Saturday, December 02, 2006

Road Test: 2006 Saturn Vue

Two days, 700 miles. What a fucking shitcan. I've played videogames that had better steering feel. Throttle response brought to mind the proverbial phone call to the engine room. Its dangerously tippy, leaning, lurching handling and sketchy torquesteer was only made worse by traction control that cut in and out with flaky arbitrariness. The high sills and low seat made for a bafflingly bunker-like driving experience — isn't the whole point of an SUV so that you can sit up high in traffic and block everyone else's view? Did I mention it leaked? It leaked. Fifteen thousand miles on the clock and there's water dripping onto my knee.

This car actually made me angry with its shittiness. Seriously, if I was dating someone and found out they drove a Saturn Vue I would break it off immediately. If I found out my neighbor was a Saturn engineer I would make my dog shit in his yard. And I don't even have a dog. I'd get a dog.

Road Test: 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan

Three weeks, 6500 miles. Nearly identical to the last one. Most memorable was a drive one afternoon from Tampa to Tallahassee. Dude in a new Jetta blew past, radar detector conspicuously perched atop the dash. I had my rabbit and gave chase. We ran together for close to two hundred miles at speeds that rarely dipped below 90 mph and occasionally approached the century mark. And I thought: Say what you will about minivans, this one is carrying four people and a considerable amount of crap in complete comfort and safety at great speed with absolutely zero drama. Before Jetta dude headed east at I-10 we'd knocked an hour off what should've been a five-hour drive. And it had satellite radio. Sweet.