Categories: Personal

So, what with one thing and another, we decided it was about time to consider replacing the 1992 Subaru station wagon that’s been in the family for the last 19 years. (It was originally my dad’s. I think it has belonged to both my mom and stepmom at one time and another, and currently I think it’s legally mine but I honestly don’t even remember.)

I really liked my Honda Insight, but the new model does not appeal to me as much. What looked particularly nice to me was the 2010-and-later Toyota Prius. Best mileage of pretty much anything out there these days, and pretty mature technology. So we went shopping about a month ago, maybe a little over. What we found out was that a used 2010 Prius would cost us more than a new 2011 Prius. Why? Well, remember that “about a month ago”? It turns out that people will pay a premium to get a car today rather than in a month and change.

Today we went and picked up our shiny new Barcelona Red Prius. It really is gorgeous; I like the red. It’s not quite fire-engine red, but it’s definitely a solid red, not some half-way color sort of over in a redwards direction. Jesse pushed for the red car; I’d been thinking of maybe silver or blue, but Jesse vetoed all light colors and preferred red to blue. A point that, now that I have the car, I will concede.

Modern cars scare me. The locks and such are all RFID based. If you’re holding the key, you can open the door. If you’re not, you can’t. “Holding” seems to include pockets at around door height. Similarly, the car will start if the key’s in the car. Not in “the ignition”, as there isn’t such a thing, just inside the car, roughly. Then you press the power switch and it turns on.

Everything’s like that. The gearshift lever is really just a fancy interface on top of what are effectively buttons labeled N/D/R/B. (B for Braking, where you tell the car to suck extra power from the wheels to slow down, suitable for freeway exit ramps.)

I don’t know whether there will be other aspects of this to particularly like or dislike, but so far, it’s pretty nice. Stereo’s better than any I’ve previously had, and has an ipod adapter kit. Yes, the ipod adapter kit is horrendously overpriced. On the other hand, compared to the expected cost of messing with the ipod while driving over the lifetime of the car, it’s cheap.

Still trying to decide what to do for interesting decorations to make the car recognizable. I sorta wanted to put a set of plane silhouettes on the left front fender, or something similar. Maybe gas pumps. One of my friends suggested we get a Ron Paul bumper sticker, on the grounds that this would be the only Prius, anywhere, to have one.

Anyway, time to go get groceries. Mostly because I need an excuse to go somewhere in that shiny shiny car.

s.: I hate “new car smell”.

Comments [archived]

From: Dave Leppik
Date: 2011-07-21 15:33:37 -0500

I would think “B” gear would be suitable for driving down mountains. For a highway exit ramp, just brake normally and it should do the regenerative breaking thing. When you’re going down a mountain, you really don’t want to touch the breaks because (a) you might be going down at a steep angle for a very long time, and (b) you really don’t want to accidentally trigger the physical breaks, or they might burn out. Mountain highways have runaway vehicle exits every mile or so, to dispose of vehicles without working breaks.

I can’t stand new car smell. It gives me headaches.

From: Ariel
Date: 2011-08-04 00:26:42 -0500

Ditto on the new car smell. I think it’s more like “possibly hazardous chemicals that you will obsessively sniff for in hopes of identifying them” smell. I’ve got a 2005 maroon focus and it makes me want to make race car noises when I drive.