Sunday, July 29, 2012
We've been vacationing in the UK since July 4, and for almost a month now we've been traveling around Wiltshire county, London, France and Belgium. My husband has been doing all the driving, so I've been able to observe my fellow travelers on the motorway and see what kinds of cars people are driving. Cars in the UK and Europe are definitely smaller and more streamlined than their US counterparts -- no Hummers or huge gas-guzzlers here!
Naturally, I've kept a special eye out for Toyota vehicles. I've seen a number of Corollas and Yarises (is that the correct plural for Yaris?), as well as a Land Cruiser or two, but not a single Prius. Given that European car models are so much more fuel efficient already, I guess that's not such a big surprise.
The big surprise was going onto the Toyota UK website and discovering that they make and sell a 7-seater Prius! The 7-seat Prius + is Europe's first full hybrid 7-seater has a fuel economy of up to 68.9 mpg combined (using T4-grade gas and the combined cycle) and costs £26,195 for the basic model.
Oh. My. God. This is my dream car! When my friend Glennia and I test-drove the Prius V during our visit to Toyota headquarters last month, we both agreed that Toyota needs to have a 7-seater Prius V. And here it is, all ready to drive, right across the pond! Now that the kids are older, we don't need car seats any more, so all 3 can fit comfortably in the back row, which leaves plenty of trunk space for luggage -- but having the 3rd row would still be great for carpools, friends on playdates or visiting relatives. And the mileage, oh the mileage!! 68.9 mpg is better fuel economy than Alfie's motocycle! Of course, the engine displacement is just 1.8L, which is tiny for US consumers, but even if Toyota put in a bigger engine (2L?), it would still be so much more fuel-efficient than our Toyota Sienna, which rarely gets more than 20 mpg. Don't get me wrong, I adore our Sienna, and frankly, it would rip my heart out to get rid of it -- but I think I could console myself pretty well with a 7-seater Prius+.
Toyota USA, please bring the 7-seater Prius+ to America!
Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of Toyota.