Wednesday, 8 October 2008

It takes a dog owner to really understand

My partner and I daily play a game called "The Wolfhound test", in which we walk or drive past any station wagon or similar load-carrying vehicle, look at it critically and ask "Can you fit Wolfhounds in that?"

We currently have three, including the puppy, and the middle aged one, who is pure-blood, is abou 32" (if I remember correctly) at the shoulder, and is pressed hard by the current Commodore wagon.

And Holden have now released a range of "Sportwagon" Commodore wagons which would barely pass a Border Collie test. Bastards!

We're thinking that we'll be stuck with a small van.

You see, here's the thing: A station wagon is for what, exactly?

Answer: Carrying big loads, and other people, while driving a vehicle with car dynamics and car comforts. A ute is okay for loads that can get wet or withstand wind, and you only have one friend. A van is okay for bigger loads that need to be covered, but you can still only have one, maybe two, friends. 

And a 4WD vehicle, of the traditional kind like a Discovery or Land Cruiser, is just plain crap.

I mean, honestly: It's too tall to have decent dynamics and braking, it's so tall that it's fucking rude to other road users, who can't see past you, which makes you dangerous, it's too heavy and with aerodynamics too crap to not drain your wallet for fuel,  and it's got a small load space anyway, because it's short because it's supposed to be able to go off-road. A 4WD has two purposes, and two only: Going heavily off-road, or revealing to the world that you're arrogant, insecure and a bit thick.

So where does that leave the big dog owner who has friends and doesn't want to leave their dogs out in the open on a dual-cab ute because they're just stupid enough to try and jump off? Commodore or Falcon, and I'm worrying about Commodore these days. Even the halfway vehicles like Subaru Outback/Forester or Volvo XC90 suffer from load spaces too short. And height-wise? 

Yep, we're going to end up with a van.

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