A lot of people argued with the Miata article, and a lot of people liked it. My mission to make a satirical article about how the slight truth that Miatas are overrated can make Miata fans react worked perfectly. The article was divisive. People agreed and disagreed. I wanted that. Here's why:
When I made that satirical Miata-hate article, I knew that it would be contentious. I knew that people would read it in large numbers, and that there would be some heated debate. I wanted there to be. After spending the past six years stepping on the toes of Miata owners, whenever they dared to tell me that I had to buy a Miata, I knew that I would not be the only person frustrated by some flagrant dickhead telling you that you should have bought a Miata, when you're celebrating your purchase of a Subaru.
But, that article made me question the automotive community, and wonder: who the hell cares? The Miata owners and enthusiasts who got up in arms over what one person jokingly said could not possibly have expected to change the opinion of someone with insults and hatred. By trying to push yourself towards the thing that hates you, you will only create contempt and disgust. Try to push yourself towards a member of the opposite sex that already declined, and you'll be issued a restraining order, or worse, charged with rape or sexual assault.
So, why do Miata owners feel as if they have to defend themselves and their car from a difference of opinion? While reading the comments that the article received, I was shocked to find that Miata owners were defending their car, that they feel insecure about, by insinuating that I myself am insecure about myself. If I were insecure about myself, I sure as fuck wouldn't be a journalist. I write opinions for a living, among various other things I do. People are going to dislike what I write sometimes.
And yet, the results were exactly as I expected. I knew that the Miata owners would defend their car - their beloved "answer to every question" - from the perceived attacks of one person daring to think outside the box and say "maybe Miata isn't always the answer. Maybe I want something else. Maybe I don't like Miata, and maybe I like FWD."
Fact is, I like FWD because of the efficiency of the design, the styling freedom, the aerodynamic benefit potential, the driving style (where the FWD platform matches my driving style perfectly), the ability to brake later due to left-foot-braking, and more. I'm okay with that. I tell people that I prefer FWD and I don't care if others like it or not. When I give out sponsorships to prospective sponsored racing drivers who will get discounts on racing schools or track day events, I don't mind if that person is driving a FWD, RWD, or AWD. I don't mind at all, if someone dislikes FWD, even though I quite like it.
The question is, then... Why do Miata owners - or car owners - feel like they have to defend their cars, and their opinions, and beliefs, from perceived attacks, even when the attacks are just a statement of a preference of something different than what they are used to?
I used to hate Volkswagen - only a company funded by Hitler would become synonymous with people punching each other and shouting "punch-buggy! No punch-backs!" I used to hate them, that is, until I started to chat with them and realized that VW is just like any other car these days. Honda is just like any other car these days. The only thing you're arguing about when you say that you hate a certain car, is the statistics of the car. Me? I'm not a huge fan of Chrysler right now. The cars are too heavy to have any real sporting potential, and I'm upset that they squashed the Viper - the one truly good performer the company had in the past 5 years. But, I don't avidly hate Chrysler owners, because I can say that Chrysler doesn't have an entry into the sports sub-compact class, without being torn to pieces by a legion of fanboys dedicated to serving their fictional ideology that some businessman created to make money off of.
You like Mitsubishi? Well, that's great. 40 years ago, Mitsubishi cars really were made differently than other cars. But, as car companies grow, they copy each other, until they become almost identical. The ones that don't become identical don't sell as well. Companies like TVR, Subaru, Volvo, Pagani, Saab, Koenigsegg, Tesla and more, they all either floated with the best technology around, or sank because they tried too hard to be different.
But, you might think that your car is somehow special or different or cool. That's fine! I love you for that! But... Maybe it's time for the average person to stop trying to tell others which car to buy, with a bias. It's my job to tell you which car to buy without a bias. If you're in the market for a luxury car that isn't in any way, shape or form a sports car, go buy a Chrysler 300C. They're not bad, just because I don't like that the company doesn't offer a Dodge Dart SRT with a big brake kit, improved power output, sports-inspired shifter bushings and refined handling. I put my bias aside and I told you that if you want a 300C, you should get a 300C.
Why then, does the average consumer feel disappointed, or bewildered, when someone dares to disagree with someone else? You disagreed with someone on the internet? Get over it. There's so much talk in the car scene about respecting each others' builds, but these are the same people who will beg you to buy the same car as them, and then get mad at you when you do the same mods to the same car that they told you to buy because they liked it. Ever seen how the "car guys" flock together in their massive meets, where not one single car from another manufacturer is respected or appreciated?
I'll always be that guy showing up to the Miata meet in an MR2, or a Porsche Boxster to the MR2 meet. That's who I am. It's time that the internet realized that you don't have to drive the same car as someone else, to respect and appreciate them, and you don't have to respect and appreciate someone just because they drive the same car as you. You don't have to beg your friends to buy the same car as you, and you don't have to tell others that they made the wrong choice when you find out that they did their own thing. The only thing you should tell your friends, is that life is too short for minivans.
Drew Geier is a Canadian petrolhead whose main mission is to make motoring accessible, enjoyable, and affordable well into the future, by improving the art, hobby and lifestyle of motoring. He builds cars, and he writes about other builds. He's built a Subaru WRX and is building a Honda Civic EK.