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Toyota Prius (First Generation)



  • redly_oneredly_one Posts: 122
    Let's just say I work for a domestic auto manufacturer. Let's also say I work in R&D on a hybrid electric vehicle project.

    Guess what we bought from the toyota dealer the other day. ding- a Prius Battery Pack!!!

    I must say that we were all quite impressed with the packaging and compactness of the unit. Panasonic NiMh...mmm mmm good. We have them in test as we speak.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Very interesting. You bought one from a local dealer? I would think an automotive manufacturer would have a bit better access than that. Oh, unless you were looking to copy the technology I guess :) I look forward to hearing what you find.
  • swaltzswaltz Posts: 1
    I had decided not to consider the Prius because of the 5 month wait, but was at another car lot nearby and saw the TRAC vehicle by itself on the lot. The rest of the inventory was at the fairgrounds for a tent sale. The cashier called the dealer and they let me drive the car out to talk to the sales manager. He let me take a detour on I10 to check it out at higher speeds. The acceleration above 70 was a little slow, but not a problem. In 30 mph zones, it was hard to stay under 45. Two things surprised me based on what others report. Some of the roads are not in the best condition and I felt all of the unevenness even after slowing to legal speeds. I drive a 90 Acura Integra and it rides smoother over the same roads. The temperature was in the 80s, so the AC was on (not max) with the fan set to auto. On the return trip, mostly I10, there was a noticeable but not totally unpleasant odor to the cool air from the vents.

    The Prius is intriguing, but safety is a concern for me. In addition to the Japanese crash tests, side air bags are a consideration. The Prius web site doesn't show them as either standard or optional, but April 2001 Consumer Reports shows Standard/Front. I don't think the TRAC vehicle had them.

    The TRAM vehicle was dark green and the salesman said they were selling it for MSRP. It's at Team Toyota (Tallahassee Florida).
  • Hello fellow Prius People. I understand that cruise control will be available for the 2002 cars. I also understand that it will be equipped with GPS. I do not know if that will be standard or optional equipment. I was told that Toyota is hesitant to put cruise control in American cars and is only testing it out in Canada to see how well it does. Their fear, as I understand it, is that cruise control will take away from its fuel economy. This car was designed in a very specific way. I fear that if we "WANT WHAT WE WANT", then we're going to end up with gas-only engines. I am certainly willing to sacrafice cruise control, a sunroof, etc..for a car that makes sense. The more I drive my Prius, the more I marvel at its technologic advances. It senses small things that my other car could never sense. As for the person who is concerned with "feeling every bump", nobody knows that better than us cold climate people. We have more potholes on our freeways than the moon has craters. Yes, you do feel them! But, again, it's a sacrafice one puts up with for having the low rolling resistance tires. These are designed to help achieve the Prius' gas mileage. A small change in the tires you use will result in significant changes in your gas mileage. I guess what I'm saying is let's give this car a chance before we decide we want to change everything around. Like us, it's perfect by design. :) KEEP IT GREEN! :)
  • I had a ride in a friends Prius today. Quite a nice car. It didn't have the zoom zoom of my Protege es, but the 48 mpg she reports in city driving is quite impressive. If I needed to buy a sedan today, my conscience would make any other choice difficult [but I sure would miss shifting.]
  • pweeks1pweeks1 Posts: 3
    Hi All,

    I'm onboard as a future Prius purchaser. My partner and I put our deposit down two days ago, estimated delivery July/August. I'm hoping it's in time for a road trip to Arizona in July, but whatever. I'm feeling really good about the car. Not perfect, but practical. Good enough.

    I thought the person's idea awhile back about electrical outlets for a hybrid SUV was a good one, voltage wise, that's what transformers are for, you can have any output you want.

    I think it would be cool if the Prius came with a rechargeable flashlight that stayed in the car and charged. You know, with the Prius label - seems in keeping with the car and fun and practical.

    I'd like to see a commercial with a roadway full of Priuses waiting at a stoplight. All you can hear is the birds because there's no motor noise. The sky is blue 'cause there's no exhaust while they sit there.

    Anyway, this whole Town Hall was helpful in the purchase decision. I didn't see anything here that scared me off, and reading other people's experience of things I was curious about soothed me. So thanks.

    Is it true that the owner's manual arrives a couple of weeks before the car? That would be cool. What is the "N" position for? When would a normal user ever use it? I was thinking maybe if the car had to be towed?

  • paul34bpaul34b Posts: 33
    Just wondering if any Prius owners hear a very high pitch sound coming from, I think, the motor during acceleration and braking. One has to pay attention as it is in the background. At least in my car. Everyone I have given a ride to does not hear it but now that I hear it, it is annoying. Maybe it is just part of the system. If anyone knows what I am talking about please respond. Thanks
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Probably the electric motor.
  • cgangelcgangel Posts: 2
    I bought a Prius a couple of weeks ago (a TRAC vehicle).

    I can't believe I did it, but I backed into an electrical box! I was going 6 mph. The very corner of the passenger side of the rear bumper was dented in and part of the tail light was broken. I didn't think the damage was too bad. I checked the lamps and they were complete, but right rear turn signal didn't work.

    The next day I went to start the car and all the engine lights were on and the monitor showed the (c) picture of the car. The dealership says I need to get the damage taken care of before they can check out the system. I was not planning on getting the insurance company involved, but now it seems I have no choice. I will have to have it towed just to get estimates.

    I am wondering how such a small impact could mess up the hybrid system. Any ideas?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Ouch! I'm sorry to hear about that. I'm not sure why the dealership would need the body repaired before examining the hybrid system. I wish I could be of more help on this one.

    I will tell you that you should get your insurance company involved now though. Parts for this car are extremely expensive and some day, you're going to have to fix it. You might as well get it over with now while you can still file a claim.
  • cgangelcgangel Posts: 2
    I did contact my insurance company Friday. They will get back to me on Monday.

    In the meantime, do you know where I can get a second opinion on whether to have the hybrid system checked first or have the body work done first? I don't want the body shop messing up the hybrid system accidentally.

    Thanks for your help. I'll keep you posted as to the outcome of this ordeal.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Were I you, I'd take the car to your dealership and let them coordinate with their preferred body shop. We often get cars that have been in accidents (not a Prius yet). We check them in through our service department and do whatever we need to do first, then send it down the road to a shop that does all our work. This ensures that you get genuine Toyota equipment and the work will be done in the correct order for your situation.
  • I am considering buying a Prius for daughter in college (an environmental studies major). She is excited by the prospects of driving this car and many of my questions have been answered in this forum. The car would be in Vermont and not driven frequently during the school year. Would this be a problem? If she drove it once a week would that be sufficient? Does anyone have any info on how you might get in line for the 2002? At this point we won't get a car until August and I might wait for the 2002 with the prospects of cruise control.
  • dsgechodsgecho Posts: 89
    I think the Prius is really meant to be driven more than once a week on a long-term basis.The Prius certainly runs in cold climates but doesn't get its best mpg there. Cruise control retrofit kits for the 2001 model will arrive in May.I believe also 2001 orders will be finished with April production but no word when 2002 gear up in production actually starts. See the prius groups for more details.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    The manual has tips for cars that will be stored for 3 or more weeks at a time. I'm sure it would be fine being driven once a week.

    As to the 2002, I was told by my distribution office that orders will be taken in "about 2 months". This is the answer I got last week, so look for something in mid to late May. I'll post here if I hear more on that.
  • I pop in here from time to time, and monitor the yahoo newsgroups Prius list as well. Have some very happy clients here!

    I knwo the whereabouts of an aqua ice Prius in Southern Calif near the water, with CD and mats. I can't post here with any other info due to the terms of service, I think they'd have to shoot me or something but if anyone is out there who doesn't want to have to wait 3-4 months for their Prius, email me and I can tell you where to find the car.

  • Here in CA, the orders for 2002 will be acceptable in May, and the new "extras" that will be available to the best of my knowledge are side airbags, cruise, and the 6-disc in dash change (ala Corolla). No new colors confirmed but we all are awaiting the new blues anyway.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I just discovered something odd with these Prius sales. Here in the Central Atlantic Region, if a customer backs out of a Prius order, the car must be returned to Toyota. We can't sell the car to anybody but the person who ordered it.

    It turn out that this is not a nationwide policy. In Southern CA, if the customer backs out after the car reaches the dealership, they can sell it to anybody. If I sold cars there, I'd push through a bunch of dummy orders to get some of these on my lot.

    The moral to this story is, if you live in Southern California, you may be able to trip across one without waiting. In fact, I think Dianne at Carson Toyota has one right now.
  • dsgechodsgecho Posts: 89
    Just a tip to check out e-groups on the Prius as there are several ways to put cruise on the Prius including a dealer kit in May or do it yourself is not hard [all Toyota parts], or an electronic link type. Makes the vehicle MUCH nicer for distance driving and is almost as good as careful control of speed with your foot.
  • No, I don't have one available. Might I add a little "something" to your findings? We really cannot just "sell to anybody". We are obligated (and morally obligated too) to call the next folks waiting on our lists and offer the car to everyone. And, true to form, folks want their cars "right now" then they make the decision to order one in the first place, so a car that's defaulted to the dealership is often spoken for anyway.

This discussion has been closed.