You know what I’d do if I had a big 4 x 4? I’d drive it up a mountain in a straight line – over all the trees, rivers, rocks and everything else that might get in the way of a normal car – because that’s what they’re made to do. In fact, whenever I go to Denmark and I get to drive the inlaws’ D3, I take it to the beach and try to make it donut in the sand* because it’s crazy fun and the car is built to do it.

You know what else I’d do if I had a big 4 x 4? I’d not force cars with 20cm of ground clearance off the road.

I drive my teeny tiny Micra down little tracks a lot of the time – partically because of congestion on the main roads, partially because it’s quicker and mostly because it’s fun – and on these narrow byways I frequently meet confused-looking 4 x 4 drivers. Their expressions seem to say, “How on Earth did me and my pristine Porche Cayenne get here?” or “I can’t figure out which side of the road I should be driving on. I’ll play it safe and aim for the middle.”

I just came across one of these wonderful motorists, who are considerate enough to flash you when they send you into a ditch but who don’t stop to think that their wonderful 37 litre engines might be a help in pulling you out again. I’ve got nothing against 4 x 4s when they’re used properly – they’re pretty awesome machines and if I had the money, I’d be driving an ancient Defender – but problems arise when people who are scared of driving big cars get behind the wheel. They seem unsure of the dimensions, erring on the side of caution and hogging the entire road. The other problem is that these big, expensive vehicles have now become a status symbol – summed up beautifully in the Porche Cayenne. That is, without doubt, the most ridiculous car I’ve ever seen. Anyone looking for a serious off-roader wouldn’t go near the thing, and so this particular vehicle tends to be driven entirely by people who live in The Suburbs and consider their driveways ‘off-roading’. I’d say that the Cayenne should be used for people pulling caravans (a common use of the big engines in a 4 x 4) but anyone rich enough to afford the stupid Porche price tag on those things probably holidays in 5 start lodges. So yeah, pointless car. ..

I seem to have lost my orignal thread. I think it was something along the lines of,”If you have a vehicle capable of going off road, use it to go off road and don’t expect little cars to ruin their front bumpers for you.”

That’s it, I think… wow. Tea time.

*haven’t managed it yet but the attempts continue).

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