It’s always a delicate balance between following your instincts and rationalising things through, says this columnist.
Every fourth quarter of the year, after all the test drives, the STTorque team shortlist the worthy contenders for Car of the Year (COTY) and cast our votes.
Over the years, we have finetuned the judging framework to make it methodological and justifiable, while allowing for that elusive X factor. After all, when it comes to cars, it is always a bit of head plus a bit of heart.
As I was test-driving various cars for the annual exercise, I discovered that my daughter was also compiling her own COTY shortlist. Some of the rides on her list include the BMW i8 (the 2015 winner), Ford Mustang and Audi RS3 Sportback.
She likes the i8 for its “flying doors” and blue seatbelts, the Mustang because it is fast and has its own “special horse logo”, and the RS3 because it is red and sounds like the Jaguar F-Type.
Besides her sense of sight and sound, she also engaged her sense of smell. The Volkswagen Sharan made her list because of the way its cabin smells, together with the fact that it has built-in child seats and a handy overhead storage compartment for items like pens and even a torchlight. The Citroen Cactus also made her list, because of its interior door handles that resemble retro luggage handles.
Another one of her shortlisted cars, the Lexus RX, conjures up imageries of a boat, which she associates with spaciousness. Then there is the Volvo S90, which she says is “so comfortable, I wish I can sleep in it”.
Some of these reasons may be considered simple, or even trivial, but they are good enough for her. Many of these reasons come to her almost instantaneously and intuitively, without the need for prolonged deliberation.
Of course, we cannot be determining our Car of the Year arbitrarily or simply because we have a soft spot for a particular new car. Criteria such as handling, performance, efficiency and value for money ensure that we have a robust and systematic approach to evaluating shortlisted cars for the prestigious COTY title.
As adults, we have a tendency to overthink things. Or at least, I do. We may dismiss first impressions as hasty or superficial, but sometimes, our first impression may be the most authentic. Often enough, I realise that after much pondering and analysing, I would arrive at the same conclusion I had right from the beginning.
LYNN TRUSTS HER SIXTH SENSE AND GOES WITH HER GUT AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY.