Province Commuting Challenge: Cash saver

For a 22-year-old, saving 20 bucks a week can go a long way living in Metro Vancouver.

That’s what Langley’s Vicki Black estimated she saved in gas money during her week of commuting from home to her job as an esthetician in White Rock in the Toyota Prius c.

That’s in comparison to her 2008 PT Cruiser, which she figures averages about 9.0 L/100km.
In the Prius c, Black covered 380 kilometres and recorded a fuel economy number of 5.0 L/100km. And almost one-quarter of those kilometres were driven using just electric power.

“I didn’t really know a ton about this car before I took it for the week,” she admits. “I’ve driven a Toyota Echo and Yaris before and I expected it to be something similar to that.”

Her first impressions of the Prius c were that it is clean, comfortable, has good steering and is easy to figure out all the controls and on board systems.
She did think that it doesn’t have “a lot of pedal to the metal.”

“I wouldn’t say that was necessarily a bad thing, though,” she adds.

“When the speed did get up past 80 km/h, I wouldn’t really notice. One minute I was at 50 km, next thing you know your at 80 to 90 km/h.”

And she did like how quiet things were inside the cabin.

“I’m used to my car getting louder and a little shaking of the wheel when I got up to that speed.”

Black also found the compact to feel much lighter than her PT Cruiser, and the brakes much more sensitive, noting that took some getting used to. She also had to get used to attention.

“I had friends checking it out, and my female friends were amazed how quiet it was and thought it was very cute looking,” she says.

Weekly consumption6

“My boyfriend even said he would be happy to drive it.”

The Prius c’s size, inside and out, also made a big impression.

“I have quite a narrow parking spot in my building and it’s super easy to reverse park with this car,” notes Black.

“I found the turning range to be much better than my car.”

But there were also some shortcomings.

“The front wipers are great; the back one not so great. I found it didn’t wipe the area I needed to see. And the sun visor could have been a bit bigger. I’m short so it didn’t quite block the sun out of my eyes.”

Then there was one of the more important elements for any 20-something — the stereo.

“I liked that the radio would tell you the name of the song on the screen and it was nice having controls on the steering wheel.

“The radio at max volume could have been even louder for me but it gave out a great sound and didn’t get distorted as it got louder.

“I would definitely purchase this car over another car based solely on how much money I would save in gas. Gas is not cheap at all these days and I’m young and don’t have a huge income so if I can save 20 bucks a week on gas I’d be very happy.”

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About Andrew McCredie