Scout ticks and holds all the boxes
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MATT GIBB, HOST OF KIWI LIVING, TV ONE, FRIDAY 7.30PM
You drive an Octavia Scout TDI?
Skoda was kind enough to offer us the Octavia Scout as our vehicle for the travel segments on Kiwi Living. We needed a car that was comfortable, fuel-efficient and had enough space to haul all the gear that it takes to make a TV show. The Octavia has been ideal in terms of practicality, plus it’s turned a few heads when we’ve rolled into town. It’s a good-looking vehicle.
First car you owned?
An orangey-red 1981 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback. I passed my restricted licence test, driving home with visions of the cool-points my newfound freedom was going to provide ... and having the car crap out just around the corner from the testing station.
Your dream vehicle?
For the show I had some hot laps in a Lamborghini Superleggera at Highland Motorsport Park outside Cromwell with their amazing driver, Andrew — 230km/h in that felt like hyperdrive in the Millennium Falcon. Even if my face made it look like I was passing kidney stones, honestly, I loved it. I’d have one of those, thanks.
Who taught you to drive?
Mum, Dad and my brother Chris took turns teaching me and all had different styles. I used to tell Dad I wanted to play nine holes of golf with him when he went out in the evenings, just so I could drive the car around the carpark afterwards. Bonus was I learned how to drive a car and a golf ball.
How different is it driving in rural New Zealand for your series, compared to Auckland?
We’ve driven through incredible landscapes already for Kiwi Living. Central Otago is one of my favourite parts of the world, and you’re constantly wanting to stop and point the camera in every possible direction. The main difference is probably the open roads where you can go for hours without seeing another car on the road.
What is your take on Auckland traffic?
I’ve been lucky, or clever, enough to largely avoid getting stuck in the chaos of the Auckland motorways during peak traffic. It’s insane. Public transport seems like the only answer. Clearly it’s an expensive problem to solve now.
Most memorable road trip?
Driving from LA to Vegas with my best mate Cam in a convertible Mustang GT was as spectacularly tacky, cliched and about as awesome as you could imagine. We stopped in at an Elvis-themed diner, ate doughnuts, and realised we’d left our passports locked in a safe in LA as we arrived in Vegas.
Do you have a favourite car film scene?
The police chases from The Blues Brothers. Everyone should have given up trying to do car chases after that movie came out.
What irritates you most about other drivers?
I’m generally calm when I drive. I could do without the “speed up when you get to the passing lane drivers” though. And don’t get me started on the stickers with the family members. But yeah ... generally calm.
Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?
I’d probably rather take public transport. I just wish it was an easier process in Auckland. Once you’ve seen how great public transport can be in cities like London and New York you’re spoilt.
If you could take any car with anyone, anywhere?
I’d drive through New York City with Jerry Seinfeld in any car he saw fit. His web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a favourite. I’d happily just sit in the back seat and listen to the conversation he was having with whichever comedian he was with.