Saturday, January 31, 2015

Shiny car is shiny

Today's order of business : Get the car serviced.

It's hard to believe I've had it a year now. 2014 flew by in a blur. Shall we have another pic ? I think putting in the occasional pic has really helped my writing. It breaks up the wall of text and makes it more readable. Ok, so I break up the wall of text anyway with single sentence paragraphs that I use pretty much as punctuation but pictures are way better for that.
There it is again - the Grey Ghost.

I've been loving this one. It earns its name by having the capability to be ultra quiet. I'll be at traffic lights listening to other people's engines. So what's the stats ?

0 to 60 in maybe 7.5 seconds. I haven't timed it myself - that needs two people really, one with the stop watch and one to pilot the missile. Also needs a suitable road.
45 mpg genuine.
CO2 stats of just over 100 thingies. I forget the actual unit but it means I only pay £10 in tax, instead of the £200 plus of my old Focus. Oh - the Focus was also the same potential speed but at below 30mpg.

How's it do that ? It's a hybrid. As well as an engine, it has a couple of motors in there which make up a continuously variable transmission. Instead of 4,5 or 6 set ratios, it chooses the right ratio on the fly. So instead of accelerating through the revs, rarely being at that top power or torque, it'll hold the engine at the most optimum revs.

Translation - it gives you all its got. Every time. When you ask for it. And when you ask for it to be gentle, it can do that too.

Oh - there's no clutch either. When I went fast in my manual cars, you'd lose that drive when changing gear and I always knew there were those plates grinding together in that clutch. Too aggressive and you burn life out of that clutch.

Another of my long term injury issues is pain in my left leg. It's associated with a back injury, where that injury compromises my sciatic nerve. That's the one that controls the leg. Well, since switching to the auto box, that pain has lessened and it's actually gone away.

So - forget about that fancy system under the bonnet and beneath the boot, it's easier to drive and it's less pain for me.
About that service ?

I take the car to Lexus Cheltenham. It's a bit of a drive from where I live but I'll definitely keep going back there. Yep. They want your money first but most of all, they want to keep you as a customer.

It's a level of customer service I'm not accustomed to as a driver. Ok, maybe I am getting more used to it now.

There's courtesy, politeness and most important of all, respect. They'll talk to the customer in the most appropriate way. I have a light that comes on in my car, it looks at the tyre pressures. It's been coming on because it's cold out. Cold air is less dense, so the pressure in the tyre goes down. I know that because of my chemistry and physics education, as well as engineering knowledge and from following stuff like Formula 1. So I'm ahead of the sales people and usually know way more than they do about the engineering. And they indulge me on that.

It makes the customer feel better.

But with the other guy, he didn't know why his light was coming on and salesguy was quite patiently explaining the issue (in several differing ways cos of an understanding problem !) to him. We both go away happy for different reasons.

Oh and they'll only sell you the car that you actually want. They won't oversell the next one up or the one they've been instructed to get more orders on.

I'm looking at you PC World with conning my parents into getting a piece of trash Asus Transformer. They went in to get a laptop, they came out with trash that didn't suit the need.

Time to wrap up.

Shiny car is shiny (no issues on the service and less wear on the tyres than expected).
Happy customer is happy.

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