Why a Prius is my perfect retirement car


Toyota HybridAny “perfect” car is an individual choice and can really start a debate among car people.

The Mileage

Of course, the mileage is the big selling point of a hybrid like the Prius.  After over three years of ownership I can honestly say that I average well over 50 MPG without even trying, and sometimes as high as about 58.  I will say that in the coldest part of the winter here in eastern Pennsylvania that figure drops to the mid 40s, probably because I use the heater a lot.

I know that there are other cars that are less technologically complex and that still get pretty good mileage.  And they cost less.  It’s again a personal choice and when I weigh all the factors a Prius makes sense.  You are entitled to think differently!

Good for the environment

Ok, I do care about the environment, maybe more than average, but I’m not a tree hugging crazy.  My other car is a pickup, but I don’t drive it much.  And yes, I’ve seen the stories that the energy it takes to produce a Prius is way more than it saves.  I figure I can mitigate that by keeping it a long time.

Reliability – lasts forever

Toyotas have a reputation for lasting a long time, and the Prius is no exception.  I see stories of Prius’ being used for taxis and still in use after 500,000 miles!. I don’t think mine will last that long but 200K is not out of the realm of possibility.  I’ll keep up the maintenance, treat it gently, and hope for the best.  I’ve had other cars with nowhere near the reputation of a Toyota last for well after their expected lifetimes.

Lots of room

This is one area that surprises a lot of people.  A Prius is small on the outside but quite roomy on the inside.  I am not a little guy, and I fit fine.  It is more like a midsize than a compact.

Hauls a lot

This is another area that is pleasantly surprising.  With or without the back seats folded down there is quite bit of room back there.  As I mentioned I have access to a pickup, but unless I’m hauling sheets of plywood the Prius will often suffice.


A Prius is not going to win many drag races, nor was it meant to.  However, I personally find the performance completely adequate.  Getting on freeways is not a problem, nor are Pennsylvania’s hills.  I don’t live in the Rocky’s so I can’t speak to real mountain driving.  I may give that a test with a cross country trip, so I’ll have to provide an update!

A transportation appliance

I’ve hear a Prius described as a transportation appliance.  It is probably meant for people that appreciate technology, but don’t want to think about it too much.  I’ve done my own maintenance on my cars for most of my life, but the Prius is an exception.  It is complex and there are some bright orange wires under the hood that can carry lethal high voltage.

I think the Prius is a good choice for your only car, or the car that you use the most.  The all electric cars coming out now are very interesting but I’m not sure I want to mess with plugging them in, and most are even more expensive than the Prius.

As I said in the beginning a car is a personal choice.  What are your thoughts?



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