|Mercedes ML500 just like mine, but without the smeared up windows and crumbs,|
So a week or two ago, I was suddenly seized with passion for the environment mixed with outrage over the high cost of gasoline. Now that I'm on sabbatical and no longer need to fit 54" bolts of fabric in my car on a regular basis, perhaps my gas-guzzling SUV was no longer necessary? My father had been gloating about how his new Lexus hybrid CH200h hatchback gets 42 miles to the gallon, whereas my Mercedes ML500 gets, um, well -- somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-18 miles to the gallon. And of course, the Benz is a picky eater who only eats PREMIUM. I entertained fantasies of saving hundreds of dollars in fuel costs every month while flaunting my Holier-and-Greener-Than-Thou attitude in a stylish, luxurious Hybrid of One's Own.
|Lexus CT200h Hybrid, just like my Dad's|
We drove home, Bernie victorious, me sulking ever-so-slightly. Then Bernie talked to his sister, who sang the praises of her Toyota Prius. Bernie said, "If you really want great gas mileage, you should at least test-drive a Prius." Oh, fine. So we went to the Toyota dealership.
First off, the Toyota dealership is on a separate planet from the Mercedes and Lexus dealerships. It's in another galaxy, far, far away, populated by salesmen named Vito (I am not making this up!) who shoo you into a little cubicle and insist on "getting some information first" before they will show you the car you came to see. Then, when you protest that you are pressed for time and really just want to take a quick look at the car, Vito enthusiastically declares, "I can sell you a car in FIVE MINUTES!!" Oh, goody! The girl at the reception desk of the Toyota dealership is playing with her phone and never greets us or even makes eye contact. No one offers me a complimentary beverage or snack. It's like the difference between shopping at Nieman Marcus and shopping at Target, except that Target has much better customer service than the Toyota dealer.
|The UnSexy, Uninteresting Toyota Prius V|
|Inside the Toyota Prius V|
|Inside the Mercedes ML500|
This princess can't tolerate the Prius, so I'm keeping my Benz. I'll just have to make up for my planet-trashing SUV by buying organic produce and bringing reusable shopping bags with me when I go to the store!