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New Prius Owners - Give Us Your Report



  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "We have been so happy with the Camry Hybrid we traded in the wifes all wheel drive Ford Freestyle limited and bought a Prius--LOVE IT--would you believe that it has as much room for cargo as the Ford--well not quite--but close."

    I own a freestyle, and it is not close. BTW, before discussing the two vehicles, they really shouldn't be compared; they are completely different classes, and serve different purposes. Having said that a comparison is foolish, here is a comparison :blush: of the capacities:

    - The FS can seat 7; don't try that in a Prius.

    - The FS has 22 Cu Ft behind the 3rd seat. That is more than the 14.4 Cu ft of the Prius. So it can carry more luggage than the Prius even while carrying those 7 people.

    - 47 Cu Ft behind the 2nd seat - so that is with 5 passengers. This is probably the fairest comparison, since the Prius seats five (with 14.4 Cu Ft of luggage). The FS thus has three times the luggage capacity of the Prius with the same number of passengers.

    - 86.1 Cu Ft behind the first row of seats. Would you believe that the official Toyota site does not list the cargo volume of the Prius with the rear seats folded? Neither does Edmunds. However I would wager it is rather less than 86 Cu Ft, since the total interior volume for Prius is listed at 96.2 Cu Ft.

    MPG wise, yes, no contest - if you are only carrying 5 people and 14.2 Cu Ft of luggage, or two people with ??however?? many Cu Ft there is in a Prius with the back seats flat. If you are carrying 5 on an extended camping trip, or if you have a larger family, other vehicles are more appropriate.

    However, you should note that I get around 23 MPG mixed driving in my 2006 FS SEL, maximum of 32 MPG on pure highway (yes, that is not a typo - 32 MPG at around 60-65 MPH - but I seldom drive that slow. My usual Interstate MPG is 26.5 @ 80 MPH), and around 20 MPG for all-city mileage. Driving style is important, and mine is an FWD as well, which gets a bit better MPG than the AWD. BTW, I have gotten as low as 17 MPG when I drove the FS hard... but I don't drive that way as a rule.

    Enjoy your Prius. It is a fine vehicle for what it was designed to do.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,108
    I have to agree, that many folks posting on the EPA site are getting great mileage with the Freestyle. As high as 27 MPG combined. If they did not want the added size and if they got a good price for the Freestyle, then the Prius is a good choice . If it was a big hit on a trade-in they will never recoup the loss with gas savings, and will have lost the size and utility of the Freestyle.
  • markneupsmarkneups Posts: 2
    My remarks were aimed at tongue-in-cheek, the Freestyle was the perfect vehicle for our needs at the time of purchase-BUT-like the dinosaurrrrrrrr-- I'm sure you understand my exaggeration.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,108
    I don't know how you formed your opinion of the Prius safety

    It is not that great on safety as mid sized cars go. It is 4 star rated by the NHTSA with SABs. Most current mid sized sedans are 5 star rated. Even the Honda Civic Hybrid is safer than the Prius.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I have to take issue with Toyota about local gas mileage being 60 MPG in the city. If you only make short trips where the engine temperature is not getting up to operating temperatures (the first 10-15 miles) and especially in heavy traffic, the gas mileage is about 40 MPG. The only reasonable way to get 60 MPG is in light traffic where one quickly speeds up and coasts most of the time.

    You have to remember that the old 60 mpg city rating is required by the EPA. It's not Toyota's test it's the EPA's test. The manufacturer has no say in the matter.

    The new EPA test is more reflective of reality but it's on the low side IMO. Almost all Prius drivers will exceed the new standards handily. Again these are the EPA's numbers not the manufacturer's.

    The seat comfort issue is certainly subjective since coming from 4 standard model Camry's I like the Prius seating much better. Our Highlander ( RX330 ) is more comfortable for long trips though.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Puleeze....the NHTSA tests are a joke worldwide. They are at least 20 years out of date and they are administered by the largest political body in the world...the US Govt.

    You very conveniently omit to use the harder and more up-to-date IIHS tests which reflect how most other nations measure their NCAP. There is a very good self-assessment of the NHTSA testing at: The NHTSA discusses how it's own outdated testing might be brought up to current standards.

    The more relevent testing for all vehicles is found at:
    specifically small car ratings: small cars

    Since the Govt's ratings are so outdated the only conclusions that can be drawn are Pass/Fail
    4&5 stars are Pass
    3 stars is marginal
    1&2 stars are Fail.

    In the report referenced above the NHTSA addresses this themselves say in effect ' Nearly all vehicles now are rated 4 & 5 stars by our tests yet severe injuries still occur so how relevent are our ratings'
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,108
    Since the Govt's ratings are so outdated the only conclusions that can be drawn are Pass/Fail
    4&5 stars are Pass

    I also prefer the IIHS testing as it is more realistic in comparing econboxes to larger vehicles. You will concede that the Prius without the SABs is POOR by even IIHS standards. I am assuming the 2007 model comes standard with all the safety stuff.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    The 2007 model does come standard with the side airbags. The interesting thing about the 2004-06 models, with optional side airbags, is that the vast majority were sold with this option. This is quite unlike the situation for other small and midsize cars where side airbags were optional.

    The reason? Because of the long waiting lists, most buyers were able to essentially order the options packages they wanted. Also because the Prius attracted a different kind of buyer (not necessarily interested in lowest transaction price), side airbags were commonly ordered. I understand the installation rate on 2006 models was 92%.

    And I will reiterate that the difference between 4 and 5 stars in the NHTSA tests is not significant. This is especially true in the side test where HEAD INJURY measures are not even figured into the star ratings.

    BTW, every car the IIHS has side-impact tested without side airbags has rated Poor, but there are a handful of SUVs and minivans that have scored above Poor without side airbags.

    With regard to fuel economy, the car is simply the most fuel efficient vehicle sold in America today, with EPA city/highway estimates of 48/45 mpg, under the "new" testing regimen for 2008 models.

    Critics had pounced on the fact that few Prius drivers could attain the "old" city rating of 60 mpg. However, this was not the fault of the car, but rather the government testing procedure which was developed long before gas-electric hybrid cars were on the drawing boards.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,108
    I felt it odd that Toyota would equip the UK Prius with all the safety stuff including rear disk brakes and leave the USA version somewhat stripped. I think the SAB option was included in the lower packages. I don't remember seeing anyone get a totally stripped Prius.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yes agreed the Prius, or any other vehicle w/o S/CAB, are are poor choice for drivers now. All vehicles should have them no doubt.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I get a bit of a chuckle over the crash ratings. Seems the only cars that are "really good" are the most recent designs. That is, the current Prius body, designed in 2003, is now not a leader. It was in 2004 when it was introduced. The Honda CRV, introduced in 2006, is really good. It will not be in a few years, I'll bet.

    The last great advance was the side impact air bags (for the shoulder/torso) and side curtain airbags (for the head). The current great advance is active headrests and other gear to minimize damage to the occupants from rear end collisions.

    I'm not negative on any of this, I just find it funny how people forget so soon the good ratings a car design got when it was introduced.

    One very important fact people should keep in mind, is a "safe" car is not necessarily going to be inexpensive to repair after a collision. It usually sacrifices itself to save the occupants. So repairs, if possible, will be expensive. Not a bad thing, just one to always keep in mind. Maybe drive a little slower. ;)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "My remarks were aimed at tongue-in-cheek, the Freestyle was the perfect vehicle for our needs at the time of purchase-BUT-like the dinosaurrrrrrrr-- I'm sure you understand my exaggeration."

    I know what you mean, I had an Odyssey minivan for a long while, but once the kids got out of the strollers, it just seemed way too big.

    Still, I like to keep a perspective on the use of vehicles, and how each one has it's purpose. Often times these hybrid forums enthusiasts get, well, a bit enthusiastic. :P
  • oldsargoldsarg Posts: 21
    My Prius is very herky-jerky when the air conditioner is on. Hopefully, this will not be a problem on the engine in the long term. The natural tendency would be to say that this sort of jerking around would have a long term negative effect on the engine. I'm not sure this has been tested long term. My father-in-law, who was a retired 30 year Navy master mechanic and worked on cars for 50 years, stated that the only type of car that could handle an air conditioner long term was a Cadillac (or similar) with a big block engine. I know that many of the back yard mechnics and bloggers would dispute this idea; however, does anyone have any real data on this?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The Prius air conditioner runs off a high voltage electric motor, not the internal combustion engine (ICE). It runs variable speed as well. The extra roughness may be associated with some extra load on the engine with the generating of electricity. I know it tends to cycle on/off more when the A/C is running. Perhaps this cycling is making you think it is rougher.

    Have a look under the hood. The only belt-driven thing on the ICE is the ICE water pump.
  • nypriusnyprius Posts: 8
    Have my new Prius one week today. I have 475 miles on the car.
    The computer keeps saying I am getting 50 + MPG.... So I put gas in the car 2 times to verify this.
    Once at 300 miles ( took 6 gallons ) and again at 450 miles ( took 3 gallons ) So the computer seems to be right on.
    I drive in the city most of the time AVG 35 MPH.
    Took one highway trip of 150 miles at 65 MPG.
    So far, I love the car!!
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I thought the Prius was supposed to get much better mileage in the city than highway because it can run on battery in city driving.
    You are saying the opposite.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    If you sit in traffic in NYC with the A/C blasting ;) it will lower your mileage.

    The better city mileage is not because it runs on the battery. Common misconception. It's because you don't have a large loss due to air friction. The Prius, unlike "normal" cars, can take advantage of this by shutting off the engine while stopped at lights etc. and can recover about 50% of the energy lost while stopping (regenerative braking). The 50% figure allows for losses in recharging and then discharging the battery, as well as losses in the motor/generator. This makes the statement "running on the electric motor" partially true, but it is just an assist.

    On the highway, you will still loose energy from running the A/C, but you will do so for a shorter time period/mile. You can't take as much of an advantage over a "normal" car re energy recovery and engine shutdown. So the overall mileage tends to be lower, but not always. In nyprius' case, anyway.

    I average better in the city (4.2 l/100 km or 56 MPG US) than the highway (4.9 l/100 km or 48 MPG US). But it's not that hot here, so A/C isn't that big a load, and I don't sit in NYC style traffic. ;)
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The key to driving in NYC or any other city is to keep moving even if only rolling forward. Coming to a dead stop and having to overcome the interia of 'bodies at rest' is a nother misconception about city driving.

    Having lived/worked in NYC for 30+ yrs I took my Prius back to replicate my former commute to Downtown. Going across town from light to light to light to light gives horrible FE, say in the 30-35 mpg range. However turning N or S on one of the major Avenues and just staying with traffic at ~25 mph or crawling on the FDR at 10-20 mph gives a FE of 65-75 mpg.
  • philmophilmo Posts: 77
    As I'm rolling through 11,750 miles this week on a 2007 Package #4 bought last December I don't think it, or I, qualify as "new" anymore. Nonethless, our most recent 2,750 mile, two week road trip is worth review.

    Generally, it's a fun car to drive and a real pleasure in cities and towns. On long stretches of interstate where the posted speed is 75 mph, not so much. Over 70 mph your mileage numbers are penalized by wind/drag as noted elswhere on this site. And the seating is troublesome after a 10 hours or so. On the days where we had lots of stops, sightseeing, activities, etc. it was no problem. But for the big-mileage days I was wishing for our Volvo seats.

    Using an 8gb iPod Nano connected with a $9 Radio Shack auxiliary cable we had plenty of new music. I've complained in other posts about audio quality in the "upgraded" system that is part of the #4 package and learned with many days in the car that tweaking the settings made a big difference depending on individual recordings.

    Our trip took us from Colorado to Oregon and back through Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. As you know, the west has been brutally hot the past few weeks. Big kudos for the climate control system which works well and cools the car down quickly. However, the big, black dashboard is a big, black negative acting as a heat-sink even when the AC is on. Next time you've parked out in the sun awhile and are back in the car hold your hand out over the dash: the heat will be radiating up from below your hand, not down from the window. Next accessory purchase: Prius-specific windshield sun screen.

    We got a 10k mile required oil change and service at a dealer in Bend, OR which resulted in quite a sloppy mess under the hood and with them reducing the tire pressure to spec which we promptly re-inflated to 42/40.

    One thing about driving all day and visiting friends and relatives with this car is that once you get there they then want you to drive everywhere for the novelty of riding in a hybrid and/or the sheer economy. But then there was the one 20-something hotel front desk guy in Boise, ID that said "what's a Prius"?

    It was great fun pulling up to river to fish and pulling out a fully assembled 9-foot fly rod while guides and clients had to re-assemble rigs broken down to fit into pickup trucks and shorter rides. But leather seats would have been preferred under a butt damp from wet-wading.

    The last night out found us in Rock Springs, WY very late where absolutely no motel rooms were available. A call east to Rawlins revealed only of $112 rooms at an "Econo"Lodge that we wouldn't have made it too until well past midnight. In the true spirit of a road trip I decided to make for an I-80 rest stop where I found a dozen or so other folks in the same predicament along with another dozen truckers who probably were regulars at this stop. Hey, it was safe, well-lighted and had a bathroom.

    The good news is that the Prius passed the "sleep-test" -- and with flying colors. Typically a night in the car is about waking up every hour or so to fidget and shift while taking a peek for first light. That night in Wyoming I overslept through sunrise and the starting engines of the departing motorists around me. Was I tired? Evidently. But being able to fold those front seats down flat surely helped.

    Arriving home with 2/3rds of a tank remaining the trip's fuel costs were $184. Fabulous. Best price: $2.88/gl with full service as is the rule in Oregon. Heading west with wife in the car, avg. 51.5 mpg. Returning east after flying her home in advance, avg. 53.5 mpg. No wife jokes, please ;-) She's already hating her new nickname, "Ms. 2mpg".

    That's it from me as I migrate toward the "Old Prius Owners -- Give Us Your Report" section.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,108
    Good report. I like the fact that you can make a big flat place to sleep if you get caught without a motel room. Did you catch any fish?
  • Had the new Prius one week. It is a good car, but I was driving a tuned 300hp WRX wagon so I miss the excess power. It was a great car, but it got totalled giving its life for my wife. The Prius is quiet, crisp handling, and has adequate power. It has its own fun-trying to milk a gallon of gas for best mileage. At least get package 1 with the VSC and backup camera. Keeping the car key in my pocket is good too. Can't lock it in the car that way. Extra window tint is good in a car with this much glass. I wish the backup camera worked without putting the vehicle in reverse. I hate breathing the poisonous PVC molecules (new car smell). Would have liked to get the phone set up package for the future, because the self-righteous nannies are working to get cell phones banned. What they don't know, they can't end, right?
  • Purchased 6 August 2007. Odometer at 2800 miles. Average gas mileage 55 mpg so far. Love this car! Two complaints, however. #1 Drivers seat comfort. Kills my back on long trips. Ok for around town. Wish it were adjustable. #2 Car bangs around on the highway, particularly in the wind or when passing a semi-tracker trailer.
  • 200 miles only so far. Bought a 2008 Touring package 6. I drive a bmw 328i, and wife has a bmw 530i. So far this cmmuter car has been a surprise. Can I throw it around a corner like a 3? Tried to and scared myself. So i only tak eturns at 50mph. I see about 49mpg. And I tend to accelerate and brake a lot. A little slow off the mark at traffic lights. Leather seats are ok, but I really miss lumbar support and finer adjustments you can make with power seats. I am confused about tire pressure - the 16" wheels - the door says 36/32, I see a post here about setting it to 42/40? And the car when I brought it home, and let it rest overnight, still was over 40psi in all tires.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Congrats on your purchase. The tire pressure question is a personal one. The factory pressures are as you note but many if not most drivers inflate to just below the max in order to get less rolling resistance. It does give a harder ride though.

    Your preference.
  • We have 5000 miles on our 2007 prius and have only a couple of complaints. Had the drifting to the left problem initially and it took the dealer 3 attempts to get it fixed. OK now. Very happy to be getting 44-46 mpg combined city and 50 mile commute to work and back. Don't really understand how anyone gets over 50 unless they are freeway driving 55 miles per hour which doesn't make sense. We only get 17 mpg in our PT Cruiser GT turbo. We will probably buy a 2009 if the rumors of 95mpg are even close to correct. Hopefully by then Toyota will have decided to add more features like heated seats, automatic door locks and power seat controls
  • akollerakoller Posts: 15
    Glad to hear you like your Prius. I've not had this much fun with a car for quite a while. I now have 13,500 miles on it and have discovered that the local dealer did something (??) at the 10,000 mile checkup that LOWERED my average mileage from nearly 51 to under 48 with no other change in driving habit, gasoline, etc. I can't understand that, but if anyone has any ideas about what they've done and how to get back to my initial, right-on-target, terrific mileage, I'd love to hear from you.


    Al Koller
  • I have about 3500 miles on my Prius, 2000 of which are highway miles. My average MPG if I take the Odometer reading at gas-up, add up total gallons of gas purchased to date, and divide, I am averaging 54 MPG. It was up as high as 55.2 when I was on the road. I live in Chicago so I do a lot of stop and go driving. I am expecting that my MPG will drop over time as I will not be doing much highway driving until next September. I drive at 70 miles per hour on the highway, try not to make sudden starts or stops, and coast when I can. I have had no problems with "pulling to the left". Also, I want to point out that the computer on the car is NOT accurate for MPG.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    To get better mileage stay off the freeways. The Prius gets very good mileage on 50 MPH roads. You also have to learn to be very gentle on the accelerator peddle. Accelerate normally, but brake very gently, even trying to anticipate lights a block or more ahead.

    But if you just drive it you will get nice mileage.

    I presume by automatic door locks you mean the ones that lock after you reach some speed? Personally I don't need that, but whatever. I also don't need power seats, but more adjustments would be nice. Particularly a seat height adjustment. Also a lumbar lever would be nice. And a heated steering wheel. My rear end can take care of itself heat wise, but my hands can freeze very easily. Hard to drive with mitts on!
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    It really needs fully adjustable seats with height and tilt adjustments.
    The lack of adjustment for thigh support has been a common complaint with the Prius since day one of this model.
    The poorly padded center armrest is another issue, but it could be fixed at a local upholstery shop.
    You will have to just live with the non-adjusting seat if you want to buy a Prius since there is no solution other than to buy a different vehicle.
    Maybe Toyota will finally address this with the redesigned 2009 model.
  • We have had ours for 6 weeks and have 1500 miles on it. The mileage has been between 38-40 but if we worked on it I am sure it could be better. It is starting to get a little cooler too.We like the car alot, it could have adjustable seats but that is a minor issue for us. No mechanical adjustments needed yet and my wife is just in love with this car. The bluetooth for the cell phone is very impressive!
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