The political landscape is gearing up to be the most important it’s ever been, just like it does every four years - but for realsies this time. That’s why I think I should answer the most pressing question of the election season - if the presidential candidates were anthropomorphized automobiles, what would they be?
Jeb Bush - 2005 Ford F150 King Ranch
Really big in Texas, especially with the older blue collar crowd. It’s showing its age and it isn’t as efficient as it once was. Actually, it was never really that efficient in the first place.
It’s one step removed from the previous generation F150 pickup, which also sold relatively well, but was absolutely deadly in even the most harmless-looking crash, so it’s not without its stigma. It was also loosely tied to ISIS that one time and that was a PR nightmare. You won’t see a lot of these on college campus parking lots.
Hillary Clinton - 2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI
It’s the car you get when cars aren’t really your thing. It’s good enough, and the fact that it’s a diesel that gets great mileage only helps. It’s billed as caring for the environment and “the car of the people” but its association with world banks and oil companies is worrisome.
Sure, this car is facing a huge scandal that ended up with millions of Americans being lied to and the car may in fact be recalled in messy legal proceedings, but for now it’s what you know and it’ll be a pain in the ass to switch to anything else this far down the line.
Bernie Sanders - 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300D
Although this car has a diesel engine just like the Passat above, it’s never been in any major scandals concerning its claims. It also doesn’t have much speed and power because it lacks a fancypants turbocharger, but it makes up for it by being extremely appealing to people that need transportation but can’t afford anything else.
It runs off of discarded french fry grease, which is harder to come by than you might think. It’s rough around the edges with a few dents and some rusty panels, but wouldn’t have an issue driving across the country. Even though college students mostly drive newer cars like the Passat, on the internet they agree that this would be a much more interesting car to drive. Older and more conservative generations stay away from this car because of the stigma associated with the word “diesel”.
(Photo by RL GNZLZ on Flickr)
Donald Trump - 2013 SRT Viper
Easily one of the most polarizing cars ever made. It has a lot of power and support behind its name (from previous generations) but its overwhelming engine and old-school transmission can make it extremely abrasive and hard to handle when stressed. It’s one of the worst cars to get if you’re just learning how to drive.
It can be extremely rewarding for those who can afford its high price tag and it’s much more refined than you might think. It’s garish and unapologetic and can make its owner look a bit silly, especially if it’s passed by either the Passat or Mercedes Benz on the highway in the very likely event that it spins its driver off the road into a ditch. It represents the American dream and it’s not without nearly constant controversy. It’s not very popular in Mexico, but it is oddly admired by Americans that can’t accept the fact that they’ll probably never own one.
Lincoln Chafee - 2012 Toyota Prius
This car is the self-proclaimed ambassador to clean energy. Even though most people agree with its basic mission statement, it’s not very popular with the general public because it’s extremely boring to drive and underpowered to the point where it’s simply unable to do anything about other, more powerful cars cutting it off in traffic. If it passes anyone at all, it would be a huge unexpected surprise.
It can make people feel good about themselves for buying it, but it will never be the revolution starter that it’s billed to be.
Ben Carson - 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser GT
This car is an amalgamation of good ideas and some really bad ones. It still wears chrome which was the style in the 1950s, but times have since changed drastically. In terms of overall design, it’s quite smart, but the second you take a closer look you’ll see some things that are simply batshit insane.
The styling is soft-spoken yet loud at the same time. It sold surprisingly well and it’s much faster than you might think. You’re secretly wondering what life would be like with this as a daily driver, but then realize that your friends would never forgive you. Reliability isn’t its strong suit.
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes and makes videos aboutbuying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world’s cheapestMercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he’s the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn’t feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.