But before I get into this, a moment of silence for today’s casualties:
I am now absolutely, 100% sold on this car. Oh my god it’s so cute. It handles beautifully, and the visibility is better than the Yaris sedan–that’s as I expected, but you never really know until you try.
So how did I end up driving this beautiful machine in the middle of the afternoon?
My cell phone rang as I was working to format the five o’clock stories for the website. I hit “Ignore”, and whoever it was left voicemail. Five minutes later, the phone rang again.
It was a Georgia number, but no one in my address book. But apparently it was urgent, so I answered it.
“Hi, this is Lorenzo with Toyota of Augusta.”
He gave me the amazing news: a red Yaris liftback had just been delivered.
“Oh, man!” I said, staring at the clock. “Do you think it’ll still be there in two hours?”
He laughed in that way that says yeah, whatever and I spoke again. “Okay, I’m going to see if I can come down there right now.”
I went to my boss’s office during weather. “Hi. I have a completely selfish request that you can absolutely say no to.”
“Wow. What is it?”
“Well, there’s this car I want to buy, and it’s kind of rare because it’s just now coming out–“
My boss said something like “cut to the chase”, except it wasn’t in a mean way, it was in a “you’re babbling, but I’ll hear you out if you can wrap it up” way. “So what’s the request?”
“I want to go see this car right now.”
“Go,” she said immediately.
“Yeah! Go! And–what kind of car is this?”
I told her briefly that it is the cutest hatchback in the whole wide world, then, smiling fit to burst, I sprinted out of her office. “Thank you!”
The trip didn’t take long–I-20 to Washington Road–and then I was pulling up the long driveway. I saw it immediately, sitting out in front of the building next to a white Yaris sedan.
“It’s beautiful,” I breathed, and tried to control my impatience as I pulled to the right and searched for a parking space. Then I was almost jogging back to where the liftback sat, egglike, waiting for me.
I circled it twice. “It’s so cute!”
Lorenzo appeared. “Let me pull it out. Because you want to drive it, right?”
He eased the tiny car off the sidewalk and into the parking lot, then ushered me in.
The layout inside was very similar to that of the sedan:
My left pointer fingernail bent and split down the middle as I tugged the door shut, but I didn’t particularly care.
I headed out of the dealership and down to Fury’s Ferry Road, hanging a right and then right again onto River Watch. The steering was very tight, and the car handled extremely well. The acceleration wasn’t very dramatic, which is good–I don’t want a car that makes me want to drive fast.
We got stuck behind a train on River Watch, so I took the opportunity to check out all the bells and whistles on the dash. The car didn’t have power anything, not even power side mirrors, but it did have reading lights as well as a basic interior light. The dash controls were the same as those of the sedan, and I must say the air conditioning felt very good on my sandaled feet.
Lorenzo showed me the auxiliary jack where I could plug in an mp3 player. I’m not entirely sure how that works–it looks like a standard audio jack, so I guess I will just need a connection cord, which I’ll plug into the headphones jack on the cheapo GPX I got from woot.com.
All during the drive I couldn’t stop talking about how awesome the car was, and when I happened to see the front end reflected in the paint job of a Volkswagen, I squealed, “Wow, it’s so cute!” When we got back to the dealership, I took pictures.
Then I shook Lorenzo’s hand. “Thank you so much for calling me! I’m going to come back and buy one from you,” I told him. I think he was disappointed that I didn’t want to buy that one, but I will remember his name, and I will order my Yaris through him. After all, of all the guys I’ve spoken with at Toyota of Augusta, he’s the only one who called me about the liftback (and he called twice, even).
Yaris, I think I love you.