Look at Me

Yesterday I pulled up behind a Porsche Panamera Hybrid at a light before turning onto the Pellissippi Parkway. I remembered test driving one when I was in the market for a new car. It was a nice enough car, but what I discovered when looking at the Porsche, Mercedes, BMW and Lexus lines was that the starting prices for every model was pretty much a bait and switch. I was looking at the Hybrid models, don’t know why, I just had a suspicion that something bad was going to happen to the economy.

While I was looking at the Lexus hybrid I noted the costs of heated/ventilated seats, a heads-up display and radar cruise control ran the price up considerably. I must have said what I was thinking aloud for another customer, who already had a Lexus and was waiting for servicing said, “Toyota Avalon.” “What?” I asked. “Toyota Avalon, I wish I had bought a Toyota Avalon. It’s the same as a Lexus but cheaper and the Limited model comes with everything. You don’t have to buy packages. Yep, wish I had bought an Avalon.” And so I did; buy an Avalon hybrid that is. The man was right, baseball glove leather seats, heated, cooled, radar cruise control with emergency braking, heads-up display, voice controls, etc. All the amenities for almost $15,000 less than a similar Lexus; $80,000 less than the Porsche or Mercedes.

We accelerated away from the light and onto the parkway. I maintained my distance but noticed that my Avalon accelerated at the same rate as the Porsche. Both are heavy cars because of their battery packs and both have rather large disc brakes to stop. Oh, the one thing my Avalon doesn’t have that the Porsche does is a rally clock on the dash. A $3,400 dollar option. But I do have what it represents, Econ, Regular and Sport modes for driving.

I could go on about how I looked down and we were doing 85 in a 65 zone and my driving indicator said I was still in Econ mode. The one other thing I should note is the Avalon does 50mpg on the highway and 44 in town. None of the other cars I tested performed nearly as well.

So, in today’s world of look at me; I drive a $125,000 Porsche, Mercedes, BMW or Lexus and I have to use premium gasoline at $7/gal; I bet some of these people wish, like the man at the Lexus dealership, that they had bought an Avalon.

There’s a moral here, but I won’t preach. You already know what it is.

One thought

  1. We bought a Honda CRV Ltd hybrid and don’t think we’ll get another. No spare tire because the battery takes up too much space and only 34 mpg on the hiway. We need 4wd in the snow here.

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