Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cruzing Down the Highway

I have owned two cars in my life: A 1998 Honda Civic and a 2003 Honda Accord. I learned how to drive in a (1992?) Honda Civic, and hubby currently drives a Toyota.  His previous cars were American models (an enormous Delta 88 in college followed by a Pontiac, another Oldsmobile, and another Pontiac). I hated all of them before the Toyota. I felt like Goldilocks driving Papa Bear's car. Seatbelt connections always blocked my blindspots, seats didn't adjust right, steering wheels and gas pedals felt like they were miles away from me. I'm 5'4"--pretty average for a woman, and my husband is not tall for a man, so the size problem has always annoyed me (who are the giants buying Pontiac's anyway?).  I decided that I'll just stick to Hondas. They are, like Momma Bear's porridge, just right.

So when I got rear ended last week and the rental company told me they had a Chevy Cruze for me to drive, I cringed.

I have to say, it's not all bad. For starters, the car isn't a horrendously stripped-down one like rental cars I've had in the past. It has a keyless entry remote and automatic door locks. There's nothing worse than climbing over seats to push down manual door locks, or worse--forgetting to do it at all.  The stereo is nicer than my 2003 one--if I owned an auxiliary cable for my phone,  I could actually use it to play my MP3s. And if I had time to figure out the radio to reprogram the all-talk and country stations that the car came with, I could try out XM radio for the first time.  And bluetooth--it has built-in hands free bluetooth. Not that I talk on the phone in the car, but I did figure out how to pair it to my phone just in case. And, best of all, I can adjust the seat and actually see over the dashboard.

I do thoroughly hate two of the Cruze's features: the rear seatbelts and the childproof lock mechanism.  My kids can't buckle their own seatbelts because the bottom buckles sit too low in the seat cushion. I can barely buckle their seatbelts because the bottom buckles sit too low in the seat cushion. And when you lock the backseat passengers out of rolling their windows up and down (as certain button-happy 5-year old boys are wont to do), you also lock them into the car. As in, it locks the back doors where they can't be opened from the inside just like a police car (a Cruze-er?). I have now left both of my kids stuck inside my car more than once as I walked into the house, completely forgetting that they are helpless to let themselves out. (Actually, my daughter correctly guessed that she could climb to the front seat and open the driver's door).

Also, I have never found a trunk latch button inside the car. I have one on the key, but it only works if the key is unplugged from the ignition. But then, I can seem to open the trunk by hand without the key. I'm glad I don't carry valuables in my car.

I'm looking forward to getting my Accord back, all shiny and fixed. Though I am making a wish list for my next car. It won't be a Cruze.  But I will remember to have the kids test out the seatbelts, just in case.

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