I know it sounds daft but, after spending months sorting out my Saab 9000 Aero, I’m thinking of moving it on. Not because I want to, of course – but, in these tough times, driving a car that pushes out around 300bhp for what these days seems to be a short commute to the office and back seems like an unreasonable luxury considering I also have my V8-powered Polski-Rover SD1 to play with.
It also might seem a little illogical to consider waving goodbye to my Saab after rescuing it – windscreenless – from a field in Somerset, but there you go. Needs must, though, and having more than one high maintenance thoroughbred on the fleet is never going to work… and getting rid of the Rover is not an option at the moment.
OK, so, with that tough decision made, what should I replace the Saab with?
Funnily enough, my initial thoughts aren’t with the economical supermini or newer hot-hatch, but with a middle-aged saloon. After driving around in a JDM Honda Accord (1997, I think) while in New Zealand, I did start thinking about something like this. A boring sensible and ultimately competent saloon that does what it says on the tin without offending anyone.
You can’t, of course, find one of these in the UK, so its Euro equivalent must be high on the list but, as we all know, the 1990s Accord was pretty much identical to the Rover 600 under the skin, so the Cowley car must be a consideration. Mind you, I’m bored of de-rusting cars, so it would need to be a good one.
Other considerations include the Nissan Primera – a vastly underrated car in my book – but the Mk1 model is the one for me and finding one of those now is getting very difficult indeed. Then there’s the Avensis, which shows that the British can build an utterly bullet-proof car. Finally, from the Eurozone, there’s the Peugeot 406 and Citroen Xantia which, although not being quite as reliable as their Japanese-badged counterparts, more than make it up in the driving pleasure stakes.
There you are then – a boring four- or five-door saloon with plenty of life left in it please. Sorry, but I guess that’s where we’re at right now.
Any other suggestions?
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.