Recently, a very important piece of my life passed away. My first car. My 2005 Honda Pilot, EX-L. While it may be hard to understand my affection for a barely-not-minivan SUV that has no real off-road ability and screams "SOCCER MOM!" try and see things my way for just a moment.

This car's 3.5L VTEC V6 was beautifully smooth, like most Honda engines. It made power EVERYWHERE and sounded incredible. It hauled thousands of pounds of band gear/vacation paraphernalia/college dorm furniture without the slightest complaint. Its forgiving, understeery nature with (dare I say it) communicative hydraulic steering taught me how to feel out a vehicle's limits for the first time. Its fully-defeatable VDC and stability control allowed me to perform ungodly drifts and donuts in snowy parking lots until the transmission started to overheat (which was a solid 20-30 minutes of banging off the rev limiter hoonage) I slept (alone and with company, giggity) in this car numerous times, it was driven all over the east coast and even across the country all the way to Wyoming! This car never ever broke down or even uttered so much as a minor complaint when it was taken thousands of miles past recommended service intervals and oil changes. Everything, from the heated seats and mirrors, to the DVD entertainment screen, just worked. Always. For 120 thousand abusive, hard fought miles, this car was a masterpiece of reliability.

Sadly, just last weekend it was traded in, in anticipation of the arrival of my next car, a Subaru Legacy 2.5GT. While my new car will be faster, have better handling, and satiate my desire for a manual transmission, I will definitely miss the cavernous space of the Pilot, the smooth and sonorous V6, and all the amazing memories that I created in that car.

To my long-time friend and companion, wherever you are now. Thank you.