Some cars are have the ability to make you feel sad behind the wheel. Take a bow, Mitsubishi Mirage. Other cars make you feel depressed when you’re forced to endure a ‘Level 42mph’ stuck behind one on your favourite B-road. Hello again, Mitsubishi Mirage. But I put it to you now, that the Seat Altea XL is the saddest car in Britain.
Allow me to explain.
Having enjoyed a hearty lunch of cheesy chips and full-fat Coca-Cola with Adam Sloman, I returned to PBHQ in a positive frame of mind. But as I drove home, I found myself getting more and more depressed. No, it wasn’t the sound of Steve Wright in the afternoon or the usual dark clouds over Dartmoor, rather it was the sight of a Seat Altea XL.
Have you ever studied the back of a Seat Altea XL? And I mean, really studied the back. Believe me, after a dozen or so miles stuck behind one, you’ll have an imprint of a Seat Altea XL etched permanently on to your retina. And it’s not a pretty sight.
Just look at those rear lights. They give the Seat Altea XL a look of genuine despair. As if there’s no hope left in life. It’s like the unfortunate Seat Altea XL has just been dumped in favour of a younger, sexier model. You can almost imagine it singing a Spanish version of The Smith’s ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’.
And those sparkly bits around the edge of the lights simply make them look like wet eyelashes mixed with soggy mascara, caused by hours and hours of incessant sobbing. ‘Why, oh why was I left in favour of a Nissan Qashqai? And dumped by text, too.’
Poor Altea. You could almost feel sorry for it, if you weren’t forced into looking at it.
According to Dr Hans Zarkov, formerly of NASA, car manufacturers often give cars ‘faces’ in an effort to help us warm to their new models. Zarkov told PetrolBlog:
“Cars like the original Mini and Austin-Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite had cheerful faces, bringing happiness and joy to anyone travelling in the opposite direction.
“When finishing the rear-end of the Altea XL, it would appear that Seat was keen to take a different approach, choosing instead to reflect the mood of the driver faced with spending an hour behind the wheel of the people carrier. A kind of statement: look at this face, now you know how I feel.”
The question is, have you seen a car looking more depressed than the Seat Altea XL? Answers on a postcard to the usual address. We’ll be sending out new retinas and some eye drops to the best, or rather, worst suggestion.