Apart from the pack

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

DRIV­ING a new car each week is a fact of life when you are a road tester. This never-end­ing pa­rade in­cludes good cars, or­di­nary cars and, oc­ca­sion­ally this year, cars that qual­ify as ex­tra­or­di­nary. Then there are the dogs. The bot­tom line is al­ways sim­ple, re­gard­less of what you are driv­ing: how does it com­pare with its ri­vals and would you be happy to put your best friend, or your mother, into one?

So the Ford Fo­cus is a win­ner and the Mit­subishi Colt is, for me, a loser.

Same for the Bu­gatti Vey­ron and the Holden Com­modore, ex­cept it’s the Holden that wins, be­cause I can see no real sense in a car that costs $2.7 mil­lion.

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, cars come and go. Most score be­tween 60 and 70 out of 100 on the road-test scale. Oc­ca­sional stand­outs do even bet­ter; a few drop into the daggy zone.

Then there is the Porsche Cay­man. This car, along with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon and the Re­nault Me­gane R27, is a per­sonal favourite.

The Benz es­tate has been top of the list since the 1980s and still sits there de­spite the ob­vi­ous ap­peal of the Cay­man.

But there is a dif­fer­ence. I ac­tu­ally or­dered a Cay­man. The pur­chase was de­railed by a new house, but last week I had a chance to drive ‘‘my’’ Cay­man.

It had won me at the preview in Italy, when I drove it as hard as I have driven on pub­lic roads, and all its strengths came back to me as I slid into the car for a few days. It is com­pact, re­spon­sive, good look­ing and— for a Porsche — great value.

I also be­lieve a Cay­man is more re­spon­sive and en­joy­able to drive than a 911, and prob­a­bly just as quick on reg­u­lar roads.

The per­sonal tweaks, from the car­bon-fi­bre trim pieces to the won­der­ful Bose sound, make this Cay­man even more spe­cial.

But it was, ul­ti­mately, just an­other test car and an­other week with an­other car, even if, for me, this one scores 85 from 100.

Now, if I can just get the mort­gage un­der con­trol . . .

Per­sonal favourite:

the Porsche Cay­man is com­pact, re­spon­sive and good look­ing.

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