Piston Slap: The Awful Side Effect of Being Really, REALLY Good Looking

piston slap the awful side effect of being really really good looking

Tim writes:

Sajeev,

One of the awful side effects of being really really good looking is that you tend to have lots of kids; and four kids later I find myself driving a VW Touran. It is the sensible-shoes option for the sexually successful in Europe- cheap to buy, cheap to run. Drinking in the TTAC cool aid, on a recent trip to the USA I booked a Lincoln Town Car for the six of us from Hertz, and ended up in a Dodge Durango; after which I have found a bit of red on my neck.

Its generosity of proportion, it’s easy livin’ spec (TV for the kids, keyless entry, self-opening boot, sat nav, sirus music…) made the trip back from the airport car park miserable. What car available in Europe makes family life easier (excluding stupendously expensive premium SUVs) if you have already mated; and thus do not need to tick the ego boxes of looks, brand and image.

Thanks,

Tim

Sajeev answers:

And here I thought you sexually successful people in Europe had more restraint, less braggadocio than us crude chaps in the States! Did Clarkson lie to us Yanks about our relative horrible-ness?

That said, how can you go wrong with a Chrysler Voyager in Europe? Considering your stunning “prowess” and the accompanying lack of ego (Porsche Cayenne, please?) that’s simply not possible. This Autocar review is a fair assessment of our USA breadwinner, relative to the mainstream MPVs in your home continent.

Sure, the Ford Galaxy/S-Max, Seat Alhambra, VW Sharan and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer and all the rest possess sensible Euro styling sensibilities and (probably) superior diesel engines, but you don’t need that shit. You need the Yankee van with the fold into the floor seats. Because it is bad ass. It’s what embodies the American Spirit. All the goodies available in Chrysler’s breadwinner add to your hustle game, with no red-necked side effects.

More to the point, you’d drive the Voyager as I do with TTAC’s Rio Brown 1983 Ford Sierra Ghia: hipster ironically. Need an example to prove the point?

Here I am parked at BP’s H-town headquarters enjoying a little break before tackling the pictured roundabout. While I’d normally give the task to my Texa-Guido Lincoln Mark VIII, the Ford Sierra was the more ironic choice. No doubt the displaced Brit that felt the need to add some “London” to Houston agrees with my choice.

ZOMG HOW IRONIC.

Tim, my friend, you could be this self-aware. You could be me and the Sierra: easily reproducing this in a Voyager somewhere near your place of residence. You gotta do it, to it…Son!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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  • M0L0TOV M0L0TOV on Oct 02, 2013

    May I humbly suggest a Citroen C4 Grand Picasso? My father has a 2007 model and it's actually pretty nice. The vehicle has three row seating, satnav, a decent stereo, a 2.0L diesel engine, 6 speed auto with flappy paddles, panoramic roof, pneumatic rear suspension (makes it easier to carry stuff into the boot), power folding mirrors, and while the interior plastics aren't the best, they will hold up to children. I've driven the vehicle on my visits to Spain and I have enjoyed driving the vehicle very much and the flappy paddles are pretty responsive when aggressive driving is needed. The Voyager is always a good idea but with French car resales being low, you may be able to get the Picasso for a song. Good luck!

  • Jeremie Jeremie on Oct 04, 2013

    I really shouldn't even be talking about it, but have you considered driving a Magnum?

  • Luke42 I like the Metris quite a bit, but I never bought one.Two problems kept me from pulling the trigger:[list=1][*]It was expensive for what it was.[/*][*]For the price they were asking, it needed to have a plug for me to buy it.[/*][/list=1]I wanted a minivan that could tow, and I test drove one and liked it. The Mercedes dealer stocked both cargo versions and conversion vans. It was a nice vehicle, and I really wanted one for a while.This is the inevitable fate of cars that I like, but don't actually buy.
  • Garrett I would have gone for one of these if it had AWD. If they had offered it, it could have done far better.
  • Michael500 Sorry, EV's are no good. How am I supposed to rev the motor to impress girls? (the sophisticated ones I like).
  • Michael500 Oh my dog- this is one of my favorite cars in human history! A neighbor had a '71 when I was a child and I stopped and gazed at that car every time it was parked outside its garage. Turquoise with a black vinyl. That high beltline looks awesome today!
  • ScarecrowRepair I'd love an electric car -- quiet, torque, drive train simplicity -- but only if the cost was less, if recharging was as fast as gas (5 minutes) and as ubiquitous. I can take a road trip and know that with a few posted exceptions (US 50 from Reno to Utah), I don't have to wonder where the next fuel station is, and if I do run out, I can lug a gallon of gas back.Sure I'd miss the engine sounds and the joys of shifting. But life is all about tradeoffs.
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