The Toyota GT86 review, MX-5 design detail and, er, Dacia Duster debate continues.

I was at an agricultural show the other week in mid-Wales. Well why not? Like to do something random every so often, and it was kind of fun - we drifted into the horse judging arena by mistake, so my daughter got to ogle some horses whilst I tried unsuccessfully not to ogle big ladies in jodhpurs. Anyway, I digress. At the show was Harlech Toyota with the GT86 [top tip Harlech Toyota; if somebody shows an interest in your cars, why not get up off your fat arses to have a chat with them? You never know....] and some Renault dealer with the Dacia. I went to look at GT whilst wife and kids the Duster. Now I wasn't long on the Toyota stand, mainly because where's the fun in just looking at a locked car with the sales staff looking on gruffly from the comfort of their tent?  And also, well, I found it an ugly pig of a vehicle. Come on Toyota, put some effort into making your cars look attractive. Perhaps I'm not old enough for a 2litre coupe yet, give me another 20 years until I'm in the Toyota / Honda age bracket, but it held no appeal so I ambled off to look at the Dacia. I would, naturally, have liked to look at other cars but there was only Renault, Toyota and tractors on show. My choice of Renault or Toyota was the only choice, and Toyota just sat there unwilling to talk. I'd not normally talk about either brand, but there you go, I can only work with what I have Dear Reader.

Now here's something you'll not hear very often, but rear 3/4 view aside, I found the Duster the more attractive vehicle in a functional way, especially in white. Some may ask now where I've been putting my tablets, but honest; I did. It's also to my eyes the more appealing vehicle function wise. By the looks of it, wheels off, you could get two mountain bikes in the boot. It's also £10k cheaper than the rather single purpose GT86. So you could buy a Duster for day to day trundles then buy a proper sports car, like a used Caterham or MX-5 with the change.

Both of which I've driven by the way, quite hard I may add [oops back to those jodhpurs again!]. I'd have the Caterham like a shot and look like a twat quite happily, especially in the rain. But by heck have you seen the new MX-5? In white with a black folding hardtop that's a lovely looking car - and one that'd lose your licence as easily as the pig ugly, £8k more expensive Toyota. Mazda have really refined the MX-5 to something really rather lovely. But then a relative of mine bought a new MX-5 a few years ago and not only do they rust from new [window frames] but depreciate pretty well to boot. He sold it for less than he owed on outstanding finance. OK cars depreciate, and he took out a big loan, but it wouldn't be much of a story if I told you those details now would it?

Sorry AD, I know you like Toyotas, but the GT doesn't do it for me at all. Tellingly I've only seen them in brown or blue; silver may show how horrid they are?

By the way, Porsche? Are you there? Really need that test drive in the Panamera right now. Come on, don't be shy. Even if you gave me the diesel I'd say it was good.

1/10/2012 update: I've seen a few GT86 things around now. Beginning to suspect things are not right with that car. Still find it an ugly design, and the ones I've seen being driven have been driven very, very slowly indeed. I'm bemused as to who it will appeal to simply because it is so ugly. Look at the MX-5 as a comparitor. Nice car, great design.