I can’t help but compare our 911 to the Jaguar XKR-S we tested earlier this year. While the Big Cat has a much bigger engine, the Porsche feels more refined, agile and surefooted on the road – probably thanks to its smaller body dimensions and the addition of four-wheel drive.
For some reason, I’ve also found the 911’s seven-speed manual gearbox a bit tiresome around town. It’s not just the heavy clutch but using sixth gear and has become a bit of a struggle for me. I can only describe it as similar to looking for the gate to a reverse gear – tricky at high speed!
I thought the seventh gear would be fairly redundant in a car like this but you can cruise along a congested A-road in top gear with the engine still responding to the slightest tweak. A remarkable engine, it’s barely audible at cruising speeds, even with the sport exhaust in operation.
There still hasn’t been a chance to lower the hood, every time the sun comes out today it seems to be followed by a cloudburst! The acoustics of the hood are so good, I’ve almost forgotten this is a convertible…
It’s slightly off-putting that a car I enjoy driving as much as the Forester suffers from a problem I’ve discovered in other vehicles recently – a poor quality key.
I know nobody actually uses a key in the conventional sense anymore, you just press a button. However, you really have to know the three buttons on the Subaru key intimately if you are going to avoid a frustrating game of ‘press the key’ every time you try to get in.
The symbols on the buttons are so small, it’s really difficult to decipher which one does what. And with the nights closing in, it’s easy to mistakenly press unlock, rather than boot open or just lock!
The problem would be eased by the buttons being illuminated. They are not. Yes I do have poor eyesight but I would imagine a good 50 per cent of Forest drivers wear glasses too.
Sometimes it’s the silly little problems that annoy car owners the most and this is one problem that would be so simple to solve too…
Jeremy It’s a little known fact that Jessica has an issue with car manuals. Being a fashionista, it’s not the way they look, the fabric manufacturers use on the cover or the feel of the material, it’s more about why we have car manuals in the first place.
Flicking through the RXH manual together this morning, I could feel the argument about to surface again. She believes that all instructions should simply be available online – and that we should tap in via our smartphones or laptops.
This would not only save a small forest of trees (have you seen the size of car manuals these days?) but free up space in the glovebox. It would also provide dedicated manuals for each model. For example, the RXH manual is really just the same as a standard 508 estate handbook and therefore, extra complicated. It’s the same for most cars these days. You very rarely get a manual that is specific to your car.
So, while I think part of the joy of owning a new car is sitting in the driver’s seat and digesting endless pages of dashboard trivia, her argument does have some weight, provided you own a smartphone of course.
I have to agree with her that the RXH manual isn’t the easiest to navigate. I’ve certainly struggled with the DAB radio instructions, operating the tailgate and adjustment to the head up display screen. But imagine life without car manuals – what else would a man do on a Sunday morning…?