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Toyota Prius

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  • I commute 30 miles to work - all freeways. I've had the car for a couple of weeks. The car handles freeways perfectly - passing power is very good. I've had the Prius up to 95MPH so far and it seemed rather pleased to go that speed. Most of the time, I'm at 75MPH - just staying with the rest of the traffic.

    I have the '07 Touring w/#6. I was originally leaning towards an Acura TL Type S, or an Infiniti G35 Sport or a Lexus IS350 (I liked the Lexus best), but I decided the Prius was more exciting and more practical on several levels. While the Prius may not keep up with any of those 3 cars, it is very gratifying to fill the tank with 9 gallons after driving nearly 400 miles. And my mileage keeps on getting better.

    I gave up my 260HP Acura CL Type S for the Prius. I loved the Acura, but the Prius has a Zen-like quality to it that makes it very attractive. Oh, and one of my runs to 95MPH was in a "race" with a Civic Hybrid. I know I could have dusted the Civic, but we ran out of room as rush hour traffic was building.

    So... If you want a practical, very reliable (according to numerous sources, including Consumer Reports), low maintenance, quiet, comfortable car - definitely consider the Prius.
  • I was considering a Prius as my next car so I rented one for a week. I drove 1180 miles city and highway. I fell in love with it. You might call your Toyota dealer and ask if in their TRAC (Toyota Rent A Car) program they have one available. My dealer had one. I reserved it ahead and took it on a long trip. The weekly rental with unlimited miles cost $225.00 plus tax. I would say that it's best economy is in city traffic or at most moderate highway speeds. It cruised very comfortably at 75 MPH but the fuel economy drops off quite a bit at these speeds. I currently have an Avalon but am fed up with the transmission behavior and incessant rattles, squeaks, creaks and vibrations. I wanted a car that was spacious inside but had a reputation for quality that all Toyotas used to have. When I read that according to Consumer Reports owner surveys, the Prius has the most satisfied customers (95%) I wanted to try one out. It will be my next car purchased this Fall. Especially now that the dealers don;t have the ability to gouge on prices anymore.
  • I am researching the Prius prior to purchasing one, and am just trying to clear up a few questions. First, what effect does the cruise control have on gas mileage? I have read about pulse and glide being most efficient, but I am accustomed to using my cruise almost everywhere. As soon as I get to 35 mph I turn it on and I use it to slow up and down as the speed limit changes along my route. Will that cost me in fuel efficiency? Second, the stories I've read about the traction control locking up the wheels have me spooked. Have they solved this for the 2007 model?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Both good questions.

    A) Cruise: It's a personal choice. I find that using my own inputs that get very very slightly better fuel economy by using pulse and glide. On a very long trip cruise is very helpful though. You mentioned putting it on at 35 mph. I definitely wouldn't do this because the HSD is set up so that when you let off the pedal at 41 mph and less the gas engine actually turns off and burns no fuel whatsoever. This is a huge saving. If you set it at 35 mph as soon as it sensed 34.8 mpg it would shoot some gas into the system. You might want to up your setting to say 45 mph and higher.

    B) There was definitely an issue with the Traction Ctl System and heavy snow/ice on the earliest Prius'. If you were at a dead stop in deep snow or on ice the TCS would brake the wheels to keep you from spinning out...but then you wouldn't go anywhere.

    To address this issue in 2005, beginning with the 2006 models, Toyota modified the TCS to allow some spinning of the wheels to allow the driver to spin and rock themselves out of deep snow.

    Pose your question also on PriusChat or GreenHybrid to drivers who live in Canada and the Rockies. Most will tell you it's not a problem.
  • I own & operate an '04 Prius with 59,000 miles. Just put my 1st set of replacement tires on and am still on my original set of brakes (this is a 1st). Most of all my cars I've ever owned needed brake pads and/or rotors turned at about 32-36 thousand miles. This has been a pleasant surprise. Now.. As to wheel slip. I have noticed after three winters and especially this one with it's heavy snowfall, a pattern unique to the hybrid Prius. There is a completely different feel of the wheel traction with the Prius. Actually, it's more of a lack of it due to the electric mode I think. With three years under my belt and alot of trust in this amazing car I think that its best put by saying this car is rewriting the way a car feels, handles, and reacts to the outside world. One last point: I have come to the surprised amazement that the Prius tracks quite well in heavy snow and it seems to pull even a bit better than many other frontwheel drive cars I've owned. The only noticable disappointment I've had with my Prius is the considerable drop in MPG's when it's severly cold (say in the teens and less). Gas engine runs considerably more to get heat to the heater my guess. Oh! and cruise sure helps to get best MPG's.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    A friend to whom I've sold two Prius' uses his for his mobile office. 135,000 mi in exactly 3 years.

    He too is still on his original set of brakes!!!

    Tread lightly and this amazing car will continue to surprise and surprise.
  • Thanks to everyone for their input. So I took a Prius out today for a couple hours. I must be misunderstanding something about the motor vs the engine at slow speeds. I thought that the engine wouldn't come on until you got up to 41 mph unless: 1. you have to warm the catalytic converter up when you first start, 2. you have the A/C or the heater on anything but the lowest settings, or 3. you have to accelerate hard to get up to speed. But even with the radio and the air system turned off, I couldn't get past 11 mph without the engine kicking in. Outside temp was 47 F. I got onto a side road in a neighborhood where the road was flat and there was no traffic to p*** off, but I couldn't get to 12 on the motor alone. Am I misunderstanding how it should work, or do you have to accelerate on a downhill, or what?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The ICE will come on when the computer wants it to. :) That is to say don't worry about it really. The 41 mph trigger is where the ICE will turn off when you the operator tell it to turn off. Sounds confusing?

    At a cold start the computer will tell the ICE what to do.
    After being warmed up fully, 10-15 min, then you have more control over the ICE up to 41 mph. Up to this point if you don't give the GO pedal much pressure you'll crawl forward on the e-motor only such as in slow heavy traffic or in a mall parking lot.

    When you put your foot into it the ICE will take over and run almost all the time. It's very dependent on your foot. Release the pressure, under 41 mph, and the ICE will turn off.

    Don't worry about crawling up to 40 mph from a standing start, it takes too long and doesn't work. Just accelerate up to normal speed and then let off the pedal if conditions warrant it. To tell you the truth, no one, well almost no one, ever get off from a standing stop faster than I do. I just gun it get up to the speed of traffic and glide/coast as much as possible. ( 48 mpg lifetime average over 40000 mi - mostly highway at 62 mph )
  • nrborodnrborod Posts: 79
    I hear that Toyota is beginning to finally offer some deals on the Prius models due to slowing sales. Indeed, I have seen a few lease plans that potentially( I have NEVER liked Toyota sales practices at all ) look attractive, and I'm considering looking into the car after dismissing it due to ridiculous prices in the past. In speaking to a friend who recently drove a Prius at night, she commented about a green reflection on the windshield at night that she found dangerous. Has anyone else experienced this , and if so, can you comment?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The green reflection is from the speedometer. It can be almost eliminated with a small hood over the meter readout. The light is projected up, and reflected to horizontal by a mirror. In other words, when you look at the readout, you're actually looking at a mirror. This system has some spillover of light, and a small hood over the speedometer readout will stop most of it from impacting and reflecting on the windshield. Keeping the inside of the windshield clean helps too.

    Slowing sales? Feb sales were an all time record for Prius, I'm told. Toyota has ramped up delivery to the US dealers. Now that they have lots of cars, they have to use "standard sales practices" for cars, instead of "if you want it, make an offer, it's the only one we'll have this month" as happened in the past few years.

    There is some speculation Toyota is using up parts for the current model, getting ready for the next generation Prius. It's possible, but there is no real evidence, although there have been some comments from Toyota people on how "well" the new design is coming along.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yes sales are booming now because the initial hesitancy has passed and the vehicle has proven itself after 6 years here. Toyota doubled production and shipment to the US so every dealer has what would be 'normal' inventory.

    The deals are attractive especially the financing.

    Regarding the green reflection on the window at night... there has always been a dimmer on the dash light 'roller'. All the way UP it clicks into place and is very bright. Roll it DOWN slightly past the click and the screen goes to a dark background with very little reflection on the windshield.
  • gscheil1gscheil1 Posts: 72
    My Son's Prius 2001 has over 80,000 miles & he is concerned about it.

    Has ANYONE had to replace their batterry near 1000,000 iles?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    I'd be surprised if anyone has 1 million miles on a Prius yet. ;) The most I heard about was a taxi driver who put about 250,000 miles on it with the original battery.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Other than owner abuse to my knowledge none, or a tiny miniscule number, have ever been replaced for failure.

    If it's within or very close to 100K then it's still within warranty until 2009. Toyota's own testing indicates that the batteries should last the life of the vehicle ( 150K? 200K? 250K? ).

    Do a google and see how many actual owners have had the batteries fail. Lot's of people were afraid that they might but there is little or no evidence that they ever have.

    I have a friend to whom I've sold two. His Prius is his office. On his second one the odo turned 135,000 miles on it's third birthday. Other than change the oil and filters and get three sets of tires he's done nothing to it at all...and he's on his original set of brakes. After 50 years of buying Fords his last two vehicles were Prius' and he can't wait for Oct 2008 when the next Gen comes out. His 2004 will have about 200K+ on it by then.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    He's talking of a 2001 model, which we call the gen 1, NHW10 I believe. They were slightly less reliable than the current gen 2 or NHW11. He can get a replacement battery for under $3000 I'm told. Used ones are available for around $500. IF it fails. If it's not showing any signs of failure by now, it will probably last the life of the vehicle.

    There have been failures. More in the gen 1 than the gen 2 per vehicles on the road. So far the only failures I've heard of in the gen 2 were caused by manufacture faults, and occured relatively early in the life of the battery. They have been failures of a few cells only. Toyota replaced the battery without incident. Last I heard there are less than 30 replacements - out of well over 200,000 vehicles on the road.

    Think reliability of automatic transmissions for comparison.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Correction - gen 1 is NHW 11, gen 2 is NHW 20. NHW 10 is the original model, only sold in Japan.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "If it's within or very close to 100K then it's still within warranty until 2009. "

    Nope, the original Prius did not have the same warranty as the Gen 2. I think it was 75K and 5 years, but don't quote me on those numbers. I have seen some problem reports on the Gen 1 that were not covered under warranty because the owner had over 80K miles.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "He can get a replacement battery for under $3000 I'm told. Used ones are available for around $500. "
    Can you provide a URL or address to confirm these numbers? Where the heck would one get a Used Prius battery?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Several people have found them on ebay. There are also "recyclers" who specialize in Prius batteries. If you need one, check the auto recycler systems. I was reporting on situations discussed on Priuschat and Priusonline re the costs. A Toyota dealer can quote you their price anytime. Just remember it's a gen 1 Prius. I suspect the newer Prius battery would be a little more, but maybe not.
  • I have read mixed messages about what the Prius is like in the snow. Living in Ohio's snowbelt this is a concern, what do owners have to say about this?
    Thanks.
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