Friday, May 2, 2008

Prius - smug or selfish?

So I bought a Prius earlier this year after dealing with the very frustrating people at Volkswagen who could not (or would not) fix my oil consumption problems with my 2006 Jetta 2.0T. In looking for a new car, my only criteria was something with at least as much back seat room as my Jetta for the carseats, and I definitely prefer leather or some other non-fabric that doesnt stain every time the kids spill something.

The two main contenders ended up being the 2008 Prius and the 2008 Accord. Configured with leather, they are both very similar in price. There were a couple deciding factors here. First, because my Jetta was so new, I lost a bundle by trading it. Second, I cannot stand oil companies and their record profits while we all suffer, and would do nearly anything to take that from them. Some calculations showed that buying the Prius would save enough per month in gas to make my monthly car+gas cost the same as the Jetta, even though the payment would be much higher than the Jetta. This really was the main tipping point, so I bought the Prius.

So, while there is a tendency to view Prius owners as tree-hugging hippies who sip capuccino while feeling better than everyone else, I think there are a lot of people out there just like me. I didn't buy the car to save the planet--I bought it to save money and screw the oil companies (with the happy side-effect of reducing gas usage and emissions).

I just don't understand the hate Prius-drivers get. Are the Hummer-driving soccer moms jealous? I can understand that not everyone can get rid of their current car to buy another one right now. But really, it's kind of annoying that as a nation we whine about spiraling gas prices while people continue to buy gas-guzzlers...

5 comments:

Lantana said...

People hate the Prius? 'News to me! (I thought my husband was the only one). He is a die hard hotrodder who owns 2 Corvettes!

I was considering purchasing a Prius myself, until I read that many taxicab companies are buying them up. I just cannot see myself driving a "taxi type" car. I like to be unique. So I am re considering a Camry instead?

What say thou? Old ladies car? Well I cannot argue with that label because I AM an old lady!

Lantana

Seek Geo said...

Hi Aaron!

Great post!! We own Prius and we get annoyed by people saying prius drivers are tree-huggers, etc.. we're like umm.. duh! We're doing it to save us a lot of money instead of wasting gas.

I must say this some people, all they think about is the look of cars so they won't buy Prius just cuz it looks funny. I had to explain the reason why for that kind of designed is because to make mpg better with wind, etc.

For me, I couldn't careless how it looks as long as it can run well and save us some serious money.

One of vloggers a while back said that all hybrid cars are the worse because they waste a bunch of money on electricity, I was confused. There is no such thing as electronic cars anymore at this moment. So I commented to correct and of course my comment was deleted.

So, a lot of people agreed that hybrids are waste of money. I already plan to vlog about Prius soon to explain how it works to get it all straighten out.

Hey Lantana,

Prius is the best car for 3 reasons, great mpg, very comfortable with great seats and all.. and last is a lot of rooms.

-SG

Aaron said...

I completely forgot to mention...

for anyone who is VERY conscious of mileage, Hymotion has recently released a lithium battery plug-in upgrade for Prius that will go 30-40 miles with no gas. They give a 3 year warranty on the battery but it costs $10,000 including installation. Google used them to convert a few of their company Prius to plug-in.

It is still VERY expensive, but it is brand new. I am hoping to get the same upgrade in a few years for like $3000 when more companies offer upgrades like this.

For my commute, it would only save me $550 per year, so it doesnt make sense to pay $10,000.

Grendel said...

Aaron, I'm a huge fan of our little Prius, too! Umm, yeah, I like trees too, but just as friends, nothing more, so I try to keep it to a handshake or a quick kiss on the cheek -- no hugging or groping :)

I haven't noticed any Prius hate, yet -- hope I don't ever! I've gotten stopped a few times by strangers asking me how I like it, because they're considering it. Now, when I tell people I'm a vegetarian, then I start getting evil looks from the carnivores :)

Your mention of the lithium battery upgrade is really interesting ... I'm going to have to check that out (I've got a 120 m commute each day that kicks my butt financially, even though I'm getting 45 - 48 miles to the gallon). But I'll wait along with you. It's right behind an iPhone on my wish list.

Li-Li's Mom

Misha said...

Wow, I'm glad you posted this to discuss about Prius and other hybrid cars as well.
Neither on smug or selfish on the part.
Unforunatley, we just bought a used car before I learned alot about the hybrid cars from Geo, especially Prius. However, we discovered that Prius is kind of expensive for us to afford. But we're saving up to get Prius eventually since we really are very conscious on mileage and gas saving.
Right now everyone is very concerned about gas prices. Nowdays, lots of people are trading in their SUVs, vans, and big cars for the smaller cars (hybrid or not). Right here in CT, used car salesmen refuse to accept SUVs, vans, etc. for trade ins in order to keep selling all small cars because they're concerned on having a hard time selling those big cars even when they empty out the small cars.

Misha :D