We kick the tires on two dozen new harpmobiles to help you find the right wheels for your instrument
—by Alison Reese and Gabrielle Rabon
For more about how we conduct our semi-regular harpmobile reviews, be sure to check out the article extra Behind the Harpmobile Reivew.
Harpists are highly selective about their instruments—no secret there. But our cars? We are almost as choosy about our rides as we are about our harps. You won’t hear a couple of oboists dissecting the differences between cargo areas in SUVs versus minivans, but harpists can get pretty passionate about their beloved harpmobiles.
Harp Column’s harpmobile review has been a favorite among our readers since we first looked at 10 harp-toting vehicles back in our very first issue in 1993. Harpmobiles have come a long way since then. Gone are the days of removing huge, heavy back seats to fit the harp in the back of a minivan. Car makers keep cranking out harp-friendly models full of handy options like backup cameras and automatic lift gates that seemed Jetsons-like back in 1993. Harpmobile choices abound today—in size, cost, and luxury. Seats fold down flatter than ever, fuel mileage is up higher than ever. Station wagons are dwindling, crossovers are exploding. Seating configuration options allow harpists to carry two passengers with their harp in more vehicles than ever.
But the abundance of choices can be enough to make your head spin. Short of lugging your harp to a dozen car dealerships to load your harp in a bunch of vehicles, how is a harpist to know which cars are best? Well, we did the heavy lifting for you. We lugged a concert grand pedal harp around to a dozen car dealerships and loaded it into every vehicle that was even remotely close to being big enough to hold a harp. We rate each vehicle that we successfully load a harp into for harpability and McFactor (we’ll explain those later). We take measurements, move the back seats up and down, check out the front seats, answer questions from confused onlookers, and snap a few pictures with car salesmen so they can show their buddies who won’t believe their story about the harpists who stopped in their dealership that day.