I have never bought a car.
Growing up in rural Pennsylvania means that you are provided with something to drive when you turn sixteen because your parents are sick of playing chauffeur from one far flung friend to the other. When your dad is a motor-head like mine, it is also means that you have access to a variety of vehicles that change as quickly as the weather. I once left for school in the morning with a white, two door, standard transmission vehicle sitting in my driveway only to return that afternoon to find a black, four door, automatic transmission vehicle of the same make and model. In high school I drove a late model sports car, which was completely unable to be used during Pennsylvania winters. This meant that during the cold weather months I drove anything from my mom’s mini-van to a 1975 pick-up truck complete with a gun rack and a speedometer that hadn’t worked since sometime in the mid-80’s.
When my children were born I drove a bright red SUV that my dad had picked up somewhere with a goal to re-sell. I loved driving an SUV. I was the type of SUV driver who would pop it into 4WD so I could park in that end parking space during the winter. You know, the one where they dump all of the snow when they plow. I loved the space, the power – driving was fun.
Then one day when my son was two weeks old and my daughter was two years old and my c-section incision was being particularly temperamental, I found myself unable to close my double stroller. I stood there looking at the back of my truck and nearly burst into tears. My parents, who were parked next to me with their mini-van, walked over and put the still open double stroller into the back of their van. A few weeks later we switched vehicles, my little red truck was sold to pay for my mom’s brand new car, and I’ve been driving a hand-me-down mini-van for the last six years.
This is the year that that is going to change. I am going to buy my first car. And come heck or high water, it’s going to be both fun and functional.
I’ve been test-driving SUV’s for about a year, trying to make what is amounting to one of the biggest decisions of my life. When Nissan approached me with the offer to drive a new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder for a week, I jumped at the opportunity. The totally redesigned Pathfinder meets all of my three major qualifications: third row seat, 4WD, cool technology. Over the next 7 days I’m going to be driving the Nissan Pathfinder to learn more about what else it has going for it.
What I am looking forward to this week:
What my kids are looking forward to this week:
Disclosure: I was provided with a 1-week vehicle loan of the Nissan Pathfinder along with additional compensation. All opinions are my own.