You may recollect that back in July I put up a post about ‘classic’ British cars that were disappearing from our roads, and said, ‘Good.’ Old is not the same as classic, and the heaps that made the cut for the ‘Save Our Classics’ campaign should have been left on a hillside at birth.
This week saw a driver survey of the worst cars ever to have (dis)graced our highways and byways. I reckoned the Lancia Thema might be top of the heap. Those of you who aren’t petrolheads may be unaware that back in 1994 the UK government forced Lancia to buy back all the (not many) Themas because of the horrendous rust problems. This was a remarkable achievement, to make a car so rust-prone you had to buy it back at cost and sweep up the remains into a dustpan.
Even more remarkable was the Thema shared a lot of bits with the very solid (and stolid) Saab 9000. You still see those knocking about.
Anyway, I was wrong. The most despised vehicle on the roads is not from the halcyon days of British Leyland, Vauxhall, or Rootes Group barkers. It’s Indian, it’s recent, and it’s called the G-Wiz. It even managed to be considered worse than the Allegro (that came in second) and the Reliant Robin. No mean feat, eh?
Let’s take a quick decko at it shall we? I know it’s wrong to judge on appearances, but just look at this abomination.
Right, that’s just for starters. It’s also electric, which means there’s a good chance you might not even make it to the shops and back before it needs to be recharged for 12 hours. Get stuck in traffic, hit the aircon, and there’s your battery gone and you’re marooned halfway round Marble Arch in the middle of the rush hour.
It’s a city car, but a city car needs to be nippy; that’s the whole point of them. Nippy is not a word you can apply to a G-Wiz. The 0-60 time is measured in millennia rather than the more customary seconds. A 1953 Citroen 2CV did better than that.
Then we have the fact it’s a two seater. So’s a Smart car, but that isn’t cramped. The lack of performance is probably just as well, since this miracle of state of the art automotive design had drum brakes, so you’re not stopping in a hurry. Which may not be too good a thing.