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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Which car is more UU: Subaru Outback or Toyota Prius?

On the heels of the Los Angeles Times story that said that "Subaru is the Unitarian Church of automotive brands," the Fresno Bee says that one UU congregation begs to differ: Twenty-three people at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, California, drive Toyota Priuses. That's approximately 10% of the church's households! Happy Earth Day, everyone.

("Concern for Environment Drives Church Members," Doug Hoagland, Fresno Bee 4.22.05; via Left Coast Unitarian)

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 23 April 2005 at 11:10 AM

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April 23, 2005 04:34 PM | Permalink for this comment

LOL! Ditto for Portland liberals. We're a town of either Subaru Outbacks or Toyota Prius'. (Well, there are those suburban Republicans who drive Ford Explorers, but they're *Republicans* so what can you do?) ;)

Barbara W. Klaser:

April 23, 2005 05:10 PM | Permalink for this comment

My vote is for the Prius. I just wish I could afford one. Now there's a car that deserves a tax break. :)


April 23, 2005 06:55 PM | Permalink for this comment

I drive a Subaru, but she's older than the Outback.(1990) I want a Prius. They're not expensive as cars go, just too much for us in this bad economy.
Much as I am attached to my (second)Subaru, I think the Prius is more the UU car of choice. There are several of them in my congregation -- including the minister.


April 24, 2005 08:04 AM | Permalink for this comment

Both. Depends which strain of UUism is represented.

The Subaru is more old-fashioned 19th-century UU, in the tradition of Channing, Emerson, and Thoreau: it's a rational, durable, reliable, value-priced purchase that can carry you through all kinds of bad weather and get you out into Nature when you need to lie down in green pastures and walk beside still waters.

The Prius is more 1970's, introspective, post-Woodstock UU: it's so darned righteous and energy-conserving and self-image-affirming that its owners are willing to overlook the fact that it is actually priced higher than the present value of all the gas it will save, and you can't fit more than two grocery bags into it without squishing the bread.


April 24, 2005 08:08 AM | Permalink for this comment

Hahaha, We're about to roll over 100,000 miles on the Subaru Forester and I'm coveting all of the Prius's in the parking lot at the Fellowship. I can't afford it though, not without selling my soul...which maybe I could do, hmmm!


April 24, 2005 07:59 PM | Permalink for this comment

fausto -- the Prius is not priced any higher than a Subaru. And there's quite a bit of room in the back -- not as much as a stationwagon, but it has the advantage over the usual hatchback in that there is no lip on the back so you can slide things in. We rented one to drive to Oregon in October to help get out the vote, and our four suitcases and totebags etc. fit in the back with no problem. The next trip they were out of Priuses so we ended up with an upgrade to a Mercedes -- and we had more trouble getting the luggage in there.
The point isn't to save enough money to make it pay some mythical amount, it's to pollute less so we can all breathe.
Don't be bitter.


April 24, 2005 08:46 PM | Permalink for this comment

The perfect fusion of both is the 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid. It's a better compact for snow and off-road driving than the Subaru, plus it's got a gas-sipping hybrid engine like the Prius.

Me, I'm hoping Ford's Mazda subsidiary comes out with a twin Mazda Tribute hybrid model before my 1995 Saab gives up the ghost. The Tribute has a sport package that looks like it might be more fun to drive.

The Ford website even has a calculator to help you figure your annual fuel savings if you buy the hybrid. Guess what? Like Toyota, Ford charges more for the hybrid upgrade than the fuel savings are worth. Buy an Escape hybrid (or a Prius), and you'll be like my friend "Jeremiah's" orthodox Quaker college classmate who used to pay extra in the 1950's and '60's to custom-order his new cars without so much chrome, because ostentatious show was against his religion. Nothing wrong with that, but let's be honest and call it what it is. (Incidentally, to compare the prices of the Outback and Prius is misleading. You can buy a similarly-equipped Toyota Corolla with pretty respectable mileage for a lot less than what you have to pay for a Prius, but you can't buy a Prius with the Outback's all-wheel drive at any price.)

If you don't need the hybrid feature, Ford is offering $2,000 cash-back incentives on the standard-model Escape, and Mazda is offering $3,000 on the Tribute. Both will give you even more cash back if you choose factory financing. As William Ellery "Prove All Things" Channing would have noted, that pays for a lot of fill-ups, and with those incentives somebody's going to drive that car off the lot and burn that gas whether it's you or not.


April 26, 2005 07:43 AM | Permalink for this comment

Is this much to do about nothing ? Give ne a Beamer !! :)


April 26, 2005 08:40 AM | Permalink for this comment

Would you settle for a hybrid Lexus?


February 16, 2006 01:55 PM | Permalink for this comment

I vote for Prius, even though it doesn't actually make sense from a financial perspective, it is far more friendly to God's earth than the Subaru because it is has much cleaner emissions.


February 17, 2006 02:12 PM | Permalink for this comment

We were thinking about getting a Prius, but then we read the NYTimes Article from Feb 8, 2006 "Buy a Hybrid, Save a Gas Guzzler" and had second thoughts. It is an archived story now so it can't be linked to full-text. Here is an excerpt.

"Buy a Hybrid, Save a Gas Guzzler"
by David Leonhardt

...Too bad the benefits of our new cult car have been so exaggerated.... government policy, amazingly enough, seems almost intended to undercut the benefits of efficient cars. In 1978, Congress set a minimum corporate average fuel economy, known as CAFE, for all carmakers. Today, the minimum average for cars is 27.5 miles a gallon. (For S.U.V.'s and other light trucks, it is 21.6.)

YOU can guess what this means for hybrids. Each one becomes a free pass for its manufacturer to sell a few extra gas guzzlers...Instead of simply saving gas when you buy a hybrid, you're giving somebody else the right to use it.

The hybrid, then, is just about the perfect example of what's wrong with our energy policy.... As Jon Coifman, the media director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, says, ''We're not going to kick our oil addiction with good will and personal virtue. You do need market signals, and you do need rules. And you need virtue. You need it all.''...

...A substantial gas tax would be the simplest, with other taxes being cut to keep down the overall burden. Car buyers could drive whatever they wanted, as long as they were paying the full cost of their gas, and automakers would respond with creative products....

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