Book full of


IF you're one of those people who spots a one star restaurant review in your Sunday paper and relishes the critical mauling that follows in print, here is the motoring book for you.

The words in 'CAR-TASTROPHES: 80 automotive atrocities from the past 20 years' are distilled from hundreds of cars driven in the last couple of decades by two men who should know a motoring lemon when they see one.

A car, taken at random from the book, like the odd looking Suzuki X90 and here dismissed as "a clown's car for people who wanted to drive around looking ridiculous".

Those words come from co-author Honest John, the man who answers questions about the reliability of your potential purchase each Saturday in a national newspaper and who also runs his own website, packed with facts and fact-backed opinions.

His fellow writer on this book project is George Fowler, motoring correspondent for The Daily Star and not a man short of opinions.

Take this, for instance, on a very expensive Italian saloon: "Crocks of crap don't get much bigger than the 2013 Maserati Ghibli, in every possible way".

Now, an Internet blogger might leave it at that and move on to insult something, or someone else, without leaving a shred of evidence to support the verdict.

Not so George, who goes on to declare of this four-door glamour wagon: "It might have been mightily quick, but trying to drive it in a straight line was nigh-on impossible." He continues in the same, detailed, vein for many more words.

Some cars that take a beating from Honest John and George are sitting ducks in the pantheon of motoring mistakes, among them the hideous Pontiac Aztek, vastly expensive Maybach 62, styling disaster SsangYong Rodius and instantly forgettable MG Rover CityRover.

Other inclusions might surprise you more. Take the Volkswagen Golf Mk IV of 2009-2012. As Honest John admits: "Decent enough to drive," before adding the knockout blow, "but the list of problems kept mounting until the final catastrophe of the US Emissions Defeat software that proved they'd been lying all along." Ouch.

Each entry wins a flat tyre rating with the worst collecting a shameful five - like a car you've (luckily) never heard of, the Mitsuoka Galue II.

One you will have heard of, the Kia Rio of 2001-2005 is another five star disaster, but Honest John is fair enough to say the current Rio "out-styles the Fiesta".

So, a book full of vented anger at the way some cars were foisted on an unsuspecting public but honest enough to acknowledge that things can get better.

CAR-TASTROPHE is published by Veloce at £9.99.


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