It's been almost 3 years since my last post about my 2005 Toyota Prius so I was thinking another update wouldn't hurt. The car now has 144,000 miles on it, and still runs fine as far as my daily use is concerned. Maintenance costs have not been high at all; I bring it to the dealer two to three times a year for oil changes and other routine maintenance. I haven't been quite as diligent as I was for the middle years there tracking receipts for gas. In particular there was a big gap with lost receipts in the summer of 2013 (reason lost in the mists of time), and a smaller gap in November & December 2015 when my son was driving it a lot and didn't give me all the receipts for gas he bought. But there's enough coverage that I can still see pretty accurately how it is performing with regards to mileage. First the full-year mileage averages (taken by dividing miles driven in the year by the number of gallons of gas purchased):
It's been another two and a half years since I posted about my hybrid car - how has it been doing now that it's getting past 100,000 miles and the original warranty period is coming to an end real soon (8 years on the electrical system)? Here's the same graph extended to another 30,000 miles of driving:
Almost 6 years ago, in September 2004, I was intrigued by the Toyota Prius and put myself on one of the waiting lists for a car. Somewhat unexpectedly they actually had a car for me by April 2005. It was a delight from the moment I first test-drove it, and the only car I've liked more in the time since has been a 2010 Prius I was a passenger in earlier this year. It wasn't just the fancy hybrid electric drive, nor being able to ride in the expressway HOV lane any time I want, joyful as those things might be. Somehow the car expresses a compact perfection that's hard to put into words. The interior is spacious, the seats comfortable, the controls (dashboard and all over the steering wheel) easy to reach and intuitive. The digital speedometer and other urgent indicators above the main dashboard give a different feel from other cars I've been in, one that emphasizes what's important, and lets you ignore the irrelevant. The keyless entry and push-button ignition (thanks to an RFID key that never leaves my pocket) spoil me for other cars I have to drive on occasion.
But the meat of the car is the hybrid engine and fuel efficiency. So how does that do? The dashboard monitor tells me how I'm doing, usually somewhere between 40 and 50 miles per gallon. But I wanted to keep better track, so after my first year I decided to start recording my gas purchases; the following graph shows the record: