I was doing some online car shopping when Frangela, my 14-year-old niece, started snooping at my screen. Before long, I was hearing her opinions on pretty much every car out there. For the sake of our readers who aren’t tweens, here are her “hot takes.”
1. The Ford Mustang
Frangela’s Take: “Ew. The official car of the divorced mom.”
It’s a long-held stigma that the Mustang is the sports car for older women, and said stigma has apparently trickled down to the teenagers of Batavia, New York. I asked Frangela where she heard this stereotype, or why she believed it, but she pretended to fall asleep halfway through my question. I looked to my sister for help, but she continued drinking her coffee.
2. The Mercedes Benz E-Class
Frangela’s Take: “It’s like a Grandpa became a car. No that’s not fair, I like Grandpa.”
I also like my father, so on that, Frangela and I agree. But I’m not sure why she had such a visceral reaction to the Benz. Not that I can afford one anyway, but it seems like the kind of luxury car that a vacuous, status-obsessed person like Frangela would be into. For christ’s sake, the logo takes up a third of the grille. But even when I pitched her on the idea of generous financing on her trade in of “her iPhone,” she wouldn’t budge. Sorry, Mercedes.
3. The Honda Civic
Frangela’s Take: “This car reminds me of the guy I’m gonna settle for and that’s really sad.”
As a former owner of a Honda Civic, I bristled at her reaction. My 2005 Civic was steady, reliable, and had a large trunk — much like myself. When it was time to move to New York (a city that treats cars like parasites), I donated it to my local public radio station, and wrote it off on my-
Oh god. Oh god, she’s right.
4. The Chevy Corvette
Frangela’s Take: “Nerd alert!”
I asked Frangela why she had sounded such an urgent nerd alert for this perfectly fine looking midrange sports car. Unfortunately, halfway through my sentence, she recorded a Snapchat of herself rolling her eyes at me. She proceeded to spend the next ten minutes deciding on the perfect filter for it. She settled on one that said “Manhattan,” I guess, so people would know she was visiting New York. Or that she was rolling her eyes at New York? Either way, another miserable failure for the Frangela test.
5. The Jaguar F-Type
Frangela’s Take: “OMIGOD! Can I have that for my birthday??”
It’s hard to compete with a Jaguar, and the F-Type was no exception. Before long, she started screaming about how she’d use it to pick up her friends, drive them to school, drive everyone to Checker’s for fries, drive it to the prom…