Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Green My Ride

For the past 5 and a half years, I have had been driving a Toyota Sequoia. (I know, I know.)  Over the years, it's been such a struggle for me... I really loved my Sequoia... it's dependable and it fit our family. BUT... it's also a gas guzzler... and such the opposite of everything that I am... and everything that I believe in (ummm... if for some reason you don't know what I believe in... you may want to start from the beginning ;) )

When people would ask me, "How do you like your Sequoia??"  I would always hesitate... say that it's really great... make sure I told them our reasons for having it... and how I wished Toyota could put the technology of the Prius in it :) 

As much as the Sequoia was "not me".... there are were SO many reasons why I justified having it:

  • 3 kids in car-seats and no way was I getting a mini-van.
  • When family came to visit... having the ability to seat 8 people really was nice. 
  • I don't drive that much (about 10K a year)
  • We have a crazy-ass Weimaraner that we find it's easier on her (and our) mental stability if she rides along with us than stays at home.
  • And having all the extra room was really nice for when we traveled... not to mention built in DVD players.

For the past 3 years, we have really wanted to get a different vehicle.   But it never really made sense for 2 reasons.

1.  Three kids in car-seats.  2.  My Sequoia was paid off.

So we waited... and waited... until 3 weeks ago... when we finally made the decision that NOW was the time to make the switch.  And two weeks ago, we bought a....

So even though I've always wanted one (the technology completely AMAZES me)... being a family of 5, I really never thought that it would make sense for our family.  Another moment of "proving myself wrong" ;)  I am absolutely LOVING it... and have not had one single second where I missed my big curb jumping Sequoia ;)  I have to say that I am still amazed at everything about the Prius.  Its size is very deceiving... totally always thought they were tiny... but they are so spacious (seriously)!!  AND the best part... after zipping around for the past couple of weeks... I've become a more conscious driver!!  Yes, I admit...from the moment I got my drivers license, I have been the "pedal to the metal" girl.  Green light. GO!!!!  Ahh... but not with the Prius.  As I accelerate, I watch the "Eco" monitor thingie and take my time and don't waste energy.  (I've been referring to it as the "marathon runner vs. the sprinter"... the marathon runner starts slow and builds up pace conserving energy... while the sprinter does short bursts and runs out of energy fast.  Something that I wish I would have thought of when I had my 14 mpg Sequoia.)  SO... for anyone who's ever thought that Priuses are slow... let me go ahead and tell you... it's not the Prius... it's the driver watching the Eco monitor trying to beat their best mpg :)

Oh yeah...thanks in part to my conscious driving (watching the monitor and coasting... I LOVE coasting)... I'm averaging around 50 mpg (it was 51, but my "heavy footed" hubbie has dropped it down a notch ;) )

My Sequoia (sold a week ago) next to my new ride.  (I may have changed my car... but the color remains the same... well kind of... Phantom Gray is now Winter Gray Metallic)

SO... what about all those things that I justified having my Sequoia for??  They're just that... justifications.  I don't miss a single thing about the Sequoia... not even the ability to jump curbs ;)

AND... there has been a whole other learning experience from this change....

When I signed the papers... I felt a tad strange.  I made a lot of different choices with this purchase than I would have made in the past.  I didn't get the top package... not because we couldn't afford it... but because we didn't need it.  I had made the decision that I did not want leather... in all of my other vehicles, I've always had leather seats... but I thought think that if I'm not going to eat a cow... then why the heck should I sit on one??  Anyway... as the dealer was going over what I was getting (or more so what I wasn't getting) I said to my husband, "I feel cheap."  And then the thought of my New Year's "Life Resolution" popped in my head.  Having leather... getting the top car package... is something that society has made me believe is one sign of success.  

I LOVE when I have moments when I see and feel change unfolding right in front of me :)

(Update:  As of May 2010, I am averaging about 58 mpg!! Woohoo!!!)