I intern at an automotive parts supplier, and so I got a chance to drive a few cars down a test track a few days ago.
It felt strange to be driving a pickup truck – I’ve never done that before, and I wasn’t used to being that high off the ground, but it wasn’t hard to control. It didn’t feel oversized, though somehow, driving it with the validation engineer in the passenger’s seat made me feel like I was taking my test again. I’d never buy a truck – I probably won’t ever have to haul a lot of stuff around, they’re heavy, they’re fuel inefficient, they take up a lot of space, and so on – but it was nice to drive one around and see what it’s like.
The Mustang wasn’t exactly what I’d call comfortable. Maybe I’m just too used to driving a Lacrosse, but something about the seat and climbing into the car just felt awkward. It’s not that I’m too tall – I was wearing heels, but even so, I probably topped out at less than 5’6″. I didn’t love how it handled. The steering felt a bit stiffer than I liked. The car had electric power steering, but even so, at low speeds, when a motor should be applying assistive torque, it felt like the wheel had too much resistance.
It was kind of fun to go from 0 to 70, then right back down to 0. I was gentler than most other people – I have too much respect for a car’s tires and brake linings to abuse them, even if it’s a) not my car, and b) a test vehicle – but it was still a much faster acceleration than in an every day situation.
I’ve talked before about how much I loved my Grand Prix, and this reminded me that that’s still my favourite of all the cars I’ve ever driven. It’s a very well rounded vehicle – not the best in any aspect, but very good in every one.