Wednesday – Pulling It’s Weight

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Jeremy I’ve always towed boats but this is the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire and that means horseboxes. The ‘Glossy Possy’ who live here aren’t short of a bob or two and you are judged by the size of your horsebox – just like actors always want the biggest Winnebago mobile home on location.

There are no ponies grazing on our lawn but Jessica has owned a few in her time. Her grandfather, Jack, was the youngest member of the British equestrian team at the Berlin Olympics in 1936!

Mitsubishi UK are based just up the road in Cirencester, so hard-working Shoguns and L200’s are as common as muck with the equine set. But they shouldn’t rule out the Outlander, mainly because it has an impressive tow weight of two tons – more than many key rivals.

And with just the front two rows of seats in place, the boot space is massive. Plenty big enough for two or three large dogs, although if you pull out the two third row seats at the rear, luggage capacity is severely  limited.

 

 

Saturday – A Swiss Army Knife Of A Car

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Jeremy My biggest fear about having kids and growing up? Obviously, the thought of driving a people-carrier. Who wants to open the door in the morning and be confronted by a Ford Galaxy or something with seven seats, shaped like a wet sponge and built by Nissan? Me neither.

So the rise of the SUV has been a blessing for us forty somethings. Sorry, fifty somethings, I keep forgetting my recent significant birthday. And judging by the huge number of SUVs on driveways up and down the country, the rest of the car-buying British public feel the same too.

One of the more popular models around these parts is the Mitsubishi Outlander, probably because the company has its UK operations based in Cirencester. Quite frankly, there are loads of them. Waitrose is like a forecourt for the company, so expect a Waitrose special edition Outlander any day soon…

I’m just back from the shops and I can see why. Our GX5 test car is at the top of the range. It’s loaded with equipment, including sat nav, leather seats, adaptive cruise control and the rather neat ECO driving mode. Now I thought this was a bit of a gimmick but it actually works!

Today I have managed 46.1mpg in everyday driving. That’s in a four-wheel drive with the air conditioning on and three people on board. Considerably better than expected – and obviously rather more than the sadly departed Jaguar XKR-S. More tomorrow….

Wednesday – It’s complicated

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Jessica The Swift a little car which feels strangely cavernous inside, particularly as it is covered in acres of grey plastic dashboard trim. The dials, speedo and rev counter are stylish however, it is lost amongst the vast spread of plastic in front of you as you drive.

This is the Sport version but the drive is fraught with comedy revving to get it up to speed. This doesn’t sit well with the idea of a top of the range sporty hatchback. The exterior might lead you to believe you were about to enter into a fun and zippy car.  Sadly not, it is a car that is value for money but I can’t help thinking there is something missing.

Beware of being a passenger ( I would not advise parents to sit with learners!) as it feels a little out of control. A trip into Cirencester for a Hobbs House sandwich and on to see The Great Gatsby left me a little jumpy.  In fact, being a passenger made me feel similar to how a Gatsby passenger might have felt!

The Swift is safe enough to get a teenager on the road at not to0 great a cost and it does have a few fans out there. However, there are too many contradictions for me about the Suzuki.