Tourliner tonic

It’s been a funny old week, to revisit an old cliché. Like many people, I’ve been dragged back a bit by the everlasting virus which disappeared, reappeared, and dogged me a little right up to road testing MAN’s hugely impressive P10 Tourliner.

That must have been a tonic for the soul, because I perked up straight after my visit to Trafford Park, taking a two-hour ride while ‘Coach Stig’ toured the north-west’s motorways and A roads chipping in with his comments for the benefit of the review.

Our driver is hugely experienced, not just driving the average fleet offering but delivering new coaches for all manner of dealerships; this is a bloke who’s driven almost everything. I won’t spoil next week’s road test for you by saying too much, but suffice to say that the Tourliner and sales manager Matt Jacob impressed.

There was a time when among the strutting game cocks of vehicles – whether cars or coaches – the occasional turkey would pop up, and give me something to get stuck into. I’ve road tested cars on which fairly significant interior trim fell into the footwell, or the thing stuttered to a halt at the side of the road.

Those times have gone; every car and coach I’ve seen in recent years (with the exception of a horrible Jeep Renegade) has been really well assembled and appeared pretty durable, doubtless the result of SolidWorks CAD and SikaFlex, modern electronics and engines which, almost without exception, are these days rubbish if they can’t cover 100,000 miles without major work. Remember when car odometers only went up to 99,999?

It’s taken the fun out of the job, and you find yourself trying to find fault. In truth, 80% of what you write – no matter how objective you try to be – is a matter of opinion. But that’s OK; it’s what the road tester is being asked to do.

But I’m interested to know whether you agree with me and Coach Stig. It’s B&CB, not the BBC, into which angry letters disappear as if blasted towards Saturn. Drop us a line, on the Tourliner or the Irizar i8 we tested late last year, or any other of our road tests.

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