Crap parkers

You know what I really hate? Crap parkers. People that have a car, and that, according to them, needs to take up atleast 1.5 parking spots. Parking so badly that you – parked nicely in between the lines, in the bloody center – can’t get in or out of your car anymore, save by crawling in the car over the seats.

Lately we’ve been encountering more and more of these idiots, so we’re starting a new category: the crap parkers.

Here’s the first (ok, not _that_ crap, but it was crap enough that I couldn’t get in anymore the regular way) – car on the left:

Smog-alert!

Today the government of Flanders imposed another “Smog alert”, atleast until tomorrow evening.

Smog!

What is this, you might ask?When the amount of fine dust in the air exceeds the european limit (40 µg/m³), a speed limit of 90 kph is imposed on certain roads, to reduce this.

As posted by Wim in this post (in dutch), about the smog-alert end of 2007, this is actually quite moot – you drive less fast for 3-4 days in a year, but keep polluting the same all the other days. It’s also only mandatory in flanders, not in wallonia (go figure).

Also, completely accidental, the amount of speed-checks increases tenfold, and there’s the zero-tolerance.

I do agree that we need to do something about this problem – but not the short half-assed “solution” our government imposes (drive slower for 2 days) which only serves to increase their revenue through speeding tickets – but a real structural solution. Like:

  • higher taxes on the polluting cars
  • promoting the ecologically sound cards
  • making public transport usable for more people

I’m sure there are a lot more options, but these would be a start…

Insurance!

Ok,

After passing by some companies with car insurance, I can now say that I has decided! I’ve asked for the final papers to be made up so I can sign and get the plates.

What a difference in prices though – the one I’m signing for is in the lower end, the higher end of the quotes I got was 2.5x as expensive!!

Thank you for polluting

I’ve often wondered why people insist on letting their cars run when:

  • they’re in a shop, noone in the car
  • waiting in front of a bridge that’s up or a train crossing
  • standing still in a huge traffic jam
  • waiting in a closed (underground?) parking lot for someone/something

Don’t they get that they’re polluting like hell and wasting tons of gas? (And definitely in closed areas, it’s very unhealthy) And then people complain about gas prices, about pollution.. but doing _anything_ to help a bit? Naaah, too hard.

Meh, humanity. Doomed we are.

Prius prejudice

What’s with people and their prejudice against the Prius?

People first ask me what car I bought, then usually give me one of the following answers:

  • Ewwwwww (and all it’s variations)
  • Thats a car for old people!
  • Such an ugly thing!
  • Hybrid? So you have to plug it in at home?

and countless others.

You also have the other kind of answers:

  • Cool! Eco!
  • Wow, congratz

but those are still in the minority.

Please, people, get informed before formulating your opinions at me. Thank you, please run along now.

It’s decided! It’s ordered!

Today I went for another testdrive with the Toyota Prius, longer this time – 2 hours – to see how the car handled in all the usual traffic, and also to be able to judge the seats, the radio, the cruise control, the multi-info-display, everything.

My judgement: it drives great, the seats are very comfy, and it’s oh.. so.. quiet ;) The fuel economy for my trip of 130km was 4.7/100km, which isn’t bad at all – not having driven a Prius this long before, and not taking special measures to limit gas usage.

So, in the end, I finally comitted, and ordered a Red Toyota Prius!

Toyota Prius - RED!
Now I only have to be patient until somewhere in March 2008 for it to be made and delivered to me.. plenty of time to go look for good insurance ;)


Test-drive with Toyota Prius

Today I managed to get a testdrive with the Toyota Prius (thanks to Garage Holvoet in Dendermonde).

Remarks:

  • Very quiet. Amazingly quiet. Sheesh. Too quiet :p
  • Very smooth driving. You don’t notice the engine starting or stopping unless you really pay attention
  • Comfy seats
  • Distracting multi-info display. It’s too tempting to watch :p
  • The CVT is nice, but strange (normal since I’m used to driving stick-shift cars)
  • Annoying beeping when driving backwards – it’s a safety feature, since in this mode it’s only running on electric power
  • Slow-ish feeling acceleration – but this could have been me. I’m very careful with other people’s cars ;)
  • The absense of engine noise makes you drive too fast very easily – this is something to get used to

Overall, I’m very pleased with the car. It’s currently on my nr. 1 spot.

Cars – part 2

Continuing from my previous post, I’ve now visited a bunch of car manufacturers:
(all cars are diesel fueled except the hybrid)

BrandModelRemarks
ToyotaAuris Luna Pack
(1.4 / 2.0)
+ Great outfit for lowish price
+ 5 years warranty
– Too narrow for two persons
– Finishing not really that
– 1.4 too weak, 2.0 too expensive
Prius Sol+ Great outfit
+ Ecologically sound
+ Geeky
– Automatic instead of manual shift
– Different way of driving
– Expensive

HondaCivic Comfort 2.2+ Very nice car
+ Great interior/exterior design
– Too costly in taxes…
Civic Hybrid+ Low emissions
– Trunk is too small
– Hybrid isn’t that useful if you always are in high RPM’s
KiaCee’d EX / Executive
1.6 CRDi 115hp
+ 7 years warranty!
+ Great outfit for low price
– Seats too hard
– Cheapish finish
MitsubishiColt 1.5 DiD InviteThe car reminds me of my parent’s 14-year old Mitsubishi… sturdy, and that’s it. Luxury is non-existant.
VolkswagenGolf On-Tour 1.9 105hp+ Sturdy and well finish
+ Custom-tailored
– Expensive
– Only 2 years warranty

Right now I’m doubting between the Kia and the Volkswagen… If the seats in the Kia hadn’t made my back hurt for the remainder of a day (after a 20 min drive) it would win hands-down, but now, it doesn’t…

(edit on 07/11/11: added the Prius)

Cars, cars, cars

I’m in the market for a car.

Why, you might ask? Because my future work will no longer give me a car to use. That’s fine, the payrise covers it (and more ;) )

The questions are:

  • what car?
  • new or second hand?

Half of my friends tell me to buy a new car (even my dad told me to buy a new one – I drive accident free, so why not). The other half of my friends tell me to buy a second-hand one, since a new one is ‘throwing away money’. They have a point too.

And what car to buy… I was doubting for a while to go with a Toyota Auris, but the space when sitting with two is too little, it feels very cheaply built and the engine ain’t that (the 1.4 diesel, the 2.0 is too expensive). So I scrapped Toyota, and right now the Volkswagen Golf (On-Tour edition) with extras. Very nice car, not cheap (unfortunately).

Tomorrow I’ll go and have a look at the Kia Cee’d and the Honda Civic Hybrid.

So, what do you (dear reader) think?