Prius, Why Must You Be So Expensive?

We spent the weekend camping at around 8000 feet elevation in the very beautiful Mammoth Mountain area, in the Eastern Sierras. It was quite a breath-taking place; I will see if I can grab some time later to get some pictures up from our hiking trip to Devil's Postpile and Rainbow Falls. That was a hike-and-a-half, not because of the distance (4 miles, not very far) but because our friend's 3-year-old got so pooped in the first mile, that I ended up carrying her 40-pound self for at least 2 miles since her mom is nearly 6 months preggers and the little one would not allow my husband, a strange tall man who is not her "Daddy", to carry her. I totally earned my 3 beers and glass of wine that night.

We even got to see the terminus of Route 6 in Bishop, CA, which was super-cool for me because my hometown, back in Massachusetts, is a stop on this old cross-country route. When I was a kid, I once followed it from Provincetown, MA (the very tip of Cape Cod in MA) to Bishop, CA by pulling out every state map from our Encyclopedia book set. I was disappointed that it ended somewhere in "no-where" California and figured I'd never see it. Lo-and-behold! More than twenty years later, I got to drive the very end of it! It's the little things that make me happy. The Husband thought I was a little too excited about it.

He also had the same reaction when I squealed and jumped up and down when the Hertz guy offered me the Prius as a rental car option. I am frequently coined a "dork" by the Husband. Anyway, I had some vouchers from work, and we figured it was better to put the 750 miles on a rental than our own car, so, enter the Prius into the mix. I almost didn't rent it because it was an extra $24 dollars more than the Mazda 3 (my frugal brain immediately balked at $60, over $36). But, luckily, common sense prevailed when I realized that at 50-55 mpg, the net savings from gas would be exceed the extra cost to rent it.

And, by George (whoever he is), this car is awesome! We used around 8 gallons of gas to drive 370 miles. Roundtrip, 760 miles later, we spent $64 on gas. Is that not insane? And we pay around $4/gallon here, so it used about 16 gallons for 750 miles. All cars NEED to be this efficient!!!

The downside is that they cost $24,000, new. That is a bit more than I'd like to spend on my next car. I am so OVER taking out a loan and paying for a car for 5 years, I don't want to do it again. Sure, used is an option, but I doubt they are that much cheaper used, unless you get one that has driven to Timbuck-Two and back 14 times.

I was bummed to have to give it back this morning. It even unlocks itself when you walk up to it with your key. At first, I thought it was posessed, when I walked up to it at the camp-site, key still in my purse, and it unlocked itself without anyone pressing the button. I am going to hold out hope that more hybrids will be made at more affordable pricing - it would be excellent for our wallets and the environment. Then I can get my own Prius, and not have to scare the Hertz rental guy anymore.


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