09.04.09: Four cars? Sure beats chocolate!

Time 13 years ago

5121421-50df5f06f9909d4827bac34d98c8904049de108c-scaledFOUR cars and one long weekend – it’s why I decided to start a car magazine after all…

I’m still like an excited schoolboy whenever a new car turns up, so at the moment I’m bouncing off the walls like a five-year-old on four packs of Smarties the day before his birthday. Yeah, excited.

So what have we got? Well, firstly there’s the city car twin test. After trying the Abarth 500 on the launch a few weeks back, upon returning to the office I rapidly got into an argument as to whether it was better than the Mini Cooper S.

I like the Mini Cooper S, but then I like the Abarth 500. But which is better? Well, there’s only one way to find out… FIGHT!

So we decided to take the two feisty city cars to the Isle of Wight for the test and are heading off tomorrow. Why the Isle? Well, small cars, small island. And it’s an excuse to get away for the day!

I’ve had a quick spin in both already and love them. It’s going to be hard to choose between them. The MINI is in bumblebee spec – yellow on bottom and black up top, with leather interior. It’s quick too.

The Abarth is chunky and seriously feisty. It feels like it’s got more torque than the MINI and sounds superb. 

I’ll be twittering lots of pics tomorrow and letting you know how the day goes so follow me at

Also sat outside are two bigger hatches. A Subaru Impreza STI and Megane R26.R are in for a triple test next Thursday at the UK launch of the Focus RS. I can’t wait for that one.

The Impreza’s looks are growing on me but the stupid deadlocking doors are already winding me up. However many times I hit the stupid key fob it refuses to open all the doors! 

As for the Megane. Well, it’s frankly ridiculous. Six-point harness, full roll cage, no stereo and plastic windows. It’s mad. And I love it.

We’re heading out to play in these two tonight and plan to get some video of them action. I’ll post online as soon as possible.

Four cars, eh? Sure beats chocolate for the Easter break!


James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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