How to annoy Ferrari drivers in a Tesla Model X

The Model X’s best bit is also its biggest problem. Those gull-wing doors that turn heads whenever the rear seats are required just don’t work as good as they look.

Apart from findlng the right spot to press on the the rather fiddly, ‘Tesla-shaped’ fob, the doors that fly simply don’t open fast enough. And once you’ve got over the wow factor, it’s annoying.

So much so that I took to piling some shoppping bags in the rear via the front doors. I guess you get used to it but after four days I’m struggling.

Some front seat passengers didn’t ‘get’ the windscreen that reaches far back into the roof. They complained that in bright sunlight, the heavily tinted glass didn’t work well enough. Personally, I love the feeling of space and being able to see the clouds.

I also giggled at being able to burn off a Ferrari from the traffic lights. Although to be fair, being a Ferrari driver, he was probably admiring himself in the vanity mirror.

Still loving the Tesla. If only Elon Musk could build a car we could all afford…

 

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Tesla Model X – the coolest car I’ve driven in years, and it’s good too

I love a big V8. The sound, the rumble – the drama. If I was buying a car tomorrow that’s what I’d choose – Something seriously meaty that I probably couldn’t afford.

The problem is, the Model X is so much cooler than anything I have driven in a long time. The Lambos, the Porsches, nothing makes me feel smugger than this Tesla.

I’ve just driven back from interviewing explorer Levison Wood in central London. The Tesla is made for this type of urban gig but it’s what the Model X did outside of the capital that impressed me.

Sure, the Range Rover Sport and BMW X5 handle better, the Volvo XC90 T6 hybrid is quite fast too and looks smart but the Model X just raises the bar soooo much higher.

I can’t deny the price is whopping – with a few extras it easy tops £100,000. The gull-wing rear doors aren’t quick enough and I still keep a constant eye on the range calculator.

But this is still a super comfortable, seven-set machine that carries six in total comfort. The enormous iPad-style screen is simple to use and , well, I’ll stop gushing now and try to find one reason why you shouldn’t buy this instead of a Land Rover/BMW/Mercedes…

Fiat 500X 1.6 Multijet 120hp Cross

Fab styling, great interior – the 500X looks a smart buy. Based on the top-selling 500 supermini, it has the pedigree and chic to be a massive hit. Along the same lines as the Mini Countryman but cheaper, the Fiat is available with either two or four-wheel drive. Our 1.6 diesel Cross is near the top of the range at £21,055 but you could opt for the faster 1.4 Multiair or 2.0 diesel version which both cost even more. 0-60mph is dispatched in a modest 10.5 seconds but the economy is an impressive 68.9mpg (combined). A puffed up handbag or a serious crossover car? Join us for a week to find out…

SUV = silly useless vehicle

Look, I know we all have different tastes and needs when it comes to cars but I am struggling to understand why anybody would want to pay £23,000 for a compact SUV.

I live in the country and my ancient Land Rover hasn’t engaged full four-wheel drive in three years. Sometimes I long to get stuck in a snow drift but global warming seems to have put pay to that.

All-wheel drive cars like th Fiat 500X are great for surefooted exiting of a junction in the wet. It’s reassuring to know that your BMW has X Drive to cross sleeping policemen when it rains.

But really, if you passed a driving test then what the cluck do you really need four driven wheels for, unless you are retarded in the gear department.

So adding all-wheel drive to the cute little Fiat 500 and then bastardising the bodywork to make it look butch is akin to drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa.  Pointless.

I can’t say the 500X is bad at anything, apart from being rather dull to drive compared to a bin lorry. And in our Bank Holiday test car guise it really is £23k to own.

Please think long and hard before you buy an SUV because I bet you don’t really need one…

The sweet, non-threatening Fiat 500X…

We’ve had the summer off at Car Couture, driving a Lamborghini Huracan across the USA. Fun? Yes but actually quite stressful on American roads often designed for tractors.

So to get home and find a sweet, none threatening 500X on the drive is actually quite refreshing. Let’s face it, nobody is going to try and race me in a mini SUV or video my every move on a cell phone.

Somehow the 500X has passed me by, until now. I rather wish Fiat had sent a more zippy 1.4-litre turbo petrol but most people will probably opt for diesel unit.

I know it’s going to serve up masses of economy but the Multijet sounds a bit agricultural by comparison. It’s a harsh ride too but I’m already warming to the tiny Fiat…

RIP Combustion engine? Time to drive old disgracefully…

It’s all over the media this morning – the death of the combustion engine. Everybody’s talking about it, the fact that diesel and petrol cars will be banned in the UK from 2040.

Massive news but we all saw it coming. There were enough warnings but it still sounds rather shocking if you like the sound of a V8. What is a petrolhead to do, I wonder?

It’s odd to think that my friend’s baby daughter will probable never drive a petrol or diesel powered car. Instead, she will be whisked to 60mph in silence – assuming autonomous cars will have already sucked the joy from motoring.

I know we have to change to save the planet but I can’t help feeling pangs of sadness and regret. Today I’ll be thinking about the first time I drove an Aston Martin, roaring through the Alps in a Maserati – and ripping up a racetrack in the Caterham Seven.

We have 23 years left to enjoy mad, ‘bad’ combustion cars and I for one intend to drive old disgracefully…

McLaren 570S Spider vs Caterham Seven. No contest? Read on…

Just back from driving the new McLaren 570S Spider in Barcelona. The mountain roads are sensational – the Spider a dream to sling fast into a bend. It costs £165,000 but would I really swap one for a back-to-basics Caterham 7?

Well, the way I see it, most people would choose the McLaren every time. It’s a genuine supercar, with a heritage to match the Caterham. It’s six times the price and you can even complete a phone call with the top down.

The Seven doesn’t even have a radio. You wouldn’t hear it anyway. This anniversary special model isn’t that quick either and just climbing inside with the roof in place requires yoga classes at my age.

Yet, there is something pure about the driving experience in the Caterham. Minus the carbon cermaic brakes, the driver aids and the three dynamic driving modes of the 570S.

I’m a huge fan of the McLaren but there are so few places to push a supercar to the limit these days, there’s actually more enjoyment to be had in a Caterham on British roads than the 570.

Think I’m wrong? Well, the McLaren is an experience – a dream car. The Caterham reminds me of a 1950s go-kart. But the fact it thills just as much for a sixth of price must tell you something…