May 23, 2012
I know what you guys are thinking. “I wonder what Mr. Blog is driving lately.” Well, Mr. Blog is driving a rented Toyota Yaris and I’m as embarrassed to write that as you are to read it.
Awhile back I lost my car in an accident that I still swear WAS NOT MY FAULT but for some reason the insurance companies figured I was half at fault and paid me nothing. So what happened? A car was speeding down the street towards me and not only did he blow through the solid red stop light but he never swerved or even hit the brakes, clipping me and plowing into a parked car, which plowed into another parked car, which plowed into yet another parked car. That was his half of the accident. My half? I was stopped in the intersection right where I should have been in preparation to make a left turn, for which I had the light. So you can see how I was half to blame. Thanks a lot Geico. I was a total menace.
So I lost the car but my job was downtown and it made a ton more sense anyway to take the train. A- No parking. B- Lots of traffic. C- I love the bums on the N line. And trust me, there are more and more of them lately. Feeling sick and tired of anything sanitary? The N train is for you.
Well since then I’ve gotten a huge promotion (I totally deserved it but if she is reading this, Saarah gets all the credit for pushing me into it.) and I now work pretty far away on Long Island. So I have to buy a car but money is, ya know, tight, so I’ve been renting one.
I once again know what you guys are thinking. “If money is so tight why is he wasting it on renting a car when he could be putting that money toward buying or leasing one of his own?” For your information, nosey, I am about to do just that.
Anyway, I love driving. It takes me the same time to drive to work on Long Island as it did to take the train downtown but now I can curse at the other drivers all I want. People on the train tended to not like that.
Which brings me to my car. A Yaris. A compact Yaris, in fact. What is a “Yaris”? What does it mean? I have no idea but I think the Y stands for yucky. (Give me a break; there are not a lot of insults that begin with Y. I considered Yutz but that would leave half the American South saying “huh?” and I was reeeaaaaly tempted to go with Yuranus but someone with no sense of humor would point out the obvious.) I will admit that the car drives well and it seems to be well made. But other than that it totally sucks. I only rented it because the Chrysler I wanted broke down as they drove it about 100 feet from the other end of the lot.
What is wrong with the Yaris? For one thing the rear view mirror hangs too low. It is right in my field of vision and I constantly have to peek around it to see what is right in front of me. So when I run down a deer or something it will be because it was in the blind spot which is conveniently right in front of my eyes. But the mirror has to hang low because the window is sloped oddly steeply forward.
In fact, the whole interior has the dimensions of one of those mini-school buses, only scaled down. The front is stubby and between the odd sloped window and the stubby front I have no idea where the car ends. That is a little bit of a problem. On most other cars I drove I could see the end of the hood as a guide. This car feels like it is chopped off right past the other side of the brake pedal.
Being a compact Yaris, which really isn’t small compared to most cars, it has a compact steering wheel too. It is about three inches smaller than it should be and the difference is palpable. Imagine trying to turn a steamship with a kitchen faucet. Plus, the horn takes up nearly the entire interior of the wheel. I can’t tell you how many times I scared some poor pedestrian to death while I accidentally honked the horn during a left turn.
The seats, front and rear, have very high seat rests. VERY high. So high they block most of the rear window so when I look in the low-hanging rearview mirror I have a very narrow view of the road as seen through the slice of clear space between the headrests. And worse, for some reason the headrests don’t stay down, they are always creeping up. If I didn’t know better I’d swear they ere trying to kill me. If I owned this car (god forbid) I’d rip them right out. Sure, it would ruin some of the value, but I am not going to buy this car anyway so let me rant.
The hatch for the gas tank can only be opened with the switch in the interior. So if I get out of the car, walk to the gas tank, and try to open it from the outside I can’t. Why? Security? I have never had a problem with someone putting gas in my car without my permission. And if someone is determined to fool with my tank, all it will take is a screwdriver and 2.3 seconds to pop the hatch. And speaking of gas, the gas gauge is electronic so I have no idea how much gas I may or may not have. Instead of a needle this has a series of bars stacked on top of each other. And there is an odd number of them so you can’t figure out how many are half a tank, how many are a quarter, etc. And the bottom bar blinks or does not blink based on I don’t know what. Yes, I know it means I need gas, but I have no idea if I have an inch left in the tank and I can get to gas station of if I have fumes and I can get into a dangerous intersection before I stall.
The controls for the windshield wipers are counter-intuitive, and if I were to replace the wipers I’d have to waste money on two pairs as they are designed so oddly that one blade is normal size and the other is about the size of a small banana.
And I am a smart man, or so I am told, yet I still can’t figure out the radio. Too many buttons? No, not nearly enough.
Far be it from me to complain about cup holders, because I love them, but even they are badly designed. they pop out of the dash, which is convenient, but they block the air conditioner vents, meaning that in the heat although I might be sweating my drink will be icy cold, since it is the only thing the cold air is hitting.
I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. But I won’t. Suffice it to say that I do not care for this car.