In motion, it is sheer poetry

Musa Zondi

Musa Zondi

You hear the word Cadillac and you think pink. At least some of us do. Of course, this is a work of fiction and our minds are overwhelmed by Hollywood.

So imagine my surprise when the car turns out to be gray. Okay, this is not the description the manufacturer would use, but for all intents and purposes, the car is gray.

That is the first disappointment, albeit not so serious.

The second disappointment is how less stately the interior is. No bells and whistles? Granted, this is not the top-of-the-range model. Getting the correct seating position is operated manually and there is a pervasive darkness about, what with the dark seats and dashboard.

But the proof is in the proverbial pudding.

All strapped in, we take the telling step. The engine comes to life and now we start talking. The engine is not aggressive at all and does not stir your soul. It is not meant to, but this takes nothing away from the performance.

The Caddie is not for young lasses looking to race. It is stately and elegant, without being ostentatious, and a bloody good drive.

For its size, the Cadillac is quite nimble and agile. The automatic gearbox in our car is quite responsive though.

What makes the Caddie a joy though is when you take it out on the open road. Whatever disappointment you might have had disappeared like dew in the intensity of the morning sun. Our maiden long distance journey took us to KwaZulu-Natal. There was a time in younger days when it was not unheard of to travel to Durban and back in a weekend.

But as the years wear on, this kind of exuberance has died. So when I decided to be young again, it was a joy that it happened in this car. The trip started at 7am on Sunday. Four of us were safely tucked into this "boat" as we hit the road.

Being that early, some of my passengers felt quite sleepy, but there is enough room in the Caddie to accommodate those in need of shut-eye without disturbing those who prefer to watch the passing scenery.

Put it on cruise and the world glides by. The straight roads beckon, but the alarm warns you that you are exceeding the speed limit. It saved us from collecting speeding fines.

Van Reenen's Pass was made for the Caddie. I had expected the car to become shoddy on handling - after all this is the prevailing wisdom when it comes to a car from the US.

This car bucks the trend. The winding slopes of the Midlands Meander proved no challenge and my passengers were not flung from one corner to the other.

The stability was underscored by snoring from the backseat of the car where my daughters travelled safe and sound.

The rest of the journey was flawless and the petrol consumption was average - not too thirsty. On arrival in Durban, in time for lunch, it did not feel like we had travelled 600km.