After a car-shopping blitz with some good friends for which I was Chief Automotive Adviser, I have driven enough cars to warrant an update to my sprawling but rather Euro-centric list of Every Car I’ve Ever Driven. I am apparently a magnet for Mercedes and Jaguars, despite owning neither.
Let’s welcome the new additions, from meh-est to most bestest:
2010 Suzuki SX4 - My sister’s Focus was totaled, and this replaced it. It has corner windows on the A-pillar and a CVT. Suzuki turned the very attractive Italdesign SX4 hatch into a sedan and kind of made a mess of it.
2002 Jaguar S-Type V6 - Wood, leather, RWD. Not a bad car by any means, but not very exciting to drive with the 3.0 V6 and auto trans.
2004 Jaguar S-Type V8 - More power makes it slightly better, but it’s still a 4.0 V8 that gets dusted by my 2.3 Saab. Also, the switch gear and ashtrays are regular ol’ Ford, and, when contrasted with the rest of the interior, their cheapness is very jarring.
2003 Jaguar S-Type Manual - A manual does wonders for this car. It’s still big, but now it’s a big sporty Jag with a proper gearbox and RWD.
2005 Mercedes E320 CDI - Turbodiesel and last of the straight 6 engine from Mercedes. It makes some cool sounds if you roll the windows down and listen for them. It’s almost identical to the S-class, but everything is smaller and a good bit cheaper-feeling.
1979 Mercedes 240D - This one is almost as slow as my VW Bus, but it’s a wonderful pistachio color and has a manual sunroof. I’m not sure how I can justify the color of a car making a difference in the driving experience, but it does. The W115 is juuust a little better thanks to the classic Pagoda steering wheel, though.
1998 Porsche Boxster - This barely edges out the 944 for me, because I have an irrational love of the early 944 yellow instruments. Tight, responsive, powerful for the era and holds its own today. If you’re like me and work on cars enough that you have access to a lift, it makes no sense to buy a Toyabaru or NC Miata when good Bosxters are plentiful.
2003 Jaguar XJR - I was not expecting to like this car as much as I did, but wow. This may just edge out my Saab as the ultimate sleeper. 400HP for $3000 - I’m struggling to think of a better performance bargain. Supercharger whine and brutal acceleration out of a car that is usually being driven the wrong way down the freeway.
|1987||Alfa Romeo||Milano 2.5||7000|