Nice car that is also a hybrid
February 23, 2013
I've had this car for about a month, and so far I'm very pleased with it. It drives very well as a car, which is the main reason for buying a car. On top of that the hybrid system works well and allows me to be conscientious of my gas utilization.
I'm generally driving more conservatively now as I work to maximize the electric vehicle mode usage (no gas). It is a bit of a game, seeing how far I can go all electric and pushing to maximize the trip MPG. We'll see how long this lasts, but I'm sure it will impact my long-term driving habits. I can get 40+ MPG for individual trips and have approached 40 MPG for a tank of gas.
But when I am running late for something, I can ignore economy and drive aggressively. The car handles this very well. Of course MPG suffers, but at these times this isn't my primary concern. So the car adapts to what I need. Even during this style driving the MPG stays in the 34 MPG range, which is very good.
All of these MPG numbers have been during cold weather. I'm curious to see how it works in more moderate temperatures.
As for comfort, the car is very spacious. I'm 6'3" and work with several people taller than myself. But I've easily driven 5 adults to lunch in comfort. The trunk is a little small, so that could be a concern for some people. But it holds everything I have wanted to put in it so far.
The Sync system works well after a little tweaking. Initially my iPod with 12,000 songs choked it. But switching to a USB stick with just a few thousand songs got it going. I also needed to update the firmware to the latest to get it to be able to read texts from my paired Galaxy S III (hint: upgrade, un-pair, then re-pair to get it to work). But now I'm quite satisfied with how it works.
So far my only gripe is fairly minor. I went to replace a burned-out headlight and discovered that it really isn't consumer friendly -- you basically have to remove the bumper assembly to get to it. So I had a shop do it instead. Not a major thing, I guess I need to get used to higher-tech cars requiring specialists to do most maintenance.
It also handled itself pretty well during a heavy (8") snow. The factory tires did spin out on packed snow when I was partially caught in a snow bank, but I wouldn't expect much more from any sedan. I couldn't quite get it to "rock" out due to the traction control system kicking in. But eventually (with a little shoveling assistance) I got out.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with the car. It is a good practical hybrid, and a good car in general.