So, what’s more important to you: the way your car rides or the way it handles?
Are you more concerned about how fast you can turn in to any given corner, how nicely balanced your car feels on or near the limit, and by the amount of feel you can detect via its steering wheel and seats – sometimes even through its pedals – as to the level of grip that’s available at the front and rear axles?
Or is a nice soothing, serene, refined, unhurried ride quality much more your kind of thing? And what exactly is ride quality anyway?
Is it possible, for example, to define categorically whether one car rides better than another – in the same way that you can say car A has better acceleration (to 60mph) than car B because car A can get from 0-60mph in 5sec, whereas car B takes 10sec?
The thing about ride – and handling – is that despite our ability to measure certain aspects of a car’s chassis behaviour, such as its grip, cornering speed and something weird called the circle of friction, it’s actually still a subjective matter when it comes to overall assessment.
Just because driver A likes the way a Citroen 2CV lists to one side through corners, while driver B prefers the more precise approach of a German sports saloon, doesn’t mean that either driver is right – or wrong – in their preference.
It just means that each driver knows what they like, and what they don’t like, when it comes to ride and handling characteristics. And without such disparity of opinion, we’d all be driving around in robot cars that rode and handled identically. Which would be very, very tedious indeed.
So, to return to the original question; ride or handling, which do you prefer? And just to throw the 737 amongst volcanic dust cloud, is it possible to have both elements under just one roof on a car that doesn’t wear a Lotus badge?