• May 2, 2011
The five worst cars Ben Collins has ever driven – Click above for high-res image gallery

Over the course of his years donning the white suit and helmet for Top Gear, pro driver Ben Collins has had the chance to drive an enviably wide array of cars. Their track times all went up on the power lap board, but there are better ways of evaluating how a car handles under pressure – like asking the guy who drove them. That's what Australian car site Drive did, and got the former Stig to jot down some notes. They weren't in Morse Code, but while his list of the worst five cars he'd ever driven includes some obvious choices, a couple may surprise.

First up on Ben's hit list: the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. When we drove it, we found its dynamics were lightyears behind its looks, and His (deposed) Stiginess apparently agrees. At the end of Collins' list is another supercar – the TVR Sagaris – which he feels was horribly emblematic of the company that produced it, while pointing to the fact that Jeremy Clarkson loved it as evidence enough of its dubious distinction.

In between these two European supercars on Collins' list comes the Fiat Multipla, whose horrid styling was surpassed only by its dismal performance, and the Cadillac Escalade, which the Englishman found to be all show and no go – particularly off road. Finally, the previous-generation Dodge Charger drew the Stig's ire for its gross weight and lamentable slushbox. If for America's sake alone, we can only hope that, heavier still though it is, Collins might take a crack at the new model.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      Stix
      • 3 Years Ago
      Didn't Jeremy said the same thing about the 8C Competizione? Terrible handing, but beautiful to look at? I don't know what to think about the TVR Sagaris. Can't say I'm surprised about the Multipla and that bloody Escalade. He probably might change his mind about the old Charger if he ever test drives the new one.
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess he has not driven a Tata nano yet
      Krazeecain
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've always thought of big luxury SUV's not as off-roaders, but as replacements for the big boats of a by-gone era. If you're going to buy an over-sized luxury vehicle, it might as well be an "SUV". That way, it's a little more practical as you gain some interior space. Who the hell wants to go off-road with $50k+ worth of wood, leather and chrome anyways? (aside from purpose-built machines of course)
      Robert Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cadillacs SUV, is a SUV that cannot be driven off road, which defeats the purpose of having it in the first place. They started to import TVR's in Australia, but the quality was so bad,the importer quicky dropped the venture.
        Mel @ aWingThing.COm
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Robert Ryan
        The majority of US SUV/CUV buyers are NOT looking to take their vehicle off road.
          thepennyracer
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mel @ aWingThing.COm
          If you're not going to take a massive SUV off road, you've just declared yourself as someone who enjoys flaunting/wasting money. If you bought one to haul around massive American kids, you're lying to yourself again. All these moms with SUVs at the mall need to trade that crap in for an estate car. The fad is over.
      Mel @ aWingThing.COm
      • 3 Years Ago
      Too bad. The 8C is one of the most beautiful cars from the last 10 years.
      Reno Dillard
      • 3 Years Ago
      I agree with the statement about the Escalade. It kinda doesn't serve any purpose if it doesn't excell in the capabilities that a SUV "supposed" to have. A massive truck based vehicle that's only good for highway driving is useless..........Cadillac could have kept the Fleetwood Brougham if highway comfort was their aim. If I bought a sports car, I want speed and power even if I don't drive it over 90mph most of the time. After all, that speed and power are the capabilities that I would be paying for. So if people buying the Escalade, what are the speciel SUV capabilities that they are willing to pay a premium price for..............because you can get leather and wood in anything these days?
      Mchicha
      • 3 Years Ago
      Goes to show you, Europeans do not understand America. The Escalade is not about the off-road; , its about the boulevards and the freeways.. that is why Cadillac fitted it with AWD instead of 4X4; its not meant to go off-road…
        Du K
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mchicha
        which is why it is pointless and unpractical. Would much rather have a QX56.
        EnzoHonda
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mchicha
        If you want to be on boulevards and freeways then buy a car. Anyone who likes an Escalade likes it for the aspects that make it terrible. It's like Lucky beer. Sure, some people like it, but even they know it's terrible.
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      OK, maybe disappointing based on what they promise, but 'worst'? Meh, say whatever you want about the Alfa and the TVR, I'd still hit that. Also, picking on the Multipla? Ugly or not it was designed to be a fuel and space efficient people mover, which it succeeds at brilliantly. It's not a track car. Duh! The Escalade however deserves all the hate in the world however. Dumb list.
      MechE
      • 3 Years Ago
      The three cars are pretty surprising.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        72CJ5driver
        • 3 Years Ago
        Why do you need 4wd to tow? I'm not sure how AWD limits the tow rating. The 2011 AWD esclade is rated at 8000lbs max towing. The 4wd GMC yukon is rated a 8200lbs max towing (8500lbs 2wd) The 4wd Chevy silverado 1500 5.3 4x4 is rated at 8900lbs max towing. (9100lbs 2wd) Not giving up much capacity towing wise vs. a 4wd. I've towed with full time 4wd vehicles, 2wd vehicles, and part time 4wd vehicles, and except when in loose dirt or wet grass, when the 2wd could have issues, I've never seen any difference, except with the awd/full time, I didn't have to worry about engaging 4wd. However, I still agree that a tahoe or yukon is a better value, but they are nowhere near as nice inside as an escalade.
          matt
          • 3 Years Ago
          @72CJ5driver
          On a wet ramp with 8000lbs of boat behind me, I'd rather have the option of 4 Low. Just my $.02
      Not me
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anyone who regularly visit this site and looks down on this either always own a station wagon or suv. I've been street racing for 12 yrs and never once saw an accident. Im not saying bad things don't happen but its the exception not the rule. Hell it's more dangerous on any highway after the 1st rain drop. Someones always crashing within the 1st mins of rain
      onewayroll
      • 3 Years Ago
      Say what you want about Colins, but that guy can drive!
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