As some of you guys know, I recently managed to get my MVA learners permit. That means until I’m 16 and 6 months, I’m allowed to drive with anyone 21 years of age who’ve had their license for 3 years. It also means I have to take a mandatory 10 day, 3 hour each drivers ed course where they show us videos like this.
So yeah, as someone who gets most of their information on how to drive from places like this, I guess shouldn’t expect they’re going to have 4 whole classes about car control and knowing the limits of your car. And to be fair, I have learned a lot of important lessons about scanning the road, proper road edicate, and right of way. And frankly, after first driving on the public road in my parent’s cars, I’m glad I took some of these classes.
Ah yes, my first time driving on public roads. To any parent who’s going to teach their kid to drive, I highly advise them to use the smallest car they own, because holy shit driving an LR4 for the first time was terrifying. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love Landies and driving is much easier for me now, but when I first drove the LR4 I thought I was going to hit everything. Having to guide a 3 ton, 375 HP SUV through traffic while trying to remember your blind spots and right of way isn’t fun. However, by far the worst thing about it (and something I still struggle with) is the throttle. It’s unbelievably jumpy, dumping revs after you push your foot ¼ to full throttle and extremely hard to drive smooth . It wasn’t till I drove my Grandmom’s W04 C-class (which BTW is the best driving car I’ve drove so far) did I realize that the throttle was absolute crap.
That said, since the time I’ve first drove the LR4 I’ve become a much more competent driver. Because of that, I’ve been able to realize the driving position is quite good, for a 3 ton SUV the steering is quite commutative and weighted quite nicely (though with a next gen LR4 looming I’m guessing it’s going to get electronic power steering), the wheel doesn’t line up to the driver properly, and it handles fairly composed for a 3 ton SUV. Overall, it’s road manners are very good, and I’m quite looking forward to the occasion when I’ll be able to take it off road!
The other car I’ve gotten to drive most often (though not as much as the LR4) is my dad’s A7, a car I quite proudly got him to buy. And let me unsurprising just say, WOW, driving it is a completely different experience from the LR4. First and foremost , the throttle. It’s WAYYYYYY more progressive then the LR4, and as a result I drive much smother in it then in the Landy. Trust me, my sister constantly mentions it a world’s difference when I drive the A7. Second of, the seats are really odd. They sit really low, in fact too low, and I can never find a position that isn’t completely comfortable. I also always keep finding myself wishing they were more bolstered. But by far the biggest difference is the steering. After driving the LR4 and W04 (both of which have hydraulic steering), I get the right to say it’s utter crap. I knew electric steering (and for that matter Audi with steering) had a reputation of bad and after driving the A7 I can see why. It’s completely lifeless and artificial, giving almost no feedback at all. Even worse, it has this really weird weighting that makes it feel like I’m driving through glue.
Still, it’s more fun to drive on the road then the LR4 and I’m glad my dad bought it, but I’m still saving up for my own car to say the least. I just need to prove to my parents I can drive a manual (or as they call it, a “stick shift”).
Come back tomorrow to see me rant on about the depressing realities of drivers ed!