Today’s Lesson: It’s okay to pay for the brand that gets you.
The Prius 4 is not a cheap car to our pocketbook, but Nicole and I just bought one each. Of course, we are spitefully cute because we have matching cars now and we are dirty hippies because we don’t kill animals and we drive Priuses. Or Priai. Or Pris. Or whatever the plural of “Prius” is. Maybe it’s still Prius–like “deer”.
Anyway, there are three things that have already made owning a Prius the best car experience I have ever had. I am blown away by what Toyota has done right and stunned that other, particularly American-based, car companies have not followed suit.
1. The car leverages technology. The Prius comes with a suite of applications that pair up with my smartphone and come with full-blown subscriptions to popular services like Slacker and Pandora radio–no ads for as long as I own the Prius. Of course, it has hands-free calling and navigation included in the car, with a crazy floating heads-up display that only the driver can see. The locks and ignition are remote so I never even have to take a key out of my pocket to open, lock, or start the car, and that is just the beginning.
2. The savings on fuel is unbeatable. In its price range, I was unable to find a car to even come close to what a Prius obtains on gas mileage. Before we bought ours, Nicole and I rented a Prius and drove from Grand Rapids, MI to Savannah, GA and back. Our average miles per gallon was 55, well over the reported 48 on the sticker. I have already driven 80 miles and my fuel gauge has barely budged. I was spending about $80 per week on fuel; I expect that to be cut in half or better.
3. The customer service is unreal. This was the knock-out punch for me. Toyota takes care of their Prius owners like no company I have yet experienced. I will not pay a dime on service or maintenance on my car for the next seven years. Toyota will take care of everything, including oil changes, fluid top-offs, tires and tire pressure, dings, dents, roadside assistance, towing, everything. All I have to do is take it to any Toyota dealership anywhere every 6 months or 5,000 miles. Parts and labor is included.
4. (Bonus point, not for everyone) Toyota knows their target audience. In the Prius brochure, they show you how to use the cargo net to hold groceries. Prominently placed in the picture is a yoga mat. I had to smile. They know exactly who they are catering to. When we were looking at options, our sales rep (Brandon, who was great) showed us the “leather” upgrade option. We shrugged and explained we are vegan and he said, “I am so glad you said that. We call it ‘leather’ because it has that look and feel to most people, but it is actually a proprietary material called Softex that uses no animal ingredients. It is a synthetic ‘leather’ that is vegan!”
Toyota’s website not only confirms that but also explains the environmental benefits of this fabric over conventional synthetic leather.
Readers of this blog know I am well-versed in both Marketing and Salesmanship. It makes me practically giddy to see both done well. I have never blogged about a car but this one totally won me over. Looking forward to many years of driving. Also, I do not make recommendations lightly and because this blog is a labor of love running on my dime, I think it is important to note when I do it is because I was genuinely moved to do so of my accord. I do not get any perks for saying this, but if you are in the Tampa area and looking for a Prius, I can not recommend highly enough our salesperson Brandon Bailey at Stadium Toyota.
He did a remarkable job respecting our needs, helping us balance our wants and genuinely giving us a few laughs along the way.
You already know this but, you get what you pay for, so it is better to pay for people or brands that get you.