Well, after one week, I still like my Shogun Pinin. Of course it doesn’t look as clean as the photo. Don’t think for a minute that I’m going to start cleaning it every week. But, maybe more than my Sportrak.
After picking it up, and showing my folks, I took it for a little drive out in the hills. It is very quiet compared to the Sportrak, whether this is due to the mechanics of the engine or soundproofing I don’t know, so I do have a tendency to over rev the engine before gear changes. I guess that I’m still getting used to the gears and driving it in general. The other thing that I’m still trying to get used to is the increased turning circle. I think that if you drove the Sportrak on an airport runway you would still have to do a 3 point turn to go back in the direction that you came. So I do now have a tendency to over steer. The power steering does feel more consistent with the Pinin as there were times driving the Sportrak that I felt that I wasn’t in control of the vehicle. A feeling that the front wheels were skidding on ice the steering was so light. With the rain that we’ve had over the past week obviously pools of water collect by the roadside. It’s always great to drive through them at speed. In the Sportrak the car would pull violently to the left as the tyre displaces the water. This could be a little scary if I was driving at night as I always had to correct the steering slightly to keep it on the road. I thought that this was because of the size of the tyres. The tyres on both cars must be of a similar size. That hitting the water would act like a brake, but only on one side of the car. It seems that the Pinin doesn’t seem to do this. It can’t be because of some traction control computer because I don’t think that it has one. I’ll have to try a few more tests just to be sure.
When I was checking the controls, and trying to lower the drivers seat, last weekend I said to my dad that the car has about 8 different time settings for the intermittent wipers. He said that Ford have been building that kind of stuff into their cars since the model T. If only Ford made a car that I liked.
The rest of the controls must be pretty much standard fare for new cars nowadays. Central locking which includes the rear door, the Sportrak just had a switch between the front seats. Outside temperature display, and apparently an alarm if it drops below 3 degrees Celsius. Air conditioning, which I haven’t tried yet, but should come in handy for the two weeks in July which constitutes a British summer. A display which shows MPG. When you use the screen wash it automatically activates the wipers both front and back. The headlights switch off if you leave them on accidentally. And, according to the owners manual, you can’t accidentally lock your keys in the car, unless you’ve taken them out of the ignition and left them on the seat.
Today I looked at fitting my Sony MP3 CD player. I have only burnt 3 audio CDs for the car and really miss having a full 10 hours of music on one disc. I managed to get the Mitsubishi CD player out of the dashboard using the tools provided. Then I looked at the mass of cabling and started to wish that I’d kept the cable that I left in my Sportrak. This is the main cable that the installation chap had to cut the connectors off so that it would work in my old car without another cable that he didn’t have with him. Of course I just told him to cut it and crimp the cables together. This was about 2 months after I’d bought the CD player, the third attempt at installing it, and was just one of the many catastrophes of 2004. I went to Halfords at lunchtime to see if they had such a thing as a Sony to Shogun Pinin cable, but they only had an ISO to Shogun Pinin cable. I even started to look at buying another CD player because I thought that you couldn’t buy a Sony cable that would do the job. Until, that is, I looked on everyone’s favourite auction site eBay and found, and have now purchased, what I think are the required cables. That’s a Sony to ISO cable and an ISO to Shogun Pinin cable. I only hope that all this cable will fit behind the unit without it bulging out. We shall have to see if they are correct when they arrive but they look okay from the photos.
After 13 years driving the Sportrak I wish that I’d bought another car sooner. I’ve been so pleased with the Shogun Pinin that I may never buy a used car again. I mean I rarely drink, don’t smoke or have any other vices, don’t buy designer clothes, or venture out much so I might as well drive a nice car. This is, of course, coming from someone who would never buy a new car because of the depreciation. Just don’t mention the depreciation.