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Toyota Prius

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  • gpsiirgpsiir Posts: 22
    That's interesting, but I've just used the inventory searcher to check Denver for any Prius's that may be available, and... it lists Prius's as available that I *know* are sold, in fact, I was working with the biggest dealership in Denver, and all Prius's in Denver are sold already through the rest of the year. The salesman advised me if I want one I should put down a non-refundable deposit now and I would get one first quarter of next year. Needless to say I didn't....Hmm, if Florida really has a lot of 'em, I could fly to Florida, and drive a new one back, heck, driving would be cheaper than flying, in a Prius ;-)
  • My husband's Pioneer ordered 2004 arrived at the
    dealer yesterday.

    Because of prep work (3M poly-bra, for example),
    we probably won't get it until today or tomorrow.

    That, and we're both going to the Toyota Engines of Change
    tour in Newton, MA today. (Invitation-only event.)
  • those, such as myself, for whom "sporty" dynamics are a priority would wait for independent test data to establish that a car has that capability before commiting to a purchase. In the Prius' case, that is all the more important since the previous generation was so deficient in that realm.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Any car can be driven in a sporty way and have fun, including the Prius, but it's a poor choice if this is your primary interest in a car.

    It's got modest power, relatively low handling limits, and the CVT makes it a droner. Your commands to the car are going through a computer interface, and the engine starts/stops depending on load - this dulls the reflexes. Driven smoothly and gently, all this happens seamlessly in the background, but driven aggressively, you will notice it.

    As I said in an earlier post when I drove the Prius and a Mini Cooper S back-to-back, the word that comes to mind with the Prius is "antiseptic". It's a wonderful, smoooth, quiet, comfortable, highly-efficient car for cruising. It appeals to people who love the technology and like to compute their gas milage to three decimal places.

    I actually looked very hard at three cars: Prius, Cooper S, and WRX. I think the WRX is a great compromise between these extremes. It's very sporty, reasonably powerful, yet has quite a bit of room/utility and AWD. The downside is relatively poor gas mileage from the turbo four. All cars are compromises.

    I'm sure a hybrid sporty car is on the horizon, but the Prius isn't it.

    - Mark
  • Does anyone know if it is possible to purchase a Prius with right hand drive in the US. We will be moving to Ireland shortly and know that it is cheaper to purchase a car here in the states and ship. The tax on a new car in Ireland is very high. Also, petrol is much higher in price, and the environment is of course a major concern, which adds significantly to the attraction of the Prius. If anyone has information to share on this subject it would be greatly appreciated.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Anything is possible with enough time/money, but generally no, it is not possible to import and license a current-model RHD car in the states. It doesn't meet federal safety standards - there are ways to do it for collector and one-off cars, but it is prohibitively expensive.

    I'm sure Ireland has very strict importation regulations and duties as well, so bringing a car from the states will be difficult and expensive.

    This is just general information and I'll bow to specific information. But what you're talking about almost never makes sense.

    - Mark
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    agreed... had a WRX for 9 months and it was a nice car. I had the auto which really blunted performance but can't have a manual in NY Metro. Mileage was poor for a 2.0 liter (got low 20's). Doors were very tinny sounding when you closed them too.
  • Thanks Mark,
    I did research the topic with Irish Government officials. If you can prove that you owned and insured you vehicle for a period of 6 months prior to shipping to Ireland, your car is duty free and tax free if you are moving to Ireland to work or take up residency. They are rather liberal with their regulations under those circumstances. It actually pays to purchase a car here. The cost of the container to ship, which you must use to ship your furniture and personal belongings anyhow, is offset by the savings one can realize by avoiding the tax which is imposed on new cars in Ireland. Of course, the problem is somewhat circular as you must first find a dealer who can procure a RHD vehicle.
  • Pioneer from Portland, Maine. Finally, I just picked up my 2004 Prius from my dealyer. Wahoooo!!!. I love it!!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    said the blind man when the goose kicked him.

    I just got back from about an hour's drive in our 03 Prius. Apologies to john1701a and others are in order.

    Virtually everything john said about the operation of the Prius system was correct and virtually everything I said was wrong.

    It does charge the batteries when you let off the gas. It will even charge the batteries on an uphill run in cruise control.

    One of these days I might learn that when Japanese automotive designers are involved not many things come out the logical way.

    For instance.

    Simply release the brake, no throttle, and the car uses the batteries to start moving forward.

    Lift your foot from the throttle and it starts "STOPPING", charging the batteries via regenerative braking!

    On cruise control starting up a long incline it will initially be using the ICE and simultaneously charging the batteries. As the speed decays (???) a point is reached where the system is reversed and the batteries start "supercharging", assisting, the ICE.
  • My new '04 Prius has 100 miles on it and I love it. It is peppy and rather strong above 30mph up to about 65 mph. It cruises great at 75 mph and is quieter at that speed than my BMW 5 series. I drive it with a heavy foot (not all the time) and it is getting 46 MPG. On my 14 mile trip to work today with just going along with the traffic my MPG was 52.
  • Just filled up my Prius. The display indicated 54.1 mpg at 491 miles. After filling it up, I calculated 56.0 mpg. Now I have that weird winter gas. Lets see what happens next.
  • ampedamped Posts: 13
    On the second day of ownership I switched the OEM Goodyears for 195/60-15 Bridgestone Potenza RE-950's, an all-season HR rated tire that transformed the car (favorably) in every way. That includes ride, handling, steering precision (the Goodyears tramlined), noise, and fitment was easy with no rub at full lock.

    Tire revs/mile are slightly higher than stock, ~1%, which theoretically should produce marginally better acceleration. However, tire weight, which I suspect is higher than stock due to the additional sidewall belts and deeper tread, is greater, but I offset that by discarding the ugly and heavy wheel trim rings.

    The best part is that my local tire dealer, America's Tire Company, gave me $120 in trade towards the Potenzas, for a net cost of $270. I can't think of a less expensive upgrade that will return anywhere near as much in comfort, safety, handling, and FUN! This thing now comes closer to handling like a sports sedan, no joke. Light weight helps here. It turns out this is a momentum car, carry speed deep into a corner and it hangs. The key to this is left foot braking while maintaining throttle on. The TRAC/VSC will activate and retard power when you do it right, but it's less obtrusive than other Toyota/Lexus vehicles I've owned and raced. I do wish we had a defeat switch for those systems, though.

    For reference, I'm an SCCA autocross champion driver, and know a little about vehicle dynamics. This car has the potential to deliver some fun, not just economy and low emissions.

    For those here concerned about fuel economy, my first tank that included "heat cycling" (heh) the new Potenzas returned 48 mpg with ambient temps in the high 30's low 40's, calculated from consecutive fills, not the computer. I don't street race, so won't have any kill stories (as if I would anyway), but just today gave a couple of ricers in their Integras fits on a back road. No, I won't be taking it to the track. I'd be pounded by Celicas in G Stock. But, for cheap giggles while pretending to save the Earth, Prius can't be beat!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    I have been wondering if the design of the car, e.g. the mass and location of the battery pack, would contribute in any way to handling by making the car's center of gravity lower than on a typical small car and also distributing the weight more towards the rear, compared to typical front-drive cars. Anyone know the front/rear weight distribution on the '04 Prius?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    For Track (a Prius??). Simply remove the ABS pump/motor fuse.
  • The main feature about the Prius that I feel isn't stressed enough is that it gets better City MPG than Highway. Since I live in the DC metro area with some of the worst traffic in the nation, this is a huge benefit. Not to mention I can't wait for the day when I can walk down a city street and not suck down massive amounts of exhaust. If only all cars were SULEV or PZEV!

    My only concerns with the 2004 model are:
    1) I'm 6'4". I couldn't fit very comfortably in the 2003 model.
    2) The new aerodynamic styling limits the rear view.
    Any thoughts?
  • Test drove the '04 in Mass. a couple of weeks ago. I'm 6-1, and found the driving position OK, with the exception that the left footrest is positioned so your left leg is pretty bent. I would suggest you try one out for fit! I didn't find the rear view particularly problematic.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    After the trauma of seeing the Armada's Monroney sticker, indicating 13/19 mpg EPA estimates, it just felt right to take a peek at the new Prius. I first saw one in April at the NY Auto Show, and found the 5 door configuation more appealing than all existing hybrid vehicles.

    55 mpg overall. That's more like it. But does it measure up to mainstream cars that cost about the same?

    Yes. I was quite impressed. The interior is far nicer than the norm, with cushy soft fabrics and upgraded, thick carpets with nicely finished edges. In fact I'd rank it higher than the Camry in this regard. It definitely feels substantial, not like an economy car. It had heft.

    Toyota pitches this as a mid-size that seats 5. Well, that's a stretch. The wheelbase is long and leg room is plentiful. Headroom is great up front, but in the back my head rubbed on the headliner. The middle seat is tight, narrow, and the hump limits the amount of time I'd be willing to spend there. Put the nice arm rest down and call it a very comfy 4 seater.

    The cargo area is decent, but easily expands with quick folding seats. Tall items won't fit unless you leave the hatch open. Again, though, the nicely finished edges on the carpets, perfect seams, exemplary quality of assembly that puts the $37k Armada to shame.

    Press "Power" to turn it on. OK, cool. The shift lever was user-friendly, I figured it out without instructions (try that in a BMW 7 series). The tach and speedo are too far off for my taste, the only negative in a very nice interior.

    Oddly, it's totally silent. It pulls off quietly, and the motor kicks in when needed, so smoothly that I would not have noticed were I not looking for it. In traffic it is Lexus-quiet. Kudos.

    The CVT is brilliant. I've had a CVT in a 2 wheeler before, and dreaded the droning from the engine. Not so here, Toyota tuned it nicely. It's so smooth I didn't even feel the need to ask for a manual.

    Ride is cushy, one pot hole did make us bottom out but DC's roads can be awful. It accelerates to speed a lot better than you'd expect from 76 hp, but that's because with electric assist you have 110hp on tap, not to mention 295 lb-ft of torque right at idle. Score!

    The Energy Monitor is so cool that you can't help but watch what's going on, try to get the best MPG possible. Next to it are two glove boxes, and lost of space for the front passengers. You can even get side curtain air bags to protect the passengers.

    We came to a stop, and I pressed the Park button. Easy enough. Outside I note the Jetsons exterior looks better in person. They've even slammed the taillights for you, with clear lenses that look futuristic. Welcome to 2040, Earthling.

    The hatch opens with an electric latch, like some high-end luxury cars. You get HIDs and even a rear wiper, with DVD Navigation optional. Don't bother asking for that in the Civic Hybrid.

    Misses are few. It's got a donut spare, but considering efficiency is the priority here, that's acceptable.

    I left with a smile. I have to admit it's too small to replace my Forester, but boy would I be interested in a hybrid AWD SUV when those become available.

    -juice
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    Nice post! Enjoyed reading it. I too was considering that tire but in the same size as the original. I suppose that your size isn't much of a difference. Someone mentioned Michelin Hydroedge.... is that something to be considered when the two are compared? I'm picking up tomorrow and really don't like the OEM tires.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    Nice review! You won't have long to wait, the hybrid Highlander and RX330 are next up for Toyota.
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