Thursday, July 10, 2008

Going Green For A Week

On Sunday, my hubby and I rented a Toyota Prius for a week to see how we like it. He drove it the first part of the week and now it's my turn, though I did get a chance to drive it a bit on Sunday and again yesterday. I'd been intrigued by the idea of the hybrid engine for some time, and since the price of gasoline started going up, he's quit fighting me on the idea.

My husband drove it first, and the thing that impressed him most was that you can't see the front of the car from the driver's seat. The hood slopes off dramatically, as you can see it. It takes a little getting used to. I discovered today that it helps to turn on the headlights, even during the day, as you can see them reflected in things like walls, garage doors, the bumper of the car in front of you... Very useful. :)

The controls take a little getting used to, also. Instead of a standard automatic transmission control, there's a Power button you push to start the engine but it only works if you have your foot on the break, and another button for Park. The display is fun to watch. It shows whether or not the gasoline engine is engaged (like you can't tell by the sound of it). The electric motor is very quiet.

It's smaller but higher than out Acura TL. We don't have kids or grandkids to haul around, so a sedan works nicely for us, even a small one. My DH said to ask myself as I drove the Prius, "would you want to drive this car across the country?" I'm not sure about the answer, but I'd happily drive it to northern California or Arizona. Don't know if we'll buy one or not. I'll report in again on Sunday about final impressions in between my writing, which has gone pretty well this week. The next few days are going to be busy ones though.

How's your week going?



Travis Erwin said...

My buddy wanted to buy one here and was told there is a 3-4 month waiting list and then you can't pick any of the details.

Linda McLaughlin said...

I've heard that, too, Travis, but my hubby said there's a dealer near us that has inventory, in Irvine, CA., so maybe it varies by location or maybe they're getting caught up. The high gas prices have made the hybrids a lot more attractive lately.


Kathleen Rowland said...

Linda, I have had it in the back of my mind to look at the Pruis also. Your information is helpful. Because it's Toyota, my guess is that it would hold up pretty well in an accident. -Kathleen

Lyndi Lamont said...

I think you'd like the car, Kathleen. Don't know how it'll hold up in an accident, though. It's a pretty small car, but there are bound to be some reports on that on the Internet. I'll post a final report today or tomorrow.


Barrie said...

I've really been wondering about the Prius. How nice to have you as our personal car reviewer. ;) So, what's the gas mileage? And do you plug it in at night? Last question: are the seats comfortable?

Barbara Martin said...

Linda this was really interesting. This vehicle looks the way to go with the price of gasoline.

In Canada all motorists have to drive with the headlights on, so the manufacturers set them up when the ignition is turned on.

Beth said...

What a great idea to rent it and try in for a week. It's hard to tell how you'll like a car on just a 15 min test drive. I'd be interested to know your thoughts about it at the end of the week.
PS-Great meeting you (in person finally) yesterday!

Linda McLaughlin said...

Barrie, 45 mpg, no plug in, fairly comfortable seats. :)

Barbara, yes, I remember now about cars in Canada having the lights on all the time. The nice thing about that is the lights go on and off when the engine does, so you can't forget to turn them off and run down the battery. Not a good idea in a hybrid, I'm told.

Beth, I'm glad we rented the car for a week. We'd test driven one and weren't sure how much we'd like it. It was fabulous to meet you in person on Sat. :)


pattinase (abbott) said...

We're thinking about a Prius too. As is the rest of the country apparently. We've heard a six month wait.

Beth said...

FYI we have 2 Saturns and they both have running daylights that go on and off with the car. I really love that feature in a car.

Rhonda said...

I drive a Matrix, so I understand how disconcerting the "snub nose"/short front end can be. I always wanted to try a Prius, though, but DH is a big dude so I'm afraid he won't fit in one.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Rhonda, my DH is 6'1" and had no trouble with the Prius. It's surprisingly roomy inside. Not sure how well he'd do in the back seat, but no problems in front and there's lots of head room.