The pumpkins have been relegated to the compost heap and the last of the leftover candy has mysteriously disappeared from the bowl so it is time to turn our thoughts to the upcoming holiday season that will soon overwhelm us all.
While many think of the travel season (and more specifically the “road trip”) as occurring between Memorial and Labor Day weekends, Thanksgiving through New Years can be just as busy and our actual mode of transportation may be the last thing on our to-do lists.
Over the next couple of months I will be attending several new vehicle launch programs, and I will reach at least two of them a la said “road trip.” Given the unpredictable weather and road conditions where I will be going I have been giving quite a bit of thought this week to which vehicles would make the travel more pleasant, safe and perhaps even memorable.
Austin, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana will be two of my driving destinations and Tish will be accompanying me to the Big Easy as we take a few extra days to visit that top tourist locale. My immediate thoughts when considering a vehicle for that trip are of fuel economy, maneuverability, comfort and cargo space for our luggage and any souvenirs we amass while down there. Technology will also garner some forethought as we may find ourselves in need of route guidance or roadside assistance. As for the capital of Texas trip, just about anything can go for that one with the exception of priority being placed on a vehicle with an automatic transmission in case I get stuck in one of the cities’ infamous traffic tieups.
Right off I think I will most likely dismiss any vehicle with a V-8 or performance package as those sporty wheel and tire packages do little for my backside on lengthy travels (not to mention the poor “green” value of high horsepower engines). A cute ute perhaps or maybe a modern era family truckster? If fare weather makes a rare appearance perhaps a hardtop convertible? OK, I won’t rule out a soft top either.
So many vehicles in the combined press fleets that serve our region of automotive press and so many choices, but when it comes down to it I don’t think I would actually turn down any new or significantly revised vehicle I have not given a full shakedown to.
Should you find yourself heading over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, all- or four-wheel drive might prove to come in handy, and if it is a long and winding road, gear yourself up with some of the latest in mobile technology that arrives with your vehicle or via your smartphone.
Holiday travel is generally all about the destination but it can still be a little about the journey.
I will keep you posted on what we end up choosing for ours and this just in: We will be zipping up to the big race at the Texas Motor Speedway this weekend in the hot new S60 from Volvo.