Las Vegas! A city full of lust, envy, sin and 64,000 rooms that holds more secrets than the Government. And it marked as our next destination for a friends birthday get together.
With the date approaching fast, I hadn’t planned very well for this trip. It’s a 5 hour drive roughly from our headquarters in Phoenix, and getting there isn’t necessarily the hard part, it’s the coming back. My schedule had the all-new 2017 Toyota Prius Prime book for that week, and while it is a good vehicle, it’s ideally a city kind of car since it ¼ electrical and ¾ gas. I was in a frenzy to get something more road trip worthy possibly the refreshed Highlander or even try and get one last look at the Camry before the all-new 2018 gets released later this year. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much luck.
The Prius Prime arrived and despite its goofy appearance, I didn’t feel so bad having it as my road companion for the next several hundred miles. I was scheduled to depart Phoenix 5:00pm on a Friday – even though the Prius Prime had 18 miles of electric range on tap, I wanted a full charge before leaving town – however – I ended up being meetings all day on the other side of town, so when it came time to leave for our weekend adventure, I was fresh out of electricity. The bright side, since I was going to be stuck in traffic for the next two hours, I engaged the self-charging feature and let the car charge its own battery while I sat idle. It takes about two hours to get a full charge this way, but uses more gas. We like to think it balances out in the end.
Surprisingly the Prius Prime made for a comforting companion on my journey, its soft supple leather interior made the drive tireless and the 11.6-inch touch screen infotainment system kept me occupied watching my energy consumption fluctuate. The Prius Prime isn’t a very fast car, and the two lane highways we were taking didn’t leave us enough confidence to pass semi-truckers, but with the adaptive cruise control as part of Toyota’s Safety Sense, we patiently waited for the passing lanes to arrive.
Along the way, we recharged the batteries twice – upon getting into Kingman, just 1.5 hours outside of Vegas, we were able to allow the car to drive completely in electric mode only as we cruised through town to get some fuel and something to eat. Even after driving 90% on the gas engine, we only used 6-gallons of fuel and thus made our fuel ups extremely inexpensive.
Upon arriving in Vegas, our journey with the Prius Prime came to an end as it got put away in a parking garage for the duration of the weekend – sorry little buddy. While I would love to talk about everything we did in Vegas, that unfortunately stays between me and the 7 other people that were included on a group text thread – it’s not that interesting anyways.
Once we packed our bags, lost our money, and our souls, I hopped in the Prime and to my surprise I had 20 miles of electric range still on tap – enough to get me out of Vegas and enough fuel in the tank to make it back to Phoenix. I managed to average over 50 miles to the gallon on this trip, which for being all highway, not bad at all.
Sure, a Highlander or Camry V-6 would have come in handy on our trip, its performance would have had us shewing slower drivers away like bee looking to prick. But our wallets would have been hung out to drive at the pump and left us with no money for the, err, slot machines.