Having the rental car buggered up last night turned out pretty well as when we arrived at the airport this morning to pick up a little compact from Alamo, the lady suggested if it was the best fuel economy we were after, they had a Toyota Prius hybrid available. It was $300 more than the compact, but some quick maths on estimated gas mileage (they quoted 60mpg) would work out worth it over the next 5 weeks or so.
The dash is pretty cool as it has a touch screen to handle the audio system, climate controls, etc. and shows some neat effects detailing how + when the electric motor is being charged and when it’s being used alongside or in replacement of the standard petrol engine. We put on around 280 miles on our way down from Seattle, and averaged 50.2 miles per gallon. That’s pretty damn good as an average over that kind of distance!
We’ve still got about half a tank of gas left, and I’m guessing it’s about a 10/11 gallon tank, so already it’s working out quite nicely! It’s really smooth, though there definately seems a very subtle jolt when the electric motor is engaged/disengaged.
Other than a little traffic coming through Portland, the drive from Seattle down to Eugene, Oregon was pretty smooth and easy. Very scenic with large wooded areas and mountain views down through Washington. Bit of a shame we’ve had to plow through in a day, but tomorrow we’re heading into the Cascade Range and Crater Lake National Park, and on our way back up to Seattle we can spend some more time checking things out, especially in Washington.