I've run a Honda Accord Tourer for a week, and it went back today. It's a modern estate car with a diesel engine, automatic gearbox and front wheel drive and costs £30k. And it's the one car that several people said they would actually like to buy.
I've driven nearly 70 cars in the past twelve months. Some I have brought home for a while and have used on a day to day basis.
As such people come into contact with them and comment on them. The comments are largely emotive. Everybody wanted the Maserati but knew they couldn't afford it. The same was true for the Jaguar XKR and Porsche Cayman.
The Astra VXR divided opinion, with most wavering on the positive, the Jaguar XF saloon was great (thought people in general) but a bit of an old man's car (I disagree!), the Volvo XC90 was great, the Subaru BRZ was lovely and sporty, the Evoque another opinion divider (I live in the sticks so get opinion from hardcore, horse owning, muddy wellied, ancient Land Rover owning types who think the Evoque is a bit poncey).
The Honda Accord Tourer is probably the most run of the mill car I've brought home and was the first that failed to elicit any kind of response from my wife. My son loved it, although the heated seats had a lot to do with that.
It has all the qualities that make the petrolheads on Twitter and Facebook say, "Meh."
Front wheel drive - check, diesel - check, automatic - check, white - check, Honda - check. Social media says BORING!
But in the real world of overcrowded motorways, meetings, traffic, the school run and trips to the shops the Accord was a comfortable, reasonably economical, spacious, quiet car.
Over the course of the week I had it three separate people from three separate backgrounds said to me (in person, not on t'internet), "That's a nice car. I was thinking of getting one of them."
No-one has ever said that about a press car before.
These people knew what it was and admired it for what it does. This brought home to me that 95% of people who buy cars are not petrol heads but normal people who need a car for normal things.
That thought process and grounding in reality affected my review of the car, which will be out soon. Prior to those reactions I had thought it was a bit, well, boring. But potential buyers won't think that. They just want it to suit their financial situation, start first time every time and fit all their family and associated gubbins.