123,100 Pacifica Hybrid results
Houston, TX DEALER RATINGS & REVIEWS
Be the first to write about your experience!
Houston, TX Driving Tips and Experiences
Is a car necessary in Houston?
Nice to have
You can get by without
Don't really need one
No need at all
Firstly, compared to the drivers of northern California and western Washington, where I have spent thousands of hours on the road, the drivers in Houston have the worst manners of anywhere I've ever lived. I therefore recommend very defensive driving, as well as resignation to the realities of infrequent turn signal use, being cut off, tailgated, or honked at for slowing down over railroad tracks. Additionally, there is essentially no way around the soul-crushing traffic, so it is very advantageous to learn traffic patterns and do whatever possible to choose one's home, place of work, and travel time to minimize commute time. Also, Houston's bedrock is prone to uneven degradation, which results in many severe undulations and potholes in the roads, so I recommend extra vigilance in order to avoid them. Lastly, traffic moves even more slowly when it rains, so plan for extra drive time when the weather is bad.
Due to the aforementioned, nasty road conditions, Houstonians pay significantly more than the national average for car repairs and maintenance, so I think one general consideration is that a car with adequate tire sidewall and suspension travel will last longer. I think the car buying process is similar to that of any major city. Specifically, there are several dealerships for every auto maker, so definitely use the fierce competition among them to your advantage. Additionally, there is more information available than ever before about how much consumers actually pay for new and used cars, so use it to negotiate a lower price. Lastly, the same injunctions apply to Houston as anywhere: If you buy used, evaluate the seller as much as the car and expect to pay more for maintenance, and if you buy new, do your homework, remember that everything is negotiable, and don't let a dealer talk you into paying extra for schlock like "administrative costs", window etching, underbody coating, prepaid maintenance, or other deceptive garbage. They will try to swindle you in the finance office as well in sales. Remember that in new car sales, such worthless add-ons are frequently referred to as EDP, for Extra Dealer Profit. All you are generally obligated to pay for is the car, tax, and title and license fees. If you finance, get pre-approved with your bank or credit union and use those rates to try and secure better rates from the dealer.
Houston's relatively low cost of living has as much to do with my favorite driving-related memory as anything about its roads or topography. When I moved to Houston (from the San Francisco bay area, where rent runs at about the rate of a villa on Richard Branson's private island), I could finally afford to sell my Corolla and buy a fun car. I have to say that in its capacity as basic transportation, the Corolla was a fine workhorse, but driving it generated no more excitement than operating a stand mixer. It was an appliance. That'll do, Corolla-pig, that'll do. In its place, I got a first-generation Honda Fit, which, although it lacks power, is light, nimble, has a stick shift, and is a joy to operate. So, the favorite memory is driving out of the dealership late at night and carving up the on-ramps, interchanges, and highways on the way back to my house. I reveled, after years of being stuck with the Corolla, in the simple pleasure of setting up corners in a car with tight steering, a well-tuned chassis and suspension, and a slick gearbox. Given the hour, traffic was very sparse, and Houston's skyscrapers and labyrinthine tangle of freeways turned out to be a wonderful setting for my return to driving enjoyment.
Farm-to-Market routes along Waller-Tomball Road, northwest of Houston proper.. The area meets many criteria for good driving roads. Firstly, while I love driving fast, I do not generally impose my level of risk-acceptance on my fellow drivers, so its low traffic density and good visibility are a must. Additionally, it is rarely patrolled by the local constabulary, which bodes well for preserving my clean driving record. The roads themselves are pretty engaging, with mostly smooth pavement, a good mix of straightaways and turns of various speeds and radii, and excellent, pastoral scenery along the way.
I would tell drivers to be on the lookout for other drivers in the city. Drivers in Houston are extremely aggressive, and there is thick traffic all throughout the city. I would tell someone to drive defensively, yet be somewhat aggressive otherwise you will never make it driving in this city. Also, be aware that many people are uninsured in this city, and it is not uncommon at all to whiteness an accident, and one of the drivers will flee because they do not have proper paperwork. Overall, people just need to be extremely alert and aware of their surroundings in the city.
Go to Texas Auto Direct, especially if you are looking to buy a used car. They have the best prices in the city, and are great people to work with. Also, they will give you a fair price for your trade-in.
My favorite moment from driving in this city, would be one night out when Highway 99 had just opened and I was driving near sunset. The part of 99 I was on was still empty and desolate so you could see for miles. The sunset was the most amazing sunset I have seen in my life, and as I contented to drive it just kept getting more and more beautiful. I was with my boyfriend at the time, and we pulled over to take pictures and just sit and watch the sunset. My favorite part, was that we were on a major highway but because we were so far out, and the highway was so new, there was nobody around. It was an eerie feeling, because we were on a city-like highway, on the outskirts of a major city, but nobody was around and we had the most beautiful sunset. We ended up then driving off as the sun finished setting and watched night fall on the city, which you could see at a distance because of the clarity of the area, and from the high up points of the city. I really enjoyed this night because we got to see for miles in the city, since Houston is so flat, while watching one of the most breathtaking sunsets I have seen in my life.
North Bridgeland Parkway. I really enjoy driving down this road because it is the main road into my parent's neighborhood. The road for me creates a sense of feeling like I am at home, and reminds me that I am close to seeing my family. Beyond the sentimental part of the road, is simply the road itself. The road is not congested like most other parts of the city, and is 45 miles per hour. It is the perfect speed for being able to drive not too fast, but still feel the speed behind the road. Also, especially during the spring, the setting of the road is beautiful. There are lakes that flow all along the road and connect together, and then out beyond the lakes there is walking trails and woods. This creates the feeling that you are not in such a large city. In the springtime, most years there are beautiful wild flowers planted all along the banks of the river, that are breathtaking to look at as you drive by. Also while driving sometimes you will see animals that you do not typically see in Houston along the water. These things include an eagle, alligators, and interesting birds. The road is about 3 miles long, but it is a beautiful road that creates a feeling of home on one side, yet collides with nature on the other side without being overly congested.