It has been quite a while since my family of 5 went for a drive just to enjoy our time together in a car, to have a talk, to check out the changes in the creation around us ... from the comfort of our car.

Until yesterday, our cars were tools to get us from here to there. Yesterday, the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid was the destination. We enjoyed the ride.

What Rush Hour Traffic?

I have been stuck in rush hour traffic around the country. Silicon Valley gridlock is not as bad as other places. Sitting on the highway in the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, I am left wondering "What traffic?".

We get real 'weather' about once a year for not longer than 3-4 days in Sunnyvale, heart of Silicon Valley.

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El Niño rains. Californians bless their hearts, get so afraid they tie down their plastic lawn chairs to keep them from blowing away.

"Honey! Will you bring in the gnomes from out front of the house?"

My business partner canceled on me at the last minute this morning because of the rain. I was almost at our meeting destination.

I was enjoying the ride. The 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid was the safest, smartest, yet not slickest car I could be driving at the time.

Evaluating the Toyota Avalon Hybrid

In reverse order:

  • Not slickest: The car refused to hydroplane on me. I tried. The car held its ground. Californians think rain is snow. It's not. I grew up in the Midwest. Snow is snow. Rain is just wet.
  • Safest: The car told me and did things without me asking. One example: The rearview mirrors. Whenever another car ventured into my blind spot, the mirrors would tell me. "Really? Who needs those little yellow lights?" Within a week I began to rely on them. Especially at night, and in the rain. Those same mirrors would automatically shift angles when I was in reverse. How cool is that? That's just the mirrors.
  • Smartest: From the driver's seat there is a LOT I could do. Therein lies my praise and criticism. I tried to count the number of buttons I could touch, turn, push, pull, spin, twiddle, flip and flop from where I was sitting in the driver's seat. I did this while in rush hour traffic. See above. There are a LOT of buttons. I counted 80+.  And some of those buttons led to more options depending on where they were set. This morning I woke up to the change to Daylight Savings Time. There were buttons waiting for me. Two buttons that I would use only twice a year, unless I am driving back and forth across time zones or living in Arizona.

Having this many options reminds me of how browsers have changed.

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(I live in Silicon Valley. This is the kind of thing I think). Browsers went from dumb simple, to ultra-complicated, then back to simple. Perhaps Toyota might consider how to simplify the dashboard.

Please see the image for the Standard Equipment.   

Sticker Price

The sticker price on the car I drove: $43,285

Fuel Economy: 40mpg

Fuel Savings over 5 years = $3,500

Final Thoughts

"Honey! It's raining. Get your mom and dad. I'll get the baby. Let's go for a drive." #Buzz