Urban sprawl - utes in the suburbs
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Life in a big city is many things, but one thing that it is probably most often is cramped.
Space is always at a premium in a city of pretty much any size, and the ability to get along peacefully with a large number of strangers all trying to squeeze into the same space on the road as you without resorting to screaming obscenities or wildly throwing punches or crying in a fetal position is vital if you want to retain your sanity and freedom in a city.
So, of course, the perfect choice for a vehicle in such a space-poor environment is a thoroughly massive ute.
That was sarcasm, in case you missed it, and it is something of a mystery as to why the ute has become such a popular choice for the latte-sipping city-dwelling non-tradie here in New Zealand.
The rise in popularity of the ute with the non-tradie townie has corresponded with two factors: one is the increasingly refined and car-like abilities of modern utes — which kind of explains why the ute has become a viable car or SUV replacement — while the other is, rather inexplicably, the massive increase in size of modern utes over the past few generations. Which pretty much completely invalidates any argument you may have for the purchase of a ute in a large city being a “sensible” or “practical” decision.
The sheer size of most modern utes makes buying one for city use about as sensible as buying a tiger for your child’s first pet.
Admittedly, the ute is less likely to chew your face off while you sleep, but their defining hugeness makes them a nightmare to deal with in everyday city life, particularly when trying to park in today’s ever-shrinking parking spaces.
While you do get a massive boot, chucking the groceries in the back will only result in disappointment when you arrive home. Plus swearing. Lots of swearing.
But never mind that, because you might need it when you decide to go off-road one day, right?Unfortunately you are more likely to run over a tiger in Ponsonby.
But that’s all right, because the first thing you would have done anyway is slap a set of massive alloy wheels on it, complete with road tyres, thereby utterly negating all the incredibly capable 4WD system and clever off-road electronics.
Or you simply bought a 2WD ute that has (also inexplicably) sprouted up to 4WD ride height, because, I dunno, running over tigers is less messy with a higher ride height?
Still, you will probably have noticed that your family and friends get in touch a lot more.
Usually to see what you are doing in the weekend and asking if you wanted to maybe pop around sometime for a beer. Bring the ute if you like. Oh, and while you’re here with it, there is this rubbish I need to get rid of ...