So far, driving a hybrid has been an interesting experience for me. the first “aha” that I’m finding is that there are so many indicators and reminders of fuel consumption that I consciously try to drive a little bit less like an idiot than I did in my last car. I find myself taking corners more slowly, accelerating a little bit less quickly from a stop, and generally trying to coast more on the highway.
That’s all resulted in sometimes peculiar driving habits, to be sure. But probably overall safer, and surely more fuel-efficient.
Buying a hybrid SUV has meant that we haven’t seen incredible gas mileage so far — more in the range of 26-28 mpg — which is 50% better than my A4, but still not what you’d call world-beating.
The other interesting thing I’ve seen noted elsewhere: inside the car it’s just much more often quiet than in other cars. Riding around in Kathy’s TL (which we previously felt was pretty darn quiet) now feels pretty “rumbly” to me all the time. Just need to watch out for pedestrians. (I get a *lot* of looks in parking lots when we’re backing out — pretty much always silent since it’s on electric motors.)
Anyway, so far so good — it’s hard to say in 2006 that there’s ever a time when we forget about our oil-dependence — but I think I’m glad to be driving more mindful of it.