Seriously though. As some of you know -especially euromeet Oppos- I hate my Skoda vRS wagon. While it performs admirably in almost all respects that I require it to (low road tax, good insurance, very practical, upto 60 emm pee gees (you kay), fast and fun given the right arena, fairly handsome, has a tow bar, it babies) I can’t help feeling that IT HAS NO SOUL.

Dead inside

My Land Rovers are noisy, uninsulated, rattly squeaky and leaky, rusty, unreliable, not particularly cheap to run, and generally just a pain in the arse. I also have a rusted out Skoda Felicia pickup that hasn’t seen tarmac for at least a year, it’s going mouldy inside, the white paint is cream and dust and streaked with rust bleeds, the rear hatch has completely fallen off. And yet, these cars all put a big smile on my face when I see them. I actively pat the Series LR whenever I see it under its cover. Soon old girl, soon. My Defender find new ways to amuse my wallet on a weekly basis. They all have their foibles, and it gives them tons of character, I want to drive every one of them every single day. This is something that I just don’t get with the vRS.

Maybe hate is a bit strong. The vRS can make me smile. It’s comfortable and fun on winding roads (or the Nürburgring), it has a radio (neither of my Land Rovers have radios, and curiously enough my Felicia has a Land Rover radio which, as per the rules, doesn’t work), apart from the DPF issues it’s proven very reliable and doesn’t show any signs of stopping soon - but there is no joy in using it daily, there is no looking back at it while I walk away in a car park, if it died a fiery death then so what? I wouldn’t weep. It just does things that I ask it to, fits stuff in the boot, travels long journeys without missing a beat, lets a baby sleep while a girlfriend ignores me in the front seat. I have absolutely no passion for it whatsoever, and only now do I see passion as a crucial part of car ownership.

So this brings me to Japanese Imports. What could go wrong?


286bhp RWD wagon sounds good, right? This Autech Axis S Stagea is available, inspected and insured, delivered to port of my choosing for a shade under the value of the Skoda. It also has a genuine mileage of 66,000 km... It’s not even broken in.

The spare change will be more than enough to register it over here and get the first year tax out of the way. So why shouldn’t I? It will do all of the things the Skoda can do, but with even more boot space and legroom, and has got the same V6 NA lump under the bonnet as the 350Z, so there’s plenty of scope for a few peppy little add-on’s later. Yes it’s an auto, but there’s not much choice in that regard.


It even comes with a spare set of wheels and tyres.


I’ve always felt like I need the practicality of an estate car, especially considering my lifestyle and commitments, so this could be a rare car that might just inject some passion into me for something that is supposed to be a practical workhorse. The vRS is logical, too logical. I want something for me.