Recreational test-driving

I’m not a gear head, or a speed freak, but I like cars and I like driving. I like acceleration because I want to know that what I’m driving has enough oomph under the bonnet to get me out of a problem if necessary. I like small cars with a wheel in each corner.

We test drove a 1.8 litre Nissan Versa this week. There are two bits of car engine technology I’ve always been interested in, the rotary engine, and the continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Versa has a CVT and it’s fun! Visibility’s good, performance is decent, seats are comfortably firm, steering is light, turning circle is good and the horn doesn’t sound like a toy. I still want a big air horn. It’s not as nice as the new Mini, but it’s much more affordable.

Unlike a previous test drive, this sales guy put his seat belt on. He gets points for that, and also for opening the bonnet before we drove the thing, and for getting out when we switched drivers so I didn’t feel bad flooring it coming onto the highway. Going in with me as the CVT nut bypassed some of the "car guy talking to ignorant female"BS and he treated us both like actual people. There was a definite air of desperation from him when we got ready to leave without buying the car, but it was a fun evening’s distraction.