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It's all a load of bollocks, quite frankly

Dodgy Accent – Another car purchase

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A car at a car wash

I suddenly found myself without a car. The thing is I ended up selling the 205/family pet and that all happened rather quickly. Reasons? It was in too good condition to keep using everyday, needed a teeny bit of TLC to make it perfect but more importantly I was getting worried about someone denting it wherever I parked it. Something that hit home when it was bashed twice in one week whilst doing the nursery run. I decided to sell it and replace it with something that I really don’t mind parking anywhere. I put it up on evilBay expecting the usual “OMG WILL U TAK 30 QUID 4 IT N MY SISTER? WIL COLCT 2NITE” mongs that eBay seems to breed. Thankfully, none of that happened but the previous owner I bought it from contacted me and wanted it back. Within a day he’d bought it and driven it off.

So, armed with a small budget and a large mug of tea, I went on Autotrader, Scumtree and eBay to look for a set of wheels. Ideally, I was looking for something Italian, well looked after and cheap to run – what I really wanted was a Panda, Punto or Uno, but they’re all few and far between these days. I wasn’t prepared to travel very far to get a car, so most of the Pandas and Puntos I’d seen were too far away. I’d ruled out Fiestas and Polos on account of them being shit, so I began looking at Peugeots, Renaults and Nissans. All the Nissans were rusty, the Peugeots too expensive but there was a little Clio that looked rather tidy in the pictures. I knew where it was parked so I went to have a quick look before contacting the seller, did my usual checks and ended up walking away with a bit of the rear wheel arch, so I walked away. I then saw another car on evilBay, went and had a look at it and chucked in a sly bid. I ended up winning the auction the same day and picked it up two days later.

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Prince really sang about a Little Red Accent

So what is it?
It’s a Hyundai Accident 1.3i something or other. It’s that low in the Accent range that it doesn’t actually have a trim level designation. It’s not the car I envisaged buying, but it was pretty much given away, has tidy bodywork (albeit with some paint fade in places) and the interior is unmarked. More importantly, it came with a full twelve months MoT and six months tax. Wear and tear stuff has already been done including the timing belt, clutch, tyres and a recent full service so other than putting petrol in it and insuring it, I shouldn’t have to spend any money on it any time soon (in theory anyway). Under the bonnet is incredibly clean with just enough dirt to not make me suspicious. Boot floor is clean and traces of any rot under the carpet. I’m the fourth owner in fourteen years and it has just clicked over to 44,000 miles.

It’s the most basic of basic cars and one that years ago I would have dismissed as nothing more than disposable white goods. To think that, though, kind of misses the point. True, this car is miserable in every way with a body that looks like a cheap knock-off Astra/Escort, equipped with an interior formed from many, many different shades of grey. Its most redeeming feature is that it has no redeeming features whatsoever. But as far as a design brief goes, it does everything a car should do. It’s not something that I can get particularly enthusiastic about, and I very much doubt that if it gets to 27 years old, people will be looking at it with the affection as they did my 205. Still, it’s an honest, unpretentious little car and for that reason it has a certain charm.

How does it drive?
Erm, yes, this will be brief. Okay, so its equipped with a responsive 1.3 12v engine that develops somewhere in the region of 85bhp. 0-62 is rumoured to take 12.8 seconds and it tops out at 108mph. Respectable figures for a basic 1.3 shopping trolley, but none of which I have bothered to test. Handling? Yes it nearly handles. Steering? Yes, it has got steering. Brakes? Got those as well. They work. Gear change? There is a lever in the middle of the floor that allows you to change gear. To be fair, it does everything asked of it and it’s very easy to drive, just doesn’t have any pizzazz. All the controls are very light and easy to use.

Fifty shades of misery

Fifty shades of misery

It is comfortable and the ride is pretty good, but after wafting about on French suspension for nearly two years (that 205 really rode well) it doesn’t quite live up to that, but then modern French stuff doesn’t either. Driving position is pretty good.

So, to do an Auto Express (I feel dirty at the mention of those two words mentioned together) conclusion, here’s the plus and minus points.

For:
– Seats not made from plastic
– Has an engine
– Has doors to keep you closed in. Novel feature, this.
– Has a gear lever, pedals, handbrake, suspension and a steering wheel to aid driving.

Against:
– Uninspiring to drive
– Interior plastics made out of plastic
– Plastics have been used in some places inside the car
– Plastic used in the boot area of vehicle
– Plastic used in some places where plastic would be used, and the quality of the plastic used in these areas where plastic is used is a bit plastically
– Uninspiring plastics

My summary is it’s a pleasant enough car with no redeeming features at all, isn’t particularly entertaining to drive but at least is easy to drive, it’s likely to be reliable and economical. It’s a bit shite and it’s a miserable little thing and do you know what? I really rather like it. It’ll never compare with the 205 it replaced, but then to be honest nothing will. Unless I buy that 205 back in a couple of years.

April 27, 2014 Posted by | Motoring | Leave a comment

   

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