.
Now everything I look at involves giving something up. As it stands I have:-
Four Wheel Drive
Full Leather Interior
Electric Memory Seats
Automatic Climate Control
Okay it's a bit thirsty, but it does everything I want a car to do! It's fast, I can use it to go the tip in, or Wickes's in. Yes, part of me thinks - get a small, cheap, runaround. Part of me yearns for something go-kart-esque, like my old MX5, but none of these is anything like as useful. I remember buying a TV cabinet from Ikea in my MX5 in the noughties. Basically when I got out to the carpark with my flatpack I realised there was simply no room in the car for my purchase! Luckily, my neighbours just happened to be shopping at Ikea at the same time and they took it back for me. Otherwise we'd have been driving down the M6 with one hand out of the window - holding the box onto the soft top roof!
The Audi RS6 Avant
There are some great cars to choose from in this category too! There's the capable, if slightly dentist/architect mobile Audi RS4 and RS6. 4 litre turbo, four wheel drive and enough room for all your mates + luggage? That can't be bad, even if it is a pretty boring (at least to me!) option.
BMW 335d xDrive Sports Touring
Or if you want cheap tax and decent economy how about a BMW 335 xDrive Sports Touring? you'll get 50 mpg, reasonable tax and 0-60 in < 5 seconds. I think it's actually more or less as quick as the M version! Four wheel drive, bags of room and sky-shattering performance? Seriously what's not to like? Okay, I accept the image of the Bavarian Motor Werks isn't for everyone. I'm personally not inclined to tail gate people three inches from their back bumper at 132 mph, while flashing them to get out of the way in the outside lane of the M6. I like using my indicators and I don't, as a rule gesticulate at other drivers, or show them the 'put your seat belt on' signal. I like to drive at least far enough behind the car in front that I can read the number plate, so maybe a BMW isn't for me.
The Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake
Not to worry, there's always the Jag! The XFR-S Sportbrake has over 550 BHP and enough room for a settee in the boot if you drop the seats. It's insanely fast and perfect for rubbish tip or DIY runs! There isn't an AWD option. Currently Jaguar are twiddling their thumbs and taking their time releasing the estate version of their current XF. Next year though, they will be doing the 180 BHP AWD XF Estate and I say it WILL be very tempting!
I wouldn't consider one though. Why? The coming diesel ban. Soon, it will be socially unacceptable, expensive and possibly illegal to own a diesel car. Why? The Nitrous Oxide Gas or Noxious Gases diesel's give off. Polluting our cities and ruining our clean air.
It's sad really, the government spend years encouraging us to buy diesel cars, to lower our carbon footprint. Manufacturers spend millions developing clean diesel engines, then the world suddenly has an 'Oh S%&*!' moment and realizes this wasn't actually such a good idea. When the diesel ban draws nearer, diesel cars will lose value. Buying into diesel is going to become increasingly risky.
So what? Get an electric?
No! The environmental cost of mining and shipping Lithium all over the world is a catastrophy. The disposal of batteries and the value destroying fact that a battery's life is only expected to be 10 years is another factor. Driving around with pedestrian's bouncing off the bonnet because they didn't hear you coming isn't something to look forward to either!
Room for 5?
Well for me, the car I AM excited about is the coming Jaguar XF SVR. It's likely to have a big petrol engine, forced induction and four wheel drive. It'll probably be reality-distortingly quick while being big enough to take five people and their luggage. The only downside - I'll probably never afford one!
Furniture swallowing boot?
Even though so and this is key. If you ARE the sort of person who can afford to buy and run a Lamborghini Aventador - great. But will you have to buy a knackered old diesel estate to go the tip in? It might not be much cheaper to have an extra car for the practical and dirty jobs. but I know if I had a Lamborghini Aventador I'd be crying all the way to the tip in my old oil burning shooting brake, wishing, wishing I was driving my better car!
Much better to have one car that does everything - a super estate!
showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken serious
Stories and images of supercar crashes, in honour of veteran crasher Hammond