dutchie01

What was the worst and best car you ever owned?

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Hi Folks!

I have been driving a wide variety of cars and bikes now for 38 years. Some expensive, some cheaper than a newspaper. Some for weeks, others for years. I have seen traffic change from eerily quiet to 24/24 trafficjams, seen police interference from zero to computercontrolled infrared laser radar highways/B-roads. In some strange way i liked most of the cars i drove, also because they did fit in that timeframe. However, most of them i just forgot the moment i handed over the key.

I have tried to come up with 2 of them, the Worst and the Best car i ever owned. This does not have to refer to the best engineered car as an emotional aspect might even be more important. ( for example i drove 3 citroens 2CV, which were driving deathtraps but i loved them so they wont be the worst car. I have been thinking about the Alfas that rusted so badly i could not jack them up anymore, about the Omega Estate 3ltr diesel that was fantastic as i could throw the entire family and bikes in, but it was lacking something so also not the best. Anyhow to keep it short here they are;

THE WORST

Almost a draw between a Ford Mondeo Diesel 4 door saloon and an Alfa Romeo 75 Indy. The Ford was terrible with a rattling 90 hp diesel engine. So frontheavy and soft on its shocks that sudden death understeer was common. I hated that car so much i tried to wreck the engine for 6 months before giving up. Overrevving, clutchless shifting it survived all so at least it was reliable. The ALFA on the other hand....  The buildquality was as bad as the engineering, really bad. I bought it new and did visit the dealer so frequently i knew all mechanics by name. Jammed gearboxes, broken valves, all sorts of electronic issues. The deepest of the deep events was when it jammed in 3rd gear in Paris rush hour. Oh yes i also simply pulled the entire shifter from the box so i had it in my hands when driving on the motorway. Driving that car was an adventure as you never knew if you would reach your destination. So my worst car will be the ALFA 75.

THE BEST

My Lexus IS250

Simple, no competition. Overengineered. Great little 6 cylinder inaudible at idle and incredibly smooth. The entire car was radiating quality, from the glovebox to the doors, from the gearbox ( i still admire the accelleration from standstill, like a cloud between the gaspedal and the box, soo smooth, soo linear. One of the most underrated cars in the automobile world.    

 

And what about you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Worst

 

Lancia Dedra 1.6. It looked really nice back in the early nineties but oh boy did it brake down :(. Every other week I would have to push it to the nearest phone booth/garage/garbage bin and wait for breakdown assistance

 

Best is  the 740d x-drive M sport. Really really good at motorway,  can't fault it much in almost any area. ( Three years unlimited miles warranty should help with any major issues but the car should really  go after that ) 

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The worst, Vauxhall Cavalier, totally mundane. Did everything it should be excelled in nothing.

The best, SEAT Alhambra, 8yrs and 190k miles fault free driving. Versatile, load swallowing and very comfortable in summer or winter and over many miles (drove non-stop from Swindon to Fort William, no probs) 

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My worst by far, a toss up between an NSU Printz or VW Variant, but I think the NSU wins. A gallon of oil just to get it up to Newcastle Upon Tyne from London.

My best, probably my Volvo 740GLE, what an amazing bomb proof car that was, it never ever let me down in several years of ownership.

 

 

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Best car.... My Alfa Romeo Alfa 6.... rare as rocking horse ****.. less than 500 RHD one's made worldwide-- Mine had twin round headlights though.....

It was a mafia staff car... 

front end looked like a BMW 3 series of back in the the day, and the back end of a Cadillac... Drove down the M3 just after I bought it and pulled into a petrol station to fill up and and never had so much interest from people for a car I had owned... Apart from my Sportcross now that is!!  

Sold it years later with 6 leaking Dell' Orto Carbs and body rust on it,  and apparently it was going to be shipped to Japan for loads of money!

Image result for alfa romeo 6

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Totally agree with @dutchie01 regarding the IS250. By far the best car I've ever owned.

Quick off the Mark, silky smooth transmission, ultra reliable and great sounding V6 when you put the power down.

Simply can not fault this car.

The worst car I've ever owned is also a Lexus but this time it's the IS220D. Absolutely dreadful and very unreliable. 

Massive turbo lag and mismatched gearing make it a chore to drive.

I've never owned a car in my life that gave me anywhere near the ball ache the diesel gave me.

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My son had one of those IS 220D... total crap..... cost lots of money as he bought 2nd hand... and he ended up scrapping it as it wasn't worth fixing in the end... He now drives a VW golf GTi...I can't change his mind anymore because of the crap the lexus diesel gave him at the time..

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Worst was 1974 ex army landrover. Think I replaced every mechanical and body component over 2 years.

Best was my first car, a Datsun 100A. Did over 100,000 miles running up and down to uni and never spent a penny on it. Eventually scrapped it at 200,000 when I could see the road through the floor.

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I can't point to just one car for for best and worse. As you say, it's not just how the car is screwed together, there's an emotional attachment too.

Best in terms of (relative) reliability and owning just at the right time and right place was my '65 1200 Deluxe Beetle. My second car after a very rusty '73 1303, I never gave a thought to just jumping in it and driving half way across the country. Plus a kid with a Beetle will always be cool right? :biggrin:

The car that took me most by surprise was an '03 Octavia RS. I fancied something with a bit of get up and go and this ticked all the boxes. Cheap and quick (more powerful and larger than the MKIV GTI it was based on) it was was also totally reliable, very practical and easily modded. In fact I loved it so much and got bitten by the modding bug so badly I bought it off the leasing company so I could do even sillier things to it.

I'm also very keen on our XC90. It's noisy, thirsty and slow but it's huge, very safe, has loads of space for a family of five and will go just about anywhere. I'll be sad to see it go in a few months. Rather than replace it with something new I'm even considering one of the older petrol models.

Worse? Again, I'm split between vehicles. Either a MKIV Golf that I was so excited to get but was the most unreliable, badly screwed together POS I've ever had or an A3 Quattro that I got to replace the Octavia and was just as dull as ditchwater.

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Worst - Fiat Grande Punto 1.2 This was my first car and while it had some plus points (economical and cheap to insure) it was horribly slow and had to go back to the dealer umpteen times due to electrical gremlins.

Not owned but I have to drive at work sometimes is a 2006 Renault Clio diesel of which we have several in the fleet. Constantly having issues with engine management warning lights, rattling heat shields, faulty door locks and electrical issues like radio/wipers/heater fan randomly stops working. Absolute piles of junk and they haven't even done high mileages considering they are 10 years old - the faults have been since new. We are just running them into the ground now.

Best - I'm a bit torn between my CT 200h or my last car which was a Suzuki Swift Sport. Very different animals and the Swift was a hoot to drive on B roads but not very economical. The CT 200h is where I want to be on a mixed road commute of 50 miles a day.

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Worst - 1997 Peugeot 406 2 litre petrol company car. Inherited it from someone else when my car went back. Hated it with a vengeance. Awful thing. Poor performance, poor economy and handled like a boat.

Best - 2011 Jaguar XF 5.0 V8. To this day I wish I still had it. I'd have saved heaps and heaps of cash on depreciation of all the other cars I've bought since then, much much more than I'd have paid in extra fuel charges if I'd kept it. Capable of 31-32mpg driven gently and driven gently in a 385BHP V8 was no chore. Driven less gently it brought a smile to my face every single time.

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Worst - 2009 VW Tiguan. Bought new, and what a terrible car. Loads of gremlins from new, including poor paintwork finish on a door and a malfunctioning touch-screen, but as time went on it just got worse and worse. A hole in the driver's carpet at less than 30k miles 'fair wear and tear sir' and then the seat bolster on the driver's seat wore through before 40k miles. The final straw was it destroying the (infamous) DSG gearbox on the M1, fortunately JUST a few months within warranty. After that was replaced it broke down a few times - transfer box fault, alternator, starter motor...so it went. Good riddance. Never again will I be fooled by a VAG product!

Best - 1993 Daihatsu Charade 1300 CXi. I loved that car. Rare, fast, quite cool for a youngster back in the day and indestructible. Only sold because my first wife wanted something 'more practical' which turned out to be a bland Hyundai Accent. I still regret selling my Charade now...sigh. The wife went shortly afterwards, but I was left with the Hyundai. :wallbash:

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Talking of Tiguans, a friend of mine has just found out that after ordering and paying for a 2.0TDI 4-Motion a couple of years ago he has in fact got a 2.0TDI front wheel drive. Oops. Interesting chats with JCT600 Volkswagen in Sheffield are ongoing :biggrin:

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Best was either my 2001 Mercedes CLK 230 Kompressor or a 1989 Mercedes 300SE. The S Class was so incredibly well built and beautifully floaty to drive. It was also insanely practical. The CLK I owned for eight years and 130,000 miles from my bachelor days until after the arrival of boy #1. I don’t think you can own a car that long without having fond memories. I’m very happy with my GS450 but haven’t had that long enough for it to challenge either of these two but it’s in the top three.

Worst car was my 2000 Range Rover Vogue. Fine to drive, but appalling reliability and simply laughable build quality with cheap materials used and corners cut. It put me off Land Rover products for life. (dis)honourable mention for worst car also needs to be my 2004 Smart Roadster Brabus. It was always going wrong. For the first year I don’t think I cleaned it as it was back at the dealer every month with another warranty claim. Fantastic looking thing though and it sounded awesome.

One car which straddles both good and bad camps was a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 V8. Pretty shoddily built albeit in an honest, Detroit blue collar type way, and it did break down on me a few times, but was essentially both a van when you needed one and a comfy barge with a brilliant V8 rumble.


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On 1/29/2018 at 7:24 AM, Odysseus said:

Best was either my 2001 Mercedes CLK 230 Kompressor or a 1989 Mercedes 300SE. The S Class was so incredibly well built and beautifully floaty to drive. It was also insanely practical. The CLK I owned for eight years and 130,000 miles from my bachelor days until after the arrival of boy #1. I don’t think you can own a car that long without having fond memories. I’m very happy with my GS450 but haven’t had that long enough for it to challenge either of these two but it’s in the top three.

Worst car was my 2000 Range Rover Vogue. Fine to drive, but appalling reliability and simply laughable build quality with cheap materials used and corners cut. It put me off Land Rover products for life. (dis)honourable mention for worst car also needs to be my 2004 Smart Roadster Brabus. It was always going wrong. For the first year I don’t think I cleaned it as it was back at the dealer every month with another warranty claim. Fantastic looking thing though and it sounded awesome.

One car which straddles both good and bad camps was a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 V8. Pretty shoddily built albeit in an honest, Detroit blue collar type way, and it did break down on me a few times, but was essentially both a van when you needed one and a comfy barge with a brilliant V8 rumble.


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A mate of mine works in the industry and he said that BMW spent more on a mid-life 3 Series interior upgrade than LR spent in total developing that version of the Range Rover. In those days LR customers did a lot of the product development on behalf of the manufacturer.

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Interesting topic , I have been driving for a long long time , the worst car for me easy, Ford Zodiac Mk 4  ( google a picture if you are too young to know what it looks like ) .Good looking car with dreadful brakes handling and reliability .I had a V6 ,bought for family transport in the days before MPV s  ,low miles ,1 old lady owner (yes really ) broke down every other week .The really annoying fault was in hot weather with the carb being between the V of the cylinders ,vapour lock would prevent the car restarting if you stopped the engine so you went for a walk while it cooled down a bit!!. Gave up in the end and gave it to a couple of scrap guys who were touting for junk .They drove it away thinking I had gone mad. Best car ;difficult as they are all good when you purchase them, but I have had lexus for the last 12 years and mazda  MX5 for the last 15 ,running 2 totally different cars side by side , at the end of the day the IS250 wins ,not by a big margin but it is a great allrounder for us.

Dave

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Worst car for me was a Maserati Biturbo (red over black, tan leather). What a pile of crap that was! - In fact I have seen it in some publication (can't remember which) as one of the worse car of the 80s! Nothing good about the car apart from the name and the looks. Appalling road holding, all or nothing performance, infuriating gearbox (1st gear was bottom left... supposedly), and dismal quality and reliability.

Best car was my first Lexus RX400h Exec Limited Edition (Oxford blue/oakham leather).

I have to add a Special Mention to my first car, an Autobianchi A112 Abarth (metallic steel blue). I still smile when I think of it.

 

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On 10-2-2018 at 1:15 PM, true blue said:

Interesting topic , I have been driving for a long long time , the worst car for me easy, Ford Zodiac Mk 4  ( google a picture if you are too young to know what it looks like ) .Good looking car with dreadful brakes handling and reliability .I had a V6 ,bought for family transport in the days before MPV s  ,low miles ,1 old lady owner (yes really ) broke down every other week .The really annoying fault was in hot weather with the carb being between the V of the cylinders ,vapour lock would prevent the car restarting if you stopped the engine so you went for a walk while it cooled down a bit!!. Gave up in the end and gave it to a couple of scrap guys who were touting for junk .They drove it away thinking I had gone mad. Best car ;difficult as they are all good when you purchase them, but I have had lexus for the last 12 years and mazda  MX5 for the last 15 ,running 2 totally different cars side by side , at the end of the day the IS250 wins ,not by a big margin but it is a great allrounder for us.

Dave

Oh that vapour lock! happened to me with my 2cv in summer driving back from a lazy day at the beach ( 40 yrs ago!) and it happened every time. Driving back meant a highway trip of 25 km followed by an exit with trafficlight. If it was red i was screwed, i just could not keep the engine running it would just die. So the routine became to remove the backseat from the 2CV ( called UglyDuck in Holland) and just sit in the sun for some 30 mins with the hood open. Hood open and temps dropping miracle! the car would start again so we could continue our journey!

Oh yes if temps dropped below zero it just would not start i had to wait until spring again..    Reliability has come a long way Dave!  

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That reminds me of keeping everything running on my 6volt '65 Beetle. On a rainy night you had to choose whether you wanted lights or wipers. Coming up to a junction was a nightmare. As soon as you touched the brake either the wipers would stop or the indicators wouldn't flash. And if it was cold too you had to blip the accelerator at the same time as braking and putting the clutch down because the auto choke had turned off too early.

It was fun though :biggrin:

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