An As-Yet Unnamed Car

The Great Car Saga of 2010 is finally over. That muffled squeal of delight you heard today at about 3:15 was me picking up my new Ice Blue 2010 Hyundai Accent GS. After spending a few hours driving around town, I realize the car is both more and less like my old car than I'd been expecting. I'd assumed it would just be an updated, nicer version of my old car, with actual features replacing the blank spaces in Lil' Red's dashboard. And to a large degree, I was right. The controls are laid out almost identically to how they were in my old car, and everything works and behaves in a familiar way. There's just more there. What I wasn't prepared for is how different the car is to drive. I expected it to drive pretty much like my old car, only 9 years newer and smoother and rattle-free. But it drives like a completely different car. First off, the seat is about 2 inches higher, which is just enough to make a noticable difference in visibility on the road. I like that a lot. Speaking of visibility, it's different... better in some directions, worse in others. But the real difference is the stick. Lil' Red's stick was no great shakes new, and even worse nine years later. The new car has a much gentler, smoother gearbox, almost delicate. It's a very easy car to drive. The gear ratios, however, are going to take a while to get used to. They're designed for optimum fuel economy, and a little light on the dashboard tells me when it's time to shift. The car wants to shift a lot sooner than seems natural, and if I obey the little light I'm in 5th gear at 37 mph. I didn't use Lil' Red's 5th gear unless I was on an interstate. Part of the adjustment is that the engine is so much quieter. With the windows closed I can barely hear the engine to know when to shift, and using the light as a guide meant a smooth ride so I guess it knows best! Everything else worked pretty much exactly as it should. It's a lot smaller than my old car but the room in front is pretty much the same. So far? No complaints! And come on, isn't it the cutest car you've ever seen?

1 comment:

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