'The best car ever made doesn't even exist'

The best car can't be named or driven as it is a car that simply doesn't exist, says Mike Rutherford

OPINION best car

“What’s the best car ever?” is a question I’m often asked, but don’t have an answer for – because such a vehicle doesn’t exist. After four decades driving thousands of motors, however, I’ve concluded THE best for today’s buyers is one that serves up the best of two worlds; offers a bit of both; is two (or more) cars in one.

You might think you need an urban car to commute in the week, then a separate off-roader for Saturday or Sunday fun in the country or at the beach. You don’t. What you need is a 3.5 metre-long Suzuki Jimny 4x4, at less than half the price of the cheapest Land Rover.

Best SUVs and 4x4s to buy

Similarly, if you have Champagne tastes but a tap water budget, join the masses and accept you can’t afford to buy or run that supercar you crave. So forget about the Ferrari costing hundreds of thousands and buy a used Hyundai Coupé V6 for a grand or two. It looks like, and is, a poor man’s supercar-lite. Crucially, unlike Italian dream cars, it’s great for gentle sprints to work, the shops, the tip, or wherever you fancy. 

Reckon you require a vehicle with a tin roof 300 days a year, then a rag top for the remaining 65? Wrong. You need a convertible hard-top. And why suffer all the expense and storage hassles of a classic motor in addition to a contemporary car, when you can instead go for something in between? A £10,000 used Porsche Boxster, perhaps. It’ll offer the very best of both worlds, being both a stylish modern classic, and a highly usable daily car about town. The fact the Boxster borders on supercar status is the icing on the cake.

No need to choose between a light commercial vehicle and a car, either. There are countless ‘vancars’ on sale, with my favourite being the latest version of the Peugeot Rifter/Citroen Berlingo. These are proper Swiss Army knives on wheels.

Vans or motorhomes as short-stay living quarters? Go for the former; the latter can be absurdly expensive. Then, come short holiday or three-day festival time, convert the van (preferably a VW Transporter  or Peugeot Boxer) into a makeshift motorhome simply by chucking in a sofa bed, collapsible table and chairs, portable sink, stove and wardrobe. The crude shower and portaloo are best housed outside in tall tents, though. 

And if you only need a bed for a night, or two at a push, while spending a weekend at a summer music fest, beach, Grand Prix, Goodwood or Le Mans, a large 4x4 or family estate car with its rear seats flattened can serve as a double bed (well, sort of) where occupants are able to grab some kip for a few hours. When I drove from London to Miami (via Iceland, Greenland, Canada) in a Jeep Commander a decade ago, the bulletproof 4x4 was not only my preferred mode of transport, but also my life-saving hotel room, and one far more comfortable, warmer and safer to sleep in than an exposed tent. 

Most important of all, are you torn between a pure-petrol or pure-electric car? For the next year or two at least, go petrol-electric instead. Such vehicles are becoming increasingly attractive and affordable to fund, run and refuel/recharge. Mind you, there is something better and even more flexible than a petrol-electric car, and that’s a petrol-electric van.

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think in the comments below...

Recommended

'This really is a great time to buy a new car'
Opinion dealership
Opinion

'This really is a great time to buy a new car'

Steve Fowler points out some great new car deals to be had in post-lockdown
14 Apr 2021
'Some traditions need to be abandoned, and working 9-5 is one of them'
Opinion commute
Opinion

'Some traditions need to be abandoned, and working 9-5 is one of them'

Britain needs to re-think its approach to commuting, according to Mike Rutherford
11 Apr 2021
'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'
Truck
Opinion

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'

Mike Rutherford proposes some alternative options to help streamline British imports and exports
23 Jan 2021
'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'
Opinion

'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'

Mike Rutherford highlights his positive car industry stories of 2020
4 Jan 2021

Most Popular

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
New Citroen C5 X flagship crossover set to offer ‘ultimate comfort’
Citroen C5 X - front
Citroen C5

New Citroen C5 X flagship crossover set to offer ‘ultimate comfort’

The new flagship Citroen C5 X will arrive with petrol and plug-in hybrid power, and looks set to cost from around £27,000 when it arrives in the UK in…
12 Apr 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6: UK prices and specifications confirmed
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6: UK prices and specifications confirmed

The new all-electric Kia EV6 gets two batteries, 4WD and even a rapid sporty GT version. Prices start from £40,895
30 Mar 2021