Motoring: I like big, anti-excitement cars. They cruise along in a lazy, carefree way, encouraging a similar driving manner. They are the perfect foil to a hard day's work

In the thesaurus of daft adjectives used to promote the humble car, none is less appropriate or more overused than "exciting". Cars, or at least the vast majority of them, should never be exciting. They are meant to reassure and protect, not excite; to lower our heartbeat, not raise it.

Many car makers crow about "building excitement" and such rubbish, among them Toyota, Japan's biggest maker (and taking both quality and cost into account, probably the world's most accomplished manufacturer of cars). People do not buy Toyotas to be excited. They buy them because they are good value and rarely let you down. They are anti-excitement cars. (After all, there is rarely a motoring event so exciting as being stranded on the hard shoulder of a motorway at peak hour.)

I have just been driving a Toyota Camry V6 automatic and it is, without doubt, one of the least exciting cars I have ever driven. It goes about its business quietly and comfortably and completely fuss-free. Like the best big saloons, it is therapeutic rather than exciting to drive. Its anonymous looks are a boon: they help avoid the excitement of being stopped by the police.

I like big anti-excitement cars. They cruise along in a lazy, carefree way, encouraging a similar driving manner. They are the perfect foil to a hard day's work. Who wants to climb aboard a five-speed GTi buzz box, when the alternative is a soft and supple automatic saloon that can waft you home: the motoring equivalent of a pipe and slippers in front of a fireplace while the butler brings a large scotch?

The best big, anti-excitement cars, in my experience, are Jaguars. (Rolls- Royces would be even better, were it not for the fact that everybody else on the road hates you, which tends to increase the excitement level.) Jags are relatively common, at least in London, and are big and unstressed and comfortable. You can feel your angst dissipate after a few miles. The sporty models, of course, are not so good. Jags are not sporty cars, no matter what the big alloy wheels and war paint and marketing bumf may suggest. Jags are big, soft saloons, or at least the best ones are.

Mercedes saloons are also good. My favourite is the old S-class, as favoured by politicians, plutocrats and peers. They are plush tanks, and all that protective armour tends to reduce excitement, because you know you will rarely be threatened.

Other favourite anti-excitement tonics include the V6 Ford Scorpio (helped by its profound ugliness and its surprising comfort), big Citroens (because they ride with such suppleness and yet reassurance) and most large new American cars (rare in Europe). Off-roaders are too frenzied - they're too noisy and roll too much, although new Range Rovers are almost unexciting. BMWs are hopeless, even the big saloons. They're too sporty and thus about as therapeutic as a 10-mile jog. Volvos don't relax, either. Too many motorcyclists abuse you, in anticipation of eventually being killed by you or a fellow Volvo driver. Most Japanese saloons are also poor. They are too energetic of ride and too buzzy of motor.

Which is why the Camry V6 was such a surprise. Quiet, refined, anonymous. I hardly remember a single journey I did in it, it was so relaxing. In fact, it was so unexciting, I barely recollect the car at all. It merely served up entirely fuss-free transport, like a good, big saloon car should.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    English teachers required in Lowestoft

    £21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified English tea...

    Business Development Director - Interior Design

    £80000 - £100000 per annum + competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment...

    Sales Director, Media Sponsorship

    £60000 - £65000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A globally successful media and ...

    Head of Affiliate Sales for Emerging Markets

    competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you looking for your next role ...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits