Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Top Six Vehicles Driven by Assholes

About five years ago, I was completely unable to tell the difference between different types of vehicles. A Mercedes and a Ford looked exactly the same to me. I could divine the difference between "truck" and "car," and might've gone so far as to describe a vehicle as a "minivan," or a "convertible." But outside of those utilitarian delineations, I hadn't the faintest what piloting a particular automobile "meant" about the person behind the wheel.

Thanks to my arduous commute, my state of ignorant bliss is, alas, no more. So, in order to provide you all with the benefits of my Significant Life Experience, I give you, without further ado, my Top Six List o' Vehicles Driven by Assholes:

Mercedes Benz
A Mercedes is the ultimate entitled asshole mobile. Firstly, no one can figure out how to pluralize either "Mercedes" or "Benz," giving it that unpronounceable je'ne sais quoi beloved to elitist pigdoggies everywhere. Secondly, the totems to materialism that serve as hood ornaments exist for no other reason than to serve as reminders to normal people that we are like tiny, tiny ants just waiting to be squashed by the Mercedes' superior horsepower. Or whatever it is they have that's worth a sticker price of about $56,000 (which, according to my Very Scientific Calculations, could keep me in portobello mushroom paninis for about 15 years). The only exception to the rule is if it is a very, very old Mercedes. If it's rusted out, you can trust the driver. If it's been converted to biodiesel complete with prominently located bumper sticker, well that's a gray area.

BMW

The BMW is the jealous, bitter, aspirational younger yuppie sibling of the Mercedes. Again, the name causes problems in that no one knows what BMW stands for, except for some spurious sources that claim it stands for "Brute's Murder Weapon.*" The Beamer deviates from the Mercedes in that it doesn't matter how old the Beamer is, the driver will never be absolved of asshole status while barreling down the freeway in a car rumored to be built with the blood of Jews. (For realsies! Other cars too!)

Audi

The people who drive Audis are the same people who sign their e-mails with "Cheers," or worse, "Ciao."They're going for European mystique and/or sophistication, but all they get are repair bills so high they end up selling their Beamers to pay for them.

Saabs and Volvos

I want to like these cars. I really do. Saab buys ad space on public radio, and Volvo reminds me of hippies. I like public radio and hippies, therefore I should like Saab and Volvo, right? Wrong. These car brands are marketing to the wrong demographic, as people who drive them are without fail unable to use their turn signals or let populist cars change lanes.

And, last but not least, the humble Volkswagen:

You'd think VW would get a bye on accounta being responsible for a cute co-opted slogan like "fahrvergnugen" and making those adorable bugs and Scooby Doo vans. But you'd be wrong! Sure, patchouli-scented old-school VW owners do not pass the asshole test. But did you know that VW was invented by Hitler? Fo' sho'! Also, VW owns Audi, and makes Certifiable Asshole Cars like the Jetta. Unless you live in your VeeDub with your crime-fighting dog and mod posse, you fail.

While the vast majority of my fellow commuters are just normal regular humans trying to get from Point A to Point B in normal regular human cars, taken as a collective, they're something far more sinister. The commute, after all, is more than just a commute -- it's a microcosmic representation of society, with all the preening, power struggles, and Machiavellian machinations inherent therein, all baldly displayed right there on the pavement.

*I make no claims to truthfulness, honesty or accuracy. I have performed absolutely no research for this article, and am not an expert on cars, assholes or Hitler. These are not the facts you're looking for. Or more accurately, these are not the facts for which you're looking.

30 comments:

  1. A couple of useful tidbits: Not only are VW and Audi the same corporation, that company's third division is Porsche. Sort of like Ford/Lincoln/Mercury. And yes, most Porsche drivers are assholes too. Except James Dean. "BMW" stands for Bavarian Motor Werks. But the thing that really interests me is that you have almost unfailingly picked out German cars. Volvo & Saab are the exceptions, and they're Swedish, which is German-lite. There are cars made by other nations driven by assholes, but the reason you've picked out the German cars is that they are generally really well-made, which means that schmuckbags with too much $$$ buy them in droves, so there are many of them on the road. This is why you picked all Germans, I believe. Either that or you just really wanted to work that "blood of Jews" thing in there. But hey, not inaccurate.

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  2. I'm also saddened by Volvo's status as the car of assholes, but I don't dispute your claim.
    Back when I was looking for a replacement to my first Subaru Legacy I informed my Dad I wanted a Volvo b/c they usually have the highest safety ratings. He told me not to buy a Volvo as only idiots drive them. Disgruntled, but dutiful to parental advice I didn't get a Volvo...THANK WHATEVER OMNISCIENT BEING YOU BELIEVE IN (or don't). After driving on the LA freeways I whole heartedly concur: Volvo owners are idiot drivers. Pity.
    Instead I remained with the Subaru clan. All though I tow the line of assholeness as I drive a red car (dark red not primary red).

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  3. @Anonymous As much as I enjoy talking about the blood of the Jews, that's not why -- you're right in that they're well-made cars, and although I've no particular expertise on the engineering of internal combustion engines, I know the Beamers I've driven drive more smoothly and accelerate more quickly than certain other types. But people don't buy them in droves because they're autophiles. They buy them as status symbols, like Coach bags or Hermes scarves. In other words: Mmmm yummy Jew blood!

    @Amber Way to do actual research before picking out a car! Me, I just bought my friend's old car she had to sell to pay for maintenance on her Audi. :P Also: who's to say driving a Volvo would turn you into an idiot? You could be the one driver that turns their negative perception around!

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    1. Sarah you are right about EVERYTHING here. I found your post by Googling the following search words: "Why do assholes drive Audis?" And there you were. Now I have to add that I am a cyclist and haven't owned a car since a brief spell in the mid-90s when my mom was sick and I lived too far away not to have a car. So as a person who rides a bike, in Vancouver BC no less, spiritual home of the EFCA (Entitled Flashy Car-owning Asshole), I can give your assessments the absolute thumbs up approval of Cyclist Nation. I have recently opined that I do not own a car because if I did it would have to be a German one. In other words, I believe Mercedes probably makes the best quality cars but unfortunately their slogan should be "We put a little Hitler in every car!"

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  4. I drive a '93 Volvo. That makes me an old asshole.

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  5. OK OK John and epalla, calm down. Perhaps the subtlety was lost on you, but this post is a ribbing of a certain brand of asshole. Anyone can make fun of a Hummer or an escalade, because the people who drive Hummers and escalades are just NOCD (not our class, dear). That's too easy, and frankly got old when I got over thinking that not buying stuff from Nike made me a revolutionary.

    The brand of asshole that I am making fun of is also the brand of asshole that drives a car for its brand, not its mechanical superiority.

    And @Hattie, are you sure it's you that's the old asshole? It may be that your car is simply old.

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  6. Epalla - Because Saab and Volvo are like Canada. Wannabes.

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  7. Its mostly pick up trucks here. Not the ones that look worn and used for utility. Mostly the ones that look like their owners are compensating for something.

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  8. One of my friends, every time he sees one of "those trucks," and the driver is within earshot, shouts: "Sorry about your penis!!"

    It's hilarious, the first five times. And still giggle-worthy every time after that. :P

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  9. Hoooboy! The pickup truck drivers in this neck of woods aren't even subtle about it - they frequently hang trucknutz from the trailer hitch.

    I would be a-scared to yell "sorry about your penis!" at them on accounta all the gun-racks.

    Full disclosure: I also drive a pick-up truck. But it is the size of a car, and has no balls.

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  10. Oh dear sweet jesus, the trucknuts. Once upon a time I lived in a place called Klamath Falls, and in that magical place I witnessed such subtle truck decor as "naked-Barbie-tied-to-front-grille-as-if-smashed-and-conquered-if-you-know-what-I-mean-wink-wink-nudge-nudge" and "stuffed-roadkill-as-hood-ornament."

    I have trouble deciding which is worse: The trucknutz balls-out brand of assholery, or the subtle type of douchery ensconced in a gajillion-dollar tinted-window, leather interior cage of internally combusted money.

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  11. Most of those are cars taken out of context, so to say. German autobahns by default have no speed limit (though segments of it can be limited explicitly; about half of the network is limited in this way). Add in cities are just 10 megatons apart in Europe, and you get more energetic driving. This actually has the benefit of driving not getting monotonous; people stay alert; driving is, perhaps surprisingly, very safe.

    In their native Germany, Mercedesse (this should be the correct, albeit rarely used, German plural) have a fat cat image, while BMWs are more aggressive/sporty. Pretty much like you said. The funny bit is that Audi isn't well positioned, image-wise. They actually make pretty excellent cars that don't drive worse than BMWs (and they have a fair enough sports record with the Quattro, obviously), but when you approach on the fast lane in a Mercedes, people will melt out of your path on accounta entitled asshole (or crazy aggressive bastard in case of the BMW ("better make way")), while no one makes way for an Audi, because they still have this weird nerdy teacher middle class muesli image.

    German "Fahrvergnuegen" is not just about speed, it's also about freedom. Passing this one guy even though you'll still wait by the next traffic light same as them, just in front of rather than behind them, isn't about the three seconds you gain -- it's about not letting the other guy impose his slow and erratic driving on you. This does not translate well to, say, LA, where it's much more important to have AC and good music while you're stuck in slow traffic on the 101. :) Even in LA I don't think any "true German" would look on a BMW with automatic gear as anything but an abomination though. :-D

    So yeah, I guess these cars/that style of driving makes more sense in Europe.

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  12. Azundris - I like your explanation of how it's not about the three seconds, it's about wielding power over total strangers on the interstate (or the Audobahn!). I was listening to a This American Life the other day about an Israeli concept - I can't remember the word, but basically it means "chump," - and how there's an entire semi-hidden societal substructure around not letting other people make you a chump by any/all means necessary. The rub was that drivers are insane over there. I think we definitely have some of that going on here in the U.S., too. We all catch up with the asshole drivers at the next light, but they've made chumps of us, because they can -- they have the power.

    Also! How do you pronounce "Mercedesse"?

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  13. My top 3:

    Any Mercedes
    Honda Civic
    Land Rover

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  14. Great site, but the German high-line cars don't belong at the top of the list. Plenty of decent people drive them. The cars that do belong at the top are the cars that ONLY an asshole would drive. Here is my list:
    1. Subara WRX STI. The noisy little cars with the embarrassingly idiotic spoilers driven by pouty 20 yo males who are always less than 5'4" tall.
    2. Cadillac Escalade-no explanation needed.
    3. Hummer-ditto
    4. VW Jetta. Driven by people who know deep in their hearts that the car is under-powered, but they'll make up for it by tailgating.

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  15. Thanks, I like the site too. Yeah, I have a couple of very good friends that drive the fancy German cars and they're definitely not assholes. Really, 'twas quite the tongue-in-cheek post, not to be taken too seriously - but I do notice drivers of cars on this list tailgating and generally driving unsafely more often than, say, drivers of '95 Toyota Corollas.

    That said, you'll see that Jetta is on my list! There's a mildly amusing post over here about Jetta drivers. Hummers and Escalades definitely belong on the list, but oddly I rarely see them driving around - mostly just parked at fancy malls, near women in large sunglasses and velour track suits.

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  16. Anon here again... Went to the link, thanks for the chuckle. Just want to add that the asshole vehicle thing has a geographic component. I grew up in VT where, to this day, an Escalade will immediately identify the driver as having no taste or brains, and as a "flatlander". Now I live on Long Island where an Escalade or a big fat Lexus SUV will identify the driver as a success.

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  17. I know this thread is a bit of an oldie, but it is still a goodie, and besides, I just ran across it when I googled "are all Jeep drivers PRICKS". Sorry for the naughty word, but it is correct, in this context.

    Therefore, I'd like to add "Jeep" to some collective list of vehicles driven by A_HOLES (and PRICKS), even as I realize Jeep is a subsidiary of Chrysler Corp., and I am not implying that people who drive other Chrysler products are a_holes.

    Just JEEP drivers- un!@#$% believable. I reserved judgement on this for a long time, until I gathered enough unbiased evidence over a period of time. No doubt there are some small % of them that are not psychotic, however, the majority of them apparently would as soon as kill you and your entire family as look at you.

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    1. YES! If there is one piece of unassailable wisdom I have gathered and made good use of in this life, it is that Jeep owners are pricks, and psychotic pricks at that! If a Jeep owner comes into your life, run far and fast.

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  18. NUMBER ONE - MERCEDES - I TOTALLY AGREE!!!

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  19. Agree on the Jeep. Not to say that Mercedes/BMW/Audi aren't driven by dicks as well. It sucks because I'll be buying a BMW soon but what can I do...

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  20. hahaahaha so true especially Audi

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  21. I thought so...I hadn't really noticed the rest..but here in colorado..every time I am about to be driven off the road or tail gated, it's by a person driving an audi. Not sure why. But I've taken to calling them audi assholes. They are douchebags of the highest order.

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  24. I used to own a VW Jetta. It was a 1994, my first brand new car purchase. And needless to say it was my last VW purchase. JUNK! I used to own a 2003 BMW 325ci that was a given to me by my father in law when he bought a new Infinity. Now I know why he bought an Infinity and not another BMW. Yes, broke my wallet as the BMW letters are in the vernacular form. My bimmer's auto tranny died at 80K and would cost $6,000 for a dealer replacement or $4,000 for an independent mechanic to replace. Besides my bimmer's sunroof stuck shut and the interior headliner bits were all falling off. Currently I drive a 2008 Nissan Maxima that's been 100% trouble free with 121,000 miles. Oh, and by the way, Porsche drivers are virtually all pricks. Mostly short, balding, aging men oozing with all that pretentiousness. Audi drivers are mostly Asians who like to drive with their bi-xenons at high beam and won't dim them after you've flashed your high beams repeatedly. BMW's and Mercedes are pretty much driven by Asian drivers too. You know the folks who are mathematicians that can't drive:) Need I say more?

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  25. I'm being totally honest with my opinions here.
    I've owned a Ford Escort 1982 piece of shit! I was a poor student and needed them the most and everything broke down in that car. I'll never buy American again.
    My Brother is pro-American car. His Dodge Ram Dash board looks like a child designed it. Its shoddy workman ship crap. Every American car is crap. Made by thugs. AFL CIO thugs. America doesn't deserve an Auto Industry.

    I've own a used Subaru XT that was an awesome car Great Dashboard Very well made. They were way ahead of its time but the tires always blew out on that car.
    I got a Mitsubishi Mirage hatch back after that and drove it into the ground that was a good car but it was cheap and boring to drive.
    I got a Mazda 1990 MX 3 that was an awesome car very well made good handling very aerodynamic I must say they had Static discharge ports on the doors so you don't get shocked.
    After that I got a Nissan Maxima 1996 that car sucked it had no traction or handling just comfily seats the engine was good too.
    After that I got my first German Car it was a VW GTI 1999 it was the most amazing car I ever drove. Black leather interior the Handling and V6 Engine was superb! Awesome Steering wheel and Dashboard!
    I sadly traded it in for an Audi S4 2000 loaded. Now that was the most beautiful exciting car I ever drove. I got complements everywhere I went. It had 30 valves bi Turbo engine. It was the benchmark for all other cars at the time. It even had the first NAV System. The sound of the Turbo was the sound of tearing Silk sheets.
    I got over 180K miles on it.
    I had to trade it in for another VW GTI 2006 that was a nice car but lots of stuff broke it in it I'm wearing on VW now. You have to make sure the car is Made in Germany not in Mexico.
    I traded that in for what I'm driving now is a 2010 BMW X3 with X-Drive it's loaded. It's very nice but not as exciting as my first GTI or First Audi. It's got 80K on it now and it's very reliable and it's got lots so Torque I can pass a lot of people If need be. I'll only speed to get away from jerks or danger. And on the highway's I drive I'm usually surrounded by both.

    I had to add to this blog because I drive rt 128 and rt 3 every day and I see what real assholes drive.
    I usually see the 3 series of the BMW driving like assholes because they are trying to prove something that they had the money to buy a BMW usually young guy just out of Collage with his first real Job.
    Jeep Drivers are total idiots they hop in front of you and go slow all the time.
    People in Nissan's SUV's are asshole drivers. It seems they are always cutting in front of me.
    Big expensive cars like BMW Audi Porsche never bother me in fact they are polite. You folks are jealous that's why you're saying they are assholes.
    In my experiences they are civilized drivers.
    People in the Expensive Japanese or Korean cars are obnoxious asshole want be German car drivers. They are so cheap they went with the no frills no history Korean car. The German's Invented the CAR and the Internal Combustion Engine. They have a History. So they were fooled by Hitler. Look at us we were fooled by Obama.
    People in Range rovers are aloof but polite.
    People in Ford Pickup's or Dodge are bully's assholes. And People in pickup trucks with ladders all over it are drunks and don't care if something falls off and kills you.
    Subaru's are usually Lesbian's. And People in Chevy's are idiots want a bee's. With them I say let the poor boy go.
    Volvo's are total idiots stay away from them at all means.
    Saab's are asshole they always cut people off.
    Toyota some are some are not assholes depends if they had a bad day at work.
    But I just don't get the BMW thing. They are beautiful looking classic car's they don't change their look every 3 years. They are classic.
    Mercedes Audi Porsche VW are all nice. You can go 150mph in a German SUV.

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  26. Thank you, so true. There's also the Mini Cooper.

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  27. From my observations in the south bay area most of the people here can't drive to begin with. But I do experience more deliberately rude driving action in VW's, BMW's, minivans, Jeeps and trucks. Some of the biggest assholes are the plain Jane's driving their fugly minivans. They're usually middle age indian women in Honda Odyssey's and Toyota Siena's who'll pass you on the right in a bike lane just to get ahead on a two way road! It's happened to me several times. And I've confronted a few of those bitches on occasion. From time to time I witness the cretins in their clapped out, ugly, older, "tuner" Hondas, Toyotas and Ford Mustangs driving like sheer idiots. But you have to consider the source regarding these simple minded folks. I think that their listening to mega loud bass has liquified their brains right through their colons and out! And don't get me started on those egregious after market blue headlights! UGGGGH!

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