Today we will set a modest challenge for you. It might not even be a challenge as inevitably someone will provide the right answer in seconds.
Still, here we go. I had a heck of a job even finding an example of the car to photograph during my three weeks in Dublin this August. Eventually, I saw just two of them, a metallic grey one in Dublin 4 and the one partially shown above, seen in Wexford. Unfortuately for me, at the time I saw the first one I could nottake a photo as I had neglected to bring a camera with me. I saw this one the day before I returned from my vacation.
One reason I wanted to feature this car was that I had largely forgotten it, though I believe it represented a significant bit of marketing for the firm involved. It just happened to be, in the end, not a very memorable bit of metal. I’ve been too busy looking at rarities and curiosities and have overlooked the important mundanities of which most of the national carpark is composed.
I will give you a clue now. Autocar magazine reviewed the mystery car in 1996. “What impresses about this car is not any single blinding talent but the depth and maturity of the complete product.” They went on to gush “It is refined, economical, practical, stylish, beautifully built and, despite the high list price, good value in the long term. It does everything a good hatchback does but with sufficient additional style and panache to justify premium pricing”. They summed it up as “the most complete small hatch to date.” The one thing they didn’t much care for was the petrol engine. Its below par character meant it was “not as quick or as smooth as rivals.”
Do you think you know what the car is?