Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I got a hybrid

Well, for the day anyway. One of the few things that I like about my dealership is that they offer free rentals when they perform service on my car. What I do not like it that something as simple as an oil change requires me to rent a car in the first place. It takes them that long to get to my car.

Anyway, as the woman is filling out the paperwork for my rental, I notice the alarm switch does not have a key. Strange, I thought. But then again, maybe the key is in the car. So I mosey on down to the service lane to the car and look for the key. But the there is not key. Not even a key hole. Just a button. Ok, how do you start this damn car? I got an attendant to reluctantly help me out. To start the car, you need to depress the brake, then press the "Power" button. Then trust that car is actually on. You can't tell initially as the gas engine doesn't kick in immediately. That bothered me a bit. No initial pickup. I have a V6 engine in my car. I'm used to serious acceleration.

Once I got the car on the highway, it was pretty smooth. The acceleration got better but obviously not as nice as the acceleration of a V6. The car gave a constant read out of the average gas mileage. I managed about 35 MPG. I could be wrong, but it looked like as I drove faster, the more the gas mileage went up. Could that be my excuse if I got pulled over by the cops?

Officer: Umm, ma'am. Do you realize that you going 80 MPH in a 55 zone?
Me: Sorry for speeding officer but I was doing my part to help the environment.
Officer: Excuse me?
Me: This is a hybrid. The faster I go, the less gas that I use, the better for the environment.

It would be a unique excuse anyway.


your friendly neighborhood skeptic said...

I've been wondering about the whole hybrid thing. A hybrid will cost you roughly 5000 more to buy. At an improvement of only about 10mpg do you really get a return on your investment? Sure you're helping the environment, but what's helping my budget?

Not Your Average Male said...

Not to mention that the tax breaks aren't so abundant and/or are non-existent now...

I just got a V6 and going back to a 4-cyl is like dumping a laptop for one of those Apple computers from elementary school that had the big floppy disks -- aside from playing Oregon Trail again, I don't see enough benefit for me to make the switch.

I do like your excuse, though. That would be awesome if it could be employed in reality.

The Girl From Park Heights said...

If there's no key, how do you lock the damn thing? And keep mofos from stealing it?

Erika 2004 said...

@ tgfph: There is an alarm switch that locks the doors. Also, as far as I can tell, the only way to start and operate the car is to have the key switch in the car with you. It was kind of handy as I didn't have to pull out the key switch to unlock the car or turn the car on. But with my absentmindedness at times, I would never be completely comfortable that I locked the car without an actual key. Then I was thinking what if the battery in that key switch died, am I just locked out of my car and SOL? I like having a key, thank you very much.

The only other positive that I can think of with this design is that if I was ever car-jacked and pulled out the car, as long as the key switch remained on my person, the car-jacker wouldn't get too far.

Erika 2004 said...

@ nyam: I don't think that I could ever, ever go back to a 4 cylinder. Normally, the dealer gives me a 4 cylinder as a loaner. These 4 cylinders are brand new and I still can't wait to get my car back. The new cars do handle better than my car, that is the only positive.

@ skeptic: Judging by the estimated gas costs, me paying that extra $5000 for a hybrid seems highly unlikely. I have to check again, but from what I noticed, it wasn't much different from what I pay now.