OK so nobody who owns an SUV actually takes it off road; a very sad but very true fact. Off roading is reserved from proper 4x4s and generally people who actually get the whole idea of all terrain vehicles, be it for work or for pleasure. But saying that does not excuse the fact that when a situation calls for a driver to take their daily driver SUV onto some mud they should avoid it. It is this very avoidance that had me rather worked up of late and for those who care….I shall tell you why.
A New Route
My usual drive to the VT office is not a fun one, but nor is it a terrible one. It includes a few B roads and a twisty A road normally full of trucks, however, it does not include a motorway and for that I am grateful after spending many years commuting via the M25! Over the last 12 weeks the normal road has been closed for extensive work and this lead me to find an alternative route. I could have headed through residential estates and skirted the edges of the local town but that would have involved traffic and that’s not really something anyone would go looking for. Instead I opted for what is, in fact, a stunning drive across a little slice of Sussex countryside and past the local reservoir. The wonderful new journey takes in farms, stopping for animals, beautiful views and in no small portion…mud, oh and some narrow lanes with ruts and mud at the side. My trusty Impreza WRX Wagon takes all of this in its stride and an excuse to stamp on the throttle and get the four wheel drive system digging in is something it has relished as have I. What I have not relished though sadly is the numerous encounters with school run SUVs and how the drivers seem to behave.
You Have Got Miles!
We have all shouted it when passing someone on a narrow road. The fact that many people seem totally incapable of knowing how wide their car is and so remain in the middle of the said narrow road with a look akin to something one might show a dog egg is all too common. They stare at you when you are so far in the hedge you find yourself staring into a blue tits backside yet they edge their car along suggesting it is you that should move over. This is all bad enough but what has become apparent to me of late is that there is also a breed of driver who simply will not drive into any mud or puddles. Now, I do not mean deep “I might get stuck” type mud or “I might flood the car” type puddle (though in a good SUV that should not be an issue), I mean just simple, good old fashion side of the road mud and mild flooding. What makes this worse is that the people who are the worst offenders are actually driving “Off road” cars.
There are only 2 reasons I can think of that explains why people might act in this crazy way. The first is that they stupidly bought a 2 wheel drive SUV. Surely the most pointless type of car ever made! Why would anyone buy a 4 wheel drive car that isn’t 4 wheel drive? It is clearly just for the image and that is an awful state of affairs. A sports UTILITY vehicle is no longer a utility vehicle if it has no larger mud plugging credentials that a Nissan Micra. The second reason I considered for this mud avoidance was almost worse…it was that they didn’t want to get their SUV muddy!
Why oh why would anyone buy a car basically designed for snow, mud and general gallivanting and not expect some mud? It’s like buying expensive wellies and …oh wait! that happens a lot doesn’t it?
There is really nothing to be done about this problem, I will have to just watch and hope a tractor comes round the corner and literally forces these people into the mud. It’s like swimming, once they are in they will love it!
If you have just read this and you are one of these people, go on, have a go? It’s great fun, get a couple of wheels in the mud and give it the beans, feel your mighty school run diesel SUV roar with delight as it finally gets to engage the part time all wheel drive system for all of 2 seconds. If on the other hand you thought it would be a frugal option of have a 2 wheel drive SUV and hope no one ever noticed, you had better hope we do not get any snow or you have to drive into a field on a wet camping weekend otherwise you might fall a little out of love with your car.
I am sorry if this annoys anyone, but surely even those now enraged, and desperately looking to e mail us to complain, must see there is some small point of sanity in what I am saying.
Rant over, enjoy the “long” dry” summer that seems to be starting to appear on the distant horizon everyone!