How Green do you want to be?
How much car do you need?
How much do you want to pay?
And I ask those questions, because all of a sudden, there’s a lot of economical cars out there to choose from.
Just in Toyota’s family you’ve got a range of different Prius models now…small, medium and large…most using basically the same Hybrid battery technology as found in the Camry…plus a new plug-in Prius…and then on the bottom end, they have a little Yaris that’ll get mid-30 MPG with a conventional engine.
So….how Green do you want to be?
We tested a Camry XLE Hybrid that listed for $31,045…and included a moonroof, back-up cam, and nav with advanced voice recognition and more.
No leather…yes 40+ MPG.
We took the Camry on a road trip to the beach and got 42 MPG going down in “ECO” mode…and a hair over 41 coming back in “Sport” mode. Not bad at all….and a good bit above their EPA estimates of 40 city and 38 highway.
That comes out to a bladder-bustin’ 500 mile range…give or take a little.
Depending upon how much you drive, you could actually find yourself forgetting which side on the car the filler cap is on.
Personally, I’d just leave it in “Sport”…as you’ll still get terrific economy…and quite a bit better off-the-line performance.
So’…what’s the price that you pay for 40+ MPG? A little trunk room, as that’s where the batteries go…and an additional $2,725 over the price of a conventional 4-cylinder Camry XLE. At today’s gas prices, if you drive 15,000 miles a year, it’ll take you 6 or 7 years to save enough money to pay for the difference. If gas prices spike upward…figure a couple of years less.
But buying a hybrid is often about more than just gas mileage. It’s a statement.
A statement that you’re a responsible adult…that you care about your good Mother Earth.
And in a world of high-priced exotic “statement” cars, an additional $2,725 for a “statement” vehicle…one that seats five and gets around 40 MPG…is not a high price to pay at all these days.