Friend: "I am looking to buy a new car to replace my 15 year old Honda"
Me (cautiously excited to talk about cool cars): "Well what are you thinking?"
Friend: "The new Camry."
Me (deeply saddened, yet with a shred of hope): "Oh, well what are your requirements?"
Friend: "I just want a reliable car with good gas mileage and heated seats."
Me: (pretentious sigh)
The Set Up
This goes right up there with "I only need enough HP to merge on to the highway" in phrases that ensure a lack of enthusiasm for driving. But you know what? I get it. People have different passions, and not everyone cares about cars. I have plenty of friends who party to electronic dance music, and I'd rather punch myself in the face than muscle-spasm around on a dance floor for a few hours.
Instead of snobbishly giving up and allowing another Camry on the roads, I decided to at least try and push him towards the more interesting midsize sedans. As much as I praised the Fusion, he refused to believe that Ford quality has improved since 1998 and didn't want an American car. I assume he is also blasting "Truly Madly Deeply" through his Discman. He also refused to buy used because he hates saving money, presumably.
"Well at least test drive the Mazda6 for a comparison." "The what? I've never driven a Mazda." "You'd be surprised."
The Test Drives
That weekend he test drove the Camry, the Accord, and the Mazda 6.
The Camry: 'It was fine. Had features. Very spacious. Cool entertainment center with apps and buttons.'
The Accord: 'It was ok. Pretty much the same as the Camry but felt less roomy.'
The Mazda 6: 'Wow this car was so cool! The styling was way better, it felt more like a sports car. Thanks, man. I never would have test drove this car if you didn't tell me about it.'
Friend is now buying a Mazda 6 instead of a Camry. Baby steps towards a better world.