Light goes on!!

It’s strange how these things creep up on you. You live where you live, and do the things that you do. You feel like a normal, everyday person – everyone lives like you do, don’t they?

Well, no.

Sure, I live in the suburbs and my wife and I both have a car just like a lot of other people do. We live in a house with bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, a kitchen and dining area and a nice outlook. We both have jobs, cook meals at home and we play card games and dice games with the kids. We read books, she paints and I like to tinker around in the shed.

So what’s so different?

Well, firstly, I don’t drink coffee. Or tea. I don’t drink any hot drinks at all actually. At home I mix up a cordial and away from home I drink Coke – in a bottle with a lid.

Second, I can read maps. If I need to go somewhere and I don’t already know where it is, then I open my street directory and look it up.

Third, I live in a small city, so looking at the map isn’t overly difficult at all. As a matter of fact, Hobart’s so small (200,000 people) that it barely qualifies as a ‘city’ and I probably only look up a map maybe three times a year at most.

So what’s this got to do with anything?

It’s just me reminding myself that when I read a review of a fantastic vehicle like the 9-3 SportCombi (my favourite Saab of the moment) and the reviewer writes about the car not having good enough cup holders, I should resist the urge to tear his head off and scream “It’s not that important!” right into his ear. I should accept that some people don’t have a 10-minute commute to work in a small city, and that some people must obey their coffee cravings, and that not everyone drinks Coke from a bottle.

It’s the same when I read about others complaining about the Satnav system. I should resist the urge to scream “Learn to read an effing map!” and just accept that some people have $2,000 to invest in a system like that and that they’re happy doing so.

Greg, you were right. I am a focus group of one.

But I still refuse to accept the validity of the reviewer that’s willing to criticise a car because he can’t store his cell phone in the same spot where he’s used to storing it in his own car. That’s just plain rediculous.

The link above is a readable review of the 9-3 SportCombi Aero V6, from Newsday. It’s a sometimes good and often frustrating read, but it’s Sunday and I can’t really be bothered writing to the author and telling him things like “Good” is the highest IIHS safety rating that a car can get.

Anyway, check it out if you feel you should.

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11 Comments

  1. I’m with you on all this. When I bought my Monte Carlo, the fellow from whom I bought it had a visitor with a brand new LandCruiser that we all had to go out and admire. In all honesty, he boasted that it had 14 cupholders! Oh brave new world. Great site, btw.

  2. Eggs, you haven’t missed a beat so far, so I’m wondering about your tip for the Finals. Can my cuz go all the way??

    I have a feeling they can. I’ll say Heat in 6.

    G’day Phil. Love the Monte Carlos. Nearly bought one myself. Cheers.

  3. Sorry, Swade….I gotta go with the reviewer on this one. The average US commute is getting longer each year. The lack of decent cupholders is a big deal when you spend two or three hours a day inside your car.

  4. Mike, forgive me if my remarks seem non-genuine. It really was a recent self-revelation that I need to get over my own frustration with reviewers that get caught up with these details that seem minor to me. I don’t think they should ever be dealbreakers, but I can understand how they’d affect a long commute.

  5. Swade, you’d better make nice with your cousin because he’s about to cash in — I’m talking Michael Jordan money here. He’s the real deal — none of this Kobe Bryant hanging 80+ on people just because he can. D Wade could do that, but he’s got enough sense and enough court savvy to do all of the other things that win championships. People see that. Coaches see that. They all want D Wade on their team. All of ’em.

    So, be nice to yo’ cuz. Maybe he’ll buy you a TT or somethin’.

  6. Alas Eggs, I’ll I’ve got to support the cuz theory is the same last name. No TT for me unless we do some serious manipulation of DNA test results in order to prove that an overweight white guy CAN somehow be related to a champion black athlete.

    But I’ll still support the family name nonetheless.

    He is damn good, isn’t he?

    Go Cuz!

  7. It think every reviewer at heart wants to be a critic. They have to show their integrity by finding something wrong. (“5 thumbs up? Come on man you’re a CRITIC for God’s sake”)

    There are several hundred great things I can tell you about my 9-3 Combi, but the second thing people often see when they get in, after all the radio & climate control buttons, is that button on the dash that pops open the flimsy cup holder.

    And apart from the fact that it barely holds a full 12 oz soda can, I didn’t buy the V-6 so I could accelerate with only one hand on the wheel and the other bracing my cup holder! How do you expect me to shift? It’s not like I WANTED that BWM to pull up at the traffic light while I was drinking my diet Pepsi, but if they have to learn the hard way what that Aero badge means…

    BTW… there is a real one in the center console front of the arm rest.

    Sorry to see my Pistons lose, but I just can’t cheer for the Heat.

  8. I would never pay the $2k for satnav in my current lifestyle. However, my Dad is required to make frequent road trips for his job and has become dependent on the excellent SatNav package in his Acura.

    I have used it a few times while visiting my parents. I can see how it is addictive if you are doing non-routine driving. Pulling over to read a map is not a safe option while trying to navigate downtown Boston.

    At the end of the year he will be buying a new car. Unless the 2007 Saabs have better navigation packages than the 2006 models, there is no chance it will be a Saab. GM should be able to put a better system in there – it’s not that hard.

  9. Not sure why the reviewer is complaining about the $38k. Try finding a similarly equipped BMW or Audi wagon at that price.

  10. If you go and look at the other reviews this guy has written, he just likes to bash cars. It seems strange that they would keep him on the writing staff. Maybe instead of sending an angry email you can send him a gift certificate to a therapist to get his anger out. Hopefully then great cars like the SportCombi dont get bashed inappropriately.

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