Tag : prius

Driving from Pittsburgh to Northern Virginia

And back. Uh, here, this is sort of interesting:

The car overstates its mileage by a little bit, but still, 51.1 for a 217-mile ride is probably as good as it’s ever going to get. And, uh — yeah, shoot, I got nothing. Here:

  • There are about 18 different ways to get to the DC/NoVa area that all take about the same length of time. On the way down, I took scenic Highway 51, eventually routing through Uniontown, Cumberland, and Winchester. Took 4:15, got 51.1 mpg.
  • On the way back, I took the Cadillac route: interstates all the way, including the fantastic Pennsylvania Turnpike: 4:15. And 20 extra miles or so and only 46.8 mpg.
  • The car overstates mpg by 2-3 points.
  • When I got off the dumb toll road, the tollbooth lady told me it’d be $7.25, so I handed her a ten, two ones, and a quarter and she says, “Did you know you gave me $12.25?”. I had no comeback for that.
  • If I hadn’t known, would she have denied it ever happened and then not given me the five back? We’ll never know. We’ll never know.
  • The hotel I stayed in for $40/night (plus 20-percent tax) was a real-live, genuine three-star Hilton Garden Inn.
  • While I was there, I went to the Udvar-Hazy part of the National Air & Space Museum, the National Museum of the Marine Corps (they had some new stuff there), Mt. Vernon, and the National Firearms Museum.
  • People who leave Yelp reviews for Bethesda, Md. restaurants are kind of catty. I’m not speaking of myself. Yet.
  • I should have taken the Reader’s Digest book of road trips so I could have hit some highlights on the return trip. There appear to be a lot of forts, battlefields, historic transportation sites, and houses built over waterfalls.


My New (Used) Car: An FAQ

  1. Dear God, what is that *thing*?

    It’s a 2001 Toyota Prius.

  2. And you bought it?

    Yes. I’ve looked at Las Vegas used cars for ages and I’ve finally bought a car for myself.

  3. Seriously?


  4. Why?

    The reasons are as plentiful as they are interesting. Or maybe not. Depends on your definitions of terms. For one thing, I didn’t want to be driving my big ol’ pickup around in Pittsburgh — it’s expensive to operate and too big to fit on city streets.

  5. So you’re selling your truck?

    Not sure yet.

  6. So why a Prius?

    It was a good deal and it’s fuel-efficient. Not just that, you can find cheap car insurance no deposit deals on cars like this, and you’d be a fool not to look for one yourself. These are the sorts of things you should consider when buying a new vehicle. You may want to look into something like personal leasing specialists who can help you find the best deals to match your budget.

  7. How much?


  8. But — a Prius?

    I was looking for an econobox. My first choice would have been something like a Honda Fit or Scion xA, neither of which are ego-enhancing, but both of which are fuel-efficient and small enough to fit in Pittsburgh and more fun to drive than a Prius. However, thanks to (I’m guessing) the current economy and (I’m also guessing) Dear Leader’s societal engineering projects (read: Cash for Clunkers), the prices on used cars, small ones in particular, are insane.

  9. Saying small car prices are insane is racist.


  10. Like — how insane?

    Like ElEff bought a 2008 salvage title Fit two years ago for $8K. Today, a 2008 salvage title Fit will cost you $9,000+ — unless you want one that actually runs right, in which case add another thousand or just buy non-salvage for $11K. Similar story for the entire category — Scion xA’s, Civics, Mazda3s, Matrixes (Matrices?), et al.

  11. So why didn’t you just sell your truck and buy something more expensive then?

    Because I wasn’t going to buy a salvage Fit for $9K. And then because if I’m going to spend $10K+ for a car, it should be a car I kind of want and would enjoy driving, not one I’m buying for the sake of being pragmatic for a while. Nothing that’s any fun to drive and that’s under 80K miles and eight years old costs less than $17K right now. And I’m not in a position to spend $17K on a car. All hail reality.

  12. So does this make you some sort of environmentalist now then?

    It’s just a car.

  13. Hmm.


So I’m not necessarily *excited* about the car, but then again, it’s not a car I bought for the sake of excitement. It’ll definitely get good mileage. I bought it from a known source that I know isn’t trying to scam me. It was cheap enough that if it spontaneously combusts RIGHT NOW, I’ll recover financially. It’s not pure driving excitement, but OTOH it handles and responds better than the second-gen Prius I drove from Phoenix back to OC, so — you know.

ElEff called this car the vehicular equivalent of the house I’m (hopefully) buying in Pittsburgh. Sounds about right. At least I’m enjoying a new level of consistency.