I have a confession to make. I like driving cars. I want to be good to the environment and I don’t even own a car, but I really like driving! As you know, I joined the car co-op so that I can get to my hockey games out in Coquitlam. Well, for today’s hockey game, I booked a 2007 Mazda 5. When I booked it, I had in my head a Mazda 3. I like the Mazda 3. The Mazda 5, however, is pretty much a station wagon1. Boo! But the cool thing about the Mazda 5 is that it has a feature where you can drive the car as a clutch-less manual. Like with the Tiptronic™ transmission of my beloved Smart Car, you can drive this car like a manual, but without having to step on a clutch. I like to call it “idiot-proof manual,” because if you don’t shift correctly, the car will eventually shift for you. The system for shifting is a little wack – you put the gear selector2 into “M” for “manual”, a position from which you can then shift up and down by pushing the stick down or up. Ya, you read that correctly – to shift up, you push the stick down and vice versa. Shifting up shifts down, shifting down shifts up, people wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people3. Driving idiot-proof manual really reminded me how much I love driving a car with a manual transmission. The first car I ever owned, a 1989 Honda Civic, was manual and I loved that car. Interestingly4, I learned how to drive manual on that car and it didn’t have a tachometer. Fortunately, it also didn’t have its muffler properly attached most of the time, so I learned to shift gears based on the sound of the engine. Driving this 5 today was trickly as the engine is so quiet, you can barely hear it and I’m not used to looking at a tach to know when to shift.
Another point of note from my trip in the Mazda 5 is that the car has way too many cup holders. And if I, the woman whose only concerns when car shopping are “will my hockey gear fit into it” and “does it have a cup holder?”, am saying that, well, you just know it must be true. Seriously, there are no fewer than FIVE cup holders accessible from the front seats. FIVE!! Granted, hockey and various other weekend activities may leave one somewhat dehydrated, but how many beverages am I expected to consume in a 45 minute car ride?
Oh ya, and in case you don’t believe that I love to drive, here’s the odometer reading on my old Honda Civic the day she died, some 7 years after I bought her for $2000. When I bought her, I believe she had about 150,000 km on her.
RIP, little buddy. I miss you.
1on Wikipedia they refer to it as a “minimini van” because it’s not as big as a minivan, but it has sliding doors and seats 6. But it felt like a station wagon to me! Ick!
2For the record, I had to look that term up. I usually just call it the “stick,” but that feels like it’s more for a manual than an automatic.
310 points to the first person who correctly identifies where I stole that line from.
4If you don’t think this is interesting, try learning to drive stick without a tachometer!