…or so I thought.

After a slightly disappointing experience with driving a MGF for one year (it was good fun when it was running, but it simply gave me too much trouble to live with it any longer, not to mention the depreciation!), I lost all faith in British car building skills. Something became clear to me: I was convinced that now I could confirm that I’m the ‘made in Italy’ lover. I openly admit I have a weak spot for Prada and Zegna. I use Armani Acqua Di Gio. I love Italian wine and ice cream. I could continue: Pininfarina. Bertone. Maserati. Puccini. In one world, Italy is La Dolce Vita. Italy is passion. Italy is embracing life with a big heart.

Changing from the British Troublemaker to a wonderful Alfa Romeo I thought the transition was complete…

But then, what happened? First, I bought a Burberry rain jacket (which I believe is really sensible, since I’m living in Great Britain) and then I ended up with buying a shirt (white and white checkered) from the same brand. Not to mention that really elegant suit I found last year made by someone with a really English name. Furthermore, I claim that the best tomatoes in the world actually grow on the Isle Of Wight. Does that mean that I do need to change my self assessment now? Or is it okay as long as I keep using my Pirelli trainers?

The truth is, not all is lost. A week touring through Calabria and Basilicata (and a boat trip to the Aeolian Islands) reassured me that life still is better under the Italian sun. That driving 800 miles in a tiny car with a 2 cylinder engine isn’t an ordeal as long as it’s called ‘Cinquecento’. So, I was curious and went testing a Land Rover (Freelander) and an Alfa Romeo (Giulietta) the same day. I was wondering: Will it confirm my prejudice? (You might wonder why I’m not considering a German car instead… well, maybe they are just too good?)

In one word: No surprises. The Freelander is a very good car. As expected, it’s a totally different world from the old MG. It’s easy to use. The seating position is perfect. It oozes self confidence and just can’t be more reasonable. But, I wasn’t quite convinced by the strange key & start button operation and the centre of the dashboard reminded me of a plastic stereo system from the supermarket. And, to tell the truth, I wasn’t quite convinced by the sales department at the dealership either. Having said that, a forecourt full of mighty Land Rovers and Range Rovers (including the gorgeous Evoque) is naturally a bit intimidating. Call me silly… I haven’t fallen for the Giulietta either yet, though. She’s very pretty and drives well. But ultimately, she’s ‘just’ a hatchback…

Maybe it was not fair to compare the two cars anyway, because they cannot be any more different (other than the fact that both were on my lists of cars to consider…). But this article isn’t really about cars. It’s about making decisions by heart. And sometimes, something as insignificant as the 3 words ‘Benzina’, ‘Acqua’ and ‘Giri’ on the dashboard simply do the magic!

Oh, and by the way, what kind of guy/girl are you?

  • Date Posted - 30. June 2012
  • Key Words - Lifestyle