Yes, I’m going to blather on about cars. Yes, they are going to be Toyota cars. But don’t leave yet. I promise to make it fun.
You see, I had the chance to visit the Toyota USA Headquarters in Torrance, California last week (ah, yes, now you understand why I had a lovely California pictorial yesterday).
While I was there, my friend Erin tweeted me and asked me if I was having so much fun. Yes, California is bee-YOO-ti-ful. And yes, I had a few nice dinners out. But basically, what I told her was that I was in Toyota School.
See? We were sitting at tables and taking notes. It was totally like school, except we didn’t have to raise our hands to go to the bathroom.
I sat in the back row so I wouldn’t get easily distracted by shiny objects. Like extra polished and waxed classic cars that might have been sitting right next to me. I might have fallen in love with the 1959 Toyopet. I think Toyota should bring this baby back, don’t you?
I did actually listen and take notes though. We learned about the amazing philanthropical things Toyota is doing in this country. We learned about the entire product development process (in 12 easy steps!). We got to give our input on the whole car shopping and car buying experience as women. But the part I was really waiting for came at lunch.
No, I don’t mean a turkey sub.
WE GOT TO TEST DRIVE ALMOST THE ENTIRE LINE-UP!
From 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, we took a lunch/test drive break. While many ladies grabbed their box lunches, I headed straight outside to get in as many test drives as I could.
Here’s how it played out:
I went outside and glanced up and down at the selection of vehicles they provided for us to test drive.
I hurriedly walked around each one. I opened them up and sat inside. I took note of the special features and then I made my mental list of which cars to drive.
But that was all thrown out the window when someone from Toyota PR drive up in this:
It wasn’t on our official lineup but I just had to try it. It’s the teeny tiny Scion iQ and I loved it. It was solid and meaty (as evidenced by the wide wheel base). And it was a zippy little car. But unfortunately, not quite right for my family. So I moved on.
My next car was the Prius V (as shown by my fellow TWIN, the lovely Maricris). For this test drive, I chose to take a product specialist with me. I knew I’d need a little help driving a hybrid car for the first time. I wanted to love it but I’m sad to say I didn’t. The ride itself was fine but I guess I’m used zippier acceleration. I could probably get used to it (and the odd sound you hear when you brake as the energy from the stopping vehicle is transferred to the electric battery) but I’m not sure I’m ready to be a Prius girl.
Then I went from one extreme to another. I drove the Toyota Sequoia. Not that’s a car that commands the road. It was comfortable. It was big. It was fun to drive. And I even liked the little child mirror they had for the driver.
But let’s be honest. It’s a gas guzzler. While I may not be a Prius girl yet, I still am looking to put a dent in my gas budget (and maybe my carbon footprint).
I drove the Toyota Sienna hoping that maybe I could be down with the Swagger Wagon. It was a soft and cushy ride. I think I’ve determined that I like sportier feel. I will say that I did appreciate the space in between the front seats. For whatever purse/bag/device I’m carrying.
Then, I met my vehicle.
As a previous owner of a Nissan Murano (and one who wistfully said goodbye to it 2 years ago), the Toyota Venza made me feel like I was home. I loved the ride and the style.
But my two favorite things came from cars I didn’t drive…
This was an interior shot from a straight up Prius. I hate to sound like a girl but look at that purse space in there!
And finally, there was a Prius C. It’s the new compact version that is much cheaper and gets ridiculous gas mileage (up to 53 mpg). Too small for me but look at the color!
And that concludes my dream test drive. I doubt I’ll ever have a chance to run from car to car with the keys in them and push a button (yes, it’s a push start) and go! I’m only sorry I couldn’t drive them all. But I did have that turkey sub calling my name.
Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota.