Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Astra Sport Hatch makes me mad ...

Ford is not the only American manufacturer withholding some of its most exciting products. While GM has promised that Saturn will be more Opel-like in the future, for now we can only read about the exciting Opel/Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch. Instead of a dynamic small car, with great handling and looks to boot, we get ...drum roll please .. the Ion. They must be kidding. It's crappy, but not just your regular crappy. It's crappy in a plastic sides, no soul, would rather drive a 5 year old Civic kinda way. Is there some sort of small car embargo I don't know about? Has the E.U. passed a resolution banning the export of thrilling small cars? Are we so obsessed with SUV's that cars like the Sport Hatch can't survive? It's as if American motorists are being punished for something. Yes, it's true that when we had the chance, we didn't buy these cars in the past (Exhibit 1 - Merkur); and, yes, many European car companies have had problems here (Exhibit 2 - Fiat, Peugeot, Renault, Alfa Romeo, Sterling); and, yes, similarly styled cars currently for sale in the U.S. have sold poorly (Exhibit 3 - Mazda 3); and, yes, we continue to buy lifeless bloated steel masses that lack any assemblance of motoring spirit by the thousands (Exhibit 4- Monte Carlo). Ok, maybe the punishment does fit the crime. Just ranting. Now go enjoy Ben Whitworth's review and you'll understand why I am so upset.

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