All my life I've tried to convince myself that size doesn't matter. I never quite believed the claim, but clung to the hope of it the way a shipwrecked sailor clings to an errant piece of flotsam.
But there is no question that in the world of vehicles, size very much matters. This is particularly true when attempting to shoehorn into a small parking space or you are called upon to transport your kid's soccer team to its next humiliating defeat.
I am currently piloting a 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV. It's a brutish monster that I am sure ticks off the politically correct Prius-driving crowd no end. It tips the scales at a whopping 5,773 lbs. and boasts combined city/highway fuel economy of 16 mpg.
No doubt adding to the tree huggers' indignation is the fact that my Escalade is the obscenely expensive $85,085 Platinum Edition. How many trees could you plant in the Brazilian rain forest with that tidy sum?
It is one of two vehicles I have right now; the other is a Mazda5. Parking these two next to one another is like standing Vern Troyer next to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Escalade outweighs the Mazda5 by 3,200 lbs. It's three and a half feet longer, and nearly a foot taller and wider. The Mazda5 is a minivan, remember -- a mini minivan, but a minvan nonetheless.
I am scheduled to drive the Escalade ESV to Atlanta next week to catch a flight. It should be a very enjoyable ride from my king-of-the-world perch. The interior is, well, roomy and quite comfortable. All the leather doesn't hurt either. My suitcase will be sliding around in the cargo bay like a BB in a soup can.
I suspect that after driving the Escalade ESV to the airport, any plane I board will seem confining by comparison.
The drawback, however, is that running errands in this behemoth requires D-Day like planning. Parking is an issue. I had to time my daily gym visits to coincide with the slow times of the restaurant with which my gym shares its small parking lot.
Parking it in most parking lots is something akin to docking the Titanic at your local marina.
People do tend to get out of your way, though, as the Caddy's massive grille fills their rearview mirrors.
Parking issues notwithstanding, I am enjoying this aircraft carrier of SUVs.
For the first time in my life, I can brag about size truthfully.