Wagon with harp

The weekly New York Times Automobile section is always a good read, with articles written by people who clearly like cars, and topics that you just don't often find in the buff mags. Take this week's gem, a piece by Peggy Minnis on her daughter's search for a new vehicle. Now, you may be thinking that car shopping isn't exactly the most newsworthy topic, and for the most part, you're right. The Times piece has an angle, though.

You see, Peggy Minnis' daughter Margaret Jane plays the harp, and the cars she had on her shopping list had to be able to accommodate a full concert harp with all its accoutrements. Her current machine, a '92 Camry wagon, has seen better days (you can catch a glimpse of it in the photo above). To make that list of candidates, the vehicle couldn't be a minivan (too frumpy) and it had to have a low deck, which instantly eliminated most SUVs from contention. As such, the shopping list included a roster of modern wagons and a couple of crossovers. It's surprising to read the drawbacks some of the cars presented, and it becomes clear right away that all wagons are not equal.

Think the big Dodge Magnum was up to the task? Think again. Subaru Legacy? Uh-uh. Bimmer 5-series? Nope.

At least not if hauling a harp (or something similarly long and bulky) is going to be part of your daily routine. What's the winning ride? I won't spoil it for you here. Go read the article for yourself and enjoy. I certainly did.

[Source: NYT]