A school run is a school run but last week the JuggleMum household had the ULTIMATE school run when we drove the posh new Toyota Prius+!
Toyota lent me this new car that they’ve brought out which is the only 7 seater on the market that is also a hybrid, making it perfect for family motoring (especially larger families), as the hybrid is great for fuel economy. I have to confess, I didn’t know what a hybrid was until the salesman at the dealership took me through it all, but basically the car is part electric and part unleaded fuel, so when you are driving at a lower MPH, the vehicle uses electricity and not fuel to get going, meaning you save on fuel costs!
As I do a lot of ‘city driving’, my short journeys are to school and back, the supermarket, the gym, ferrying kids to after school dance classes and sports clubs, the fact that most of this could be done in electric mode makes a massive difference. We do take family trips on weekends when my husband is not working, so when we’d go on the motorway and are using more power, the car would automatically go into petrol mode, but imagine as the majority of the week I’m on mum duty, doing the short, family journeys that we need, my need to fill up on fuel is practically zero!
My opinions of this car are extremely high. I felt very calm when driving the car as the steering is light and the engine is super quiet. It’s so smooth it’s like driving velvet! I was pleasantly surprised by how high spec this car was inside – really comfortable, with practicalities that we needed for a family like plenty of cup holders!
If I had a criticism, I’d say that I did get faintly annoyed by the dashboard beeping at me at times. This is a safety feature, so for example if a passenger is not wearing their seatbelt, the dashboard beeps, or if one of the doors is not closed properly, the dashboard beeps. One one hand I’m grateful for the warning but at one stage of the week long test of the car the dashboard was beeping and an indicator light on showing that a door wasn’t closed properly, and we went around the car several times, opening and shutting doors and it still beeped. For one 20 minute journey, we couldn’t work out which door it meant and had to put up with the car beeping all the way home. It could have been a faulty door sensor, but whatever it was was fixed by the next day as I didn’t get the beeps again!
However a feature I couldn’t do without now I’ve had it is the rear parking camera. It shows you what is immediately behind the vehicle when you go into ‘reverse mode’ and this meant that I avoided a nasty accident when one of the children left a bike on our driveway recently.
For a busy mum who does the school run, a Toyota Prius is definitely worth a look. The 7 seater Prius+ is spacious enough for larger families and I’m definitey sold on the hybrid technlogy. Not only are the fuel costs much lower but a hybrid car is exempt from paying road tax EVER! This is because their CO2 emissions are so low.
As part of having a week’s trial of the car, my children and I also took part in a photoshoot and video recording session with Toyota’s photographers for a feature in their customer magazine. Look below for our photoshoot which appeared in Toyota’s ‘This Way’ magazine, Winter 2012-13: