By on October 31, 2009

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After another week of digital dedication to automotive truth-telling, TTAC West is going undercover to explore the “hybrid lifestyle.” A hybrid and a yurt? Smug alert!

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52 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Adventures In Road Testing Edition...”


  • avatar
    Rastus

    What’s wrong? Well, we obviously have someone (or a group of someones) who will drive for miles to spend a bit of time in the great outdoors….amongst a forest whose very existence DEPENDS upon CO2. Yes, that’s right…CO2 is a benign gas which life on this planet depends upon.

    Yet the same folks who criminalize CO2 emissions are the same folks who love to fire up a wood-based fire and grill their criminal-element beef steaks upon it…all the while enjoying the tranquility of a quiet forest full of life.

    And once they spend 20 gallons of gasoline driving up to the mountains, spend their days hiking amongst those criminal-element trees, and eating their criminal-element beef over a criminal-element wood fire, then they retire to their phony nylon “yurt”. Nylon, being of course, a petroleum product.

    If these people had a lick of sense, they’d demand a real yurt…one made of biodegradable and renewable felt. And they’d stick to their old set of wheels and maintain it like the Cubans do.

    http://www.danheller.com/cuba-cars.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yurt

    In short, everything about this photo is wrong…along with the hypocrites who staged the scene.

  • avatar
    KnightRT

    That’s an unflattering color. Otherwise, nothing’s wrong. Pseudo-camping is fun.

  • avatar
    FloorIt

    @ Rastus: You forgot the trees cut down to make an asphalt roadway and the clearing machines that use petroleum products.

    What else…? Front license plate bracket but no license plate. Fugly round cabin with a nipple on top.

  • avatar
    criminalenterprise

    I think we’ve met the quota for apoplectic straw-men arguments for this entry.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Yet the same folks who criminalize CO2 emissions are the same folks who love to fire up a wood-based fire and grill their criminal-element beef steaks upon it…all the while enjoying the tranquility of a quiet forest full of life.

    You do know the difference between locked and unlocked carbon, right?

    That, and most people I know who are serious environmentalists a) don’t own a car, or own an old one and b) are vegetarian or vegan, and that c) lots of people by hybrids these days without any green or leftist pretenses at all.

    But please, don’t let facts get in the way of a good prejudice.

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    I’m with you Rastus, I’ve always talked about the couple who drive their Prius to their 15,000 square foot house with lights, fountains, fireplaces, and a/c going 24-7. Not to mention the water required to keep the Japanese garden lush.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    The really sad thing is that the guy with the yurt only bought the Fusion because it was cheaper than a disposable razor and he thought he would be able to shave with it.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    After another week of digital dedication to automotive truth-telling, TTAC West is going undercover to explore the “hybrid lifestyle.” A hybrid and a yurt? Smug alert!

    I think I made this point in the “Housekeeping..” editorial. This post is baiting, if funny, and all it’s going to do is generate a few pages of anti-Hybrid ranting.

    More importantly, we really, really need to stop referencing South Park every time a hybrid discussion comes up. It was funny when South Park did it first, but it’s been played out.

  • avatar
    sean362880

    I’m with psarhjinian. It was a good run, everybody wanged, everybody chunged. Now it’s time we said goodbye to smug alerts.

    Back to the photo: that is a truly horrible color. It makes an otherwise inoffensive Fusion look like a frostbitten beluga.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beluga_%28whale%29

  • avatar
    ajla

    @psarhjinian:

    More importantly, we really, really need to stop referencing South Park every time a hybrid discussion comes up. It was funny when South Park did it first, but it’s been played out.

    It’s probably permanent at this point and hybrid owners might as well get used to it.

    F-body owners still have to deal with mullet/trailer park jokes that were played out by 1998 and Miata owners have had to deal with gay jokes for an eternity.

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    +1, ajla

    It’s not stereotyping if its true. Hybrid owners are smug. Read their bumperstickers. Yes, there are a few hybrids out there with McCain/ Palin stickers on them, but that’s a definite minority. Most of them are still “hopey/changey” and “already against the next war.” By and large, the people that I know who drive a hybrid car by choice are so damn earnest about simply everything that “smug” is the kinder label to apply to them. You know, instead of “neurotic.” Or “emo.”

    They need to just embrace it. It’s the same as it was back in 5th grade: If you let the other kids know that they’re getting to you, then they will never let up.

  • avatar
    jacksonbart

    Are those the bathrooms? No couldn’t be, who would install a grill outside of a bathroom.
    It’s a pretty lame campsite. Perhaps that orange extension cord is attached to a camper’s electric vehicle?

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Hybrid cars. Proof you can sell something that doesn’t make economic sense in the least. As long as it’s still an option, not a requirement, to have hybrid cars who cares?

    When the overlords decide what we have to buy not only will it be a shame but it will be too late.

  • avatar
    YotaCarFan

    What’s wrong with the picture? Well, assuming the hybrid car owner is environmentally conscious, they are patronizing a not so environmentally helpful yurt campground:
    * Charcoal grill — not only produces CO2, but also soot, which is real pollution, unlike CO2
    * Electric cord in background shows that the “roughing it” and environmental image is superficial, since campers will use electricity generated by petroleum/coal
    * The hut has petroleum-based (vinyl) windows, walls, roof, and skylight
    * There’s a petroleum-based (asphalt) drive on which the car is parked
    * Pressure treated lumber awning in front of yurt likely contains arsenic and/or petroleum products
    * The big “ford” logo on the front license plate holder is not only ugly, it increases the car’s wind resistance, reducing fuel efficiency

    Regarding the comments on not all hybrid buyers being environmentalists: this is true, as I’ve owned several and am not an environmentalist. I just wanted a ticket into the HOV lane, plus I like high-tech toys. But, virtually all the hybrid owners I’ve known have been, and the typical bumper stickers on Prii make the green political views known.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I don’t think you can be eco-smug in a Fusion Hybrid. Wrong badge.

  • avatar
    trk2

    Bah! Who cares what random people drive and why they do so. Driving a hybrid doesn’t suddenly make someone a saint just as driving an SUV doesn’t turn someone into the devil. My evil pickup may seem at odds with the bioheat and cfl’s at my home but it suits my lifestyle and I don’t have to defend it to anyone.

    So what if some smug Prius driver returns home only to throw baby seals on the fire to warm up the house.

    I say God bless him.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    dukeboy01: “It’s not stereotyping if its true. Hybrid owners are smug. Read their bumperstickers. Yes, there are a few hybrids out there with McCain/ Palin stickers on them, but that’s a definite minority.”

    Oh, I see. Voted for Obama = smug. Thanks for letting us know. Better to have a completely clueless and ignorant Vice President, along with a President with bad enough judgement to pick same. Better to have a Vice President that says, in some little rural town in North Carolina, “It’s good to get back to the Real America” than to have a Vice President who recognizes that there are, in fact, 50 states and that some of them have – gasp! – large cities which are actually powerful economic engines, exporting money, for the most part, to these Red States we hear so much about which are, apparently, the Real America.

    Rastus: “What’s wrong? Well, we obviously have someone (or a group of someones) who will drive for miles to spend a bit of time in the great outdoors….amongst a forest whose very existence DEPENDS upon CO2. Yes, that’s right…CO2 is a benign gas which life on this planet depends upon.”

    You overlook that it’s a benign gas in the quantities which nature has assigned, the quantities which we add are not so helpful. Those forests depend on a certain range of temperature and rainfall, both of which are certain to change as the climate of the planet changes.

  • avatar

    This post is baiting, if funny, and all it’s going to do is generate a few pages of anti-Hybrid ranting.

    Psar, you’re right about the effect if not the cause. Honestly, this was really just intended as a “sorry for the lack of content, I’m out roadtesting for the weekend” notice. On the other hand, considering FoMoCo owns this particular hybrid, calling it an image-mobile intended to distract from an otherwise huge carbon footprint might actually be pretty fair.

  • avatar
    Joe ShpoilShport

    FloorIt: +10.

  • avatar

    For added hybrid=liberal stereotype value, consider that this is a state-owned yurt (part of the Oregon state park system). Holy statism!

  • avatar
    mcs

    I’m tired of all of the lame stereotyping of drivers because of the cars they drive. If someone likes a particular car and they’re passionate about it, I’m fine with it. If someone buys a hybrid and they’re happy with it for whatever reason, that is all that counts. Buy whatever you want and if people don’t like it, screw them.

  • avatar

    The only presidential candidates in the last go-round who own Priuses were Sam Brownback and Tom Tancredo, both Republicans fairly far to the right. (Disclosure: I introduced Tancredo at a fundraiser in Mass because I support his strong stance in favor of greatly reducing the number of people immigrating to the US.) Tancredo owned a Prius because it enabled him to use the HOV lanes in DC without having any passengers. Brownback has a Prius and a Civic (both of which have been coopted by daughters) because he is among the strain of right wingers who believes in planetary stewardship.
    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/08q2/fueling_debate_what_drives_mccain_and_obama_s_campaigns-feature

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Psar, you’re right about the effect if not the cause. Honestly, this was really just intended as a “sorry for the lack of content, I’m out roadtesting for the weekend” notice.

    Are you roadtesting a Fusion hybrid, whilst staying true to TTAC’s junket policy?

    Fair point. It was actually the commentary that got me, not the article. I have to eat some crow as I have stayed in a yurt, and did drive there in a hybrid (an Escape; rented, mind you)

    On the other hand, considering FoMoCo owns this particular hybrid, calling it an image-mobile intended to distract from an otherwise huge carbon footprint might actually be pretty fair.

    Developing a hybrid is like developing fuel injection was: this technology is here to stay. It’s for the same reason as fuel injection, too: a way to wring efficiency from a powertrain.

    You’d also be stupid (as a company) not to try to wring some marketing mileage out of it, in addition to real mileage. I’m sure it’s hypocritical (and most environmentalists would agree with you on that). It’s also a step in the right direction.

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    Fewer dogmatic polemics and calumnies, more senses of humor. Please.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Surprised at the hate for the color, it’s one of the most popular colors amongst customers on any car that it comes on. It looks especially good on the Mariner.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    It’s not stereotyping if its true. Hybrid owners are smug. Read their bumperstickers. Yes, there are a few hybrids out there with McCain/ Palin stickers on them, but that’s a definite minority. Most of them are still “hopey/changey” and “already against the next war.”

    Ok, so was “If you’re not with us, you’re with the Terrorists” or “If you don’t stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them” not smug? Please explain how without resorting to some variation of “because I agree with it”.

    Almost all bumper stickers are smug (except for the likes of “Save the wood, eat a vegetarian”). I think you may need to a) re-evaluate your opinion of what’s propaganda and what’s truth (eg, just because you agree with it, it may not be true) and b) that perhaps you’ve got some inner guilt (you know, the kind bleeding heart liberals have) that hybrids bring out.

  • avatar

    that actually looks more like a glorified tent than a yurt.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    “Front license plate bracket but no license plate.” This is an indication that the car has a dealer plate from Washington or Oregon, two states that issue regular plates in pairs but dealer plates as singles to go on the rear.

    And the car color? Bunt Ugly Blue. This name came from one memorable day when several family members were at the lake place. We realized that our Accord was light metallic blue, father-in-law’s Zephyr was baby blue, and brother-in-law’s 86 or 87 Taurus was a color that can best be described as navy gray with just enough blue drizzled into it to look slightly bluish. Thus Bunt Ugly Blue.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    WTF is a yurt?

  • avatar
    RangerM

    PeteMoran : WTF is a yurt?

    A way for someone to say “tent” or “teepee”, and make you feel ignorant at the same time.

    Smug alert, indeed.

    As I understand it, it’s a semi-permanent structure using wooden poles for support, and walls/roof of some other (presumably flexible) material.

    “Yurt” should be filed in the same place as “tall”, “grande”, and “venti”.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    Everyone, listen to psarhjinian when he talks about smug.

    He lives in a country where retarded white trash seal clubbing asbestos mining assholes force the whole country to use bilingual English/French signs and documents when they can damn well speak english.

    That is way more smug than any public-restroom-homo meth-smoking Evangelical Bush/McCain voter.

    And for the record, homos drive Wranglers and white trash drive FWD Monte Carlos. Miatas and F-Bodies are for womanizing snotty borderline-ironic-but-not-so-douchebag-hipster-as-to-drive-an-El-Camino attorneys.

    And Priuses are just driven by tightwads and smart commuters. Toyota is so dumping/efficiently producing them that gas price/cost calculations aren’t necessary.

    A Fusion hybrid, on the other hand, is so much more expensive than a regular 6-speed I-4 Fusion or a Prius that only a retard living in a custom built yurt or a French Canadian (likely one-in-the-same) would buy one.

  • avatar

    What the hell is a yurt?

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    @ no_slushbox

    Geez mate, you OK?

    Is someone forcing you to drive an auto today or somethin’?

  • avatar
    don1967

    He lives in a country where retarded white trash seal clubbing asbestos mining assholes force the whole country to use bilingual English/French signs and documents when they can damn well speak english.

    Not true. We only club the ugly seals now.

  • avatar

    retarded white trash seal clubbing asbestos mining assholes

    I rarely LOL… but I did this time. A phrase, you have turned one.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Everyone, listen to psarhjinian when he talks about smug.

    A Fusion hybrid, on the other hand, is so much more expensive than a regular 6-speed I-4 Fusion or a Prius that only a retard living in a custom built yurt or a French Canadian (likely one-in-the-same) would buy one.

    Nicely done. I could feel the burn from here.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Yeah, what he (no_slushbox) said!

  • avatar
    shaker

    Yeah, what he (no_slushbox) said!

    Yurt: Og-less yogurt.

  • avatar
    dejal

    Jeez, a yurt is a yurt. It related to a tent or teepee but it’s not them. To call a word smug because you refuse to use a foreign word and only elitists would use a foreign word is silly. It is what it is. Yurts have no corner exterior walls with a defined roof. Haven’t seen any tents or teepees fitting the bill. Teepees don’t have defined roofs. Haven’t seen any tents that are circular with defined roofs. The structure is usually held in place by gravity with a heavy weight hung inside the structure pulling everything down (which tightens everything up). For some reason most of this I knew. Why, I don’t know. The hanging weight I got by doing a google search.

    The photo is question does show the dwelling with the traditional lattice work. Whether it’s decorative or functional can’t really be told from the photo. Also, the green sides aren’t felt, skins or cloth. But then again the Colman tent you picked up at Cabelas wasn’t made of animal skins and whale bones.

    So, to all the people who say it’s a tent or teepee, how did you buy your car? Do, they all look the same? Do you even know the brand you javascript:document.getElementById(‘commentform’).submit();are driving? After all, it’s a car. Using the term automobile shows you for the snob you are.

  • avatar
    The_Mase

    A yurt is commonly used as a dwelling by nomadic people in Mongolia. The tent structure in the picture definitely resembles one. The author accurately described it. No “smugness” on that one.

    Also, I really don’t care if other people drive a Prius or other hybrid. It’s their money. Free economy and all, right?

  • avatar

    Psar: Yes. Ford provided the car, insurance and one tank of freedom juice… disclosure is my middle name. I stayed in the yurt because it’s cheap (i.e. coming out of my own pocket).

    slushbox: thanks for taking that to its logical conclusion. Finally, a sense of humor!

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Slush:

    Nice. One of the few recent times I’ve read a comment on TTAC and laughed out loud. Well done, sir (or ma’am).

    A coworkers lives in Montreal, and from what he’s said, it’s a province full of folks similar to the separatists in Alaska. He’s said nothing about their desire to club baby seals, though.

  • avatar

    NulloModo : Surprised at the hate for the color, it’s one of the most popular colors amongst customers on any car that it comes on.

    Same here. My ex gf bought her Focus in this color because it matched her eyes. And here I thought those things were too ugly to be painted in anything but black or gray…

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    @KixStart and psar:

    Touched a nerve, didn’t I? Lighten up, Francis. Otherwise, you’re going to come off as so very, very earnest.

    Heh. Heh heh.

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    don1967 wrote:

    Not true. We only club the ugly seals now.

    Heh, at least until Greenpeace and PETA turn off their cameras.

    Then we club the cute ones too!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Comments like these make me glad that I live in the progressive state of Georgia.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    One of my friends lives in a yurt. He drives an old Volvo wagon and cooks his own biodiesel.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    If you really want to save the planet then not only should you NOT reproduce (of the thousands of your direct decendents, hundreds of them may drive SUVs), but you should seriously consider that it is impossible for YOU to not unbridle millions of carbon molecules. Therefore, the only true REAL environmentalist is one who chooses to end his life now. Probably the best way is to feed yourself to a starving polar bear.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    @ Rod Panhard

    I think you’ve just about got it, however;

    A true environmentalist would identify at least one truly wasteful person and take them out too. A sort-of two-fer’ – boosts the average a bit.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Therefore, the only true REAL environmentalist is one who chooses to end his life now. Probably the best way is to feed yourself to a starving polar bear.

    Or a cute-looking seal. Paul McCartney came this close.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Yes. Ford provided the car, insurance and one tank of freedom juice… disclosure is my middle name. I stayed in the yurt because it’s cheap (i.e. coming out of my own pocket).

    Dedication to the job if I ever saw it.

    I’d actually like to see a TTAC feature about “Top Ten Cars To Sleep/Live In”. Lord knows I end up doing enough that it’d be useful.

  • avatar
    Chuvak

    RE: no_slushbox : He lives in a country where retarded white trash seal clubbing asbestos mining assholes…

    Dude, I work in a nice office, nice white-collar job, LOTS oh hours on the internet – have read so much shit an all issues, I have no more opinion of my own on anything… Your take, however, is the most original and funniest thing I have read in a long time. You are absolutely correct on everything. Stereotypes and the hate of Priuses are by those who are either too insecure or poor to buy one or just want to be “cool” ragging on them. I know a 6’3″, 270lbs Samoan guy who fights for fun, repos cars for free just to kick someone’s ass and has no fear of anything. He went to a dojo where his twelve-years old daughter got hurt and beat the crap out of three kung-fu instructors at the same time, after they refused to apologize to his daughter. He drives a new Prius because he got tired of filling up his Suburban. He paid cash for it with the money he collected for a client who was owed… His cousin, another psychotic Samoan family-man with three kids just bought a Prius too, after being impressed with the technology and fuel economy. He also paid cash, but I did want to know how. So, neither is gay, neither is right or left wing (they do nor care and do not vote), neither is insecure, and both are more of a man than twenty losers in “macho” SUVs or Corvettes or any other “man” car. I am of similar background, but went to college because I got bored with periodic jail stints. I drive a white Mini Cooper Clubman. I am not gay, nor do I give a shit about politics. I bought it because my old 7 series ate 10 mpg in the City and I was too cheap to buy something like a 5 series or an A6. I think all the insecure douches prevent a lot of normal guys from buying cars they think are cool or useful. Sad. Thanks for a great post, though!

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