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Random car reviews

For what I do for a living, I travel abroad around once a month and often take a rental car.

In the long boring journeys between meetings, I have decided to review the cars I take to entertain myself. I hope my limited experience would help your decision, if you are thinking about buying one in the future.

So here is my first review;

Car: Abarth 500 ( Spanish spec, not the hot Abarth from the UK)

Duration: 4 days with motorway/ city driving/

Notable features: fold back fabric roof – pointless when going down the motorway.

Auto gearbox with paddle shift

Same design as all the fiat 500

The auto gearbox is awful - in auto or manual shift, each shift was greeted by a jerk. So bad I had to decelerate on every up shift I made. Having spent 7 years before driving a DSG car, this Fiat gearbox was nightmare.

There were buttons on the centre console to select reverse and forward. What’s wrong with a stick selector?

Ride is firm enough, like the sport mode on the I30n

Seat was bad - my bum cheeks were resting against the slanted sides. After a long drive my left leg was tingling, and the left check was numb. I have an average size bum, it’s not me.

Window buttons - why the hell they put them on the centre console? Very annoying with the many toll booths I had to deal with.

Engine - 1.4 turbo. Punchy enough in sport mode. Normal mode was a bit too dull.

Exhaust - sounds great on idle, but no way as good as the i30n when driven. No pops and bangs

Driving position - the steering wheel does not go close to yourself. Only up and down. A FIAT characteristic it seems.

That’s it, rant/ review over!

2 weeks ago I was away again and had a VW Polo. I have nothing to say, good or bad. It’s like a ceramic mug. It does what it does for being a small hatch back and that’s it.

No drama , no emotions, absolutely nothing.
another review;

When: 26th june 2019

Location: an extremely hot Madrid (40 Celsius outside)

Car: SEAT Ibiza 1.0l

Pretty simple car, no drama. Just sat in, adjusted the seats and off I went.

Annoyance: the cigarette lighter was too far away from the fascia. It’s behind the handbrake. I was lucky I had a long usb cable for the phone’s google map navigation.

The USB port (there was only one) was used up by my USB stick containing the podcasts about murders in Australia.

I don’t know why some people dislike the ‘ipad’ style infotainment module that sits on top of the dash. It’s perfect for my eyeline.

The SEAT ( and other manufs. Too) infotainment screen is too low and i have to constantly look down to make adjustments

Plus points: i love the flat dashboard. You can put anything on top ( religious symbols , folder, drinks, food etc) not like the I30n where the dash slopes so far downwards that even those sticky pads won’t keep you phone still.

Interesting find: 4 people had not deleted their contact book when they had paired their phones. I cleared them all for them. SEAT ibiza.jpg
Whilst the i30 was having the over sensitive alarm sorted, i was given an i20 as a courtesy car. It was a very basic model with 1.2 engine and 84PS.

for the 2 days i had it, here are my observations;

Pros: The front seats - amazing how it hugged my ribs. As good as the N seats. Not as hard but contored my body perfectly. I drove it like i stole it and never my body was sliding from side to side .

motorway - felt comfortable and not stressed.

rotational dial buttons - i can make the air hotter/ colder, the air blow faster/ slower, with my left hand without taking my eyes off the road.

i can also do those adjustments on rough roads. Making the air blow faster in the N, whilst in N mode , is almost imposible as my finger would bounce around and hitting the wrong button.

con: not exclusively to this car/ engine, but when the A/C was on, acceleration was non-existance.

infotainment screen - having used to the i30's positions, this screen is too low for me and have to look away to select radio station

It is what it is. A very simple car for those looking for a simple transporter. The vast amount of plastic in the interior is easy to clean, especially if you use it as a working car.
When – 1st wk of sept 2019
Location: Israel

Car: Honda Jazz ( alright, don’t laugh! It ws the only one left unless I upgrade and add their insurance package).

Good – quite a revy engine despite the a/c full on.
Big dial button – logically placed and no need to take your eyes off the road while wnting more / less fan speed.
Integrated dashboard bottle holder – cools your drink while driving

Bad – the infotainments looks like it was from the early 2000s ( post dot matrix but pre-touch screens)
Numeric security digit pad – apparently in Israel everyone has this. You have to put in the 4 digit code before you start the engine. Very annoying because it worked whenever it wants to. Also not compatible with the stop/start system.

if you get in the car and not starting the car immediately, it resets and you have to get out, lock the car, unlock, and do it again. All this while the temp outside is 35c+

Boot – not as big as I thought.

People carrying - perfect for carrying parents in laws, without luggages.
When: Oct 2019
Location: Malta

Car: Nissan juke petrol - ok, don't laugh.

did not have the chance to check the engine size/ model variation)

Pros ; the ride is perfect in absorbing the rough roads of malta, and some large bulging cats eyes.

Performance – hard to judge because Malta is so small I drove on 4th gear most of the time. Enough to overtake when required.

The boot is not as small as some people say. It can take a fairly big suitcase and the hand luggage. Standard hatchback capacity I guess.

Pedal spacing: strangely, the accelerator and brake pedals are close enough to do manual heel & toe. Not like the N where they are too far apart.

Cons – why the F is the gear lever so high up?! Its not like the old Fiat/ Honda civic close, but like a WRC handbrake leaver position.

The shifts is almost standard N like but the lever makes it uncomfortable.

Cabin – the driver area is very cramped. Impossible to man spread and scratch my balls. The centre console is overly high. Good to hold water bottles ( it won’t fly off under acceleration like others)

Position – why the hell do people want cars so high up? It makes road judging and body rolls control difficult. Can’t tell how hard I could attack a corner.

Parking – either I am rubbish at it, or the high boot / position makes hard to reverse park. I got too used to the camera from the i30 I guess.


Well-Known Member
There’s actually a local guy here in the states who’s pretty famous on YouTube who does just this. He reviews regular cars and puts on quite a hilarious and descriptive show. If you have some spare time I suggest checking him out


Well-Known Member
There’s actually a local guy here in the states who’s pretty famous on YouTube who does just this. He reviews regular cars and puts on quite a hilarious and descriptive show. If you have some spare time I suggest checking him out
«And now it is time to give it a ....... score!» ;)


Active Member
You should record yourself doing this stuff, nowadays there is plenty of room on internet for everyone to show their skills, and since you gave yourself this “hobbie” throughout your journeys, give it shot
the problem is, i double my concentration whilst driving on unfamilair roads and listening to google earth navigation.

Its hard to speak to a camera whilst driving.

I got into this whilst doing drives of about 3 - 4hrs between meetings. Got really bored after finishing podcasts.