The car

During these five long weeks without my car, I’ve realised that the closest thing to a relationship I have in my life is actually with the automobile. I very nearly started to anthropomorphise it and when I finally saw it outside the Nissan garage in Östersund, I felt elated. When I was scraping the ice off the windows, I half gave it a hug!

But, it’s still just a car. It’s not the Qashqai as such that I was missing, it’s having a means of transportation and the independence and freedom it gives you. I managed these weeks thanks to the generosity of other people, and occasionally using a rental. But it meant that everything had to be planned and agreed on and the threat of running out of milk was ever present and there were quite a few nights I lost some sleep trying to put the puzzle together. I know it’s really not worth losing sleep… but that’s how I operate. If there’s a problem, however minor, my brain goes into a hyperactive mode and I can’t shut it down even at night. Which translates into insomnia. I hope I can get some more zzz’s now!

While in Östersund, I paid a visit to the Suzuki dealer. My relationship with the Qashqai is over, I was going to get a new car by the end of the year anyway but when the turbo blew up, I decided to make the switch sooner. So I’ve spent a big part of the past weeks doing research on crossovers and I was surprised to see how difficult it is to find a car that fulfils all my requirements. Every car maker has a CUV in the range, but I wanted a 4×4 automatic and I found only three car makers which offered that for the price and features I could agree on. And when I made a closer comparison of the models on offer, only one car maker was left standing – Suzuki. It was between the Vitara 1.6 diesel, or Vitara S with a 1.4 petrol engine. At one point I had already decided on the diesel but then I had a closer look at the engine properties and with some expert help (thanks Miika!) I realised that I shouldn’t overlook the Vitara S just because it ”only” has a 1.4l engine. So I took the S for a test drive and if I had any doubts, they sure were dispelled – that turbo charged engine packs quite a punch! I was smiling from ear to ear when I returned the keys, it was so much fun. And it will be mine! 🙂

Now of course, people are already questioning my decision to go with a Suzuki in the first place, and the Vitara S in particular. Apparently, the turbo is just waiting to blow up on me. I half understand the criticism because the turbo must work hard to squeeze out the power from that small engine but at the same time, it doesn’t matter which car you buy, something can always go wrong. The guy at the Nissan garage said that he only sees this problem 1-2 times a year so I think it’s safe to say that the turbo in my Qashqai was not supposed break? But break it did. And by the way, insurance covered the reparation. I only suffered the five weeks of being without a car, and even that was just because Nissan has attached the turbo with some special screws that the local shop couldn’t open.

Hmm… maybe I should’ve asked what kind of screws Suzuki uses for their turbo assembly…

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