The idea for this piece was born during my vacation, during which I did nothing but to spoil myself with champagne and chocolate brownies on a sunny terrace. Having my old Mac, a whole stack of magazines and plenty of time at my disposal meant I could chat around for hours with my girlfriends. There wasn't a single magazine where I could find a recommendation for our motorized dreams though. All the girls agreed that was unacceptable, so we took care of the problem together.
Denise is a charming young lady, she works for an insurance company and she studies foreign languages. She's 21, blonde, petite, has green eyes and deadly-arched brown eye lashes. She's the youngest in my group and she's always straitening us out when it comes to the latest street trends. The meetings with her are always special and she's wearing the coolest clothes, which you'll probably find to be identical to next season's fashion design trend.
You know those fashion editorials which tell us that trends are moving from the streets to the catwalk and not the other way around? Well, she's living proof it's all true. And she does that effortlessly. I asked her to choose the perfect car for a 16+ years old girl and I gave her a two-week deadline. She came with her homework done after countless seminars with her college friends and numerous visits to car dealers around the city. They all chose the Toyota iQ searching after the following criteria:
-it has to be a small car, because they are all active and have to stroll around the city a lot, following a precise course: job, school, coffee shop, shopping, home;
-it has to have good fuel consumption since their budget is pretty tight, like that of a lot of students working the short shift;
-it has to be eco-friendly, because eco cars are cool, have no pollution taxes and they use less fuel;
-it has to be new, because it's important for a young person to be associated with the latest technologies;
-it has to have the newest gadgets, starting with the audio system and ending with safety features;
-it has to be spacious and have a good all round visibility;
-it has to have comfortable seats because they spend a lot of time in the car and comfort is oh-so-important;
-it has to have modern and funky design, like a piece of jewelry you can wear every day without getting bored with;
-it has to be an icon, so that even if all your friends have one it doesn't mean you're just "one of the bunch";
-it has to be safe, because their biggest concern is to take care of themselves;
-it has to be reliable, because their choice is not for just one season but for medium term;
-it has to be stable, have all the assistance features ever invented and a smart on-board computer because they like weekend getaways;
-last, but not least, it has to have a wide array of colors and accessories with which they can personalize it.
-it has to be a big, white SUV with silver accents so that it shows masculinity, sportiness and suppleness;
-it has to have a powerful engine with a high torque figure, and gasoline is a must since you're not working the fields and don't need a tractor in the city;
-it has to have all the gadgets that were invented until now so that you won't get bored with it, oh and LCD screens showing everything imaginable about the car;
-it has to have all wheel drive;
-it has to be a hybrid, because you're a smart girl;
-it has to park itself;
-it has to have lounge chairs, not seats; ventilated and heated;
-it has to have room for depositing your purse;
-it has to be a roomy car, because this is the age when you start thinking about a family or, if you don't have one, it's the age of great travels;
-it has to have a big luggage compartment, because your boyfriend has lots to carry and you might fit a baby stroller in there; differently-sized suitcases, nets and fishing rods are also in the equation;
-it has to be both stable and comfortable, always ready for longer trips over countries or busy cities;
-it has to have all the latest safety features, because you're a precious flower;
-it has to have the same safety features for the passengers also, because you'll probably have children soon and they too need to be protected;
-it has to have a sporty design, but without exaggerating since that would be a man's car, not one for a stylish lady;
Magdalena has been my colleague in primary school. She didn't even need a deadline. She answered instantly because her "ride" was freshly acquired and was waiting out in the lobby. It has no engine, it's 100% eco-friendly and it's a stylish-looking beast. It's also a short-term acquisition fro the whole family, since it can be driven by her husband also, while the main beneficiary is her little Luca. Her choice is a MacLaren baby stroller and it's also a 30+ choice. They wanted something that can turn into a landaulet, have extra room for shopping bags and a feet blanket.
-it had to have a soft-top;
-the baby should sit either frontward or rearward, depending on the position of the sun for example;
-it shouldn't be too heavy;
-it shouldn't be too big; should fit in a small elevator, for example;
-it should have four wheels since three-wheel types seem a bit unstable;
-it should fold easily in order to fit in the luggage compartment without taking too much space;
-it shouldn't creek;
-it should, if need should arise, be able to be used as a seating chair;
-it should be height-adjustable so that, for example if you're having your coffee on a terrace the baby should sit at the same height as you;
-it should be tested by an official organization, just like cars are being tested by EuroNCAP for example.
She's always telling us that a woman who's 45+ years old is a woman who knows herself perfectly. She knows everything about the world, about life and has the resources to get whatever she wants. Her throne is the right rear seat of a Lexus LS 600h. With a fine touch of a button it transforms into a luxury armchair, taking the ideal shape for a woman's body. She has a multitude of available features, some for warmth and some even for Shiatsu massage.
On her left there's a console like a Pandora's box, fitted with a remote for the audio system, TV, DVD, everything. Behind the console there's a small bar with fine bottle of champagne and cold glasses. Her choice has three names, which we can find in all the brochures used for describing cars, but here we can find them in their absolute form: technology, relaxation and comfort.
PS1: The Editor-in-Chief is asking me if I'm a Toyota fan-boy(girl). The truth is that I wrote everything exactly as it happened, without interfering in any way in the choices or the motivations.
PS2: Are you Toyota fans?