Saturday, July 22, 2006

A sporty little number

Well after the problems of Wednesday when my car seemed very poorly, you can imagine how happy I was to be accelerating down the motorway back from Liverpool at 90 70 mph. No longer were hills causing the car to slow down to 45mph and all an sundry were passing in my wake like when the Millennium Falcon enters hyperdrive. The only problem was that I was in a Vauxhall Astra whilst my beloved BMW was sitting embarrassed on a tow truck being returned to Heathrow. My previous unmitigated praise for HR Owen might have been a little bit premature.

By the time I had got to the customers in Liverpool the Beemer was struggling to even manage 25mph. It was clearly on the way out. The AA man who turned up was very friendly but when he plugged his box of tricks into the car it reported that there were no faults. Clearly it was lying. So there was no option but to arrange a hire car to get me home. Given that the trip back from Liverpool is around 220 miles I was hoping for something equivalent to my current car - so my heart sank a little bit when this gaudy Astra coupe came round the corner.


Despite looking a bit boy racer the 1.8 16v SRi was certainly quite fast. Being about the size of a roller skate and a similar weight it sure does shift but it doesn't feel quite as sturdy and safe as the BM. Also it is missing some rather nice features like four doors, a sunroof, 6 gears, comfortable seats - not to mention the credibility afforded one travelling in a machine from the Bavarian Motor Works. On the other hand I shouldn't be ungrateful since it got me home in one piece and was a whole lot better than walking.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

But what of poor Beemer,do tell.

Sue

(I'd hate to think a micra was more reliable!!!)

Mr Ports said...

Hi Sue. It turns out that the problem was a collapsed catalytic converter. Sounds painful but a new exhaust fixed it. The car was actually fix on Monday but I didn't have a chance to get to the garage until today because I was staying in Nottingham for a few days. So I actually ended up driving over a thousand miles in the Astra. Not a bad little runner but I'm glad to be back in the big fella.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear all is well.When you only have an elastic band in the engine nothing much can go wrong!

Having said that I had my sporty little micra serviced today(and I bet your service was cheaper)and the best bit was getting the air con serviced :-bye bye 5 years of air con dust mites and WOW what a difference!

Need my little car to get to the cruise terminal to keep up with the type of holiday you Barnes types have/or had pre mortgage.

Take care Sue

Ben Rose said...

"the credibility afforded one travelling in a machine from the Bavarian Motor Works"

Not really much credibility if the air pump AND the cat go in just 36k miles...I hope this was under warranty?

I knew there was a major problem when you said that the seat didn't move back to it's original position after a service.

It's no wonder BMW don't have a high ranking in the old JD Power surveys. Buy a Lexus ;O)

(incidentally, if your car is 3yrs old, it's time to complete a JD Power ownership survey, see the Top Gear website)

Cheers,

Ben