Years ago, I published a piece about all the cars I’ve owned.
It’s enough to say that there have been plenty, and some more loved than others, but amongst the collection there are vehicles which simply felt “right”.
It probably had something to do with time and place, but amongst them I’d nominate my Peugeot 505 wagon, my second Renault 12, and my Commodore ute.
Note I haven’t included any of my three MX5s, or the various Falcons I owned over the years.
These were all great cars, but they didn’t instantly feel “right” from the moment I got behind the wheel.
The MX5s were essentially “special” cars for enjoying driving. There’s a difference between “special” and “right”, and it relates to function. Cars that feel “right” are universally useful all of the time.
Ever tried to move house with an MX5?
The subject of this post, my son’s Mazda 323, does feel “right”.
I’m driving it because he has a job a short cycle ride from where he lives, and simply doesn’t need it, as he lives very close to a railway station for the occasions he needs to get somewhere other than work.
On the other hand, he doesn’t want to sell it in case he gets a transfer in his job to a location not so accessible, so I’m garaging it for the time being.
The 323 is indeed a very ordinary car, but it’s comfortable, reliable, and accessible. By “accessible” I mean easy to get in and out of, and easy to see out of. Modern small sedans are over-styled, and as a consequence neither accessible or with good visibility. This is probably one reason why SUVs have become popular.
The 323 has a six CD stacker and cruise control as aftermarket accessories, and these bits add to the appeal. My iPhone will mount to the dashboard, and with the correct adaptor becomes a basic version of Apple Car play.
This means the phone becomes a satnav.
I’ve found a Bluetooth accessory that allows me to play the tunes on my iPhone over the stereo. It works a treat.
So the 323 has all the mod cons available in our Kia Cerato, but is easier to drive, easier to get in and out of, and easier to reverse, even though it doesn’t have a camera. It’s all to do with the greenhouse, and the ease with which you can turn to see over your shoulder.
I’m getting on a bit you know…..