The Hybrid Experience


During our recent vacation, we rented a car for two days and because the compact car that I had reserved, a Ford Focus, reeked of cigarette smoke, the lady was kind enough to let me have the Toyota Prius- a Hybrid vehicle. When she asked me if I had ever driven one before, I looked at her funny. I said, “how different can it be?” She just grinned. I could not even turn it on when I got in. She came and showed me what to do and then, how to run it. It was interesting. All the controls were through some panel screen (like a GPS screen), and it was very complicated until you got used to it – took me just enough time to get it before I had to return it.

The ride was smooth, and the car was slightly larger than your usual compact. We could fit all our stuff in it, both car seats, and still had room for one person to squeeze rather tightly between the car seats. All in all, I really enjoyed the hybrid experience. I enjoyed it even more on our trip to the airport to return it. I had to fuel it back to FULL. I was expecting to pay over $10 for the 120+ miles we had put on it but I was very pleased when it stopped pumping at 2.4 gallons. I spent a grand total of $5.70 to fill it up after 48 hours of driving it. We drove it for well over 70 miles on day 1, and an additional 70 on day 2. It was terribly hot and we were running the A/C constantly too. We had to- I was nursing the baby in the car, we would wait in the car while one of us ran into the store, and so on. So, I was excited to see that I only had to spend a little change on the gas.

After driving it and the small bill for gas, I am SOLD on it- I wish more dealerships and auto manufacturers would make hybrids- for vans, for cars, etc. I know we need the space to have a wagon or SUV, but I would gladly pay a little extra if they made them hybrids. It would reduce our dependence on oil while still permitting a great ride. Leave it to Toyota to have a good one at the same price sticker as a Subaru Outback. We had a great hybrid experience and hope that they continue to make cars and trucks more affordable and more fuel efficient. I am honestly considering one for my next vehicle.

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