Today i may be driving one of the worst ‘cars’ i’ve ever driven…

I had a minor accident last week in the A3, when a Civic Si hit me in traffic.  It was his fault, however it is my nuisance!  Now the A3 has gone into the shop for fixing, and the rental company didn’t have any small cars.  What have they given me?  a simply HUGE Dodge Grand Caravan.

I feel as if i am driving an apartment, or a restaurant….or some sort of large physical structure.  Could it be a department store? or a school? My new identity while driving this is a sudden urge to transport many people.  Earlier I saw an elderly woman standing by the road waiting for a bus, i felt like I WAS THE BUS—–but I am not.  I had to overcome great impulse to NOT stop for her.

My bigger question is though; how in the world do people drive these!?!?  Terribly built, awful to drive, way too large, completely unstylish, enough headroom for someone who is 11 foot 7 inches tall.  Unless one has 15 children and a wife that is over 10 feet tall, how does someone with 2 children justify this sort of inhumane exercise in engineering!?  The driving experience can only be described as ‘paralytic’.

It is cheap though…i just looked up pricing and it starts at around $21k.  If there was a ratio of price:curb weight this will surely reach the top of the rankings.  As enthusiasts, I often hear the term “that’s a lot of car for the money”…..well in this case, this is “a lot of car for the money”——but not in a good way; solely in physicial size and weight!  Family people….buy a station wagon….a hatchback…..or for god’s sake even an SUV….buy 2 of them if you cannot fit all of your children in 1; just don’t buy this.  Isn’t this what Fiat is introducing as  Lancia in Europe?? RIP Lancia.

I can’t even park it properly.  Here’s hoping they get me a Jetta or a Focus as i’ve requested!

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12 thoughts on “Today i may be driving one of the worst ‘cars’ i’ve ever driven…

  1. grandpasells says:

    Well, I guess you really don’t have any experience for comparison’s sake otherwise you might have found all the things you bitch about as advantages over competing products….Then again, as they say there’s an ___ for every seat. Yes I sell the vans you’re enduring

    • Syed says:

      you are right in that I have not driven the ‘competition’….although i cannot imagine there are too many dynamic advantages this ‘car’ has over others in this segment. The only reasonable feature I can even find in this monstrosity is the vast amount of space. I will guess that people are after this space; however I think people may be overestimating their actual need for space.

      • grandpasells says:

        do you have young children? do you ever travel with young children? If you did….you would probably be singing a different tune… There is never “enough space”. and those with young children most likely enjoy the experiences you write about vicariously through your posts. I know I did up until this one. When you fold the seats into the floor, the van doubles as a cargo carrier for the do it yourself trips to the big box hardware/lumber yard stores. How do you fit the cargo in the A-3?

        • Syed says:

          i don’t have any children, nor do i transport many things—-hence my ignorance of those issues. This is not meant to be an offensive post towards those who DO have those concerns. If i need to transport 5 people, i take the A3. When i need to transport more than that, i fold the back seats down. I do think that americans kind of overdo the space needed for things—-i think this stems from our roads being too big, our houses being too big, and our cars being too big! A family of 4 in Europe easily fits all of their belongings in a hatchback……why can’t americans?

  2. Raw Power says:

    You’re right, this is a Lancia in Europe. It can be yours with a 2.8 diesel engine for a mere 40.000 € (approx 50.000 $). RIP Lancia indeed.
    And I think you’re right, except for a few large families, nobody needs that kind of thing which is not only dangerous in itself (due to its “dynamic capabilities”) but also to others (size, weight, etc.). I drive an e60 (which is not a small car by itself) and I’m afraid when I see one on the streets – hopefully I don’t see many. Thanks God

  3. Tamerlane says:

    Syed: This is the most entertaining post I’ve read so far, and that’s saying a lot!

    I went to a conference recently and had reserved a mid-sized. They ran out and the only thing they could give me was this exact van. I also had the urge to call everyone I knew in town and drive them in the behemoth! When I drove alone, I felt I was wasting space. Though they charged me the same amount, I had to pay a lot more in gas.

    • Syed says:

      haha….i had the same feeling……fortunately i asked for a different car and got one. That Grand Caravan was simply appalling to drive! LOL

  4. Mr.Ramsey says:

    You are now an official “Minivan Commando”! You need to drive it like a sports car through traffic to qualify though.

  5. pieterameye says:

    Drove the Lancia Voyager a few months ago. I think I’ve never experienced a chassis in my life that was so helplessly floppy as that one was. Shockingly bad to drive. And I imagine the US based Dodge is probably even worse. My condolences.

  6. GuitarSlinger says:

    How do you drive a larger car than say your TT or the A3 you ask ? Well when you’re 6’4″ over the age of 50 , with a bad back ( from a racing accident of old I might add ) very easily thank you very much . My daily driver these days being a Mercedes GLK 350 4Matic w/AMG package

    Now as to the question of how do you drive one of those POS Dodge/Chrysler reliability nightmares the rental company stuck you with ( with zero quality to boot ) well now thats a horse of different color my friend . Unless you’re a family man / must have a minivan rather than a wagon or an SUV/CUV and can’t afford anything else …….. well if you’re a discerning car buyer ….. you don’t !

    The fact that Marchionne ( Stronzetto Marchionne in my circles ) would place a Lancia badge on this or any other Dodge/Chrysler product is only further proof of my Marchionne’s Madness Theory

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