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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I had the pleasure of rolling out in yet another green(er) car this week. Unlike the last, which was all electric, the Mazda 3 is a greener choice because it has good fuel economy. This of course makes it a great option for anyone who wants to feel better about their time spent behind the wheel. I don’t drive all that much…maybe 20 miles a week but I aspire to own a greener car.
I am always researching cars so that I know what I will want to get when we finally, maybe, someday opt to buy new. This particular car gets 30-41 MPG. Not as good as some but much better than what I currently drive. A big bonus for this fuel efficient car is that it has room for my family of five. It is very roomy, with heated seats, and the interior is absolutely gorgeous.
My kids are getting older and are not as likely to get crumbs and dirty footprints everywhere so I actually want something that looks nice. When the kids get older mom wants nicer things because she had to do without them for so long right?
It also has a really nifty screen that pops in your line of sight when driving that shows your speed. So much of this car was designed to allow you to drive safely and without distraction.
Slick, greener, and family friendly. This was my second time driving a Mazda 3 and it is still on the shortlist of cars I would like to buy when the time comes.
Another week, another Kia. This time I got to test drive the Kia Forte. I must say up front that I fell in love with the fully loaded Kia Soul and any other car will suffer in comparison but this was a solid little car. I love the color and the body style. It also had some of the familiar perks that I love…hello rear view camera and satellite radio.
The gas mileage was about 22-24 mpg. Nothing to write home about there so I wouldn’t call it green, even though it has the “Eco” drive feature. But the budget still makes this a good car for those who don’t want $600 a month car payments. The price tag is only about $16K. Most of the green cars I drove in 2013/2014 were well over the 30K mark. You have to pay for green and some people just don’t have that kid of spending money. Kia makes very good cars though, for lower price points.
Auto Light Control
Bluetooth Wireless Capability
USB/Auxillary Input Jack
I continue to be impressed with the quality and price points for Kia vehicles. Even if they aren’t as green as I would like, that seems to be a rare find these days…for any car manufacturing company.