The Yin and Yang of Prius


My wife and I decided to give our son the 2009 Prius (for him to use both for college and for work) or otherwise we’d be driving him everywhere. That meant I needed a new car and pronto since college has already begun. 

After much deliberation—looking at Prius, Chevy Volt, and several other hybrid types—I decided on another Prius. For me, the car perfectly hits the sweet-spot of mileage, technology, cost and pretty decent performance. On my 2009 I would routinely get 48-50mpg in nice weather (around 42mpg in winter) but this new one people are achieving 52mpg on average in nice weather (don’t have numbers for winter).

Opinions run the gamut on the Prius from joy (like I have) to ones like this from the Minneapolis StarTribune gossip columnist C.J. to whom I’m connected:

Sorry CJ…I could care less what anyone else thinks about what car I drive. In fact, at least 25% of the time I’m at the Costco gas pumps I’ll have people ask me what kind of mileage I get, especially if they’re driving something like a Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Tahoe, or some other large SUV.

Here is the type of encounter I have often at the Costco pumps: 

prius-escaladeTwo weeks ago a woman driving a three week old Cadillac Escalade (the entry-level 2WD model) walked over while her vehicle was being filled up.

She seemed sheepish to ask what kind of mileage I got and that she was driving such a huge vehicle (“after all it’s just me driving it,” she explained) but it wasn’t until we both saw a comparison of our respective car’s mileage (and range on a tank of gasoline) that her jaw dropped.

Took me seconds to pull out my iPhone and go to this site I’ve got bookmarked. This quick comparison of my 2009 Prius and her 2013 Escalade shows that my 2009’s 11.9 gallon tank (if empty) would cost a paltry $38 to fill at $3.50/gallon and could travel 493 miles. Her Escalade holds 26 gallons, would cost $91 to fill, and could travel only 374 miles

Muttering, “Oh shit” she thanked me and went back to continue filling her tank. Though I’d started filling up after her, I was done and drove away.

Though we’d looked for days, we knew the Labor Day weekend deals would be the best they’d be on 2013 models and they were (and believe me, we knew costs cold).

Just so happened the Prius “Persona” model in black was on their show floor and I hadn’t realized it had 17″ wheels (as opposed to most Prius’ 15″ ones). With its 17″ wheels the car rides much better than my  2009 Prius or any other 15″ wheel-based Prius models I’ve driven since. We took the white one they had on the lot out for a test drive and I was sold on the ride, the technology, and so we took the black one home on Saturday.

altimaSo here is my bride with her pristine 2009 Nissan Altima with ridiculously low mileage (25k). As we drove home she admitted to being a bit envious and asked if I’d take the Altima and she could then drive the new Prius! After I burst out laughing she knew that possibility was a non-starter.

After showing her the technology: how the car’s Entune system and its apps interacted with my iPhone; how the navigation worked; and other stuff she was convinced (though I do love this car Toyota needs to do some serious work on this Entune system since it is flaky and challenging to setup, even for a geek like me).

yin-yangOn Labor Day we looked at half a dozen models at three dealerships in town but went back to Burnsville Toyota to buy. She decided on the Blizzard Pearl white Persona model with identical features to my black one. Our having black and white Prius models is our own Yin and Yang:

Yin and yang are actually complementary, not opposing, forces, interacting to form a whole greater than either separate part; in effect, a dynamic system. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Either of the two major aspects may manifest more strongly in a particular object, depending on the criterion of the observation.

As I said on Facebook to my family and friends about the  of our purchases, “In our garage are his-n-hers Prius Persona’s for the dark and foreboding Mr. Yin and the lovely, spiritually light and pure Ms. Yang.” I think we’re going to have fun with them.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.