Friday Top 5: Reasons why a car is fun to drive
Owning a car for some people is about getting from A to B… but there’s more to a car than just that. Here are five reasons why a car is fun to drive.
SOME ASPECTS OF A car are easy to define. Top speed, the 0-100 time, fuel efficiency and towing capacity are all reasonably well objective and measurable. But what about “good looking”, “modern” or the favourite, “fun to drive”? Some people may be content to just say they’ll know it when they see it, but I like to try and quantify the abstract. So, here’s a crack at defining automotive enjoyment:
- Responsiveness – the car has to respond instantly to command. Ever used a laggy computer? No fun at all, just frustration. If the response isn’t close to instant, there can be no fun.
- Challenge – this is perhaps a bit contentious, but for me and may others a large part of fun is the satsifying thrill of mastering a challenge. That is, after all, the basis of all games. Cars are the same, which is one reason manual gearboxes are still popular.
- Soundtrack – the car has to sound cool, maybe not the sheer body-trembling roar of a Ferrari, but at least something you enjoy.
- Cool interior – you spend most of your time around a car inside it, so you have the love the interior. Got to be pleasing to your eye. Sports cars often manage this with a cockpit design.
- Cool gadgets – little love-it things that never get old. That might be a little blip on downshift, the way the car picks up in third gear from low revs, a super-tight turning circle, or an amazing infotainment unit that seems to read your mind. Whatever floats your boat.
I reckon that sums it up, but with one caveat – no spoilers. Just like your partner, there can be no dealbreakers. You might love everything about a person but cannot abide their smoking, or their politics, and it’s the same with cars. It only takes a something tiny to ruin the love, like the tail light design, a notchy gearchange, a noisy airconditioner or an ugly steering wheel. Before a car can be fun to drive, it first has to not irritate.
So that’s my top five. What’s yours?