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Will Green Cars Be Exciting To Drive And Enjoyable To Own?



  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,680
    What "noise" did you think you heard?

    If your Camry is as noisy as a Prius, Toyota needs to head back to the drawing board. Every little joint in the pavement gets radiated into the passenger compartment. I personally thought the first Prius I rode in was much quieter. Then that was about 9 years ago and I went from a 1990 Camry to the Prius. Plus our roads have gone down hill since then with little to no maintenance.

    Would I drive one running errands? Why not, they have a nice big hatch area to put stuff. Would I head out to the desert or over to Phoenix? Not in a million years. Your blindness to the facts on these attempts at being green is showing.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    You really ought not to be telling people the Prius is noisy.

    It's just not.

    From various sources on the web:

    In general, most family sedans, minivans, and midsized and large SUVs have very good noise isolation, including CR Top Picks like the Honda Accord, Acura TL, Infiniti M35, Honda Odyssey, Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Toyota Prius. Smaller vehicles, such as the Honda Civic and Subaru Forester (also Top Picks), score a step below for noise isolation. The noisiest cars we’ve recently tested include the Lotus Elise and Pontiac Solstice. These two sporty cars rated Poor for noise isolation and were even noisy enough to make listening to the radio a challenge.

    And from an Edmunds review:

    Once under way, though, the Prius rides tranquilly, with a pillow-soft suspension and good sound insulation.


    Ride quality is generally very good, most bumps and ripples not coming through to the cabin.


    Toyota Prius
    Besides the superb gas mileage, the Toyota Prius is a quiet vehicle. It starts on its electric motor so there is no churn of a starter motor or engine revving noise. In addition, the aerodynamic car produces little wind and road noise.

    Maybe the one road you took a Prius ride on was a bad one.

    But no one anywhere in any review calls the Prius "noisy."
  • mattandimattandi Posts: 588
    hmmmm, touched a nerve.

    It's relative. That's all.

    Gary compared the Prius to his Sequoia. Found it noisy.

    I own a Saturn wagon. Not exactly a quiet car, and a car do not like very much. I found the Prius more noisy, especially on the highway.

    Others may have a different experience.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,680
    Gary compared the Prius to his Sequoia. Found it noisy.

    Our friend went from a noisy GM PU truck to a noisy Civic to a noisy Camry. So it is relative to what you are used to. Myself I like to be able to hear the subtleties of an Itzhak Perlman piece while riding down the highway at 70 MPH. I like to be isolated from all the noise while in the city as well. While the Sequoia is not perfect, it is better than my Suburban and most other SUVs including my tax man's RX. Part of it are the crappy low profile tires that have become so popular. Give me quiet balloons any day. I think that is why the X5 I demoed was not as quiet as my Sequoia.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Sure, comparatively, any car can be "noisy" when compared to more silent cars.

    But classifying a Prius as a "noisy car" is just incorrect.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    I think Gary's last point kind of gets what he's talking about. There is a good market for vehicles that are that quiet. I understand Prius not being in that category but there's a ton of cars that aren't in it either including all four in my stable.

    I think the fun factor fnor hybrids is coming. The For Fusion Hybrid's write ups indicate a fun potential including essentially a dashboard that makes nailing the best mileage sort of a game.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,680
    I can cherry pick reviews as well as anyone.

    On the road, I found the Prius ride and handling to be hesitant, while the steering was slow-reacting. Acceleration and passing are not the vehicle’s strong points, but it does contend with traffic at acceptable speeds and it can pass slower-moving cars. Performing and riding in a manner one would expect from a sub-compact, road irregularities are felt within the cabin, and there is more road noise inside than I would have expected, but there was never a feeling of instability during my tests.

    Steering feel is artificial, the regenerative brakes are only average, and the ride can get bumpy and noisy. Blame the low rolling resistance tires and the lack of sound deadening to save weight.

    There are more complaints of noise than praise for a quiet ride with a simple GOOGLE search.
  • mattandimattandi Posts: 588
    I think the fun factor fnor hybrids is coming.

    I hope so, and I assume we're talking about driving dynamics. There are those who have found some fun factor in other ways. They find the fun in squeezing out the MPG's. With my dad it is a game of one upmanship. Quite a few of his friends have gotten into small fuel efficient cars and brag to each other. Almost all of them can afford to drive whatever they want, but they are gaming each other on this.

    The Prius is not unpleasant to drive. It's just not very exciting. As a grocery getter or around town runabout, it works quite nicely. It takes a little getting used to. When it cuts off at a full stop, I keep finding myself thinking "Gee, I sure hope this thing goes when the light turns green."
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,068
    Sure! A Hemi 'Cuda convertible finished in the Hi-Impact color of FJ6 Sassy Grass Green would be immensely fun to drive!
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Cherry picking reviews does not matter.

    The fact that the VAST MAJORITY of review shows Prius as quiet, as do the vast majority of owners (check if not believing me) do also proves the point.

    The Prius is not a noisy car. Found a Swedish test which showed the Prius in the top 10 of all cars tested.

    Keep saying it and you are just passing out incorrect information.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    that all body-on-frame vehicles will insulate the driver from road imperfections a lot more than unibody vehicles, as it is the frame that takes the beating from the road in BOFs, not the passenger compartment.

    As such, gagrice is bound to notice a big difference when transitioning from his truck to a Prius.

    But there will be soon be very few BOFs left on the market, even among non-"green" models, so the BOF frame of reference is becoming obsolete.

    And in this discussion, we are still falling for that fatal flaw in our arguments: the Prius is somehow "all hybrids". It is one car, built until now on a subcompact chassis (that of the Yaris) with the engine from that subcompact. Will it be different beginning with the 2010 model? Yes (to be built on the Auris/Euro-Corolla platform using the 1.8L engine from the existing Corolla).

    Could any automaker out there build a hybrid with COMPLETELY DIFFERENT RIDE AND HANDLING CHARACTERISTICS? Emphatically, yes.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • My dealership has 3 Insights on the ground. None were ready for test drives, however. I would assume that the Insight might handle a bit better than a Prius. My Fit is fun to drive. The front of the Insight looks like a Civic, and the back end is a Prius clone.

    Check out the Insight at your local dealership! :surprise:
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    How does one avoid the reputation of being a Liberal, Socialist, Democrat who believes in GW? :P
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, to people who don't even know you, just let them take a long walk on a short pier.

    To people who comment and accuse you of being something you are not, merely say, "I like spending less money on gas and more money on having fun."
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    I suspect that for the short term future we will have to redefine exciting and enjoyable.

    The Fusion and Prius have gizmos to show you how how economically you are driving. Those that get their kicks seeing how much you can squeeze out of a gallon of gas (that would appeal to me) will have fun. Neck snapping acceleration it ain't.

    I suspect that we're just starting to see hybrids that will feel as comfortable as a regular car.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,900
    Just buy a normal car with a "green" powertrain and remove the "green" badge indicators. Nobody will have a clue :P
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    How does one avoid the reputation of being a Liberal, Socialist, Democrat who believes in GW?

    Is there really some type of categorizing of those who buy hybrids as such? I would be of the mind that its my money, I can spend it how I see fit, and I may or may not associate with the labels being given.

    I appreciate those that drive hybrids and the sacrifice they are making for the greater good. Far be it from me to judge them, I am certainly not willing to do what they did at this point.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    Maybe it's a stretch for people to assume it's a sacrifice to drive a hybrid....
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    There is that. by the time i'm buying again i could see going to an Insight not because it's politically correct but because I'm a cheapskate.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,068
    ...looks like a dorky Prius knock-off, I'll be staying away. Now, if they make that neat little bullet car like the original Insight, I might show some interest.
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