Sky, Challenger and HHR: Three Cars I Want for the Carpool Line

February 5, 2009
Family cars are a necessity of life--but sometimes, moms and dads just need to dream.

My car is cool enough for me--it's a 2003 Pontiac Vibe GT. It still gets a nifty 30 miles per gallon, even though I'm doing mostly city driving now. In the Detroit suburbs, I used to put 20-some thousand miles on a vehicle each year, with lots of highway driving. It got a lovely 35 mpg aggregated with my usual kid taxi duties. In Greenville, S.C., most of my driving is downtown and back, a whopping 1.5 miles if you include spiraling up a parking deck when I can't get on-street parking. Oh, and the car line. The dreaded car line.

While I love my car, I still think about some other fun vehicles to drive idle through that car line. Or to take for a fun ride into the nearby mountains. Or just to do a major Calgon getaway for some quality kid-free time. Parents, you know what I mean.

For those rare getaways, these are the cars I'd grab:

Saturn Sky: I love the styling on this car from the moment it was introduced. Especially in red. Wow.  Okay, I have to admit I never get past the photos to check the gas mileage. No matter, even the Red Line version treats gasoline like a precious commodity. The Sky is a convertible that just thrills me--and would probably make others jealous, too. Let the car line be long!

Dodge Challenger:  I wouldn't care if I couldn't push in the pedals on this one. I'd find blocks. In other words, no, I didn't check car seat space or count cup holders on this one either. I don't care. Mom has to have fun, too, even if it's scaring the minivan driver ahead of me when I rev that massive HEMI V-8.

Chevrolet HHR: Finally, another vehicle that can compare with my Vibe's 30 mpg! The HHR won't bleed my checkbook dry. And if you don't have to fuss with full car seats, this is one of those cars that makes it really easy for kids to get in and out, even carrying a band instrument. It's a compromise that I'm willing to make. For a day.

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