Not so much those who actually take their cars off the road once in a while (or at least plan to), or even live up a hill in snowy Wales – they’re getting a genuine use out of all the extra bulk.
It’s the ‘could have managed with an MPV’ set that I don’t understand – why buy something you don’t even remotely need? It comes with great annoyance, then, that I’ve found myself falling for a 4×4 I simply don’t require.
I’d like to blame part of it on the recent flooding that’s hit the UK, but we all know I’d be lying. Particularly as our particular section of the south wasn’t that badly hit. In the end, if I’m honest, I just like driving the Outlander.
With that said, I did borrow it for a particularly dicey trip to Heathrow to drive the new Auris last week, and found the switch for four-wheel-drive an oddly reassuring presence on a river-like M3. Perhaps 4x4s are the answer to climate change after all.
It’s doing wonders for my masculinity too. For a start the beefy stereo makes even Natalie Imbruglia sound butch, and parking it up at Sainsbury’s of an evening, I like to think I look like some sort of outdoorsy surfer type – though I’m sure that’s not the case. In reality it does dwarf me a little: I’m more of an ASX-sized individual, I think.
Unfortunately, it’s not just me that’s fallen for the Outlander’s charms: CarDealerEd rather likes it too. I say ‘rather likes it’. What I actually mean is that he’s claimed it as his own. Seriously, we’re not allowed near it. He’ll turn up in it one day with a personalised plate on the front, you mark my words.
The boss and I aren’t the only members of the Car Dealer team to admit their love for the Outlander, though. Lead designer Graeme is a fan, as is sub editor Dave Brown – the latter being the biggest surprise, as we didn’t think it would be possible to peel him out of his trusty Mazda 6.
Just one irritation remains for all who drive WV12 ZNF: the sat nav. Unfortunately it suffers from that common in-car unit issue of not knowing where on earth anything is.
Post codes? I’m afraid not. Street and house numbers? Not so hot on those either. I even tried entering latitude and longitude markers at one point, but it threw in the towel after a few digits. You’d think I was asking it to find area 51, not Terminal 3.
Still, it’s not enough to spoil what is on the whole a very pleasant package. I may not be driving it up muddy hills or pleasing too many Al Gore-types, but who cares? Morals are nice, but heated seats are nicer.