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Prius Owners w/50K - What We Think Now

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  • I feel your pain and fully appreciate your frustration with honda.

    I had a 2006 Pilot that was in the shop 11 times in the first 5 month. That vehicle was a major piece of crap. i have talked to others who also had multiple problems with Pilots.

    Somehow I think honda bribes consumer reports for reviews and statistics that are significantly better than reality.

    My Prius touring edition should arrive next week. Not sure what color it will be as long as it is black or silver I am okay with it.

    I know many Prius owners who like everything about their cars except tire wear (also voiced in these forums). The touring edition has different suspension and 16 inch wheels. I am hoping that will make a difference in tire wear. The touring model does come with performance tires which probably will not wear well but that will be temporary.

    The good year tires that are on the regular Prius are not particularly good tires. The same model tire was on my pilot.
  • The OEM tires are garbage. Mine are gone at 30,000 miles. Planning on getting a set of Michelin Hydroedge tires. They are expensive but are the best for the Prius.
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    I have the HyroEdge tires on my Prius. They are superb. I originally bought them (at Costco) for our 2005 Corolla and liked them so much, I had the dealer switch them to our new 2008 Prius when we bought it. They were too good to let go on the Corolla (which has the exact same size tires). I will replace them with another set of HydroEdge when they eventually wear out. The original equipment Goodyears, however, did quite well on our Corolla, but as you say, Prius seems to be hard on tires, so not so great on Prius. Can you believe the above-market prices being gotten for Prius's right now?? I just saw a price for a 2007 Prius at a Portland, Oregon Cadillac dealer for $28,995. Incredible.
  • I can't belive what the used Prius are selling for. I'm tempted to sell mine on E-bay to see what I can get and just buy a small used car for now. I just wish that I did not love my car so much or I would.
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    That's the exact temptation I wrestle with these days. My wife won't let me, though, and it's probably for the best in the long run. I hope that the scarcity of available Prii on the open market won't turn into higher theft (and insurance) rates for us. Another thing: there is always the possibility of war with Iran in the near future. Israel is looking like it's going to attack Iran if we won't and the Israeli Prime Minister has said that "Bush is going to do something" before the end of his (Bush's) term. Hmm. Any major upset in the Middle East and you know what happens to the price of oil - I think I'll squash any further thoughts about selling my Prius for a quick profit. Could be the mistake of the century.
  • That is what I go back and forth with. With what is going on in the world gas could get much higher and real fast. Then I have the motorhome that gets 11MPG and I offset that with my Prius! What I really want is the next generation with the new battery pack and plug in, would not even mind seeing a diesel Prius as a plug in. Maybe we can get in the 80 MPG range with diesel and a plug in.
  • janakiramjanakiram Posts: 5
    I am plenty happy with the headroom and elbow room in my Prius Touring model - even with two big 200lb boys. Where the car falls short is in the seats. I take my Prius on long drives and it saves me a ton of money, but the seats are not very supportive for long rides - I like my seats stiff, like in my last car, a VW Golf. Any ideas how I might bolster the seats? Any of the standard aftermarket products any good?
  • janakiramjanakiram Posts: 5
    K&N company (www.kandn.com) claims its air filters enhance power and improve gas mileage, and are guaranteed for life. Does anyone have any experience with K&N products?
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    I've been waiting 3 years for the next version. Good thing I have a 2004 so I can wait.
    Toyota is struggling with the Li-ion batteries. Since I live in the mountains, my wish list also includes and electric turbo and 4WD like the Highlander. The plug in feature only helps if most of your driving is real short trips. I can't see how they can get the electric range beyond 5 miles. Right now in EV mode I can go 1/4-1/2 mile max before the ICE comes on. Battery improvements would have to be 10 fold, with some programming changes to make it practical for around town use battery only use. Not likely soon. Maybe 3 years. Don't believe McCain, Clinton, Greenspan, Gore. They don't have a clue. Read Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute. He knows what's possible and when.
  • Steve,

    What mountains do you live in?
  • bubkisbubkis Posts: 10
    Purchased a Touring Prius in April ("Preferenced/Ordered it just before things got crazy with the 2-3 month waiting lists) Took a month but got the color and style we wanted. The dealer has some visibility as to whats coming off the production line in JPN.

    Findings: Live in Denver area and are in the Mtns every weekend. 2 adults in front, 2-70lb dogs and a beagle in the back seat. Built a carpeted/wooden platform for dogs in back seat & works great. Story tons of "stuff" in the hatch area & feet area of back seat.
    This car is replacing a Ford Explorer. while it obviously doesn't do all the Explorer does, with a few mods and a bit of packing planning it is exceeding our expectations and costing 75% less in gas.

    It doesn't set any speed records climbing the mtns but it actually does quite well. Engine & CVT transmission revs pretty high sometimes but other than that its just fine climbing.

    Weekend Mtn trips - 200 -miles RT - Car averages 39MPG up and 55MPG down.
    Sometimes at Hwy Speeds on slight downhill grade, a soft foot will find the engine running on Battery only & keeping speeds up. (round trip avg btwn 44 - 47 mpg car fully loaded sometimes AC running)
    Driving style makes a HUGE difference in MPG. Heavy foot = 35 - 39 MPG around town. Lite foot = 44-50 Mpg.

    Options & suggestions:
    Got option #2, added after market (front)HEATED, leather(front & back) seats thru dealer for $1500. More colors to choose from vs Toyota and didn't have to take Opt 6 to get leather. (Toyota doesn't seem to offer heated seats in Prius) Thru dealer seats are covered under warranty.
    Added Clear Bra thru dealer - $200. Strongly recommend it.
    DIY Options - Mud Flaps & 2" receiver/trailer hitch for Bike rack. (Both very easy to install & from Coastal Tech), clear Plastic headlight protectors. (prevents rock chips from pitting or cracking expensive headlight lenses), rubber honey comb cargo area mat. Keeps dirt & grime away. Costo Rubber Floor mats.
    Tinted Windows - first time to have them and love them. With all that glass area the tint makes a huge difference in keeping the suns heat out. Cost - ~$200.
    Tires- Spoke with local chain tire store have been using for years & trust them- they suggested when tires need replacing going with 205/55/16's. More choices than the stock 195/55/16's & lower cost too. the 205's are only about 1/3" wider & will fit and minimal/ possibly no hit on MPG.
    We love the car, no complaints yet after 4000 miles....
  • Our Prius has over 80K miles and we too have little to complain about and much to praise. Our '04 Prius has been exceedingly trouble free with only a slight problem with replacement (3 times) of Hd lt bulbs that are stinkers to get to let alone switch. We too have 2 large dogs (1-100lbs & 1-70lbs). We found useing a fitted twin size bed cover for the dogs to lay on w/ the Rr seats in down position works excellent because the fitted corners stay @ corners of seats & Rr corners of the Rr mat. As to care of the car and many of the things you felt to address I would only add that I highly recommend "Wheel Alignment" at 35K to 40K. It preserves the tread a great deal. I know this to be true since this was learned the hard way. It's $$$ well spent just like frequent oil changes. ;)
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    Just read your posting, RR James. Thanks for the tip about wheel alignment @ 35-40k. I know fast tire wear can be an issue with these great cars. (Why is that, by the way?) The twin fitted sheet I will remember, but our dogs don't like riding in the car for some strange reason!?
  • bubkisbubkis Posts: 10
    Dear Rick294,
    I am not entirely sure why the tires wear so quickly other than to point to the Tread Wear Rating number of only 260....
    ie. not long lasting Tread wear.
  • Sorry for not getting back to you sooner but....Grandpas gotta lot to do these days. About the tire wear: I'm not sure there's a complete answer to the issue. Not everybody got the same brand and then there's the issue 'bout tire air pressure...Recommended tire pressure is quite high and some owners fail to keep tires @ the right level. As I pointed out, the problem with Alignment can be a serious factor as to tire wear. I got 51K on my "OEM" tires and then only 22K when I came to realize I had an "alignment" problem that led to new tires again.
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    It could be that I have mistaken the tread wear number on the OEM Prius tires. The same Goodyear Integrity tires on the 05 Corolla we had were rated at 460. Bubkis says his are 260. I did see that low of a figure on some Scion Goodyear tires before we decided to go with Prius. I had never seen a treadwear figure that low before. Pays to take a closer look, apparently. I'm unhappy that Toyota would put that low quality of tire on their products. Disappointing.
  • bubkisbubkis Posts: 10
    Rick294 be sure that they are exactly the same tires.
    The Prius OEM tires are V rated which typically means "higher quality" softer compound with stiffer sidewalls, faster speeds (Corvette speeds) (and lower Treadwear) Why they put them on Prius is unknown to me....

    Check out tirerack.com for the specs on the Prius OEM tires.
    The UTQG # is 260 for this tire.

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/Spec.jsp?make=Bridgestone&model=Turanza+EL400-02&p- artnum=955VR6EL40002&vehicleSearch=true&fromCompare1=yes&place=18

    195/55VR16
    Load Index 86 = 1168lbs (530kg) per tire
    Speed Rating “V” = 149mph (240kph) 86V SL Treadwear: 260
    Traction: A
    Temperature: A260 A A
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The tire size you reference is only applicable for the Touring model.
  • bubkisbubkis Posts: 10
    That is correct. I am driving a touring prius. 16" Tires.

    The 15" tires (Non touring Model) are indeed rated at 460. Based on these subjective tread wear numbers, they should last much longer than the 16" touring models. :cry:
    Check out tirerack.com. They have all the specs on OEM and replacement tires.
    Its an excellent resource including Customer reviews of tires.
  • I bought a used 2001 Prius in 2007 from N. Hollywood Toyota. There were a number of problems that the dealer needed to fix that were not taken care of before they sold it to me. I think I paid too much for the car and could not afford an extended warranty but the original warranty still had some time left on it.

    I had problems with the car not starting periodically but they seemed to have fixed that finally. Now, though, the problem has returned and the warranty has run out. It will cost $215 dollars just to get to the problem, which seems to be with the high voltage system, according to the diagnostic. In addition, a slow break fluid leak appeared a few weeks ago and I am told that it will take 5 hours and $500 just to get to the leak area because it is so buried under other things.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the car but I am disappointed with the reliability and the cost of the repairs, which I can't afford. Does anyone know if it is possible to buy an extended warranty at this late date? Also, I may need to buy a car - does anyone know of a good car broker? I don't want to make another mistake on price paid.
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    I understand that the early Priuses (2003 and older) did have some problems here and there. For brokers, check the Yellow Pages under Automobile or Automotive - Brokers. Priuses, right now, are seen as gold-plated. It might pay to put out the money to get it repaired and then sell it. Last year, Priuses were popular, but this year (after gas crossed the $4 line) they are in huge demand. You didn't state what you paid for the car, but whatever it was, it likely would have been that much more this year. My suggestion would be to skip the extended warranty, get it fixed to your satisfaction and sell it. You'll have no problem selling it, I'm sure. Charge enough to get all your money back that you've put into it. Buy another small Toyota product (Echo, Yaris, Corolla) that get good gas mileage and make a deposit and put your name on a new Prius waiting list. You can always step out of the line if you want to. I understand the 2010 Prius is to arrive in January, 2009. Good luck.
  • Thank you very much for your suggestions. I bought the car for $17,000, thinking that the freeway stickers were worth 2K or 3K. Now I owe $14K and the car is not shown as being worth more than about $12K at best, but it has these problems which, until fixed, would make it worth less. At the moment I am bummed, but I am looking at the options and will figure out the best way to go. Thanks again.
  • bubkisbubkis Posts: 10
    Sarahdance,
    My suggestion would be to fix-er up now and sell ASAP if you're uncomfortable with the car. There is no better time to sell a Prius than when Gas prices are around $4/gal. Prius's no matter what yr, have never been in such high demand... Call a dealer and find out how long the wait list is for a new one. Last I checked in our area it was 3-4 months.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    Get rid of a 2001 Prius. It is vastly inferior to the 2004-2008.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,032
    A reporter with a large financial magazine would like to speak with hybrid owners and their experiences. If you are a hybrid owner, please respond to ctalati@edmunds.com with your daytime contact information no later than Wednesday, August 6th.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • So glad to share the good news that my '04 Prius is running well after a 6K trip out west. We hit the Highplains of the Dakotas, the vast mountains of Montana (Bear Tooth was amazing @ 11,000 ft) The Prius handled the climbs like a trooper. Milage was between 44-47mpgs most of the time. We went on to Glacier Nat. Parks and again not a single problem. Lastly, we went thru Bonnaville Salt Flats in Utah and the temps were over 104 degrees. I managed over 520 mile tanks of gas multiple times b/4 the last blip blinked. I TRUST THIS CAR! That's a fact! Your friend that started this site. Railroadjames ;)
  • rick294rick294 Posts: 77
    Groan...I'm sitting here in my cubicle at work being forced to read about someone's wonderful trip. There oughta be a law... :shades:
  • THERE IS......The Law Of Retirement! Gotta Love It! Railroadjames ;)
  • Actually well over 90K miles on the '04 Prius. A few dings and a chipped tail-light lens (compliments of a huge S.U.V.and the usual wear & tear. 2nd set of tires and only an additional "wheel alignment" (very much needed). 2 head light bulbs and a couple of chips on the windshield. Oh! Slightly dirty uphostery (never get beige again). I still think the "blue"' is the best color of choice. Best dang car ever and I've had over 50. Everybody notice how many more there are out there now?
  • t_wrxt_wrx Posts: 3
    I have an '06 with only 31k miles. Excellent car - a few paint chips courtesy of the 5 AM gravel trucks leaking stones onto the road surface. I cut a sidewall on a piece of road debris and replaced all of the tires with 205-60-15 Bridgestone Potenzas - GREAT improvement in ride and handling! Air filter and wipers are the only other changes. Great car.

    Gripes: the back-up beeper (why is it on the inside?), having to start the car to open & close windows, overly complex controls (hard to see in bright sunlight, hard to hit the right "touch" spots on bumpy roads or in traffic), headlights are almost impossible to replace if you have big hands ... that's about it.

    Hint: ultrabright bulbs will not last in a Prius.

    Al in all ... best vehicle I've ever owned for reliability, utility, and economy.
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