From the Editor: Hybrid Driver

Photo by Belish/

Nah, I don’t drive a hybrid vehicle, but I’m definitely a hybrid of a driver. I’m part of that Xennial generation—the micro-generation be-tween Gen X and the Millennials. Years ago, our age group was referred to as “cuspers” because we’re neither one nor the other. It means we bridge and take on attributes of the generation ahead of us as well as behind. As a 40-year old, I’ve embraced a whole lot of technology in my time, as well as still read paper maps and do things the “old school” way. Print isn’t dead. It’s in a stack on my occasional table, waiting to be read with all the other things on my tablet.

The advancements in technology were downright shocking the last time I got a new vehicle. I went from a 2008 Jeep to a 2016 Fiat (the puffed-up 500X). Some things were similar like 4WD to AWD, but I went from a CD player and radio with an aux cord to a Bluetooth connectable system that gets satellite radio. I didn’t even spring for the navigation system, but chose to just use my iPhone that sits in a holder clamped to my vent. That’s my hybrid approach to my vehicle. I can’t quite afford all the bells and whistles, and I know how to hack the technology well enough to not need them. But what excites me more is that this new technology is aging just enough to be showing up in the used car lots. Those of us who are accustomed to driving things until they die have a whole new world of affordable technology to make our lives and drives a whole lot more comfortable and easy. Fantastic.

Randy Stern is an absolute gem in this community and represents us well in the automotive writing world. Not only does he write a review of a specific vehicle in every issue, but he also wrote the entire feature section of this issue, including a great piece about buying a used car. I recently went through this process with a friend as she needed to get a replacement for her limping workhorse. The new vehicle had to last a long time and be dependable (really, who hopes for a car that doesn’t fit that description?). It needed a leather interior due to kids and their lack of motor skills. It needed the capacity for a lot of gear. It had to be fun… or, it’d be nice if it were fun. But it definitely had to be affordable.

I wish I’d had Randy’s handy guide of terms as we went shopping because there are a lot of things to consider above and beyond a per-sonal must-have list. Thankfully, Richard at White Bear Mitsubishi got her hooked up with a sweet ride. As it happens, she not only got some-one’s beloved Outlander that they’d souped up to meet their specs when they bought it new, but she also was able to tack on a ridiculously mind-easing warranty that’ll last the lifetime of the vehicle, all for a great cost and a dreamy interest rate. The a la carte warranty even includes random tire problems, which seem to be plentiful in our Land of 10,000 Potholes.

Sometimes we feature a lot of swanky and luxurious cars in this magazine, and sometimes we bring it on home for those who want to be a bit more reserved in our spending. Or perhaps just reserved in spend-ing for vehicles and then we hit the stores and clubs and vacations a bit harder. Hybrids, in style and spending.

So, grab your maps and turn on your podcasts. Embrace whichever generation you’re in and enjoy what this day and age have to offer in vehicles.

See you on the streets.
With you and with thanks, Andy.