Full Speed Ahead

By Charlie Ascher

Jerry Seinfeld has Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I have “Broke College Students in Cars Getting McDonalds.” The premise is pretty straightforward: you let me drive your car, we go to McDonald’s, I buy us a magnificent feast and I write a “thorough” and “well-researched” review of your car using the authoritative Liebowitz-o-Meter. Seriously I don’t know why I don’t have a TV contract already with this idea.

The Car: Silver, Automatic Transmission, Eighth Generation Honda Civic

Car Name: Silver Linings

The Owner: Erin Winseman

Styling: So, umm yeah, it’s a Civic. Guys at one point this design was considered pretty revolutionary. With a front that resembles a futuristic robotic hamster that’s very serious about his job of driving you places (or is that just me?) and shapely sides best described as “curved” and “definitely not square, ” the Civic screams class and sophistication. Ok, so the Civic isn’t going to cause that Intro Italian kid who’s maybe just a little too into it to break into a hand gesticulating rant about, “Le Belle Macchine,” but it isn’t a bad looking small car.

Liebowitz-o-Meter: 3.5/5 Rons

Interior: It’s got seats! It has a steering wheel! You’re a college student so you don’t care about anything else! The front seats are comfortable and reasonably supportive and all the controls are easy to reach. I tested out the volume knob, and while it doesn’t get to full on Atwater levels, it can get loud enough so that you can’t hear yourself think (just like Atwater!) … if you’re into that sort of thing.  My tall and gangly 6’2” frame fit easily into a comfortable driving position. The only concern about fitting is that there isn’t too much vertical travel in the seat, so if you have truly gigantic thighs from all the squats you’ve been doing or your torso is roughly twice the length of your legs, you may have issues.

Liebowitz-o-Meter: 4/5 Rons

Handling and Performance: Roaring out of ADK I press the gas pedal at-least a quarter of a way through its travel and rip Silver Linings all the way up to a scintillating 25 miles-per-hour on College Street. The Civic drives like an accountant whose hobby on the weekends just so happens to be underground and aggressive slam poetry; it’s boring most of the time, but come Saturday it likes to tell itself that it’s wild, but it really isn’t. It’s a Honda Civic; please tell me you weren’t expecting it to be a performance monster. But, when you actually do decide to get racy and plant your foot down, the acceleration isn’t too shabby and it purrs exactly like the serious futuristic robot hamster that it is. It’s a four-cylinder, front-wheel drive mass-market sedan geared towards fuel-economy, so all in all it handles pretty well for what it is.

Liebowitz-o-Meter: 4/5 Rons

Drive-through-ability: The Civic comes equipped with power windows, which are an essential feature when we’re talking about drive through. Christ, I’m trying to get my deep-fried happiness using as few calories as possible. Bonus points because the center console storage space perfectly fits a medium fry. Unfortunately, the Civic’s window is significantly lower than the drive through window, making it much more difficult for you to stare directly into the drive through person’s soul as you grab your bag in order to prove that, yes, you did want 60 Chicken McNuggets.

Liebowitz-o-Meter: 4.5/5 Rons

Final Verdict: Silver Linings the 8th Generation Honda Civic proved to be a perfectly competent McDonalds chariot. It’s roomy, comfortable, efficient, reliable and even a little bit fun. It passed the most thorough 25 minutes of testing it will ever receive with flying colors, becoming the first car that I have driven at Midd to not break down on me, a truly miraculous achievement.

Liebowitz-o-Meter: 4/5 Rons

Essential Stats:

Carrying capacity of 5 adults or 6 college students.
Approximate 30mpg average.
Trunk space for approximately 16 30-racks of Natty Ice.
McDonalds order: 20 piece Chicken McNuggets and a medium fry.
If the Civic were a song: “Technologic” Daft Punk.
There you have it, the first installment of “Broke College Students in Cars Getting McDonalds.” Take that, Seinfeld.