Yep, I did try one. A Miata. You see, it was in my eyes, one of the most beautiful cars out on the market at the time I was shopping back in the mid 90s.
It's Just Small.
And I'm Just Tall.
So as my old Chevy Nova/Toyota Corolla was 10 years old and beginning to annoy me, it was time to shop and look around. I mean REALLY look around. I was looking at all sorts of things trying to be creative and the first one I was going to look at was the Miata. I wanted a convertible so I could go topless on a long drive and I was doing a lot of long drives at that point in my life. It got good gas mileage, and as such didn't pollute much.
I went to the dealership in Pennsylvania at the time, and all eyes were on me. What is this guy doing? No, it's going to be a fail isn't it? Yes, Godzilla is stomping all over Tokyo again in his rubber suit as he opens the door of the little car.
Sitting in the car, I whack my knee on the steering wheel and sound the horn. In fact, I whacked my knee hard enough that I was limping for three days and felt pain in the spot for more than a month.
If I didn't have their attention before, I certainly did then.
So leaving the place and hearing comforting comments like "It's ok, it's not for everyone", I went back to the drawing board.
My 19 year relationship began anew with a comment from a friend saying "Did you know they redesigned the Wrangler again? No more Square Headlights! It's actually comfortable!".
I sat behind the wheel of a 1997 forest green Jeep Wrangler Sport and it was like putting on a pair of comfortable sneakers. It Just Fit.
While it's healthy to step out of your comfort zone once in a while, when you're 6'4" and 220-ish pounds like I am, there's a reason why you drive a certain car. In fact, I liked that one so much that I traded that one and got a second one when Chrysler offered 0.0% financing a few years later. That's the one that sits in the carport today.
It's not a question of whether its big, I could easily drive any large American Land Yacht, but more of the line of the roof and how close the driver's door is placed in respect to the seat.
I recently sat in a Mercedes Benz C class and I can honestly say that by the time we drove across the county line into Aventura Florida for a trip to the mall for lunch, I hated that car with a passion. Mercedes had placed everything in just the right places - to stick in my left kidney, my left shoulder, and allow me never to find a comfortable place to sit.
Oh and there are no Diesel C Class. Forget that. Gasoline is not efficient in comparison. Diesel gets between 1/3 and 1/2 better Miles Per Gallon (KM Per Litre) for the same size motor. I won't even consider a gasoline motor if there is a Diesel available. TDI Perhaps, but never on the first year.
Well that and I'm not ready to retire my Jeep yet.
Every time I get to a car show, I'm drawn to the little things that would be a speed bump for a big truck like they like to drive here in Florida. I don't understand why someone needs a Hummer, let alone any other SUV, just to get groceries. But that's me.
I was happy to see that the Fiat 500 actually fits. In fact, the one I sat in with the sun roof had so much room that I had to sit with the front seat not all the way back. That's something I don't have in my Jeep.
Now if they'd just get a proper sized turbo diesel in the US it would be a winner.
Well that and once I finally get tired of driving around in a Wrangler with the roof off and on special days the doors sitting back home being sniffed by the dog. After all, it's 10 years old and only has 44,000 miles on it.
Just make sure if you do end up with a small car and you're big, you have the right bumper sticker:
Caution, Capacity 14 Clowns.
Sorry folks, I saw that one over the weekend and didn't take the picture.