Ask The Best And Brightest: What Car Would Your Mother Like?
It’s Mother’s Day, when a young man’s thoughts turn to the long-suffering woman who birthed and brought him up. Unfortunately, my mother is on a road trip today so I won’t be able to see her today, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss the cars our mothers lust after. In my case it’s easy: my Mom has been sighing over the Fiat 500 for years now, talking about the feisty little Italian in ways that I’ve rarely heard her use to describe cars before. A year ago she might have sprung for a Nissan Juke, but if I just got a big bonus and wanted to surprise her with a car, only one will do and that’s the Cinquecento. But the perfect present is about knowing what someone wants and then exceeding those expectations: in that spirit, I’d skip the basic Cinquecento and place an order for the just-announced 500 Cabrio. Between her aging Forester and dad’s Mk1 xB, the parents have practicality covered… what Mom wants is something small, efficient and reflective of her independence from the tyranny of child-rearing. So here’s to you, Mom, and here’s hoping someone who can actually afford it springs for that Cinquecento (no pressure, Dad). God knows you deserve it.
What car would you buy your mother today?
Mom only drives Mopar minivans. Any color except bright red.
What my mom really wants is a brand-new late 80s Toyota Tercel. She drove hers until it started becoming unreliable at about 250,000 miles. Unfortunately, there's nothing that has what she's looking for anymore: good gas mileage (the Tercel got 35 mpg city, 45+ highway), manual, hand-crank windows, some ground clearance without being a full-on SUV, 15 years of not needing anything but scheduled maintenance. The only cars that get mileage that good now are diesels and hybrids, and nothing but the cheapest of the cheap economy cars has hand-crank windows. Most vehicles with decent ground clearance are SUVs with mediocre mileage.
Something small and stylish like this: http://www.ds3.citroen.com/uk/
Even though three fifths of us have our own cars and licenses, and the fourth fifth also doesn't live at home, my dear mum insists on a seven-passenger vehicle for the occasional family excursion. She currently drives a 2007 Mazda CX-9, Grand Touring, every option except AWD and rear-seat entertainment, and absolutely loathes the idea of owning another minivan (believe me, I've tried). Considering the near-unbelievable-considering-its-heft driving dynamics of the Mazzer, if anything, I'd buy her a 2011-model exactly-the-same-thing for the myriad interior and exterior improvements and the 20-horsepower bump, even though it doesn't appear that they've bothered to upgrade the already-outdated-in-2007 nav unit. She likes the Explorer, but Loverman didn't, I wouldn't enjoy driving it as much (and I end up doing all the driving on those family excursions anyway), and MyFord Touch would be completely lost on her. The new Durango is a promising alternative, but I don't think I could sell her on it after the maintenance nightmare that was her 1996 Grand Caravan. She's been thinking about a five-passenger CUV for the not-too-distant future, though, and seems to like the SRX, despite my insistence that she consider the CTS wagon. I'd try to sell her on its upcoming Saab platform mate, but she's reluctant to buy anything that doesn't have a dealer in her suburb, much less in the metropolitan area. She's also had an eye for the Nissan Z ever since each of her sisters owned one (and one owned three!) in the '70s and '80s, but that's a good few years in the future.