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Life on California's beautiful Central Coast

This Prius is making me nervous

The aftermath of last week’s accident has been relatively pain free. On Monday the insurance company for the driver who caused the crash accepted full liability, so my car is in the shop and I’m driving around in a rented Prius. Thanks, State Farm!

Both my mother and brother drive these optimized efficiency vehicles, and they’ve both tried to talk me into getting one. I’ve rejected the idea based solely on aesthetics, because I do not like the way the Prius looks. I like cars that look stylish and feel comfortable, both to drive and ride in, and the Prius doesn’t hold that appeal. I’ve always thought of them as little takeout boxes driven around by our space-traveling future selves.

So I laughed really hard when the rental car lady brought the Prius out as a “compatible” match for my Volvo. She looked at me strangely and handed me the keys. Then I had to figure out how to drive it. All that button pushing! Maybe the new marketing slogan should be “Prius: We just want to push your buttons.” (Especially since everyone seems to have an opinion about these cars, pro or con.)

On the con side of things, I am decidedly anti-Prius as a runner because you cannot hear them coming. Yes, I understand that they are running quietly and efficiently. That’s awesome. I am trying to do the same, and I do not want to get hit by a car I cannot hear.

Counterpoint – the limited gas usage is amazing. I have a very short drive to work. I shouldn’t drive at all – I should ride my bike every day, and I hope to make that transition soon. The three miles between office and home apparently end up using zero gas in the Prius, according to the little usage metric chart it displays when you conclude your trip. That’s pretty cool. And I love the roomy back area, which is big enough throw a bike in there, no problem at all.

(Here’s Snickers riding in the back of Will’s Prius last year.)

Snickers

Happy dog.

I wouldn’t definite the Prius as fun to drive (it feels boxy and not sleek at all, but it still goes fast without feeling like it goes fast, so that’s probably why people get speeding tickets in these things).  It makes me nervous because I feel like I’m driving my Mom’s car without her permission and without a parking brake in sight I really do feel like it’s going to just roll away when I stop.

Minor gripes aside, it’s a fun alternative to my car and I’m enjoying checking it out. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a convert by the time the repairs are done. But I doubt it.

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