One of the few notable risks of this job is when you find yourself offending your mates and the car choices they’ve made.
This week’s edition of the magazine had barely hit the nation’s doormats before I found myself being hauled over the coals by two different acquaintances, both of who had taken offence at the Peugeot 308CC comparison that I’d written in it.
I won’t rehash the full article here, but it’s fair to say that it took a fairly sceptical point of view as to whether the retractable hardtop cabriolet was really such a great idea, especially considering the extra weight and packaging issues it creates when compared to a simple folding fabric roof.
Anyway, well before lunch the first email had arrived from a mate who told me that his wife has recently swapped a five-year old Audi A4 Cabriolet 1.8T for a brand-new Volkswagen Eos 2.0 TSI – “The Eos is a better car in every way”, he writes, reckoning that it’s quicker, more efficient and “massively more practical”.
Shortly afterwards, a friend who I’d describe as a comfort-loving petrolhead wrote to tell me that his new 3-series Convertible, complete with its folding hardtop, is “faster and far more rigid than my old E46 323Ci ragtop … and quieter as well.”
So there you go. It’s fair to say that I’m still far from convinced that the folding hardtop is one of those great automotive ideas that will stand the test of time – but the concept certainly has plenty of fans.