Why We Own a Prius
When the Prius first started to appear on the roads, I mocked it. I still mock it. My partner liked it. I said it looked like a baby whale. We had a Subaru Forrester at the time and I loved it. I still do. Unfortunately, when we bought the Prius, my daughter bought the Forrester from me. I only get to see it when I go to visit her. She won't even let me drive it. Ungrateful child! Hmph.
After a few years of mocking and nicknaming them Whaley Boys (after Christopher Moore's characters in Fluke), I "gave" one to my partner for Christmas one year. Ok, I had no money. I gave it by arranging a 2-week rental/test drive from the local Toyota dealership. I found it odd when I picked it up but hey, it wasn't my gift. My partner adored it. My kids were amused. Win. We returned it and knew that our next car would be a Prius--even if I still laughed at it.
In 2008, we prepared to move from Florida to Illinois. Our 18-year-old had gotten her driver's license and needed a car. My seven-year-old Forrester had over 150,000 miles and definitely wouldn't have made it long in Illinois. It already hated to start on cold mornings in Florida. We sold the Forrester to the 18-year-old. I may have leaked a few tears related to the car. We went and my partner bought her first new car ever--the Prius. She loves it with a peculiar love. I enjoy playing with the maximize your gas mileage meter when I get a chance to drive it. The rest of it does nothing for me.
The Prius met our forecasted needs when we moved: we only would have three kids at home, (and they had spent a good portion of their lives sitting next to each other in the backseat of a Forrester or their father's Prius when not riding in their father's Sienna) gas prices in the Chicago area were high, so good gas mileage was a plus, and most of our driving would be stop and start city driving. We hit a snag when my mother moved in with us--now a family of six means some thought when getting everyone somewhere. It works out though.
I would prefer a vehicle not so prone to slipping over wet railroad crossings. (Remember, I had the very sure footed Forrester.) The styling still doesn't do anything for me. The crazed tire pressure gauge annoys me. The gas mileage does make me smile. In the winter we average about 46 mpg. The rest of the year closer to 58.
In the end and in the beginning our choosing the Prius had nothing to do with "green" or ego--just a simple quirk of the person who chose it falling in love with a funny looking car. (I blame the fact that she also has odd fond memories of Gremlins and Pacers even though she hated them as a teen.)