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Daddy average and the seven seats

2007-05-09 15:17

Lance Witten

Toyota Avanza

So there we were. Seven family members, ready for the road trip. Recognizing it would make more financial sense to travel in one car, we decided on using Dad's *insert generic seven-seat MPV here* for the trip.

The men of the "Perfectly Average" family had been planning this trip for a while now. Dad, my five brothers and I were finally ready for the journey, so we piled into the *insert generic seven-seat MPV here*, ready to rumble. Except, with the two extra seats deployed and the two youngest brothers seated, there was no room for our luggage.

Seeing as Dad's machine had the necessary pulling power, we began our epic trip with Dad bleating on about how in his day everyone just drove a Microbus. It could comfortably seat 10 people, still have adequate load space for all the bags, and enough pulling power to overtake that 22-metre truck on Houwhoek Pass with a trailer in tow...

The good ol' days, he called them.

While debating the merits of luxury features on modern MPVs and the Microbus' lack of air bags in the light of our meeting, one brother picked up a cramp. Ten minutes into the journey!

Seven-seaters do not seat seven people comfortably. There. I've said it. Perhaps seven midgets; or seven hundred Lilliputians. But seven people, real ones, even the Perfectly Average ones? No.

I recently came home from a week-long holiday in a Scenic even the two "tweenies" in the back got on each others nerves. But seven? You have got to be joking.

My non-fictional family used to go on road trips all the time in our 2.5i VW Microbus. And it took us everywhere from the Magaliesberg to the Kruger Park and up into the Namib Desert in comfort and in style without complaining. More than I can say for many of the generic seven-seat MPVs out there these days...well, except for the style bit.

We could even have our dogs accompany us without them getting in our way or leaving tell-tale fur on our baggage.

From De Aar to Beaufort West, as the song goes, they just don't build people-carriers the way they used to.

And, true's Bob, I'll choose a Kombi over them all any day.

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