Cathy and Silvianne drive a variety of vehicles which range in price from $10,000 to $90,000. They test drive minivans, convertibles and four door sedans. This week they experienced a mixed breed, a Dodge SRT-4 . . . the question is Tuner or Nanny mobile?
Cathy Droz: I didn’t realize the red 2005 Dodge SRT-4 parked in our driveway was a hybrid.
Silvianne Gonsalves: What? The SRT-4 isn’t a hybrid. We drove the Ford Escape, remember? That was a hybrid.
CD: Well, hybrid means a little bit of one thing and a little bit of another. So the Dodge SRT-4 was part performance car like a tuner and part family car or soccer “momish”.
SG: That is true. I associate myself with the performance half. I felt like a racecar driver when I sat behind the wheel. After all, it was a five-speed manual transmission with bright pedals. Bright pedals are chrome gas, brake and clutch pedals with bumpy indentations on them.
CD: That’s a great description…so don’t drive the car barefoot, it will hurt putting pressure on those pedals. After I got my pedicure on Friday, I took my sandals off to drive, so as not to mess the polish. Well, that wasn’t too smart. Those pedals are for traction with shoes.
SG: Save the bare foot for automatic transmission and rubber pedals. The performance half continued with dual bright exhaust tips and a tachometer to the right of the steering wheel. It was as close as I will come to racing, and it was down Stapley Road.
CD: That’s funny because I saw the SRT-4 as more of a sporty family car because of the safety features, such as the New Generation air bags.
SG: Wait a minute, what’s wrong with this generation’s air bags? What does that mean?
CD: The New Generation air bags are less forceful and certified as such through federal regulation standards.
SG: I thought the New Generation air bags had little La Costa alligators on them when they opened.
CD: Sure you did. Other safety features include the child tether restraints and rear center 3-point seat belt, anti-lock rear wheel disk brakes, child protection locks and other standard safety assurances.
SG: So much for the nanny mobile, Cathy. I saw only the performance side with performance steering, high performance suspension, front stabilizer bar and a drag racing exhaust noise heard all the way to Queen Creek when accelerating. Really, you could hear me coming a mile away!
CD: And that’s just you talking on your cell phone.
SG: Seriously, with the spoiler on the rear and the sunroof above, the four door SRT-4 was a kick to drive. It comes with a 2.4 liter turbo-charged 16-valve double overhead camshaft engine, 230 horsepower, 250 lb-feet of torque and goes from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds. Did I mention the cool noise it makes when shifting from one gear to the next?
CD: Yes, you did get the sound effect factor across. I’m thinking that you liked the performance part because it made you feel young and therefore, you were able to catch the eye of a few young men.
SG: You think that is all I’m concerned about, don’t you? There is more to driving a sharp car than trying to pick up on guys. That’s what men do. They drive a car with a little bit of exhaust noise, cover their bald spots, buy trendy clothes and wear dark sun glasses to get the attention from the ladies. That is ridiculous to compare me to a man.
CD: That’s right Silvianne, I’m so sorry… you don’t cover your bald spots. However, I did hear you whistle out of the passenger side window this past week to a police officer bent over a parked car window giving someone a ticket, didn’t you?
SG: I was just making him aware that his shoelace was untied.
CD: Whatever! The fuel mileage on this crossover hybrid, and confused gender car was pretty good with a 22 city and 30 highway MPG rating. It would be even better if the tank were more than 12.5 gallons. It’s kind of deceiving that at $2 a gallon for gas, it only costs $25 to fill the SRT. Not much compared to the Escalade parked at the Bogotá.
SG: Speaking of shopping, I had no problem with the trunk space to hold all my purchases. I hated to food shop after my shoe shopping but one does have to eat. I just kept one eye on the tachometer and the other eye on the cutie driving next to me down Scottsdale Road. The tachometer is fun to have on the dash.
CD: I personally didn’t see any reason to have something that looked like a blood pressure cuff on the dashboard. I don’t need to know how many RPM’s and calibrations are going on while I’m shifting and driving. It actually looked childish to me.
SG: You don’t know how to look cool, that’s your problem. The Dodge SRT-4 is a roomy, fast car that all the tuner kids like. There is so much to be said for the SRT-4 in the tuner world.
CD: Well, I’m sorry I’m not in the tuner world. I’m in the world of a good solid car for under $22,000. If the New Generation air bag group likes it too, that’s fine with me.
SG: Remember when we parked at Gammage to see the "Lion King" and that guy asked me about the car? He said that he would buy one as a family car, but when he was out driving alone he would make believe he was single and free.
CD: I guess that sums up the tale of the 2005 Dodge SRT-4 car. It’s like I said, it’s a hybrid. You can drive it half the time like a family man or woman and the other half like a sporty, sassy single.