Gone are the days of driving the SAAB 900 and Jaguar XJ-S. No convertibles or sports cars will grace our driveway for more than a day for the simple reason that my wife and I have three children and they have neighborhood friends. We need something big enough for at lease five and occasionally seven (or eighteen). If you have children, then you know what I mean.
Before you snicker too much, take a look at what I brought home this weekend. It’s a 2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 Wagon. The E-Class is Mercedes’ mid-size vehicle; a step below the luxurious S-Class but very nice. This particular E-Class has a fold-away third row that allows for a total of seven passengers (2-3-2). The rear-facing extra seat is perfect for two smaller kids.
Now just because I’m a family man, don’t think that I have lost the thrill of driving. I still enjoy performance machines. That’s why I like this wagon. You see, it’s an E500. That means it has Mercedes’ 302 hp 5.0 liter V8. Compare that to the 2008 Ford Mustang Bullit (315 hp) or the 2010 Volvo S80 V8 AWD (311 hp) and you’ll soon realize that this is no slouch when it comes to get-up-and-go.
So, the next time I “have to drive” the family somewhere, we’ll have enough room for all of us and two extras. And … I’m pretty sure we’ll have some fun on the way.