Brit Bashes Chrysler's Big Ass Minivan

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Unlike the vast majority of their American counterparts, auto scribes scribbling in The Land of Hope and Glory are not shy about coming forward when they test a car that sucks. As American fans of Jeremy Clarkson will tell you, built-in ethnocentrism only makes things worse (better?). In this case, Mr. Clarkson's colleague at The Times, Andrew Frankel, rises to the rhetorical challenge of ripping Chrysler's new Grand Voyager (in Euro-spec diesel trim) a new one. First the good news: "Not only has it been renamed the Grand Voyager, it is also longer than a Mercedes S-class. And provided you don’t make the mistake of driving it anywhere, it’s really rather wonderful." After chronicling the toys lurking within Mr. Nardelli's Wonder Emporium, Frankel gets the party started. "If I tell you the engine is a close relative of that used by London taxis, you’ll perhaps see where the problems start. Chrysler won’t release any performance figures for this car and, frankly, nor would I… That’s not the only problem. The engine is clattery and unrefined, even at the modest speeds at which the Grand Voyager can be persuaded to cruise. And while Chrysler’s engineers seem pleased with the new suspension they designed for the car, its handling is vague and ponderous… Yes, the Grand Voyager can swallow all the people and possessions you could possibly want to throw through its electrically sliding doors. The only problem is that once they’re in, you’re not going to want to take them anywhere." Ow.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Nov 26, 2007

    What on earth are "unruly pubes"? Clarkson claims to be English? Even I can use the English language better than that. From Merriam-Webster, "Unruly: not readily ruled, disciplined or managed." Hairy nipples works.

  • Tech98 Tech98 on Nov 27, 2007
    Try imagining them printing THAT in Car and Driver… C&D had a modicum of wit back in the David E. Davis era, but it seems to have been bleached out years ago by the suffocating blandness of corporate micromanagement. I wish the US mags had the opinionated guts of their UK counterparts. Not long ago, CAR Magazine had a full-page illustrated cartoon on the subject of Daimler Chrysler's CEO, titled, "Juergen Schremmp, The World's Worst Auto Executive"!
  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Nov 27, 2007

    Not totally true. A couple of years ago, Automobile Magazine had a cover line under some Ford concept car, "Proof That Ford Has Run Entirely Out of Ideas."

  • Davekaybsc Davekaybsc on Nov 27, 2007

    Unfortunately, for the most part Automobile is the worst written and blandest of the "big 4" US auto rags, with MT a very close second. Is Sports Car International a US magazine? They actually had the gall to say that the Solstice is rather lousy, which none of the other mags would even go near. Greatest car ever!