Originally Posted by Sutripta
In my opinion, we are making significant progress.
Till our next group therapy session.
That cannot be the case, surely?
Originally Posted by Jeroen
Yes, it does, hence my question define "best" and how would you measure it? I don't think it's an academic question at all. Because I would think it could lead to an interesting discussion for instance what are the criteria for best, what is the measure of success etc. I don't know for sure, but I would think it could be hugely interesting and entertaining.
So far we know your opinion and I offered mine; I think "best" is in the eye of the beholder so to speak. Depends on what you find relevant. I just don't think there is an absolute "best". If there is, we should be able to define the measurable criteria.
I like reading the various car surveys. This one for instance: http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/ne...-model-results
You could debate the outcome, the measurement, how the survey was conducted, how the respondent got chosen, but if anything it's a huge pile of data/facts.
And usually it doesn't correlate really well with my own thoughts/experience at all. My beloved Ford Fiesta comes in at 73, whilst the (my opinion) ultra boring Volvo 60 comes in at number 8. Oh, and the Skoda Superb is number one!
This surveys goes somewhat beyond our original quest for the 'best' car manufacturer. But read the intro:
The survey of 16,000 car owners in the UK covers 116 models that are between a year and three years old. Only models with more than 4000 sales and 50 clean surveys are eligible for inclusion. In total, respondents had clocked up more than 340 million miles in their cars.
Owners rank their vehicles on 66 criteria, which are grouped to deliver an overall score. Points are accumulated to provide scores for good reliability, performance, service and running costs, which are then expressed as a percentage score.
So I do think it is pretty thorough and representative survey and you could argue that it represents the overall "best" within the various limitations of the survey.
Compared to my own experience/opinion is the outcome of this survey good or bad? Neither, it just illustrates my point that "best" is not an absolute, but is highly personal.
So, if anything I'm trying to drive the discussion.
Fair point - what makes a car 'best' in my opinion? Mmm, let me think a little...
Well, asking me to define this with respect to motor cars is quite possibly impossible, in that it would require multiple explanations of what I appreciate in so many different individual aspects of a car, then multiple explanations of combinations of qualities and so on ad infinitum/nauseam!
It's not as if most of my posts are a couple of lines long, is it?! From my engine thread you will have gathered I feel an engine is the heart of a car. And that good suspension is a must. Tyres which are fashionably wide, low profile and massive diameter aren't appreciated given my local roads. Same with anti-roll bars. You know all this from my posts on here, of course. My Mercedes is, along with a diesel Golf - soon to be diesel Octavia - the 'boring' car which suits my everyday needs best. They're simple, tough and easy to maintain and repair. Since longer journeys nowadays are by motorway, German suspension doesn't matter too much. (The Mercedes has a CitroŽn sphere setup at the back, which helps the ride and handling.)
More interesting cars for me, which I would consider 'best', would be along the lines of pre-80s Saabs, CitroŽns designed from the 30s to the early 70s and various post-war Alfas. I'll go no further for brevity's sake - there are plenty more cars I really appreciate. I enjoy what I consider pure, honest engineering which is simple and works well. What do I mean by well? Smooth, free-revving engine, suspension which can cope with a wide variety of conditions without disturbing the car's stability, accurate steering which doesn't require constant correction, good cornering with plenty of grip available. Linear handling characteristics are important - so that as you load the suspension and car's structure up towards its limits, it doesn't start to alter its characteristics. The more expensively engineered a car is, in my experience, the more linear are its characteristics. A cheaply engineered car may surprise you with handling and other behaviour which suddenly changes with no warning, the harder you go. (I hear you saying 'Porsche', Jeroen!).
Beyond dynamic abilities and a reasonably interesting engine, character begins to play a part. This is where explanations of 'best' completely disintegrate, since there is no apparent logic. Cars used to all come out of factories a little differently - the same car down the same lines - with tiny differences in engine sweetness, suspension geometries and so on. From year to year different quality materials may have been used to make them. And so on. So after twenty or thirty years, a car which I become captivated by is one with a character which has developed according to its use, original traits, sympathy and care. First I appreciate it, then I may love it. Rebuilt cars which are resprayed and mucked about with I try and avoid - unless done superbly. Originality matters if we're considering character. So often things are put back not quite right, both trim-wise and mechanically when a car is stripped and put back together again.
Years ago I bought a scruffy, well-worn CitroŽn ID20, 1967 vintage. It leaked through the roof until I sealed it and the sills were badly welded, so it was effectively a parts bin in the waiting. The paint was beautifully oxidised, faded and dusty - pale blue - and being the basic version the indicator lamps in the front wings were utterly basic pieces of plastic. Yet there was a beauty to this car, a beauty which allowed the technical masterpiece of the car to be even more apparent. It was not down at heel, or structurally weak - just scruffy. Its running gear was sweet as sweet could be, it would easily hold 100 if you were in a dash and speed humps and other road obstacles were swallowed as if they didn't exist. Journey times were faster than in almost any other car I had at the time, without even trying. The interior was in tatters, but the car oozed character. It could have been rescued from a scrapyard, even.
It had the air of a sleazy French nightclub. Even a Moroccan one. It shouted that I cared more for design, fine engineering and how a car goes than what others think of my machine! It was just so beautifully louche, able to be driven fast yet without attracting attention - and would always start instantly. If someone asked me for my 'best' car yet owned, this would be in the list. Pics from the mid 90s are heavens knows where, best I can find which comes anywhere near is the one below. Imagine dusty, pale blue paint and huge hairy cream seat covers, yellow headlamp bulbs and so on.