Tag Archives: slow

Why the Prius is so slow

Excessive acceleration detected!

Excessive acceleration detected!

My coworker received a Toyota Prius for a rental car while his car was in the shop. We both agreed that the Prius is pretty boring, but it was entertaining because we both knew that it was a mind-numbingly boring little car and we decided to see how dismal it was. The gas engine makes 98 horsepower alone and 135 horsepower with the help of the electric motor.

We started out in electric mode and then romped on the gas to see what it would do. Once we hit 30 MPH, the computer displayed the message “EV Mode Deactivated, Excessive Acceleration.” The message means the electric motor is disabled and the gas engine is working full-time. So yeah, it’s a 3000 pound car being accelerated by a 98 HP/105 ft-lb engine. For reference, my worn ’92 Volvo weighs 3200 pounds and has a 4-cylinder engine that makes 114 HP/136 ft-lbs (when new) and the Volvo feels faster. Obviously, the Prius is not a race car, but when the only thing it has going for it is 51 MPG, it’s kind of a sad little car. Yes, comfort, carrying capacity, driving dynamics, and material quality all suck on this little car.

I’m also certain that given the whole unintended acceleration debacle, the demographic who buy the Prius are going to panic when the “Excessive Acceleration” message is displayed causing them to drive slower. The only excitement that it has going for it is the feeling of whether or not you’re going to be pancaked by a semi while merging onto the freeway. It’s a great for the city where you don’t have to go very fast, but otherwise it’s a dreadful little car.

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Leave a gap!

I’ve been thinking it would be so beneficial if people left a gap to let on-coming traffic onto the freeway during rush hour. It’s not like anyone is going anywhere and with how dense traffic is, it certainly doesn’t hurt. But that would require people to play nice and when you’re in a car, that ain’t kosher. With the gap between cars, traffic could mesh together like the teeth on gears and it would be a very fluid motion. This would force people to get up to traffic speed on approach. I swear some people cannot understand that you do not come to a stop at the end of an on-ramp. If you can’t get up to the 25 MPH crawl on the freeway during rush hour, then GTFO. The exit lane that you’re on is pretty long if you’re crawling at 25 MPH and if you just cruise it, you’ll be able to slip in at some point. That is where the gap would come in handy. But, alas, this ideal situation is just a pipe dream that I can lust about while sitting on the mobile parking lot known as the rush hour freeway.


Green lights are a finite resource

I don’t understand why traffic takes off so slowly when the light turns green. The light stays green for a short amount of time, get your butts through the intersection should be your first priority! It ticks me off that people just mozy through as if it’ll stay green forever. What they need is a countdown timer to show how short the light cycle is. Sure we all want to be cautious, but if you’re paying attention, there is a 1 to 2 second overlap of the red lights to ensure the intersection is clear before proceeding. If someone decides to run the red light, well tough luck. They weren’t going to stop anyways. Everyone gogogogogogo!!!


Roundabouts

Is the British roundabout conquering the US?

So drivers in the US can’t get used to roundabouts because roundabouts require them to think. Sounds about right. There is a major intersection that I have to deal with every day to and from work. Traffic is always backed up at this intersection. I’ve often wondered if it would be better if this intersection was changed to a roundabout. Then I realized if people can’t figure out how to merge onto the freeway smoothly then how the hell are they going to handle a roundabout. It’s too bad because I love roundabouts given that a highway junction back home was converted from a traffic light to a roundabout almost a decade ago and the congestion was dramatically reduced afterwards.

The article made an interesting point about the difference between a traffic circle and a roundabout. In a traffic circle, the traffic going into the circle has the right-of-way and in a roundabout the traffic already in the circle has the right-of-way. I don’t understand why traffic going into the circle would ever have the right of way, but I can see why that method is unpopular. I guess that’s why roundabout are not too commonplace in the US since most traffic circles are in the northeast and there are more people in the northeast to sway the bias. Again, it’s too bad because I think roundabouts are genius traffic controllers (unless we’re taking about a Turbo Roundabout which everyone back home hates and I can’t blame them because it’s such a fustercluck).


Unintended Lunging

Ford Freestyle SUV Is Probed by U.S. Over Unintended ‘Lunging’

There is a recall of the Ford Freestyle for a defect where it will move 10 feet if the driver doesn’t have their foot on the gas or the brake pedal. Keeping your foot on the brake pedal can prevent this from happening. Really? Have people gotten so stupid that they don’t realize what the fat, horizontal pedal on the left does?! Come on, of course the car’s going to move without a foot on the brake; cars have been doing that since they were invented! Even more so with the advent of the automatic transmission.

The term for where a car will move forward by itself at idle is called “creeping”, and it’s a byproduct of having an automatic transmission. In fact, DSGs and CVTs are not naturally designed to creep at idle. Car makers include additional programming to have artificial creep because people are put off by the car not moving forward at idle like a normal automatic! So they want a car to act like a normal car, but don’t like that it’s moving by itself? Make up your minds people!


Get in the slow lane!

Language warning: this guy’s commentary is highly annoying. 😛 Oh man, someone needs to buy that cop a donut and coffee. He’s winning.