Monday, September 05, 2005

"we'll take one of each"

Ted and I went car shopping today. Inspired by my recent $43 tank of gas and the long-held desire to get rid of his car, we test drove a Toyota Prius. In a word... cool. We've been talking about getting a hybrid for more than a year, although we had been focused on the Highlander. Because we planned to keep our Honda CR-V, we decided that two SUVs in the family was one too many -- even if one was "small" and the other "medium." And thus, the Prius. We are now on the waiting list, which means it will be 2-3 months before we actually get the car.

While we were at the car dealership (for a couple hours, mind you), Ted suggested that we trade in the Honda and also buy a new Scion xB. He had test-driven one a couple months ago and really liked it. The dealership had one on the lot (Scion is made by Toyota), and so I decided I'd drive it, too. They even had a 5-speed stick, which is my transmission of choice. And Ted was right. It was a fun car to drive. Sure, it looks like a box! But it's got great cargo (and passenger) space, and its gas mileage is even better than the CR-V's.

We didn't drive out with new cars today (I'd planned on the waiting list for the Prius, and didn't plan at all for the idea of trading in the Honda), but we are well on our way to ending up with two new cars before the year is out. The gas mileage alone justifies the seemingly impetuous nature of this decision. The Prius gets 60 MPG city and 51 highway, compared to our Acura's 23 MPG highway and 21 city. Plus there's the added bonus of reduced emissions. And the Scion averages 35 MPG where my Honda is around 25.

It feels dangerous, buying two new cars at the same time. But it just might be the right idea.

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