Green Diva's Eco-Ride – Lexus 250h Test Drive


I don’t do this ‘green diva’ thing for the financial rewards (slim pickins these days), but there are times when a special event or product review opportunity comes along and I experience a sense of purpose and well, it is just flat out fun!

This week is one of those times when I love being a green diva. The smart PR folks for Lexus found me and decided I should test drive this beautiful not-available-till-2010 HS 250h hybrid sedan. Unfortunately, I’m on lock-down at my office most days and couldn’t get to the event in NY back in June. I whined a little by email with this sweet PR rep about how my man, Wayne drives a Lexus 400h and he rarely shares it.

She indicated that the cars would be back on the East Coast in July and she could hook me up with a ONE WEEK test drive! I asked her to repeat that message and she confirmed that they were offering to drop off a car anywhere I needed them to and let me play with it for a week and then pick it up at my convenience at the end of a week. Hmmmmmm? I played along, but expected a catch, like a huge deposit or ransom to include one of my children or something.

Apparently there are no catches and it’s all real and I aim to give you a daily account of my experience in fostering this car that I will want to adopt at the end of this week . . .

Lexus 250h Log :: Day 1

We were all sprawled out on our back deck enjoying the gorgeous day when this fabulous silver Lexus arrived in our driveway. This nice man walked up to me as I sprinted and practically stumbled down to meet him. He simply asked if I was Megan McWilliams. I said, “yes.” And with that he handed me over this key-like apparatus and gave me about 30 seconds of instruction on how to start the car using the button. He may have given slightly more instruction, but I was still in shock and am certain my jaw was loose without words. He had to leave as the ‘follow’ car was waiting in the road and he was gone within 5 minutes. Was he real?

By then, we were all standing around opening doors, crawling around it and gawking at this brilliant beast that was now blocking every other car in the driveway. Once the shock started wearing off, my first instinct was to hop in and go for a ride. Now, what did he say about starting this thing . . . ?

The key wasn’t really a key, but some type of wireless electronic device that just needed to be near the driver inside the car to make the push-button thing work. After 20 solid minutes of pushing buttons and trying various configurations, we were about to panic when we figured out that you had to push the button, which wakes up the computer screen that unfurls itself from a sleeping position on the dashboard, wait a moment, and then put your foot firmly on the break before pushing the button to start the car. Of course, the car doesn’t make ANY noise when it starts, but we were used to that from Wayne’s car. The novelty of that hasn’t worn off on me yet.

I did some errands, but was totally distracted by the space-age configuration of the dashboard and driving area and the mouse like computer operations at my right hand, where the gear shift used to be. I heeded Wayne’s warning NOT to get too distracted by these features and crash this phantom car that appeared in our driveway. Good advice.

Later that evening, I attended a small gathering of women to celebrate the ritual passage of one of those decade birthdays – 30. Since every single one of us was over 40, we all sat in a circle and talked about what our lives were like at 30. Yikes. We all agreed were were better off where we were and wished her luck . . . but, not before we went outside to gawk at my surprise ride. They were all amazed – not only by the Jetson, futuristic value of the shiny silver car, but that being a green diva could bring such treats to my doorstep.  I really hadn’t had time to play enough to answer most of the questions.  I went home exhausted and a massive storm started up, so I did not take the time to explore further.

Yes, day one went well. Stay tuned for day two.

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