Posted by: scribe9 | November 23, 2009

Wheels, familiar and exotic

Today’s main task was buying wheels. We’d had temporary use of a Nissan Wingroad, a small station wagon, through Rick’s employer, but figured that for driving guests around New Zealand (none have shown up yet—where are you guys?), we’d want a bigger, more comfortable car. Not wanting to break the budget, we sprang for a used Camry.

We thought we knew what Toyotas were, and certainly the Camry is no surprise (yet). But there are lots of models over here we’d never seen or heard of before. In the US, our kids both have late-model Corollas, which are just small sedans, but here the line (or “range”) extends to a variety of hatchback and station wagon models.

We’ve seen plenty of tiny cars, and no Hummers or Suburbans although there are plenty of mid-sized SUVs. The few newer pickups that have beds as deep as those in the US usually come with full double cabs and a matching cover over the short bed; we have yet to see anything close to the double-cab extra-long-bed pickups that plague Portland parking lots. Most pickups have shallow beds—about a foot deep—like the ubiquitous utility trailers. Is it because Americans want the capacity to carry more stuff? Or New Zealanders carry heavier stuff? Can we determine this? Does anyone really care? At any rate, we may actually rent a utility trailer just to fit in—the Camry came with a trailer hitch.

PS–Emily drove the Camry this afternoon for a double first–first time on the left, first time to drive a substandard transmission. She said her left foot got bored, but she was a bit relieved not to have to think about shifting gears when she was shifting perspectives.



  1. Any hybrids?

    • I’ve seen a couple of Prii, but that’s it.

  2. Hey Amy, I found this on my cycling searches.
    Have you see a YIKEBIKE??

    From New Zealand they say.
    Check out the video


  3. Not yet–maybe the next time we’re in a big city.

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