Here's one I reversed earlier
I have eight jobs. I know this because it's what I always tell people. But the
funny thing is that I'm so busy, I actually can't remember what the eighth job
is. Am I a rent boy at night? Do I have a county lines gang? Am I the foreign
secretary? No idea.
What I do know is that I'm sitting here now panicking about what I'll put in the
other two columns I write, knowing that before the week's out I must turn my
attention to the next Grand Tour special while also hosting Who Wants to Be a
Jeremy Clarkson Millionaire?. Then there's the DriveTribe operation that needs feeding, and its new
spin-off, FoodTribe. And I'm building a house, and a shop, and writing a book, and
all of this is set against my new role as a farmer, which occupies my mind and my
time seven days a week from dawn until way past dusk.
This morning, for example, I was up long before you because four of my sheep
have blood spurting from their ankles. And then I needed to move 10 tons of stone
from the barn to the Big Silence, which is a field, so a local chap called Gerald can
turn them into a wall. While transferring some money to my daughter's account
because she's penniless and her flat is falling down.
This might explain why I forgot to drive the latest car they sent round. Wait. That's
not strictly true. I did drive it, but only to reverse it from where it had been left into
a little alley between two barns, so a couple of gigantic, hissing artics could deliver
46 tons of glyphosate. The problem was that the alley into which I'd put the car
isn't very visible, which is why, after I'd telehandled the glyphosate into the long
barn and needed to rush to a charity dinner in London to buy some signed rugby
balls and a night in a lady's box at the Royal Albert Hall, I forgot it was there and
leapt into my Range Rover.
When I got back the next day - late because I'd got a bit carried away the night
before - the Volkswagen had gone. And now here I am, wondering how on earth I
can review a car I've only driven, in reverse, for about 16ft.
What I can say straight away is that, for the entire duration of this drive, there was
a terrible vibration. Does it do that when you go forwards? No idea. I never found
out. I can also tell you it was a Volkswagen.
So I went, before I embarked on this column, to VW's website to find out as much
as I could. And it was here that I discovered that it's called the T-Cross. I was
invited to click on a link that would give me more details but all I got was some
pictures of Cara Delevingne. I was even invited to watch a video of her, which I did.
Several times. No mention was made of the car.
So I scrolled down to find out, for example, how much it costs, but I had to wade
past pictures of a ginger man with a ponytail and another pretty model in a purple
skirt before, finally, I learnt that the range starts at just £17,395. That is much less
than I was expecting and I'd like to give VW's marketing people a bit of advice at
this point. Cara is lovely. And we all enjoy watching her on the internet. But if I'd
been in your shoes, I'd have nosed my strategy on the surprisingly low price.
Underneath, it's a VW Polo, and there's nothing wrong with that. The Polo is a fine
car. I have driven one of those - forwards - and I liked it very much. It's what I'd
buy if I were after a car of this type, but I'm out of step. Everyone else in the world
wants their car to be on stilts, so they will be more interested in the high-riding TCross.
What I can tell you is that it's very good-looking. I know this because when the
lorries arrived and their drivers asked me to move it, I thought: "That's very goodlooking."
It also has a very good interior with lots of snazzy trim. I know this because when I
climbed inside, I thought: "This trim's very snazzy." It's one of the reasons I'm so
surprised by the price. It didn't sound cheap, either. The door, when I closed it,
made the exact same noise as a hard-hit pheasant landing in a well-ploughed field.
It also sounds nice when you start it up, because the tiny 1-litre turbocharged
engine has only three cylinders. This means it's inherently unbalanced, like a V8,
which means the noise it makes is flawed and therefore human.
There are two petrol versions on offer, one of which produces 94 horsepower and
the other 113. That's 113 horsepower from 1 litre, and that's remarkable. Maybe
that's why it vibrates so much. But, all things considered, you're better off saving
your money and getting the cheaper version. If you want to achieve a tyrescreeching
personal best on your way to work every morning, you'd probably be
better off with something else. Such as a Lamborghini Aventador.
I can also tell you, because I waded past more pictures of things that have nothing
to do with the car, that it's crammed full of cubbyholes and that the rear seat slides
forwards and backwards. But that's it, I'm afraid.
So. Conclusions. Yes, this is the only car I've tested that had a serious fault for the
entire duration of my test drive. But I can't really mark it down for that as the
"entire duration" was only 15 seconds. And I only went backwards.
Other things? Well, assuming the reversing issue is a one-off and not intentional,
which would be mad, the T-Cross is good value, cheap to run, charismatic and
practical. And if you want a small SUV, that's probably enough.
I'd like to say at this point that I'm pleased to have completed a review on a car that
I drove for such a short distance, but I'm not, because in the week ahead I have an
even bigger problem. I have three trips to London planned and I can't use the
Mercedes I've had on test, because it's electric.
I can't charge it up at the farm because I've done that with an electric car in the
past and it blows the fuse box into space. I can't charge it in London, either,
because the entire infrastructure has been swamped by sanctimonious gits in
Teslas. And I can't take it to a charge point at my local restaurant because that
would mean sitting around for an hour or two, and I really don't have time for that.
This is the weird thing about electric cars. You need to have eight jobs to earn
enough to afford one. Which means you won't have time in your life to charge it