2019 was a busy year for us at THEGAYUK motoring section and I’d like to thank all the manufacturers and PRs who helped make it possible. We could not do this without their continued support.
It was easy to pick my joker card for the car I’d have if I had the funds this year. It will comes as a surprise but I’ll explain why later. The number 2 position proved far more difficult for me to select. There were many cars to choose from with a few manufacturers making it more difficult because they had more than 1 in the firing line. You couldn’t see the carpet in the library for all the pictures. In the end I settled it over a vodka based cocktail and a blast of Mel and Kim F.L.M.
So let’s start with The Gay UK’s New Years Honours list.
3 Citroen Berlingo £24,925
It had to happen and I’m sure you all expected this so don’t start rolling your eyes at me for this. Simply put, there isn’t a vehicle out there that can match the Berlingo for space and comfort for 5 or 7 with the extra length model at this price.
That space also has added visibility to swallowing huge loads and the low boot lip is a boon over an equivalent SUV. There is a compromise with the Berlingo and that comes from its van origins. You can’t escape these and it shows in the handling. Not that you’d think this was a problem judging by how fast you see the van piloted around.
Add it all together and it makes for a satisfying long distance cruiser that can also become everything you can think it could and it will.
2 Lexus LC500 £87,885
This was the tricky one and in the end, I wanted to feel a million dollars without actually having to fork out a million.
V8 5 litre petrol power, growling exhaust, the ability to cruise in comfort and its looks are what those on the outside will see. Those fortunate to see inside will be well placed in a cockpit meticulously put together by Lexus Takumi masters.
A large small volume coupe is a difficult car to make and manufacturers have to go all out like Audi and new comers Polestar and they then also charge you a fortune for it.
Here the Lexus LC500 manages it so well and despite it costing almost £88,000, it is great value without the cost cutting compromise. It would be so easy for Lexus to fit switchgear from its parent company and it hasn’t.
The extra cost option that comes with the Lexus as standard is that people will let you out in traffic. You can’t put a price on that.
1 Suzuki Jimny £19,149
The Suzuki caused a bit of a riot and ruined my otherwise planned honours list. Arriving as it did at the end of 2019, I didn’t expect to be sitting here, just after I’d written awful things about its flaws saying that it’s my number 1 choice for 2020. But there we go, nowt queer as a gay motoring journalist!
And why? Its possesses human qualities that make the Jimny almost become anthropomorphic. You can’t help but melt at its cute looks and this makes you talk to it. You are never alone in a journey in a Jimny.
It never lied either at what it was and with that, it never pretended to be anything other than an honest little workhorse that would give you all it can and then some to get you were you needed to go.
It’s the classic Grant Mitchell look. Heavily flawed with good intentions but cover him in the right clothes and he’s a winner.
If It Was My Money
My must have is the Jaguar F Pace SVR. It only had one competitor with us this year and that was from Alfa Romeo. While the Stelvio Quadrifoglio was a mighty beast to drive, it was on the go all the time. And when it wasn’t, the cockpit quality let it down. This made the F Pace SVR all the better. To use both cars gung-ho powers all the time isn’t possible. About 80% of your time would be just normal driving and it’s that 20% of wild fun that gets over thrown by a cockpit and luxury feel that won the day.
And let’s not think the F Pace SVR is all about looks. What it lacked over the Stelvio in power prowess, it more than made up for it with being an absolute scream to drive at its limit and then beyond when the screaming gets louder.
Motoring nurse or medical motorist? It’s a difficult one. By day l nurse and by night l drive.
Fingers have always been grease deep in attending the motoring of an ageing fleet. And now l write about new and old.
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Member of the Southern Group of Motoring Writers. (SGMW)