While my VW Jetta wagon, Little Blue, is in the shop getting repaired (a $5000 and 3 week job), I get a loaner rental car. My insurance stipulates that the rental be a vehicle similar to my own and someone at the rental company has a sense of humor because this is my loaner car.
It's a Nissan Pathfinder and it is large and in charge. It has earned various names in its time with us: the Behemouth, the Canyonero, and Black Beauty. When we roll out for long journeys, JT queues up "Back in Black" to accompany our movement. It seems fitting.
The car has truckloads of room and, despite its size, is surprisingly agile to drive. The gas mileage isn't great (about 20 mpg on the highway) but we ride in comfort everywhere we go, looking down upon the commoners. After years of disparaging automatic transmissions, it's worth noting that I find this one impressive and it was quite handy in the three hour traffic jam that accompanied our departure from the Cape on Saturday (seriously, three hours…..Saturday departures will happen no more).
And did I mention that the car is spacious? It has two rows of seats and both can be collapsed to create a vast trunk. At camp, JT loaded up his air mattress to demonstrate the comfort available in the back of this beast.
My only complaint about the car is that it feels patently ridiculous for just two people to be exiting from the vehicle. If I were to acquire one of these for my permanent use, I'd need several more children, enough to form my own baseball infield team. I'd certainly have the space.