The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

30 July 2006

Adjustment period

I've had six weeks (and 1750 miles) to get acquainted with Gwendolyn, and while she's certainly worthy, there are a few things I miss about her predecessor:

  • The infamous oscillating center air vents, which, while perhaps goofy-looking, will blow for hours without actually turning your right arm into gelato.
  • The two-stage console box: you can stuff small things in the lid, or bigger things below it.
  • The one-swipe wiper position, which does a single pass and then shuts off. Very useful if a truck passes you during a period of drizzle.

But mostly, I miss Sandy's rambunctiousness: she wasn't all that fast, and she had more body roll than H.M.S. Pinafore, but she never, ever gave off the impression that she couldn't do something, even if the laws of physics guaranteed that she couldn't.

That said, there are some things that Gwendolyn does better:

  • Gets out of her own way. (We're talking a three-second difference from zero to sixty.)
  • Smaller blind spots. The sightlines on this car are superb.
  • Surprisingly, a tighter turning circle.

Still to be compared: relative grip. I think, though, this will have to wait until the next set of tires, as Sandy's Dunlops were way stickier than Gwendolyn's current BFGs. The local Infiniti store recommends Bridgestone's top-line Turanzas, but I think I may buy the Dunlops anyway, since they're (1) a known quantity and (2) about $125 less for a set of four.

And there's a vestige of Impostor Syndrome, the feeling that I, a full-fledged plebe, don't have any business wheeling around town in a luxoboat, even one that's six years old. I can report that the children were way too impressed with these wheels; I had to remind them that after all, it's a freaking Nissan, and it's not like I'm suddenly movin' on up or anything. (They, in turn, will be happy to point out that there were plenty of hotel rooms in the area that didn't cost a hundred bucks a night.)

But there are no regrets, really. I don't tear up when I see a 626 on the road. I just wish it hadn't had to end the way it did.

Posted at 7:12 PM to Driver's Seat