I wanted a new Camaro. Like most 22 year olds, my dream was to own the highway with tons of horsepower and bassy V-8 thunder. I never could have foreseen then, even in my strangest of dreams that I would one day own and love a Toyota Prius. The Prius, now the embodiment of eco-friendliness, was to me the epitome of “uncool” then.
I knew that the Prius was known for its awesome gas mileage, but after driving a Toyota Avalon (1998 model year) as my first car - which gave me decent gas mileage, - I was convinced that MPG was not a deciding factor for me. The more I thought about the Prius, however, with its futuristic amenities and out of the ordinary aesthetics, the more it grew on me. I decided that the Prius was a car I would consider. I looked into other hybrids on the market such as the Honda Insight and was amazed to see just how much better the Prius was in every category.
One hot summer night in July, as my family and I watched TV, my uncle found an ad in the paper from a local Toyota dealership advertising Camry, Corolla, and Prius for extremely low prices. My cousin was a new driver and needed a car, my aunt needed a new car too, and I was already car shopping…this deal seemed too good to be true. It wasn’t. We went to the dealership the next day and left with a gray Corolla for my cousin, a silver Camry for my aunt, and a red Prius for me. I could not have made a better decision. It’s been over two years now, and the Prius never ceases to amaze me.
Last summer we drove my Prius from New Jersey to Florida and back. The Prius is EPA rated at 52 mpg, but we averaged over 55 mpg (and that’s WITH the A/C on the entire way). It is very roomy for its size (I have the 3rd Generation Prius) we fit three large suitcases and 4 duffle bags along with other odds and ends for the trip and we (two people) were not crammed at all. The seats on the 3rd Generation Prius offer more support than earlier generations and the two day trip each way was extremely comfortable.
A suggestion I do have for any other Prius owners out there: Minimize use of ECO mode. ECO mode is OK for driving in traffic, but if you use ECO mode on the highway, you will actually get fewer mpgs because the car will need more power to get up to, and maintain speed. You will end up using more gas. On the highway I leave the car in regular mode. I never use ECO or EV (Electric mode) unless I am stuck in traffic. I only use POWER mode when I need to accelerate out of the shoulder, or I need to get out of the way of something, because it gives me a substantial boost in horsepower when I need it, but lowers my mpg. Also, for any potential Prius buyers, I highly recommend the available Bluetooth and JBL sound system. Every single person ever to ride in my Prius has complimented the sound and bass quality of the speakers.
Being a young guy and owning a Prius can be a little difficult sometimes, with people constantly making jokes (this was not helped by the movie “The Other Guys”) but the friends and people I am close with have a new respect for the Prius after seeing just how much it saves on gas. Needless to say, when you have a Prius, everyone wants to take your car…and they readily offer to give you gas money for the ride, because it’s usually just a few cents.
Why I Went With Toyota Prius