Free Prius to SUV Owners

OK, this post’s title is a lie… but it’s almost true. (I should go into politics.)

An owner of a large SUV achieving only 15 miles per gallon in mixed driving will consume 10,000 gallons of gasoline over a 150,000 mile vehicle life. (Example: A 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 4WD, 5-spd Automatic, 4.7L 8cyl engine, achieves 15mpg in mixed driving under the newly-revised EPA standards.)

If that SUV owner switched to a high-MPG hybrid achieving 45 miles per gallon, they would consume 3,333 gallons over the same 150,000 mile vehicle life. (Example: A 2007 Toyota Prius achieves 46mpg mixed, revised EPA.)

At $3.25 per gallon, the 6,667 gallons saved over the life of the vehicle would cost over $21,600, which just happens to be around the base price of a Prius — switch today and the car pays for itself. :-)

Now, of course, I do realize that many SUV owners use the vehicle for purposes which cannot be emulated by a mid-size sedan. (Towing, hauling lots of people and gear around, off-road and farm use, etc.)

But, for a person who has found themselves to be primarily a commuter in their large vehicle, and who seldom ferries around more than a couple of extra passengers (a Prius will move 4 people quite comfortably, 5 not-so-comfortably), that person might just want to consider switching, given today’s gas prices.

Bonus: If the SUV is already paid for, it can be kept on-hand for when it is really needed, while the fuel savings for daily driving will still pay for the hybrid.

Fuel for thought.

– Bob R.

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