Monday, July 25, 2016

Driving a crappy car is exhausting.

You might remember a post from a couple of weeks ago where I did 900-odd miles in a Chevy Equinox LT. You might also remember what an utter turd of a car that thing is.
Driving is exhausting, no matter how long or short the journey. In a great car, that works well, you never notice the exhaustion because it's normally not anything to be noticed. It's slight. However when you're driving a badly-engineered car, it can be unbelievably exhausting. That Equinox LT - the one that could barely hit 80mph - was a case in point. I've driven the 450 miles to Vegas a dozen times or more without ever having any issue. But trying to get that Equinox there - well - a different matter. I had to wrestle to keep it in a straight line. I had to be 100% aware of where the gearbox was about to kick down, where the engine wouldn't have enough power to pull off even a simple overtake. I had to plan way the hell ahead - I had to watch for faster-moving traffic behind that I knew I wouldn't be able to get out of the way of. I had to watch to make sure there wasn't an incline ahead that would catch me out mid-overtake. I had to take account of the damned wind direction because once it got into headwind, 70mph was hard enough and 80 was unattainable. I had to make sure there weren't any corners coming up that were more than slight, because the high sidewalls and sloppy handling meant it was a hell of an effort to keep it in-lane when cornering at speed. Well - "at speed" is hard to quantify when it complained like hell the closer I got to 80mph.
Anyway - the end result of all of this was that I faceplanted the bed in the hotel room after getting to Vegas and slept for two hours straight - something I've never previously had to do after that drive. I was mentally shot.
Get a car that has a decent amount of power, with good brakes, a comfy seat and tight steering, and you'll enjoy the drive and arrive alert and awake. Get an utter shitbox like the Chevy Equinox LT and you're risking your life because mentally you'll be at full capacity all the time just trying to drive it.

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