I moved to San Jose last year from San Francisco but my workplace is still located in San Bruno. This means driving about 35 miles one way on US-101 or 44 miles on 280. I guess taking the train would have been one option but that is a bit inconvenient as the station is 5 miles from my place. I have to pay for parking and monthly pass which adds up to a large number. Finally, after driving my Altima Coupe for almost a year on the long traffic filled roads of the bay area, I decided it was time to get a car that is efficient and economical.
I hated the Prius to be honest. With all the bad name that it has accumulated over the years, I never thought I will end up buying one. However, when my colleague got a Prius and I noticed that it gave a mileage of 55-60 MPG I could not resist buying one. I am in my 30s and hence I can afford buying a Prius (In my 20s, I would’ve made fun of someone driving the stupid car!!). I have driven about 1000 miles in the first week since I bought it and am listing my experience with driving the car below.
The biggest advantage of driving the Prius is the mileage!! I love the way it drives on Electric power in peak trafiic and at times when there is slowly moving traffic. Even when driving at speeds ~60 miles per hour, it manages to deliver close to 40 mpg. The display is also helpful in monitoring the real time gas usage and it has helped me adjust my driving so as to achieve better mileage. I kind of have a small competition where each day I try to beat the average mpg for the trip to office n back.
The second good thing about the Prius is that it is a good package. It offers rearview camera, good stereo with 6 speakers, keyless entry, push button start, drop flat seats, digital odometer, bluetooth connectivity, USB charging and a good enough cabin space for a decent price close to 23K for the base version. With ongoing promotions on loans (0% APR for 60 months), it was quite a steal.
Lastly, It is a toyota and even though Prius has earned a bad reputation previously, I believe that the maintenance should not be an issue. The company also offers prepaid maintenance packages which are good for the value they offer.
The car is really SLOOOOOWWWWW!! I have compared driving the Prius and my older Altima and the Altima is zippy and makes merging on freeways a breeze. With Prius, merging onto the freeway or driving on an uphill slope is a battle. The pickup of the car even with POWER Mode on is slow. It is a mere 99HP engine so don’t have huge expectations from the car!!
This car makes no sound at all in EV mode. I have made the mistake of stepping out of the car and forgetting to turn off the engine because it makes 0 noise.
All in all, I am loving the car. The mileage is awesome and if you adjust your driving skills a bit, the drive ain’t so bad.