- Got her start in television volunteering at Rogers Community TV while working full-time as an engineer
- Worked as a presenter on The Weather Network and as a weather specialist on CityTV in Toronto
- ET Canada airs weekdays on Global Television at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT
She’s a professional engineer who landed her dream job, but not in her field of study. Instead, Sangita Patel has stolen the spotlight on TV.
She’s the new co-host of ET Canada on Global Television – one of the top entertainment shows in the country. But it’s only a temporary gig – filling in for Cheryl Hickey who is on maternity leave.
Patel dishes out the dirt when it comes to the glitz, glamour, and gossip in the entertainment world. And when it comes to covering red carpet affairs in Canada’s biggest city, she drives a 2009 Lexus IS250 sedan.
Why did you buy a Lexus IS250?
My husband was an emerg doctor and then said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ He wanted to go to radiology and I thought, ‘A doctor going back to residency.’ I go, ‘Okay, as long as I get any car I want when you finish.’ He said, ‘Okay.’ But it never happened.
He ended up getting his dream car, which is a BMW two-door. And then he gave me his Lexus.
I like the Lexus IS250, but I’m not in love with it. It’s a great drive. … It picks up very quickly and it’s great on corners. I like that. It handles really well. It’s a great little car to drive on the highway.
What don’t you like about it?
The GPS system. It’s an American car and, with American cars you can not use the GPS while you’re driving. I have to pull over before it starts up again. That’s a bad feature on the Lexus. And you can’t utilize your iPhone on it – that’s the other thing I don’t like about it. I can’t even listen to music on my iPhone – I can’t figure out that feature. It’s not that friendly.
What sparked your interest in cars?
When I was studying electrical engineering in university there was only 10 per cent girls and 90 per cent guys. Either we talked about girls or we talked about cars. So I chose cars as a hobby rather than girls.
Are you a gearhead when it comes to cars? Do you know what’s under the hood?
Kind of. I think it’s a 150-horsepower, four-cylinder with 17-inch rims – the usual stuff. [It’s actually a V-6]. I can get under the hood and check my oil. I used to be really into cars when I was a student before I had kids.
What does a Lexus IS250 say about you?
That I’m still young and, even though I have two kids, I can still drive a sports car. I don’t have to drive a minivan.
We have an Acura MDX which we drive with the kids fairly often, but I feel like I’m still myself when I drive the Lexus IS250. It also shows that I’m able to work and make some good money. It’s a nice car.
Is it always red-carpet ready?
No. I scratched up the car. I had an accident – not a major accident. I was reversing out of my parking lot at home and we had this metal piece on the side of the house. I was pulling out and my tire hit the side of it and scratched the side of my car. I told my husband. He kind of laughed and said, ‘Did you hit my car?’ No, I didn’t. He was more worried about that.
What was your first vehicle?
It was a 1987 Honda Prelude. It had no power steering.
My chest used to hurt living in Toronto because you had to parallel park the damn car. It had about 187,000 kilometres on it and I remember the hand brake didn’t work. My seat was so far back that I put two pillows behind me so I could reach the clutch.
It was a great car. It got me to work – it was my first real car. It was a good drive.
Who taught you how to drive a stick?My husband. We’ve been together 16 years. It went well. That clutch was easier to drive. When I drove the Bimmer I found the clutch way too high for me. I was riding the clutch more often than the Prelude. Hondas were easier to drive as a standard.
What else have you owned?
I used to drive an Audi and I absolutely loved my Audi. It was my favourite car of all time. It was a [A4] 1.8T Quattro all-wheel-drive. It was a great drive.
It was a tight drive. My husband had a Bimmer and we used to argue which car is better. My favourite is still the Audi. I like the Lexus, but I think the Audi was the best drive I ever had.
Any speeding tickets?
Oh my God, yes! I am a speeder, I’ll be honest.
I only speed when I follow traffic, if that makes sense. I’m always in the left-hand lane. I love speed and I love driving.
I’ve had two stupid tickets – one for going 65 in a 50 zone and the other for going 70 in a 50 zone as I was going in a corner. I guess the third time, I’m in trouble.
Any embarrassing moments on the road?
Oh God, yes. I was at the Yorkdale Mall [in Toronto] coming out of a parking spot during the holidays. You know how they have the cement blocks at the bottom? I drove over one and everyone is in front of me watching. How the hell am I going to get out of this situation? I reversed out. That was embarrassing.
My funniest driving story, I was doing a live hit for CityTV at Yonge and Dundas and Robert Herjavec from Dragons’ Den was promoting one of the products from Dragons’ Den. It was a cleaning product for his car. So he brought two of his cars over.
I go, ‘Can I get into one of the cars for a live hit?’ So he gives me the key and it was a Lamborghini. I get in and I can’t turn on the car the way he wants me to turn on the car. He says, ‘Let me show you.’ So he sits down in the car and he turns it on. Vroom, Vroom, Vroom.
I totally forgot he was in the car and I sat down on top of him and it was all live on television! It was crazy. The anchor said, ‘Did you realize what you did? You just sat at Robert Herjavec’s lap in his Lamborghini!’ That was the funniest moment ever in a car.Send your automotive questions to firstname.lastname@example.org