The bakkie that made me ‘that guy’

 

 

I don’t want to like this car; I’m trying hard not to be “that guy”.This is made much more difficult when I get a “Cool!” from Finn, my seven-year-old, as he gets into the spaceship, the Isuzu D-MAX 300 LX 4X4. I get him to push the start button. We have lift off. Well, almost — first he needs some tunes. A couple of minutes later and he has paired my phone to the infotainment system. If he can do it, I can too, I tell myself.

Finn isn’t the only person who loves the bakkie. On day two I get a guy whose longing gaze lingers just that little bit too long. The kind of gaze that gives you the “no” feeling. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s bakkie,” doesn’t apply to everyone it seems. I find myself developing a protective feeling, which is kinda odd, considering it’s just a computer wrapped in steel and leather and glass.

It really is difficult finding much wrong with the car — it’s a beautiful machine to drive. The six-speed automatic gearbox has smooth, easy transitions and the revs are surprisingly low when driving it comfortably. It is only when you push it really hard that it sounds and feels a little hoarse and less happy. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it is jarring when you feel it for the first time.

That said, the car is quick, surprisingly so, and if you want to hold on to a gear it has a manual shift option. Isuzu claims a fuel consumption of 7.8-litres/100km. I get closer to 9-litres.

I take the car on a road I have travelled many times before. It’s not the most scenic drive: in fact, it’s what I would call rude. It’s one of those corrugated gravel roads with the odd bit of quicksand and rocks just waiting to take your sump to heaven. The kind of road that normally leaves you needing some dental work and a visit to the chiropractor.

But the spaceship glides over the interrogation — it’s almost a little disconcerting how comfortable it is.

The suspension is really good. It doesn’t hurt that you are cocooned in a leather cockpit with some serious comfort and all the buttons and displays you would expect in a car that costs R640 000 and change.

It’s a stupid amount of money for a car, especially if you are going to be using it to take the dogs to the park, clear some garden refuse and perhaps drive on a dirt road a few times a year.

So when I find out that the lights and windscreen wipers don’t come on automatically, I become super irritated. I’m going to write a really angry letter to the manufacturer, with exclamation marks and everything.

I’m feeling guilty — I’m starting to like the car. I find myself even enjoying the convenience and ease of the automatic gearbox. Keyless entry feels so grown-up and entitled, too. I feel good driving it.

I’m becoming “that guy”. I can feel it.

It’s impossible not to drink the Kool-Aid when my own car is a 15-year-old bakkie. The only similarity between it and my drive for the week is that they are both called bakkies. My car seems old, slow, loud and uncomfortable. Annoying, really. Finn has downed the Kool-aid ages ago, all of it. There’s no coming back for him. “Why don’t you sell your car and buy this one, dad?” he asks.

Yeah, right …

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Paul Botes
Guest Author
Advertisting

The rule of law in times of crisis: Covid-19 and...

Under a state of national disaster, some rights may be suspended. But it is critical to remember that the Constitution itself is not suspended

Test backlog skews SA’s corona stats

With thousands of samples still waiting to be processed, labs are racing to ramp up testing to help the government gain a better idea of how prevalent Covid-19 really is

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories