So the car did not start because the doors are open?

That was what a friend asked recently after he sat in the driver’s seat and turned the engine on.

I had to tell him no. The funny thing is that the car engine was on! To be terminologically correct, the engine was “ready”. Yes, we joined the gas mileage-conscious, clean/green generation and bought a hybrid after my recent accident resulted in a total loss on my current car.

Keeping the kid in mind, instead of going for the natural choice of Toyota Prius, we went with the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. So far, it has been great. The listed mileage is 32/28 and we are getting about 26-27 with mixed highway/city driving. Not bad for a 6-cylinder, 210 HP “SUV”.

The engine is so quiet, sometimes it seems like the engine turned off (nightmares of gas-only engines turning off due to cold weather come to mind immediately).

So both of us feel good about the car – from a social perspective and from a personal perspective. And that’s all that matters, right?