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Toyota Prius (First Generation)

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Comments

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Our orders have shot through the roof in the past week. I attribute this to three factors. First, we moved one into the showroom finally. Next, the price of gas. Last, the Washington Post just ran an article informing people that in VA, you can get Alternate Fuels license plate which qualifies you to drive in the HOV lanes by yourself at any time.

    All three of these things happened two weeks ago. We used to get one or two order a month. We took 8 in the past week alone.
  • reticent1reticent1 Posts: 70
    Yes, Cliffy, the sales target for the model year 2001 was 12,000 units. They have sold and delivered 8058 cars by Feb 28th. By the end of April, Toyota anticipates Prius will sell out, leaving many to wait for the 2002 models in the fall. Did you know that 36% of all Prius orders are in California? 36% in one state! :D

    Toyota's Prius planning manager initially thought the sole competition for the Prius was Honda's Insight. But, they are fast learning thru surveys and internet message boards such as this that people are also starting to consider Prius alongside Taurus, Honda Accord, and Camry. I myself have had buyers settle for Camry CE vs. Prius rather than wait. Yes, the Camry CE is less costly too... that also is a motivating factor as well.

    -Ret
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35041-2001May2.html


    http://www.sae.org/automag/features/prius/index.htm

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Here is a "clickable" link to the first article in cliffy's post:


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35041-2001May2.html


    Pat
    Host
    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The first one would not let me post it because it has more than 115 characters. I don't know why it let you, but thanks.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    That is an excellent question Cliffy and I have no idea why it let me post it either, but I've experienced exactly what you say. Sometimes the limit bites you, sometimes it does not - all for the same link.

    :-)

    Pat
    Host
    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • miltkomiltko Posts: 15
    I haven't read Edmunds Prius chat for a while so if this is old news, just go on to the next message.

    We took delivery on our 2001 Prius in January. We live in mild northern California, so the following is based on temperatures from the 40's in January to 80's in May (eat your heart out fellows!). First off my wife is the principal driver of this vehicle. She does not have a heavy foot and will coast for a block until the red light turns green. Most of her driving is not in rush hours.
    My computer indication, using standard 87 octane fuel, we consistently average 43 mpg in silicon valley light traffic. We have filled the tank twice (not letting it get too much below half tank) and gotten 39.6 and 39.7 mpg using the same pump in the same gas station. I should note that about half the time she is traveling alone and half with me.

    The only highway trip we have taken is about 40 miles to Gilroy and return with three adults in the car. I drove one way at 65-70mph and the compute output said 43.7 mpg. My wife drove back at 60-65 and got 45.3 mpg. That makes me happy with near agreement to PEA figures for highway use.

    I then took it in to my Toyota dealer for a warranty checkup as to why the city driving average of 43 mpg didn't come even close to the 54 mpg Toyota likes to brag about. I have gotten to know both Toyota Prius qualified specialists at this dealer. I have gone into the shop and scanned through their shop manuals. (Do you know that they haven't' been issued any manuals on the motor/generators or the planetary transmission? These could have been Echo manuals)

    I noted to them that the engine ran fairly long compared to the free loaner they gave us (which also averaged 43 mpg) and suggested the cat convertor probe may be reading low. I also noted that upon return from the Gilroy trip we got two succesive 50+ mpg 5 minute computer readouts before it fell back to past readings and suggested that the fuel/air ratio compute may be making the engine rich and carbonizing the cat convertor (driving at high speed would tend to burn off any such deposits).

    One of these two swell guys spent two days testing and driving our car and said all of the parameters (including the ones I had noted) were normal, The best he could get was also about 43 mpg, unless 1: you had on the defroster/airconditioning (this runs the motor full time and gets much poorer mileage), and 2: you went on long enough trips for the engine to heat up the absorber/cat convertor in only the earliest part of the trip and you accelerated slowly to the speed you wanted and then did no adjust the accelerator petal either up or down (Oh where is cruise control? 2002?) Try to do the latter in normal city traffic

    I'd probably be sick if my car, a 2000 Camry, had an instantaneous and trip average readout (I'm probably lucky to hit 20mpg in the city with my heavy foot). Ignorance is bliss! But I wouldn't trade cars for a long road trip!

    Several magazine articles have indicated the 43 mpg is achieveable in the city. Of course if you can hold you accelerator foot exactly in position while driving in traffic and over pot holes you may hit 50+mpg. Otherwise we're happy with the car. Try to accelerate from a standing start with an Echo and then with a Prius and note the difference on engine noise (Echo engine sounds like a old Beatle engine windup, versus the Prius's battery/motor start).
  • miltkomiltko Posts: 15
    After hearing the shop etch note that varying the accelerator even slightly cut into gas mileage I asked if he could dampen the speed response top small changes in the accelerator position? He stated that they are not allowed to do anything to the computer settings. And he had been to two Prius schools already. If it isn't trivial, they have to call for a Toyota re to investigate the problem. My dealer is sending two more mechanics to Prius school soon. They have to be rated in the top 10% of the mechanic pool to qualify.

    Sorry for the few typos in my original message. The spell check can't catch typos if they are spelled right.

    Milt
  • reticent1reticent1 Posts: 70
    ...is affecting the Southern California buying climate. We've had more Prius Internet Online orders in the last week than we've had in any one month. Amazing. I think some possible buyers are on the fence, thinking to wait for a new 2002 also but who knows what that 2002 model year will bring for options, and pricing. We all know that the 2002's are expected to offer side impact airbags, CD changer in dash, and perhaps a GPS system, but we don't know when/what. I still think they will keep that pricing point down near to the $21000 area for the base, but who can say for certain. It's just astounding how frenzied some folks are, watching the gas prices rising and not knowing IF they will drop back down to the more comfortable $1.50 area for regular gas in Southern Ca. but I'm willing to wager that of the 12,000 cars Toyota planned for 2001 sales, they will be completely OUT in 2-3 weeks... and we'll see a long waiting list for the 2002's for September/October delivery.

    -Ret
  • dsgechodsgecho Posts: 89
    Own an echo and Prius each.
    1. I must be deaf. The echo I have makes no loud noises on acceleration.Lots less than a Civic as tested [nice car though].
    2.MPG in 55 F or better
    a. last two trips on 90% hiway were 55 and 57.5 mpg respectively for trips of 200 mi. or better.
    In the 42-45 range for trips of 5 miles or less. In-town range consistently in the 50's mpg for trips 8-10 mi. or better.
    c.Check out egroups.com for info on accel. techniques, etc. SEVERAL choices for cruise. Have had mine working for several months now.

    Don
  • guzguz Posts: 7
    Good news everyone. President Bush's package of tax incentives to save energy includes Hybrids. The plan includes expanding the existing 10% Tax Credit for all electrical cars so it includes the
    gas-electric Hybrids. The new tax credit would be available from 2002 to 2007. Let's keep our fingers crossed
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Do you have any more details? How likely is it for this package to pass and would it only apply to cars purchased after January 2002?
  • miltkomiltko Posts: 15
    Don
    Very interesting response. I didn't mean to imply that the Echo made lots of noise. I don't own one and only drove a demo the same route as the Prius. The Prius motor (less than 15 mph) was much quietier than the shifting Echo.

    Humm? 55-57 mpg on the highway?
    Edmund's spec page for the Echo says:

    EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway) Automatic: 31 mpg / 38 mpg
    EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway) Manual: 34 mpg / 41 mpg

    You didn't mention whether your Echo is stick shift or auto. Either way, you must be using some super fuel. How did you get such results? Tell us.

    Also, please help me by providing names of the talk/news groups you suggest can provide cruise info. I have assumed you mean custom adding cruise control. The Toy mech. suggested that the Toyota conversion cost would be about $500. How much did yours cost??
    Milt
  • reticent1reticent1 Posts: 70
    The Prius is a lot quieter than the Echo. Having driven both, and having a little Echo in the family, the pros for the Echo were $$$$-related only. Meaning, the Prius at a sticker of $20855 with CD and mats would have taken YEARS to make bank balances even at 42 mpg (Echo) vs. an average of 50-60 MPG in Prius, assuming Prius would do so well on freeway as Echo in 5th gear (stick) or 4th gear (auto). Echo stickers at $13000-14000 but no one pays sticker anyway. On Prius they do. The main reason we find for folks buying the Prius is the environment, and the push is the fuel prices across the state right now.

    There is a newsgroup on Yahoo that goes around for Prius owners, comes digest format and contains lots of updates, upgrades and sites for prius owners to make their car better. Like adding the cruise or 6-disc changer to dash. It's got to be easily located. I know I read it daily.

    -Ret
  • miltkomiltko Posts: 15
    I may have misread your message. I thought your 55 mpg was referring to your Echo. That's why I quoted the Echo EPA mpg ratings. Incidently, in the Echo Town Meeting. thoover in message 1533 says he has driven his Echo 15,000 miles and averaged 36 mpg. Our 43 mpg tops that. We didn't buy the Prius based on economics, although when you load up an Echo to come up to the features of the standard Prius, you're not talking $14K anymore.

    Still, 55 mpg in town in a Prius is near incredible. Of course it could be the type of towns you and I live in. Ours, in Silicon Valley, has lots of stop lights. A 5 mile trip is uncommon. Ours are more like 1-5 (my wifes I should say). I'm just glad we got the 45 mpg on the highway trip we took.

    I'll check out the Yahoo site as you suggest.
    Milt
  • dsgechodsgecho Posts: 89
    Sorry, the echo comments are only related to noise. My echo gets 38 mpg combined and up to 45-46 mpg on hiway at 60-65 mph.Yes, my Prius is VERY QUIET and really nice to drive. In trips of ,
    <3.0 miles I believe I would be hard pressed to get 40 mpg.Cruise DIY can be done with parts only for about $180-190. Not that hard to do.There is a dealer kit supposed to come out abour 1 June for $220. There is a remote system people have been installing themselves for $259. So there are a lot of options. I think your Prius will do better for longer around-town trips or the hiway in the future.I think the catalytic converter has to heat up for a while to keep emissions down for the SULEV. Good luck!!
    Don
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I noticed a lot of conflicting gas mileage information for the Prius hybrid vehicle. EPA estimates indicate that you get the maximum MPG driving around town, but owners seem to say in-town mileage is not that great on short trips and you actually get better mileage on the freeway.
    If you drive mostly on the freeway, others say you are better off with an Echo or some other small car with good highway milegage.
    Confusing.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The Prius does better in town because your gas engine shuts off every time you stop. It doesn't kick in until you get over 7 or 8 MPH. Various theories about heating the catyletic converter have also been posted here to account for the reverse of conventional wisdom.
  • dsgechodsgecho Posts: 89
    Cold weather and short trips definitely affect mpg. What I was trying to say earlieris that the Prius is a good city AND hiway car!
    Don
  • reticent1reticent1 Posts: 70
    As for order-placement across the United States:

    It could be as early as the end of this week that dealers could begin placing orders for the 2002's. As of now, you are still placing orders for the 2001. Once the regional offices receive the pricing for the 2002 Prius and all of the factory and dealer accessories at the regions, dealers will receive their own info packets. They work very quickly to communicate all information to all the dealerships as quickly as possible. No one has more than a 24 hour notice. Its coming up quick! I have heard that it could be as early as this Friday (May 18th) that we might begin taking orders for the 2002. And, from what I was told, the Prius production units could arrive in the U.S. by October or November. I will know more as time passes.
    That is the scoop...and it's all I know right now.

    -Ret
  • raychuang00raychuang00 Posts: 541
    Folks,

    With the new Bush Energy Plan just announced, they include tax credits for buying hybrids like the Toyota Prius.

    I think this could the impetus for Toyota to step up production and possibly seriously consider producing a hybrid-powered version of the upcoming replacement for the Toyota Corolla. Don't be surprised if Toyota steps up Prius production as much as 25%.
  • dannygdannyg Posts: 131
    Cool! I'd also like to see diesel technology make a comeback in the U.S. the way it has in Europe. A modern high-tech TDI has excellent torque, decent HP, and excellent MPG. Perfect for SUVs and pickups which need torque more than HP.

    Fully developed, hybrids and diesels could make a serious dent in the U.S.'s endless thirst for gasoline.
  • raychuang00raychuang00 Posts: 541
    dannyg,

    I think until the entire USA switches to low-sulfur diesel fuel, you can forget about mass acceptance of diesel cars in the USA. This is because the high levels of sulfur compounds in current diesel fuel can damage the high-tech fuel-delivery systems used on European-market diesel engines.

    Mind you, they would be perfect for a hybrid car given that diesel engine's lower-end torque peak makes it perfect for a hybrid powered car that does mostly city driving. :-)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I have to second Ray's motion: the crap that sells for diesel fuel in most of the USA makes meeting the emission rules here difficult to impossible. It's why even long-time market-participants like MB have temporarily given up on the American market for diesels. When we get the uniform standard for nationwide low-sulfur fuel, then some of the really great diesel alternatives that are already all over the map in EU will show up here....but not before. [VW, for instance, does not sell the TDI in CA, because of emission issues. Gradually over the next decade, EU standards and US standards on this topic will converge.]
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    VW TDI is 50 states emission certified and is sold in CA and NY. Sales are limited. For example this year 800 TDI's alloted for CA.
    It is a conventional alternative to hybrid that will obtain 45 to 50MPG hiway.
  • reticent1reticent1 Posts: 70
    As of May 28, it will be possible to order your 2002 Prius via the Toyota website. They will offer 4 more factory installed options:
    cruise control
    Navigation system
    side airbags
    daytime running lights

    and there are 7 additional PIO's (PORT extras:):
    Single CD player
    6-disc CD changer
    alloy wheel locks
    glass breakage sensor
    cargo net
    carpeted floor mats
    front end mask (bra)

    No word yet on pricing for the 2002 model or pricing for these extras.

    -Ret
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I stand corrected: VW sells the TDI in Calif, just that you can't find any at any dealership within 200 miles of my house. This, I admit, is an important distinction. Lucky if you get to be one of the less-than-500 customers, somewhere in the state, where allocations exist. My apologies.
  • miltkomiltko Posts: 15
    Ups! The better half backed our Prius with 700 miles into a low wall along our driveway and put a dent very low under the right rear fender. Now I'll find out just how high Toyota's repair costs are (versus competitive bids). Toyota's only other advantage is hopefully a better match to the paint.

    A funny thing. The paint at the dent came off rather thick, like their are many coats (or zinc coating plus primer plus several coats of paint). If this is a sign of the Prius paint job, I'm impressed (as well as depressed ) ; ) At least it wasn't me that put the first damage on it.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,776
    Within 200 miles? Sure, there are some. Few and far between.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I've called around. We live in Elk Grove, CA, which makes Sacramento and the SF Bay Area our marketplace. I challenge you [from Connecticut?] to turn up a new VW equipped with diesel engine within this market territory. All of my contacts tell me there are none to be had...either they are hiding some cars somewhere...or?

    The point is that really high-mpg cars with usable amounts of room and mainstream ride/handling are scarce as hens' teeth. Which makes the Prius all that much more important in the marketplace...not that it is substantially easier to lay your hands on right now. Honda will shortly offer the hybrid drivetrain in the Civic, which will significantly widen the market for these kinds of cars. The Insight is just too specialized to be anything but a fringe player, but the Civic with a CVT and hybrid engine combo will be the first real competitor around here for the Prius.
This discussion has been closed.