Abby and I had a chance to check out 2 hybrids yesterday – the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid. The first place we went to was the Honda dealer. Aside from the bad experience with the sales associate, the car itself was not as impressive as my initial research with the Prius. I only gave Honda a chance because my family has been buying Hondas for many years now (CR-V, Civic, Odyssey, and TL). I test drove the car and asked some questions. The sales associate could hardly answer the questions so I just paid attention to my driving experience. One thing I noticed is that I felt cramped. It’s unfair to say that though being that my current car is aTL. It has a quiet ride, but the engine noise outside is noticeable (for me and Abby). We couldn’t play with the navigation system because the DVD disc is not in the car. It was one bad experience after another. In terms of accessories, no one had a clue what options are available. The dealer even have the nerve to give me the old “So what can we do for you to get that car by tonight?” crap. They didn’t even have the color I want and I even told them that it was our first day looking and that they were the first dealer we checked out. That left a bad taste in our mouth so I doubt we’ll be going back there again. To think we bought our 3 Hondas there.
The night was young so we decided to check out the Toyota dealer nearby. I was a bit excited after seeing what the Civic offered. The experience was a better one. The sales associate is more knowledgeable. He answered all my questions and provided details and explanations to many of the answers. I did notice a slight “chug” when the car switches from battery to gas but after a couple of minutes during the test drive I no longer noticed or remembered it occurring again. The Prius test drove had Package 5 installed. This included the navi unit, bluetooth, HID, keyless system, more air bags, advanced brakes, etc. The console is better designed than the Civic and I didn’t feel as cramped. I will be going to another dealer and taking a closer look. For now, if I’ll be getting a new car, the Prius is on top of my list.
Gas is ridiculously expensive. I’m lucky to get roughly 29MPG on my TL right now but it’s 95% highway travel. During the weekends when I run errands, I’ll be lucky to get 20MPG. I’m getting about 320 miles for about 13-14 gallons. I’ve read a couple of posts online from Prius users getting 600+ miles on a 9-10 gallon tank. That’s nearly twice what I’m getting now on a smaller tank. Less trips to the gas station and easier on the pocket. I am highly considering a purchase within the month.