Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Could the Geely Emgrand EC7 be 2012's most boring car?
FORGET counting sheep, slurping cups of hot chocolate and coaxing yourself into warm baths. The cure for insomnia now comes in handy automotive form.
I am, for all sorts of reasons, someone who can't drift off easily, spending the small hours of the morning wondering why everyone else is snoring away. However, I'm hoping that by sticking a poster of the new Geely on my bedroom wall that I'll be granted an express season ticket to The Land of Nod.
The Emgrand EC7 will be the Chinese carmaker's first UK offering when it arrives later this year, and while I haven't driven one I'm sure there's plenty going for it. It does, for instance, offer you a roomy four-door saloon at the £10,000 entry price for most superminis, along with a five year, 100,000 mile warranty and generous equipment levels. It might even be fantastically good fun to drive.
But I can't see myself joining the queue of potential buyers because it is - for want of a better word - boring. It is about as memorable as a cloud on a cloudy day or a witticism delivered from the lips of Iain Duncan Smith. Aesthetically - and remember, lots of people do buy cars on the way they look - it is just a grey shape on some alloy wheels, livened up only by a styling slash in the front doors. I've been looking at a picture of one for most of the past week, and I still can't remember what it looks like.
I can see the Geely selling strongly, but to boring people who “only buy a car because they want something that'll get from A to B”, which is motoring shorthand for “I couldn't be bothered to check anything else out”. You know who you are.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be one of those people with a downer on anything Oriental who begins every dinner party conversation with the words “I don't want to sound racist, but...”. There are all sorts of interesting cars which come from the Far East, like the Toyota IQ, the Hyundai Coupe, the Honda Jazz and the Suzuki Kizashi.
It's just that the Emgrand isn't one of them.