Jody Vance

Driving the drive

2016 Prius/

2016 Prius/

Do you consider yourself “green” or “environmentally conscious? How about your transportation? What do you drive?

Why do I ask? I ask because ..over the last few years I experienced an automotive epiphany.

My story:

Five years ago I went completely rogue and decided to drive a Jeep. I’d always been a “compact car” kind of gal, practicality and all that.  But with a small child, I wanted safety on the roads.

Enter: my first truck, I loved my Jeep, she was a beast – I absolutely felt safe in that vehicle with my then almost-4-year-old, it was like a tank. It drove like an all-terrain vehicle (it was built to go anywhere, even had a snorkel in the event I wanted to drive upstream in a river??) The cost to fill, at $100 a tank, was a bit of a “gulp” — I would get, maybe, 350km on that tank — it was a luxury vehicle, in my world.  I loved it.

Fast-forward 2 1/2 years, I was surprised with a “chat” with my boy about the environment (he’d been learning about recycling and the need to preserve the earth at school in grade 1), where he point-blank asked me about how much gas “The Jeep” used and if, perhaps we might lower our carbon footprint.

What the? No word of a lie, he was on me.  He was on me about recycling more, turning off lights, turning heat down.  He was parroting, exactly, the lessons being taught in his classroom.  I was both proud and guilty…..this tank, this beautiful beast of a Jeep, had to go.  Bottom line: this kid was right.

Enter the hybrid.
After a trip to The Cactus Club to discuss options with my vehicle Guru, Doug Lum, it was decide that the Jeep be traded in favour of a Toyota Prius V.

Clear as day, I remember getting into that hybrid for the first time.  No key required, you hit the power button.  I admit, for the first bit, I felt like I was driving a cab. It was the same model as all of the taxis in the city — for good reason, I would learn — the silence of the battery power was remarkably weird. It didn’t take long to get used to.

It all made magical sense when it took more than a month to require a trip to the gas station to fill up, and when I did “fill” it was $42.  Less.  Than.  Half. #gassense.

Shockingly, it had the same payload as the Jeep.  We would load up for road trips with two dogs, all the equipment to head to Whistler with kid and Brian. It fit us. There was no downside there, no compromise.

Did it power up the hills like the Jeep? Absolutely not.  But wait!

After a year, I upgraded — a year later I upgraded again — I now drive a 2016 Prius.  That “taxi feeling” is gonzo. Honestly, it feels like I’m driving a sports car. You know those cars where the ride is so smooth that you look at the speedometer and go “WHOA, I didn’t mean to go that fast!”  It’s sleek and cool, the interior is high tech and full of bells and whistles. It’s a high end, affordable, gas-smart, hybrid car built for those of us who are not in the Tesla tax bracket.

I’ve had this particular Prius for 6 months and I’ve filled it up a grand total of 8 times. It’s $48 to fill from empty and — guess how far that tank takes me………………800km. EIGHT HUNDRED KILOMETRES!!!

It’s a beast all-it’s-own. Cool, fast, very fun to drive — it has real power.

I’ve not only lowered our carbon footprint, but I’ve added thousands of dollars to our savings account in unspent gas dollars. My boy brags to his friends about our lowered carbon footprint AND how “many times we can go to Whistler and back without needing to get gas!”

A big thank you to B’s first grade teacher’s environmental curriculum, she’s saved us a small fortune!

What I’m saying here is: If you have an epic commute, this vehicle will pay for itself.  You will never regret the initial expense.

This blog is honest, I was not “asked” to share my story.  I share because I think that this vehicle rocks — and it is the perfect family car — for US.

There are many Toyota dealerships to visit … pick yours.  As you may have heard on Vancouver radio stations, my dealership of choice is Jim Pattison Toyota Downtown. If you go there — tell them I sent you.

Test drives are fun, free — there is no pressure.  Chris Graham, and his team, will give you the service second-to-none.

I’m sold.


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