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New Prius Owners - Give Us Your Report



  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    When the last bar is left you have about 1 gal to drive ( 40-50 mi ) then the warning will come on and the last bar will blink constinually. You have approximately an additional 2 gal or so to drive ( 80-100 mi ).

    After 71000 miles I always drive til the bar blinks then fill up. I normally put 9.5 to 10.3 gal in at that time.

    Regarding the 'B' it is intended only for use in steep downhill declines as a type of engine braking. Don't use it in normal day to day driving. Look it up in your owners manual.

    Regarding the brake pads this is one of the best features of the Toyota hybrids. Whenever you let off the gas the computer changes the e-motor to a generator and makes the front wheels drive this generator to charge the battery. This puts a load on the front wheels and helps you slow without use of the brakes.

    The regen brakes only kick in when your actually press the brake pedal which you shouldn't be doing too often. Coast freely as far as possible then use the brakes only to come to a safe stop without hitting anyone. Your original brakes should last well over 100,000 miles with no problem.

    YOu've already discovered one of the best 'unspoken' features of the Prius. Being a 5 door hatch it's actually like a small light truck. I've had a 43" flatscreen TV, my golf clubs and briefcase and two pizza's in the back....with room to spare. I have a customer who goes surfing with 2 friends on the Outer Banks. They carry 6 surfboards ...inside!!!
  • trofrnktrofrnk Posts: 4
    My wife and I have decided that the backup camera would not be any reason to buy or not buy the car. The problem with it is that, like some mirrors, its very hard to judge distance with it. It is also like having blinders on as peripheral vision is very poor. The only time this camera is worth having (IMO) is when your in the downtown minneapolis and need to parallel park very quickly. Its a good Idea, but just using the backup camera without looking would be very dangerous. So if you have to look behind anyway, whats the point of having the camera. Plus, its a distraction. Just one of those gadgets that seems neat, BUT NEVER GETS USED.
  • eba55eba55 Posts: 20
    Thanks. That's what I was thinking too. MPG is much more important :)
  • I have driven a '07 Prius for a year now, and I do not use the backup camera very often. It's like a wide angle lens which makes estimating distance difficult. You can back your car perfectly fine without this camera.
  • schaeffzschaeffz Posts: 18
    The camera does give a pretty good view of what's right behind the bumper. So I suppose a quick glance at it, since it is on the display anyway, could give a warning that there is something there that you may run over. So, I'm going to get in the habit of glancing at the screen before I let off the brake, just in case. I paid for this, so I'll try to use it. And there is the Gee-Wizz factor showing it to a first-time passenger. The beeping also does not annoy me, since I have already several times pushed the gear selector the wrong way, wanting to go to D but pushed it to R. The beep warned me BEFORE I hit the gas pedal. So, both features are there I am sure because a designer anticipated problems. There is a way to disable the reverse beep, but I won't do it.
  • bigmikedbigmiked Posts: 2
    This is a further update to my post on my Prius when it was a week old (post #425). I am now up to 1200 miles and it is a month old, it is still performing flawlessly. I continue to enjoy the vehicle so much I look for places to drive it. I just filled it up today with 430 miles on this tank and received 52.1 mpg with about 50/50 driving on surface streets vrs. freeways. I added window tinting to all windows, with limo tint in the back and on the driver-passenger windows the lightest tint they had. After reading so much on needing non-metallic tinting because of the Navigation system, the installer I went to did not use a non-metallic tint. He assured me in 21 years at his location he has never had a problem with either radio reception or Navigation(maybe 7 years on this). His price was only $150, so I took the gamble. No problems, everything still works great and the car looks great coupled with the cooling/light glare reduction----I am very pleased.
  • pt95148pt95148 Posts: 17
    can you give the address of your tinting guy?
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  • trofrnktrofrnk Posts: 4
    I am posting this due to the accident my wife had april 10 with our 2007 prius. Basically she rear ended someone who stopped on a freeway on ramp doing 40 mph. (ouch) The car she hit only needs a bumper, but the prius is a very sorry sight. It actually drove underneath the rear of the other car. The good news is that my wife was not injured even being 8 1/2 months pregnant. The air bag did not deploy basically because the hood and radiator support crumpling as she drove under the other car cushioned the impact. So overall the car did its job. The repair bill??? Well lets just say my insurance MAY be buying a new car. So far, the estimate is at $10,500, but they still can't get the car to power up, and I doubt they know the extent of the drivetrain damage. I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH- TAKE THIS CAR TO THE DEALER BODY SHOP WHO HAS FIXED THEM BEFORE FOR REPAIRS. BODY SHOPS DO NOT KNOW HOW TO TROUBLE SHOOT THEM!!!!! Now the body shop manager thinks I am second guessing his judgment. Being a mechanic myself I can tell you that if they start "throwing parts" at this car, it will get expensive. Another thing I wanted to mention, Immediately following the accident, the car would not power up at all. In fact, the tow truck driver was swearing about how much he hates these cars, because you can't put them in neutral!!! When theres damage to the electrical system, the car is LOCKED in park so they literally had to drag it out of the lane of traffic. that can't be good for the front tires, or your sanity due to the honking of idiots on the freeway. I found out why later. The car has no brakes when it won't power up so if you could put it in neutral it would likely roll into something. At this point, I realize that my idea to get this car to save gas and pay for itself is not going to pan out.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    Glad your wife is OK.
    I backed my 2004 Prius out of my garage the other morning, right into the side of a workman's pickup truck. Not a scratch or dent on the Prius but a lot of damage to the truck.
  • What is the proper technique to tow a Prius if it is disabled and unable to move into neutral?

    Drag it up on a flatbed?

    Where does one attach the cables to drag it?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter hopes to speak with anyone who purchased or considered a hybrid vehicle in 2007. If this describes you and you care to share your story with a reporter, please respond to with your daytime contact information and a few words about your experience no later than Friday, April 18, 2008.


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  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    "I told my wife of all the virtues of purchasing a third car. She finally succumbed..."
    I keep thinking to myself that this was the wrong decision, but I'm so sick of spending $70 to get 270 miles out of my truck (less than 200 towing the trailer) and $65 for 350 miles from the van. The way I see it we'll save at least $200 a month on fuel alone. "

    I salute you for being willing to increase your monthly spending to reduce the amount of gas you use per month. Obviously this was not a financial situation but an environmental one, so congrats, you are more green than you claimed in your post. :) I wish we were in the position to do the same, but I can't justify the extra expense of a third vehicle or even replacing my current since it's paid off and the car payment will outway the amount of money I'd save on gas.

    Financially, owning a third car makes no sence. If the expected gas savings is $200 a month, that won't come close to making up for an extra car payment, insurance and maintenance of a third vehicle.

    You could always consider selling truck and keep the van so you have one vehicle that the while family can still fit in and it sound like it's still pretty new. You could still haul things with your trailer behind the van. I don't know the towing rate, but the owners manual should say. It might even be able to tow the boat you say you might buy in the future.
  • Thanks for your info. It helps to know these things as to the quirks of the Prius in case of an accident. Towing is another perplexing problem because I own an R.V. and was hopefull that I'd be able to tow behind it. This looks to be unlikely. I'm not giving up though. Still trying to find a way. Another thing is a Rr hitch to tow small & lightweight items. Toyota frowns on any towing but to my way of thinking .....If you can put 4 people in a Prius (approx weight 800lbs) why not a lt weight trailer and a Jet-Ski or utility trailer w/ a riding mower? Seems reasonable to me. I personally love the '04 Prius I own w/ 75K miles w/ no problems.
  • Lately, I have been spending quite a bit of time discussing the
    benefits of operating a Prius. Everyone at work is considering a Prius as either a first or second family vehicle for commuting.

    Personally, I am estimating $2,000 to $3,000 per year in fuel savings, with the range resulting from uncertainties over fuel prices. From my previous vehicle, I am estimating $3,000 per year in maintenance cost savings. :lemon:

    After 5 years, this means that I will save $25,000 which matches the cost of a new Prius. Of course, resale value after 5 years for a Prius is about $16,000. Essentially, my Prius is a free vehicle, my operational savings will meet or exceed my monthy car payments which I have already noticed in my healthy checking account balance.

    Today, I received an estimate on a new battery bank for the Prius of
    $4,000. Spreading the cost of a full battery bank over 6 years of
    15,000 miles per year, gives me one extra year of car payments to pay for battery replacement at 90,000 miles. However, my calculation is apparently erroneous, since my research estimates battery life to extend over at least 180,000 miles. If only all of my calculations were so imbalanced in my favor. :)
  • oldsargoldsarg Posts: 21
    I bought my Prius for the sole purpose of saving money on gas mileage. I drive up to 2000 miles per month or more. The re-imbursement percentage is significantly higher with the 50 MPG with the Prius. In the past two days I drove 350 miles to and from a job. I am always dead tired when I come home from such a long trip when driving my Prius. I am much more comfortable in my SUV and I drive it on occasions especially when I am taking secondary roads. As of late, I am thinking of driving it more, maybe 50% of the time, in order to take advantage of the comfort. There is a significant difference in the comfort. We could all be more comfortable in larger vehicles thus causing much less stress on our lives if the price of oil were reduced so that it does not cause a significant amount of stress on our budgets. There are significant amounts of oil that have been located in Alaska and elsewhere. Oil deposits are the natural process of residue seeping into pockets in the earth's crust. Converting corn into gas is an un-natural process and the cost of making gas in this fashion is significantly higher. I suggest that everyone call their representatives to allow immediate drilling in areas where oil has been discovered thus driving down the price of gas. Just think of the reduction of stress in our lives. We would live longer and be much more comfortable. If you really want the facts, don't listen to politicians and their distortions of the facts.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    well it's good that you're even considering the "...uncertainties over fuel prices..". Most people that do any analyses ( including some purported experts ) do it all wrong by ignoring 3 key factors.

    The first is the price of fuel is probably never going down again. It's almost always going to go up for a number of reasons. Certain analyses like some done here at Edmunds assume that fuel will remain at $2.85 a gallon forever ( wait that can't be right ). As you imply by 'uncertainties' you should factor in some inflation factor in the cost of fuel over the lifetime of the vehicle. If you're a keeper an you stay with the vehicle for 10 yrs and 150000 miles do you really think fuel will be $2.85 a gallon in the year 2018!!!! It's probably going to be closer to $6 or $8 a gallon by then.

    The second huge error all the analyses make is that they ignore resale values. Yes a Prius or a TCH cost more to start out, sometimes. But they also bring more at time of resale. There are now 7 yrs of records on resales on the Prius, a little less on the HCH and the TCH but in every case the hybrid vehicle brings more to the seller. IOW the 'hybrid premium' doesn't cost you nearly as much as you might think. A similarly equipped Matrix and Prius cost about $4000 difference when new. 4 yrs later the Prius brings about $3000 more at trade in or in resale. IOW the 'hybrid premium is really only about $1000.

    The third error made by the 'expert analysts' is that they try to simplify the problem for the uninformed, or lazy, or just not very smart public by reducing the problem to a simple 'recovery period'. There simply is no such concept. The whole idea is faulty. Vehicles are depreciating assets that simply cost us money from the day we buy them til the day we get rid of them. The only valid analysis is to add up all the expected costs over the expected life of the vehicle ( in miles ). Then choose the one that costs the least. This is what small businesses do every day. We afterall are millions of small businesses ( our budgets ).

    But since the 'analysts' have gotten the first two key concepts wrong all of their 'expert' results are also wrong.

    Tell me what you're driving now, how many miles driven annually and it's real world fuel economy. Then tell me how long you'd expect to keep a new Prius, how many miles you'd expect to drive it annually and which package you're thinking of buying and I'll plug these factors into the spreadsheet and show you the results.

    BTW there is no need ever to replace your battery unless you go out of your way to try to damage it. Yes that $4000 quote is correct on getting a new one ( plus labor ) but the warranties are very very long. Most Parts Dept will tell you that they've almost never replaced one, except a few under warranty. It might be the most reliable and durable part of the vehicle. If you live in a CARB state you're covered up to 10 yrs / 150,000 miles.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    " I am much more comfortable in my SUV and I drive it on occasions especially when I am taking secondary roads. As of late, I am thinking of driving it more, maybe 50% of the time, in order to take advantage of the comfort. "

    Not sure how new your Prius is, but you might try a Ford Escape Hybrid. The FWD model is rated at 34 city / 30 highway, and I suspect you could match or better the EPA figures. I just got mine and it is very comfortable on the road.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Posts: 158
    Sorry to hear of her accident, but your hottie escaped unscathed so things could have been much worse !!
    I expected someone else should have jumped in before me, but here goes :

    First you DO NOT want this car back under any condition. Here's what you should know.

    1. The structural integrity of this vehicle has been compromised in many places.Some of which will be spotted by the bodyshop and corrected, some won't show up until 6months, one year, 18months later etc. At this point the insurance company will be long gone.
    Try claiming a front or rear suspension collapse a month later. Sudden shocks are known to untemper a spring or leave it in a weakened state. Well you must have hit a pothole sir will be the response. We don't cover that.

    2. The electrical integrity may have been compromised with shorts and overvoltages during repair and refurb. Then again the computer modules may have been handled without proper static protection safeguards in place. I'm talking anti-static pads on counters, benches and floors. After all, it's a bodyshop not the final assembly at an electronics manufacturing facility so mishandling, despite the best intentions, is possible. The modules will appear to work fine then fail suddenly on you without warning. It will have been that static damage inflicted months before. Of course you can't prove that. Prius has lots of expensive modules, why carry that risk ?

    The best interest for the insurers is to continue to fund the body shop even if they can get full repair with $500 below replacement cost they saved $500 so it's cheaper for them to keep going.
    The best interest of the body shop is to say they can repair anything since Toyota can supply any part of the Prius. The whole car - in the worst case ! The body shop stands to make more money the longer they work, they do not need to consider the economics of the repair. With the insurer in the picture the body shop won't be asking questions, they have almost carte blanche in this scenario.
    The best interest for you is to bargain with the insurer, their first offer "to get customer release" will be low. The cheapest option for them is to have you get the vehicle repaired. They will try to scare you off by deliberately tendering a low price. They want you to adopt the natural reaction which is for you to say " if that's your offer then you can pay for my complete sactisfaction in getting it repaired !" But what you should be doing is bargain with the insurer since that initial offer won't be his final, but you have to get into the ring, as it were.
    Quite frankly you DON"T WANT this car and you may have to take a hit of $5K+ just to get into a car of equal value. Avoiding problems upstream with your old car is probably worth this despite the fact that you were fully insured. Respect that this is a complex machine that you got damaged. Take the hit is my 2cents. You'll thank me.

    Somewhere on Edmunds they must have some articles dealing with insurers no doubt.

    They say that Experience is something you get -- just after you needed it .
  • hihostevohihostevo Posts: 59
    What has been your experiences with Extended Warranties?

    Somewhere in all of my reading I have seen mentioned a 7yr/75000 mile warranty for $800... but when I mentioned this to my dealer he claims that the price is more like $1,300.

    I am getting the option package 6 so there are more electronics to worry about..........

    Just would like you folks opinions and experience.

    I am supposed to pick up the car this weekend.
  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    I got the 7/75000 for $800. If you want me to scan the invoice and email to you, let me know. You can send me an email at scott cov at sbc global dot net - all one word. You can get this for $800, and I would imagine even less if you were ready to buy - all paperwork done except signing, and got up and started to walk out because the Ext Warranty was to expensive!

  • hihostevohihostevo Posts: 59
    Scott - you've got mail! :)
  • carbotcarbot Posts: 14
    What about the Prius makes you dead tired? I drive my '04 all day every day and it fits like a glove. I have 194.000 miles on it and have had no problems. Still have the original brakes. If you babying it for mileage, don't. Drive it like a car. You will still get great mileage and have less stress. Some people on these forums try and try to stretch their mileage by using all sorts or strategies to increase mileage. That just adds to stress. My car is my office. If it isn't moving, I am not making money. No time for babying. I still average around 48+ MPG.
    I agree with you about using corn for fuel. All it does is drive food prices up.
    I disagree with you about drilling in pristine areas. Solar is the answer and all we have to do is find an efficient way to harness it. If we had no oil or gas the solution would suddenly be discovered.
  • Just purchased a 2008 Prius on 4/18/08. 250 miles, averaging 46 mpg. Nothing else I would even consider driving comes even close. I drove a lot of other high mileage cars for about two months before buying. Nothing else even came close. Every day I have this car I am more amazed. Whether it is the technology, the comfort, the fit & finish, the ride, whatever. The overall quality of the Prius is better compared to a $35,000 car. It is a far better car in many ways, even without leather, than the $35,000 Volvo S60 I traded for the Prius, and I love Volvos - my other car is a XC70. Three days after buying the Prius I gave a co-worker a ride home in the Prius. Two days later he bought one!
  • hihostevohihostevo Posts: 59
    Scott........ thanks for the copy of your invoice.........

    Boy you should have heard the "weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth" at the dealership when I pulled that out!

    However, I wound up with the Platinum 7/75 extended warranty with Zero deductible for $850. They also offered pre-paid maintenance plan for 3 years for $800... would that have been a "good deal?"
  • hihostevohihostevo Posts: 59
    Well we picked up our '08 Prius yesterday... by the time we got home we had driven 680 miles from No. Calif. to Las Vegas. Up and down many hills....... car says we averaged 48 mpg for entire trip.

    I checked mileage the old fashioned way during half of the trip by attempting to fill the tank to the same amount of fullness and then dividing miles traveled by fuel used and I came up with 50.9mpg. It is possible that the car was sitting at a slightly different angle while being fueled the second time, but I thought it was interesting that my "old-school" calculations were even better than the readout on the car.

    I have a couple of questions........

    1. Have any of you put the "invisible bra" type coverings on your sloped hoods?? I think I may have already picked up a rock-chip on the hood?

    2. Is there a way to turn off the voice on the voice-command... I understand how it works and just would like it to beep after I push the button rather than waiting for it to tell me EACH TIME I push the button to "wait for the beep and then state the command." It drives me nuts to have to listen to the instructions on how to use the function each and every time I go to use it!

    3. What really additional functional items do I need to consider for my Prius? (I have the option package #6 car)
  • rolinrolin Posts: 13

    I purchased my 2008 Prius with #6 package this past Friday. Naturally, I am new at this, and am trying to understand how to "drive" this car in order to get the best MPG. I drove a Pathfinder for many years, and I have the feeling that I need to learn a different way of driving. I would appreciate it if anyone could pass along some tips to maximize the MPG. I believe that I will love this car as more time passes.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The first point is you are asking the right questions.

    I've been involved with them since they first came here in 2000. The initial thoughts about driving them turned out to be wrong.!! Surprisingly..

    Initially when starting from a dead stop just accelerate normally up to the speed of traffic. Don't baby it or try to 'use the battery'.
    Then when at driving speed let off the pedal and try to maintain your speed with the lightest possible touch on the pedal.
    That's it...Well there are a few other 'tricks'.
    When you think you might have to slow down or stop let off the gas pedal as early as possible and coast to a stop. During this time you won't be burning any fuel normally.
    Keep your tires inflated as much as you can comfortably.
    Try to stay off the highway as much as possible within reason.
    When you are in the city try to keep rolling as much as possible maybe by choosing a route with the least number of stops and stop lights.
    Design your trips with as many right hand turns as possible.!!!
  • rolinrolin Posts: 13
    Many thanks for your reply! I truly appreciate it. Regarding the tires. There is a feature where the tire pressure light will come on if the pressure falls below normal. Should I test the pressure otherwise or rely on the pressure gauge?

    Thank you again

  • When I read that Oldsarg needs to ride an SUV for his comfort, I felt that I was reading the sentiments of more than half of all citizens of the United States. I hope that this attitude will change someday soon. As long as we are driven to have a strategic military interest in the Middle East that leads to repeated wars, then driving an inefficient vehicle is a core cause of maiming and murdering our own citizens as well as those of foreign lands. As long as we import oil from foreign states, the United States will need to kill or maim people abroad as well as our own soldiers. The best response is conservation of resources through the operation of vehicles like the Prius, living in smaller efficient houses, and generally consuming fewer disposables.

    The great myth about oil reserves in the United States, whether in Alaska or off-shore, is that we possess adequate supplies to perpetuate our current level of consumption. Here are a few of the relevant facts:

    Currently, the United States consumes 19.6 million barrels per day, of oil, which is more than 25% of the world's total.. Despite predictions that the U.S. will exhaust it's supply of oil in as little as forty years, the demand is on the increase. Consumption of oil in the United States is increasing at a rate of about 2% annually.

    Oil production for 2000 in the United States was 5.8 million barrels per day of crude oil. The U.S. produces 12% of the world's oil, and and this production is concentrated on-shore, and off-shore along the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast, extending inland through west Texas, Oklahoma, and eastern Kansas. There are also oil fields in Alaska along the central North Slope.

    The United States has 21 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. The U.S. uses about 6.6 billion barrels per year. That is only enough oil to last the U.S. about three and a half years without importing oil from other countries.

    The top five nations with proven oil reserves are:
    Saudi Arabia, 264 billion barrels; Canada, 178 bb; Iran 132 bb; Iraq, 115 bb; and Kuwait, 101. Note for indications of dangerous strategic entanglements that we have occupied Iraq and Kuwait during the past couple of decades as well as shown a desire to invade Iran.

    My conclusions: 1] We need to get out of our SUVs; 2] We cannot produce enough domestic oil to provide for our present demands; 3] We cannot produce enough domestic oil even with the total exploitation of all oil reserves in ANWAR, Alaska, and off-shore taps.
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