The wife and I bought an '07 Prius from a CarMax on Saturday.
We'd been circling and circling the new Honda Insight, test driving it a couple times at different dealerships, but at the end of the day, we just didn't want to eat the depreciation costs that come with a new car. But we weren't exactly thrilling to the idea of a used car. Obvious financial benefits to going used, sure, but not as fun as being the very first owner of a car. So if we did go used, it'd have to be something that would keep us away from the wallet-rapists that dwell in auto-repair garages nationwide for a very long time. The memories of what was done to us to keep the Crown Vic running the last couple years are still fresh in our minds. So with the loan approval set to expire soon, the wife did a little looking on-line and found some newish Priuses with low mileage at a CarMax across town. We went, test drove, and said yes to becoming a two-car household again. Yay!
[And yes, it is a Toyota but no, it is not under recall. Yet. We're not really worried about the acceleration problem: folks who've run the numbers say Toyota drivers have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than experiencing uncontrolled acceleration. Of course it was my good buddy Akio Toyoda who told me that, but he's always been so open and candid with me and really everyone since I've known him, I feel like I can trust it.]
Some fun facts about the new car:
1.) When I drove out to my folks' house to show them the car, we drove 62 miles. Our average mpg on the way over: 57 mpg. A little more than a gallon. Of course the Prius gets amazing mileage when you're essentially coasting downhill, and since my folks appear to be much closer to sea level than I am, I basically just steered over there. It usually averages in the high 40s. So much better than the 15 mpg I got with the Crown Vic.
2.) To put the Prius in park, you press the 'park' button. Those thousands of minutes wasted and untold millions of calories expended to shove a metal stick jutting out of the steering column from one groove to another is now, finally, a thing of the past.
3.) And just when you thought I couldn't get lazier, to turn this thing on and off? Another button. Push-button start folks. Prius understands me. Prius gets how much I hate putting a key in the ignition and turning it.
4.) Reverse camera. When I back up, I see what the back of my car sees. No more backing up over bikes, cats, and toddlers. Also next time I go to the drive-in, I can back up to the screen, put it in reverse, and watch the magic of movies unfold on my dash display! Nevermind the bright white reverse lights or the unceasing beep beep sounds my car will make.
Now these features are by no means new to the automotive world, but they are quite new to me, so I feel like I've stepped into the future of cars. And the gas mileage! Who knew I hated to buy gas this much? But I do. And who needs smug liberal bumper stickers when you drive a Prius? Smug liberal is basically implied. But then again, cost-conscious conservatives also love them some fuel economy. People of all political stripes can get into this thing. Anyway, we're both enjoying the new car.
Also, total digression:
Everytime I go the NYTimes website, in the lower right-hand corner I see this photo and it's really messing with me. Thought I'd share with the group.