The car: 2008 Ford Escape hybrid
- Attended University of Toronto planning on a career in sports, but a back injury changed his plans and he graduated with a degree in English
- Besides his role in Gilmore Girls, he has appeared in Private Practice, Friends, Will and Grace, I’m With Her, and Drop Dead Diva, among other shows, as well as TV movies, Murder in the Hamptons, On Strike for Christmas, Before You Say I Do and The Wish List
- Stars as Detective Aiden Black in Cracked, which debuts Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 9 p.m.
David Sutcliffe is best known for his role as Christopher Hayden – Rory Gilmore’s father and Lorelai’s on-again, off-again boyfriend – in the hit TV series Gilmore Girls. And he has appeared on several other U.S. TV shows.
But the actor has now returned to his Canadian roots. He has a leading role in CBC’s new crime drama Cracked, which debuts next month.
Sutcliffe relocated for the show, driving from Los Angeles to Toronto in his 2008 Ford Escape hybrid.
How was your road trip back to Canada?
It was an amazing trip! I packed the Escape full of all my stuff. It was an amazing journey with my car. In any kind of journey like that when you’re with your car, you bond with it.
It’s a beautiful drive across the United States. It’s so interesting. I’m a proud Canadian and there are so many beautiful parts of Canada, but the United States also has incredible diversity in its landscape. It was amazing to drive across Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico into Kansas where my brother lives and then I drove straight up through South Dakota where my mother lives and then across South Dakota into Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and cutting through Indiana, Nebraska, which are all also beautiful and very different.
Driving across the country, especially when you take your time, you really get a sense of the land.
What does an Escape hybrid say about you?
It says I’m practical. I’m conscious of the environment and energy conservation.
But I will say I’m not that emotional about my vehicles. I don’t get emotionally attached to them.
My car probably says I’m not that much of a car guy. I don’t think about cars. For me, I want it to be durable, practical, and able to take some wear and tear.
I don’t want to be nervous about getting a scratch or dent on it. My car is generally pretty dirty. I only wash it about once every three months. At this point, it’s difficult to get the smell of dog out of it. It’s somewhat of an issue when I’m going out on a date.
Why did you buy a hybrid?
I wanted to get a hybrid car. I’m concerned about the environment and I want to do every little thing I can.
I needed a car that had space because I’ve got two dogs and I play hockey. I have to put my hockey equipment in the back. I saw the Ford Escape small SUV with the hybrid and I thought it was a good option. It covered all of that.
Living in Los Angeles, I liked to be a little bit elevated from the ground in all that traffic. I didn’t want to get claustrophobic. Los Angeles is an amazing city to live in, but the traffic is unbelievable. It’s overwhelming at times. It’s the source of a lot of frustration.
You want to be comfortable in your car because, if you live in Los Angeles, you’re spending a lot of time in it, unfortunately. Comfortable seats, a little bit of space, a decent stereo system, or satellite radio. I listen to lot of Howard Stern. Howard is on my dial all of the time.
Do you know how the hybrid system works?
Basically. I don’t have advanced knowledge of it. I know that the braking recharges the battery. It also gets decent gas mileage.
I’d buy the car again. It’s a great vehicle and it’s utilitarian. It’s not a Mercedes-Benz, but it’s a comfortable car and drives well.
In the four years I’ve had it, it has required no maintenance. I love it.
Is there anything you don’t like about it?
It doesn’t have a tremendous amount of acceleration power. To get quickly on the highway, you’re not going to have that 0-60 [mph] in four seconds. It takes some time to get up to speed.
But that’s most hybrids. That’s the thing you trade for the better gas mileage.
A month in, I thought about it a lot. But now I don’t. It was an easy trade-off.
You probably get fewer speeding tickets, too.
I managed to accrue a few – fewer than I would have. You get up to speed more slowly, but you can still get up to speed, believe me. I got dinged a couple of months ago.
What did you own before the Escape?
I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
I’ve only had four cars. The first car I had was a Geo Prizm. Then I went to L.A. I got a TV show and I started to make a lot of money.
The popular car at the time was the GMC Yukon – the big, huge SUV. I got one of those and I loved it. It was like a couch behind a wheel. But then it was so big, I went down a size to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. And then I became more aware of trying to conserve fuel so I went down one more step to the Ford Escape.
You’ve only owned North American cars – is that a conscious decision?
It was never a conscious choice. It was just the way it worked out. I actually went in thinking I was getting a Japanese car because they’re so reliable with a good resale value. But for whatever reason, I always ended up with an American car.
Have you owned any lemons?
No. I’ve been really lucky. I’ve never had any major problems.
I totalled the Geo Prizm on the way to Vancouver. That wasn’t fun. I rear-ended some guy in a pickup truck. I was having a fight with my girlfriend and we were driving in stop-and-go-traffic. We were both getting heated up. I had a feeling I shouldn’t be driving. And then about a minute later, bang, in the back of this pickup.
There wasn’t a scratch on their bumper and the front end of my car was completely totalled. It was an accordion so I had to get it towed away. Other than that, I’ve had really good luck with my cars.
If I can bring you the keys to any vehicle what would it be?
I would like to take some high-end Mercedes out to the autobahn in Germany and let it out. I think it would be a great time. I definitely could get into the speed of a high-end Mercedes.
This interview has been edited and condensed.