Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Wheels. No, Not a Hybrid

I've bought a new car, a Scion xD. We've become a three-driver family this summer and so now have a third car. This will be my car, and it is not a hybrid; that is a major change for me.

I've driven Toyota Prius hybrids for most of the present century. My first was a 2001, the first version that was available in the US. I was, I think, the second or third to have a Prius in Delaware. I replaced that with a second generation Prius in 2004.

I love our 2005 Prius, it is a roomy, comfortable, efficient and clean car. But we are at a point where we need a car for our daughter to drive. We could have found her a used car at one of the dealerships, and we looked a bit. But I didn't really want to buy a used car (my personal bias, I guess). And, if I'm going to buy a new car, it won't be for the young driver; it's going to be for me. We recently replaced Karen's car, by the way.

So I started looking for a small, efficient, and inexpensive car for my commute. I did some research, test-drove a few models, and settled on the Scion. It presents a nice balance between efficiency and features. The Scion is a sporty little thing but you sit up fairly high, which I like. The styling is sharp; a colleague described the front view today as like a Japanese anime character. I can see that.

I'm pleased with the stereo and its integration of both satellite radio and the Ipod. I think this will be a nice place to spend my commute.

I'm a bit sad that there isn't a new version of the Prius, or something even cooler, ready for me to buy this year. I like having cutting edge cars and now that so many Priuses are on the road I feel a bit overtaken (of course, it is a good thing to have more hybrids out there).

Why can't I have an all-electric car, with a big battery, lots of energy recapture technology (regenerative breaking and such) and a skin made up entirely of photovoltaic cells? I don't need hydrogen, thanks, and I'm ready to start ending my dependence on oil (not "foreign oil," mind you, all oil).

I'm here, I'm not queer, but I do like to buy cars. Who will sell me my real e-car? Anyone? No? I guess I'll have to wait. I'm happy to play in my little blue Scion for now.


cassandra m said...

So what's wrong with this car? (Other than the price tag.) It doesn't quite meet all of your specs but it certainly is sweet...

Mike Mahaffie said...

The Tesla Roadster is sweet indeed, but I need more than two seats and a price tag somewhat lower that $109,000! I have some hope that Tesla will com up with something more family-friendly in a few years.

Anonymous said...

Why not a hybrid? Now that the rest of the family has them you're going to move on?

Matt M.

Mike Mahaffie said...

I have to have something now *more* green than a hybrid. And I'm cheap. And I already have one. And I don't want to wait several months. And this thing is really cute.

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