Opinion: Model performace


Moving along our nation’s highways, we encounter all manner and sort of peculiarity. The world’s largest ball of twine is just ahead. Or, at Exit 328 B, we can enjoy the “world’s best” cup of coffee in air-conditioned comfort 24 hours a day. Wow! Still, most of what we meet is more mundane. It is the commonplace.

As such, both windscreen and rearview are filled with base-model modes of transportation piloted by base-model humans. There is nothing wrong with driving the most common car on Earth. In fact, that vehicle, the Corolla, has been well-tested and can be commonly repaired. Some would argue that owning it is a genius move. Can we take the same position in being a very common commoner?

In most options, we are not granted much choice. Our color, age, trim package and nameplate are determined before delivery to the lot. We are left to take what we get. The luxury edition went to the last person, and we are stuck with something with crank windows from 2004.

Monster truck or Italian sports car, we decide on maintenance. We decide which after-market accessories to install. We decide how and where we drive it. Sure, some got the hybrid with abundant “free” fuel. Others found themselves with a family truckster with 19 cup holders. Yet once delivered, we determine if we stay at base model or work to move up a bit. Education, exercise and relationship maintenance all add to our standard stock. We may not have been born rich, brilliant or beautiful, but we can clean update, and improve the model we are dealt.

The way we care for this one might give us a head start when St. Peter stands to negotiate our trade-in. But for most today, a top-performing Kia is likely better than a stalled Lamborghini.