Friday, November 16, 2007

Our Toyota Prius

Last week Lavinia and I finally ended our car buying experience and purchased a 2008 Toyota Prius.


We have been going back and forth and back and forth on what car to buy. Go modest and get some thing really affordable or lust after the car that is too much. We wanted to make a good miles per gallon choice (common on with Mom owning a Prius and Mark working on the automotive solution of the future in fuel cells we have to right?) and we wanted something that would work well for Jack. That landed us in a small category of choices.


We looked at the Highlander Hybrid and figured it was just the Xterra with a better back seat and slightly better mpg, but $6k more for the car to gain 4-6mpg was a little much to pay. Now we did like it and if we didn’t already have an SUV it would have been a good choice. The Highlander has lots of room and is very comfortable.


We actually looked at a mini-van. Now, before you laugh (too late no doubt) I can totally see why people, especially families, buy one. They are very luxurious and give you 100% of what you need in attributes, plus some. So we thought about that and concluded that it was just too big for what we needed now. If we have another child (not saying we are) then I can see us getting one.


Now, both those vehicles would have cost $42k and $38k respectively. The top of the line Prius came in at $28k. Lavinia has never liked the look of the Prius, and I’ll admit they are not sexy. Lavinia is from Panama and is a 4x4 truck girl. I’ve been there and let me tell you that you need a car like that often. She’s just more comfortable in a truck that is higher up. The Xterra was really made for her and she loves driving it. Over and over we’d go and get back to the Prius as a smart choice but the looks would end the discussion.


I was able to talk to Lavi about having some money for some other projects that we wanted to do if we went for the cheaper Prius. Plus, I told her we could get the top end Prius as it would still be cheaper compared to the Highlander and Mini-van choices. After all that we test drove one with the leather seats. So that was the logic. The dealer having a top end model with leather seats at the time was the luck I needed.


We’re very happy with the choice and the car will be a great option around the city and we still have our trusty Xterra for when we need it. Wonder if we’ll have it long enough for Jack to use it. Probably not. If that were ever the case I would have driven a 72 VW Squareback to High School and Mark would have driven a Plymouth Horizon (because the 83 Volvo he drove was so much more sexy indeed).


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