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Toyota Prius

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  • kalmikeykalmikey Posts: 17
    First of all, the battery charge meter on the '04 Prius is, according what I've read, somewhat misleading at both ends of the charged/discharged spectrum. I don't recall the exact numbers, nor can I find the reference right off the top of my head (too much information floating around in there right now), but I believe the battery meter deliberately covers only a range from, like, 40-80% of the battery's capacity.

    The idea is that it's the extremes -- fully charged and fully discharged -- that put the greatest stress on the battery pack's chemistry. Keeping the charge capacity in the middle range makes the battery usable over a longer period of time and reduces the likelihood that you'll ever need to replace it.

    Anyway, even if a topped-off meter meant a 100% charged battery, given that the HV battery is in almost constant use doing *something* during the normal operation of the car, I can't imagine how you would ever experience that topped-off state for more than a few seconds!

    Upshot: I think this is normal.

    Disclaimer: I don't own one yet. I've just been doing an obsessive amount of reading on the subject...
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,815
    Just stumbled across this news account.

    http://money.excite.com/jsp/nw/nwdt_rt.jsp?section=news&cat=I- NDUSTRY&feed=dji&news_id=dji-00058520040719&date=2004- 0719

    It appears Toyota may almost double production eventually. Hmmm, maybe they do make money on these things. Or they are trying to compensate for having the worst fuel MPG average for the larger models among the large automakers...
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Since 2002, Toyota has been saying their plans are to produce 300,000 hybrid systems per year worldwide by the end 2005.

    That article confirms they are right on schedule.

    JOHN
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yeah, the RX400h deliveries are now exactly one year behind schedule........
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Since winning "Car of the Year" was quite a bit ahead of schedule (causing a very unexpected surge in hybrid interest, along with the unexpected surge in gas prices), it's to be expected.

    Fortunately, the battery lawsuit is settled. That was a contributing factor to the delay too.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > i have a bad impression of toyota right now.

    And the rest of us have a bad impression of the rest of the automakers (except Honda) for not offering any hybrid at all.

    Things will settle down once supply catches up.

    Remember, this has happened once already (with the classic model). All ended up working out great. It was immediately available on the lot for a price below MSRP and profit was still be made on the sale.

    JOHN
  • kenk25kenk25 Posts: 16
    article is correct, went to two dealers in NJ and there was at least a 6 month wait and found out must get the so called platium package or other dealer add ons. looked at it and said why should i pay for a car in the 28k range when i could get an acura tsx (luxury) for less. got the acura and didn't have to wait 6 months. i have a bad impression of toyota right now. hopefully when i look for another new car in a few years, supply will meet demand.

    Note this is repost from #3642, Sorry didn't know masked profanity wasn't allowed
  • kenk25kenk25 Posts: 16
    john, i really hope so, like the power and looks of new prius, even if some car mag say it gets 42 mpg, that is still good.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
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  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    I have been gathering proof showing that data collected by some car mags & newspapers is flawed. The new tires I just got clearly indicate there is a break-in period. Did you know that?

    So by using a brand new Prius for their measurements, MPG is guaranteed to be impaired by engine break-in and tire break-in. Then of course, there are always the MPG reducing factors that have nothing to do with driving: oil overfill, oil type, tire pressure, and outside temperature.

    Owners are aware of those factors and have completed break-in. So naturally, they report higher MPG.

    JOHN
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,280
    Anybody who is online now at 12:36 pacific time come on over to the Hybrid Chat Room. We need some more company!

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,280
    Just go here and click on "Member Chats"

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  • kenk25kenk25 Posts: 16
    john.. the article i read was from motor trend, the one year test. it's not completed, only an update after 3500 miles, you can find it on their website. they do admit they drive the car hard, which is how i would want to do every now and then but 42 mpg is still good, imo.
  • kalmikeykalmikey Posts: 17
    Yes, exactly. Even if I never get better than 42mpg when my Prius finally arrives...I only get 25mpg out of my Forester. And given the numbers I see John getting, right here in Minnesota, I'm fairly sure I'll manage better than 42...
  • eheadingeheading Posts: 26
    John, I'm still hoping that someone can tell me if the touch screen on the '04 is different from the touch screen on the '03. I hear people talking about it showing their battery charge status. It seems to me that my '03 screen doesn't tell me that. Am I missing something???

    Ed Headington
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    The '03 does tell you. It's that green inside the battery on the Energy-Monitor. But since Prius goes to great extremes to prevent the charge-level from ever wandering much beyond the ideal level (to ensure very long battery-pack life), you will rarely ever see it change.

    I never saw 1/4 or "empty". I only saw "full" 3 times over 60,000 miles of driving. I saw 1/2 from time to time after long stealth drives, but it only remained there briefly. It was for the most part on 3/4 constantly.

    On the '04, they doubled the sensitivity along with adding color. That makes it much easier to notice. And due to the larger electric-motor and the higher RPM on the smaller electric-motor, there will be fluctuation more often.

    JOHN
  • eheadingeheading Posts: 26
    John, thanks for the info on the battery charge level. I never noticed that. I guess that since I normally run with the consumption screen on, that didn't help. Anyway, thanks so much. It will be interesting to see what the charge level is when I return from one of my 4 month trips!!

    thanks again,
    Ed Headington
  • rpgolferrpgolfer Posts: 157
    scheil2- Did you get your outside temp readout to read Farenheit yet? If so, what did you do to fix it?
    Thanks,
    Rich
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,748
    On June 26, my Prius salesman emailed me to tell me a package 3 Prius matching one of my color choices would be arriving at the dealership in the next 20 to 30 days. He followed up the next day to tell me the color was silver, my third of three choices, and that the car should be in by July 15--when I would be in England for two weeks. I told him the earliest I could pick up the car was July 23, and he said that would be OK but suggested I come in earlier to complete the paperwork.

    So after almost eight months to the day, my long wait was almost over!

    And now, as Paul Harvey says, for the rest of the story...

    On July 8, I emailed the salesman and told him I was going to pass on the car and to give it to the next person in line. I would not be buying a Prius in the near future.

    It was a painful email to send. I really love the Prius and was looking forward to owning one. However, when I put my name on the list last November, I was about #30 overall, the dealership was getting 10-11 Priuses each month, and over half of those were package 3s. The November allocation had not yet arrived. Do the math and I should have had no problem getting my car by Memorial Day, when the lease on my Grand Caravan was to expire.

    Then the situation changed. First, Prius production slowed down (according to my salesman, in order to prepare for production of the Highlander Hybrid and RX400h). They no longer got 10-11 Priuses per month. Then, the Chicago Region started loading up on package 9s, to the point where they were shipping no package 3s at all to dealerships early in the year. When they started to arrive again, in May, it was only 25% of all units.

    Finally, my cash flow is not as good as I thought it would be this year. So cost became a major factor, if not the major factor. At the local auto show in March, I analyzed alternatives to the Prius. I found one, the Matrix, that would meet my needs but was only very slightly less expensive to own over 7 years (my planned ownership span) than the Prius--and I like the Prius much more than the Matrix. So that was that.

    There was one other car that I had considered briefly, the Elantra GT hatchback, but I had taken it off my list because: A) it had standard leather interior, and I don't like leather, and B) I didn't think the rear seat would have enough legroom for my teenage sons. Otherwise, I really liked the car. (I own a '01 Elantra.) But then at the auto show, my oldest son and his equal-sized friend test-sat in the Elantra GT and we found out its rear seat did have enough leg room, albeit less than that of the Prius. I also realized that the main drivers of the car would be my DW and my oldest son, and I asked them if they would mind having a leather interior. "Not at all," they said. They also said they would not mind having the power moonroof and MP3 player that came with the Elantra, but not on the Prius. Still, I really wanted that Prius.

    Then for the clincher: I calculated that the Elantra would cost about $10,000 less to own over 7 years than the Prius, before factoring in the fuel savings with the Prius. At a generous $3.00 per gallon average, I estimated those savings to be $600 per year, or $4200 over seven years. More important to me was the fact that the up front cost of the Prius would be almost $9000 more than that of the Elantra GT--money I could use for other things like tuition and mortgage payments.

    So my family and I are pleased with the Elantra, but it's not a Prius. I'll keep my eye on the Prius and other hybrids because I'll need a car to replace my '01 Elantra in the fall of '06, when I turn it over to my oldest son for college. Who knows what hybrid options I may have then (including a rumored Elantra hybrid)?
  • toyo_ztoyo_z Posts: 47
    hi,
    i'm renting a 2004 prius next week and would like to be able to plug my phone into the d/c adapter (aka, cigarette lighter..)

    does the prius have one? i can't see it clearly in any pictures.

    if it doesn't, looks like i'm up the creek with my electrical stuff...

    thanks
  • rpgolferrpgolfer Posts: 157
    toyo_z,
      Welcome aboard! The Prius does have two such devices. One is located by the front passenger's left knee on the lower part of the dashboard and the other is located in the center console at the bottom, in front. The nice thing about the console power port is that you can re-charge your cell phone and leave it inside completely out of view!
      A word of advice to all - When not using the power ports be sure to close them up so nothing metallic gets in and shorts out a fuse.
    Thanks,
    Rich
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Sure hope there is a DC power outlet, (there is no 120 volt AC outlet in the 04, maybe for 05 or when the switch to a 36 volt system is made, when is that) ?
  • toyo_ztoyo_z Posts: 47
    thanks for the fast reply, rpgolfer!

    i'm really excited about getting to drive this car. The waiting lists are so incredibly long that this seemed to be the best opportunity to really "try one on" for a week or so & see what its like to live with.

    Fortunately there are a select few rental companies around the country that will rent them out to normal joes like me... i just hope this one hasn't had the snot beaten out of it by other people.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Congrats on the Elantra. You bought a great car that is right for you and your family now.

    I hope you will still be active in the hybrid discussions as you have had much to offer here....and of course I expect to see you in the Elantra discussions to tell us all about ownership.

    Congrats again.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...the choices should be numerous, indeed. The Camry, Accord, and Altima should all be available as hybrids. And equally important, there should be other fuel- and space-efficient alternatives, as well: Mercedes will have the B-Class [a stretched version of the new-gen A which is just being introduced in EU], hopefully with both turbo gas and diesel engines capable of an honest 35-40 mpg in everyday use. The next-gen Civic will have been released, which is supposed to be both larger and more efficient. VW will have finally released the gen-5 Golf in this country by then, and the new Passat [presumably with a TDI alternative] will have been out long enough to have some of the early bugs worked out.

    I once observed in this forum that there were only two cars out there right now that combine real space inside with real fuel economy [35 mpg and up in real-world everyday use] - the Passat TDI and the Prius. 24-28 months from now, the number of alternatives should have tripled or quadupled. And by then, supply and demand on the Prius itself should have finally achieved a nice balance, if that is still your first choice.
  • gscheil1gscheil1 Posts: 72
    I have not been able to do anything about it. In the morning, especially if its cool, it shows celsius but later in the day, it reverts to fahrenheit.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Can the '04 Prius be equipped with both DRLs and HID headlamps ?
  • scheil2scheil2 Posts: 6
    Today, I received a new recall notice -LSC 40E.

    It's to prevent water leaking into the engine compartment from the area at the top oif the hood near the cowl.

    They are to install a waterproof seal to the underside of the hood.

    When will they ever end?
  • hsfordhsford Posts: 14
    Well, somehow the stars were aligned and I was able to purchase an 04 Prius after 1-day of true shopping. July 28, I decided to stop at a toyota dealer to see if they had any Prius available. I waved down the first salesman standing outside the main doors and asked. His immediate response was yes we have on for sale for a $5k mark-up. I went ahead and test drove one they had on the lot that was marked "NOT FOR SALE". I loved the car, so the next night I started submitting quote requests online via edmunds. The emails and phone calls the next morning were all pretty much the same. Either they weren't taking any orders at this time, or I could put down a deposit and get on the 6 - 10 mo waiting list. The best offer was 2-3 months with a deposit. I then started calling dealers all over southern California. One dealer said they may have something, but would have to have the manager call me back. Several hours went by, and no call back, but finally around 2:30 in the afternoon, I received a call stating they had one white Prius with Package #9 that came in this morning. The manager offered it to me with a $1500 dollar markup which was less than the TMV price on Edmunds, so I jumped on it. I went straight to the dealer and picked it up on July 30th. The car was as promised, White Pkg#9 with 2 miles on the Odometer. I am so loving this car.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,053
    I would promptly turn that dealer and the one that offered a Prius for $5000 over MSRP. It is my understanding that Toyota is cracking down on dealers that are gouging customers. In my book it is criminal and should be dealt with either by Toyota or the consumer protection agency.
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