April 16, 2015

Horse 1878 - Old Man Wagon

On Monday morning, we were finally done with a set of six document boxes (most of which contained reams of completely useless paper which presumably meant something to someone once upon a time but meant three quarters of diddly-squat multiplied by bupkis to us) and so we returned them to the client. They arrived in a Ford Mondeo wagon and although every bone and every nerve in my body was yelling vociferously against it, I thought that the wagon was cool.

What has happened to me? Should I throw out my clothes in favour of an all beige wardrobe? Should I apply to the transit authority for my pensioner's card? Should I just admit that there's no more lead in the pencil, submit to the inevitable and  start driving as the old man in a hat? (Admittedly I've already been wearing hats for ages now.)
Oh howl, howl, howl and calamity. I can't even cry "havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war. The dogs of war have fallen asleep by the fire, after chewing on my slippers.

The thing that I found extraordinary is how much space is in the back of the wagon. Having recently had a washing machine go brain dead despite being mechanically perfect, the repair bill for the computer was less than simply buying a new machine; this meant carting home a big brown box.
This and previous experience has taught me that the sheer utility of owning a hatchback outweighs any style that might be conferred by owning a sedan or coupé; so much so that I'm never going to buy another sedan again.
The Mondeo wagon had in every respect, the advantages of what a hatchback has but more so; so already it outscores the Mondeo sedan. There is a Mondeo hatchback which does exist but that's another story (and it certainly wins over the sedan). What won me over about the Mondeo wagon was the sheer volume of space in the back; I'm talking ridiculous amounts of space. If I were five years old again, the back of a Mondeo wagon could very easily be a fort in which you could hide out whilst fighting off hordes of injuns.
This leads me to an obvious question. If space is the winner, why not go even bigger on the same platform?

There is an SUV cousin to the Ford Mondeo and that is the Mazda CX-9. The thing is that I do know of someone with a CX-9 and this is where the story gets weird.
The CX-9 is as long and as wide as the Mondeo wagon; so it would be logical that it should have even more space in the back. Nope! The CX-9 because it is jacked up, has the top of the suspension towers intruding into the boot space; which means that the amount of flat area in the back is compromised. Now I guess that the sorts of people who buy SUVs don't mind this but as someone who was already biased against them, my  biases have only been confirmed further. I suspect that although the CX-9 might have an overall larger carrying capacity, it is only able to do that by virtue of being taller.
My suspicion is that the Mondeo could fit more boxes into the boot space without having to layer them, precisely because the suspension towers and wheel wells don't intrude into the boot space in the wagon as much. The walls of the Mondeo are pretty well flat but on the CX-9, it is as though there were already two immovable objects in there. Maybe it is an illusion in my mind but without the two cars side by side, I can only guess.
When it comes to flat real estate in the boot of both cars, my suspicion is that the Mondeo is the winner. In the battle against injuns, you'd be kneeling closer to your cowboy comrades; that's a terrible idea if they happen to smell.

Don't get me wrong, in a battle of coolness, the hatchback still beats everything else for me. It's just that the wagon has unexpectedly trumped the sedan in my reckoning. The SUV still comes last... unless you have a proper Four Wheel Drive and are using it to drive on dirt with it; in which case you may as well run with what Range Rover says - they're station wagons.

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