Saturday, February 2, 2019

Rootless: A New Vehicular Mate, Part 3

My new vehicular mate. Highway 9, New Mexico. January 2019.

Relevant posts:

By now, I've driven my new car for a month
  • From Opelousas to El Paso
  • From El Paso to Columbus, NM, and back
  • From El Paso to Las Cruces and back
  • Around El Paso

Learning curve on driving

A very cool car trick: The hill assist. When stopped on an incline, whether at a stop light or when backing out of a slanted parking spot, I can depress the brake pedal, hold it there until a beep sounds, then move my foot to the accelerator without the car rolling back on its own.

Spidey-spatial sense: It was only today when I realized that, yeah, I'm feeling natural about where my car boundaries are within my driving lane. 

Where to stop my 'nose': The Prius' front end slopes oh-so-elegantly down from the windshield base. Result: When you're in the vehicle, it's a crazy design flaw that you can't see where the front end ... ends. I don't know, maybe a tall-ass driver can, but not me. 

2012 Prius v profile. Source: Automobile Mag. Yellow marker added.

Here's an image of what it looks like from the driver's seat:

View from Prius v front seat. Source:

Right. Where's the nose? What's the point of expensive gew-gaws like rear cameras if you don't do something so simple as design some passive visual cues for the front end - not only for parking, but for ensuring you're in the middle of a lane?

As I get more experience driving the Prius, my internal radar is getting a sense for how far to pull in to a parking spot without a wheel stop. This is good; it's reassuring.

I don't yet have a sense for where to stop when I pull into a spot with a concrete, front-bumper-hating wheel stop. I'm hopeful that day will come.

Stuff I didn't know before I bought the Prius

Prius rage. Perhaps a real thing in some places, don't know. Regardless, it has given me pause. I do remember when Prius first came out, and I did do a lot of internal eye-rolling at how smug Prius owners seemed to be about their alleged kindliness for the Earth. Without considering the carbon footprint of throwing away one's older vehicle and building a new vehicle.

Built-in GPS. The tedious and pedantic mindset of the installed GPS in my Prius is just as annoyingly lame as the plug-in Garmin I had a few years back. Fortunately, I bought an air-vent clip-on thing for my phone, so I just use Google Maps from my phone.

Does it seem like I'm caught up in some negativity about my new car? Yes, maybe. A temporary phase, I'm sure. I'm chalking it up to unmet expectations based on assumptions that may not have been realistic. For example, I assumed that a 2012 vehicle would have all the features a 1995 vehicle had.

Some love

Yesterday, I felt my first little surge of love. It happened when I pulled on to I-10 from the ramp. Ohhh, there was some pick-up-n-go there - nice.

The driver's seat is super comfortable.

I've tricked out my center console with small organizer things, so now I've got order among chaos to hold stuff like gum, salt (of course), pens, Crystal Light packets, tire gauge, comb, etc. Speaking of the console, this post by a 2012 Prius v reviewer made me laugh out loud:
Toyota says the deep center console can fit 23 CD cases. In other news, my cubicle has desk space for a typewriter, two slide rules and a Victrola.

It's too soon to tell what my average gas mileage will be, as my car is pretty loaded with stuff pending my relocation destination. Also, I haven't learned many of the tricks long-time Prius owners employ to eke out higher rates. However, I see promising signs.

I've been reading the manual. 

Maybe I'll update my car info in a month or so.

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