I am young, yes, but not too young. I’m just starting to learn the true rules of the road. However, I’ve been a car fan for as long as I can remember. By the age of 6, I could name every car in the Kindergarten parking lot. Someone would point to their car and ask me, “Hey, bud, what’s that car over there?” I’d reply with a simple “Yeah, the grey one? Easy. Toyota Camry.”
Some would take a while for me to learn, though. If someone would show me an Isuzu VehiCROSS and ask me what it was at first glance, the only word you would hear uttered from my lips was a long, high pitched, annoying “uuuuuuhhhhhhh......” After awhile, a clue would dawn on me. “I have a Hot Wheel that looks exactly like that.”
By age 8, I had my life all planned out. I would be a bus driver when I grew up (a unique, yet perfect example of how low kids’ expectations of profession are), and then there was my dream car. Of all the cars that existed in 2006, the Murciélagos, the F430’s, the Veyrons, I dreamt of driving a Saab 9-7x.
It’s a Saab ...ish. Think of it as if Kevin James and Sofia Loren had a lovechild.
Yes, the Chevy TrailBlazer in moose’s clothing was the car I had ultimately desired. Do I remember why? Not really, no. Was it luxurious? To a mid-2000s American standard, yes. (Anything with rubbery leather and fake wood slapped onto the dashboard was considered luxury. Now, though, we’ve finally come to our senses.) But even still, today, I don’t see myself owning any Lamborghini, Ferrari or the like at any point in my life. I just plainly see it as an excess of expectations. I’m an optimistic guy, but this is outrageous. But if I had $45,000 to spare, I would take a brand new Ford Edge Titanium in a heartbeat.
Now, of course, this doesn’t mean that I neglect the fun of a car. Take, for instance, the Toyota Prius C. While I truly am fond of its quirks, I would steer clear from it simply because of performance. I mean 0-60 in 10.7 seconds? I’d be able to text my friend “What’s up?” then crash into a tree and die (because the Prius C also got a “Poor” rating in the IIHS Small Overlap Frontal crash test) in less time than it would take for me to accelerate to 60 in that car. My car’s gotta be (if you’re a disney fan, I invite you to sing along) swift as a coursing river, with the force of a great typhoon.
Now most kids my age are forced to commute with their parents’ cars. My form of carpool would usually take place in a decade-old Honda CR-V with 300,000 miles on the clock. However, when I ask them what car they see themselves driving in the future, they’ll usually respond with “Aventador,” “Range Rover” or “Jeep.” If they say “Jeep,” I’ll start to mind-fuck them with my (Car)isma and reply to his or her response,
“Which Jeep? Cherokee? Grand Cherokee? Renegade? Don’t tell me you want a Patriot, cause those things are pure shitboxes-”
“THE ONE THAT YOU GO MUDDING IN.”
“Well, if it says ‘Trail Rated,’ which almost all of them do, then yeah, you can go mudding in them.” (That guy wanted a Wrangler)
Now sure, I love Range Rovers as much as the next person. The Lamborghini Aventador is a pretty sweet machine. But the last time I checked, I’m nowhere near to being Up Like Donald Trump. Even after I get a decent-paying job, student loans are a total bitch.
Now, luckily, human beings in this world with a taste for automobiles that have aged a little more than us kids show a much greater appreciation for the vehicles of the mundane. (à la Regular Car Reviews) You drive, even a shitty Dodge Nitro, and you find out its true personality. I’m sure if you drive your aunt’s 2012 Camry LE, that you’ll find a bit of spunk here and there, even though that 2.4 liter 4-pot can barely crack even a smirk.
And, no, Ricers are exempt from this topic, because they turn those ‘93 Civics into Initial D monsters that scream “SUICIDE NOTE” like nails on a chalkboard, metaphorically speaking. Yes, we are well aware that back in the days of M.C. Hammer, your Acura Integra, stanced to the point of you hollering “Land, ho!” from your sunroof in the middle of the highway, cost $18,000 brand new, but those mollie’d up jalopies are anything but regular, today.
Just remember this; a suburban housewife still could’ve been using that TL for her bi-monthly trips to Nordstrom’s.
So, to my fellow classmates and hallway passerby’s, I do highly recommend you expand your automotive palate a little more. You know, Kim Kardashian’s father defended O.J. Simpson during his notorious case. If her dad were just some schlep who worked in accounting at the local Merrill Lynch, and if she didn’t do it with Ray-J, she would’ve been just labeled as the school thot. (Sorry, my teenage speak is starting to come out, thot is an acronym you do not want to be labeled as in high school). So unless you can work a few miracles here and there, or if you work really hard enough, you’ll be ballin’ in a Rangey by the time you’re 40.
Most of the readers on Oppo have already found the quirks in their cars that they appreciate. But this is sort of a public service announcement to those who haven’t yet. Dig deeper. Do some research on your ride. Maybe you’ll find something interesting. But for now, keep on dreaming for that 2015 Edge like I am.