What I've learned after driving a normal car for a while.
My pride and joy the 2001 BMW 330ci has been gone for a while now having some work done. An OEM oil leak, new RTAB’s, shock tower reinforcement, new sub frame bushings, an electrical issue… and it’s being measured up for some welding to ensure the subframe and chassis don’t start cracking up now it’s lower, harder and grippier.
Let’s gloss over a new fog light and the bumper realignment after I parked it over an awkward curb and switch to the actual subject here - driving my wife’s brand spanking new Honda CRV. A vehicle that is pretty much the opposite of the BMW. It’s automatic transmission, front wheel drive and a crossover SUV.
It’s everything I should hate about driving.
First thing is… oh such joy having suspension that soaks up the bumps in our seriously bumpy city! No dropping to second to go through the silly drainage channels or picking routes based on how bumpy roads are.
Then there is the wonder of technology that is keyless entry and start. Oh man can I get used to this. Key thing just goes in the pocket and stays there. Walk out the house door, pull the handle, foot on the brake and press the button to be on your way. I know it’s all car guy and macho to like blipping the alarm, pushing a key in the ignition and having that tactile start but screw that. Reality is that jumping in the thing and going is awesome.
What I’ve really noticed though having not driven an SUV for quite a while is how it effects the way you drive and your mentality. In a car that doesn’t really do fast you have to just accept and roll with it because there’s no satisfaction in it. You’re also up high so most of the time you can see further ahead in traffic but my favorite bit is:
Little boys in their hairdryer powered fart can exhaust driven Honda Civic’s don’t try and race me from every red light in this.
I swear, my resting heart rate has dropped because it’s now always resting. I can grab a coffee and drink it rather than find I’m at the end of my journey with a cold cup of coffee. It’s great and I can see why my wife has fallen in love with it. She can drive a manual and grab a car by the scruff of it’s neck, but the reality is she drives 60 miles per day in traffic. It’s definitely the tool for the job.
The other day though we decided to take a drive up into the mountains and only that was available, and when I say mountains I mean 6000 feet upwards with this:
I’ve been itchy already, but that made me miss the BMW. Yes, it's a bit bumpy round town, the manual is a pain in the arse in traffic, little ricers want to race it all the time and it’s a cop magnet but it’s just so much fun.
There’s no way I would trade my car for an SUV like this, but every couple of weeks I have to drive an hour and a half to San Diego and/or Orange County and I suspect the wife will be left with my keys for a few hours. There’s also those short runs across town that might be taken in a little more low key comfort now.
It’s definitely reminded me that with cars… they are all about the tool for the job.