Test drove today - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars


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Old 02-19-2006, 11:12 PM
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Default Test drove today

Test drove a 2006 with package 3 at around 5:45 pm tonight, very nice car! It was getting dark so I turned on the headlights. However, I noticed besides the headlights, nothing else came on. Besides the main intruments and the monitor screen, it was virtually pitch dark. My question is, are the window switches and the steering wheel control switches lighted? I also tried to change the radio from AM to FM and noticed that the radio controls were not lighted.
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Test drove today

There's a **** that adjusts the brightness of the dash lighting, but the steering wheel controls are only ever lit very dimly, probably a safety thing, although that logic may be questionable if one has to look too hard for a button. If there's a lot of ambient light such as streetlights, then you might not even see the steering wheel control illumination.
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Old 02-25-2006, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Test drove today

It has become fashionable for vehicle manufacturers to illuminate just about every switch in the cabin, whether important or unimportant. About 20 years ago Ford introduced interior buttons with dimples and bumps and basically created the first cabins with tactile switches. these were used mostly for cruise control switches, door locks, window switches and a few dash controls. They worked great. If you get familiar with a vehicle you immediately know where a switch should be and the bumps or dimples indicate what you are pressing on the switch.

I bring up this example because the idea then was more practical than logical. It would have required a great deal more expense to install lighting underneath switches because it would have required micro bulbs vs the LEDs that are used today. However the logic behind it is unquestionable, should a driver be taking their attention off the road to manipulate switches. The answer is no. Switches should be logically located and tactile enough that a driver familiar with the vehicle can feel for the item and actuate it without ever having his eyes leave the road.

In the case of the Prius, the steering wheel buttons are all sufficiently tactile in nature, along with the window switches. As such, Toyota only provided enough illumination for the switches to be visible at night, but not blinding nor dominating. Honestly, it is yet another credit to their design philosophy.
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