Steve Cropley: Where are all the really fancy little cars? Car News

This week, Cropley gets a push in his Dacia but wonders why it’s still not his ideal wheelset. Later, some fantastic customer service elements make his day, before he reflects on the weird pleasure of preparing the Autocar Awards issue.


Drifting today in my new Dacia Sandero Stepway, having recently returned a Bentley Bentayga, I am overcome with the feeling that despite the opposing excellence of these cars, no one has yet built me ​​the ideal wheelset. Or got closer. What I want is a really refined, fairly tall, four-meter-long hatchback that has good handling and a smooth ride, whether lightly or fully loaded, and generates an absolute minimum of wind and tire noise. I don’t need high performance (just enough) but my priority is to avoid the oppressive noises of the wind and tires so that I can clearly hear the stereo when riding on typical UK surfaces . Anyway, I need a much smaller Range Rover. I know such a vehicle would be considered very expensive for its size, but like a growing number of drivers, I have come to see compactness as an asset. Why do we have to buy in bulk to get capacity?


After I woke up, a few fantastic customer service elements made my day worrying in two ways. First, despite extensive internet searches, I was still missing the right electrical connector for a trailer that I was about to pull halfway through England. Second, after spending too much time unnecessarily listening to music on the phone, I had failed to purchase adequate insurance for the vehicle (a motorcycle) I had to transport. Within an hour, the problems were gone.

In an unlikely branch resembling a Halford fortress buried in a parking lot in Stroud, near my home, a confident and knowledgeable woman behind the counter instantly found me the gadget I needed for £ 6.95. Then I boldly gave up my usual insurer for another advertising “specialty service”. After five minutes of cheerfully passing out essential details, a nice guy called James had arranged the blanket I needed. A 240 mile trip then went off perfectly, with the Sandero on-board computer producing just over 50 mpg. The rest of the day was all smiles.


It has been a strange pleasure for us at Autocar to prepare this annual issue of awards. The fun part is because we think it’s an important part of Autocar’s mission to recognize and praise the top performers in the automotive industry. The weird part is that we’ve done a lot of this year’s reporting remotely instead of meeting the winners face to face. I would like to say that it was difficult, but it is not. We have all adapted and are quite proud of the result. Hope you enjoy it too.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-09 05:01:25

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