Berlingo says authority
YOU’RE not just buying a car. You’re buying an image.
A friend recently purchased a Subaru Forester S-Edition, the speedy turbo version of Subaru’s excellent wagon. ‘‘ Good for you,’’ I said. ‘‘ Shows how secure you are with your masculinity.’’
‘‘ What are you talking about?’’ he asked.
Seems my pal was unaware that in certain markets the Subaru Forester is identified as a vehicle of choice among the lesbian community. It’s the spiky haircut and clompy boots of the car world.
Not that I can talk. For many years I owned a Mazda MX-5. ‘‘ Hey, granddad,’’ yelled some teen girls from a cab one night. ‘‘ Enjoying your mid-life crisis?’’
I would have shut them up with a snappy rejoinder except I couldn’t think of one.
Also I was distracted because I’d accidentally plugged the GPS into the aircon.
So I traded up to aBMW coupe. No mid-life issues there. Still, car image only matters to people you don’t know.
One of the toughest blokes I’ve ever met has just bought a weeny Citroen Berlingo. This guy can tear down and rebuild a V8 in the dark, yet he’s full of praise for his economical little French diesel hatch-wagon.
Here’s one reason. The Berlingo’s loading bay is nearly two metres long, which means he can pile in all of his rifles (he’s a champion sporting shooter). Quite a few fellow riflemen are similarly taken with their baby Citroens.
Just think about that the next time you cut off a small delivery-type wagon in traffic.
Those drivers have an image to protect. SPEAKING of image, Carsguide test tsar and roadside observer Paul Gover writes: ‘‘ Spare a thought for this BMWM3 driver. The car is bright orange. He has his very expensive bicycle on a roof rack. Driving through the city TRIPLE TREAT AUTOMOTIVE entertainment can be reduced to a simple equation: power versus weight. This is why Toyota’s low-mass GT 86, at just 1200kg, wins such awesome reviews. But let’s cut that weight by more than half. And remove a wheel. Then we have Morgan’s 3 Wheeler, a 550kg device made by the British company some 60 years after it previously abandoned three-wheelers. This V-twin retro rocket might be on sale in Australia next year, as Morgan seeks local compliance. It lacks not just a fourth wheel but also a roof and doors, merely increasing the fun. Subtraction is the attraction. he is flagged down. By someone who thinks he is driving a cab!’’ NOT the world’s greatest SUV, Mazda’s long-lived Tribute compact soft-roader is brilliant used value, with strong examples available for way below $16,000. Or you could spend a little more for this low-km 2005 V6, on sale for only $18,990 in South Australia. carsguide.com.au.