A deeply fishy busi­ness

Chas­ing hy­per­miler re­wards sees Enright fed up to the gills

Wheels (Australia) - - Our Garage - ANDY ENRIGHT

BURIED deep within the Coun­try­man’s labyrinthi­ne in­fo­tain­ment menu is an op­tion in­trigu­ingly ti­tled Min­i­mal­ism Anal­yser. It’s not some­thing you’d prob­a­bly bother with, as you need to switch the car into ‘Green’ mode to ac­cess it, some­thing that only com­mu­nists, school teach­ers and me would ever do.

Nev­er­the­less, a long free­way drive saw me shuf­fling through a few of the car’s dif­fer­ent driv­ing modes and it was then that I dis­cov­ered the green fish. There it sits in a gold­fish bowl be­neath a me­ter which mea­sures both an­tic­i­pa­tion and ac­cel­er­a­tion. The five stars for each of these at­tributes are greyed out. Chal­lenge ac­cepted.

Gain a star and the fish does a back­flip and looks slightly hap­pier. After three stars he beams this earnest, gorm­less grin and you’re hooked. At this point, you be­gin to re­alise that earn­ing stars is turn­ing you into a com­plete hor­ror scene of a driver. Ac­cel­er­ate to keep up with the traffic flow and the fish docks you an ac­cel­er­a­tion star. As a re­sult, you pick up speed like a darted sloth while spit­tle-flecked Fal­cons fill your rear view, the driv­ers flash­ing, ges­tic­u­lat­ing and mouthing ob­scen­i­ties. One drew level and went berserk, his fren­zied in­ter­jec­tion only in­ter­rupted when his durry fell into his crotch/seat fab­ric junc­tion.

If traffic backs up and you need to brake, the fish deletes all of your an­tic­i­pa­tion stars. The first time this hap­pened, I was froth­ing too. I’d just spent the pre­vi­ous hour and a half foren­si­cally man­ag­ing my throt­tle and brak­ing in­puts like San­dra Bul­lock in Speed and then that gooby-eyed freak just took away all of my stars.

I stop for a drink and a Filet-o-fish and vow never to switch the thing on again. Yes, I’d saved 10km worth of fuel over my 150km stint, but the stress of try­ing to ig­nore fu­ri­ous driv­ers, treat­ing the throt­tle like a det­o­na­tor and des­per­ately will­ing the fish to flip just to save 82 cents worth of fuel has taken its toll. Hyper­mil­ing is just too hard­core for me. I have new re­spect for com­mu­nists and school­teach­ers.

Other than that, the Coun­try­man has per­formed bril­liantly this month: 8/10 – would rec­om­mend. Just don’t fall for its fish­ing scam.

WHAT ARE YOU SYNC­ING? Car has DAB in­put, but clock doesn’t up­date it­self for day­light sav­ing

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