After being a loyal customer of BMW for so many years I finally drank the Kool-Aid and switched to a more eco-friendly, electric vehicle – The Prius Plug-in. I know, I know, BMW has the i3 series electric car available but my mind was already made up to get a mid-size hybrid car so I ended up with a Prius Plug-in.
Although I have lost a few bells and whistles from my previous BMW, the two cannot be compared apples to apples (not to mention the turbo engine alone I used to have)… Over all, I am pretty happy with my switch to the Prius Plugin.
Here are 10 things I like about my 2014 Prius Plug-in.
1. It’s more than just a hybrid, it’s electric too! It’s like living in both worlds! Should you run out of the electric charge, the Prius Plug-in will seamlessly shift back into hybrid mode or gas mode. Therefore, unlike an all-electric car, I don’t have the anxiety of running out of power. My gas will kick in just like how conventional cars work. For some who wonder how you do you plug it in at home, it comes with its own plug when you buy it, just like any regular appliance. That’s it. No special or extra accessories needed.
2. It has a whopping estimated 95mpg/50mpg. Remember, the higher the MPG the more efficient it is and that means less trips to gas stations. I have driven more than 32 miles in one day and the gas indicator didn’t even move.
3. The space and leg room are great and the cargo capacity is big enough for usual grocery trips or large suitcases with the 60/40 split. It has a 60/40 split rear seat that easily folds down, increasing the amount of useful rear cargo area. Great for small family with kids, long and short trips.
4. The navigation and voice recognition technology in my opinion is way better than my previous experience with any BMW I owned. More precise, user-friendly, more details and more accurate.
5. Smooth and comfy ride with an ultra-quiet engine especially when in EV (electric vehicle mode). It’s creepy in the beginning how quiet it is but it’s cool. It’s a good freeway-cruiser.
6. Sound system is available in HD (High Definition) with Entune. Entune is a collection of popular mobile applications and data services integrated with the car. I can also look for the nearest electric car charging stations, Pandora, fuel prices, traffic, weather, etc.
7. Auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink. My BMW had these features too but I find the buttons of the HomeLink of this car softer and easier to push than my previous car. With my previous BMW, the HomeLink button is made of rubber (I think. Or at least, that’s how I felt), so it was more of an effort pressing it.
8. It has “Safety Connect” just like my previous BMW. I’m glad that I didn’t have to lose my SOS system. If BMW has BMW Assist, Toyota has “Safety Connect”. It helps drivers stay secure on the road. Drivers can be in touch with our 24/7 response center at the touch of a button for emergency assistance, roadside assistance and basically as what I call it, “a 24/7 car concierge available anytime”. It provides an automatic collision notification which I hope I would never have to use but a very important feature to have.
9. If qualified, you may get a rebate for $1500. Please find more info here http://energycenter.org/clean-vehicle-rebate-project
10. You can use the carpool lane (at least in California) even if you are alone. Yes, you can drive alone in the carpool or diamond lane! That alone is great. For more info, qualifications or limitations please read here http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/decal.htm
11. You have the option to park closer to the entrances and take advantage of convenient parking spaces in the malls, hospitals, stores or other public places when available. You get to park on those convenient special parking spaces where it says “Electric Vehicle only” while you charge your car, which are usually located next to the building entrance.
12. Last but not least, The Prius Plug-in is the ultimate practical “city vehicle” for my daily commute. Like I mentioned previously, it has great mpg of any car I know, and it has lots of room for its size. It works so well for its intended purpose. I emphasized “city vehicle” because I am not sure how this will perform if you live in a place that snows all the time.
In addition, it gives me protection against the rising price of gas. Should the price of oil take a sharp upward trajectory, this car is great. Like now that the Premium 91 gasoline is around $4 and something per gallon, I feel already much better for owning it.