By on September 30, 2013

Tim writes:


One of the awful side effects of being really really good looking is that you tend to have lots of kids; and four kids later I find myself driving a VW Touran. It is the sensible-shoes option for the sexually successful in Europe- cheap to buy, cheap to run. Drinking in the TTAC cool aid, on a recent trip to the USA I booked a Lincoln Town Car for the six of us from Hertz, and ended up in a Dodge Durango; after which I have found a bit of red on my neck.

Its generosity of proportion, it’s easy livin’ spec (TV for the kids, keyless entry, self-opening boot, sat nav, sirus music…) made the trip back from the airport car park miserable. What car available in Europe makes family life easier (excluding stupendously expensive premium SUVs) if you have already mated; and thus do not need to tick the ego boxes of looks, brand and image.



Sajeev answers:

And here I thought you sexually successful people in Europe had more restraint, less braggadocio than us crude chaps in the States!  Did Clarkson lie to us Yanks about our relative horrible-ness?

That said, how can you go wrong with a Chrysler Voyager in Europe?  Considering your stunning “prowess” and the accompanying lack of ego (Porsche Cayenne, please?) that’s simply not possible. This Autocar review is a fair assessment of our USA breadwinner, relative to the mainstream MPVs in your home continent.

Sure, the Ford Galaxy/S-Max, Seat Alhambra, VW Sharan and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer and all the rest possess sensible Euro styling sensibilities and (probably) superior diesel engines, but you don’t need that shit. You need the Yankee van with the fold into the floor seats. Because it is bad ass. It’s what embodies the American Spirit.  All the goodies available in Chrysler’s breadwinner add to your hustle game, with no red-necked side effects.

More to the point, you’d drive the Voyager as I do with TTAC’s Rio Brown 1983 Ford Sierra Ghia: hipster ironically.  Need an example to prove the point?

Here I am parked at BP’s H-town headquarters enjoying a little break before tackling the pictured roundabout.  While I’d normally give the task to my Texa-Guido Lincoln Mark VIII, the Ford Sierra was the more ironic choice. No doubt the displaced Brit that felt the need to add some “London” to Houston agrees with my choice.


Tim, my friend, you could be this self-aware. You could be me and the Sierra: easily reproducing this in a Voyager somewhere near your place of residence. You gotta do it, to it…Son!


Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.


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46 Comments on “Piston Slap: The Awful Side Effect of Being Really, REALLY Good Looking...”

  • avatar

    “One of the awful side effects of being really really good looking is that you tend to have lots of kids;”

    Oh yes, it’s just *so* awful to be attractive. glad to see that arrogance and narcissism are universal.

  • avatar

    It is a shame that my first sip of coffee was taken when I read the line “One of the awful side effects of being really really good looking is that you tend to have lots of kids;”…because I spit it back up.

    I hope this is some sort of a monday sick joke!

    We all know looks have NOTHING to do with making babies…Take a walk through Walmart and you’ll know exacty what I’m talking about. Better yet, turn on some daytime talk show and listen to the morons trying to figure out who their 5th child is fathered by.

    Why in the hell did Tim even get his question posted on here other than for a laugh?

    Wow it really is a Monday.

  • avatar

    In Europe there are no really good family options, not like the USA. What about a Fiat Multipa or Honda FRV for six people. If you really have no ego what about the small vans from Peugeot, try the teepee or Fiat has the Doblo, both are a bit miserable on the comfort front. Also think about the Rodius or a Grandis. Chrysler distribution fell apart in the last few years and they are hard to come by at reasonable money- new the voyager is around the same price as a Volvo xc90, which would be my choice.

    • 0 avatar

      Plus the Voyager (in the UK) has an annual car tax of 280 GBP and only gets ~35mpg(imperial) on the euro cycle

      Compare that with offerings from Ford (Grand CMax) Peugeot (5008)& others that start sub 20,000 GBP and pay from as little as 30 GBP per year in car tax.

  • avatar

    Somebody has been watching Zoolander over and over. Confess Tim.

    I thought Europeans with lots of kids were supposed to either (1) live in an obscenely dense, near city suburb close to the trains and buses and live sans-car, or (2) have one or more “manor” homes complete with multiple Range Rovers?

    Get the Ford C-Max with the diesel. Chrysler? You wouldn’t drive a Fiat would you?

    • 0 avatar

      I confess. 1- live in suburbia, 30 km round trip commute, plus staging the kids decadent social life of parties and activities. 2- the other side of the family got the estate and then lost it on slow horses and fast partners.

      Grand C-max seems a little like the touran country I am trying to escape, but will plonk it on the list, thanks, Tim

  • avatar

    LOL gasoline fight!

  • avatar

    God hates you and wants you to drive Fiat 500L with an F150 mural on its hood.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Since I have five kids, does that mean I’m good-looking? Wait, maybe it means my wife is.

    • 0 avatar

      SCE – OK, I needed a good laugh this morning and you provided it.

      Tim – when the population Puritans give you reproving stares, just remember that the future belongs to those who show up.

      • 0 avatar

        SCE sure you, about 20% more than me based on my simple formula.

        chuckrs, you are right, the puritans recognise us large families decadent evil, and that deep seated resentment is enacted in products like the Touran; where kids have to front-roll over a seat to get into the boot. Tim

  • avatar

    Y’know, even though I’m pretty ugly, my Impala makes ME look pretty good!

  • avatar

    Yup Chrysler minivan FTW. The only way to make it better would be to figure out how to graft Lancia badges on it just to confuse your fellow Europeans.

    • 0 avatar

      The Chryco van is already sold as a Lancia Voyager over there. I saw plenty of them on the road in Germany and Italy on a recent trip. Ironically, I believe they stopped selling anything with a Chrysler badge on it in mainland Europe – the 300 is sold as the Lancia Thema and the 200 is rebadged as the Lancia Flavia. It looks as though the Chrysler brand carries on in the UK though…must have had more name recognition there.

  • avatar

    Poor Sajeev, he has to post stuff like this..
    Send some topics in people! (myself included)..

  • avatar


    I was distraught to hear of your plight. I suffer similarly, so I know where you’re coming from. Not only am I good looking, but incredibly charming and dangerously virile (one-armed hugs, only). I solved my over-childed dilemma with a Mazda5. A great combination of space, efficiency (space and fuel), and style. And no concerns for looks (suppository), brand (low-rent Honda), or image (house-poor, over-leveraged breeder). Best of luck!

  • avatar

    I have no children at home and am considering the Town & Country as it can do just about everything but go off-road.

  • avatar

    My favorite Aunt always threatened to get an old used limo to cart my three cousins and their friends around in. Toss the sprogs in the back, roll up the partition window and waft along in peace and quiet. Fill the bar with Kool-Aide only though!

    And how about some pictures of Tim? I have my 0-10 cards ready to hold up. We’ll see just how hot that boy actually is! Bonus for pictures of the wife and kids too!

  • avatar

    My caboose is the size of New Hampshire but my wife is a hottie. Riddle me that!

  • avatar

    2008 – 2010 Voyagers, at least in Germany were available with Diesel Motors. Common Rail Diesel if I remember correctly. Not sure what the newer ones have but I would imagine that the diesel option is still there.

  • avatar

    Stoke the ire of the envy-ridden runts…Brilliant.

  • avatar

    The Renault Espace would do the trick and not gut the wallet when filling up. But… The Voyager is all American.

  • avatar

    The more I think about it the more I think the options are not great. TINA- there are no alternatives. Here is an extenisive list of almost all the seven seaters in euroland, notice that many full sizers are missing- Sienna, Odyssey and those that came never sold well Town & Country and remember the Sintra.

    C platformers like your Touran, Zafira, Dacia Logan MCV, Renault Grand-Senic, Ford Grand C-Max, Corolla verso

    C+ platformers like the 5008, picaso, Chevrolet Orlando, Fiat Freemont, Kia Carens, Mazda 5

    Small euro D platformers like C8, Espace, Voyager, S-Max, Ford Galaxy, Sharan/alhambra, Ssangyong Rodius

    Funny vans Citroën Belingo Multispace, Fiat Doblo , VW T5 or Caddy, MB Viano, Tepee

    Lux/jeeps Audi Q7, BMW X5, Land Rover Disco, Mercedes GL, Nissan Pathfinder, Volvo XC90, Toyota LandCruiser

    Smally jeeps C-Crosser, Chevrolet Captiva, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mitsubishi Outlander, Sorento, Nissan X-Trail

  • avatar

    Wow, that is a pretty complete and largely depressing list of vehicles. Thanks for the effort in compiling this. I gotta use my looks to make more money to afford something tasty from the luxo jeep category.

  • avatar

    May I humbly suggest a Citroen C4 Grand Picasso? My father has a 2007 model and it’s actually pretty nice. The vehicle has three row seating, satnav, a decent stereo, a 2.0L diesel engine, 6 speed auto with flappy paddles, panoramic roof, pneumatic rear suspension (makes it easier to carry stuff into the boot), power folding mirrors, and while the interior plastics aren’t the best, they will hold up to children. I’ve driven the vehicle on my visits to Spain and I have enjoyed driving the vehicle very much and the flappy paddles are pretty responsive when aggressive driving is needed. The Voyager is always a good idea but with French car resales being low, you may be able to get the Picasso for a song. Good luck!

  • avatar

    I really shouldn’t even be talking about it, but have you considered driving a Magnum?

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