Prius Envy

As I wrote in my first post, I recently bought a Toyota Prius Love It!to replace my ’01 Subaru Outback. The Outback was not a “bad” car – in fact, I longed to be one of those die-hard Subaru fans driving their vehicle until it conks out at 300 gazillion miles. But at 106,000 miles, it had cost me $3,500 in transmission work and a new catalytic converter in the last 12 months alone. Needless to say, I didn’t want to find out what or when my next major expense would be. My time-frame for researching new cars accelerated, and my dreams of driving my Outback up a cliff with Lance Armstrong or off into the Australian sunset with Crocodile Dundee were dashed forever. (How’s that for showing my age?)

But now I have a Prius, a red one. I love my Prius. LOVE. IT.

I hadn’t considered myself to be “green,” although I recycle, changed to fluorescent bulbs in my basement, garage and outdoor lights, and have started to buy products like this and this. I didn’t buy the Prius just because it produces something like 70% less in emissions than cars that run on gas engines alone, but I’m sure glad it does.

Let’s talk gas mileage for a moment. My friend S. said he’d love to trade his big red truck in for one of these little red cars considering the price of gas these days. I don’t want to brag, but I got 42.9 mpg over 324 miles on the first tank, and around 45 mpg the second. Right now, I’m averaging about 47 mpg. Yeah, S., that’s sweet.

Other things I love:

The interior space is comparable to (and in some areas better than) the Subaru; the shape of the car is a bit deceiving, making it look smaller from the outside than it is. The trunk size is good, too, with a space underneath for extra storage.

It’s got tremendous zip and is so quiet, it’s easy to drive along at 80 on the highway without realizing it…um, if one were to do that. And prius-interior.jpgsometimes when you first push the Power button (yes, a Power button – it’s next to the steering wheel and only works if the Smart Key is in range) you have to double check the dash to make sure the car is on. No motion, no rattling, nothing. It’s like a stealth car.

Traction control worked well when we had ice and snow earlier this month, but next winter will be a better test.

Cool gadgets and digital display. Haven’t had time to figure out the Bluetooth voice activated phone system, but I rarely get calls on my cell phone anyway. (Sad, but true. Someone call me, please.) Double glove compartment and space-efficient storage inside.

I could go on and on, but, well, I’m afraid that would make you a little green.

(Toyota – I’m up for a driver testimonial!)


6 thoughts on “Prius Envy

  1. That’s quite a compelling review. My poor car is heading to the shop starting tomorrow for some body work, and I confess I’ve started to watch car ads on TV rather than fast-forward. But I still dearly love my car — and the fact that’s it’s fully paid off.

    Still: 47 miles to the gallon? Sweet.

  2. Mike says:

    I just purchased a new car, too. I traded my 2001 Passat at 154,000 miles after replacing a few high priced items over the past year and a half. Replacing the transmission with a $2,000 used one was the last straw. I also had hoped to drive the car forever, and I was a good V-Dub owner, following all the maintenance recommendations, and I even had all the work done at the dealer.

    I didn’t go as green as you, though. My new Infiniti G35 should average me close to 22-24 mpg, and is supposed to be quite low emission. I’m very excited about all the techno-gadgetry involved, and I too, have a push button start with an intelligent key. It’s terrific!

    Enjoy your new ride!

  3. Cindy – congrats on having your car paid off and still liking it! I can appreciate the position you’re in; I just got to a point where I started to think that my rationale of having no car payment was not rational after shelling out a lot of dough. And I didn’t car about my car the way I used to, poor thing. At least you still care.

    (Springtime is good to look for new cars, summer even better, Labor Day sales about the best times because the dealers are trying to clear their ’07 inventory.)

    Mike, congrats on your new car purchase. An Infiniti is quite sweet, I’d say. And I know how much you like the techno geek stuff included 🙂

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