I bought a new car this weekend

…a Toyota Prius.

This doesn’t mean I’ve decided to become some holier-than-thou eco-weenie.  It’s just a car that makes sense for me, and I really like gadgets, so win-win!

I left the house to go buy a Ford Expedition EL, roughly the size of a supertanker (and unfortunately without the supertanker of fuel needed to supply it), and I liked it enough: big, powerful, and total overkill for my purposes.  I had a little voice in the back of my head telling me this was a bad idea, and that voice somehow arranged for me to deal with the least interesting auto dealer I’ve met.  Following an hour of attempted financial abuse I finally left, without a deal.

Driving away, I asked myself what I needed, and came up with ‘fun commuter’.  I’d looked at the Prius online a decent amount ( the technology fascinates me), and knew it had all the electronic goodies I could possibly want.  So, off to the Toyota house.  (An aside: my daughter was with me, I asked her to call to make sure they had some for drives, and she asked the cellular operator for “The Fort Worth Toyota house”, which made me laugh, as it’s southwestern slang to call a dealership a ‘ brand house’.  The operator didn’t understand, so she had to ask for the Toyo dealer, and all was well).

The world is an odd place, so of course my salesman there wasn’t just a former Marine, he’d been on the same boat as me during my deployment (attached to our unit, but peripherally)!  After 5 minutes of conversations, it was off to the drive.  I liked it, and bought it.  Now I don’t know why they have any left on the lot, they’re pretty slick.

Oh, and I did some freeway to and from Dallas, and a commute to work, and I’ve gotten 44mpg so far.  It’s a far cry from the 60/51 advertised, but it’s still a whole lot better than anything else I’d looked at, and a lot better then the SUV I traded in (17mpg).


Now I need to decorate it like this guy, and for the same reason…


  1. Don’t sweat it. I own enough assualt rifles to outfit a squad and I drive a Toyota Echo, the Prius’s retarded cousin. It gets 43 MPG, is acutally pretty roomy inside, and I have driven it 60,000 miles with only a warranty-replaced alternator as a glitch (and it was just making a funny noise, still working).

    I fill the tank up every month and I honestly don’t care how much gas costs. I have a big “W” sticker on the back and it’s ironic sitting in traffic next to a Humvee with a “Give Peace a Chance” sticker.

  2. Jared Solomon says:

    GD, I drive a Yamaha XT225 or a couple different bicycles for my commuting. I have to say about the motorcycle, 75 mpg without difficulty. Enjoyable commute no matter my mood. I have an immense urge to stay off of the superslab now–it’s just too much fun to go other routes and explore.

    Moral of the story: go with the one that makes you grin.

  3. Isn’t it nice when pragmatism an doing good coincide?

    FYI, the Prius supposedly gets better mileage in city driving over highway driving, since it can use the electric motor more on city streets, whereas on highways, it relies more on the gas engine. Or so I hear.


  4. I read all of the comments on the other Prius owner’s site. One idea for a bumper sticker said, “I’m not a Democrat, but my car is.” I think you should get that one! Congrats on the new car, you’ll have to let me know how it is!

  5. Mary Aquala says:

    Is the Air Conditioner turned off? When I bought my new Prius last month, it was on (and I didn’t realize it) and I was getting about 44 mpg. With it off, highway driving I can get up to 54. I don’t drive in town so can’t talk about that.


  6. I bought a Prius last year. I love it. The most I’ve ever gotten was 47mpg, though, and I drive on both highway and city streets fairly equally.

    Congrats! What color??

  7. Congrats! Hey, now we have something in common, GruntDoc!

  8. My husband had a suggestion for a bumper sticker you could make and put on the car: Less money on gas, more left for ammo.

  9. Wow, this was a fun thread to start! I like the bumper sticker ideas, Dr. Nic’s is the current winner.

    Yes, the AC is on, but it’s Texas and it’s humid.

    I finally have something in common with Graham. Took long enough.

    Oh, and Barcelona Red. My first red car since junior college (and that was a Triumph GT6 MkIII).

    I’m open to other bumper-sticker ideas, so keep ’em coming.

  10. COngrats!

  11. Get an end-the-Iraq-war bumper sticker from http://www.MoveOn.org. Okay, I know, you’d rather shoot yourself in the kneecap… but think for a minute and you’ll know in your gut it’s time to stop the fruitless dying. As a former destroyer officer, I have a NAVY bumpersticker, and it balances the “Endless [corrected to “End this”] War” bumpersticker I decided it was time to affix to my 4X4 Toyota Tacoma. I need the pickup for a thousand things here in the hills of California’s Gold Country — last Saturday, for example, I dragged a stuck moving van out of the mud. But my wife and I have had a Prius as our main traveling/commuting car since they came on the US market. Our first was among the first shipped to the West Coast from Japan, ordered in advance over the Internet. You’ll find they have all the zip and handling you could ask for on curvy backcountry roads. And if you care at all, you can take satisfaction in the fact that no matter how many mpg you’re getting, you’re adding approximately zero emissions to the atmosphere. With the cool touch-screen dashboard display, the ABS and the aerodynamic styling, Priuses rule! Now, if only somebody would make a hybrid 4X4 pickup….

  12. BladeDoc says:

    Finally! Someone with a good reason to buy a Prius –just because you want one. After the Times UK published a dust-to dust energy expenditure of the Prius v. the H3 and found that when you count the costs to dispose of and replace the lead/acid battery the H3 comes out ahead in CO2 expenditure over time(see http://www.impactlab.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=11001 ) there is no other good reason. BTW some people believe you can get 2X the battery lifetime that Toyo estimates, that would get you to even.

  13. Didn’t Chili Palmer drive a Prius?

  14. So yesterday I read your post here right before I went out the door to go to an appt in Philly. I noticed this cool little bright red car next to my maroon tank (1994 Mercury Sable) when I parked, but didn’t get a chance to see what it was until I came back out since I was running late. It was a Prius! Sweet!

    I rode my first motorcycle last night (well, I was riding on the back), and now I’m hooked. My friend thinks that next week I’m gonna sell my car and get a bike. Haha Not yet, but I definitely can’t wait to ride again!

    Take care and have fun with the car!
    Carrie :)

  15. Aerospace Genius says:

    Bumpersticker schmumpersticker. Here’s what you need:


  16. Jim in Texas says:

    You remember my plate? A TX “Desert Storm” plate “E9 RTD”? Surely one of your deployments qualifies you for some of the military related plates? Get a U.S. Navy plate or one of yhe ones from the list below.

    Cool, I qualify for 4 different plates; Airborne, Vietnam Veteran,Desert Storm Veteran and Medal of Honor (JOKING!! just the first three.

    P.S. Yer still a wimp for bailing on the expedition…..

    Airborne Parachutists
    Armed Forces Reserve
    Congressional Medal of Honor
    Desert Storm Veteran
    Disabled Veteran
    Distinguished Flying Cross Medal
    Enduring Freedom Veterans
    Former Prisoner of War
    Gold Star Mother
    Korea Veteran
    Legion of Valor
    Marine Corps League
    Operation Iraqi Freedom
    Pearl Harbor Survivor
    Purple Heart Recipient
    Texas Guard
    Texas Wing Civil Air Patrol
    U.S. Air Force
    U.S. Army
    U.S. Coast Guard
    U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
    U.S. Marine Corps
    U.S. Military Academy – West Point
    U.S. Navy
    Vietnam Veteran
    World War II Veteran

    Jim in Plano

  17. Jim in Texas says:

    After I posted that list I was curious about the gold star mother plate and went to the website. I was shocked to learn that it cost $10.

    Should that be one of the free ones?

    yer still a whimp….maybe paint it cammo? Put a rifle rack in the back?

  18. Actually, Jim, I don’t qualify for any of those. As I didn’t retire from the Navy, I’m not eligible for that one, and was fortunate to never be shot at, so none of the campaign ones apply, either.

    I like the Horned Toad one, though, Keep Texas Wild. Maybe.

  19. If you do the plate route, go for the Big Bend one. I offer no other reason to get it other than I’ll get one the day I can splurge the extra for it.

    As for bumper stickers…
    I saw one on an old beat up questionably insured truck that read, “Do you stare at retarded kids too?”

    A family member who is 6’2″ and over two hundred pounds drives a Honda Insight (the little electric tin can ones). I got him a “You should see my other ride” bumper sticker. I had it done at a sign shop that can do outdoor vinyl so it’s not goddy looking.

    I’m boring. I have a small Blue Ribbon Coalition sticker, my school’s name and a small American flag. Any more and I cross that line to “probably a crazy person”.

    Don’t forget your “No Fear” sticker. haha!