13 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. A classic example is the train companies. They have to meet targets for punctuality. The train company I have to use will run trains non stop and nearly empty to get to the end of the line and meet the target , leaving passengers stranded on the platform to wait for a later train (which may also do the same).

    You would think their job was to carry people home from work, but they have no target for that.

    Their posters boasting x% punctuality rate is a fiction Winston Smith would laugh at.

  2. I’ve long suspected fuel consumption figures were bollocks, irrespective of government targets. Manufacturers sell their smaller models on frugality, so massage the figures. They’re less interested in doing so on the big status cars because who buys one for economy? How less interested?
    At one point most of my driving was in the heavy traffic of Central London. I used a 1600 estate & a 1200 hatch & rarely bettered 11mpg. When I switched to two tons of Chrysler Grand Voyager Auto, with an aircon you could freeze meat with, I got 16mpg.
    Why? With the two little manuals, one spent most of the time changing gear. I tried counting how changes, one day, on a ten mile trip to Canary Wharf. Lost count at 400. I suppose the Voyager must change gear. Something happens. But the tacho just sits around 1500 & I don’t end the day feeling I’ve been doing route marches on one leg with clutch pedal fatigue.
    Heaven knows where the manufacturers do their urban cycle tests. They obviously don’t have London cabbies breathing down their necks pulling away from the lights. 3.3 litres of 250bhp just surges on.
    Even long distances. The little buzzboxes never seem to meet their claims unless you’re happy to be a Scania hood ornament. The heavily laden old Voyager just dragged a half ton trailer the entire length of Europe, in a long day, at only 10% over the quoted cruise consumption.

  3. There was a kerfuffle a few years ago when Volvo, famed for their obsessive approach to vehicular safety, accused Renault of designing their cars not to be safe per se but to get five-star NCAP ratings by passing the tests exactly.

  4. I’ve long suspected fuel consumption figures were bollocks, irrespective of government targets.

    The petrolheads have known this for years. It’s why car magazines do test drives and report real MPG.

  5. But how much do you trust the car mags, Tim?
    I’m old enough to remember the Austin Allegro being given an enthusiastic reception. The delights of the quartic steering wheel.
    But then, if I’d just come back from a week on the Italian Riviera test driving one, I’d have my mind fixed on Bali & a softop Jag.

  6. That excellent chap, “Honest John” of the Telegraph, has been explaining about mpg for years. Has everyone else really only woken up now?

  7. BiS said “Even long distances. The little buzzboxes never seem to meet their claims unless you’re happy to be a Scania hood ornament.”

    I agree. I had a hire car for a few days when the toadmobile was in hospital. A little 1200cc job with a real-time mpg display. Pootled around the nearest town on a thimbleful of fuel, but as soon as I went over 50mph the mpg fell like a stone.

    I had to drive it 100 miles to London, mostly motorways, and it used as much fuel as the toadmobile would have done, and that’s 3.2 litres, 6 cylinders, 15 years old and a hell of a lot more fun and comfortable to drive than the biscuit tin was.

  8. bloke (not) in spain – “But how much do you trust the car mags, Tim? I’m old enough to remember the Austin Allegro being given an enthusiastic reception. The delights of the quartic steering wheel.”

    I bought a Seventies piece of crap that was given a very enthusiastic reception in the journals. Never again.

    But one of the interesting things about GamerGate, if you are following it, is not so much that some game developers are sleeping with some game journalists, but that the game journalists saw a need to maintain a Journo-list style secret mailing forum to co-ordinate Leftist journalism.

    Maybe the same is true for Car Mags? Although the thought of Jeremy Clarkson sleeping with someone for good reviews is perhaps plausible, but getting his comrades to sign off on a common approach? Not so much.

  9. “and that’s 3.2 litres, 6 cylinders, 15 years old and a hell of a lot more fun and comfortable to drive than the biscuit tin was.”
    Sounds like the Voyager.
    I’d definitely buy another one but it’s only done 200,000 miles rarely needed work & drives like a new car. Why would I bother?
    Cheapest ride I’ve ever owned.

  10. Product review journalism is another product, isn’t it? Subject to a market & market pressures.
    I suspect favourable reviewers sell more articles, get more reprints, get to see new product earlier, facilitating writing & selling more leading edge product reviews.
    How often do you read glowing early appraisals of stuff turns out to be complete dogs when they get to the suffering consumer?

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