If you’ve ever driven a convertible, then you know how addictive they can be. With just a push of a button, you let the outside in whenever you feel like it. The clichéd phrase of ‘wind in your hair and sun on your face’ starts to mean something that you actually experience, and the time worn auto commercials through the ages click in your mind with solidarity. Not only is the freedom of the convertible experience liberating, it’s downright invigorating. You automatically know that when you let that top down, the mad men ad execs weren’t pitching a lot of hooey to the consumer in the case of convertible ownership.
With that said, I understand first hand how the pleasures of owning a convertible rely primarily on its dependability, both outside and underneath the hood. I’m well versed in the stories of my-then-bachelor father’s 1961 MG, the black body with the red interior, which was what he was driving in between transmission repairs, when he met Jayne Mansfield on a swimsuit photo shoot in Ft. Lauderdale. Suffice it to say that the top leaked, ruining the original pin-ups his photographer buddy later gave him. By coincidence, the first car that I ever purchased thirty-odd years later after college was a convertible, and while I never met a blonde bombshell in a leopard-print bikini when driving it, I can attest to my own ragtop malfunctions.
Flash forward to the present, and my recent discovery of the 2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. This convertible is neither a two-seater coffin on wheels nor a clunky sedan trying to masquerade as a cool ride. It defines itself. Like its predecessor, the CrossCab retains the styling integrity of the Murano without losing anything…except its top. The elevated body style is still there, the feeling of protectively encased seating remains. Much longer front doors compensate for the unnecessary back ones, because unless you’re riding in a parade, who wants a four-door convertible?
Being tied to a desk under fluorescent light for the better part of a workday, I relished the opportunity to catch some of our brilliant Savannah rays. With the whole-hearted approval of the guys at Vaden, I headed out for an extended test drive. Playing hooky at any age can be liberating, and the CrossCab took me back to my early convertible days, but there was something missing…that ‘something’ being subconscious ‘worry’. No more low-slung chassis that felt like driving a go-cart over every bump, or sitting in the imposing shadow of an SUV at a red light. The top had already receded with the smoothness of butter (no reference intended), and I realized that I was driving a grown-up’s convertible.
Inspired by the Murano’s handling under a cloudless sky, I decided to make the most of my hooky playing and headed over to Sandfly. Lunch at one of my favorite eateries, Driftaway Café, and a cruise under the oak canopies at Wormsloe were the perfect way to enjoy such a pleasant afternoon. Sunglasses in place and Don Henley singing about ‘the Boys of Summer’ from the Bose speaker system helped to complete the Murano experience.
This convertible is ideal for drivers who appreciate luxury but desire a more substantial ragtop. Memorized driving settings for two people that includes the steering wheel, leather appointments and all wheel drive raise the comfort bar. The features are too numerous to list, but if you’re on the market for an adult-sized luxury convertible, schedule your test drive with the folks at Vaden. If you’re looking for a cramped import that makes it impossible to exit with dignity, you might want to rethink your options and take a spin in the Murano CrossCabriolet convertible just to see what the mature luxury consumer is driving…you just might change your mind.