Meet 5 Real People who LOVE their Toyota Prius!

After driving the Prius for a few days, I wondered who in my network drives a Prius. I put out a Facebook/Twitter status to find out.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that I immediately received comments from these 5 very happy Prius owners!  Who doesn’t love to meet real people? -Nicole

Aaron Gross

Location: Wauwatosa, WI
Family size: 2
Occupation: IT Manager for Bader Rutter and Associates.
Describe what you love most about your Prius: I could talk about how it’s fun to sneak up on people when in EV mode, it is enjoyable to see their expression but that’s not my favorite thing. My favorite thing about the Prius is that it fundamentally changed the way I drive and operate not only our Prius but our other car. With the instant feedback and reporting on my driving habits it makes attempting to maximize efficiency into a game. My wife and I have a friendly competition on who can drive the most efficient, her record 1.8 miles at 99.9 (all EV) mine is 6.4 miles at 88.5mpg. (Downhill most of the way). For the first 2 months we would constantly picture message each other with our driving stats.

Favorite Prius memory: We’ve only been in the Prius for a few months, so my time line is pretty short on it. But we took it out to vist cousins a few hours away, it was great getting to their house on one tank of gas.. about 8 hours away. If I was in my old car, a Saturn Vue V6 I would have had to fill up over twice as often and fill up a 16 gallon tank instead of 10.

Greg Shugar

Location: Naperville, IL
Family size: 2 adults, 3 kids
Occupation: Owner of

Describe what you love most about your Prius: In three years of owning a Prius, I honestly appreciated each trip to the pump and how little gas was costing me. It truly never got old.

Favorite Prius Memory: The nod of approval most people would give me after discovering I had purchased a Prius (which was still quite uncommon when I purchased it back in 2005.)

Kim Johnson

Location: Birmingham, MI
Family size: Husband, daughter and 2 sons
Occupation: Manager at Nordstrom

Describe what you love most about your Prius: It’s a tie: I love being able to see how efficient my driving is with the score you get on your dashboard.  I also love being able to play my Pandora radio throughout the car via my iPhone!

Favorite Prius Memory:  Seeing the reactions of all of our neighbors when we first brought the Prius home was pretty entertaining. Since we live near Detroit, most people in our area only buy American made cars.  You’d have thought we brought home a Mercedes or an pet alien when we pulled into the neighborhood!

Theresa Hammerlind

Location: Grayslake, IL
Family size: Married with first child due in January!
Occupation: Center Director for the Huntington Learning Center

Describe what you love most about your Prius: I love my Prius because she has never let me down. I can count on her for amazing gas mileage. I’ve used her to help move and the hatchback allows for lots of space for boxes. I have taken many a roadtrip in my Prius and I never feel cramped or crowded. My 6 foot husband doesn’t complain about room either. In the six years since I purchased my Prius, I haven’t needed any unusual repairs or maintenance. I have never been happier with a vehicle and I will buy another Prius when this one is done.

My favorite Prius memory would have to be the first time I took my car to the repair shop. To make sense of this, I should explain. Previously, I owned a Volkswagen Jetta that gave me so many problems. My worst car memory was driving my Jetta to Minnesota and my cerpentean belt ripped through completely. It was a nightmare that caused all kinds of damage to the car. The first time I took my Prius to the repair shop, I asked about the condition of the cerpentean belt. I was overjoyed to hear that the Prius is made with a cerpentean chain which will never need replacing. It was true love ever since.

 Joe Budde, Jr. 

Location:  Cincinatti, Ohio
Family size: 3. Me, my beautiful wife, Lindsay and my son Parker
Occupation: Non-Profit Financial and IT Management at Beta Theta Pi and Entrepreneur at Room12Design.
Describe what you love most about your Prius?  Every time I hop in the driver’s seat of my Prius V (the larger Prius!), I lean over to my wife and tell her “I love this car.”  I think she is sick of me saying it. The storage in the back is about 3 cubic feet shy of what I had before in my Jeep Grand Cherokee and i get 3x the gas mileage.  The features are perfect for our family and the space in the backseat is plenty for when my  6’4″ frame sits in the back seat.

Favorite Prius Memory: My father-in-law came to see it for the first time and after looking it over and giving a nod of approval he said, “It’s like a minivan in training.”  Why yes it is. And fortunately for Parker, our Prius V even comes with the Cheerios hidden under the car seat in the back.  What a compliment for a man who loves his (hopefully growing) family more than anything.

Do you drive a Prius?  What do you love about it?  Leave us a Tweet @MsCareerGirl and your message could be posted in a blog post on Friday July 6th!


Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.

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