A friend of mine recently told me about a dilemma: He’s a family man, and his awesome 270,000 mile Mazda MPV Minivan and 180,000 mile manual Mazda 6 wagon have gotten fairly old, and are not nearly as safe as a modern car. He wanted to get his wife and two kids something nicer, so he bought something that he considers a bit boring: a Subaru Outback. But last week, the car became a little less boring thanks to a bit of donut-y hooning.
This friend of mine is Jamie, whose 270,000 mile Mazda MPV I featured as a High Mileage Hero a few months back. While interviewing him for that story, he told me about how his family was looking for something a bit newer, and that—since he didn’t want to get rid of his beloved MPV, and his wife wasn’t keen on the prospect of picking up another minivan—he was struggling to find the right car that satisfied his strange inner enthusiast cravings (Strange, because—again—this is a man in love with an MPV).
He and his wife considered cars like the Ford Flex, VW Golf Alltrack, and Buick Regal Sportback, but at the end of the day, Jamie told me he was likely to buy a Subaru of some sort. “[The] excitement factor for it was... low,” he told me later about how he felt after deciding to start his first car payment in 12 years on the low-mileage 2016 Outback, which he described as having a “lack of mechanical soul with the wimpy 2.5 NA plus CVT.”
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“On average, when I drive it around town on dry pavement... I’d rather be driving the MPV,” he continued. “There is no replacement for displacement. And actual gears in the transmission.”
Then it snowed. And, well, Jamie’s inner hoon came out:
Those are some damn tight donuts, and that looks like a hell of a lot of fun—which I wasn’t expecting to see, since Jamie didn’t seem to keen on buying this car in the first place.
No, it’s not the craziest hooning video clip I’ve seen on the interwebs, but I can’t help but give respect to a man who buys the car he thinks is right for his family, and still finds a way to let out his inner Jalop out to have a bit of fun.
It’s snowing quite a bit in Detroit right now, and Jamie’s got his Subaru outside waiting to tackle some more of the cold fluff. He may not have been thrilled about buying this new, kinda-boring family car, but he says he’s come to terms with it. “The recent fun in the snow has helped cement its position in the family,” he told me.
So there are two takeaways here: First, a Jalop behind the wheel of a sensible family car is still a Jalop, and second, family cars can be hooned, too. In fact, doing so is good for the soul.