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S4 Avant review that makes you laugh


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.. but in a good way smile.gif

I'm not a Guardian reader per se, but I like their car reviews - well written and often hilarious. There's something about the last line I just like...

They do review the cab too (calm down, Ari)

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/wheels/story/0,3605,974078,00.html

or

http://tinyurl.com/vzl4

[extract]

For some reason, the motoring industry hasn't generally tended to forefront dog-friendliness in its attempts to keep the estate car alive in our thoughts. Instead, the recent trend has been to make estate cars that are ever more powerful and sporty, to the extent that we might forget they are estate cars at all.

Skoda recently launched the Octavia vRS, which is a police motorway patrol car in all but the paintwork. And now here we have the Audi S4 Avant, which has a 4.2 litre V8 engine, a six-speed gearbox and will sprint to the speed limit faster than any sack of compost really needs to go. Or any spaniel, for that matter.

I drove the Avant in the same week that I tested a yob-heaven, banana yellow Mitsubishi Evo VIII - one of those cars that is so desperately aggressive that it has an airhole in the bonnet. I know which car felt more dangerously pacey and more likely to end up on its roof in a forest, and it wasn't the Evo.

There is something undeniably counter-intuitive about sitting behind the wheel of an estate car and having your neck velcro'd to the headrest by the g-forces. And because it's an Audi and the engine has been hand-built down the years by generations of Bavarian craftsmen, or thereabouts, the car performs its astonishing feats of acceleration with perfect ease and an almost sinister level of quiet. You depress the accelerator and hear nothing but the engine's uncomplaining murmur of assent, and the soft thud of your pet's head hitting the back window.

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Having started this hare, I feel obliged to come up with a funnier bit, but it never seems as good when quoted. Maybe I should just give up here.

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The S80 is well on its way to sounding like a gunboat and, sure enough, it is Volvo's mothership, the grandest saloon in the company's range, the Volvo that all the other, smaller Volvos return to when they're feeling lonely and unsure of themselves.

Any Volvo is a reassuring presence. The brand's reputation for an obsessive interest in driver safety magically precedes it. Did you know that if you drive a Volvo off a cliff, it doesn't disintegrate at the bottom but, rather, bounces back on to the road, the right way up? Or something like that.

Being large enough to host the population of a medium-sized Swedish village, the S80 takes the concept of reassuring to a whole new, further insulated level.

[..]

Also, thanks to Volvo's special whiplash protection system (the cunningly named Whips), you can go about the place comfortable in the knowledge that if anyone caroms into the back of you, the chances of your sustaining a neck injury are hearteningly smaller than they would be in other, non-Whips-equipped cars. Actually, though, given the length of the S80 and the extensiveness of its padding, if someone does carom into the back of you, probably the first thing you will know about it is when you get an apologetic letter from their insurers.

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[ QUOTE ]

.. but in a good way smile.gif

I'm not a Guardian reader per se, but I like their car reviews - well written and often hilarious. There's something about the last line I just like...

They do review the cab too (calm down, Ari)

---------

http://www.guardian.co.uk/wheels/story/0,3605,974078,00.html

or

http://tinyurl.com/vzl4

[extract]

For some reason, the motoring industry hasn't generally tended to forefront dog-friendliness in its attempts to keep the estate car alive in our thoughts. Instead, the recent trend has been to make estate cars that are ever more powerful and sporty, to the extent that we might forget they are estate cars at all.

Skoda recently launched the Octavia vRS, which is a police motorway patrol car in all but the paintwork. And now here we have the Audi S4 Avant, which has a 4.2 litre V8 engine, a six-speed gearbox and will sprint to the speed limit faster than any sack of compost really needs to go. Or any spaniel, for that matter.

I drove the Avant in the same week that I tested a yob-heaven, banana yellow Mitsubishi Evo VIII - one of those cars that is so desperately aggressive that it has an airhole in the bonnet. I know which car felt more dangerously pacey and more likely to end up on its roof in a forest, and it wasn't the Evo.

There is something undeniably counter-intuitive about sitting behind the wheel of an estate car and having your neck velcro'd to the headrest by the g-forces. And because it's an Audi and the engine has been hand-built down the years by generations of Bavarian craftsmen, or thereabouts, the car performs its astonishing feats of acceleration with perfect ease and an almost sinister level of quiet. You depress the accelerator and hear nothing but the engine's uncomplaining murmur of assent, and the soft thud of your pet's head hitting the back window.

[/ QUOTE ]

All the Guardian road tests are excellent. I'd read the Cabrio one (think I posted it on here, but it was about a year ago) and then read a lot of the others too. Very good. grin.gif

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