for a rental I got a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (RVR in Canada) with about 200 miles on the odo.
the target buyer is your weird aunt who always called herself ‘the fun aunt’ when you were 11 because she’s 44 but says she looks 41, unmarried, says words like ‘groovy’ , funky’ and ‘kiddo’ and always takes you to applebees for appy hour for some belated birthdate you had a week and a half ago.
the aunt whose name your mom would slowly sigh out after hanging up another phone call where the subjects shifted between dried ovaries, outdated match.com profile photos, gravity’s toll and questioning why that nice boy way back in grade 12 never called again, while your dad sat at the kitchen table staring stone faced at the newspaper knowing if he made one smart remark, he’d be hit with it.
she was on a tuesday evening date with a divorced 47-year old beergut named richie who drives the shuttle for an automall, and the sales manager at the mitsu dealer promised richie a $100 gift card to montana’s for each successful referral. your aunt jumped at the chance for a second date to ride richie’s short bus around the dealerships all day.
unfortunately, richie interpreted ‘ride richie’s short bus’ incorrectly on the second date, so your aunt was promptly dropped off in front of a shiny Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
she loved how ‘it looks like a little truck’ and couldn’t believe the giant sunroof. a sales rep upon seeing an actual person on the lot, thought she was lost
opening the door, the old navy yoga pants on aunt’s diminishing derrière slid onto the cheap, plasticky leather seating, her chunky jewelry-laden hands running along hard, hollow, textured plastics, leaving fingerprints on the sparse piano black plastic accents.
‘ooooh i can fit all my girlfriends in this for a road trip’ exclaimed your aunt to the sales rep, who silently doubted the plural in girlfriends as he looked at the decent interior space that welcomed nobody.
as if by magic, the radio is tuned to 95.9 SPLASH FM, ‘WITH TRIX AND THE CHIX,‘ and shania is belting out on speakers tinnier than the discman headphones you had when she was popular.
unable to see over the exaggerated hood and rear quarter panels, your aunt doesn’t care because the outlander allegedly has four wheel drive, so even snow won’t stop her from safely getting to her administrative job at the caster wheel wholesaler.
in just a few short hours, the young finance guy who politely yet deftly ignored any ‘is there a missus todd?’ questions has put your aunt in the outlander for 72 months at just a little over $100 a week.
now your aunt has plenty of hatchback to put bumper stickers like ‘I got crabs in Maryland’ and ‘Caution: Blonde Driving,’ and you’ll appreciate the last one because the mitsu’s handling isn’t good and feels disconnected from the road.
the cvt makes the engine seem lazy, devoid of pep and drive.
like your aunt, the mitsubishi outlander sport just... exists. it pleases no one even if it’s trying and it makes you feel bad.
Wheels for the week: 2020 Toyota Corolla XLE. We'll be taking this one on a trip to Virginia and testing out how close to the 37mpg highway rating we'll get. It's equipped with Toyota Safety Sense which means I'll have radar cruise control for the trip (Yay!). The shocking part is the price: $28,084 for a Corolla that doesn't even have the biggest engine. But it's got heated seats, so that will keep Albert Maisto happy.