I'm thinking about ditching my Subaru WRX. The main reason? More
space. I love my WRX; it hasn't let me down (although there are those
close to me that feel that my rate of 1 accident/yr since purchase is
too high) but there just isn't enough space with our growing family. A
sub-compact care is very cramped with adults in the back seat; and
having two car seats back there might be problematic. The trunk space
isn't very good, either.
So while searching for a larger car, I also wanted something more
fuel-efficient. I'm not sure if fuel-efficient is the same as
energy-efficient, but that's the best I can do right now on mainstream
technologies (no hydrogen-electirc-gas hybrids for now). I know this
means leaving my "high-horsepower low-curb-weight" (car insurance's
words) vehicle behind, but I didn't want a little econobox, either.
So research into hybrids that are room lead me to three main
choices: the Chevy Mailibu, the Toyota Prius, and the Toyota Camry (the
Nissan Altima was eliminated due to not being available in PA).
The Mailibu was eliminated due to it's very weak hybrid system - it
can't run off only its electric motors, so it's fuel savings is
drastically reduced; to the point of pretty much being useless
(especially given the cost difference over non-hybrids).
So that leaves the Toyota Prius and Camry. While the Prius is
definitenly the main contender here, I'm looking into the Camry mainly
because it is slightly larger and has higher overall horsepower. It
should make for a more luxourious ride over the Prius as well. It does
have lower EPA MPG estimates (33/34 for the Camry vs \~44 for the Prius)
but this is still a significant improvement over my \~25MPG in my WRX.
Since I don't have a commute any more Tiff might become the primary
driver of the vehicle which will definitely help compared to her 20MPG
Fitzgerald Toyota in Chambersburg has a fully-loaded Toyota Camry Hybrid
coming into stock in about a week that I'm going to go test drive. With
all the options it comes very close to \$32k, but I should be able to
trade my WRX in for \$12-14k and financing the rest at 0% APR shouldn't
be a problem.