She (of course it was a female car) was the first car that I owned by myself (without sharing with my sister), she traveled cross country with me when I moved from Jersey to California (on the back of an 18 wheeler, but whatever, she still crossed the country). She took me up to the mountains for countless snow days, ran into the side of a snowbank once, ran into a stationary post in a parking garage once, blared music to dull my hearing on every trip, traveled to Oregon a couple times, helped me move 3 times, went camping on numerous long weekends (and never acted as a tent), survived a break in, drove me and my shiny new husband home after we were married, carted soccer gear, skis, furniture, friends, dog, and anything else that would fit. And on and on and on... which was part of the problem. 144,000 miles on and on... and we were just fearing the day she would tire of the routine, and give up on the side of the road... or, demand repairs in excess of her worth. So we decided to trade her in for a new car.
What did we get, you ask? Why, we bought the exact same car! A Nissan Pathfinder... yes, we own two Nissans... but at least they are different colors now! Ten years later, and still... it is remarkably the same... just a little bit different. For example:
- gas mileage: same... while some models of cars have made huge advancements, and Hybrid is all the hype, this mondo still consumes gas as if it lived in Texas, on top of an oil well.
- size: different - it is a little bit bigger (the better to fit the giant dog into)...
- radio: same - one CD player (thank goodness, those 6 CD changers just make it annoying to figure out what is in there, and how to get it out without selecting all the other 5 slots first)...
- radio: different - no more tape deck! :( How will I play my mix tapes now?
- air: same - it has the classic 2 knob system... turn to hi/med/low, turn to blue side or red side. phew! I HATE those fancy schmancy temperature control settings... I can't every figure out what temp to set it at, or how to make it stop blowing cold air when I don't want any more. (I know, you thought I was in my 30's from my profile... secretly, I am a 90 year old technology protester in a 32 year old body).
- steering wheel: different - my old steering wheel was open on the bottom, and I never realized it, but apparently I like to drive with one hand on the bottom of the steering wheel (steering at the "6"... it's the new "10 and 2"). The new shape of the wheel has a solid bottom, and I think I am going to jam my fingers one of these days!
- gages: same (ish?) - I think? I don't even know what most of them do, other than the one that lets me know I am going too fast when I see Poncherello parked on the side of the road.
- center console: different - bigger, so I can shove more stuff in it, but lower, so I can't rest my elbow on it while driving.
- color: different - old one was silver (so that our two silver Nissans looked like a matching set when parked in our garage), new one is shit brown. Well, they say "mocha"... but conveniently, it is the color of dirt, so we'll never have to clean it!
So there it is... my evaluation of our new (but markedly the same) car...