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Old 16-11-2006   #1
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First impressions of a GP hire car

I've just got back from a quick trip to Italy, where my Lancia Epsilon Hertz hire car was upgraded to a 1.3 Multijet 5-door. I didn't get much use out of it, but as a Tipo owner I was interested to see what you get for 17 years of progress.

Looks very nice, but is a victim of the current, stupid "let's make the front of the car as long as possible" design craze. The "bumper" (i.e. fragile expensive painted plastic object) must be 5 feet in front of the steering wheel, the base of the screen 2 feet in front. Very bad visibility for parking etc. And if you reach into the car to get something of the front seat or between the seats you bang your head on the ridiculously low roofline. Really annoying, just like the first time I drove a Focus and banged my elbow on the door handle - completely spoiled the car for me.

Runs very nicely on the road, very economical and quiet. But no pull whatsoever going up hills in low gear unless you rev it! Nevertheless a very good little power unit.

Very hard plastics in the interior, good design and comfort. Seatbelt alarm also annoying, ditto handbrake alarm.

Didn't really like the lack of external boot opener, pressing the internal button gives a very tinny clunk as it opens.

Basically, as with most modern cars, I was not very impressed, it has no character or soul and my fairly quick impression was "well I wouldn't pay money for one". I can't imagine anyone getting attached to one, except maybe an Orange Sporting! Still I hope it's a success for Fiat, I'm sure the competition these days are equally as mixed in quality and appeal.
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Old 16-11-2006   #2
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

with regards the parking issue and the long nose, drive it for a week and it is not an issue at all. it is one of them things that yuo have to get used too.
Low roof line.... REALLY!? first time i've heard that one, ever been in a fiesta or a polo?!

you will find that if you put your seatbelt on and take the handbrake off BEFORE you drive then there is no alarm!

i know what you mean about the piower on hills of the 1.3, was it the 70 or 90bhp engine you had? the 90 has no issues at all with hills. and it's still miles ahead of any equivalent petrol engine!

Boot opener, did you not think of using the key release?!

i think as with anything, the more you use them the better they become.
plus, a car is a very personal thing, not everyone is going to like the same thing are they!
each to their own i guess, personally, i love it!
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Old 16-11-2006   #3
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

Front of the car is designed that way for a reason. Pedestrian impact legislation, they will all look that way soon. Saw a flash of the new Mondeo the other day.......very similar lines to the GP. So what is your ideal car then?
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Old 16-11-2006   #4
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

*sniff sniff* hmmm smell that can of worms opening up....
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Old 16-11-2006   #5
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

Am 6'3" and have never banged my head on the roof! Did you use the height adjuster on the seat to push the chair as high as it could go or what!?

Either that or try not standing up whilst you are still in the car, is better to wait until you are outside............
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Old 16-11-2006   #6
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

I am 6'4" never had a problem with head room.
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Old 17-11-2006   #7
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

Regarding the headbanging issue, I just leant into the car to retrieve something from the front seat area, and banged my head against the padding of the door opening. Stood back to see what the problem was, on the 5-door at least the roofline seemed really low from the front to about half way along due to the sleek styling they've gone for.

As for the fronts of modern cars, this pedestrian business is "just a bunch of tree-hugging hippy crap" as Cartman from South Park would say. Why should we have to suffer cars that need hundreds of pounds of repairs for a minor bumper contact, and have the front 2 feet of cars sticking out into the road from side streets while their drivers try to see around enormous A-pillars as they try to emerge at junctions?

My ideal car would let me drive it as I wanted without binging and bonging at me and telling me what to do, be able to take minor contact with objects front and rear without damage (even if it hurts errant pedestrians), would feel like it's been built rather than clipped together out of plastic sub-assemblies, would have style and character, a peppy engine, fun handling, and hopefully reliable and fairly economical. And preferably Italian.

Failing that, a used Alfa 156 1.8 Veloce?
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Old 17-11-2006   #8
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

looks like we will be re-inventing the wheel for you then!

now aside from the little things you have mentioned, did you like the a/c, the remote central locking, the electric mirrors, the nice adjustable seating position, the fuel economy, the interior space?

trying to please everyone is the hard part of designing a car. i think by being the #1 selling car in europe they have succeeded in developnig a car that the MAJORITY like.
unfortunately there are alsways some that dont like it, you been one of them.
never mind, maybe the bravo will be one for you....no, actually forget that one, too long in the nose.

Try the Trepuino instead! no, to small inside.

how about the multipla? hang on, looks wrong.

The Idea?! maybe too high up eh?!

hmmmmmm

(please dont take all this the wrong way, it is a little tongue in cheek, but trying to prove a point! )
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Old 17-11-2006   #9
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

The whole "Long Nose" design with an extra deep dashboard is
actually called "Cab Forward" and was invented by Chrysler Corp of the USA.
If I remember correctly one of the major benefits of it is that it gives much better crash protection to occupants......but you're right it is impossible to judge distances like in old fashioned designed cars where you'd get killed
......know what I'd prefer to drive!
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Old 17-11-2006   #10
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

6'7" no probs with head height.
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Old 17-11-2006   #11
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

Quote Originally Posted by bluejohn125
... on the 5-door at least the roofline seemed really low from the front to about half way along due to the sleek styling they've gone for.

As for the fronts of modern cars, this pedestrian business is "just a bunch of tree-hugging hippy crap" as Cartman from South Park would say. Why should we have to suffer cars that need hundreds of pounds of repairs for a minor bumper contact, and have the front 2 feet of cars sticking out into the road from side streets while their drivers try to see around enormous A-pillars as they try to emerge at junctions?

My ideal car would let me drive it as I wanted without binging and bonging at me and telling me what to do, be able to take minor contact with objects front and rear without damage (even if it hurts errant pedestrians), would feel like it's been built rather than clipped together out of plastic sub-assemblies, would have style and character, a peppy engine, fun handling, and hopefully reliable and fairly economical. And preferably Italian.
I am 1.92m tall and I feel more comfortable inside my GP than in many many much bigger cars....so claiming that there is not enough head space makes me understand that that either some seat adjustment was wrong or your mood against the car is bad....

Regarding the long front part,...just think of the Alfa Romeo Models (147, 156, 159, etc) which have even longer fronts but they are just ssoooooo beautiful cars,......furthermore, I have not found any difficulty during driving, so here I think you are also not fair against the car....

Finally I would like you to tell us which of the modern small cars YOU consider Ideal and I will tell you the things I don't like,......and will be many.....

P.S. GP lack of personality...!!!???? Tipo had????
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Old 17-11-2006   #12
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

GP has plenty of personality... German contraptions like my old Skoda vRS have none at all and it had the handling charactaristics of a beer belly lard arse couch potato!, and used to cry when you force it round a corner.
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Old 17-11-2006   #13
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

[QUOTE=bluejohn125]Regarding the headbanging issue, I just leant into the car to retrieve something from the front seat area, and banged my head against the padding of the door opening. Stood back to see what the problem was, on the 5-door at least the roofline seemed really low from the front to about half way along due to the sleek styling they've gone for.

QUOTE]

Is harldy the cars fault then and certainly not worthy of a long complaint which may put off potential GP buyers.
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Old 17-11-2006   #14
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Re: First impressions of a GP hire car

Quote Originally Posted by ChrisUK
GP has plenty of personality... German contraptions like my old Skoda vRS have none at all and it had the handling charactaristics of a beer belly lard arse couch potato!, and used to cry when you force it round a corner.
I really look forward to driving my GP after a spell in works cars. Never fails to bring a smile to my face, a pleasure to drive and seems to have soul.
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