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The G-Wiz, possibly the worst car ever

G-Wiz Image

Is the G-Wiz a car? Well, it has four seats (although you would all need to be very tiny people to fit in), four wheels and it can be driven on the road. However it is more accurately called a quadricycle; this means that you can drive it quite legally with just a motorbike licence and a 16-year-old can legally drive one too! It has an electric engine fueled by a 48 volt battery and the manufacturers claimed that it would do 50 mph. Mind you they also claimed that it would do 48 miles to a full charge as well. You should take both of these claims with a huge pinch of salt and 42 mph is a much more realistic figure; the mileage claim is equally fanciful.

Could it really fit four people in? Four sardines maybe. If you did manage to cram a tiny driver plus three miniscule occupants into it you would be lucky to get it moving at all let alone at a speed of up to 50 mph. 48 miles to a charge? If there was a gale blowing behind you and you didn't use the lights or, heaven forbid, the heater, then maybe, provided that the batteries were brand-new. After a few months 25 miles to a charge would sound a little bit more realistic, dropping to maybe 15 miles if it was cold weather and you put the heater on!

How about comfort? Perhaps a very small person driving alone in the car could be reasonably comfortable but for normal people it is cramped and claustrophobic with little headroom; and with a terrifying feeling of exposure to other road users. The ride is bouncy and highly conducive to nausea. Acceleration is non-existent. But the worst part of it is the risk to your own personal safety.

The amount of protection that you would get in the event of any type of collision is absolutely minimal and anyone taking one of these over 30 mph would have to be very brave indeed. Take it on the motorway? Laughable. You would just hold up traffic and it probably wouldn't go from one junction to the next anyway without the batteries going flat.

Is it good value? Well for one they were expensive, costing even more than many proper cars, and the quality of finish produced by the manufacturer Reva at their factory in Bangalore, India, was dubious to say the least. Badly fitting panels could let in the rain and paintwork quality was often abysmal.

Has the G-Wiz got any good points? Well there are reputed to be around 1000 of them on London roads and many of the owners are quite happy to potter around slowly, content in the knowledge that they can it park far more easily than people in a proper car. Plus of course owners have the satisfaction of knowing that they are trying to do their best for the environment. Whether the fact that much of it is made out of non-recyclable plastic which takes a great deal of energy to create and which is highly pollutant by itself, and whether the batteries themselves can ever be recycled, may take the edge off that particular claim.

All in all the G-Wiz scores appallingly in just about every owner's satisfaction survey and it can fairly be classed as one of the worst cars – if it is indeed a car – ever made.