I’m sitting here, writing to you feeling very uncomfortable. Unfortunately the cause of this is not the after effects of a ‘Big Mac’ McDonalds meal I ate for my review (which will appear soon) of the Winchester store a couple of days ago. And nor is this feeling of immense pain the resultant cause of a new pair of jeans I recently bought – I have loosed the belt to facilitate actually living. No, it is something far more important than that. My conscience dictates me to take back my comments of the new Vauxhall Astra.
Back in January, when the new Astra was launched, I was very quick – too quick, my conscience says – to jump and attack it. I said accurate – sorry, cruel – things such as the Astra was “far too reasonable” and that it “has the task of saving Opel/Vauxhall” all in one sentence. I expressed my disappointment that the new Astra was just another addition to an already flooded sector, and, dear Lord, I brutally said “it looked like a sawn-off Vauxhall Insignia”. I eventually came to the decision that the Astra was a luke-warm effort and would not sell very well. It was too reasonable for the British consumer. Too boring.
However, the British public decided that they did not agree with me, for they went out and bought them in their droves. You lot bought more new Astras than any other car in the month of June 2010 – even more than the Focus and the Golf of which I urged you to buy.
The same goes for the Jaguar’s new XJ. When this car was first launched sometime this year, I said it’s “bottom was far too large” and “the new XJ won’t sell very well”. Wrong. The new XJ is now the leader for car sales in the luxury car sector, thrashing the Germans and making me look a total twit.
But, as many of you will know, one of my very favourite cars is the Citroen C6. I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but you would simply have to be without eyes to say the C6 is not gorgeous. Its flowing lines and curved rear window are simply divine to look at, its ride is unquestionably perfect, and, in 3.0 litre petrol V6 trim, not embarrassingly slow either. Buy one in black and you own, quite possibly, the best car on sale in Britain today.
So, guess how many C6s Citroen have sold in the UK since 2005 – eh? 17000? 18000? 10000 if you were being really harsh?
700 sheer works of art Citroen have managed to sell. Only 700! What is wrong with all of you?
And this brings me neatly onto the new Citroen C4; the replacement for the fantastically eccentric old C4. Now the old one had such novelties such as a fixed hub steering wheel. It also had a driver’s seat that, if you crossed your lane’s white line on the motorway, started to vibrate to alert you of your dangerous driving. In three-door coupe spec, the C4 look stonking, and world rally driver, Sebastian Loeb, loved his C4 so much that he took one to six World Rally Championship titles. Here Citroen had made a car that made the Vauxhall Astra seem like a 1960s vacuum cleaner. I loved it.
So, you’re probably thinking, the new C4 looks like a Bugatti Veyron and possesses gadgets like heat-seeking missiles and an ice-cream making machine under the front passenger seat. Errmm….no. This new one has done without any exciting gadgets and, by the looks of it, has gone without any exciting looks. We are told it will come in a range of petrols and dreary diesels, and will have a more up-market interior to compete against the Volkswagen Golf, and will be garnished with handling to rival the Ford Focus. But it looks sad. Where’s the eccentric Gallic drama?
In essence, I hate this car. But, seeing as though what ever I say makes no impact on the buying habits of the British public, I have made a simple but effective conclusion which I can return to if this car ever becomes popular.
Delete where applicable:
I love / hate the new Citroen C4.
I admit that the new Citroen C4 is a wonderful / woeful car.
I know everything / nothing.
For more of James, visit www.batchelorblog.wordpress.com