The car rental place at George Bush Intercontinental didn’t have navi in their pickup trucks as advertised. I’m not a big fan of using the navigation on my phone. Damned if I’m going to get lost on those Commie toll roads, I never drove sub-tropical Texas in my youth and I rarely visited here until recently, so I’m still familiarizing myself with the geography.

The rep asked me why I wanted a Chevy Silverado for my first choice. I told him it was to obviously cowgirl around to impress the locals and haul stuff. He showed me a beast of a BMW X7 large luxury SUV with plenty of cargo room. It must have been the shock of going from 50 degree Washington State weather to “open the oven door and stick your head in high 90s and humid” Texas temperature change that roasted my brain for a minute. My flight had been delayed for over an hour and I needed to be somewhere on time. Ok, what the heck.

So I get the ostentacious BMW and this thang is sexy and its huge. Its a luxuriously-appointed tank and when I started it, I’m thinking, “Wow that engine is QUIET, almost like an EV. I was averaging 85+ miles a hour on the expressways. The car is smooth and has alot of get up and go. Then I realized, “hey, where’s the fuel gauge?” Where is the gas pump symbol lighty thingy? All I see is some strange power meter that keeps rising and falling. WTF, don’t tell me they actually rented me an EV?! Where do I go to charge it back up now? Because I’m gonna drive the hell outta Texas while I’m here.

Don’t panic. Breathe. The dude at the rental desk never mentioned in his pitch, “electric” or “EV” or “hybrid”, so I’m thinking what a sneaky bugger.

Upon arriving at my destination, everyone is impressed with what I’m driving to the point of embarrassing. But something was bothering me, I still didn’t know exactly what I’m driving. I read the owner’s manual nearly cover-to-cover and it sort of sounds kinda like it might be a regular gas car, then I’d read something that alluded to power but there is absolutely no mention of charging or plug receptacle thingys. Then I had the bright idea to open the fuel door and look…and here’s where the scorching Texas heat and my blondeness converge into one big overthinking irrational episode…I actually sniffed the gas cap because I still thought they rented me an EV. I feel like I need a drink at this point because something still didn’t add up.

I actually had to watch a professional review of this vehicle on YouTube to get the straight story. And the answer to the mystery sounds like something hatched from some wussy woke manual…its a “mild hybrid”, wtf, that’s not a good answer. I decided I would pop the hood like a dude and study the guts of this damn thing that has tested my sanity. Then I accidently saw the tag attached to my key fob reads in small print, “Gasoline”. The answer was there all along.

But the hits keep a’coming. My future brother-in-law, who is a pilot, gets in the car and immediately finds the gas pump symbol thingy and fuel gauge on the lower left bottom corner of the dash console, but apparently the steering wheel obscures my view of it while driving. I just met him, this is his first impression of me and he is gonna get a lot of mileage from this gaffe for years to come.

PROS: The BMW X7 has a cloaking device so you can pass up as many Texas state troopers going 85mph as much as you want.

The key fob is so huge it makes me look like I have an appendage in my pants.

About Lea Savoy

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