You know, I mentioned this point in RJ's blog, but it's pretty far down and it occurs to me that it's probably worth mentioning in a separate post here.
As most Newfoundlanders know, there's a small racket over an ad produced by Nissan over their X-Trail SUV which is now out in a "special" Bonavista Edition (i.e. It's virutally the same as the regular edition, but we'll call it special and add a new name). The salesmen in the ad is speaking with a thick pseudo-Newfoundland accent accompanied by sub-titles.
Now, for those of you not from Newfoundland, you probably don't see what the big deal is. However, Newfoundlanders are touchy about outsiders making fun of us. We can do it to ourselves. That's fine. We have a long, storied tradition of self-mockery. But outsiders? They're not allowed. That's racist.
The ad itself doesn't bother that me. I've seen and heard much worse and I think people are over-reacting. But the more I thought about it, the idea of a really nice name like Bonavista being given to a terrible gas-guzzling SUV is kind of offensive to me. What's the vehicle's mileage like? Well, according to it's website it gets about 26 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on highways.
Out of curiosity I went and saw what the mileage was like for a nice Hybrid such as the Prius. This site lists the Prius' mileage is 60 MPG in the city and 51 MPG on the highway. So on average nearly double that of the Bonavista.
I just don't like SUV's very much. I understand they have their uses, but they are so very rarely used that way. Normally it's people driving their kids to the mall in one of these things, not going to off-road construction sites carrying hundreds of pounds of equipment.
So wouldn't Bonavista be a much nicer name to have for a hybrid? I wouldn't even have a problem with some psuedo-Newfoundland salesman hocking it on television.