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Change gears with ParentsCanada

After the birth of our first daughter 15 years ago, my husband and I realized we needed to upgrade to a larger vehicle. Our Ford Escort GT Coupe – sporty and sexy as it was – just wouldn’t fit all the things we needed to tote along with us. Parent paraphernalia was unending with a stroller, pack’n’play, baby bag, car seat, plus OUR stuff and a very large dog.

So off we went to shop for minivans. Even more than the bloated size, we hated having to switch to a vehicle with automatic transmission. Stick shifts are just so … cool.

Our kids now require less gear (not during hockey season mind you), and we have a slightly smaller dog. With rising gas prices, my husband and I find ourselves gazing at smaller, cooler, standard transmission cars. Could we do it again? Could we reclaim our hipness? (Not according to our teenaged daughters, but I digress.)

A recent test-drive of a standard transmission small SUV reawakened my clutch foot, and it did feel awesome. When I’m driving standard, doing the gear changing, I find I’m much more in tune with the traffic, and in tune with the car. To read my driving reviews, click here.

We’re hard at work putting the August/September Back-to-school issue together. In the meantime, don’t miss our June/July issue on newsstands now.

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