I get that. I'm not a Luddite suggesting a proper car needs correct alignment of the stars and a hefty swing on a starting handle just to be coaxed into life. Or require a ride-on mechanic once under way. I value convenience. But the little distinguishing features that can make a car challenging or more 'difficult' to drive can also be enjoyable.
This was brought to mind as I burbled across North Wales in my Subaru Forester, on the way back from driving the new four-cylinder F-Type. The Ingenium turbocharged 2.0-litre in that car is very much on the cutting edge of modern forced-induction engines and has that thumping low-rev torque delivery we've been taught to expect. Obviously it's working in perfect harmony with a cleverly calibrated automatic gearbox but there are never any flat spots in the power delivery and you're rarely left hanging.
But I've grown to love the challenge of keeping it on the boil. The controls are precise enough that if you time the upshift as the boost is cresting, and keep just a tickle of throttle on to maintain it as you dip the clutch, you land right back in the sweet spot. Likewise I'm learning to pre-empt the lag and get on the throttle really early in the corner, the reward for getting the timing right being a subtle shift in balance as the rear axle wakes up and overrides the inherent tendency to understeer.
Were I reviewing it dispassionately as I would a new car I'd probably describe it as flawed. But because it's my car and I've bought into the way old Subarus go about their business I enjoy responding to the challenge.
The obvious 'difficult car made good' is, of course, also from Stuttgart and the quirks of its rear-mounted engine have become a defining challenge many (myself included) have enjoyed mastering. Or attempting to anyway. I'll work on the basis that particular topic may have been done to death somewhat.
And ask you what supposed minor 'annoyances' in a car have you grown to love and appreciate as defining characteristics? And which are still just, well, irritating?