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June 27, 2010

Test drive your Yaris?

Pernstein, a D.C. friend, emailed me Monday to say he was in town for work, and would I like to have dinner?

Mr. A and I took him to one of our favorite restaurants (Urban Solace), and at the end of the night the conversation turned to his rental car.

"How are you liking it?" I asked.

"I think it's nice."

"Is the engine peppy enough?"

"Depends what you mean by peppy, but yes, it's fine. I kind of like it, actually."

"Really!? Because I've been toying with the idea of getting a Yaris, when my car dies, but the one drawback is that I think it's really slow to accelerate."

"It's not."

"What model did you rent, the sedan or the hatchback?"

"The sedan."

"So a hatchback would be even faster... could I try it out? After dinner?"

"You want to test drive my rental car?"


"Was that whole conversation just a build-up so you could ask me to try my car?"

"No, first I wanted your opinion, and then I wanted to try it, in that order," I answered.

"I'm kind of tired..." Pernstein, whose pseudonym is a mashup of his real name and Bernstein, as in the legendary Washington Post Watergate reporter, was in town for some important business. He was also on east coast time, which means that by the time we were done with dessert it was way past his bedtime. I didn't want to stand between him and his deadline, so I left it at that.

But on the way out of the restaurant, he changed his mind.

"You can take it for a spin."

And that's how I learned that

1) When you hit the gas, a Yaris sedan with two people in it has considerable pep, but the acceleration tapers off after about 7 seconds.

2) It did quite well on the highway, keeping up with traffic and even passing some slowpokes.

3) I could get used to this!

4) Or could I?

Question, gentle reader: Do you drive, or have you ever driven, a Yaris? Especially a hatchback? What's your take? Thanks!
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