Test Drive

{a cute little liftback Yaris}

This time last year my efforts were focused on buying a “new” car. New, used, I didn’t know/care; I just knew the car I had been driving since the day I learned to drive had gone caput! I needed something that was small (for city parking), good on gas (soaring prices), reliable (my car had just died), affordable (a sweet ride was definitely not my #1 priority), and then I just thought hatchbacks were cute. I quickly got sucked into the idea of the new car with clever urban advertising used by both the Toyota Yaris and Scion. Technology truly blows me away sometimes, and such was the case with the “Yaris Experience,” an online test-drive where you can “drive” your new car in the streets of Miami, Boston, Austin, Seattle or LA (Venice Beach or hipster Silverlake), and discover hotspots along your video tour. Then from the Scion website, you can visit the “Urban Zoo,” a surreal world of animal meets city scene (still not sure exactly what it is or what it has to do with the car, but it’s kind of fun).

But alas, all this clever advertising aimed at people like me just slipped through the cracks. I am celebrating one year now of living happy and free without the hassles of a car. With great programs like FlexCar in Baltimore, ZipCar in DC and Philly Car Share, these seem like much better options if I ever feel so inclined for an afternoon drive.


  • On September 8th and 9th you can come down to the American Visionary Art Museum (www.avam.org)and test drive a Smart (smART?) car—kind of fun for those of us who never get to drive and this is the smallest car of them all!

  • I joined ZipCar here in DC a month or two ago and it really is a great program. They even pay for gas and insurance. Nice to know you have that option when public transportation doesn’t go where you need to go. Viva pedestrian!

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