A few days back I did something I haven’t done in a long time.
I bought a new car.
Last time that happened was in 2006. Back then John Howard was still Prime Minister of Australia.
The step up from what we had to what we’ve now got isn’t maybe as dramatic as the top photo would have you believe. But that’s definitely how it feels. The images below tell the real story of the switcheroo that’s taken place.
It’s only a small exaggeration to say that going from our trusty ‘ol Honda Jazz with its dinky gearbox to the blinding high-tech majesty of the Mazda CX5 feels like time-surfing the Stone Age to the Space Age literally overnight.
I know I’ve been hidden away living in a (man) cave, technology wise, these last twelve years – but holy pimpin’ rear spoilers how things have changed! Try and suppress your laughter when I say a keyless engine start and a press-button hand brake are definitely new rides at the Fairground for me.
Here I go then with what’s gonna sound like a really average car-salesman impersonation (I’ve talked the talk with more than a few of these characters over the last few weeks so I should be able to do this) as I list some of the features that, as far as bells and whistles go, put this car, at least to my mind, on a par with the International Space Station (bear in mind the hands typing these words haven’t owned a mobile phone since late last century so I’m maybe a little more easily impressed than your average new car buyer) –
- radar lane-departure sensors
- separate air-con controls for front and rear seats
- moisture sensing wipers
- dark-activated headlights
- ultrasonic wave technology rear sensor connected to reversing camera
- electronically warmed seats for winter time
- voice-responsive built-in GPS
- fuel-economy automatic engine deactivation at red-light stops
- wall to wall interior noise dampeners ensuring the ride is somehow eerily smooth and silent
- blind spot computerised monitoring alert
- **ejector seat
It took our sales guy (Nalin) fully 45 minutes to explain the car’s ‘Instrument Cluster Display’ and safety features. I was sitting quietly and nodding like a member of parliament all the while. I think it might be a whole day seminar with complimentary buffet lunch provided for folk in the luxury car market.
As to what type of advanced kryptonite lies under the hood, let’s just say the two hobbled Shetland ponies that powered the 2006 model Honda Jazz have been replaced with what feels like a veritable stable of Winx-calibre thoroughbreds.
Driving the new car the 18km home from the Toowong showroom felt for all the world like transporting a new-born home from the hospital. Displaying all the finesse and confidence of a nervous kitten, I’m pretty sure I came close to holding my breath the entire way.
After Nalin connected my wife’s mobile phone via Bluetooth to the car’s dash-screen, on our nerve-jangling journey home we took, with a mixture of giddy excitement and hesitation, our very first in-car speaker phone call. I think I’ll always remember that call. Those overseas telemarketers sure don’t waste anytime!
Now that our new best friend is safe and sound at home on our driveway, we can begin attending to the really important things, like trying to decide on the right word association to remember our new number plate – 051 YFR.
The 051 part is easy ’cause that’s my current age. But the letters have prompted a little more thought. So far the SWS staff writers have come up with the following possibly pretty lame memory prompts –
YOURS FOR REAL
YEARN FOR RUBIES
YELLOW FUCHIA RED
YOGHURT FRUIT FIGS
YUMMY FROGS FEET
YEARLY FOREST RAIN
Understandably the plate I’d prefer to see on the vehicle looks more like this –
but artistry to that degree costs in the vicinity of $2500 from Personalised Plates Queensland (CHECK HERE). Unfortunately for the time being, the budget is now saying ‘No’ to all non-essential items.
Ps. Now I’ve decided to officially join the 21st century, it’s amazing the things one can begin to take an interest in that were previously off the menu. The very next night after buying the car, I watched the quiz program MILLIONAIRE HOT SEAT when this question popped up –
Which technology system uses in its logo two ancient Norse symbols ?
C. Blue Tooth
Pss. FYI, the colour of the MAZDA MX-5 we bought is known as ‘Eternal Blue’. Just thought you should know that.
Psss. ** Joking about the ejector seat.