So, we finished up our first full day with our shiny 2006 Toyota Prius rental, and all I can say is…Wow. This is a great car! When we went to EVRental yesterday to get it, the first one they gave us was kind of a piece of crap in that it was filthy and smelled really strongly of mold or mildew. I think someone ran it into a pond or something and they just dried it out. So we returned it for another one and got a nice brand new one with only 16,000 miles on it. It is a cool dark red color and seems to have all the bells and whistles except for leather seats. (Which, by the way, I find hard to fathom paying for, since you are buying a car for its sustainability factor and why order leather to go along with that?) There is no key, but rather a square button-like thing that you just plug into the dashboard and then you press the power button which silently starts up the car. The only way you would know it was on is by all the lights that come up everywhere, as it is dead silent. Moving the gear lever to drive, the car slowly but surely starts crawling away from a stop without making a sound. Once you reach around 30 miles per hour, the gas engine kicks in with nary a shutter.
Driving it to the airport and around town, we have averaged 47 MPG so far, a far cry above what our Mini gets around town. It drives really smooth and although it won’t win any races, I imagine it is fast enough for almost anyone.
By the time this is posted, we will be on a long drive down south, really testing the car out with 4 people in it going 65 on the highway. I look forward to seeing how it performs and what the MPG of our trip will be, and I will post a follow-up once we turn the car in. Overall, I could not be happier so far with our rental and it really makes me wish that we had one. Maybe once we have kids this could be our family car…if I can part with the Mini!
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