View Full Version : New Sleds, err.. Cars for Christmas

01-14-2008, 11:51 AM
Have been out of the Great Basin for a while, but back now. The old family Christmas was interesting! I flew to the Upper Midwest and was dependent on family for cars at that point for nearly 3 weeks. My bro in law recently bought a used Mercedes E500 4matic, over the protests of my sister who wanted a new Prius or Camry Hybrid. My dad still has his Audi Allroad. My good friend just bought a BMW 325 AWD. It all drove me a little batty, after hanging out on this forum, that folks I care about so deeply are committing to these cars at this moment in time. Lots of tongue biting on my part! (they might disagree:)

It only is exacerbated by them saying, well it isn't an SUV. No, but at 16, 18, and 20mpg on the combined 08 EPA cycle respectively, they might as well be! They also assume that since I am a car guy, I should love their German sport wagons. I tried to lead by example and insist on using my sister's old VW cabrio instead, and managed to squeeze out 34.5mpg on a 400+ mile tank, despite cold weather and underinflated snow tires. For a business trip to Chicago that took up the middle part of my time there, I took the Megabus instead of flying (paid $26 round trip for about 800 miles!). Then got home and filled up the xB to the tune of 35.6mpg, and I think it was 100% urban driving for the tank. I really worry these guys (why are they all men behind these cars?) are (subconciously or not) seizing on what they see as their last chance to drive a luxury car like that in the face of peak oil and global warming. The xB though is a paragon of simplicity of design, efficient in both cargo space and drivetrain, and I find the lightweight, wheels at the corner design with fantastic visibility to be eminently fun and intuitive to drive. I honestly wouldn't trade it for any of those German offerings, despite the hundreds more buttons they have on their dashboards!

Any other similar experiences? Or advice?!

01-14-2008, 01:14 PM
The only thing that has worked for me in the past is getting people into my own car. My family thought I was nuts when I bought the Prius because they figured it was too slow, too small, too fragile, blah blah blah blah. One by one I got them into it. They each experienced a reasonably large, reasonably quick, reasonably agile, and truly efficient car that they figured to be all hype. It made a big difference in the way they talk about it. Even my future father in law...a German who believes that the only real cars are made in Germany...refers to it as "a really neat car." My fiancee is the biggest convert of them all, having dumped her Volvo XC70 for a Prius. After 7 months she doesn't miss that XC one bit.

The best tactic IMO is to keep leading by example and help them figure out on their own what they're missing. And consider yourself lucky: with the Scion you won't get people asking you ridiculous questions about $5,000 battery replacements or strip mines in Canada. ;)

01-14-2008, 10:09 PM
Great advice, brick. Actually I bought the xB a week before my parents visited in winter 06 for a trip to Death Valley, and I didn't let them know about the car until I picked them up at the airport--my dad therefore didn't have time to get hardened in his dislike, and after driving it in the mountains for a few hundred miles he really liked the Scion; the 5 speed makes it feel quite capable, and the combination of fantastic visibility, wheels at the corners, and ultra-lightweight (2300 lbs) makes it really fun to drive. Everyone who rides in it is impressed by the passenger room and find it surprisingly nice, especially when I point out it was just over $14k brand new and returns 35mpg. Will keep doing what I can! Oh, and let me know when you get too sick of the dumb questions about your Prius and I'll consider a swap!

Copyright 2006 Clean MPG, LLC. All Rights Reserved.