COVID-19 travel restrictions have caused many city dwellers to not only gain a few pounds around the waist, but to ditch mass land or air transit options and purchase a car. While I firmly believe you don’t need to have a car to get around within a city that has decent mass transit and bike sharing options, I’d always been interested in acquiring a getaway vehicle for weekend warrior excursions. (I’d already been on every day trip you can do via regional train or bicycle.)
In the pivotal summer of 2020, I finally succumbed to the world’s travel circumstances and my personal desires, and sought out said getaway car for real.
My previous car was a ’94 Honda Civic that I got used in 1996, which I drove from New Jersey to everywhere—going as far west as West Virginia for river rafting, as far south as Key West for conch fritters, and as far north as Quebec City for poutine. Before setting off backpacking on a sixteen-month global trip in 2003, I sold that little sedan to a friend, who used it for a couple more years before selling it to a high school kid, who also used it for a couple more years. That ’94 Honda Civic just wouldn’t stop running, like the Energizer bunny or the T-1000 in Terminator 2. And it was that longevity I wanted in my next car.
Fast forward seventeen years. I always thought my next car would have been a Subaru. In fact, I’ve even written for Drive, Subaru’s lifestyle magazine, covering a variety of topics, from maker culture in Portland, OR, to Subaru-sponsored ski competitions in Telluride, Colorado. Perhaps it’s ironic that I ended up getting a car named after that mountain town—and it’s not a Subaru.
The pilot web episode above explains how I came to choose a Kia over a Honda or Subaru, based on my criteria and the stellar reviews from the media. However, as anyone who had tried to purchase a new Kia Telluride in the summer of 2020 would know, it was a wild goose chase, chasing stock over five dealerships, due to the Kia Telluride’s popularity—and COVID-related scarcity.
Kia Telluride official page
Consumer Reports car brand ratings
Subaru Ascent Airstream towing test
Car and Driver’s 10Best
MotorTrend 2020 SUV of the Year
Time lapse assemble videos shot in Adirondack State Park, NY
Erik Trinidad’s work