Last post on Sep 11, 2008 at 3:58 AM
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#1 of 55 The Test Drive That Shattered Your Dream
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 08, 2008 (6:14 pm)
Have you ever had this experience? I sure have.
I get all excited over the hype, reviews, magazine articles, Internet "buzz" that I'm hearing about a new or near-new car.
Finally I work out a way to get a *real* test drive, where I can take my time and really work the car. (something more than around the block). Shoot, I might even think about buying the darn thing!
And then..........WHAT a disappointment!!
I'm shocked. I'm speechless. How can the reality be so different than the hype? It is ME?!!
I turn in the keys and I don't even WANT to start negotiating. I don't want the car at any price.
I'd like to hear your story. I'm interested to know what you were expecting, and why it was so different from what you experienced. I'll share mine as well a bit later on.
Do you think if you had heard NOTHING about the car, you would have been more forgiving?
Who or what do you blame for this dis-connect?
Did it take a while for the "truth" (subjective truth, of course) to sink in, or did you know right away that this was not the car for you?
#2 of 55 Re: The Test Drive That Shattered Your Dream [Mr_Shiftright]
Aug 09, 2008 (3:43 am)
Back in the 90's I was interested in the Acura Integra Type R which seemed to promise keen handling and plenty of power but I found it a bit underwhelming during a test drive, it seemed only little faster and no more visceral than my wife's '85 Prelude (a very nice handling car in it's own right.) I found the brakes did not have the "don't worry you're gonna stop NOW" feel of my Saab's brakes.
I was expecting an updated VW Rabbit GTI but it felt more like a Prelude Si hatchback....disappointing to say the least.
#3 of 55 Re: The Test Drive That Shattered Your Dream [andys120]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 09, 2008 (8:30 am)
I think it took a while for Japanese cars to develop that "keen-ness" that we find in the German cars, if they ever really got it. This is why, apparently, Japanese cars are modified so enthusiastically and why the aftermarket is so strong for these cars.
My "shattered dream" was when the Audi TT Coupe became available in the USA. Yeah, I know, these days it's a somewhat forgotten car, but back in 1996-1997 there was a LOT of buzz, and, to be fair, many styling cues of the TT are found in today's cars (the window "arc line" front to rear, the satin-finish knobs and switches, that "future-tech" interior trim---all comes from the TT).
ANYWAY I took one for a test drive and while it was "okay" I was not prepared for the dead spot in the steering coming off neutral into left or right. I was expecting BMW level of precision here. Also I didn't find the car all that fun to drive, and the exhaust note was underwhelming.
I wanted a sports coupe ala Porsche Cayman but what I was driving was a kind of mini-GT car. It was like a German Toyota Celica.
I never drove another one again, or even looked at one. I'm sure owners like 'em, and they are just fine for what they do, but not for me, that's for sure.
#4 of 55 Chrysler Crossfire
Aug 11, 2008 (5:27 pm)
Very sexy looking; Mercedes-based; Chrysler-prices. What's not to like?
But on the testdrive, I couldn't fit in the car. Too tall to see out the windshield.
#5 of 55 Re: Chrysler Crossfire [lokki]
Aug 12, 2008 (4:34 am)
Wanted my girlfriend to consider a new Chrysler 300, but when she test drove it she said she couldn't see out of it due to the narrow windows and thick pillars.
#6 of 55 It didn't really shatter my dream...
Aug 12, 2008 (6:30 am)
but the first time I sat in a 1973-77 era GM intermediate as an adult, it just didn't seem as roomy inside as I thought they'd be! About 7 years ago, a local park and sell lot had a '76 LeMans coupe for sale, and it looked good from a distance. Unfortunately, not so good up close. I just remembered sitting behind the wheel and thinking that it seemed no better inside than my '68 Dart...a car that was marketed as a compact!
I think the biggest killer though was when I started it up and immediately thought...that doesn't sound like no V-8! Turns out it just had a Chevy 250-6 under the hood. I guess 0-60 in a car of that bulk would've been around 20 seconds?
Anyway, it wasn't enough to turn me off to that type of car. A few years later, I found another '76 LeMans. It just happened to be in much better shape, had a 350-4bbl V-8 that fixed most of my acceleration worries, and has a power seat that can contort into almost obscene positions, so it gives me the legroom I need.
#7 of 55 Re: Chrysler Crossfire [lokki]
Aug 12, 2008 (7:29 am)
I had the same experience in a SLK55 AMG. Not long ago a local high end used car lot had one that looked like a good deal, I was bored and stopped to look at it. I was just too tall to fit properly, the top of the windshield was an issue and I had the seat all the way back too.
#8 of 55 Re: Chrysler Crossfire [lokki]
Aug 12, 2008 (7:50 am)
"...I couldn't fit in the car..."
I too was intrigued by the Crossfire. Liked the looks. Like you I was worried about fitting into it (6'2" 225 pounds). Just managed to fit inside.
The big turn-off was power. 215hp just didn't give it enough guts to make it worth the 30K plus they were orgionally going for. The SRT version was much better but so far out of my range I couldn't consider it.
I was also turned-off by the cramped feeling of the Altima Coupe and the handling and power of the 6-cyl. Mustang.
#9 of 55 A common thread
Aug 15, 2008 (12:00 pm)
Seems that many of us have been disappointed by a convertible or sports car. My story is the same.
I'm a big fan of Saturn - the family has had 5 of them, total - so I was particularly interested when the Saturn Sky was released. First time I saw one in the showroom, I had to sit in it.
Yep, you guessed it - too tall (even though I'm just a fraction shy of 6'). I was looking directly into the windshield header. Plus, the steering wheel didn't adjust high enough, so everything between about 9:30 and 2:30 on both the speedo and tach were obscured.
#10 of 55 Re: A common thread [michaell]
Aug 15, 2008 (12:05 pm)
I'm actually disappointed with most modern convertibles. Between the high beltlines, thick roof pillars, windshield header right in your face, etc, I swear I get a more out-in-the-open feeling driving my old pickup truck!
Even with the top down, it still feels like they're trying to cocoon you in, away from the outside world.