Saturday, January 5, 2019

Rootless: A New Vehicular Mate, Part 2

Relevant posts:

After the long prequel in Part 1, I'll get to the point in this here Part 2: I bought a 2012 Prius v

About the 'v'

The 'v' is no mistake. It's lowercase 'v' and stands for, hell, I don't know, maybe the 'v' sound for how Germans, Russians, Ukrainians and others like to pronounce 'w,' which would be for 'wagon,' which is what my new-to-me Prius is.

It does not stand for the Roman numeral five. Which would be uppercase 'V,' anyway.

A couple of things that keep me awake at night
  • The car has more mileage on it than I would have preferred. 
  • The cost to replace an aged-out, dead Prius battery is flipping expensive! I'm taking a gamble that the battery in my Prius has a lot more life in it. 
  • Normal buyer's remorse - what as-yet-unknown car problems lurk under the hood, just waiting to leap onto my savings! Did I pay too much? Should I have done this instead? Or that? 

The key thing

This is the first car I've owned that doesn't have an actual key that you use to open a door or turn an ignition.

Instead, I've got this squat, hard lump of a thing that I still have to carry around with me everywhere I go, but I don't have to actually pull it out of my purse or pocket. The latter situation requires me to un-learn a muscle memory. And the thing requires batteries. And we all know what batteries do.

Surprise misses

I actually have to manually move my front seats forward, whereas my 1995 Camry had electric forwarding/reversing. I wasn't expecting this backward step. Not a big deal - just a surprise.

There is no place in the front cabin to hang a trash bag. Nope. No knob, nowhere. It's even a thing for discussion. This is kind of a big deal; it will be annoying until I find a graceful solution.

The Prius' ground clearance is disappointingly low, albeit slightly greater than the Camry. This took me aback at first, as there are countless resources on camping and even living in Prii (yes, that seems to be the usual plural form). A friend helped me push past this disappointment, however, when he pointed out that most cars have similar ground clearances as the Prius. So it was a good reality check for me.

The storage pockets in the front doors are stingy, even though each has a round-out specially designed for a water bottle. There's not good space in the doors for maps or gloves.

There's no drop-down storage cup for loose change, which I had in my Camry. Instead, there's a slide-in thing for cards. The slide-in card thing is good for parking-garage tickets, toll booth tickets, and maybe c-store/grocery store loyalty cards. Maybe an auto insurance card. But I'd rather have the change holder.

Oooh, too soon to tell, but transferring my worldly goods from my Camry to the Prius .... it's possible my Camry had more cargo space than the Prius does. If so, that's a disappointment. I've got additional gear (suitcases, etc.) in my temporary lodgings, so I won't have the full story til I'm fully moved out of my current home stay.

Learning curve

There is a learning curve to driving a Prius. More to come on this, I reckon.


  • The generous size of the two glove compartments. 
  • Roomy storage console between the two front seats. 
  • Front-seat passenger has their own cupholder. 
  • The drop-down pocket in the roof for glasses.
  • The flat-bottom cargo space in the back that I'll be able to use to sleep in the car when camping! Can't wait! 
  • The possibility of having heat or a/c while camping! 
  • Fun accessories to buy, like window screens for camping!

Cautious enthusiasm

I am ready to be enthusiastically in love with my new car. For the moment, however, I am cautiously, quietly, fingers-crossed maybe-it-will-be-so-great mode.

I barely know how to turn on the radio yet.


The color of my Prius is OK. The same held true for my Camry. The benefit of the ho-hum color is that my car looks just like 75% of the cars on a parking lot, therefore it doesn't capture untoward attention. The downside is that I don't feel a rush of esthetic pleasure when I approach it.

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