I Sold The Appliance

The Appliance, 2007 Toyota Prius - Austin, Texas

The Appliance, 2007 Toyota Prius – Austin, Texas

I sold “The Appliance” last week. That’s the affectionate name I gave my 2007 Toyota Prius. I consider it more of a driving appliance rather than a car. It was perfectly reliable, economical and utterly boring to drive. It didn’t handle well or accelerate well. But it adequately met my needs and I liked it.

As I recall, I bought it on Memorial Day of 2007. During the 10+ years of service, I never had to repair anything. All I did was the standard maintenance. I never even replaced the brakes. I didn’t have to. The hybrid’s regenerative braking was usually enough to stop the car. I also only bought one set of new tires. Granted, I didn’t drive that much. Only a total of 82,000 miles — about 8,000 miles per year.

Back in May, I talked about my Car Analysis Mode. And astute readers will recall, that there is a change of plans. Originally, I was going to pass this car down to my younger son, when he started driving in a year or so. After all, my goal is to keep a car for 15 years.

But I changed my mind. While the Prius has been absolutely reliable and going strong with no apparent problems, I wanted a safer car for my first time driver. The Prius is 4 star crash rated car and I wanted better.

So with a possible Win-Win-Win scenario, I decided to buy a new car for myself and use it for about a year or so. When my younger son begins to drive, he will get my older son’s Honda CR-V, which while also 10 years old, has a more solid 5 star rating. The older car will also be perfect for the first time driver. The older son will then get the newest safety tech for his college life in San Antonio.

While the Eco Credentials are nice, that wasn’t the main reason I bought the Prius. I got it for the technology and gadgets. Back in 2007, after driving my previous car for 15 years, I was surprised how little car technology had changed since 1992. Sure the cars were a bit better but the basic technology was the same. The Prius had keyless entry, keyless start, a big center mounted LCD touchscreen and a backup camera. Surprisingly advanced for back then.

I also had fun “game-ify” my commute to see how well I can optimize gasoline usage. My best was about 52 miles per gallon over an entire tank of gas. On average through, over the 10 years, I got about mid-40s.

A year after I bought the Prius, when the gasoline prices spiked, I got two interesting offers from a Toyota dealer. They were so desperate to get high-efficiency used cars that they offered the full price I paid, for a year-old car. Better yet, they were willing to do a straight trade for a $40,000 Toyota Tundra Full Size pickup truck. They weren’t selling too many of those big things back then. I declined of course. I enjoyed paying my low prices. I think at the peak, I paid about $35 or so for a tank of gas and I got a range of over 400 miles. At the lowest I paid about $10. More recently I pay about $16.

I’m certainly going to miss the economy of that car. I sold it with a twinge of sadness and with only 10 years of use. After much analysis, I’ll reveal the new car I bought, tomorrow.

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8 thoughts on “I Sold The Appliance

  1. I used to own a Mazda Miata, THAT was a fun car to drive.

    I’m not a fan of keyless, I once rented a keyless car and couldn’t figure out how to start it. I felt very stupid going back to the counter and saying “I don’t know how to start the car.”

    1. It’s not bad if you get used to it. But I could understand how random new tech in rent-a-cars can cause problems.

      Yeah, the Miata is supposed to be a super fun car. I’m too pragmatic to consider it but it oozes character.

      1. The Miata is very practical as long as you only need to transport at most one-other person, and that other person isn’t carrying huge luggage to the airport that doesn’t fit in the trunk.

        For driving to work every day, very practical. And gives you an excuse for not being the one who drives when you go out to lunch with your coworkers.

      2. Absolutely. You make a good point about not being part of the lunch time transportation brigade.

        Even with my comparably small Prius, we often use my car for lunch time excursions.

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