Sounds like a sewing machine, acts like a computer and gets 1,000 km (625 miles) on a tank of gas

111 miles per gallon for 20 minutes

114 miles per gallon for 10 minutes

(Updated to US gallons June 10, 2012)

Yes, we actually clocked 94 114 mpg in a Toyota Prius in Nova Scotia up and down the Sunrise Trail. For 10 minutes by driving very carefully at about 38 miles an hour, the car registered 2.5  l/100km or 94 mpg.  We got a fun car – fun to drive and fun to play with. It has an 8 year warranty on the hybrid part which is good. It gets the gas mileage of a motorcycle while carrying 5 adults and my wheelchair. The best part is the payment is about the same as old technology like a Malibu or Accord.

It was a fun experiment with our new computer on wheels. We just got the car on last week and headed right over to Halifax for the weekend. New car = trip.

Bev Morrissey at Charlottetown Toyota said to feather it but I went to sleep. I like to try out the bed in every car as soon as possible. Gordina Leadfoot, my partner, must have been sailing since we got there before my dream finished.

Cruising around 120 kph or more, we used a third of the tank of gas and got 48 miles per gallon (4.9  l/100km)

After two months of looking at cars, we made the buy decision in one day. We thought about another Chevy Cobalt – not! What a piece of junk. Maybe a used car to be recession proof. Maybe a Corolla, an Impala, Malibu, Vibe, Matrix.

It was a test drive in the Toyota Computer-On-Wheels named Prius that stuck. When decision day came, Prius got the nod for being the best forward thinking hunk of metal and silicon. Have you seen the driver information screen? It will cause accidents with all those cute diagrams and things moving.

Tells you which way the energy is flowing, what is driving the car, Bluetooth phone and audio

Tells you which way the energy is flowing, what is driving the car, Bluetooth phone and audio

On the Prius we got, the screen has a camera to show you where you back up. Weird but wonderful eh? It actually works once I got used to the distance and proportions.

Prius Screen back up 480

Fish eye lens view behind the car

The car drives like a sewing machine around town and very nicely on the highway with a taut ride. You hit a bump and it’s a bump not an oscillation. Seats are firm and maybe induce butt pain over 8 hours. Slow down and smell the coffee.

The JBL stereo upgrade was better than the standard but still a tad harsh on vocals for my ears. There are more gizmos and gadgets than we could learn in one weekend but that is the fun.

Gas mileage is a matter of physics in the Prius. Mass times velocity demands energy which can come from the batteries or gas. The Prius is so efficient that braking charges the batteries.

We found auto-pilot (cruise) is the most efficient on gas. Set the speed and let the Prius run.

The highest mileage in our 4 hour test was 94 miles per gallon cruising up and down small winding roads at 38 miles an hour. That’s not fast but you do get to rubber neck the scenery better.

On the way home I did a series of 50 km plus tests to verify the mass through space times velocity formula. The Prius is amazing.

38 94
41 91
50 67
56 61

We bought a 2009 model which is the 2nd generation in homage to my Scottish grand mère Briand from Isle Madame. The 2010 is said to be even more fuel efficient and has a few other refinements. However, money talks in this house.

We got a $3,000 Toyota rebate for picking a new 2009 since the 2010 models are out. The dealer threw in a little as well to move last years model since he had new ones on the lot. The Province of PEI rebates the sales tax, another $3,000. Check your state or province for the local deal since the government wants us to buy hybrids. Metro Credit Union has a deal to lower the interest rate on hybrids to prime plus 1.5% so that put the payment less than an Impala.

From junk metal to green car in one day. My head is spinning.

Thanks to the people at Charlottetown Toyota, Clark Toyota, Hillside Motors and Metro Credit Union who helped us. Special thanks to all the car lots in town we cruised after closing time.

Update – April 2011 – still love the car. It’s fun to drive and still saves on gas.