Doug's Sounding Board


Test Drive

Chevrolet HHR wagon – I saw there was a funky wagon in Consumer Reports and when we parked at the auto mall there it was. We walked up to take a look and they asked if we wanted to drive it. We did and it’s a pretty good car overall. It has a lot of interior plastic, but the seats are comfortable captain style seats which is impressive since it isn’t that tall. The big drawback is the visibility is poor.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid – Our second time driving it and still just as nice. It’s about the same length as our Passat Wagon, slightly wider, and definitely taller.

Toyota Highlander – We drove a low-milage used Highlander and it was pretty good too but not as nice as the new hybrid. Not as smooth.

Honda Pilot – We didn’t actually drive this because we couldn’t find a sales person and they only had three on the lot anyway.

Hyundai Santa Fe – I liked this car. It handled well, and it seemed well put together. The big down side is that there wasn’t any leg room so my knees were next to the steering wheel.

Volvo V70 (5 cylinder turbo) – Unfortuately Nicole drove this first and fell in love with it. Unfortunate because by the end of the test drive I couldn’t wait to get out of the driver’s seat which fell like it was pressing into my back and sides. The seat is made to hold smaller people in place. It’s a shame because I was looking forward to driving it from my memory of the one I drove when I got the Passat.

Mazda 6 Wagon – I totally forgot about the Mazda 6 wagon, which is the only reasonably sized wagon under $30k. So when the Volvo/Mazda salesman suggested it we went for it. It’s a fun car to drive and has plenty of space. Nicole was afraid she might forget she had the dogs in the back and start tossing them around on turns because it felt more like a car.

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