Commentary: Humbly Rating the Cars of Seniors

A Close Look at What’s in the RMHS Parking Lot


William Xia ('21)

The RMHS main parking lot, usually full on a school day, has plenty of open spaces during hybrid learning.

Alex Shikhanovich ('22), Orbit Contributor

On an average workweek in the middle of the day, one may find themselves in the middle of an RMHS parking lot. If your day has, for some reason, taken this course, you’ll surely notice the large variety of motor vehicles all around you. My mission was to gather information on a small sample of these cars and pass judgment on them in order to determine who has the best car at RMHS. The following are not-so-humble opinions from a person who doesn’t even own a car:

First up we have a beautiful 2005 Toyota Highlander owned by Johnathan (‘22). This silver SUV was purchased by him with the help of a loan from his parents. Although it is not the most luxurious vehicle, Jonathan notes that he is a fan of the cassette player adapter that allows him to play music from his phone. This car earns a 7.5/10 for its charm, solid gas mileage, and for the hard work put forth by the student to make good on the loan.

I’ll give her car a 6.5/10, although it is worth noting that Julia herself only gave it a 5…

Up next we have one of the few sports cars you’ll find in the RMHS parking lots, a 2016 Subaru WRX with a manual transmission. This car belongs to Colin (‘22) and it is truly stunning. With some help from his mother, Colin makes monthly payments on this high-performance machine. It boasts a sub-6-second 0-60 time and a six-cylinder turbocharged engine. Although both Colin’s car and ability to drive manual are impressive, he loses points for the cluttered and messy interior. I rate this car an 8.25/10.

A high school parking lot wouldn’t be complete without an older minivan formerly belonging to someone’s mother. At RMHS Julia (‘22) helps fulfill this quota. Her mother’s gray 2010 Honda Odyssey has been a staple of my neighborhood’s driveways for years and now meets my gaze frequently with Julia in the driver’s seat. Although she complains about its subpar gas mileage, Julia is more concerned about the faulty battery that controls everything, including the locks. I’ll give her car a 6.5/10, although it is worth noting that Julia herself only gave it a 5. 

If this next car was a person, it would have graduated in 2017. Matt’s (‘22) 1999 Mercedes M Class SUV has truly stood the test of time. Purchased from his grandparents for a total cost of one American dollar (not adjusted for inflation), this navy-colored beast just keeps running. When asked about his favorite feature, Matt mentioned the endlessly useful cigarette lighter and the first aid kit with presumably expired medicine in it. This car receives a 6.89/10 for its luxury and longevity.

there are strange marks on the ceiling that Bobby suspects are either burn or claw marks…

Up next is a truck with some serious character. This silver 2001 Toyota Tacoma owned by Grace (‘22) is a prime example of the characteristics of a typical Toyota. They run for 896,000 miles, are endlessly reliable, and receive very high ratings from car professionals. Grace received this car from her great uncle, along with several knives and a machete that her relative forgot to take out of the trunk. Although this vehicle is intended for large-volume cargo and trailer towing, Grace mostly uses it for her daily commutes. This car gets a bonus in the rating just because I think it’s kind of cool. It gets a 7/10. 

This 2007 BMW 335i isn’t even stock. Granted, all Miguel (‘22) has done to it is change out the spark plugs and tune it to get him speeding tickets more efficiently. After cleverly flipping a used car for cash and getting good grades, his dad helped him purchase this pinnacle of German engineering. It sports paddle shifters, a six-cylinder turbocharged engine, and a daring driver that likes drifting in parking lots. Although Miguel notes that the need for run-flat tires and expensive fuel costs are annoying, he truly loves this car. I give this car an 8.5/10.

The last car on our list is a hazard to its passengers and all passers-by. Bobby (‘22) is the proud owner of a golden 2005 Subaru Outback that has more problems than I have fingers. It reportedly shakes when it goes over 30 MPH and shakes violently over 60, a “cool feature” as Bobby notes. Neither the windows nor the back windshield wiper is operational. It’s worth mentioning that there are strange marks on the ceiling that Bobby suspects are either burn or claw marks, he doesn’t know which. Regardless of the slightly scuffed appearance and operation, this car’s owner is madly in love with it. It gets a 5.5.

Although Miguel wins with a score of 8.5, it’s important to know that they’re all far better than walking. Drive safe everybody.