Tag Archive | "great driving roads"

The Fleeting Pleasure Of Driving


A third of drivers simply don’t enjoy driving anymore, according to the latest survey. It seems that the main reason given – according to fifty-one percent of those surveyed – for not enjoying driving on our roads was the cost of fuel.

This was closely followed by congestion which blighted the lives of forty-one percent. Others felt that they were no longer excited by driving (which could be as a result of all the technology added to cars making them safer but, for the most part, dull)or simply did not have enough leisure time, (25.9%).

Still, there is a brighter side. Overall thirty-nine percent of those who responded still consider driving and riding for fun as their hobby and one third of respondents still like to go out for a spin.

Fifty-three per cent of respondents think that, compared with other road users, they are good drivers, with just over forty-five per cent responding that they are very good. How very honest. We always though that everybody believed it was other people who always drove badly.

Yet more facts were revealed. Seventy-eight percent would usually drive when out with their partner yet half of respondents don’t always feel relaxed when their partner is in the passenger seat. There are several comments that could be made here but in the interests of fairness, Motor Blogger will keep quiet.

It seems that other road users are the problem with over sixty per cent of respondents stating that it’s the behaviour of other drivers on the road that makes them feel the most nervous. This was followed by bad weather conditions and driving near to heavy goods vehicles.

It’s all very gloomy but remember this. Sometimes, once in a while, we all find a piece of open road and can for a while at least recover some of the joys of motoring. The best of our countryside is still the best in the world so the next time someone says ‘let’s go for a drive’, just do it. You’ll feel better.

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Sports Car Trends


We’ve all seen articles that exhort the thrills to be found on the greatest driving roads…in the world. We’ve seen three ageing men completely fail to inhibit their inner boy (actually that probably applies to all men) and go hurtling off in a variety of supercars to exciting and exotic destinations. Meanwhile, most British motorists are stuck in a jam – in the rain – thinking: if only.

In Britain we do not have access to such roads. Those that are celebrated – like the Cat ‘n’ Fiddle in the Peak District – are now heavily restricted, mostly thanks to our two-wheeled brethren unfortunately killing themselves. Unrestricted it would be a glorious stretch but those days are gone, alas. This country does have some dramatic blacktop but these are well known both to the law and to tourists which means that otherwise spectacular routes like the Pass of Llanberis in North Wales are either choked with holiday traffic or festooned with walkers.

As if through some form of extra-sensory perception, car manufacturers are thankfully beginning to produce cars that are fun to drive but without the high performance and expense. We are all aware of the excellent Mazda MX5 of course. It has been around for years and each new model gets better and better. The latest one is lighter too, giving improvements in both performance and economy and all this for £24k or less, depending on model choice.

Not to be outdone, Toyota and Subaru put their heads together and came up with the GT86/BRZ pairing; more or less identical twins that properly bring back the words ‘old school’. Good, old fashioned front engine / rear wheel drive combination for balance and road holding and all for well less than £30,000. Scroll back through these pages for more information on both these cars.

Not unreasonably BMW felt that Europe should get in on this action and they have appear to have cracked it with a variation on an existing model. The Z4 two-seater roadster has been refreshed and an additional model with a lower powered version of the existing two litre motor has been added to the range. Less horse power maybe but most drivers will be happy with the sheer driveability of the thing and, as a bonus, 40+ mpg. Yours for around twenty eight thousand (pictured).

Let’s not forget the Audi TT. This car has a slightly blemished reputation as a bit of a hairdresser’s car but it can still hold its own with the newer opposition and shouldn‘t be overlooked. The 1.8 TFSI Sport is quicker, more frugal and a bit cheaper than the Z4. Both are out soon.

Thanks to these great cars the pleasure of driving does not have to be completely lost. Even on this small island there’s fun to be had on twisting country roads where balance and handling matter more than hair-raising speed. For enthusiasts there is no better sensation than a car well-driven. So go old school and dig out your Dad’s leather driving gloves (the ones with cooling holes at the knuckles that were once de rigueur for hot car fans) and find your own great driving road. It might be just a round the corner.

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