I've still got a bag of stuff I took out of the Car Who Shall Not Be Named, but I'm reintroducing those items slowly. It's not really trash, per se, but I'm not sure I need all of it cluttering up my new ride. My sunglasses and charging cables have made it back in so far.
First impressions are definitely good. I like the way she feels, but there are notable differences. First of all, she's quite a bit lighter! In general, that's good. She's quite nimble and probably quicker. But she is a 4-banger and despite her acceleration, she sounds as if she's working harder. I must admit, the sound of the old V6 was much more enticing than a straight four. But I'm getting accustomed to the toss-ability of this one. The quality of materials, especially the interior, is much better than most competing vehicles at this price point, but you can feel the lightness in the doors. They close very solidly but just don't feel as if there's as much to them. On the other hand, the light weight also shows up in the gas mileage -- so far around town I've averaged about 10% better than the old one ever got on the highway. That I can get used to.
Perhaps the best impression comes from the modern driving tech. Moving from a 2008 to a 2017 feels a bit like Rip Van Winkle waking up from a nap. The cruise control is adaptive radar-enhanced. The ability to keep a set distance from a vehicle ahead, up to and including stopping itself when traffic stops is eery. It also has lane-keeping assistance that offers a choice of feedback. When active, if you approach a lane line the wheel feels as if you're running over rumble strips. It's uncanny! I also like that that's as far as it goes. It does not intercede and try to steer for you. I've driven a couple rentals that steer themselves and it's overkill.
A couple of years ago, when it first seemed self-driving cars might be closer that we thought, I read an article that said, while self-driving is technically possible, the smarter path most auto makers are taking is better driver assistance. I like that approach and Ramona is a fine assistant. Okay, she cannot park herself, but neat as that trick is, it still feels more like a trick than necessary assistance.
As the Clark's Third Law states, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." By that definition, Ramona is magic, indeed.