Car Talk

A huge thanks to Will Collier for subbing for me this week. It’s a damn shame, almost, that he’s starting his own blog after the honeymoon — he’ll be missed around here.


Meantime, I’m not stupid enough to delete his VP-authoring privileges. Will’s welcome to post whenever he likes. Until, that is, the ungrateful bastard gets his own blog going. Then the wretch is on his own.

I kid, of course. Mostly.

Busy here with family stuff, and extra-busy today putting together a spreadsheet. Melissa is in the market for a new car, and we have the list narrowed down to seven serious candidates. Eight, if you include the Chrysler Crossfire. It’s pretty much a coupe version of the 2003 Mercedes SLK 230, but with prettier sheet metal. On the other hand, its 7.6 cubic feet of cargo space makes it a bit impractical for Melissa’s needs.

We need a baby/grocery/Home Depot hauler, so we’ve been putting all the details into Excel. Don’t laugh — we selected our honeymoon package based on a spreadsheet. OK, laugh really hard. We don’t mind.

The candidates are, in order of “prettiness”:

1. Chrysler Pacifica.
2. Dodge Magnum.
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee.
4. Jeep Liberty.
5. Chevy Trailblazer.
6. Ford Explorer.
7. Dodge Durango.

Test driving begins tonight — although we’ll have to wait a month before trying out the Hemi-powered Magnum R/T. Shame, really — it’s a contender. The crash ratings on the Grand Cherokee, Trailblazer, and Exploder leave me less than impressed. And the new Durango looks too much like a minivan. We also thought about the GMC Envoy XUV, but it makes the Durango look pretty. And it’s several thou more expensive than any of the others.


And, sad to say, the Liberty is probably too small. Which leaves us with MOPAR’s Pacifica or Magnum as the top two choices.

So far, that is. If you own or have driven any of these seven cars, drop me a note in the Drinks and let me know what you think.

UPDATE: I don’t think the Pacifica counts as a minivan, otherwise it wouldn’t be on the list. It’s more like a wagon with some SUVness added on.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Please don’t recommend any foreign cars. It’s not that we don’t buy imports — we do! — it’s that Melissa’s job gets her some very nice discounts with DaimlerChrysler domestic, Ford, and GM.

ONE MO’ UPDATE: We will not be purchasing, looking at, considering, or even in any way having random thoughts about minivans.


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