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We’ve been looking at hybrids for quite a while. We knew our ancient cars would eventually wear out, and we knew we wanted to replace them with something more fuel efficient and something that would be a better environmental stewardship testimony. I think a lot of people have those two motives (in some combination) for going hybrid: save money, be responsible.

Our pal, Zufall, was more about saving money (I think). He talked a lot about wanting a hybrid car that got really good mileage, but “looked” like a normal car. He was not interested in making a statement. He ended up with a Honda Civic, and at last report, he was delighted.

Our friends Owen and Beth got their first Prius a while back—they are more the “statement” types—and they are delighted with the fuel efficiency, comfort, performance (such as it is), and styling—styling that screams, “intelligent, hip, environmentally responsible.”

Anne and I are not normally big on statements. In fact, I have drove a 1992 Saturn from 1994 until yesterday, when I inherited Anne’s 2001 Isuzu Rodeo. I’ve studied this a little bit. The best thing you can do for the environment (car-wise) is to have a walking or cycling lifestyle. Barring that, the best thing you can do is avoid forcing somebody to build a new car. About half the carbon footprint of any car is in the manufacturing. So, if you already have a functional car, keep driving it.

Anyhow, as we started looking for a new vehicle for our road trips and for Anne’s commute, we decided to look for a Prius. Not that we wanted to make a statement, but Toyota had the guts to step up to the plate with this technology, while it appeared Detroit was trying to deep-six it. And, they have the best hybrid on the mass market (not all hybrid is created equal) for fuel efficiency and emissions. We thought they should be rewarded for their innovation and guts—and we thought we should be rewarded in the form of lower fuel bills.

We were not actively searching, but the Lord works in His own ways, you know. Our pal Seth does some consultation with Landrover of Greenville. So, he had the inside track, when somebody traded in a 2006 Prius. We got the heads-up, and there we go. The only problem is that you can get fixated on the little display screen and forget to watch the road. Other than that, it’s awesome.

Now, we’re looking for somebody who needs a 1992 Saturn SL2. Somebody who thinks its cool to drive a 16-year-old car. Somebody who will drive the wheels off of it, then recycle the parts. Any thoughts?

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