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After a tank of fuel's worth of running around: I bloody love it.
Now that's not that everything is peachy. I've had to spend a day sorting out the scratches on it from a less than careful previous owner(s) and generally making it look more like one of my cars. But that's part and parcel with buying a second hand car, and why you suck it up for the cost saving. You'd like to think everyone would look after cars properly, especially considering what they cost, but they just don't, and that's why T-Cut was invented. I had even more struggles in that department with my dad's new/old Jag.
That aside, another thing that astounds me with people is scrimping on tyres. They're the things that connect your car to the road. How your car handles and stops is affected by this more than just about any other factor. Yet people will fit cheap shite there to save £20 a corner, essentially compromising their own safety.
Mine is particularly special in that respect. The front tyres are Landsails and the rears are Headway Horace. Chinese Ditch Finders! I think we've found a new level here. Now they look pretty new, so I'm hoping the dealers didn't fit these, because if they did, I'd rather they hadn't. But they're certainly exciting. First gear junctions it's actually difficult not to break traction. Any degree of enthusiasm in second will break the back free in the dry also.
It's actually quite entertaining as it's all happening at bugger all speed, but not exactly confidence inspiring when it comes to the overall grip levels on offer if you're pushing on. I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and fork out for a full set of something I've actually heard of.
That aside. Fuel economy has been amusing. I'm currently getting 1mpg more than I was in the Cayman. Now I expect that's because I'm enjoying myself, but it's still comical for a lighter/smaller car.
Finally on to the good and why I've bonded with this car so quickly. It feels like a more grown up MX-5. All the traits are there, but it's got a practical roof that in the real world is quite frankly brilliant. Coupe mode is fantastic and in 12 seconds at the push of a button I get drop top mode. It's truly the best of both worlds for which you pay a 30kg weight penalty. Which I can't complain about with me being about 5 stone heavier than I really should be.
All this extra weight is counteracted by what is an utterly fabulous engine. This I was not expecting. The 2.0 four pot has pull, it revs, it has a lovely engine note and real character. It suits the car down to the ground and it's mated to the usual, fantastic transmission we've come to expect in an MX-5.
I am genuinely disappointed I didn't think to try one of these sooner. Indeed, I think had I test driven a new one when I was considering the Cayman, I'd probably not have bought the Porsche!
The next question is; do I run this as my only car, or do I get something to fill the gap left by selling the Merc?
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