Jeremy Clarkson - Ford Fiesta

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It’s a mind-blowing car.

    [​IMG]

    Jeremy Clarkson
    From The Sunday Times
    November 30, 2008

    The anti-car lobby can never win its argument until it begins to understand that here in the West the car is not a tool. It is not a white good. It is not an alternative to the bus or the train. We do not buy cars like we buy dishwashers and toasters. It’s not a decision made on cost or practicality and it certainly has nothing to do with the environment. Otherwise everyone would have a Hyundai Accent with a three-cylinder diesel engine. Or a bus pass.

    The reason we don’t is that cars, here, are status symbols, they are penis substitutes, they are cherished members of the family, they are heart-starters, they are art, they are sex, they are glamorous, they are cool, they are something you probably don’t need. But, my God, you want one so badly that it hurts. Giving up your car is like giving up an emotion. It’s like giving up love, or happiness. And that’s why people will sell their children before they’ll sell their wheels.
    However, in what we must now call the developing world, it doesn’t work like that. Cars are not substitutes for empty underpants. They are not glamorous. They are white, made in Korea and really nothing more than vinyl oxen with wheels. Offer anyone in India a transport solution that’s cheaper and more convenient and they’ll bite your hand off. All the way up to your shoulder.

    Working out why this is so does not take much time. It’s because here the car was exciting from the get-go. It was about motor racing and Donald Campbell. It was about glamour and sophistication. Every time you stepped into your Austin Seven you were only a tuned carburettor away from hurtling through Casino Square in Monte Carlo. We’ve always felt — and still do — that the car is a little bit decadent, a little bit Princess Grace. That every single one of them has the soul of Wolfgang von Trips in its carpets.

    This is why, for us, looks are important and speed is more important still. A car stands or falls on the time it takes to get from rest to 60mph. Boys are born in Britain knowing instinctively that a car that does this in four seconds is cool and that one that does it in 18 is rubbish.

    Whereas in places with earthquakes and mud and flies, zero to 60 is irrelevant. And good looks mean that some of the interior space must have been compromised. A Hyundai van with 12 seats and a diesel engine. That’s what gets them going in Nigeria.

    This is because cars did not drip down into the African psyche from Princess Grace and von Trips. They came in sideways, as nothing more than tools to prop up the economy. That’s why no one in Vietnam wants a Lamborghini. It doesn’t have enough seats. It uses too much petrol. The import taxes are too high. The roads are too rough.

    I watched this in action on my recent trips over there. In the course of several weeks, I was driven around by a selection of young men who, had they been from Bolton, would have treated their government-owned vans as though they were touring-car racers. This didn’t happen, though.

    There was one chap — we’ll call him Charlie — who was in charge of a Toyota minivan, which is a Saigon supercar, but not once, ever, did he exceed 1500rpm. He would begin in second and switch immediately to fourth, where we would remain, come what may. He even parked in fourth, which meant the engine was turning over at about one rev per hour. For me the pain was excruciating. I would sit gripping my thighs, grinding my teeth, biting my tongue to stop myself turning to him and saying: “First. For God’s sake, man. First.”

    On the open road, we plodded along at 20, each piston moving up and down as though propelled by continental drift, and the whole cabin shaking itself to death. To begin with I asked politely for him to speed up. But after a day I was on my knees in the footwell, begging.

    He looked at me as though I might be mad. Why speed up? That would place undue strain on the engine, chew expensive fuel and simply mean he’d get to wherever he was going more quickly. And since he was being paid whether he was there or on the way, he obviously couldn’t see the point of hurrying. Certainly he couldn’t see that taking his stupid van to the red line and hanging its tail out in the bends might actually be fun. Spending money on speed is simply not a fun pastime when you earn only £500 a year.

    Charlie, then, would certainly not understand the new Ford Fiesta. “Why does the roof taper like that?” he would ask. “Surely this makes the boot smaller than it need be.”

    This is true. The boot on the new Fiesta could be bigger, but then the outside wouldn’t look so good, and that’s what got under my skin so much. Being a western boy with a disposable income and a love of fine watches, I was bowled over by the styling of this little car. For that reason alone I’d buy one. And that’s just the start.

    For a period, beginning with the booted Escort in about 1992, Ford completely lost the plot. Its cars were ugly, unforgivably from a company that had given us lookers such as the RS 2000, the Mk 3 Escort, the Mk 1 Cortina and even the Zodiac. But worse, they were terrible to drive. It was almost as though the boys from the blue oval had given up.

    Then along came a man called Richard Parry-Jones. He is Welsh. But he was in charge of how the original Ford Focus should drive, and it was he who insisted it was given expensive independent rear suspension. The result was amazing. Focuses were just . . . better.

    Then, shortly afterwards, they employed someone who isn’t Welsh to work on the way Fords look. We saw the fruits of their Biro with the current Mondeo, which is let down only by its familiarity. And we have seen it again with the Fiesta.

    I say again. It is a cracker. And, like the original Focus, it is a cracker to drive as well. Demonstrably better than anything else for the same sort of money.

    Part of that is down to a fine chassis but some of it is also down to the engine. I tried a 1.6, which has twin independent cam shaft timing. The result is a smoothness you simply don’t expect in a car of this type, and 118bhp. That’s eight more than you got from the original Golf GTI.

    Of course, other engines are available, one of which produces such a small amount of carbon dioxide, it’ll kill every plant in your garden. But you won’t pay any road tax. I should also say the range begins at just £8,700, although the model you get for this has the luxuries of a cave.

    My car, on the other hand, had air-conditioning, cruise control, iPod connectivity, leather seats, blue teeth, parking assistance, a heated front windscreen, a trip computer, traction control and privacy glass. In short, everything you would find on a mid-range Mercedes. And yet it cost only £14,970. It’s mind-blowing value.

    It’s a mind-blowing car. Yes, you can get a roomier Far East box for less, and you would do just that if you lived in a house made from bamboo. But you don’t. And because none of your children has ever been eaten by a crocodile, believe me, this is one of those cars that tick and tickle every one of your western boxes.

    It’s sensible. It’s well priced. It’s much more comfortable and quiet than you have any right to hope for in this part of the marketplace, and because it’s made by Germans, it’s well bolted together too. But most important of all, it’s so much more than a tool. So much more than a white good. It’s fun. And as a result, I shall do an unusual thing and award it five stars.

    THE CLARKSOMETER

    [​IMG]

    Clarkson’s Verdict: Ooh, you little beauty

    [​IMG]
     
  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  3. Mr J

    Mr J New Member

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    my old fiesta was pretty nice :o
    mk5 zetec-s

    enjoyed that car
     
  4. PooP

    PooP New Member

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    Hopefully it does well here
     
  5. nuclear

    nuclear OT Supporter

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    Decent car for the money.
     
  6. Seeker

    Seeker Brofessional OT Supporter

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    I was really excited when I heard we were getting it, but I can't wait that long. :hs:

    I think this and the Focus will be a hit.
     
  7. midnite

    midnite OT Supporter

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  8. nicklol

    nicklol Nu OT Supporter

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    I wonder if this is going to be better than the Cobalt or Aveo replacement
     
  9. Bona Fide

    Bona Fide Guest

    After watching this past week's Top Gear, I want this car so badly.
     
  10. Bona Fide

    Bona Fide Guest

    It's coming next spring, right?
     
  11. aznboi320

    aznboi320 OT Supporter

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    i love his review :bowdown: :rofl:
     
  12. Seeker

    Seeker Brofessional OT Supporter

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    Nope, 2010 as a 2011 model. :wtc:
     
  13. Seeker

    Seeker Brofessional OT Supporter

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    The Cruze looks really good too. It'll be a tough call.
     
  14. More&Faster

    More&Faster New Member

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    i'm really glad they're bringing it to the states. the top gear review was awesome :bowdown:
     
  15. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey OT Supporter

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    blue teeth :rofl:
     
  16. Bona Fide

    Bona Fide Guest

    Fucking hell...this could be the car to turn them around and they're waiting 2 more years?
     
  17. BumbleBeeTuna

    BumbleBeeTuna excuse me, your balls are showing OT Supporter

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    [y]syD-h-vfvlQ[/y]
     
  18. Seeker

    Seeker Brofessional OT Supporter

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    I think they're busy with building the factory that will produce it. Same for the Focus.
     
  19. Bona Fide

    Bona Fide Guest

    I was laughing the whole time during this segment :rofl::rofl::rofl:

    Corvette getting pwned hard.
     
  20. Left

    Left Lakers Fan For Life!

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    Ford seems to be in a much better situation than the other big two. I'd rather give Ford my money for NOT taking bailout money than GM or Chrysler begging for MY money.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    What are blue teeth and why should my car have them?

    I wish it was coming sooner but that may be around the time I'm looking for a car, so go me. :x:
     
  22. yonson

    yonson OT sux... OT Supporter

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    That review on Top Gear was :bowdown:
     
  23. lawnboy

    lawnboy Robert DeNigro

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    is the US version going to be made in the UK or US?

    also....clarkson reviews are always :mb:
     
  24. Nonphixion

    Nonphixion New Member

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    To hook up your cellphone to.

    edit: are you OP btw?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  25. Seeker

    Seeker Brofessional OT Supporter

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    Building it in the US will mean pricing ftw, unlike the Saturn Astra.
     

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