It was a Dodge Caliber, and it looked pretty much exactly like this:
- It was orange.
- Its speakers were woefully inadequate. I like my music on the loud side, and I enjoy the bass. This would let me do neither, tragically, without sounding like all four speakers in the car were blown. Everything from Barenaked Ladies to Corb Lund to KMFDM caused distortion. It didn’t make me happy.
- Its rear-window wiper was a godsend on the dirt roads around my grandpa’s farm.
- Its cruise control, when told to RESUME, would actually take me up to 5km/h faster than I had set it to, and then slowly ease back off on the hammer. I had a car that used to do that, once. It was a 1988 Tempest. I think cruise control technology should by now have evolved to the point where RESUME means what I think it does — take me back to the speed I was going before, not faster, not slower.
- It had four wheels, four doors and a hatchback, and as far as I can tell, four cylinders.
- It had cup holders that lit up when the headlights were on, for no reason I can think of. (Well, that’s not true. I can see the engineers saying to each other, “Hey, you know what would be cool…” Too bad they missed #10.)
- It had a “racing style” gearshift to make you think you were driving a high-performance car, and…
- its cruise control control was set up like a racing-car paddle shifter on the steering wheel, to further develop the high-performance illusion.
- It had decent acceleration.
- It had the worst visibility out the rear windows — I dreaded changing lanes, because all I could see when I shoulder-checked was car interior. Not a clue what might be lurking in my blind spot. As far as I can tell, this was due to the sub-porthole-sized rearmost windows, and the fact that the driver’s seat headrest and the back door pillars got in the way.
- It did not conform to my standards of an attractive car.
- Since it was the long weekend, it was half-price.
- And it was what they had left down at the rental place.
So no, I won’t be buying a Dodge Caliber any time soon.