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Toyota Prius (First Generation)

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Comments

  • 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.
  • reticent1reticent1 Posts: 70
    The Prius for 2002 will also be availble in the two colors of blue that were in the last year's brochure but not available last year.

    -Ret, hoping they don't put non-available items in the 2002 Brochures!
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,776
    How 'bout them heated seats in the Sequoia!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I'm not really in the market, but I too field queries on behalf of others, and in any case, am a big fan of the technology that the current VW diesels represent. All of my recent discussions about these cars with local VW dealers have come up empty, with some denying the car can be had in Calif, period. As I said, this is a tangential discussion for the Prius board...I think we got here while commenting about alternatives to the Prius that give real-world economy in the 40+ mpg range. Let's leave it by agreeing that there are darned few cars out there that meet this criteria, but it's my sense that there will be many more in the coming decade...
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,776
    We can certainly agree on that!

    Imagine what the Prius may evolve into in the next ten years!
  • ajvdhajvdh Posts: 223
    From an old-time motorhead.

    A couple of weeks ago, the father of one of my kid's friends dropped by with a Prius, and knowing of my gearhead tendencies, offered to let me take it for a little spin.

    A little background: I have a bit of a Tim Allen bent when it comes to cars ("More power, arrgh arrgh arrgh"). I currently drive a BMW M3, which has been modified for a bit (OK a lot) of extra power. I do driver's schools and open track lapping events, so I have a warped perspective about cars.

    I found the Prius fascinating. Yeah, it's about as exciting as skim milk, but it works! It's quiet, rides decently, that electric motor gives it good off the line jump, and the whole experience is transparant to the user. The funniest thing for me was trying to predict when it would switch from gas to electric or vice-versa. I just couldn't do it. I concluded the computer's a whole bunch smarter than me.

    If I was in the same situation as the guy who owned it (40+ mile commute each way as opposed to the 3 1/2 I deal with), I would buy one in a New York minute. He's getting consistent 47 MPG on his commute, and he got some whopping tax credits too.

    Cool car.
  • miltkomiltko Posts: 15
    From our own Prius experience and past posts in this club, driving at a steady rate appears to have a significant beneficial effect on gas mileage[ intrying to reach the posted EPA figures]. However there is a difference between maintaining a constant speed and in maintaining a constant throttle position. (In the old carburated cars, accelerating caused the accelerator pump to dump in extra fuel). On my Camry, cruise control the fuel input is automatically increased to get up a hill at near constant speed. Since the accelerator petal on a Prius is not connected directly to the fuel injection system I don't know if the fuel computer changes fuel rate to maintain speed [at a given accelerator position] or not. Perhaps pm knows?

    Several of the posters have installed cruise control. I wonder if they have tried to take trips with and without the cruise control active and determined if the cruise control benefits fuel milage or just eliminates ones right leg weariness? Any comments?
  • miltkomiltko Posts: 15
    We noted the first scratch on the passenger side of our Prius. If you get down low and look at the side slabs of the Prius, there is a lot of tin plate here that could use some rubber protection (not painted plastic like my Camry). Does anybody know if someone is offering a side bumper strip kit> Or for you body-shop types, how tough would it be to add something you pick up in your local auto supply store. The strip would have to be low on the side.
  • jdarcyjdarcy Posts: 8
    I just don't see the $ equation working out for the Prius because of high initial costs, value based taxes, and likely high repair costs after 100,000 miles. Since fuel is one of the least relevant costs of vehicle ownership, the Echo wins the $ battle hands down.
    Any tax incentives will only further distort the market and could lead to even higher costs. If the tax credit is $2000, then the vehicle price is about $2000 higher than otherwise which adds to State taxes and insurance costs.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    The Prius has styling that looks somewhat similar to an Echo, but it is much differnet than just and Echo with a different motor. The quality level is much higher. Many people who test drive an Echo and think it is too cheap and tinny will be satisfied with the quietness and refinement of a Prius.
    I am not worried about repair costs past 100,000 miles because I have never kept any previus car anywhere near 100,000 miles and I would not have any intention of keeping a Prius to that mileage either.
    Still, most people probably will not save enough fuel costs to justify the extra expense compared to similar cars. Many Prius buyers just plain like the car, the quietness, the way it drives, the low emissions, and the technology that comes with car. Tax rebates will make it a little more affordable and nullify part of the initial purchase expense. The statement that tax credits are going to make it more expensive does not make sense.
    If I bought one, I would probably sell it by 50,000 miles and see what the next generation of hybrids are like by then.
  • reticent1reticent1 Posts: 70
    The Prius 2002 orders will be able to be placed at the www.toyota.com website June 1 (latest update)..

    -Ret
This discussion has been closed.