?

Log in

No account? Create an account
freetrav
.::..: ....:.. .: : .::..: .::..:
The Freelance Traveller [userpic]
I don't have GayDAR, I have PriusDAR...

...and it's far better than even I can believe.

I was walking home from the train, and for some reason, a little white car draws my attention. It doesn't look familiar, so I start to wonder why it caught my attention.

This little white car, a four-door sedan that looked smaller than my old Camry, is on the other side of a major intersection, coming toward me, but not yet close enough to see the logo on it. It is being driven like it is either severely underpowered, or the driver is the stereotypical little old lady with blue hair who is looking through the steering wheel to see out the front window.

The car turns down the cross street, in the direction I will be going. When I make the turn, I see it backing into a parking spot.

I get closer, and can see that the logo on the trunk is Toyota's, but I can't read the text that says what model it is.

I get still closer, and see that the model of this tiny four-door sedan is... Huh? Prius?

Understand that until I saw this car, I had never seen a Prius that didn't look like the userpic for this entry (modulo color). Not even in pictures. And yet my PriusDAR seems to have pinged right on this oddity.

Relating this episode to another Prius owner in IRC revealed the information that what I was seeing was the "classic" Prius, with inferior-to-present batteries, from the first year or so that the Prius was available in the US. It does NOT have the HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive) that the current Toyota hybrids do. The 'dashboard' was centered, like in the Yaris, not directly in front of the driver, as in most cars (including the present Prius). It also did not appear to have the SmartKey system that I do, and the "gearshift" was a large handle, not a small knob-sized one, but still on the dashboard, not the steering column.

Quite frankly, if this had been my image of a Prius before buying, I'd probably have ended up with the Civic hybrid, or gotten another gas-engine car. But it's still astonishing that I picked this car out.

Tags:
I'm feeling...: surprisedastonished
I'm listening to...: In my head, theme from "Twilight Zone"
Comments

The 'dashboard' was centered, like in the Yaris,
And in the Echo, iirc. I know someone who drove an Echo and thought it was a great idea.

Me, every time I see a photo of one, I can't help but ask myself "What on earth were they thinking, putting the instrument panel where I cannot comfortably glance at it while driving without physically turning my head?" Then I mentally file it under "Those wacky Japanese..."

If you think about possible manufacturing issues, it makes a small amount of sense - with the instrument panel in the center, they don't have to reroute wiring for it for left-drive vs. right-drive cars, which lowers the cost of manufacture (perhaps only minusculely). It also has the side benefit of allowing a lower ... console? ... in front of the driver, which might well improve visibility. Whether that's enough to overcome the "huh?" factor and annoyance at breaking convention is not known - but I suspect not, which is probably why the Prius has gone conventional in its arrangement.

If you think about possible manufacturing issues, it makes a small amount of sense - with the instrument panel in the center, they don't have to reroute wiring for it for left-drive vs. right-drive cars, which lowers the cost of manufacture (perhaps only minusculely).
True. Then again, they have to design a single modular dash which allows the mechanical controls to be on either the left or right side. I'm not certain that's a win.
It also has the side benefit of allowing a lower ... console? ... in front of the driver, which might well improve visibility.
In most cars and with most drivers, the top of the instrument panel is not the determining factor in forward visibility anyway — it's the hood line, unless the driver is short enough that the height of the bottom edge of the clear portion of the windshield becomes the limiting factor.

Yes, the possible downsides are fairly clear, too - that's why I said 'small' amount of sense. Ultimately, I think that the shift to a more conventional arrangement in the current Prius suggests that they felt that the benefits weren't really worth the costs. And I ultimately expect that they will find the same with the Yaris (and any other models that may have the centered instrument panel).

As far as I know, they only ever did it with the Yaris, the Prius and the Echo.

I love you, I adore you, and I am starting to picture Kyle Broslovski's father on South Park in the Hybrid Cars episode. :D

Reading this post reminded me of something I think you might enjoy. It starts around 1:45-2:00 and goes for a couple of minutes... :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epsx2dlQQ6k&feature=related

Enjoy :)

ROFL! (Mine is silver, and I don't have a dog, and I will be condemned to Nivenpournelle's Inferno before I will have magnetic decorations on it!)

But you play with dolls, right?

*hehe*

Well, Sims, anyway. I guess they could be called 'virtual dolls'. :)