Gwendolyn went in for a spa day, and after I rattled off a list of Potential Concerns, the techs discovered that it’s even hotter (and noisier) than usual under the hood because one of the two cooling fans went south, and the other one was running flat out trying to compensate. Okay, fine, replace the fan. Except, of course, that there aren’t any in town, and so they’re having to airlift one from Izmir or some such place. In the meantime, I have the fob (no keys) to a freshly-squeezed 2011 G25 in Journey trim, and it’s a nifty piece of work.
One could grumble at Nissan, I suppose, for cutting out one-third of the horsepower and cutting the price by only a tenth. Still, I am not one to sneer at 218 ponies. And the smaller (by one-third, more or less) V6 has charms of its own: it’s a lot less grungy-sounding than its big brother, and it will just as happily rev to the top of the scale. Better yet, somebody had the bright idea of not installing the Biggest Damn Wheels they could fit under the fenders: the G25 has modest 17-inchers with 55-series rubber, and the ride, if not exactly cloud-like, isn’t denture-rattling either.
Otherwise, it’s a G, a bit snug in the cabin and a bit short of trunk space, but confident in its ability to get you to Point B, especially if you’re taking the long way around. Only once so far have I been able to befuddle the seven-speed automatic. (You want a stick, you have to buy the bigger engine.) I was bumfuzzled by the backup camera, which I wasn’t expecting; I noticed that the outside-temperature reading on the dash was off about five degrees. (This is a step backwards; Gwendolyn’s similar function is dead accurate, except when it’s four below zero. Do not ask why I know this.) At $34k with a moonroof, it’s on the high side for a base version, and they won’t let you spend the bucks for a nav system, but if you’re like me, you navigate by the seat of your pants, and the G treats that seat well.