Monday, August 25, 2008

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment