FIAT punto dynamic 1.4 75hv. it had the quietest of the engines I tested and a nice gearbox, clutch handling and changing gears was easy. I was able to adjust the seat height, but the steering wheel was a bit too close to my chest for my liking, the wheel is adjustable but I just could not push it further away, then the wheel was blocking the speedometer board, so I had to really look down to see the speed i was going. Then I almost twisted my neck while i tried to get the seat belt because the middle pillar was a bit far from the passenger seat.. in summary it was not so good ergonomic wise. Definitely not a car I feel comfortably driving :(
Next was a fiat panda. That brought a wide smile on face as soon as I got in, great visibility, very wide windows, Antonio was on the back and he could easily see outside as well. It was a very basic model so it did not have a telescopic steering wheel, basically I could adjust it vertically but not horizontally, the passenger seat could only be adjusted horizontally (so not the height), and not enough for me to comfortably reach the clutch. Despite of it, I feel a bit more comfortably than with the punto, I could see the speedometer but it was a bit harder to see the road when going up on a hill. The engine was a lot more noisy than the punto, gear box changing ok, but the clutch handling proved a bit more difficult.
Next, i said to the dealer, if you plan to sell new pandas soon, let me know, i will be interested in a model with more seat and steering wheel adjustment capabilities :)..
He next suggested, would you be interested on a Nissan Micra? if you want you can still test drive it.. so back to the road we went, this time on a Nissan Micra. My husband ponted out, Fabi, this would have been cheaper for us for you to get some driving practice, instead of those extra lessons you took.. I highly recommend :D
Well, I have to say, this one was the best, the one I feel more comfortable with, visibility was good, I could reach the clutch not only with my toes, put my head on the head rest, reach the seat belt, my chest not close to the steering wheel, those things taller drivers take for granted. Still on interiors and engine, the fiat punto had them better and it was silent in the cabin. The Nissan engine (1,2 3 cylinders and 80 hp) had a fine acceleration, enough for short merging lanes, noisy at times but not like the panda, which had a smaller engine. Clutch handling was superb, very forgiving on novice drivers like me. Gear box ok. and should I say I parked the car on my first attempt :)
I got an offer for a Nissan Micra 5d Visia 1.2 80hv, which the seller claimed only valid for a day because some Nissan promotion is ending tomorrow (i speak about this later). and after that i went to the web pages and I already found a Nissan Micra model with a more powerful and less wasteful engine, only driven 5000 km since the beginning of this year, esittely car? maybe I can ask for that one (Nissan micra Acenta 1,2 98 hv DIG-S)..
Still the whole family will go to check a KIA picanto next.. and see the price deal i can get on this other micra..
This was fun.. but definitively I will need a navigator if I am to adventure driving solo.. I will miss my husband voice telling me to correct something.. maybe i should tape him ;)