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Toyota Prius



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    According to the Toyota salesman I took the test drive with the other day, the "B" is for brake assist down steep hills. He also said I'd probably never need it. Anyone get a different story?
  • The first '04 Prius showed up in San Antonio this week at Red McComb Toyota. It's a beautiful car, but this $20K vehicle had $7000 worth of options and an MSRP of $26,995!! Even the hatchback rear wiper - they have the gall to call this single item "package #1" - on a Prius is optional. Looks like if you want to be a greenie in Texas you'd better have a lot of the other green stuff in your wallet.
  • Thanks Seth for the info. "Stainless" cover it is then...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    Well, so much for the Toyota ads that claim that "fully loaded" Priuses with all options will be under $26k. But you know, Mr. McCombs just shelled out a lot of money to sign Daunte Culpepper, and Randy Moss makes a lot too, so he needs to sell a lot of those high-content Priuses. ;-)

    You can always order a Prius with fewer options. Package 3, with the rear wiper (yes, it should be standard on a car with a rear window like that) and side/curtain airbags is my favorite. Nav systems are fun, but MapQuest is free.
  • A while ago, mrvadeboncoeur posted, "reverse beep (inside only) is kinda annoying, but there is a disable dance listed in the repair manuals".

    Has anyone here actually disabled the reverse beep? I haven't found the procedure online, and I haven't found '04 Prius repair manuals at auto stores. Where can I get a repair manual? I understand that other Toyotas beep in reverse as well. Is the procedure the same for those cars? If so, it might be possible to pick up a manual for something more common, like the Celica, and go from there. What do you think?
  • backy:
     i don't think the salesman is right about the "b" being the brake assist down a steep hill. his explanation sounds like what is on a land rover discovery where the car actually brakes for you while you're going down a steep hill. the "b" on the prius is for battery charging mode when you going down an incline. it is very similar to the one on the classic prius.
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    B Mode merely simulates what an automatic transmission car can do when decending a steep hill (i.e. putting it in 1 or 2).
  • to those to have driven both a mini and the new prius. what do you really think? i am in a position right now whether to put a deposit down on the mini or wait to test drive the prius. i am currently own an '02 prius and somewhat like it. it does not drive well in a windy day and a little loud (both engine noise and wind noise). i heard many good comments on the new prius based on your observation and experience. however i love the mini because of its look and my nostagic memory ( i did own a '61 mini for some time). i have two little girls who are still in their carseats. granted the mini is small but i live in a crowded city. if the prius drives as well as the mini then there's wouldn't be a problem. i can't get hold of a prius to test drive until early next year. please help!!!!
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    "B" stands for ENGINE BRAKING.

    It works much like a Jake-Brake on a big rig. The engine is forced to spin even though fuel isn't being fed to it anymore. That causes drag, which results in deceleration assistance.

    It does not change the gearing. In fact, there aren't any gears in a Planetary-CVT, so it doesn't work like 1 or 2 in an automatic.

    It does not increase battery recharging either. In fact, it slightly reduces it.

  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Has anyone here actually disabled the reverse beep?

    Yes, the instructions have been tested and proven correct.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    So seems like the salesman I went for a drive with wasn't too far off with his explanation of "B". It was interesting to me though that he added, "You'll never use it."

    Re beeping, there was no beeping when I put the Prius I drove into reverse, so there must be some way to deactivate the beep.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Isn't this comparsion kind of absurd?

    I thought it was odd 3 years ago when people had a hard time choosing between an Insight and a 2001 Prius. The only thing they had in common was that they were both called "hybrid", even though the technology between the two was totally different.

    The only thing I can think of that they even remotely have in common with a Mini is that they are both currently rare vehicles. But based on the 2004 Prius sales & orders so far, that won't last long.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    It's not absurd to the people doing that comparison.

    I supposed one could call my comparison of the Prius to the likes of the MPV, Sienna, Quest, and Passat wagon to be absurd too--but that's just what I'm doing.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    I agree that the hybrid technology of the Prius puts in a different class, but OTOH, both are small FWD cars that cost about the same and could be used in very similar ways to commute and carry light loads. Neither is a great highway cruiser.

    eandlcubed, to cut to the chase, I drove both back-to-back and have a Mini Cooper S on order arriving late this year. I'll try and be objective, but take everything with a grain.

    They are polar opposites in virtually every way. I think you need to go as far as it takes to find a Prius to test drive before you decide.

    The Mini handles like a sports car (the slalom figures for the car consistently beat Ferraris and Porsches), it incredibly fun to drive, is funkily styled (some thing overstyled) which will attract a lot of attention when you're driving (which can be good or bad depending on whether you like the attention), is overstated and playful, and makes you giggle when you're driving it.

    The Prius is smooth and comfortable, mentally entertaining in the sophistication of its powertrain, gets incredible gas mileage, and is understated and somber. The magazines use the term "antiseptic" and I think it is the best one to describe the Prius.

    I think a good way of looking at this is that if you would order your Cooper with a CVT, then get the Prius. If you would order your Cooper with the five-speed, then get the Cooper. The transmission choices is sorta the litmus test of whether you want a sporty car or an economy car and I think a CVT would greatly diminish the fun value of the Cooper.

    Final thought: The Cooper has had a LOT of reliability problems. It's a German-designed car made in England in a new factory with a new engine made in Brazil. So far, this has been a prescription for a lot of quirky reliabliity issues. Some are sorta bizzare, like coolant changing to a mud color and super-frequent windshield replacements - the windshield on the Cooper are very far forward and relatively vertical so risk of stone injuries is MUCH higher than it would be in a car like a Prius with its much more raked windshield. Some folks have replaced six or more on the Cooper.

    Quality of the new Coopers appears to have improved considerably, but no one really knows whether the 2004s made now have turned the corner or not. The Toyota OTOH, is likely to be a very reliable vehicle, although I think there is some enhanced risk of the hybrid technology still being a little new and causing more problems than normal down the road. But if you are the type that really get bent out of shape dealing with car repairs (even under warranty), I wouldn't take a risk on the Cooper until another year or two have passed. And I'd want a dealer fairly close. I'm mechanically handy, flexible about things, and willing to put up with some aggravation, so I'm accepting the risk. But I never kid myself that it's not a risk. It is about the same situation I was in four years ago when I bought a Mercedes ML320 SUV. And I love the truck, but it has had more than its fair share of problems. I'm just willing to put up with more problems to get German vehicles. I like their feel and style.

    - Mark
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Neither is a great highway cruiser.

    Are you talking about the classic Prius?

    2004 Prius has bigger & wider tires along with a longer wheelbase, plus it's more aerodynamic. That makes for a big improvement in highway cruising.

  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Oh, one other litmus test:

    Go up to and play around with the website. Build a few cars and explore the options. Try some of the fun stuff.

    (There's a lot more stuff in the Owner's Lounge, but you need a VIN or production number. I was pleasantly surprised to see that on the day I ordered a car, I was immediately able to see my car in the production process and can not track it to arrival, similar to the way Dell does order tracking. I think BMW wants to make Mini their trial balloon into the area of custom ordering of cars where you can build cars down to the last details, order them at a fixed price, and then go down and pick them up at a delivery center, never dealing with a salesman. I also applaud Mini for setting up, on their web site, the ability for owners to talk to one another on problems, including bitching/whining if they so choose. It would seem to me that such forums would provide mfgs with valuable information on product improvement if they would endorse it rather than fighting it. With all the problem with the Coopers, a lot of customers say that Mini has been VERY aggressive in fixing things quickly once they come up. This is encouraging.)

    Now go and explore the Prius at Toyota's web site.

    Which web site appeals to you? The two web sites, to me, feel just like the two cars feel.

    - Mark
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    John, I'm talking about the new Prius. Improved? Yes. A great highway cruiser? No.

    - Mark
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > A great highway cruiser? No.

    That's extraordinarily vague.

    From that I can't even tell if you are making a reference to handling or the comfort of the seats.

    Detail please!

  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    John, we know you like the car. Lighten up.

    - Mark
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    VAGUE references have lived for weeks on these Prius forums, making some people lose interest and leave due to so many pointless posts.

    The best way to avoid that is to simply ask explicity for detail.

    I'm all for constructive sharing of information. So feel free to share that.

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