Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Busy busy car car

That's basically been the monologue in my head this week. With bits of "Hindi Hindi" and "free time, what's that?" thrown in.

A typical day: Wake up, eat, shower, bike 12 miles to work, workworkwork, bike 3 miles to Hindi class, act like a sponge for 3 hours, navigate home via metro and bus with bike in tow, feed cats, call Taz, fall into bed and sleep upon contact with the pillow. So that's the "busy busy" part.

The "car car" part is because our dear little '97 Honda Civic has finally reached the point where repairing her transmission will cost way more than we could sell her for. So for the past couple weekends, Taz and I have been doing a lot of car shopping (yay for test drives! boo for clueless salespeople!). We have narrowed it down to the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius. I think we are leaning toward the Prius for a number of reasons (mileage, cargo space, leg room, available extras), but I'd love to get some feedback from all of you, if you have personal experience with hybrids. What hybrid do you have? What do you love and hate about it? What made you choose the one you did? Would you choose the same one if you could do it again? With luck, we'll be able to figure out the money part and make a decision within the next week or two.

In knitting news (I know, it's been a while, hasn't it?) I am now officially within two rounds of being ready to bind off Taz's second sock. Nice dark wool socks, just in time for the hottest part of the summer. Do I have good timing or what?

p.s. Sorry for the dearth of pictures lately. There are pictures, I swear. They're even on my computer. At some point they will actually make it onto the blog.

9 comments:

mazhalai said...

i donno much about cars
but i vote for prius :)

mamacate said...

My car's transmission died yesterday too! My employer is offering a parking opt-out plan so we're going to be a one-car family and I'm going to take the bus. Yipes.

Anyway, we shopped for hybrids along the way too. Prius. The continuous drive something or other (the non-transmission transmission) is like world-class state of the art engineering. Nothing else like it.

medea said...

heyyy, I guess it´s bad timing since you seem so busy, but i´ll be in DC between July 6th - 16th.

Would be amazing to get to meet you!

Doris said...

Sneaksleep - My husband says go for the Honda Civic Hybrid. The prius really screams "I'm saving fuel" the Honda just has a tiny label on the back of the trunk.

Jeremy loves Honda as a company - they are the only company that doesn't lobby congress to decrease the fuel efficiency standards (as of last year) and they are the only one that don't sell V8s even in the luxury car market.

As for your question about looking for a job, I'm trying to find biotech stuff near Rockville, MD. Although I'm looking at the patent office in your neck of the woods. Jeremy's looking for jobs in DC - policy stuff and I was going to ask you what you do for a living because you obliquely mention some sort of interesting job in the district.

Anyhow, if you have time between all the biking/working/language learning, email me -

turnip at gmail dot com

I'd love to hear about your work and we should meet up sometime soon since we are in the same neighborhood.

Cathi said...

I don't know anything personally about Prius v. hybrid Civic, but I thought I heard that they were not going to make the hybrid Civic any longer, which would make me nervous about the ability to find spare parts, etc. Of course, maybe I made that up, but I could swear I saw that on CNN.

I'm sorry that you've been so busy, but it sounds like a mostly good busy, which can't be all bad, right?

Deenz said...

My father was checking out hybrids and from what he told me, there's some debate on how much money it actually saves you...something about it not paying off for many years in the future (which is ok, I suppose if you're not a person who buys a new car every two years!).

He's waiting until the fall to buy any new cars (he's looking at the Hondas) since they are currently working on making their cars extremely more fuel efficient with the big safety features available on ALL models, not just the top of the line.

All I can say is CONSUMER REPORTS MAGAZINE. ;-)

goodkarma said...

Hey stranger! I don't know how you fell off my radar but I'm glad to have re-found you. Sounds like things are going well, if busily, and you are learning Hindi! What a good "bivi"!! :) hee hee!

Be well!

brian said...

How do your driving habits shake out, highway vs city?

The EPA's tests are outdated and do not measure hybrid fuel efficiency accurately.

http://www.wired.com/cars/energy/news/2004/05/63413

Most people will not see mileage on par with the window sticker under real-world driving conditions; Consumer Reports did a 'real-world' driving test, here's the results:

Civic Hybrid: 26mpg city (47mpg EPA estimate)
Prius: 35mpg city (60mpg EPA estimate)

They both do better in highway driving situations. So, if you do most of your driving on the highway, I'd still recommend a hybrid; if most of your driving is city (sounds like you bike everywhere?) it is probably not worth the extra cost, unless money is no object.

Unless, of course, you're willing to make some significant changes to the way you drive, in which case you can get some truly staggering mileage (100mpg+ out of the Prius and Insight, don't know about the Civic):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecodriving
http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2007/01/king_of_the_hypermilers.html

It's a real heartbreaker. I was in the same position you were a few years ago, and wound up going in a different direction entirely -- an E85-burning minivan. Sure, I only get 20mpg, but each 'g' is 15% gasoline, 85% ethanol. So I get something like 120 miles per gallon of gasoline.

YMMV :)

Bellydancingknitter said...

I would go with the Prius. Both my brothers own Prius-es and have had great experiences with them.