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Toyota Prius vs. Honda Civic Hybrid v. Honda Insight v. ?

jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
edited March 10 in Toyota
As there has been many comparisons over on the normal Prius board about the Prius vs. The Civic Hybrid/Corolla/Camry, I felt a need to put a specific board just for that purpose. So, here's the board! Compare the Prius to whatever car you feel is a reasonable match money wise or size wise.
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Comments

  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    2004 Prius base MSRP of $19,995 includes:

    • CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)
    • Automatic Climate-Control with Electric A/C
    • Anti-Lock Brakes
    • Traction-Control
    • Cruise-Control
    • Power & Heated mirrors
    • Power windows
    • Power door locks
    • AM/FM/CD with 6 speakers
    • Keyless-Entry remotes
    • Cast Aluminum Alloy rims
    • Tilt steering with audio/climate controls
    • 60/40 Split-folding rear seat
    • Multi-Display with trip computer
    • Rear Defroster
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    anybody have a good comparison for the Prius? I know there are many, from the Toyota Prius 2004+ board.
  • In deciding which car to buy or which car is better you have to decide what the criteria are. There is no 1 set that is going to satisfy everyone - that's quite reasonable.

    Possible criteria items are:
    1. MPG
    2. Emissions (ground-level or earth-warming)
    3. Acceleration ( 0-60 etc)
    4. PRICE! (MSRP, TMV price)
    5. Total cost of ownership
    6. Equipment (sunroof, automatic windows etc)
    7. Safety features and performance data
    etc
    etc

    Some things are going to be valued as nothing to some folks who don't care about that item - no use trying to change their views through insults.
  • Edmunds says that the total cost, measured in $/mile, is very close between Prius and Corolla.

    So, is Edmunds right? Every other evaluation I saw said the Prius costs more and you'll never make up the difference through the fuel efficiency savings. We'll need to "run the numbers" and check their calculations, data and assumptions.

    Personally, I'm not sure which to go with (never mind that it's hard to actually get one's hands on a 2004 prius since they're selling so well). I hate dealing with car problems and I'd hate to deal with fixing a 2004 prius since most mechanics, including toyota dealships, would not be experienced with fixing Prius-like cars.

    Corolla or Civic is much safer bet - plus it seems like the difference in MPG may not be much. I, and a lot of other potential buyers, do not drive long enough commutes to where the difference in MPG or gallons saved would actually be accomplishing much.

    We could buy it "to make a statement" but it would be silly if my statement is saying I'm saving 1 gallon per month buy buying a hybrid vs a regular ICE car.
  • We noticed on the other forum(s) that no one was comparing the 2004 prius to the civic hybrid - from the matter of alternative purchase vehicles at least. Now, besides the obvious answer of "because the Prius is so much better" is there more explicit explanations of this?

    Since I currently like my Integra hatchback, I could deal with the low entry trunk openings of the civic or corolla but the fact that the seats do not fold in the civic hybrid is a non-starter for me. Darn!!
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Corolla or Civic is much safer bet

    It's nothing but a bet though... since no data is available about the 2004 Prius yet, which is a completely new frame & body design.

    JOHN
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___An 04 Corolla LE w/ the following can be purchased for $14,900.

    * 4 Speed Automatic (ECT) Electronically Controlled Transmission
    * A/C - mechanical
    * Anti-Lock brakes
    * (DRL’s) Day Time Running Lights
    * Cruise Control
    * Power Mirrors
    * Driver’s Side Seat Height Adjuster
    * Power Windows
    * Power Door Locks
    * AM/FM CD w/ 6 speakers
    * Keyless Entry Remotes
    * Cast Aluminum Alloy rims
    * Tilt Steering
    * 60/40 Split-Fold down Rear Seat
    * Integrated display including speedometer, tachometer, outside temperature …
    * Rear Defrost

    Safety

    NHTSA:
     
    Front Driver and Passenger – Frontal Impact: 5 stars
    Front Seat/Rear Seat – Side Impact: 4 stars
    Rollover Resistance: 4 Stars

    IIHS: The highest rating of (G) - Good all the way across.

    ___Who knows what the 04 Prius will rate but hopefully it will be better then the NHTSA’s 02-03 Prius tests with 3, 4, 3, 3, 4 ratings … Although there is a bet that it has improved, the 04’s crash worthiness was considered in its design and should rate at least 4 and possibly 5 stars across the board.

    ___As for the Honda Civic Hybrid, it is truly outclassed in this game. It had the edge against the 01-03 Prius but not the 04 given it still costs more in a comparable trim. The 01 – 03 Prius wasn’t close against the 03/04 Corolla either but the 04 is a comparable vehicle with its greater size and closer to std. economy class power IMHO.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___An 04 Toyota Camry LE w/ the following can be purchased for $17,900.

    * 4 Speed Automatic (ECT) Electronically Controlled Transmission
    * A/C - mechanical
    * Anti-Lock brakes
    * (DRL’s) Day Time Running Lights
    * Cruise Control
    * Power Mirrors
    * Driver’s Side Seat Height Adjuster and Lumbar support
    * Power Windows
    * Power Door Locks
    * AM/FM CD w/ 6 speakers
    * Keyless Entry Remotes
    * Tilt Steering
    * 60/40 Split-Fold down Rear Seat
    * Integrated display including speedometer, tachometer, outside temperature …
    * Rear Defrost

    Safety

    NHTSA (2003 Camry):
     
    Front Driver and Passenger – Frontal Impact: 5/4 stars
    Front Seat/Rear Seat – Side Impact: 3/5 stars
    Rollover Resistance: 4 Stars

    IIHS: The highest rating of (G) - Good all the way across except for an (A) – Average for Leg/Foot – Right side.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___An 04 Honda Civic Hybrid w/ the following can be purchased for ~ $19,700.

    * CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)
    * Automatic Climate-Control with Electric A/C
    * Anti-Lock brakes
    * Cruise Control
    * Power Mirrors
    * Driver’s Side Seat Height Adjuster
    * Power Windows
    * Power Door Locks
    * AM/FM CD w/ 4 speakers - 120 W
    * Tilt Steering
    * 60/40 Split-Fold down Rear Seat
    * Integrated multi-display including speedometer, tachometer, outside temperature, charge/assist, instantaneous FCD …
    * Rear Defrost

    Safety

    NHTSA:
     
    Front Driver and Passenger – Frontal Impact: 5/5 stars
    Front Seat/Rear Seat – Side Impact: 5/4 stars
    Rollover Resistance: 4 Stars

    IIHS (2001 – 2004 Civic’s): The highest rating of (G) - Good all the way across.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • Since the Corolla is 3/4 the price of a base Prius it's safe to say that if you want fuel economy and a "decently equiped" car but don't care so much about the techno features then it's hard-pressed to say the Prius is a better car because (best guess for now) at worst it gives 10% better and best it gives 40%(!) better than the corolla w/auto.

    40% better is pretty good, I have to admit.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___Here are the 0 to 60 mph times …

    03 Honda Civic Hybrid w/ CVT:_______13.5 seconds - Consumer Reports/Motor Trend
    04 Toyota Prius w/ CVT:____________10.2 seconds - Auto Week
    03 Toyota Corolla w/ Auto___________9.8 seconds - Consumer Reports
    03 Toyota Camry LE w/ Auto:________9.5 seconds - Motor Trend

    ___Here are some 60 to 0 mph baking distances:

    04 Toyota Prius w/ CVT:____________142 Feet - Motor Week
    03 Honda Civic Hybrid w/ CVT:_______133 feet - Consumer Reports/Motor Trend
    03 Toyota Corolla w/ Auto___________128 Feet - Motor Trend
    03 Toyota Camry LE w/ Auto:________128 feet - Motor Week

    ___Interior noise levels at 70 mph:

    04 Toyota Prius w/ CVT:____________???
    03 Honda Civic Hybrid w/ CVT:_______73 dB(A) - Car and Driver
    03 Toyota Camry LE w/ MANUAL?:___73 dB(A) - Car and Driver
    03 Toyota Corolla w/ Auto___________70 dB(A) - Car and Driver

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • If the primary goal of a prius/hybrid buyer is to reduce fuel consumption, reduce emissions etc then the best advice for a non-rich person would be to buy a Toyota Echo (or similar car). The Echo has even better MPG than the corolla and as exel mentioned previously, with good driving habits, tire pressure etc you can do better than the EPA ratings for MPG.

    It seems obvious to me that hybrids are not a giant leap in solving our fuel burning problems. We need folks to drive more fuel efficient cars, even if that means buying a medium size SUV instead of a huge SUV.

    Recently one (or 2) of the American car companies said they'd be coming out engines that shut off half the engine when the power is not needed. Since many of the cars on the road consume so much gas (compared to the prius/civic) the fuel saved from these types of engines would far out-save the current hybrid offerings. Fortunately, they can possibly combine both types of engines.
  • xcel,

    I'd have to agree with you that the civic hybrid is truly outclassed by the 2004 prius. I suspect honda may have to make some changes or reduce the price in about a year or so in order to compete. Until then the under-supply of 2004 prius will probably keep the civic hybrid selling to those who really want a hybrid immediately.

    I'm sure it's too early now to see the effect of 2004 prius on civc hybrid sales but have you heard anything about whether the civic hybrid is making the EPA ratings of 47-48 MPG?
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___Pounds of Smog-Forming pollution per 15,000 miles driven:

    03 Honda Civic Hybrid w/ CVT:_______12.3 – 12.9
    04 Toyota Prius w/ CVT:____________02.8 – 04.1
    03 Toyota Corolla w/ Auto___________12.3 – 12.9
    03 Toyota Camry LE w/ Auto:________05.3 – 06.3

    ___Greenhouse gas or CO2 release is directly related to the gallons of fuel burned per miles driven.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    If I worked in Honda marketing department, I would not advertize Civic Hybrid a as hybrid car. I would say something like "conventional car improved according to 21-rd century demands" ;-) Because IMA is just an assist system. It does not fundamentally change the way the engine or transmission works. Yes, it has batteries and motor-generator, but these things works totally transparent for the gas engine, transmission or a driver.

    If battery or electric motor failed in IMA, Honda would drive like a normal car, but without additional 13-hp assist from electric motor. It still would be able to start, because as far as I know it has a conventional starter. And it would drive normally, because it has totally conventional 5-speed manual transmission or CVT.

    The main idea in Honda's approach is (1) to lower fuel consumtion in all driving modes by using smaller lean-burn engine. And to compensate for the lack of torque and power it uses (2) electric motor during hard acceleration (ergo Integrated Motor ASSIST).

    Prius is totally new look on how a car should be built. Its smart transmission works only because of the way gas engine and two electric motor-generators interact with each other, you cannot just pull one or other part from Prius -- it just would fall apart. And looking at the torque flow and energy flow schemes I tend to think, that Prius would not be driveable if even one of these motor-generator failed. But this innovative approach gives Prius better mileage and better (almost zero) emissions in city driving.

    I would compare Prius with space Shuttle, which should be totally bullet-proof to be used as it supposed to. But we can see what might happen, if only one small piece of Shuttle fails. On the other hand, Honda's hybrid is like the Mir station: nothing fancy, but it works and will work even in case of minor fails in the electric part of the hybrid system.

    Anyway, Civic hybrid does not deliver as much as Prius: its economy is worse and its emissions worse either, especially in the city driving, because Civic hybrid cannot drive with its gasoline engine shut off. Again, read the name: ASSIST. Also, Honda makes other cars, like Civic HX, which have fuel economy almost as good as its Civic hybrid. So, what's the point? Honda was able to pull 60-something mpg on Insight, but it was because of ultralight aluminum body, 0.25 drag coefficient, and only two seats. One can see, that Honda technology does not scale up well. Toyota managed to get close to Insight with the car almost twice larger and with conventional steel body.

    So, my verdict is that Prius is more of "21-century space technology", and Civic hybrid is "steam engine with computer". If you believe in technology, choose Prius. If you want 100%-bulletproof solution, choose Civic Hybrid (better choose Insight then).
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Veggieburger:

    ___I haven’t followed the Honda Civic Hybrid at all unfortunately but I know many Hybrid owners (including the Civic Hybrid) are displeased with the expected fuel economy as has been mentioned many times in the other threads. I follow the Honda Insight information very carefully but unfortunately, the Honda Insight is only a 2-seater and thus cannot really be compared to the 4 vehicles listed above without some stretch.

    ___Mikus, I cannot fault you for your HCH commentary in the least. I don’t really think the HCH is a good comparison to any of the other 3 because it is totally out classed but Jchan started the thread and apparently wanted some information about it … As for the Honda’s, only the Insight 5 speed is lean burn mode capable and although its only a ULEV with the same smog forming emissions as the Corolla, it can achieve upwards of 90 + mpg when driven properly. In other words, its CO2 output is half or less of any vehicle in this comparison … and if the 04 Prius’ real world fuel economy is 45 mpg or thereabouts. Again, Greenhouse gas (CO2) is what will kill our children’s children. Smog forming emissions will kill us when we reach the point where breathing becomes difficult and we insist on living in an urban area containing high smog level’s (PHX and LA are the two biggies that I know of …).

    ___As has been stated in the other Prius threads, the 04 Prius has a great drive train for saving the planet and reducing our dependency on foreign oil but it comes at a greater cost then the gasoline it was meant to save when compared to similar vehicles depending on your particular usage. If you are an all hwy driver, the 04 Prius doesn’t come close to paying itself off vs. the 04 Corolla in terms of TCO. It also doesn’t come close in terms of comfort and luxury when compared to the Camry because of the Camry’s much higher quality suspension, braking, and optional accessory categories. As for the 04 Prius’ Green-ness, the difference between a ULEV and PZEV based Accord as just one example is just a few hundred dollars. That is far from a $2,000 - $5,000 or more price premium to own a Prius vs. a Camry or Corolla IMHO.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___And although I believe the 01-03 and now the 04 Prius to be a stellar low maintenance vehicle, when it does get into trouble, it sounds like it can be a very costly experience. Reading through the Yahoo-Hybrid-Prius groups over the last few months, there has been indication of the electric power steering going bad on more then a few 01-03 Prius’. There is also an individual near my locale with some 114,000 miles on his well cared for 01 Prius when the darn thing lost its drive train to an unknown. It cost more to fix it then the Prius is worth and Toyota still doesn’t know exactly what happened other then it stopped working and the codes output are telling them to fix a large amount of the electrical/mechanical drive train. On the 04 Prius’, there are more then a few reports of the CEL’s (Check Engine Light) appearing with no particular cause listed. Some are saying it’s the gas cap not being tight but many new automobiles can receive a CEL when the gas caps aren’t tightened properly after a fill up. I don’t know, I am simply watching the developments but still believe the Prius’ battery pack to be more bullet proof then the Honda’s various IMA systems. It is just that I don’t believe the electric HW in the 01-03 and the new 04 is nearly as bullet proof in comparison to a std. Corolla/Camry ICE given the Camry/Corolla doesn’t have the additional electric drive train in the first place.

    ___In the case of the Honda Insight’s, the IMA is beginning got show its age for those in warmer climates apparently. Battery packs are being replaced at a rate that makes me leery of owning one and Honda for one is most certainly not making light of it other then charging the ~ $4,000 to those out of warranty and replacing them for those that are still under warranty. Fortunately, most still are covered under the 8 Yr./80,000 mile Battery and most electric drive train component warranty but what happens when you are beyond that? You are plain and simply screwed.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > can be purchased for $14,900
    > can be purchased for $17,900.
    > can be purchased for ~ $19,700

    That's rather misleading information. Instead, you should list the STICKER PRICE.

    Even a 2004 Prius "can be purchased for" a lower amount now. The dealer just 10 miles from where I live is offering $500 off the sticker.

     
    > 04 Toyota Prius w/ CVT:____________142 Feet

    125 Feet is the correct value.

     
    > w/ CVT

    Since the "CVT" in Prius is totally, completely different than the one in Civic-Hybrid, it is inappropriate to label both of them the same way. In fact, they have as little in common as a manual & automatic transmission do. So please be more specific in future postings:

    "Planetary CVT" = Prius

    "Cone & Belt CVT" = Civic-Hybrid

     
    JOHN
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    you are right on there: if you are an all hwy driver, the Prius provides little benefit over a corolla or regular civic in mpg. Since I drive more hwy than city, this has been one of the main causes of my hesitation to adopt the new tech. In particular, the civic HX has been around for a decade now, with a lean-burn VTEC, and friends that have had them regularly get more than 40 mpg.

    I know from driving an '01 Prius on a regular basis (part of the fleet at the county where I work) that all I could expect in daily use is 42 or so. So, no advantage mpg-wise. I do expect the '04 to improve that figure by 6 mpg or so.

    Problem is, there is not yet a PZEV-rated corolla or civic, is there? So emissions-wise, you still have to make a choice: go for the higher mpg with worse smog-forming emissions (corolla, civic), go for the lower mpg but PZEV rating (in such cars as Nissan Sentra or Ford Focus, both low-30s mpg), or go Prius and get both for about $3-4K more.

    In the end, this will have to go beyond a dollars and cents decision for anyone willing to buy Prius. In particular, one would need to have a personal commitment to change one's lifestyle a little and pay a little extra to advance a technology that holds promise to protect the environment now and in the future.

    However, unlike many postings here at Edmunds in the past, I do not believe that with the '04 Prius you have to sacrifice anything else except for the $$ premium to purchase.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi John1701a:

    > That's rather misleading information. Instead, you should list the STICKER PRICE

    ___Why should I quote sticker price when 99% of all Prius owners are paying sticker price, sticker price +, or sticker price + an option package they may or may not want? I can receive any of the 4 models above for exactly what I quoted? You need to spend some more time in the Prius Buying experience forums before you tell me about what can be purchased for what price today.

    > 125 Feet is the correct value.

    ___John, here is something for you to ponder … One, look up Motor Week’s test of the 03 Camry, 03 Corolla, and 04 Prius to see their panic stop distance numbers. Same magazine, same test procedures, and the distances listed above. They tested an 02 Camry XLE, an 03 Corolla w/ Manual, and the 04 Prius. Next ponder why would a car that weighs 2524#’s using GoodYear Integrity’s panic stop in 128 feet and an automobile using the EXACT same tires but weigh 2890 #’s stop in 128 feet? They both have very similar suspensions, similar brake HW, and probably similar weight distribution. In either case, you can tell me I am incorrect but you will have to take it up with Motor Week as they are the ones that recorded the 142 feet in the 60 to 0 panic stops of the 04 Prius vs. the 03 Corolla’s (manual) 128 and the Camry’s 118 (XLE trim however). In the case of the Camry, the XLE has better brake HW so it would be expected to stop in a shorter distance but I didn’t post the SE/XLE braking numbers of 118 feet because they do not use the same HW as the Base LE.

    > Since the "CVT" in Prius is totally, completely different than the one in Civic-Hybrid, it is inappropriate to label both of them the same way.
      
    ___Because the Honda Civic Hybrid has a CVT and you labeled it as such in the 04 Prius std. features list above. Honda, Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and Consumer Reports called the Honda Civic Hybrid w/ CVT a CVT so why shouldn’t anyone else?

    ___Nippononly, there is a PZEV rated Accord although I do not know if you can purchase one in your locale yet? The Corolla, no way unfortunately. I hope Toyota begins to see the light with their other vehicle lines since Ford is offering the Focus and Nissan a Sentra in PZEV trim as you have posted. It won’t be long before that many more automobiles will be rated PZEV or better. I will not debate the change in lifestyle vs. costs but I also see the change not being made by most drivers on the road today. If you want to reduce HC, NOx, CO, and CO2 emissions, slow down, coast when possible, and maximize a cars mileage capability most of the time instead of none of it. Unfortunately, that is a tall order and of all the cars that pass me every day, I have only seen 2 in the last 3 months that were abiding by this. A Honda Insight and of all things, a Lincoln Navigator drafting an 18 wheeler. I can explain more of this in a later post…

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    I'd like to point out that all the comments hear ignore HSD in general, they focus solely on limited data currently available on only vehicles currently available. The fact that the hybrid system now in Prius being installed in other vehicles has not been acknowledged.

    What about a Corolla with HSD?

    In the short-term, higher prices are a very normal part of new technology rollout. When it becomes more common, prices drop. That seems to be overlooked a lot. So discussions here are limited to those making the purchase decision now, not later.

    JOHN
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    <john1701a>
    Since the "CVT" in Prius is totally, completely different than the one in Civic-Hybrid, it is inappropriate to label both of them the same way. In fact, they have as little in common as a manual & automatic transmission do.
    </john1701a>

    I personally got used to use the term "CVT" only in regards to classic van Doorne scheme. But recently other types of CVT emerged, like toroidal type (for example, Nissan Extroid). Should not we just embrace the "CVT" as a term more generic, than "van Doorne cone-and-belt setup"? On the other hand, in all "normal" cars the transmission comes after the engine and after some type of clutch (plate-type or hydraulic converter, whatever). Which means, that you can change the type of clutch or the type of transmission (manual, automatic, van Doorne, toroidal, etc) without changing the way a car behaves. But in the case of Prius you cannot just pull out its planetary gearset and stick something else like classic manual gearbox -- it simply will not work. So, in case of Prius planetary gearset is not a transmission in traditional sense. It is part of something bigger. Vice versa, to put Prius' transmission on other car one would have to use two motor-generators as well, and a battery to feed them. So, it is not just a transmission, it is a whole complex of hybrid setup, when the equation has only one solution. Whatever, normal people do not care about this stuff. Just tell them the car has CVT ;)
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    Well, does someone have any information, aside of pure theoretical verdicts made solely by looking on the Prius electric and mechanical scheme, how the car would behave if battery, or mg1 or mg2 would fail? I can tell right now that Civic Hybrid would still be able to start and drive like normal car if its motor-generator or battery failed. But I am not sure at all about Prius' reliability in that sense. If mg1 went out, who would rotate sun gear to start the engine? If mg2 went out, how the car would start moving at all (well, it still can be moved by a gas engine, but with about 1700 rpm it would be hard). Do not forget that mg1 also should be rotated to keep engine rpms in proper range, and mg2 adds about 30% of torque and also charges the battery.

    Prius does not seem to have any reserving of the main propulsion system and all devices must be 100% functioning for Prius to move. John, I've read your logs on your web site, and 3 years in Minnesota is exciting experience. But the simple fact is, that you have not had any failures! What would happed, if one small piece of this machinery fails? The car will stop, I guess. Up to this time the only piece of car hardware which was done by space industry reliability standards was an airbag. Now a whole car becomes a space Shuttle. Hope that the Japanese attached the heat-protection tiles better.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi John1701a:

    ___If only Toyota would have installed the HSD in a Camry/Corolla last year … They have had ~ 4 to 7 years to do so, right? Since Toyota didn&#146;t, we can discuss what can be purchased today since unfortunately that is all that is available &#147;today&#148;.

    ___Here is a neat thought. What if the Camry was available with a HSD and cost ~ the same as the 04 Prius? You know, in XLE trim with better stopping power, better ride, larger size, more luxurious features, and lower cost? Would you have purchased the Camry instead? I would have if it received better hwy mileage then what I am receiving with my Corolla, guaranteed. Probably only an LE trim however. Then again, what if Toyota placed an HSD into the Corolla w/ a hatchback and was AT LEAST $3,000 less expensive then the 04 Prius? Same conclusion … Toyota didn&#146;t so what&#146;s the point in discussing it?

    ___Not that I am in any way right but I see a money grab of sorts by Toyota with the 04 Prius. Not that this is a bad thing given that is the way Capitalism works and helps defray the HSD&#146;s development cost but the Prius uses mostly off the shelf, low end brake and suspension HW yet costs a large premium over and above that of the economy or other cars it is competing with? You and I have had the same back and forth in the past … Instead of a completely new platform, why didn&#146;t they simply place the HSD in the recently redesigned Corolla? It would have saved the development costs of the Prius line (not the HSD of course) and it would have been made available to hundreds of thousands instead of 36 to 40,000 as is the case with the 04 Prius today. Since Toyota sold every 01-03 Prius they made, could they not have done the same with every 03/04 Corolla w/ an HSD? Does the HSD actually cost that much more then a std. ICE? If it does, it may never make economic sense for a hwy driver in particular. Old news I know but I still don&#146;t see the payoffs. All the discussion of HSD HW prices coming down is beginning to sound like bunk given the Prius&#146; in some form or another has been out for almost 7 years. The battery packs are still outrageously expensive for the 01-03 and the 04. Toyota even has its own marketing reps spouting the company line on this future cost savings and all one has to do is go to the service counter of their local Toyota dealer and ask what it costs to replace the packs in an 01-03 or the 04. There is no savings but there most certainly is a smoke screen. I am concerned that we will never see the promised savings that many including Toyota have promised. I can only hope Toyota will make all their automobiles ULEV/ULEV-II or even better, PZEV given the additional $150 to $300 per vehicle but they haven&#146;t done that or appear to be heading that way in the very near future from what I have read. We have known about the terms ULEV, ULEV-II, SULEV, PZEV, and ZEV for over 3 + years now and the only thing Toyota has offered anyone here in the sates with this capability is the Prius. Again, I am certainly glad Toyota is pushing the Fuel Economy/Emission envelope and offering a technology that can save the world of some of its short term ills but are they doing it in such a fashion to line their pockets or to improve the world as a whole? I guess I am glad they are at least offering something to some given the 0 offered by anyone else at this point in time. Well maybe Honda with the Insight 5 Speed maybe but only if purchased used does it make any financial sense either. It is a good thing American&#146;s and probably everyone else thinks as a group with their passion rather then with their pocket books …

    ___On a more political note, I believe it is Japan that imports ~ 50% of their oil from the Middle East, Europe ~ 40%, and here in US, ~ 12%. I am speaking of Middle East supplies only. No matter the implications, the Middle East is a strategic area to be guarded because it doesn&#146;t matter where you get the oil from, it only matters that the total supply meets demand. With a small drop in supply from anywhere, the price goes up and economies of the world suffer the consequences. The US is the only country looking over the Middle East for this reason (some other ugly other reasons as well that are far less economic but I won&#146;t get into those) and with that, we as a nation will suffer the consequences of this guarding action for a very long time … or at least until the problem is dealt with abruptly. With that, I still don&#146;t see people I know; work with, or read about purchasing economical engines when given the choice in a particular model of automobile. Give me that fire breathing V8 or 6 instead of the 4 even though they will all perform their duties just as well to most consumers. CAFE is a government forced ruling but you cannot stop Joe Q. Public from doing what he does best … Think of the new Dodge commercial on the TV with the father teaching his 2 year old to say the word &#147;HEMI&#148;. Now there is a sound footing to base our future on, don&#146;t you think?

    ___Sorry for the semi-OT BS I just spewed …

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Just tell them the car has CVT.

    Yup! That's great for general publicity.

    However, for this particular topic thread where every factor of every component will end up being discussed, we need to be a bit more specific. Otherwise, you could actually group both automatic & manual into a single category called "with gears".

    JOHN
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi John1701a:

    ___As for the CVT, the Honda Civic Hybrid does use a &#147;Continuously Variable&#148; transmission with an almost infinite number of gear ratios irregardless if it uses the Belt and Cone setup or the Prius&#146; planetary gear set. The same cannot be said of an Automatic or Manual and for most; an automatic really doesn&#146;t make much of a difference, does it? A manual on the other hand is a SOB in stop and go traffic in particular as anyone that owns one can attest …

    ___On an Insight or HCH, the manual is more economical as it is on everything else. In the case of the 01-03 or 04 Prius, who knows because no one has a manual trimmed Prius to compare against the CVT based counterpart? If the Prius with a manual was more economical, would you drive it? Would most drive it? The Prius is definitely not a sports car but the manual might just give better hwy mileage, lower emissions even further (CO2 in particular), and definitely give better 0 to 60 times. You make the call.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    to classify types of transmissions, it would be just as accurate to say Prius has no transmission at all. It is closer to this than to a conventional CVT. The electric motor is what transmits the power from the ICE to the wheels. It is essentially the "transmission" in this case - it can turn at differential rates (this is the layman's explanation - can you tell?). If you removed it, the car could not run. I do know you are not supposed to run Prius out of gas - in other words you are not supposed to run it even for short distances at low speeds on the electric alone.

    wayne: we do have the PZEV Camry here now - have had it for almost a year in fact. It is really too bad they have not brought out a PZEV corolla, but I think folks here have hit it on the head: too much competition for Toyota's own Prius, given that corolla's mileage is already in the high 30s. BTW, the old SULEV and ULEV are gone now, but there is a ULEV-II and a LEV-II which have taken their place. Of course, those are all California and CA states ratings (NY, MA, ME, VT). The new federal system is a mess: ULEV-II corresponds to the federal rating tier 2-bin 5 I think.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Mikus:

    ___Even though those links have probably been passed around the Hybrid community more then a few times, it was the first time I have read the pages myself. I have read portions of the same from any number of forum members including John1701a in any number of Hybrid forums but couldn&#146;t put the whole thing together … Even now I still only understand 30 to 40% of what was presented but I have got to hand it to whomever came up with that multi-powered gear set - planetary gear set arrangement. They did a heck of a job for the various modes the Prius is driven through. MG1, MG2, and the ICE all work in concert depending on the Prius&#146; drive mode/demand at any given instant. It sounds as if the Author&#146;s thought&#146;s on even better efficiency were incorporated into the 04 Prius (EV only mode on initial movement or even colder temps for longer periods) but the unity of the whole thing still has me pretty amazed.

    ___I thought the Prius engine on a dynamometer? over at Argonne Lab&#146;s was kind of cute as well. Reverse engineering a Japanese device to see what it is good for is money well spent in my book instead of the Japanese reverse engineering what the US used to design and build. It appears like a simple Atkinson cycle so not much was garnered but the efficiency still speaks for itself …

    ___I still have great hopes for the worlds automobile technology advances given the Ford seed money to various US University&#146;s working on the Explorer efficiency design challenges and/or any number of similar projects. Some of these include diesel/Hybrid power trains and that University of TX? Turbine style Star/Ring power mechanism but I am still perplexed as to why none of these ideas are on the road and available today given all the money the US Automobile and Government has spent with literally nothing to show for it over the last 100 years.

    ___Oh well, I guess I can still wait for the Perpetual Motion or Cold Fusion experiments to bare fruit. I have been waiting for 20 + odd years for them as well and will probably be too old to enjoy these whiz bang non-starter/non-achievements. After all is said and done, at least the Prius is on the road today … It is still darn expensive for the efficiencies gained however.

    ___Nippononly, I know. Our 03 MDX is a ULEV-II w/ the older ULEV going out with the 02&#146;s. Honda added another CAT and opened up the intake and exhaust to achieve even better results. It resulted in a very small amount of emissions: 5.3 &#150; 6.3 #&#146;s of Smog-Forming pollution per 15,000 miles outside of California and 2.8 &#150; 4.1 if purchased/driven within … and VT., NY., MA, ME. etc. Not bad for a 4500 # SUV and I have squeezed over 30 mpg on long hwy stretches more then once out of the beast just to limit its CO2 production. Or was it just to save the cost in fuel? I forget ;)

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
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