My organisation insists that business travel is undertaken using either the train, an aeroplane or a hire car. They won't allow us to use our vehicles for business trips. That means that over a few recent months I've driven, or been driven in, hire cars from Ford, Vauxhall, BMW, Volvo, Skoda and Audi. Most are fine. I personally find the BMW 3-Series massively overrated, with the interiors in particular being very poor quality. Audi make a fine interior, but give a dull drive. Their diesels are very rough (petrols much better) but the DSG gearbox remains a poor performing disaster, despite what the motoring press say. Having been in a few Skodas, you'd be far better off than with an Audi IMHO, as the differences are minor and you don't look like a) an estate agent or b) a middle manager photocopier salesman... However, my main points (and the point of this thread) are two-fold. First, I haven't had a single Japanese or Korean hire car and wonder why not? Second, the best cars I've had, regardless of 'image' - and I do mean this - have been from Ford and especially Vauxhall. The Mondeo is a better drive and a more practical proposition than either a 3-Series or an A4. Vauxhalls - from Insignia to Astra and even a Mokka - have well made interiors and are good (and refined) drives. When did we as a nation become badge obsessed over reality, especially when 'reality' is significantly better value? Now, I understand the reliability argument. Would a Vauxhall be a good long-term proposition? I'm not sure tbh, but given the price I'd be willing to give one a try. That surprised me. Ford and Vauxhall surprised me. Who knew?