/ Motoring

Has downsizing your car changed how you drive?

Cartoon of men in different sized cars

Like many others, I’ve downsized my car. My travelling needs changed and so did my vehicle. But while I looked forward to the cost-saving benefits, I didn’t think my driving style would change so drastically.

Despite working in Which? Car, I am one of the 4.8% Brits who has switched to using the railway as my main way to get to work in 2011. My 80-mile-round commute by car has been replaced by a 20-mile drive with the remainder covered in the comfort of First Capital Connect’s standard class.

This change of travel requirements has led to a change of car. I’ve sold my surprisingly frugal (but unsurprisingly unreliable) 1.9-litre diesel Alfa Romeo GT for a 1.5-litre petrol Toyota Yaris.

The switch makes complete sense. Whatever car I drive it’s going to spend most of its time sat neglected in a loose-gravel train station car park that’s a paint-chip hotbed – a location not best suited to the vulnerable Alfa. More importantly, my financial burden has been significantly reduced: insurance, tax and maintenance costs are all much lower with my Yaris.

A change in driving style

What I hadn’t considered was how my driving habits would sway, and by how much.

Its endless torque, cruise control and an ultra-comfortable interior made the Alfa stress-free, which transferred directly into my driving technique. I had presumed that this was due to my natural and maturing driving style. It appears not.

The Yaris, in contrast, offers a much more ‘basic’ package. The interior is focussed on practicality over comfort, making it a tool to get me from A to B, rather than a place to settle down in and enjoy the ride.

And since the 1.5-litre petrol engine needs to be worked hard to get up to speed, I’ve found myself trying to eke out every ounce of performance from its armoury.

Small-car syndrome

I’ve now started to refer to this as “small-car syndrome” – a motoring version of short-man syndrome, where you drive the car harder to make up for your car’s inadequacies in scale.

Because I’ve essentially lost 75 brake horsepower switching to the smaller Yaris, I’ve found myself trying to make this up by entering corners notably faster, braking later and accelerating much more aggressively.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly no Lewis Hamilton. In fact, I’m not even Christine Hamilton. And I want to stress that I drive well within the limits of the law. But I’ve been left mildly appalled with my driving in recent weeks, especially as I’ve seen my average miles per gallon figure diminish dramatically.

So I want to know – is this just me? Or has anyone else noticed a change in their driving style after they’ve downsized their car?

Comments
Guest
Lucky7 says:
25 May 2011

Interesting point! I have actually gone the other way – had to upsize – but what used to really bug me about owning a smaller car was other road users treating you like a learner when driving totally normally. Maybe it was because our car was that classic learner car, the Nissan Micra, but we got sick of being tailgated and overtaken (Audi and BMW drivers were most guilty) when simply keeping up with traffic! In my experience, this seems to happen less when you have a bigger car, despite not actually driving any faster… So ‘small car syndrome’ might just be about giving as good as you get?

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Guest

Riders of mopeds have the same problem as drivers of small cars and perhaps the biggest cause of tailgating is obeying the speed limit!

My solution to tailgating is to flash the rear foglights a couple of times. It might not be a permitted use of foglights but it is unlikely to create a hazard for other users and could avoid an accident. It also helps to remind following drivers to dip their lights.

Profile photo of dean
Guest

I’m in a similar position Rob, I have to downsize the saab 9-3 2l turbo, but I really cannot pick a car that appeals to me other than a mini. As in, a Mini cooper should have enough power and enough economy.

I used to hire cars a lot in Germany and Holland and the frustration of driving a little car with no power certainly raises the stress levels. With the saab, to get up to speed just just have to lightly press your big toe, With any little hairdryer box, you have to rag the guts out of it, which defeats the object really. If you have to work harder in the car, thats not worth paying for.

I actually think under-powered little cars cause traffic jams. The engine is too under-powered to be able to make a quick manoeuvre, or pull out quickly. Its even worse when you are on the motorway, there is just nothing to accelerate.

In my opinion, any car that CANNOT accelerate in 5th gear on a hill on a motorway should NOT be allowed on the roads. Really dangerous, lorrys struggle enough without them having to sit behind the pencil sharpeners in the middle lane, getting slower and slower.

Guest
Nathan says:
25 May 2011

A bloke with small man syndrome in a car that gives you “small car syndrome”, a dangerous mix! Looking at the picture you’ve used I’d suggest you look normal size in the small car and all you’d see is some finger tips clinging to the steering wheel in the big one!

Profile photo of Andy Vandervell
Guest

Interesting thoughts. I may have to downsize soon. I find it hard to justify my Focus ST170 when I only do 5000 miles a year, if that. I’ll miss if it if I do.

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Guest

I’m beginning to agree about the need for more bhp. I had a Honda Jazz which was excellent for reliability and versatility, but uninspiring handling and just plain underpowered. So I thought I would treat myself and just for once get something fairly small but with a bit of oomph. We looked at Mini Coopers, small BMWs, Golf GTis etc, then common sense took over realising that we did very little mileage and most of it on narrow country lanes where you’re lucky to get up to 40 mph, so we ended up with the new model Fiesta – much better steering and handling than the Jazz, and the little Zetec engine will happily rev its socks off but it’s still terribly underpowered. It’s beginning to get tiresome anticipating every uphill gradient and dropping gears just to keep the revs and speed up, and the fuel economy suffers for it.
So maybe next time I will be looking for some more bhp.

Guest
John says:
27 May 2011

I often drive my wife’s Aygo, which some might say is underpowered. However, I find it quite interesting to drive. To get the most out of it you have to drive properly, change gear at the right time and not slow down too much at corners. It is well capable of keeping up to legal speed limits but not of course the excessive speeds that Audi drivers think is their right.
My other car is a Mini Cooper S. Lots of power in any gear at any speed, which is very nice, but anyone can go fast in a car like this and the ride is awful.

Guest
Richard Sarson says:
27 May 2011

We, in our 80s, downsized from a Volvo V40 (1.8 manual) to a Skoda Roomster (1.2 automatic) earlier this year. Curiously we find the Roomster livelier than the Volvo. Being a “sit up and beg” car, we see more of the countryside, and with a vast sunroof, are bathed in sunlight, as are passengers in the back seat. Altogether a more pleasant driving experience for golden oldies.
What we do notice, though, is that other drivers think we are a van, and show us less respeck. This makes us drive more aggressively. Curious.

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Guest

I too am in my 80’s and also just downsized from my automatic Qashqai to a Skoda Roomster Scout 1.2 automatic after a 9 month, yes 9 months! wait.
This is a remarkably ***** car, its performance and handling is better than the Nissan, and the automatic Skoda is more economical (around 45/49mpg) than the manual version, neither do I cruise at 30mph!
OK it looks different but would thoroughly recommend checking it out if you can wait that long for delivery. Not just for we ‘golden oldies’.

Guest
Richard Sarson says:
31 May 2011

The Roomster is not just for golden oldies. Its immense back-seat windows and high back seats make it very suitable for minor Royals, to smile and wave, smile and wave. And, if the sunroof were built out, it could be converted into an excellent Pope-mobile.

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Guest

15 months ago I switched from a petrol 5-series BMW to a diesel C30 Volvo. My driving style has relaxed completely and I still arrive everywhere in exactly the same time as I always did. Real world road speed has nothing to do with the car you are driving and everything to do with the other traffic on the road. I have noticed that when I drive my kids Fiat Panda 1.1 Active I still keep up with the traffic
and I still arrive everywhere in the same time, and it is much easier to park! I never find either the Panda or the C30 underpowered compared to the 5-series. It is quite amazing how much rubbish is spoken about horsepower in relation to cars. If you are towing a caravan, or carrying 5 adults plus luggage then you do indeed need more power, and a larger car. Otherwise, my BMW did 27mpg, my Volvo does 59mpg. No wonder I’m more relaxed!

Guest
david says:
27 May 2011

Downsized when I retired a couple of years back. Went from a Skoda Octavia Estate to a Skoda Fabia hatchback. Interesting your correspondent mentioned cruise control. One of the things that swayed the Fabia for me was that cruise control (one of those things, like air conditioning, that once used regularly you’ll never want to be without) was available as a pretty economical extra. Not a common option on a smaller car. The Fabia does 70mph+ with no problem but, with the CC set, there is no chance of me inadvertently going any faster than I ought. And having driven a Skoda before I retired, the interior configuration was familiar.
When you are buying your own fuel rather than having a company car, it does make you think rather more about driving more steadily and less aggressively, dare I say, using gears and brakes less but thinking ahead rather more. You do get used to being in the inside lane and being overtaken by just about every other car on the road. Makes you realize how little speed limits are adhered to on trunk roads by the majority of drivers.

Guest
Rodger Fuse says:
27 May 2011

John Kitchen makes good points. Those who risk all to overtake mostly end up just a few cars ahead at the next set of lights or traffic jam. If you feel the need to always wring the car’s neck you probably shouldn’t be on today’s overcrowded highways and are likely suffering from some sort of inferiority complex. Likewise, I shudder when I read about ‘having fun on a favourite back road’ – typically in a BMW road test. What about a family innocently cycling the same route? However I don’t deliberately creep about and drive up to the speed limit where safely possible. Do the sums. Driving at 80mph for 10mins might make the slower car at 70mph comfortably and quickly disappear in the mirror and thus seem way behind. But actually saves just 85 seconds. Wow! That really makes the extra 80bhp and twin exhausts (to say nothing of insurance and fuel costs) worthwhile doesn’t it?

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Guest

haha, well why don’t you just drive at 0mph and then no-one would get hurt?

Pious comments like that really help no-one Rodger

Guest
grumpygeek says:
27 May 2011

I am having exactly the same experience. Recently swapped my turbo diesel scenic for the same model but petrol. It is ok for driving around town but I really miss the torque and it’s pants on the motorway, you need to work it harder compared to the diesel, too much gear shifting.
I guess I’ll get used to it and I am adapting the style. But next car gotta be a diesel again.

Guest
Colin Chadfield says:
27 May 2011

I’ve recently retired and we decided not replace the works Honda FRV (great family lugger) but to downsize and stick with one car – our Honda Civic (old style – ’04). When we need two transports we consider trains or at a push hire one from town a couple of miles away (the one that comes to pick you up!). Costs soooo much less than having two cars parked on the driveway.

As regards driving style, I used to be in the Fire Service so I was “blue light” trained and know how to drive fast on our roads, way above the speed limit when it was safe. However, I also cycle long distance, so am familiar with the idea that it takes time to go a long way, and that rushing doesn’t make that much difference. I now make sure I set off with plenty of time and cruise along happily. It takes me about four times as long on average to go by bike as it does by car (20kph vs 80kph), so a car journey at road legal speed seems fast! Yes, people overtake at way over the speed limit, and I sit and wonder which one of them will one day need my past experience in first aid to keep them alive after they have run themselves off the road at the next bend. If I want to race, I go karting!

Cruise control is a great addition – had it on my last three works cars and the relaxed motorway cruise is a great way to cover lots of miles. The little Civic hasn’t got it, and I miss it, so it will be high on the list when we come to replace it.

Guest
Tony Pickard says:
27 May 2011

Interesting comments. Has anyone changed to a hybrid, I wonder? I’m considering downsizing, from a Toyota Avensis, and wondered what the Prius is like as a comparison……………….

Guest
Kev says:
27 May 2011

Having given up caravanning last summer, my wife and I decided to downsize and we swapped our 2.0 litre diesel auto Rover 75 Tourer for a VW Golf. The Golf is the petrol 1.4 TSi with the DSG gearbox. Although the engine is only 1.4, it’s turbo charged and has the performance of many 2.0 litre normally aspirated cars. Whereas the conventional torque-converter auto on the Rover 75 sapped power and economy – the DSG gearbox in the Golf is just as fast and just as economical as the manual version. So, despite having switched from diesel to petrol, my new Golf is faster and more economical than the Rover 75. I couldn’t be happier. The only thing I desperately miss is the Climate Control I had in the Rover. It was genuinely ‘set and forget’. The air-con in the Golf is ok – but I find myself constantly having to fiddle with the controls to get the interior temperature just right.
Going back to the main point of the discussion – has my driving changed? In some respects – yes it has. The surge of power from the turbo charged engine is addictive – and I am constantly tempted, on a clear road, to put my foot down to enjoy the acceleration! I am attempting to overcome this urge, however, in the interests of fuel economy!

Guest
John says:
27 May 2011

Swapped my 2002 Seat Ibiza 1.2 for a new Ibiza 1.2 5dr SE TSI DSG at the end of last year, getting the benefit of the ‘VAT free’ offer. Has all the gizmos one used to get on a luxury car: 7-speed auto, cruise control, trip computer, climate control, electric windows all round, parking sensors, ESP, electric heated and folding mirrors … 105 HP engine with maximum torque flat from 1500-4000 rpm; no shortage of power here. And all for less than 12,000 pounds. No need to be a straggler with this car.

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Guest

You chose the right car but the wrong engine. You should have chosen the diesel version. I did a similar downsize but selected a Fiesta 1.6 TDCi. With 122 bhp and 270NM torque (thanks to a £300 ECU remap) it is a pleasure to drive. It will make your old Alfa feel slow and it still returns over 50 mpg with tax at £30 a year.

I never really understood the Jeremy Clark attitude to diesel engined cars. Once you have learnt how to drive them (low revs – masses of torque), you really start to appreciate how relaxing to drive a modern diesel has become.

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Guest

Oops! That’s Jeremy Clarkson, of course.

Guest
David S. says:
28 May 2011

Terfar,
I entirely agree.
Petrol engines = FRENZY! — resulting in aggressive driving style.
TurboDiesel engines = Relaxation — resulting in SAFER driving style.
— “Simples!”

Guest
AndyB says:
28 May 2011

I downsized when my previous 2000cc rubber wheeled tin box gave up the ghost at 85,000 miles (a bit earlier than I had bargained on). Until a couple of years before, I had been driving 15,000+ miles per year, mostly commuting which I hated. I downsized to no car at all. After about a year I decided to buy another car, not because I felt it was essential but because it would offer certain advantages and I could afford it. My world wouldn’t fall apart if I didn’t have it. I now consider a car a luxury item. I test drove several small cars before settling on a Honda Jazz. I much prefer having the smaller car. I don’t know many bhp it has and I don’t really care. I know it is somewhat less than the previous car but I don’t miss the extra power. Driving in heavy traffic I long ago twigged that you get where you going at the same speed as everyone else so don’t fret about it. These days I cycle to work and my company has pool cars so there is no need to take my car to work. But if I have to go any distance I first look to see if I can take a train. After all, driving is pretty boring and you can’t do anything else at the same time – on a train you can read, sleep, do something on a laptop, have a coffee. And on a bike you can get as much exercise as you want, and fresh air and peace and quiet (for no charge!). Has the smaller car changed my driving style? Indirectly, as the period without a car changed my thinking about cars. Every time I go out I am conscious of taking a decision about whether to use the car. Yes, I can be lazy like the rest of us, but for 2011 I’ve set myself a target of cycling further than I drive in my car. I think it will be quite close run.

Guest
tracy says:
28 May 2011

I down sized from a BMW 318si to a Diahatsu Charade…so huge difference, the petrol cost half the price and it prefers the cheapest petrol I can find not the dearest lol. The biggest difference is the small car blows in the wind when driving, I never thought about that. I drive slower now as I can no longer take corners like I could and the acceleration is slow. On the plus side parking is easier and no body tries to race me now lol

Guest
akr says:
28 May 2011

what’s the point in downsizing when a bmw 320d does in excess of 50mpg (much more if driven well) and costs £90 a year to tax. you can pick up not that old used ones for around the price of the so called green cars

Guest
Steve says:
28 May 2011

I’m 60 and have driven lots of cars -my first was a Ford Anglia. First thing to say is that all cars have got better, and bigger. Our neighbour, the local GP bought a Ford Zodiac in 1964 which seemed huge at the time but is about the same size as a Focus – certainly internally! My brother in law had a Morris Oxford which could, allegedly, do over a hundred, but would take eons to reach that speed. My point is that all modern cars have the power of sports cars of 20 years ago; we just expect more of them all the time. I drive an S type jag (2.7 diesel) with over 200 bhp but I think I had most fun with an 850cc mini ot about 30hp. I try to drive gently atound town but its great to be able to sweep effortlessly past traffic on the motorway and cruise at high speeds for long periods. I’m averaging around 42mpg overall which is probably better than my beloved mini.

Guest
James Cole says:
28 May 2011

Seeing all those chaps posting about how underpowered their cars seem compared to big fast ones that they had previously owned make me feel lucky that I got that all out of my system during my teenage years and early 20s. I owned powerful Triumph, BSA and Norton motorbikes and used to push them to their limits. When I grew up and bought a car, it was a Morris Minor and right up until I retired, I had always owned “chug chug” types of car as I don’t feel the need to be competitive on the road with other drivers as I did all that when I was young.

My current car is a Jazz and it returns about 50 mpg; and what I have found is that all the small cars that I have owned, have all become more powerful as technology has progressed. As for taking a train: that’s a no no! Even with a pensioner’s rail card discount, it is still cheaper and quicker for me to drive from Cornwall to London than it is to go by train.

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Guest

Having driven a number of VW Passat estates for the last twenty years, I recently changed to a Toyota Auris 1.4D.
The immediate difference is the mpg – nearly 60 on average. I am using gears much more, particularly in urban areas. However, I recently drove from Central Scotland to Derry in NW Ireland and found the journey quite pleasant. Jeremy Clarkson had condemned the Toyota a s utterly bland and so this was a strong motivating factor in the purchase.
Parking is a lot easier and at this stage , I have no regrets whatsoever

Guest
James Cole says:
28 May 2011

And another thing, regarding downsizing: Apart from the reduced fuel bills, reduced insurance premiums, reduced spares including tyres; smaller grannie type cars are less attractive to thieves. According to a statistic given to me by a motor security chap I met on the Clapham Omnibus, there has never been a case of a Honda Jazz stolen by joyriders.

Guest
akr says:
28 May 2011

I recently drove a toyota auris and it was like stepping back 20 years and if you are only getting 60 mpg why bother i ran a bmw 32od as a comnpany car and was amazed at how cheap it was to run
whyhave an oreo (sorry auris)

Guest
rumrunner says:
29 May 2011

yes i have down sized my car, peugeot 207 sw, £30 road tax, mpg super, i now try and keep below 65mph on trips,the amount of fuel i save is amazing,even on short journeys still saving money.i say go for it

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Guest

The response by akr surprises me. I do not recall any volume produced model of 20 years ago, loaded with the technological features and the surprising 1.4 diesel drive train of the little Auris. Diesel engines in 1991 were noisy, smoky beasts, popular only on the Continent.
His company BMW was probably an excellent machine but it comes with a price tag, not just for purchase but for service and parts.
Over the years, in common with most people, I assume, my driving style has changed; it has been affected not merely by my recent downsizing but by factors such as age, traffic volume, speed cameras and legislative change.

Guest
john w says:
31 May 2011

In 2003, upon retirement, I changed from a Renault Laguna 2.2 diesel to a Skoda 1.4 diesel – 0-62mph in 14 seconds approx. This has led me to look further ahead, make use of slopes, anticipate hills, corners & braking with a lower powered car. Result is that journeys are less stressful, more economic, almost as quick surprisingly, satisfyingly achieved through having used skills long dormant.

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Guest

We sold a Subaru Forester (11 years old) on retirement to buy a Toyota yaris 1.3 as we thought it would save us money. It does if you drive everywhere at less than 50mph when we have managed 53mpg on the car’s computer. Travelling across France at 130kph or 85mph with 2 people, holiday luggage and 2 bikes on a rack and we dropped to 27.4mpg on the same computer. The forester did the same trip with the same luggage and bikes at nearly 38mpg.
Build quality does matter, the forester at 11 only ever needed service parts and reached 130,000 miles when we sold it. The yaris from 15,000 to 32,000 miles has had ABS failure (in the snow!) Air-con failure and the rear washer only works with clear water. Its a noisy engine espectially at 70-75mph! Big cars make sense if you drive a lot too as the longer wheelbase gives a smoother ride especially over the pot-holes. Looking for a nice used diesel forester wouldn’t you?

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Guest

We purchased a new Yaris 1.3 for my wife to use and although she loved driving it, it never returned more than 42 mpg and that was on runs over 25 miles. Around town it was even worse. We sold it privately after a year. Surprisingly, it needed new front tyres at 11,000 miles before we sold it!

We vowed never to buy a petrol-engined super mini again. We now have a Fiesta diesel and it is another really lovely car to drive and returns 50 mpg on short runs and 60 mpg on long journeys.

As you found with the Yaris, small petrol engines are not economical if they have to work hard. The latest Fiat 500 with its silly little two cylinder engine is a prime example. Driven at a snail’s pace, it really is economical and has ultra-low emissions, but if you want to get anywhere fast, the engine has to be rev’ed to the limit with the fuel consumption dropping to the high 20s and emissions sky rocketing.

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Guest

I agree entirely with the remarks above that annual distance driven is critical in vehicle choice. When I drove diesel Passats, I supplied my own transport and the mileage returned plus reliability were positive features of my driving experience. In retirement, I am doing less than a quarter of my previous journeys, obviating the need for a large motor. The little Auris is economical and so far seems ultra reliable. ‘Which’ surveys in the past have placed Toyota near, or at the top of the pole. Last summer’s glych made headline news; other manufacturers have recalls on a monthly basis and they rarely rate three lines on page 11. The rarity of the Toyota catastrophe made it ‘man bites dog’ copy

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Guest

My favourite car was a Saab turbo but I am very happy with a 1 litre yaris at the moment. The roads and times I travel mean that the yaris is fine for 99 percent of journeys alone. In mid December 2010 I went to Surry in the middle of the day and this trip was acheived with an average speed of <33 mph- very frustrating, due to congestion (the Yaris happily does 70-80 mph. I was harried witless particularly by commercial vehicles on the M25 tailgating at seriously dangerous distances and this is why I support electronic control of speed and instant fines for dangerous driving.

Guest
Flintstone says:
1 June 2011

Rob’s article was very thought provoking! I found that I reacted in a similar way – in reverse. I used to drive a 1.6 litre petrol Honda. That required much stirring of the gears and keeping the revs up to maintain pace in any given situation, especially up hills. Results: 31-32 mpg over 3 years.

Since up-sizing to a 2.5 litre petrol BMW (albeit now a 13-year old model with over 200,000 miles on its odometer), with over 35% more torque, I was able to drive in a much more relaxed manner, Using the torque and smoothness of the straight 6 to stay in a higher gear for any given speed (5th is perfectly fine at a steady 30mph). Anticipating slow-downs better and using the barkes less. Result: 33 mpg over the most recent 3 years and 45,000 miles.

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Guest

Maybe Andrew could explain why anybody living is this country would buy a Focus ST170 and pay all that mioney for performance he cannot legally use except on a race track. He would have paid a hefty premium over that of a more normal Focus and paid additionally on his insurance and road tax. Probably all got a very rough ride as such cars usually have firmed up susoension. Please tell why.
Surely performance is rarely usable as on motorways doing 70 is not often a problem and on ordinary roads overtaking is rarley worth the effort as the car you overtake will catch you up at the next set of traffic lights. It probably will not be at all green so more money at the pumps. It is quite beyond =me why people spend vast sums of money on vehicles which will rarely if ever be used to their full.

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Guest

When I was young, many, many years ago, I too bought ludicrously fast cars. Why?

It’s the sheer exhilaration of the acceleration.

There’s also a peace-of-mind about safety; if a car has a 90mph top speed you’re pushing it very close to its design limit on the motorway; with a 150 mph top speed you’re only using using one half of the safe limit of the car’s tyres, brakes, suspension, etc. I always felt very much safer in my Volvo T5 than in my wife’s VW Polo!

And why not? We’re all ridiculously extravagant with money compared to our grandparents and great-grandparents. If I didn’t waste my money on fast cars I’d waste it on something else equally unnecessary.

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Guest

Does this explain why on every journey there is always some idiot in a company Audi up my rear and then dangerously weaving in and out of traffic to overtake?
Followed closely by a BMW driver.

Jeremy Clarkson said it best – the ***** are now leaving BMW and buying Audis.

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Guest

I’ve recently swapped my BMW 120 for a Toyota Prius. I find I drive much more gently in the Prius.

I’ve always driven pretty-much within the speed limit, but the character of the BMW meant that I always used its full power to get up to speed as quickly as possible and stay there. The Prius, with its Eco credentials is the exact opposite; hard acceleration just ‘feels’ wrong.

And I estimate I’m saving near-to £1,000 a year (about 40%) in fuel!

Guest
Badboy says:
7 October 2012

Downsized my 11 year old E Klasse autobahn cruiser with its straight 6 3225cc Diesel CDI car tax 290. Incredibly comfortable, reliable, averaged 37 mpg overall 56 at best BUT it was not going to survive much longer as Mercs short cut their normal bombproof engineering in that era.
I selected a C250CDI with many modern goodies, Intelligent lighting, ECo Start Stop, Command Linguatronic integrated phone and the amazing 7Gtronic auto box.
Result 50+mpg 120 cartax and its faster and more powerful and obviously properly engineered again. Yes this middle sized merc is again a contender in ALL area re BMW and the rock hard riding Audi
The little 2143cc CDI growls but cruises at 1400 revs at 70 and if you want grunt it has it in spades.
Only bettered by C350 V6 CDI but that costs a lot more to insure tax at 170 but you have to experience its deliciously smooth much underated powerplant. Wish I had the wherewithall but I’m really enjoying the slumming

AS for changed habits not really Still stick to speed limits even if they are ludicrously out dated. The more modern CC brakes the car to maintain selected speeds and charges on overun the Aircon is Magnetically clutched to disengage when not required, result no pump drain, but I’m looking forward to the 60+ mpg on a hot summer early morning cruise because that is when Mercs CDI really show their eco spots

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Guest

Five out of ten for downsizing. Must try harder. 🙂

Guest
Jacqui says:
11 November 2016

I have just down sized from a sporty fiat to a peugeot 107 both Automatic
Now my FIAT was very quick. Touch the peddle and its off, ask it to go faster and it dose ,changing speed very quickly . Now I am having to get used to this new 107 tiny engine. It takes time to get it up to speed and it can’t shoot off, if I press the accelerator to quick it seem to jump from gear to gear as it try s to keep up with me. I am having to learn to drive all over again . I now worry that the car behind will get angry as I slowly pull out of a junction and slowly go from 0 to 40 . I totally love my 107 don’t get me wrong its so cheep to run and looks lovely and I find in very comfy to sit in. it can turn on a penny and once on the A- roads it will happily sit at 70mph and I even found it easy to overtake lorry’s. I just finding the slow take off and sensitive peddle very hard to get used to. But I wont give up I am sure I will learn to drive it well, 🙂