My new ride – Toyota Prius 2012 Facelift

I was hunting for a long time, unknown of what car to get after the last few years of flip-flopping between different cars. From my Proton Waja (1 year), I got a Toyota Fortuner (2 years), then a Honda Accord (1 year) to a Honda City (2 years) then car-less for about 6 months.

I needed to own a car again. From owning a giant road bully/SUV/MPV/truck (I feel indestructible in that thing) to a Japanese sedan (which made me look like I was some biatch driving my dad /sugar-daddy’s car) to a common Japanese city car that’s all over the road (I wasn’t really feeling it), I needed to get one that I really like and enjoy again.

There is much talk about going selfish (convertible, anyone?). I even contemplated saying goodbye to Japanese cars and going European. Hubby was pushing so hard to go German (VW) and I was leaning towards French (Peugeot). After years of Hubby constantly “bullying” me into buying a car that HE likes, I decided I need to make a decision on my own this time.

Lots of talk about hybrid cars these days. It never crossed my mind. I thought it would be hypocritical for me to drive a statement car about how much I care for the environment, when I am a smoker. 🙁

We went test driving the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius C. I like the Honda Insight actually. Nothing I don’t like about Honda cars – I’ve owned 2. I like the Start/Stop technology of their car.

The Toyota Prius C however, was too small for a kiasu Malaysian like me. When I’ve owned giant Fortuners before, driving a tithcy car like that just doesn’t seem right. Also, all the showrooms seem to be stocking up on that horrible orange coloured version on display. Put me off completely.

After test drives, we settled for the Toyota Prius 2012 facelift, luxury model with full leather seats and all the frills. White colour, which I knew I wanted, and (apparently) the same colour every other hybrid drivers picked.

So, at the end of March, after only one month of wait (I have the best Toyota salesperson in the world), I went to the Toyota showroom to collect my car.

Tada…..

Picture so corny – like I won it in some contest, no?

Pui, my Toyota sales-lady, like to take pictures of her customers collecting their car for the first time. The Toyota showroom in SS19 even have a wall dedicated to such pictures. I still have the picture of me collecting my Fortuner from year ago.

After tearing out all the plastic covers on the car, having a few sniffs of the “new car smell”, I looked around to admire my new Toyota Prius 2012 facelift model summore.

I don’t drive much. My workplace is only 5 minutes from where I live. I have few external business meetings. I go home to see my mom in PJ once a week. Weekend driving is with Hubby’s car, as the family car. With the little city driving that I do, this car is more than serve my needs.

It’s super fuel economical. As a true hybrid car, it runs on both petrol and battery. The petrol tank feeds energy into the battery pack when you drive. You can choose to run on several modes:-

  • Normal mode – no special dials, no adjustments. Just drive like normal.
  • “Eco” mode – for everyday city driving, saves fuel and power. You just lose a bit of acceleration power.
  • “EV” (Electric) mode – running fully on battery. <<– I haven’t tried this yet.

It’s a huge PLUS that the car’s cockpit (aka dashboard) looks like some space ship control deck. Even Hubby is jealous. *smirk* And the car engine is super quiet, too.

Over the last month driving it, I have been tweeting my love for the car. If you’ve been following me on Twitter here, you’d read about me gushing about my new ride.

Here’s my Twitter pic of the high tech cockpit / dashboard when I hit almost 350km range with half a tank of petrol left.

Then again, another Twitter update when I hit over 511km with quarter tank of petrol left.

And earlier today, after a month of driving my new ride, I finally hit over 600km and had to refill my petrol tank again.

I filled it with RON 95 at RM70 for a full tank (it was blinking empty already) and I was again amazed that it wasn’t like RM150 full tank, like Hubby’s 5 series. 😛

I am indeed very happy with the car. A month in, and I’m still excited about showing it off to some friends and families. The “new car smell” is still there (strictly no smoking in my car still) and I’ve only begun to get used to the Push start button (no keys), Smart Entry (I never had to take out my car keys from my handbag), leg brake (like Mercedes) and weird gear shifts.

Yes, weird gear shifts. The knob in the shape of a leaf. For a hybrid, environmentally friendly car, I thought that was pretty cool. The gear shifts are not in a straight line from Park to Reverse to Neutral to Drive and to low gears. It has weird Daytona-arcade machine-like positions on Drive, Reverse, Neutral and B for Brake for low gears. Instead of a Park shift, it’s a Park button instead. It makes me laugh many times when car jockey’s try to figure it out. Hehe.

Soon, I will be heading to get Shine n Shield Teflon coating on my car paint. The white paint can get dirty quite easily and I want to maintain that gorgeous pearl white paint as immaculate as possible. Not a car blogger, but I might blog about that when I get it done.

Next time, if and when you see me – ask me about my car. I assure you I will beam and tell you how happy I am with it. Yes, I am promoting the Toyota Prius like mad, and no – I don’t work for Toyota. 😀

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