As most know, I am a right-winger. However, spending $140/week in gas for my 4X4 lifted Tacoma was getting old. I wanted to pick up a vehicle to save some $ and take away the stress of rising gas prices. I also had to spend at least 23K so my mileage payments could be 100% tax free (this is an IRS deal). This 23K requirement eliminated a lot of pretty solid cars in the 16-18K range that would have otherwise been in play.
So, I end up getting a 2012 Prius C (model 3). To even make it more crazy to friends and family I get one in Habanero Orange. I figured if I am going to drive a small car I was to be as visible to F350s and Truckers as possible and this color is BRIGHT.
After a month of driving this car it is the bomb. The thrill of driving a 911 or my old Infiniti G35 (years ago) has been replaced by trying to get 70 MPG on a trip to Academy to buy ammo. When I get caught in bad traffic it isn't a problem- I just sit back and watch my mileage go from 50MPG to 65 MPG in stop and go traffic. The car has a lot of gadgets for 23K. It has a full navigation, voice command blue tooth, and you can send and read e-mails from the touch screen stereo. You can also surf the internet and use Bing from the car stereo. XM/Sirus, iPod interface, etc... it has basically everything you’d find a 60K Lexus.
I have filled it up 5 times in a 6 weeks versus 2 times per week. The worst tank was the first one- 48.4 MPG, the best was 51.4. On my commute I have to get on I35 and drive 70MPH+ so that isn't the best for hybrid mileage. If I ever just drove around in town I could EASILY average 60-65+MPG on a tank. I spent a lot of time reading on Prius Chat after getting the car and it was a big help. You need to drive a hybrid different than a normal vehicle to maximize what it can do. That is the fun part about driving one.
Cargo space is pretty tight. I can barely fit a 142 wakeboard in the car. I have to fold the rear sets down and wakeboard is pressed up against the front seats. You can barely fit a Glock 19 in the center console- I carry my Ruger LC9 in it now.
It is hard to say exactly how much cash this little car is saving me but it is a lot Even with a car payment. I could have paid cash for it but why when I got 1.9% interest for 60 months? My truck hasn't needed gas in 6 weeks. My wife is going on 3 weeks in her van. We take the Prius almost everywhere now. To fill-up a Prius runs around $30 and I can easily drive 415+ miles on a tank.
Personally, I don't give a rat a$$ about the scam that is global warming or ridiculous environmental issues that don't make sense. $8 light bulbs are just stupid. I bought this great car to save cash and I love the sucker. I can't wait to find a "hybrid only" parking spot but I haven't parked in one yet
In summary, these cars may be ugly, not cool at all and worst of all- you may be mistaken for a liberal. However, it is nice driving by a gas station and not giving a crap how much gas went up. If gas goes to $5 gallon it really won't be too bad until I get ready to fill up my Super Air.