A moving life experience
Alex joins the mortgage club; Clubbie plays the short-haul game
IF YOU’RE to believe the media hype, last month I achieved the impossible, at least for a young person living in a major capital city. I bought a house. Sure, it’s not exactly how I pictured my first home, but it’s close to the city, has oodles of space, and it’s mine. All mine.
The downside to this, apart from being hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, is that buying a house meant I had to move. Normally I’d rather barbeque my own tongue than spend a weekend lifting furniture, but with the huge red minus on my bank statement still fresh and a big blue wagon sitting in the driveway, I decided to forego the removalist company and do the move myself.
How hard can it be? I thought. Bloody hard, it turned out. Just ask the mates I roped in to help manoeuvre my fridge, dryer and washer up the world’s narrowest staircase.
Broken friendships aside, moving allowed me to explore another facet of the Clubbie’s personality: its practical side. Until now I’ve really only enjoyed the HSV’S back end for its brilliant, shooting-brake looks. And the only thing I’ve thrown in the back has been the dog.
Drop the 60/40 split-fold seats, though, and the HSV can swallow an astonishing amount of stuff. Officially, the Clubsport’s boot space is rated as 895L with the rear seats up and 2000L down, but it feels considerably more than that.
There’s plenty of storage up front as well, with twin cupholders, a large central tub, and door pockets that swallow one-litre bottles. HSV has also deleted the bulky gauges that used to fill the storage cubby in front of the gear-shifter for VF2 models, which is a handy place to park your mobile phone.
So the Clubbie passes the practicality test. What I’m liking most is the sheer scale of the thing. I’m still in love with its hulking, heavy-handed design, its nicely judged ride on 20-inch wheels and its chassis agility and adjustability. I’ve also become addicted to the blown V8’s grunt.
The downside is that this larger-than-life character profile doesn’t only apply to the engine, dynamics and brakes, but to the fuel economy as well. Good lord, it’s a thirsty bugger.
FULLY LOADED When it came to moving, the Clubbie wagon’s mighty cargo capacity was greatly appreciated