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Old 31st May 2013, 22:09   #2701
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Some of my friends tell me that they have seen Prius achieve 50 mpg on freeways - at speeds of 55-60 mph. So it may not be impossible to achieve but it can be done.
That's not practical. You cannot drive at 55-60 in most freeways without being a traffic hazard! When I say highway mpg I mean driving 70 75 mph. The TDI's definitely can do 45 mpg at 70 mph. I owned a Jetta TDI 2 years back. But they don't do as well with city mpg where a hybrid really shines.

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Old 31st May 2013, 22:39   #2702
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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it pisses me off just like truck drivers do who overtakes other trailers at 2 mph faster.
Interesting, I found truckies to be the best here (among the other countries that I have been). They immediately move over to the right after overtaking, intermittenly moves over to left lane during merges and then move right back/leaves lot of gap.

Incidentally, i had a chance to ride shotgun in a Freightliner truck yesterday and my respect increased.
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Old 31st May 2013, 22:52   #2703
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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That statement needs a modification. If you need a lof of fuel efficiency AND you mostly drive in city (that too a large one), then Prius. Anything above 15mph, you are running on gas. And if you are doing mostly highway miles, then the electric motor is not really doing much and all your extra cash that you plonked into the car is just sitting shut off.
One point missed on the Prius is regerative braking. Each time when the pruis brakes, enegy is not lost. Energy is saved and sent to a battery.

That battery helps in accelarating.


On a highway ( I have a 50 mile commute one way in peak hours), there is a lot of time braking for truckers and accelarating once they move over. I believe the regereative braking saves fuel in those situations in a higway drive.
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Old 31st May 2013, 23:20   #2704
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Highway miles se yaad aya, Prius is the ONLY car in USA market that i hate with gusto. Especially when i encounter them in the passing lane (extreme left) going at 60 mph when the speed limit says 70mph on I-5 or any other freeways.
Arre baba probably they are unable to see your 'vette in their rear view mirror thanks to that weird boxy upturned bum (no I am not talking about the driver!!) And probably the noise that a Prius makes at anything above 70mph prevents the driver from hearing anything else either.
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Old 1st June 2013, 00:14   #2705
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Prius is the ONLY car in USA market that i hate with gusto.
No too fond of the Prius either but have you ever driven a Chevy (Geo) Metro?

They would rock under high winds & the tractor-trailers would threaten to swallow them up like a motorcycle on the freeway.

I remember, while in grad school they were the only option the rental companies would offer (that was affordable), in a special "Economy" segment which, I'm sure existed only for broke international students.

Getting an upgrade to a Compact sedan like the Dodge Neon was a luxury, and in a Dodge Intrepid (which was a pretty decent car) or a Ford Taurus, we were Kings.

The PT Cruiser is another story.

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Old 1st June 2013, 00:19   #2706
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Arre baba probably they are unable to see your 'vette in their rear view mirror thanks to that weird boxy upturned bum (no I am not talking about the driver!!) And probably the noise that a Prius makes at anything above 70mph prevents the driver from hearing anything else either.
. But this is while driving other cars too. I have seen the driver see me in ORVM approaching in a G35. Still they won't move over. So i have to go around them and go into the passing lane. Then, if other cars are coming behind me then they will get better sense of that and then move over. I had this happen many times on my recent trip of 2200 miles.

I-15 has 75mph speed limit, still i found many cars doing 65mph in the passing lane. It gets tiring when one has to brake for these people who doesn't have a basic driving etiquette.

This is more of a rant for slow cars but i have observed that majority of these is Prius. If somebody ever gave me a Prius, i would take it, sell it and buy another one. Apart from that, the damage it does to environment is also a lot than what is mentioned in media.

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Interesting, I found truckies to be the best here (among the other countries that I have been). They immediately move over to the right after overtaking, intermittenly moves over to left lane during merges and then move right back/leaves lot of gap.

Incidentally, i had a chance to ride shotgun in a Freightliner truck yesterday and my respect increased.
For most part, they are awesome. But on my recent 2200 mile drive, i came across many many truckies that pulled out just when i am about to pass them at higher speeds.

My point is, they overtake at much lesser speed thereby causing us to brake, waste time and what not. At many times, they try to do 2-3 trucks at a time. All this at 57 mph while the others are doing 55 mph. Think how frustrating it is when you are doing 70-75mph and then you have to brake to get to 55 mph when you could have easily passed them if they waited 2 seconds more. But nope, they have to pull out as soon as they see me in mirror. Its like they are doing it on purpose.

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That's not practical. You cannot drive at 55-60 in most freeways without being a traffic hazard! When I say highway mpg I mean driving 70 75 mph. The TDI's definitely can do 45 mpg at 70 mph. I owned a Jetta TDI 2 years back. But they don't do as well with city mpg where a hybrid really shines.
Trust me, come to CA and you will see many like those. And yes, most of them are beaten cars/suvs and primarily Prius. Sometimes i wish i report them to 911 for causing traffic jam and being a hazard for other cars.

I am sure TDi's easily do 40-45 mpg at 70-75 mph. But they do have more power, bigger and better in every way than a Prius or any other hybrid. Also the cost difference is justifiable.

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No too fond of the Prius either but have you ever driven a Chevy (Geo) Metro?

The PT Cruiser is another story.
I have driven the PT Cruiser but not Geo. PT is another disaster car that won't go above 80 mph. Just like Prius, not a fan of those. I don't understand how it was called 2001 car of the year by Motor Trend.

Most Geo drivers are on the last lanes so they don't bother me. Whenever i see one on road, i feel bad for the driver as it reminds me of maruti 800 and how bad it is built if it ever gets into a crash.

Last edited by chevelle : 1st June 2013 at 00:29.
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Old 1st June 2013, 00:40   #2707
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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. But this is while driving other cars too. I have seen the driver see me in ORVM approaching in a G35. Still they won't move over. So i have to go around them and go into the passing lane. Then, if other cars are coming behind me then they will get better sense of that and then move over. I had this happen many times on my recent trip of 2200 miles.
Yes it sucks when that happens. You keep waiting for the car in front of you to move but everyone else keeps passing you and the car in front of you from the right side. I have found a workaround of sorts to this though. Slow down further so that the gap increases between you and the idiot in front of you. Once you think the gap is enough, accelerate in your lane to gain enough speed to overtake as well as to merge safely into the right lane.

This will work only for the occasional passing lane hogger though.
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Old 1st June 2013, 01:36   #2708
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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..that pulled out just when i am about to pass them at higher speeds.
.
Agreed, was talking about this in Office, and this seems to be one of the prime reasons for road rage here. (The harassed driver aggressively cutting off the lane hogger and then voila.)

Though I havent really taken my truck on any long drives, whatever short stint on motorways have always resulted in folks pulling to the right lane immediately and letting me pass. Nobody likes to see a rickety old truck barelling down their rear view mirror I guess.
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Old 1st June 2013, 16:11   #2709
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Though I havent really taken my truck on any long drives, whatever short stint on motorways have always resulted in folks pulling to the right lane immediately and letting me pass. Nobody likes to see a rickety old truck barelling down their rear view mirror I guess.

Very true. I recently had a GMC Acadia on rent. Usually my travels involve many minutes of frustration stuck behind prius and civic and the like who believe 65 mph(speed limit), is the maximum anyone should be driving at. But the day I had the Acadia, magically people pulled off the left lane without hesitation. I think the lights on big vehicles bother people. Just the height of the light is irritating and off putting. A sedan never does that to left lane hoggers.
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Old 2nd June 2013, 19:01   #2710
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
All the car buying questions can now be referred to this flowchart, from Jalopnik
There are a few cars missing, like Prius, Charger and the most hotselling Camry/Accord
Attachment 1090831
Inaccurate.

This is still the correct flowchart:



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Old 3rd June 2013, 18:32   #2711
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Very true. I recently had a GMC Acadia on rent. Usually my travels involve many minutes of frustration stuck behind prius and civic and the like who believe 65 mph(speed limit), is the maximum anyone should be driving at. But the day I had the Acadia, magically people pulled off the left lane without hesitation. I think the lights on big vehicles bother people. Just the height of the light is irritating and off putting. A sedan never does that to left lane hoggers.
Hmmmm.. I am yet to drive a mid to full size SUV on the highways here. But between Ford Focus and Dodge Charger, more people make way for the Charger. Some actually even seem to slow down.

I guess if i get the front plasti dipped and fix a bull bar too, that should take care of the remaining few who dont move

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Inaccurate.

This is still the correct flowchart:

LOL. Dont know whether correct or not, it is definitely more funny.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 19:07   #2712
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

On the subject of left-lane-hoggers, this happened to me on the I-75 between Knoxville and Chattanooga.

Right lane fully occupied with RVs and trucks. In front of me is a left-lane hogger doing 65mph. Behind me is a slightly battered pickup with Texas plates. Me in a rental Focus.
After a few attempts at getting the lane hogger out of the way with flashing headlights, I gave up, let the pickup go in front of me.
Almost like magic, Mr. left-lane-hogger is in the right lane and the left lane started moving at 75mph!
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Old 3rd June 2013, 19:37   #2713
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

After a long dilema and discussions, finally bought the Lexus IS250 RWD. I had a Beemr 3 series sport edition in contention but cost was the final decider. It was about 5k USD more than the Lex.

Had long test drives on both on three occasions and quite liked the way Lex pulled. am sure its elder cousin the mighty 350 and the ISF would be even more fun, but in those categories we've better options around.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 21:15   #2714
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A Short Review of 2013 Chevrolet Impala LT

I had Impala as rental during the memorial weekend. I drove 2240 miles so i thought, i should be able to pen down a few thoughts on how i feel about the $25k sedan.

- This one is the older version of impala. Looks are nothing special. I don't like it. I only had this option for full size car that was suppose to be comfortable for four.

- The interior is meh! Fake wood looks bad on the dashboard. The plastics are no good too. I noticed a few cruze quality parts in there. The cabin design is too archaic.

- The good thing is, there is lots of space at front and back. Good enough for 6 footers. The bad thing is, there is no pass through to access cabin space from the back. This we didn't like at all. Guess we are spoiled by G35 offering this feature.

- The seats are big and don't hold you. Its like a sofa just not good enough to be very comfortable. It took me a long long time to find a perfect driving position. But once i found it, it was good enough for 2-3 hours non-stop driving.

- There is very less space for bottles and stuff. I expected a lot of them considering this is full size and is aim at being comfortable sedan.

- Special mention must be made of cargo space. Man! It is big. Very spacious and easily handled 4-5 bags and stuff. Loved it.

- Now on to the driving experience. Since i was coming of G35 and camry - The closest sedans that i have driven many miles, my thoughts will be in comparison to this two. So please pardon me if i may not sound so good.

- Power - The revs build up fast but its not a scorcher. The car is heavy so it takes its sweet time to get up to speed. But once its there, it is easy to maintain. You do have to plan the overtakes on single lane highways but its not too bad.

- Suspension - Very soft. It is bad at the back. This is where it felt like a boat. Just like camry. G35 seems eons ahead even though it is 8 years old. Because of soft suspension, it is not a corner carver too. I am not too technical about this but when i took the curves at 60-70mph, it felt like all the weight is putting it down and thereby restricted me from doing high speed corner carving. Handling i would say it not good at all. If you are looking for a little bit of handling, look elsewhere.

- I have to repeat this, the body roll and soft suspension is no good. It caused lots of back seat discomfort. Ladies at the back complained that it kept them awake as there is lots of jumping and dancing on freeways. The ride quality though is just find when in city.

- The tires were good. They never squealed even when pushing it to the limit. The cabin did remain silent with no road or wind noise coming in. This i liked a lot and is many times better than G35.

- I averaged 24 mpg during the trip. Not bad considering full load and speeds i did ( Sorry, cannot mention how much speeds i did ). I don't know if this average is good or bad.

- The questions is, if i have $25k to spend and need a full size car, will i get this impala? The answer is - NO! Not my kinda car. I probably would consider 300, Taurus or Maxima as they are much much better in every regards. I hope 2014 Impala is better in every way. Else it will be a disaster.

Last edited by chevelle : 3rd June 2013 at 21:44.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 21:48   #2715
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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A Short Review of 2013 Chevrolet Impala LT

This is where it felt like a boat.

would consider 300, Taurus or Maxima as they have much much better in every regards.
LOL I so agree with you that the Impala feels like a boat. Though its a very spacious car, I hated the way it waggles while changing lanes or taking turns, exactly like sitting in a boat on a choppy sea!

I drove '13 Maxima from San Jose to LA, thru Pacific Coast and CA 17 to Santa Cruz. Totally loved the way it handled and the manual tranny was super helpful on those curves.
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