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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