Toyota Prius
Purchased July 20, 2002

When my Saturn started to have some troubles, we decided that it would be best if I drove something a bit newer while commuting between Lakewood and Aurora. At first, I thought I wanted another Saturn. So, we went to the dealership and test drove several. The SL1/SL2 models were a little too small for Mike to drive (they redesigned the interior and lowered the roof), and their other models were a little too large for my tastes. So, we went back to his parents' house (our internet connection wasn't yet hooked up), and looked at Consumer Reports' web site to determine what other new or used cars would be a good buy. One of the ones that came up was a hybrid by Toyota, the Prius.

So, we found a 2001 Prius at the Stevinson Toyota dealership, and we took it for a test drive. The seat was high enough that it was easy for me to drive, yet it had more room inside than Mike's Jetta. And it had some power behind it! We had expected that it might have trouble going up the foothills here, but it had more power than some of the small traditional cars we had driven. After some negotiations, we traded in the Saturn and brought the Prius home.

Rear of the Prius

Interior of the Prius

Status and Monitoring Display
This screen shows what the car is doing. While it is running, colored arrows indicate which systems are running and what the flow of energy is. Someday when I have time and am feeling really creative, I'll take some pictures while Mike is driving.. or vice versa.

Engine Status

This display shows the fuel consumption. The bar on the far right is updated every 2 seconds, and the rest of the display shows a bar chart of average miles-per-gallon for each 5 minute-span of recent driving time. There is a trip monitor on the bottom of the screen. For normal commuting and weekend driving, I get about 550 miles per tank of gas, with and average of 52 to 54 miles per gallon.
Fuel Consumption