Subaru – The International Symbol for Slow Driving
I’m probably going to get myself in trouble here, but someone has to say something to get this out in the open.
First let me say that I think that Subaru makes excellent cars. In fact, they are some of the best engineered cars in the world and are sold at a terrific price point. They’re not the best looking cars around – I think the common wisdom is that their exteriors are designed by the same engineers who develop the nuts and bolts of their all wheel drive system – but they are reasonable looking (OK, except for the B9 Tribeca), spacious and nicely appointed. These cars are in no way, shape or form, crippled econo-boxes that can’t get out of their own way either. When driven sedately, these cars can more than hold their own and when driven hard, like the way that valet who you turned your car over to last night did, they perform superbly.
I don’t have a single problem with Subarus. It’s Subaru drivers that make me nuts (not you WRX drivers – you drive just fine and can stop reading here). Inevitably, when I’m stuck behind a line of cars on a two-lane road (or a typical 1.5 lane road as we find often here in New England), there will be a Subaru at the front of the line. And I don’t mean “once in a while” here. A recent “scientific” study conducted by . . . me, shows that Subarus are responsible for holding up traffic a mind-boggling 56% of the time (number two on the list – Volvos – but that’s fodder for another post). What makes this even more amazing is that this driving behavior appears to be consistent regardless of the age, race or sex of the driver.
Yes, I know. This is a broad generalization and you’re thinking that it’s wrong of me to attribute any one characteristic, especially a negative one, to what is probably a diverse group of people. So PC of you. But give me the chance to defend my position.
So, back to Subaru drivers. Geez, they are slow. Since these drivers have forced me to spend more time on the road, I’ve had more time to consider what Subaru owners have in common to create such a strong correlation between ownership and snail-like driving. All I can assume is that the combination of the safety (zillion-star crash test ratings), all-wheel drive (good in bad conditions), economy (reasonable gas mileage) and relative low cost to acquire and own Subarus is what attracts a certain type of person that wants to drive like they’re in a funeral procession. Thats’ right. It appears that Subaru drivers are people who buy cars to get from point A to point B without any excitement; want to do it safely; and don’t want to spend an excess of money to do it. Hmmm. This is beginning to sound pretty reasonable.
Today, a Subaru cost me almost 5 minutes in a 30–minute commute. I realize how stupid this sounds, but that’s almost a 17% increase in the amount of time it should have taken me to get where I was going. It’s not like I’m an anxious, go-getting person who drives a car like I’m high on crystal meth or anything . . . well, OK, maybe I’m some of those things, but let’s be reasonable here, the roses exist for some weaker person to stop and smell. Life’s too short to be spending time in the process of getting where we’re going, you gotta go-go-go until you get there. After all, they wouldn’t call it “there” if you weren’t supposed to be at that place already!
[taking a break here to meditate and think about the journey – mmmmmmahhhhh, mmmmmmahhhh]
Maybe the problem is that when I’m in my car it is all about me. I’ll make a deal with you, Subaru drivers. I’m sure you’re a reasonable person. Your choice of car is excellent and I’m sure you help bring down my insurance rates. If you drive at least the speed limit, I’ll try not to have an ulcer while I’m tailgating within 12 inches of your bumper. Does it sound like a plan?