25th Year anniversary summary!

25 years was 2023 but this is close enough and I passed my test in June 2018 so I think this is fine. Thought a little review might be in order, 70 cars down...

The Prius (#60) was honestly probably the best. The Explorer and the first Capri were possibly the most endearing. Right now I'm hoping the Kuga (#70) is a mix of the Prius and Explorer, it cerainly has some charm, but it's week 1, so plenty of time for disaster.

I think the Vectra was the one I disliked most, which was probably unfair but it just felt really shit and didn't do anything very well. 

So, some STATS:

Most Miles done by me: Actually #1. I did 48k before ramming it in the back of a parked french saloon. Second I believe is #40 the Saab 9-3. Which was very new for me, but I basically hated. It also let me down more than any other that I can remember. Finishing up the top 3 is Woody (#60), which was just a bloody excellent car.

Most Miles total: Pretty obviously #12 240k is a lot. It was still doing fine though.

Longest Ownership: I *thought* a rough tie between the MGF and Woody. Both 3 years or so. My memory won't let me work out how long I had the first Capri but that might be around the same, I think nearer 2 years though. So I checked the exact dates, and Woody was 2 years and 3 days and the MG was 3 years and 4 months. So not that close actually. Still, 4k miles in the MG vs 24k in Woody. Different cars, innit.

Last but not least the big numbers: 

Saab:        13
Citroen:    9
Ford:        6
Renault:   6
VW:         6

Honda:     5
Suzuki:    3
Toyota:    3
Triumph: 3
Kia:         2
Mercedes: 2

Fiat, Ginetta, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mazda, MG, Nissan, Proton, Seat, Skoda, Vauxhall, Volvo: 1.

So far so good. 

Anyway, here's 3 reliable japanese wagons at the same time by way of celebration:

70: 2021 Ford Kuga PHEV



Moved house. Now have a plug on the drive. This was the answer to the conundrum that created. It has heated seats but no sunroof. But also promises to do several miles without turning the engine on. Actually feels similar in spirit to the Prius so far, which is a good thing. We're calling it Steve. Steve Kuga. Yeah, I know.


69: 2018 VW Tiguan 2.0 TDI

Nice! Heated seats, big sunroof, comfy chairs, very likeable. And took us to the South of France and back.
For France!


68: 2016 Renault Megane 1.6 DCi GT



This was actulaly great. Heated bucket seats were more comfy than they looked (although getting in and out was something of an adventure). Really good fun to chuck around, and rapid. Also economical. Very nice, actually. Clutch/DMF had a horrible judder that the dealer couldn't sort due to a parts backlog of "up to 12 months" so eventually swapped before it failed to proceed. Was fun though.


67: 2016 Suzuki Baleno



Was hoping for the Swift but a bit bigger, but the seats were very flat and it felt tinny in a way rthe Swift somehow didn't. Moved on swiftly.

66: 2017 VW Golf SV 1.6 TDi


Seats were nice and comfy but *everything* else was unutterably dreary. Lots of headroom but it was so ponderous and very very slow. An unpleasant surprise.
Moved on much quicker than it did anything else.

65: 2017 Suzuki S-Cross Allgrip 1.4

Ok, take two, swapped the Auris back for this. Big and tall but not that big as still fits on the drive. Bit floatier over bumps but fun. Big sunroof and heated seats... Fingers s-crossed! [/groan]

64: 2017 Toyota Auris 1.2T


Quite new. Chopped in the Swift for this. Slightly bigger, softer sprung and still got 5 years warranty left.
(The swift was doing my back in with it's solid suspension and very very low slung-ness, otherwise brill)

Edit: Went back after a week because it was also doing my back in, as per the Hyundai. 

63: 2018 Suzuki Swift SHVS



Very very very new. Chopped in the i30 for this. Seats comfier. V small and fast and silly.

62: 2016 Hyundai i30 CRDi


Very new. 57k. Fingers crossed.

4 weeks edit: Drivers seat is killing my back to death. 

61: 2012 Renault Megane Coupe DCi - "Gothly"


Denty finally succumbed to age, rust and oil consumption. Gothly discovered mid-pandemic (August 2020) at tame local garage for £bargain.



60: 2008 Toyota Prius T-Spirit "Woody"

Oh! Electrickery!

Quite expensive, full history, no sunroof, 55mpg on day one. Fingers crossed.

Edit: July 2021. Had this over 2 years which is something of a record. 25k @ 51.6mpg overall including some rotten driving conditions, an exhaust ££ and 2 wheel bearings £££. An very good car, will miss.

Would have got a new shape one if they didn't start at about 16 grand.

59: 1994 Renault 19 1.4 RTi

Old, green, lovely. Good lady Dr's first car was a 19, and her favourite colour is green, so couldn't say no.

Squishy of seat. 

58: 2012 Kia Venga 1.6 Petrol Manual

Tall, comfy, easy to get in and out of with my ruined back, massive opening glass roof, cost twice what the Merc did but feels a much shrewder purchase*
. Fingers crossed...

*tempting fate claxon

Update after 15k miles. Bit crap on fuel (37mpg avg?). Otherwise pretty faultless.

Edit 07/2019: Remained basically faultless. Chopped in for the prius after 17500 miles. Averaged a disappointing 36.9mpg over all, but otherwise a very good vehicle.

57: 2005 Mercedes W169 A150

Grave mistake. Expensive to buy, broken (it turned out), no lumbar support at all. Owned for a month, moved on at huge loss. 

55: 2004 Honda Accord 2.0 SE

Stopgap to keep the numbers up as Saably (54) has departed. Bought cheaply, mega miles. 25 miles in, rad needs replacing... Further issues tbc. Nice place to be though. Weird floor mounted accelerator pedal like a BMW or something. Basically means I can't drive below 30mph without kangarooing about like a twat. 


54: 2003 SAAB 9-3 Convertible SE 2.0 Turbo

Bought to replace the MG really, but much more me than any other car I've bought in a long time. Frighteningly tidy with no obvious mechanical maladies (yet)....  (SAAB #13 I think?)

52: Short term Clio 1.2 (8v) Campus

Fetched from London to sell on. Was really really nice, 30k from new, dead basic and charming. 

50: 2006 Megane C-C 1.5DCi

Long-termer! French. Diesel. Sports*Coupe with foldy glass roof. Absurdist economy... 



49: 2001 Honda Civic 1.6 "Denty"

The lovely good lady doctor her indoors' best conveyance. 49% mine. Much drive. Boop boop. Etc. 


44: 2005 Fiat Panda

1.2 Dynamic* with SKYDOME roof. :D Pale yellow. 28k as purchased. 

We'll see... 

Fuelly link 
Flickr album 

42: 2003 Toyota Avensis

Owned by an old person, astoundingly. 52k as purchased. So far so good...
Binned off after 4k in favour of Panda (because Swindon)

41: 198* Ginetta G26

What's not to like? Plastic and brilliant. Of indeterminate vintage. First registered in 1990, but 99% of it definitely older than that.Ragged about for a bit, and sold on due to lack of use.

40: 2006 Saab 9-3 Tid "Sport Wagon"

My dad's old car (his new steed seen lurking behind it). 26k, newer than a baby horse. What's not to like? 

Edit May 2012: Now covered 15k since collecting. Things that have broken so far:
  • Front ARB drop links - replaced with cheapo ones off ebay, then replaced again a month later with genuine SAAB ones which have held out better
  • Windscreen wiper linkage - replaced with "uprated" version off ebay
  • Alternator (horrendous job - much expense) 
  • O/S/F spring (snapped)
New cambelt July 2012. Now done 47k. Less shiny.

Sold March 2013 having covered 61k. Thank god. Was shiny but hateful and rubbish.

Fuelly MPG link 
Flickr Album 

39: 1961 Triumph Herald 1200

A car I knew well 10 years ago. Time hasn't been all that kind to her, but she'll live again, I reckon. Sold on to a better home cos I was never going to get round to it, and it was full of massive spiders.

Many pictures: Flickr set

Circa 2000 with [#6]:

38: 2001 Proton Impian

Unexpectedly brilliant. Bought cheaply from a trader as it was the only thing affordable within walking distance from my house on that day, and I needed a car that day. Was filthy, and had a few issues, now slightly cleaner, and has less issues. Flew through its MOT with grace and poise. Fun to rag about, and hopefully reliable enough, with its mitsubishi drive train. 

37: 2000 Citroen Xsara 1.4

Swapped it for my Felicia, and oh my god what a bag of shit. Nice enough car but it made a god awful noise from somewhere all the time, and then the headgasket went and it boiled over in the middle of Doncaster. Bridged.

36: 2000 Skoda Felicia 1.3 MPi

I loved the idea of this, but by the time I'd got it home (from Scotland) I realised it was absolute shit. Then the head gasket went, so I swapped it for a Xsara, and then the head gasket went on that too. Bonus.

35: 1996 VW Golf 1.6 CL

Not bad this. Shit enough to appeal, despite a few problems which I managed to fix. Needed more stuff doing in time, so I swapped it for a powder blue Skoda Felicia. MISTAKE.

34: 1992 Mercedes 230TE (W124)

Ah, der Panzer. Ace, apart from the fan only worked when the mood took it, and it used LOADS of fuel. Bought basically to collect a bunk bed won on ebay. 

Fuelly MPG link

Flickr set 

33: 2000 Citroen Saxo Desire 1.5D

1.5D Saxo. Quite frugal. Alas, was mostly fucked, from a suspension and steering pov. Swapped for a giant Merc.

32: 1996 Citroen ZX Elation 1.9 TD

In times of trouble: go with what you know. £300 shitter ZX TD. Was battered but ace. Can't remember why I got rid.

31: 1986 VW Golf Driver (LPG)

Wasn't bad, in theory. Suffered from having LPG thrust stright into a non-standard webber carb, with a K&N thingy sat on top, which meant it never ever got warm. Not helped by the previous owner wiring the electric rad fan with some electrical light flex, so that was always on as well. Didn't like it enough to get round to sorting it properly.

30: 1999 Vauxhall Vectra 1.8 SXi (LPG)

I bought this cos it was cheap, gas converted, looked nice, and everyone said Vectras were shite, so I figured I'd like it. 
WRONG. Absolute shit box, horrible in every respect, and hated every second I spent in it. Which unfortunately was quite a lot until I managed to move it on, roughly a day after the V5 in my name came through the post.

Flickr set 

29: 1996 Volvo V40 1.8 (LPG)

Was alright, this. In fact I can't remember why it went now.

28: 1999 Renault Clio 1.2 Grande (LPG)

Poverty spec Clio shitter. 1.2, paper thin, LPG converted. Ran on air. Was ace. Should have kept it, etc etc etc. You know the drill.

Flickr set 

27: 2000 VW Passat 1.8 20v (LPG)

Ran OK but the dash never worked and the suspension did the modern VW fall apart thing in a bit of a rush. LPG kit worked fine, it was mostly everything else that didn't. Fucking big shit-box.

26: 1998 Ford Mondeo 1.8 Verona (LPG)

What can you say? Bit saggy suspension, but apart from that just a bog standard Mundano that you could fill up at 50p a litre. Probably should have kept it.

25: 2000 Nissan Micra 1.0 Temptation

Bought new by my gran who only drove it once a week, then my mum had it after gran died but never drove it, then I had it just to give it some use. Should have kept it. Done less than 20k. Sold to best mate, who recently sold it on.

24: 1998 Ford Explorer 4.0 (LPG)

I fucking loved this. Every journey felt like I was Jack Bauer. It was shit, but it never broke down, and was sold on at a profit when I didn't really have room for it and 2 more sensible cars.

23: 1987 Saab 900i

One day I'll learn I don't actually like the "classic 900" all that much. Not yet though. This was boring, had nowt wrong with it and I never really drove it much.