Driving the Lexus CT 200h Hybrid

by Tiffany in Green Cars

 Lexus CT 200h

The  Lexus CT 200h has definitely been one of the nicest cars I have ever driven. It is the epitome of luxury and class but yet this model is also very, very green. I could not have been happier with the fuel economy I experienced during my recent week long adventures with this car…I averaged about 43 mpg. Not bad at all! I also adored cruising around in the car.

Typically Lexus means nothing to me except for expense but right away this smaller, Lexus hatchback caught my eye. The gorgeous interior sucked me in. The fuel economy sealed the deal.


The leather two toned interior is fantastic. It’s like a cockpit. The model I toured had the Caramel NuLuxe with Linear Black trim. The combo is very luxurious and goes great with the Fire Agate Pearl (brown) exterior. The CT 200h is easily the most fuel-efficient gas-powered luxury vehicle with a 42-MPG combined rating. It even has Bamboo accents available for the interior, making the CT a very eco-conscious design. If you want upscale AND you want great fuel economy, this is your car.

Now it is small but that is a great feature for me. I love small cars but I still need to be able to load any car of mine up with stuff from the garden center. Goal achieved…

Flowers and herbs on their way to a happy home. #gardening #garden #urbanhomestead

A photo posted by Tiffany Washko (@tiffanywashko) on



Driving the Mazda CX-3

by Tiffany in Green Cars

Mazda CX-3

Although not the greenest of cars I did enjoy driving the Mazda CX-3 recently. This was my second time driving a Mazda 3 and it is one of my favorite cars. This particular car was uber luxurious…I loved the interior! The Soul red exterior paired with the white and red leather interior was a killer combo. The models range from $21,210 to $24, 990 and honestly that is not bad when you look at what you get and compare it with other cars.

Mazda CX-3

The fuel economy is good at 35 mpg HWY. The close proximity warning was also very helpful. I always keep a safe distance from the car in front of me but this car visually reminds you, if you get closer than you should depending on speed. Heated seats and keyless entry are always a fave for me. There was great trunk space. The sound system was awesome, even if I do usually just listen to audio books via bluetooth.

Here in Ohio, the weather can change in an instant. so I love the available i-ACTIV AWD™ all-wheel-drive system, which is always on alert, monitoring conditions and ready to adjust power to help give you ideal traction before your wheels can slip. I detest driving in rain and snow because I am an Arizona girl at heart. A car that provides me with greater confidence to drive in nasty conditions is a big bonus for me.

And dang this car looks good…


Driving the Toyota Prius v

by Tiffany in Green Cars


I drove a Prius for the first time last year and fell in love. I know, it sounds cliche…the treehugger fell in love with a Prius but it’s true. I fell hard and fast and I have driven lots of green cars over the years. My intro to this line of cars that has become synonymous with greener living and greener driving was the PriusC. That cute little green car quickly became one of my absolute favorites.

Just this month I had the pleasure of driving a Prius v around town for a week. The biggest difference between the two is obvious…the size. I adore small cars but the trend with most people seems to be a demand for cargo space and cars that look and perform more like small SUVs. It definitely had the size going for it. The five of us were not crowded and we had plenty of room for storage. I even picked up a giant dog crate for one of our foster dogs and it fit perfectly in this car. I still prefer the smaller cozy size Prius but if you want the green benefits AND you want a bigger size than the Prius v is perfect. This car gets around 42 mpg. It delivers the highest combined fuel efficiency of any SUV, crossover utility vehicle or wagon.

Another wonderful aspect of the Prius v is the interior. I love the front the dash and display. I had a great time connecting the car to my phone via Bluetooth and listening to audio books as I drove around. I was a bit hard to get used to the small shifter, which is located on the dash, but after a few days I think I got the hang of it.


It is a luxurious car and the different models range in price from $26-31K. I love that the display was built into the dash and not sitting on top of it, this is a personal preference for me. I love the smart key system with push button start because I don’t like having to keep track of keys and with this car I can just throw them in my purse and keep them in there. When I walk out of range the car locks. When I walk back to the car and touch the door handle or trunk mechanism, it unlocks. How easy is that??? The only downside is that you “can” forget to turn the car off and walking inside your house may not be enough range to stop it running. Not that I would ever do that…

It also features a 6.1-in. touch-screen display, backup camera, integrated navigation system, JBL® Premium Audio and a suite of popular apps, it’s one smart way to help you stay connected. I love that it comes with apps already at your fingertips like Pandora, I heart radio, movietickets.com, OpenTable, etc.

It looks like an SUV and has all the extra space you may need or want but it performs like a more compact hybrid. It cheaper than its close competitor the C-Max and yet it beats it in fuel efficiency and cargo space. I think Toyota has knocked it out the park with this one, even if I smaller cars are more for me. I want the SUV lovers to have a hybrid they can get behind too. Enjoy!


Driving the Toyota Prius c

by Tiffany in Green Cars

Toyota Prius C

I finally got to test drive the car I have been wanting to drive for a very long time. For years now the Toyota Prius has been synonymous with green living and greener cars. I would say that the Prius has been for awhile, the most recognizable green car on the market. And yet with all the green cars I have driven over the years I never drove a Prius, until recently that is. For a week I had the pleasure of driving a new Prius c and it lives up to its reputation. It may very well be my new favorite.

First the car is just my style…small, fuel efficient, and stylish. I have no desire to drive an SUV or luxury car, I want small and smart. I also love bright colors. This car delivers and oh how I wanted to keep it!

First it was one of my two fave car colors…green. The other is a orange and they have that too. Okay yes, color is important to this woman driver. Deal with it.


Secondly, and this is way more important than color, is the fuel economy. I averaged about 50 mpg in this car. I drove throughout the city and the country and got the same great mileage throughout. I also love the fact that whenever I stopped the car it told me exactly how much money it cost me to get there. You remember how much money you are saving by driving a Prius because it reminds you every day. Here is a quickie snapshot I took of the front monitor of the Prius c right after I drove to my Dad’s home. He doesn’t live too close and it eats up a lot of gas to get to and from his house…usually.

prius fuel economy

My third favorite things is that it is small. I love small cars. They have to fit my family of five but I am so not a minivan or SUV type of gal. I want small, sleek, and eco friendly for city driving. Prius c was designed with the big city, and small parking spots, in mind. As the smallest and most affordable member of the Prius family, Prius c makes fitting into the city easier, and more fun, than ever.

Despite it being a small car though, it had plenty of interior room and cargo space. It had plenty of room for those big trips to Costco or Aldi and it had plenty of room for a family of five going on family outings without being on top of each other. It is also safe, despite the size, boasting nine air bags and a sensor designed to monitor the severity of the impact and make adjustments for the appropriate deployment.

Interior of Prius c

It also looks quite stylish and modern on the inside too. All the latest car tech abounds. Heated seats and mirrors, push button start, steering wheel controls, touch tracer display, etc.

There are four models and the first starts at $19,540. Boom! The priciest model starts at $24,475. I am amazed that this package comes at such an affordable price. Now don’t get me wrong that is still pricey for a depreciating asset and why I buy 1-3 years used and let someone else eat the biggest chunk of depreciation.  But those prices tempt even me, into buying new. Or maybe I will just wait a couple years and grab up a used, orange colored Prius. Either way the Prius c is now on a very short list of cars I would be willing (and thrilled) to buy.

Happy driving!


My Week With the Hyundai Tucson

by Tiffany in Green Cars

Hyundai Tucson

For awhile now I have wanted to try out one of the smaller SUVs. I think that when I think of SUV I think of 6-7 passenger vehicles for big families so the idea of the smaller SUVs that like look slightly oversized cars has always puzzled me. Of course SUV stands for Sport Utility Vehicle so I guess in general the idea is to provide a bigger vehicle for recreation and play. Enter the Hyundai Tucson.

It definitely feels bigger than my full size cars. It also has more room…especially in the back passengers seats and the trunk. A hatchback is always nice. The rear seats can be fold down so that you have a large area for carrying all your sporting equipment. The legroom in the back seats is supposed to be significant compared to like vehicles.

And as far as comparisons go to regular (non-green) cars it gets about the same mileage. The Tucson is supposed to get 26/33 City/Hwy MPG. I got about 22 MPG though. That was mostly city driving with a trip to the country to see my dad over the weekend. I get about that right now with my two full size cars. So if I wanted a smaller SUV I would not have to feel guilty that I was choosing a gas guzzler. SUV in this case does not automatically equal gas hog.


It has a lot of the features I have come to love in newer cars…backup camera, bluetooth technology, touchscreen audio system, XM radio, USB and auxiliary input jacks let you access your smart phone through the audio controls, etc.

The interior was also quite lovely, even if white/cloth would not be my choice. It is a pretty smart looking vehicle all around. It was a pleasure to test drive and it changed my preconceived ideas about SUVs.

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

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