So here I am, three months into owning this rolling work of art named for Gaia, the Greek goddess of the earth. The transition from a combustion to a hybrid hasn’t been too bad despite my queasiness with technology. I still don’t know what three-quarters of the features do. As long as I have my air conditioning and can listen to WFMT (classical) or WDCB (jazz, folk, and blues), I don’t care. The really important things for me include Oakley having a comfortable back seat to stretch out in like a rock star in a limo and the features that give me feedback on energy efficiency. When the engine goes off, a screen comes up on the dashboard to give the driver information such as how many miles they’ve driven, gas milage, and their EcoScore for the trip, or how well they’ve driven on a 1-100 scale. I usually get 70 to 75. Most of the subtracted points have to do with air conditioning settings and braking versus acceleration. Which is all well and good, but it’s a little hard to drive smoothly in small towns replete with stop signs.
The biggest adjustments have been with the size ( driving a midsize car after driving the compact GTI and the Corolla for years feels at times like I’m driving an RV) and the sensors that let the driver know when there’s a risk of bumping into something. The latter comes in handy when I take Oakley to day care. There’s a hedge delineating the border between the parking area and the neighbor’s yard, making it hard to see if anyone’s coming. Sensors in the rear emit a pleasant mid-range beep and give the driver a picture of what’s behind them as they back up and take the pitch up a few notches if something’s coming. That’s handy.
What gets a little nerve-racking is pulling into the garage. The two-car side is inhabited by Hubby’s woodworking equipment. The one-car side is a bit on the tight side, and Gaia lets me know about it in no uncertain terms. “Beep.”
Pull a millimeter to the right to avoid the door frame. Aim directly ahead and….
“No, I won’t let you hit the shelves.”
Brake, push the park button. “I told you I wouldn’t hit anything. Geez, do we have to go through this every time?”
I swear she took points off the EcoScore in retaliation.