Admit it: I, a Chevrolet Malibu, am not a car that you ever found yourself thinking terribly much about. In your mind, I exist as a four-door appliance—a car that is so, well, car that nothing about me ever catches your attention. This is where you are sadly wrong. Others, who are not so immune to greatness, have taken notice. It’s time you did, too.
I first reared my head in this spectacularly headlined piece from the Detroit Free Press: “Toyota Camry Feels Like Xanax, Numbs Passion for Life.” A little shitty to people who need that stuff for anxiety disorders and panic attacks, but hey, we’ve all gotta make those headlines click.
In it, the writer is despondent. Her mood has sunk because she is driving a 2018 Camry XLE:
When I climbed out of the 2018 Toyota Camry XLE in a downtown Detroit parking garage on a pretty September morning, a colleague walked past and asked, “Are you OK?” I wondered what inspired the question.
And my colleague responded, “You just look so sad.”
This is what the Toyota Camry does to the human spirit.
I felt like an out-of-shape and overworked old accountant whose rich and annoying clients call around the clock while my home life crumbles and bills pile up and my hair turns gray and dark circles start forming under my eyes. And I don’t care about any of it because I’m driving a Toyota Camry.
I felt her pain. Honestly, I did. Who would willingly cruise around in a Toyota Camry, especially one from this generation where a 300-horsepower V6 is an option?
Then, she saw the light. Saw the light and came right back to me, Mama Bear Malibu:
I get that Toyota Camry sells to people who want a car that starts every time and holds value. These drivers don’t give much thought to the driving experience. The car is fine.
Me? I’d opt for the Chevy Malibu. Same price range.
The Malibu is such a smooth ride that I was surprised by my speed on the expressway as Motor City radio played “Against the Wind” by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Life felt good.
Friends used to joke that they’d date a guy who took mass transit before they’d ever consider someone in a Toyota Camry.
Now I know why.
Something I like to tell people is that money is just a number. It simply does not matter. You could pay $1,000 or $1,000,000 for a car, but at the end of the day, you’d still wind up with a car. Both would still have four wheels and abide by local speed limits.
What matters about a car is how it makes you feel. And it’s obvious that I, a Chevy Malibu, make people feel alive, alive enough to blast Bob Seger as you cruise through the Motor City acting like the bad times never happened. Thank you, Detroit Free Press, for showing everyone that. My athleticism isn’t something that’s oft mentioned, so it was extremely gratifying to see that it hasn’t completely escaped everyone’s notice.
Did it come from a Detroit publication desperate to bat for the home team at all costs? I don’t care. What I need everyone to know is that I am the mast to which you can lash yourselves during life’s tumultuous ups and downs. I welcome any and all praise against my Japanese and (dare I say it) German competition.
What a good week this has been, and it’s only Tuesday! Everything’s coming up Malibu.