Thursday, 23rd of December, 2010
Thursday, 16th of December, 2010
Good for: Baseline compact car - the Corolla is nice and light by today's standards and handles well.
Compromises: Sluggish automatic transmission reminds me of non-electronic systems from 20 years ago - manual transmission is available though. Can't lock the car with the remote until all the doors are closed.
Overall reaction - None: The platform is good but there is nothing interesting in this lowly "small crown". Toyota requires you to pay more before giving you something nice.
Thursday, 9th of December, 2010
I was thinking about creating a Dashboard to estimate 2011 federal income taxes under different policy scenarios, but it appears I don't need to bother - MyTaxBurden.org has already taken care of it, and it's very enlightening.
Thursday, 2nd of December, 2010
Good for: Pretending to Hod Rod - Sitting in the HHR is an experience - the window sill is distinctly high, the roof slopes down to a small windshield, and the rear window just offers a tunnel view of what's going on behind you. You can have fun pretending you are driving a hot rod while enjoying standard GM features that other manufacturers don't have or charge extra for - rain-sensing wipers, XM radio, Onstar, power seats, one-touch 3-blink lane-change indicators, and the tire pressure/coolant temp/fuel/oil/trip computer. A manual transmission is available for a more accurate hot rod experience.
Compromises: Costumes are often not practical - big A and D pillars and a small windshield limit visibility, and the rear view mirror in the middle makes things worse. Fortunately it's a small car but it's not particularly comfortable as a result - pretending works best by yourself anyway. The rear hatch is for midgets - the flat door opens up but since there is no curvature I have to duck quite a bit to get under it. Drove both the 2.4 and 2.2L - 2.4 added nothing to the experience except worse fuel economy, but I suspect it is held back by renters not filling it with the premium gas it's designed for.
Overall reaction - Thumb up: Kudos to GM for letting good technology trickle down to cheap cars, and not just building appliances but vehicles that offer a unique transportation experience.