2008 Hyundai Veracruz: Girl Scout Cookies for the Masses
February 25, 2008
It's that time of year again. Time for an army of girls dressed in brown and green uniforms to saturate the market with Thin Mints and Samoas, Tagalongs and Do Si Dos. And as Cookie Mom for Brownie Troop 421, it's time for me to pick up the entire troop's cookie order from the cookie warehouse.
After surveying the vehicles in the current long-term test fleet, I realize we are without a minivan, and therefore, I am without a clear-cut cookie-picking-up machine. Being a math-challenged English major, I enlist the help of Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds, the man, the myth, the ENGINEER, to run the numbers.
Dan opens up a new Excel spreadsheet, and calculating the number of boxes of Girl Scout cookies sold (1,764 boxes) into approximate cubic feet per case (1.5 cubic feet per case, approx. because different flavors come in different sized boxes) he starts discarding the options. Gone is the Toyota Tundra, Mazda CX-9 and Buick Enclave. In need of 200 cubic feet or so, none of the pickups or SUVs in our fleet are gonna do the job.
What you need, said Dan, is a minivan.
Exactly. But with last year's Kia Sedona tester long gone, and this year's Dodge Grand Caravan still in the works, I needed to bring two vehicles.
In the end, I drove the Hyundai Veracruz to handle two-thirds of the load, and another Brownie mom brought her Toyota Camry sans car seats and kid crap. Combined the Veracruz and Camry were both loaded to the max, neither having room to carry even one passenger.
It took a total of ten minutes to load four pallets of cases into the Veracruz and Camry, and we had to move the Hyundai out before moving the Toyota into position. That put us four minutes over the six-minute load window we were assigned this year. Last year we got seven minutes to load, so General Girl Scout has cracked down even more on her cookie-selling army.
Maybe next year we'll sell 2,000 boxes and be forced to load them in five minutes.
Or maybe we'll back up to the loading dock in a Smart just to see the look on their faces.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 5,130 miles