A few months ago, I was driving an Audi S4 wagon through beautiful South Africa. But those riches didn't last long.
For two days, I strapped myself into seven terrible cars that were too unsafe and shoddy to ever be sold here. I visited dealerships under the guise of a prospective buyer, and wasn't at all prepared for what these low-tier car brands had to offer.
I drove cars without working speedometers, talked with salesmen too lazy to lift a finger and almost downed a beer in the showroom with some very happy sales guys on a Friday afternoon. I had to love and laugh at the country's lackadaisical work ethic, at least compared to the nonstop work work work mentality of the U.S. I could really fit in.
Have a look at my detailed report for Car and Driver magazine -- and you'll soon see that even the worst cars have their good qualities.
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee