Hooniverse Asks: What’s the most obscure Uber you’ve been in?

I got an Uber ride the other day and an aging Honda Civic showed up. Getting into it I noticed that it was one of the first Civic hybrid models. I thought it was a great choice for Uber use – reliable, inexpensive, efficient, and just big and small enough.

Then I noticed something I didn’t expect – it had a manual transmission. It wouldn’t be so weird to see a Civic of that generation with a manual transmission but I didn’t expect the hybrid Civic to have it. But yes, this mild-hybrid and stick configuration was available on the seventh generation Civic from 2003 until 2005. A CVT model was also available for $1000 more.

The small 1.3-liter engine and its electric motor, with batteries charged from regenerative breaking, combined for 93-horsepower. That’s not a lot but it’s enough and that Civic wasn’t a big car. Most importantly, the EPA rated that Civic for 46 MPG in city and 51 MPG on the highway. The driver of this car said he gets about 50 MPG overall.

The driver stated that it has 230,000 miles on it and that he won’t be able to use after the end of this year due to Uber’s rules. But he said it has been solid and that he’ll keep even though he won’t be able to use to for work anymore. It did sounded like it needed a new half-axle, so hopefully he’ll take care of that.

In all my Uber trips, at least ones that I can recall, this was the most obscure vehicle I have had. And possibly the first with a manual transmission. What was yours?


  1. In California, I had a Lyft driver pick me up in her Volvo S80 with 300,000 miles.

    In Colombia, I had an Uber driver pick me up in an older version of the Chevy Onix(?). Uber drivers in Bogota were at war with taxi drivers so the guy made me sit in the front on the way to the airport and told me to pretend like we were cousins. He didn’t want his ass kicked at the drop off.

    He told me he was from the Amazon and that he rented the Chevy eight hours a day. The car ran 24-7 with a total of three tenant drivers.

  2. This sounds like another post-powerball winning hobby, driving for Uber/Lyft in all manner of odd vehicles.

    A wizard mural van would feature prominently, as would a lot of exotic two seaters, which may require some rule-skirting, but I figure that’s pretty much in Uber/Lyft’s DNA. Borderline monster trucks, military vehicles, actual limousines, a converted bus with a tended bar, complimentary, of course.

    1. My state’s lottery has a commercial in that same vein, where the would be winner proclaims he is going to be a pizza driver in a super car, just for fun.

      1. A phone number that can receive a text message for verification, not a land line, appears to be a requirement for setting up an account in the first place, however.

  3. A Jaguar XJS in Vegas. I think the driver said he was some kind of physician between jobs or something.

    I think my daughter’s first Uber ride was a Kia Soul with fringe hanging from the roof and her driver was wearing a top hat.

  4. Would 20 Toyota Echo’s count?

    In my city Ubers are marked as such with a placard and I see a diverse variety of vehicles, but every time I order an Uber I end up in another Toyota Echo.

    I can’t complain, the service is pretty good when compared to the taxis.

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