If I were a car, I’d be an SUV, because I’m large, slow and fond of the outdoors, yet less brave than I want you to think.
The problem is that I don’t much like SUVs. In fact, I’ve been slagging them off for years. They’re cumbersome, profligate, wasteful and only fun in the one environment they’ll never visit. But I had to think of something.
Then and from nowhere, the idea of the Range Rover Sport appeared. I wasn’t worried, for random hilarious thoughts tinged with just a hint of plausibility do occasionally bubble to the surface of my mind before bursting.
But the Range Rover Sport-shaped bubble didn’t burst. It bobbed. Up and down like that bloody plastic submarine that wouldn’t sink in the bath when I was a kid.
I could, of course, stop thinking about it whenever I liked, but that’s not solving the problem; it’s just walking into the next room. Every time I returned, there it was. Bob, bob, bob. So I had to give it serious thought; like a bad dream, it was the only way to rid it from my mind.
Did I like how it drove? Tick. Did I like how it looked? Double tick. Did I feel pleased or cheesed off on Monday morning when I threw open the curtains and saw it waiting for me? Embarrassingly pleased. Double tick, underlined with added happy face.
So I showed it to Mrs Frankel, who doesn’t dislike SUVs. She despises them. I asked her what she thought it cost and, despite being far more intelligent and better read than I, she chimed in at £100k, or about £30k more than the cost of this car.
Next, I drove it hundreds of miles and concluded that no SUV capable of carrying seven people ever came within a county of steering and handling this well. The performance is good, too, and the ride and the refinement – everything, in fact, save the discount-rack navigation.
But it’s the interior that gets it on to this website. Forget where you are, what you’re doing or who you’re with; it’s enough just to be on board. I like the ghostly dials, the sumptuous upholstery, the slabs of metal and, okay, the elevated driving position, too. Ignoring every purpose of the car to which it is attached, this is an environment in which I want to stay.