Q: I can’t help but notice an abundance of televised car commercials that show aggressive driving to demonstrate the capabilities of the vehicle, on or off road. There are often warning footnotes, such as “Do not attempt. Professional driver on closed course.” Then the commercial shows something that everyday drivers shouldn’t do, usually reflecting unsafe driving and poor environmental stewardship.
Granted, there are some commercials that do a great job of demonstrating safety features. I’m not sure there is anything we can do other than use our wallets to make wise purchases.
A: It’s time for another Roadshow contest. Tell me what auto commercials you like and which ones you don’t. My favorite is the one with four four-legged critters, pretending to be a driver and his family, the pups needing a pit stop. My current least favorite commercial is the insurance commercial about a man who wants to drag race the driver next to him when the light turns green.
Q: I remember seeing a commercial by Toyota. It touted how quiet their cars are. They showed a cute baby sitting in the back seat, and very quiet music played, with no road noise. I have always bought cars after seeing a commercial about 20 years ago showing the quietness of a car’s engine. When I buy a car, I don’t test drive, I just ask the salesman to start the car and open the hood so I can listen to the engine. This is the most important thing for me.
A: I’m still miffed at the first Prius commercial I saw that claimed that the hybrid car would get 80+ miles per gallon. It was more like 50.
Q: Each and every time I see the old Jeep commercial for the Grand Cherokee and Trailhawk with Cat Stevens singing “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out,” I expect to see the cars drive off a cliff in homage to the destruction in that fashion of the XKE that had been converted into a hearse in “Harold and Maude.” It would be a spectacular ending to the Jeep commercial! My husband had a 1969 E-type roadster at the time and suffered terribly, watching one be destroyed so spectacularly.
Cheryl Klynn, Los Altos
A: I understand his pain.
Q: I vote for the “floating Beetle” commercial showing that the car is watertight. It’s an old commercial, but it’s still the best. I had a ’71 Fastback and “sailed” in it several feet across a flooded road. (“I didn’t think the water was that deep,” he said, like every other idiot that drives into water that is too deep.)
Ward Loveland, Redwood City
A: Never be an idiot on a flooded road. Glad you were safe!
Roadshow contest: The car commercials you love and hate