MONDAY - Who’d choose a boxy, 67bhp, three-cylinder Japanese car for a 400-mile round trip, London to Deeside, if more powerful options were available? I would, if the car were decent.
The choice this time was a Suzuki Celerio, one of which will soon join our long-term fleet, as well as starring in next week’s road test. Ahead of these verdicts, let’s just say the Suzuki is compact, willing, cheerful and unpretentious. And it has perfect brakes, before you ask.
Finding reasons for liking affordable small cars is easy. Important to me is that they let you opt completely out of the ‘testosterone challenge’ that colours every yard you drive in an Audi R8 or BMW M3.
Another plus is the ability to zip unhindered through gaps small enough to stop even a Ford Focus. But this Suzuki’s most beguiling quality is its sheer willingness.
There’s something life-affirming about attacking a long gradient at 5000rpm and 70mph in fourth and discovering how gamely the little engine will carry that speed right to the top. Weird though this may sound, in a car five times the price and power, you’re only faintly impressed when it crests the same hill going 50mph faster.
WEDNESDAY - Very impressed with car bosses of the UK, who came out fighting in a central London meeting today in support of the cause of cars with diesel engines.
They’re already selling super-clean Euro 6 diesels despite the fact that new regs don’t force them to do so until September. If you read the Sunday papers, you’ll know that, as a type, diesels have been tarred and feathered recently, principally because, according to academic research, their particulates and nitrogen oxide emissions are deemed to be “killing our children”.