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New Prius Owners - Give Us Your Report

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  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Your point? The drop in Prius sales amounts to only 0.9%. Woo hoo!

    Meanwhile, Camry Hybrid sales went from zero in 2005 to 31,341 in 2006. Hmmm, maybe some would-be Prius buyers chose the Camry Hybrid instead?

    And sales for the entire light-vehicle industry dropped from 16,997,203 to 16,559,625, or 2.6%.
  • malaanmalaan Posts: 15
    c2rosa, I believe was referring to an article in Auto Week, where to quote "Toyota USA is looking at ways to move it's backlog of Prius Hybrids. 7 of Toyotas 12 U.S sales regions were offering a low lease payment, cut rate finance deals or cash back to the dealership for each unit sold"

    Hope this helps clarify
  • Mixed feelings First the positives
    - live in central MD and averaging between 44 and 47 mpg
    - seats are relatively high, thick and comfortable
    - Digital dash just below the windshield great idea since line of vision on the road is never really disrupted
    - Tire pressure sensor is very nice and very sensitive, the light came on when I was only 2lb under recommended pressure.
    - JBL 9 spkr sound system w/6CD changer is wonderful. I set Balance to center, fader +1 to the rear, and EQ Treb +1 Mid +1 and Bass +2 and floated right on back to 1973 listening to Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon. I could litterally hear every speaker.
    - cu ft for cargo with back seats folded forward is great.
    - 2nd hidden lower level to cargo area great for tools, jumper cables, flash light, flares etc. etc.
    - Hatch door opening is gigantic
    - Rear fish eye camera on LCD display has been a good help
    - The fuel level last box begins blinking I figure at 3 gal remaining because its nice to think you are on empty and it only takes 8 gals to fill 'er up. Sweet!

    Now the Negatives
    - Floor mats are of so so quality - why doesn't driver's side mat include rubber or some other reinforcing material for heal of gas pedal foot like the carpet has? Mine is way too worn for only 6 months and about 160 hours behind the wheel.
    - Rear curtain to hide things in cargo area is of so so quality. Check out how sturdy and easy to use the one is on an Outback.
    -plastic dash painted to look metalic just looks tacky and cheap and don't ever use one of those Air Wick air fresheners that clasps onto one of the louvres of the dash blowers. If any drips out, it eats the paint and you are left with drip and run marks that are now light gray plastic.
    - traction control is too sensitive and engages too often at bridge expansion joints etc.
    - The internal beeping in Reverse should also be external like most trucks to warn others.
    - Driver should have more control over use of the rear camera. Some times I'd like to see just how close that jerk behind me really is.

    That about covers it.">
  • ukr2ukr2 Posts: 3
    I got my Prius #5 Monday.
    I posted the Price info under Prices Paid #439
    I've followed the Prius Forums since 2003.

    I had a new '99 Avalon and wrote to Toyota to try to get them to add the Hybrid to it. They put it in the Camry first, but the Camry has a small trunk, tight for the golf clubs and MPG disappointing

    I really liked the Avalon, but wanted a Hybrid as my next car. This year's Auto Show has the Chevy VOLT that's promising for a US car, but won't be ready for 3-6 years.
    Other manufactures' Hybrids have terrible MPG. Some have Highway MPG better than City MPG. Crazy.

    When Toyota advertized 0% Financing for 24 months, it was time to get the Prius. The outside of the Prius is narrower than the Avalon, while the interior has plenty of room. I'm 6'2", 250 lbs, tall torso, yet room over my head. My tall friends may need to sit lower to clear the backseat roofline.

    I've spent 3 nights reading the manuals. (Retired Engineer) They barely include ANY Hybrid info. This forum, PriusChat and other forums have more tips and tricks. Why is Toyota keeping its owners in the Dark?

    It's fun driving and noticing the Energy screen with MPG in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. I hope it's accurate.
    I only got 21-26 MPG in the Avalon.

    The NAV works great. At least to the store and back home, so far !!!

    I'm considering replacing the Air in my tires with Nitrogen, like I had in my Avalon. Tire Dealer here promotes it since Nitrogen volume and pressure are near constant for Summer/Winter temp changes. Toyota Dealer didn't want to install the system, since Toyota doesn't push it.

    I'm driving with a smile.

    ukr2
    Victor, NY
    2007 Metalic Grey #5
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Congratulations on your decision. You are right about the manual not explaining much about the workings of the hybrid system. It's more about safety and how the buttons work.

    For more indepth info on how the system works and some of its quirks Priuschat and Greenhybrid are great sites for an inquisitive retired engineer. There are engineers, including Toyota engineers/techs, always posting on these sites.

    I wish that I had one of these during the 20+ years that I was commuting into and out of NYC in the 70's, 80's and 90's.
  • reba05reba05 Posts: 36
    I very much agree to this:
    "Most peopel who buy a Prius are really stretching their budget to buy one and can only do so with the government tax credits and other incentives. Face it, the Prius is a very expensive economy car and is not affordable by a lot of people"

    I own a 2003 Toyota Echo, yes its a little smaller than the Prius, but I paid $9,200, 34,000 miles, 2 years old at the time and I get 41mpg highway/36mpg city. To pay $20K or more for something that gets 10 mpg more than my car...not worth it. Also, how much is maintenace on a hybrid versus a regular car?? I would assume higher....hybrids need to come down in price for us normal folks.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    Toyota has no incentive to bring down the cost of hybrids if the government is offsetting the costs. If they start to sit on the lots, the price will be reduced to make them sell, and Toyota will have to figure out ways to manufacture them cheaper.

    Government handouts and incentives are actually detrimental to getting costs down for all purchasers.

    One could actually make the same argument about any expensive car - people without certain income levels cannot buy them. This is not news to me.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    Toyota has no incentive to bring down the cost of hybrids if the government is offsetting the costs. If they start to sit on the lots, the price will be reduced to make them sell, and Toyota will have to figure out ways to manufacture them cheaper. In fact, government handouts and incentives are actually detrimental to getting costs down for all purchasers.

    The hybrid incentives voted in by congress were intended to help the auto manufacturers, not the consumer; hence the 60K car limit on the full credits.

    One could actually make the same argument about any expensive car - people without certain income levels cannot buy them. This is not news to me.
  • malaanmalaan Posts: 15
    It's not about how much the vehicle costs, it's more about Environmental issues. Yes the Prius is more expensive that your regular run-about, but this is placed more on the technology involved in getting the vehicle to where it needs to be in terms of gas emmissions. Yes it does have great mileage to boot. It doesn't cost anymore than a regular vehicle to service. Ok I paid a little more, but I chose to do so, and I am one of the "normal folks"
  • south4south4 Posts: 32
    As you use your Navigation system I would appreciate hearing more how yours is working. I posted a couple of entries on this forum around Jan 30. Mine has not worked correctly and I am still waiting for the dealer to help. I bought my Prius the first week of the new year.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    And with the $3150 tax credit that expired in September, a Prius with the lower line options was about the same price as a Camry 4-cylinder with a similar light option load.
  • south4south4 Posts: 32
    My cell phone died this week and as long as I have to replace it , I want to take advantage of my Prius' ability to play the phone through the speaker system. I spend a fair amount of time waiting for children to get out of school or an activity and often spend it catching up with family in other states. I'd love the ease of having the sound in surround from the car's speakers.Has anyone hooked their phone up-I understand some work better than others but the dealer had no recommendations. I'd appreciate any feedback on this.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    You get the bluetooth phone connection audio only out of the drivers side front speaker. It's not there to play MP3s on your phone, it's there to use the phone. If you want to play MP3s (sound from all speakers) you'd have to use some kind of adapter cord from the phone to the aux. jacks in the car.
  • south4south4 Posts: 32
    I was told some blue tooth capable phones work better than others with the Prius audio system for making phone calls. I'd like cell phone recommendations from anyone who has hooked their phone up to the prius audio system (for phone calls) with great results.Sorry if my earlier post was unclear.
  • I just bought an LG VX5300 bluetooth phone for the Prius - it works beautifully! The sound quality & clarity is great. This - REALLY - is the only way to go if you must use a cell phone.
  • philmophilmo Posts: 77
    I'd start with the list of compatible phones from Toyota's website...

    http://toyota.letstalk.com/brands/toyota-bt/home.htm

    The folks at my Verizon store "weren't sure, the list changes all the time".

    My wife got a Verizon LG Chocolate which works great except for the fact that you can only tranfer numbers from the phone to the car 10 at a time when you're setting it up.

    Phil
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Further to my earlier report...

    2005 Prius ( nee' Nov 30 2005 ).

    It's now 14.5 months and the odo just turned over 40,000 miles. Total average fuel economy over the 40000 mi is 48.1 mpg. ( It's about 45 mpg in winter and 51 mpg in summer ).

    Free oil/filters every 5000 miles and I pay for the tire rotations. Nothing else.

    Oh the Bullseye?
    .. within the first 5 months I drove over an allen wrench that fell out of another vehicle and blew out the right rear tire. Stuff happens: $95 new tire
    .. two months later, a rock created a star which I had sealed at no cost to me.
    .. crack began to propagate in the heat of summer, had it resealed at no cost to me.
    .. just before its first birthday I hit some gravel on a sharp steep highway off ramp and banged into the curbs several times. Two new wheels and a control arm: $1500
    .. 8 weeks later a doe ran up and T-Boned me and stole my outside driver's side mirror ( she had a date? ). Dents and mirror and windshield ( it made the windshild crack even more ): $3200
    .. this week a driver ran into the same side behind the deer attack and dented the rear driver side door and wheelwell. awaiting estimate

    It runs perfectly and still gets 45 mpg now in winter.

    I just need some camo paint .... or rather a bright neon sign.
  • I just bought a new 2007 Prius two weeks ago and am happy with the car except that there is a shudder or clunk sound when it transitions between battery and gas. I had expected it to be far smoother. Is this typical or could this be something needing mechanical adjustment? I haven't read anyone's blog that mentioned this previously.
  • malaanmalaan Posts: 15
    I have an 07 as well purchased mid-January. The noise you are getting... is it when you are at a stop, and then the engine kicks in to charge the battery, or is it when you are moving..?
  • When the car is cold and it starts with gas assist there can be a big shudder when it transitions to battery (feels like a gas engine conking out) but the shudder/clunk also occurs when stopped otherwise and also moving. It's just not a smooth exchange between gas and battery.
  • I've had my '07 Prius for two weeks also. It does the same thing. I have just about decided to take it back to the dealer and see if maybe it needed an adjustment of something. I am also having to work to get 40 mpg. I don't know if this is normal.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    You can do some reading here in this thread and the other Prius threads at Edmunds to get a feel for what is going on with your new Prius. You also might want to do some research at PriusChat.com and GreenHybrid.com

    The shudder is a normal phenomenon. It happens occasionally. Don't pay it any mind.

    Your mileage.
    These are the criteria that affect your personal fuel economy: Please give us some input on your personal type of driving.
    Where do you live/drive?.......................
    What is your precise amount of .. City driving?........ Highway driving?........
    At what speeds do you drive? City?....... Highway?.........
    What type of city driving do you do?..........
    How long are your trips?...............
    Is it just you alone or carpooling?...........
    What's the weather been like recently?..........
    What's the normal terrain you drive over?...........

    Each one of these factors is a subtraction from a 'nominal' 55 mpg estimated by the EPA for perfect conditions.

    For example short trips under 10 min may cut your personal fuel economy by as much as 20% so your personal FE should be about 44 mpg if all the other conditions were perfect.

    At 40 mpg you may very well be exceeding the normal fuel economy for your terrain and weather and area.

    Provide some more info. Also it takes about 5000 miles for the vehicle to begin to breakin. At 10000 mi it's better yet.
  • It's good to know that the shudder is normal and happens occasionally. I'm thinking,after reading other comments, that the reason I'm getting lower mileage may be because of the type of driving that I do. I do mostly city driving, to and from work, to the store, etc. - Mostly 10 or 15 minutes at a time. - Alot of stop and go. The weather has been warm recently. 70's and 80's- ac on. I live in the foothills so there is alot of driving at a gentle upslope. All of this makes my mpg go down?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I assume that from the temps that you live in SoCal. The weather is not a major factor in your personal fuel economy. Your short trips are the major factor along with a lot of stops and start ups and the fact that the vehicle is still new and stiff.

    Hint: on the screen that has the bar graphs keep it there while you drive. The instantaneous bar graph at the right will show you what fuel economy you're getting all the time while you drive. When you put your foot into it the bar goes to 30-40 mpg when you let up and ride with a 'light' foot then your FE will go to 100+ mpg. Try to keep the fluctuating bar as high as possible without going too slow and blocking traffic.

    Hint: when driving stop and go anticipate your stops as early as possible and let off the pedal entirely and coast to a stop. When you let off the pedal at speeds under 41 mph you actually turn off the ICE and burn no fuel at all.

    Hint: try to combine short trips into longer ones to get the most efficient use from a warmed up engine.

    Except for the short trips and the upslope you actually have very favorable conditions to get FE in the 50-60 mpg range. Trial and error and patience.
  • malaanmalaan Posts: 15
    I live in Kansas City, and the weather has been frigid over the past couple of weeks, with daytime temperatures hardly out of the teens. During this time, I have seen fuel efficiency deteriorate. Before the cold snap, it was easy to average 46mpg... but during this period mileage has been around 35mpg. Daytime temps for the first time this year got into the low 60's today, and the car was able to stay in the mid to upper 40's.... same drive to and from work... but not as cold... zero heater usage as opposed to minimal heater usage. I cannot account for the mileage difference other than the cold weather... any other ideas.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I posted this back on the Camry Hybrid forum back in Dec. It probably will answer your questions:

    Now that winter is fully here you might want to take into consideration some of the following factors which can often be outside your control entirely. These generally act to decrease your fuel economy. But, hey, it's the same for every vehicle on the road as well. For some it's even worse.

    Factors affecting your FE ( and everyone else's also, btw ) in decending order of importance...
    1) Towing anything is a huge penalty possibly as much as a 50% reduction in FE
    2) Lots of weight in the vehicle, passengers cargo etc. ( EPA tests are done empty ) deduct up to 20% from your 'Norm'
    3) Short trips under 10 min - deduct 20% from your 'Norm'
    4) Snow, Rain, sleet - deduct 15%
    5) Strong head wind - deduct 10%
    6) Cold weather - deduct 5 - 10%
    7) High speed driving 0ver 70 mph - deduct 5 - 10%
    8) Many starts from a dead stop ( going from stop sign to stop sign to stop sign ) - deduct 5 - 10%
    9) Terrain - fortunately 'what goes up..' usually this balances out on a RT
    10) Winter fuel - deduct 2 - 5%
    11) Low tire pressure - ? How low

    Now these are cumulative, so short trips with a lot of stops ( -20% )( -5% ) in winter ( -7% ) on slick pavement ( -15% ) can result in as much as a 40 - 50% loss from your personal 'Norm'. The bright side of this is that your 'Norm' is higher than most others at 39 [ 45 ] mpg. If your Norm was only 26 mpg for example you might expect to get 13-15 mpg.

    This is really really important when you consider how much more fuel you use in cold weather but also how much less you use relatively to a an ICE-only V6 driver. ( See below )

    TCH 'Norm' 39 mpg uses 25.6 gal per 1000 mi driven
    TCH 'Winter' 25 mpg uses 40 gal per 1000 mi driven

    ICE 'Norm' 26 mpg uses 38.5 gal per 1000 mi driven
    ICE 'Winter' 15 mpg uses 66.7 gal per 1000 mi driven

    In 'Normal' driving an ICE driver will only use about 13 gal more than a TCH driver for every 1000 mi. In 'Winter' however, that ICE driver will now use over 28 gal more than a TCH driver for the same 1000 mi.

    Enjoy your hybrid. It will be Spring soon.
  • Please advise me/us what a dealer says but from what I read, dealers unfortunately don't always know a lot about the Prius. I am busy reading Prius owner's forum comments in this site and Priuschat (thanks to whomever told me to check out that site, it's great!) and learning A LOT! Very, very informative! Other Prius owners commented that the shudder/clunk works its way out to a smoother transition between battery and gas after car is seasoned. Hope so!!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I've sold them since they first came out in 2000, maybe one of the first on the E Coast, then bought my own in Nov 05. I believe that the Prius is one of the best vehicles Toyota has ever made, ditto the HH and TCH.
  • Wonderful news re. Prius as one of the best vehicles Toyota has made since I love Toyotas and as an environmentalist was prepared to really love the Prius. As a dealer in addition to a Pruis owner, do you have any input as to the shudder/clunk between battery/gas rather than a smooth transition, which is my question?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    It occurs occasionally in mine. It's certainly noticable but I don't give it much attention. I find it occuring more often just after startup and in cold weather.

    If yours in noticable all the time then I'd have it checked but the normal transitions of which there may be hundreds in the course of an hour's drive are imperceptible.
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