Had my first ‘proper’ drive in the Avantime today, and came away mildly impressed. You wouldn’t normally associate the car with my favourite local road, and haunt of evo photographers, the B660, but do you know what – it did very well indeed.
After picking up the car from Scotland, all I’d really learned is that the Avantime’s a good motorway car, well-sealed, comfortable, and surprisingly long-legged. And something else that surprised me – its lumpy ride, and slightly too-firm damping, results in a car that’s a little fidgety at the 70mph UK limit, but which gets better at higher speeds. Not that I’d know, of course.
On the B660, what surprised and impressed me is that this high-sided van with windows just gets on and corners without drama, and although it’s not suffuced with steering feel, never does it feel at sea. And of course, that high driving position commands a great view over the hedges, and on the longer corners – all very confidence-inspiring.
I’m planning a trip to the south of France soon, to stay in my mate Alexander’s place in the medieval village of Puisserguier, in a few days – and I think this car is going to be more than up to the task. Mind you, the near-slick front tyres really need to go first.
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.