Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hey Dad....Can I drive?

It took 8 weeks for my 17 year-old son to get up the courage to ask the big question:  "Dad, can I drive the BMW tonight?"  My wife had Skyped me a warning earlier in the day so I had ample time to prepare all of my "No Way" responses.  Then I decided....why not.  What could possibly go wrong?

When I arrived home I surprised everyone with my "Yes" response, followed by the usual retort of, "Clean your room first."  I also said we had to go on a test drive first so I could explain the basics and have him get a feel for the powerful regenerative breaking, smooth acceleration and superb handling.  He did very well on the short test and I felt comfortable handing over the keys for the night.  Of course he got the additional lecture of: Slow down.  No one besides your girlfriend in the car.  Come straight home after the game.  I'm sure all he heard was: Blah, blah, blah!

It turns out that my wife made dinner reservations that night so I wasn't home to watch my ActiveE leave under someone else's guidance.  I did get to drive the Honda Civic Hybrid for the night.  The first thing I noticed was that the car handled very poorly.  The steering felt loose and the first sharp corner was a challenge as I expected more out of the car.  You could say that I am now officially spoiled by the legendary BMW handling.

We arrived home late to find the ActiveE tucked away and charging in its usual garage bay.  A quick inspection shows no visible damage!  The next morning I asked my son why he wanted to drive the car that night.  His response was: "Because it's cool, Dad.".....I can't argue with that!