Sunday – A Clear Round

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The car park at Gatcombe Horse Trials today was a mass of four-wheel drives and Volvo estates. So turning up in a Peugeot 208 with a large dog in the back raised a few eyebrows. I like to think it was because the GTi is so new on the market that it still has the novelty factor.

Fortunately, it was ‘hard going’ in the car park field, as I’m not sure the 208 has enough ground clearance to get over the rough stuff. Next week Car Couture is testing the new 2008 crossover, which would really be more at home among the mass of Land Rovers and 4x4s on display.

Driving to Gatcombe at least made my mind up on one point – the 208 GTi really is perfect for the sweeping corners of the Cotswolds. It sits squat and firm on the road, with minimal body roll and excellent brakes. Only the extra firm sports seats seem a little too harsh for comfort at times.

And while the GTi really isn’t about practicalities, I should add that the 208 has a decent sized boot, plus lots of cubbyholes and storage spaces. A nice touch is a pair of USB ports in the centre console – much more sensible than a single slot in this multimedia age.

Tuesday – Animal Attraction

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Jeremy  It’s taken a week of head scratching but I’ve finally decided what creature the Suzuki Swift Sport reminds me of. It’s a very friendly bee.

The combination of looks and zippy performance fit perfectly – it fair buzzes along on a country road and those twin exhaust pipes give off a raspy little roar when you slip down a gear and pick the revs up.

So what do other cars look like? Well, the VW Scirocco is definitely a Ninja Turtle and the Bugatti Veyron resembles a koala bear head on. Sadly, from the front, the excellent BMW 5 Series does resemble a hippo. Didn’t somebody in design see that one coming?

The old Fiat Multipla was always a duck-billed platypus, the Peugeot 208 a very angry shark, while the Lotus Elise was entirely designed on the front of an angry wasp. Of course, VW capitalised on the whole idea many years ago of course. The Beetle was, and still is shaped liked a Beetle…