Po the Pathfinder: origins

Juan Orozco
Juan Orozco

Po the Pathfinder

I owned a VW Golf while we lived in Germany. I loved that car. It was simple. No crazy gadgets. No power steering. No air conditioning. No fuel injection. No power brakes. Just car.

I loved that car, alas, it didn't make sense to bring it back to the states with us. Unfortunately, people rarely buy those old cars so we had to junk it. My heart broke into a million pieces that day.

Today, back in the colonies, we are lucky to have added a baby to the family. This meant, though, that we were about to outgrow our 2000 Honda CR-V.

The search for a new car was on. We knew right away what type of car we needed; fuel efficient vehicle with third row seating. We narrowed it down to three contestants:

  • 2016 Honda Pilot
  • 2013+ Volvo XC90
  • 2013+ Nissan Pathfinder

We loved the Pilot. I preferred the boxy styling of the pre 2013 models while the newst 2016 model had some impressive safety features. Unfortunately, the older generation had pretty bad small-overlap crash results. As for the new models, well, it was out of our budget.

We've come a long way, financially, but new cars are still out of our reach for now. Which isn't a bad thing, honestly. Used cars, when properly sourced, can be a better purchase per dollar. Used cars also help educed carbon footprint and all kinds of other neat "green" stuff.

Anyway, The Volvo XC90 is a great car. When it comes to the safety of my family, I knew the XC90 was the best fit. Unfortunately, used versions are very difficult to find.

The Nissan Pathfinder. I was a little miffed that Nissan went the route of the crossover. The Pathfinder used to be this bad ass thing of a car. Now, it had succumbed to peer pressure; it cut off its mullet and put on some khakis and polo. But, it was ok... because, in a sense, so had I.

I once owned a 300ZX, which was also a wonderful car. But, along with my Golf, those days are gone. I need a safe family car. It is part of loving someone else more than yourself; you do more for them than for yourself. And that's ok because you love the crap outta them anyway.

So, when I test drove the Pathfinder for the first time, there was this familiarity. The Pathfinder and I had both recently grown up. We knew each other's history because it was the same.

The wife and I searched the interwebz and found a good option at our local CarMax. We decided on the Platinum trim because of how much we go on family trips. It was more about making our trips more comfortable and fun than anything.

I test drove the car and immediately decided it was meant to be. Po the Pathfinder and I understood each other; we were kindred spirits.

The kids gave him his name. Named after Po from Kung Fu Panda, they thought it appropriate because of how much larger the Pathfinder is compared to the last family car, the Honda CR-V. Other than Nissan being a Japanese company while Po is technically Chinese, the name kinda fits. Po the Panda becomes the Dragon Warrior and learns so much about himself, much like myself and the Pathfinder brand. It actually works out as a name.

So, Po the Pathfinder is the newest member of the family transport. We're glad to have him. He's a fun car to drive. The styling is starting to grow on me. Let's see what kind of adventures we can get ourselves into...