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New Prius Owners - Give Us Your Report



  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    I've had my pkg 2 Touring now for just over a month. So far, driving conservatively with primarily short ( 3 mile ) trips to work, the mileage has been around 42. Not stellar, but I am sure that will improve with rising temps and more break-in miles.

    One question I do have for longer-term owners is in regards to the sound quality of the basic system. Is it as "bad" as I seem to think? By that, I mean virtually no 'presence', somewhat muddy sound, no real volume to speak of, basically blah...better suited to AM talk shows. Or, should I check another vehicle out at the dealership? I just burned a CD for a friend, and took it out to the car to check it out. I literally turned the volume up to max, waiting for the car to fill with sound, and honestly, it never did. The good news is that there was no distortion, but then, at the volume level I achieved even at max, there should have been none. I don't think I could have turned the radio itself up that high, but it seems the CD does not generate high sound levels.

    Anyone have any thoughts?
  • Hi,
    For an old guy, with MANY years of jet engine noise blasting me, It seems fine.
    BTW we added the in dash 6 cd changer to both our #2pkg cars- about $590 plus $60 labor.
  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    lol, don't you just love turbojets....Used to love it when you could watch 707s from behind a chain link fence as they taxied out, "drenching" you in sound, pressure, and the aroma of jet fuel.....

    Anyway, the sound system is okay. I detest those morons who think thumping distorted bass is music. Give me deep but crisp bass anytime, along with a bright midrange, and clear treble. I guess I'm asking too much of what can't be a very expensive installation. I was stunned last year when I was fiddling with the radio in my mother's 1993 Cadillac Deville, the base system, not the apparently overblown Bose. I was shocked at how good it was. Wish all my cars sounded like that.
  • Hi,
    Am retired TWA Pilot.
    When I started in 1966 the old 707 "water wagons" didn't have much thrust but sure put out a lot of smoke and noise.
    The Convair 880, that I flew at first, was smoky as well but had some power.
  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    "Host" might yell at me for continuing this.....

    I used to watch the 707s in Fla about 62 and 63. Wonderful. Probably that and my older brother's love of aircraft is what steered me to Fairchild Republic after college.

    Convairs....they were the muscle cars of the bunch. If I am not mistaken, the 990 was the fastest of them all.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
    We DO need to get back to the Prius, but being an incurable plane watcher, it will be a gentle reminder. ;)

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  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I've read that other owners found disconnecting the front centre speaker fixed a lot of the audio "problems". They said it cleaned it up.
  • Hi,
    990's were faster marginally. We used to race an American 990 from DTW to LAX--Neither of us had more than 10 passengers.
    Pre de-regulation so fuel burn etc NOOOOO PROBLEM.
    Thanx for your patience moderator.
  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    well, next-to-last.....

    Just so neat. Harkens back to the Rat Pack, sappy Doris Day movies, and fondue

    Once the Prius is broken in, I'll turn off the display, and race a Civic Hybrid.
  • We bought an 07' Prius in November. The battery ran down twice just sitting in our garage. The first time it sat for 3 days. We had it towed to the dealer. The service dept said the Prius HAS to be started at LEAST every few days or it will run down. Yikes.

    A month later, we went away for a week. When we got home it was DEAD AGAIN.

    We are done. We won't be keeping a car that dies in the garage after sitting for just 3 days.

    Here is something from that Prius owner's who live in the snow belt might want to read.

    Prius Shuts Down in the Snow, Reader Complains

    Toyota Calls Automatic Power Reduction a Safety Feature
    By Joe Benton

    January 26, 2007

    The Toyota Prius is known to occasionally shut down its hybrid engine system for no apparent reason, wear tires quickly and unevenly, even drain a battery dry when parked for an extended period.

    But here's one of the oddest Prius stories on file at ConsumerAffairs.Com:

    "When my car is on any kind of slick surface that causes one of the front wheels to slip, ALL power to the drive system is stopped," wrote Christopher of Reston, Virginia.

    Christopher said he first experienced the problem with his Prius "on a sloped gravel driveway in July but discounted it as a temporary thing."

    Then the snow fell.

    "This past weekend I was on a snow-covered road with about an 8- to 10-degree grade. Driving at 20 miles per hour, one tire began to slip on the snow and the car came to a stop. The wheels then refused to engage, because one would slip a little, regardless of throttle position," he wrote.

    Christopher tells ConsumerAffairs.Com that he "had cable style tire chains and installed them properly on the front wheels and tried again. Still, a tire would slip on the 4 or 5 inches between the cables and the car would refuse to move."

    Ultimately, he said, the only way to get the car up the remainder of the hill was to get out and push while his son put a foot gently on the throttle.

    His Toyota service manager told Christopher that he was able to duplicate the symptoms on a level snow covered surface and apparently achieved the same results with two other Prius cars that were in the dealership fleet.

    But after reporting the problem to Toyota, the service manager told Christopher that the Prius was operating as designed.

    Christopher said that he "will consider this vehicle unsafe for road use under any snow or ice conditions and frankly feel that if all Prius vehicles are designed to do this someone ought to look into the situation to try to force Toyota to modify the design."

    Not a Safety Problem

    Toyota spokesman Bill Kwon agrees that the traction control systems in the Prius could impact performance in snow conditions but says that is not a safety problem.

    "Prius has TRAC (traction control) as standard equipment," he said. "The purpose of traction control is to helps prevent wheel spin and minimize slippage of the drive wheels by applying brakes and/or reducing engine power."

    Kwon points out that an 8 to 10 degree grade "is a fairly steep grade and combined with snow would cause a loss of traction which will activate the traction control system and therefore reduce or cut power."

    "A vehicle without TRAC in those conditions," Kwon adds. "would probably just start spinning in place and eventually spin out of control. In my opinion, it's better to have the vehicle stop then to have the wheels spinning and out of control."
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Traction control issue: old news.

    Regarding the battery, something must be wrong. I assume you power down the car properly. My guess is that the battery is bad -- couldn't they have at least checked? You can also get the battery checked for free at auto parts stores like Advance and AutoZone.

    My son and daughter-in-law bought an '06 Prius last July. The last time he mentioned it, they only had 1800 miles on the car, which tells me it's not used much (they commute to work by subway in NYC). The car is parked on the street, through the cold winter -- no problems with a rundown battery.
  • mikenishmikenish Posts: 2
    Just bought a 2006 Black Option 6 touring model with XM Satellite radio and tinted glass from North Park Toyota of Boerne, Texas on March 31.

    As someone who has operated some sophisticated equipment – I’m very impressed with the Prius. My first car was a new 1972 Corvette. Then I flew the General Dynamics F-111 when it was the most sophisticated airplane in the world (You are not sipping gas at Mach 2.0!), and most recently, the all LCD-display Boeing 717, which is a completely computer controlled airplane (and very fuel efficient). I have to say there are many similarities in the feeling the first time I took off in a 717 and driving the Prius home! This car has got a level of sophistication that amazes me.

    Figuring $450 for the XM radio, Edmunds TMV price is $28,645, MSN Auto’s MSRP is 30,065, invoice 27,050. I paid $27,761. We bought just in time to catch the $1575 tax credit before it dropped to $787.50, and got the 2.9% financing. Looks like we got the April 3 discount of $1750 on Package 6.

    On my 14 mile city commute, I’m averaging 48 mpg according to the computer.

    I traded in a 1998 Camry, and my USAA Auto Insurance only increased $26.99 for the six month billing period.

    I too agree that the instantaneous MPG indicator is good feedback, and causing me to be a smoother and more careful driver. I never thought accelerating smoothly and avoiding braking could be a game.

    I agree that the owner’s manual is hard to read, and I do notice a vibrating sound coming from the front when I’m not on a smooth road. Sounds like a metal on metal vibration. There is a good inventory in the city right now of Prius’s, and there are not too many on the road in San Antonio yet, so it is still a novelty here.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    Welcome to the Forum. Who do you fly for? I love that new 717 that Hawaiian Airlines uses inter island. I was afraid Boeing was going to do away with the MD80 design. It looks like they improved it. Good luck with your new car.
  • I assume your new Prius in an '07 model, not an '06 as you wrote. Are you certain you got the new $1750 package discount, low cost financing and the $1750 tax credit? I thought the new package discounts only started on cars bought in April? Norskeyman
  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    Regarding your vibrating sound, I, too, have a Touring, and bought it knowing there was a rattle of some sort that I figured I could find since it was so apparent. But I have not been able to figure it out. I THINK it is coming from up front, but at times, it seems to be behind me. Worse still, it is not consistent, and is less apt to happen in warmer temps. It sounds much like the rattle of a loose sun visor, and is generally set off by sharp bumps. No I've not gotten it back to the dealer yet, but will soon. Wonder if it's a Touring thing. If you find the cause of your vibration, please report it here.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    That article is old news but thanks for posting it for the 78th time...( see several hundred posts on GMI, Ts, Greenhybrid and PriusChat about this bogus article )...

    You were done a disservice by the person who delivered your vehicle to you without going over everything. There is a very simple way to avoid your problem. It takes less than 1/2 second.
  • philmophilmo Posts: 77
    We bought an 07' Prius in November. The battery ran down twice just sitting in our garage. The first time it sat for 3 days. We had it towed to the dealer. The service dept said the Prius HAS to be started at LEAST every few days or it will run down. Yikes.

    A month later, we went away for a week. When we got home it was DEAD AGAIN.

    We are done. We won't be keeping a car that dies in the garage after sitting for just 3 days.

    Do have have the keyless entry system? Did you make sure your key fobs were at least 15 feet away from the car while you were away? There's a section of the manual that states some such requirement as the fob and onboard system will continously "poll" each other while within a certain distance which will eventually run down the battery.

    We just returned from a 16-day trip where our 07 was left in a cold, Colorado garage. Our key fobs were at the other end of the house in a drawer. Started right up this morning with three blue bars.
  • south4south4 Posts: 32
    Question about battery run down. I thought my car was off and I must not have hit the power button hard enough because I came out three hours later and the car was still on! It ran and the battery bars went back up , but I wonder if I have harmed the long term life of the battery. Does anyone know?
  • I have a 2 week old '07 Prius, and at times I also notice the "shudder vibration" when the ICE shuts down. The transfer is not quite as seamless as I would like, but my understanding is that this characteristic is normal. Norskeyman
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    There would be no harm to the main battery pack, and I doubt the life of the conventional 12-volt battery will be affected.
  • What about the windows? Why are they listed as High Solar Energy Absorbing and look the same as "regular' windows? Our Sienna and Mariner have "black" side/rear windows. They are described as HSEA windows too. The Prius has "regular looking" windows, but are described as HSEA type. Wassup?
    I have seen the "tinted" windows at the dealerships - they are added by specialty shops. I could use the darker windows here in Texas.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Ocassionally it shudders. I don't pay it any mind. No one has ever mentioned anything other than they notice it.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    HSEA means the ability to screen out the portion of sun's rays that you can't see -- like ultraviolet.

    Federal regulations (safety standards) do not allow CARS as delivered from the factory to have dark-tinted glass, but vans, SUVs, and pickups are allowed to have such glass behind the B-pillars.

    States vary in their laws about how much tinting you can add. I prefer no added tinting myself, because I want maximum visibility at night. I just wear dark sunglasses when it's bright outside. My 2 cents.
  • I too wear sunglasses. My concern is the leather and trim being "tanned" by the Texas sun. 20% blockage is the maximum allowed by the state. This applies to the front door windows only. You may have as dark as you like behind them. The really dark ones make it very difficult to see out when it rains or at night. Changing lanes can be an adventure.
  • Picked up a 2007 package 4 on Friday and happened to have a weekend where we had to do more travel than normal. By Sunday afternoon we had put about 175 miles on the car (including almost 50 home from the dealer) with an average MPG of 52.3 in mixed suburban/"pseudo highway" driving. ((Anyone knowing US Rt 301 in Maryland east and south of Washington DC should understand pseudo highway. Some stretches are open road, but much of 301 has lights spaced anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 mile apart. Maintaining 55 mph is hard in the areas with lights.))

    The average MPG went up when I was driving and down when my wife was driving. I adapted faster than she did to the need for a lighter touch on the gas pedal. I've been able to drive anywhere in our neighborhood (fairly flat) solely on electric at speeds up to 29 mph. As soon as I hit 30, though, in the neighborhood, the gas engine kicks in. And, obviously, it takes a very light touch on take off to keep it on electric even on the neighborhood streets.

    One concern, though, is the A/C system. High temps here were in the upper 70s Saturday and Sunday and the A/C seemed weak. We changed to recirculating and that helped somewhat, but it still doesn't seem as strong as the A/C on the ancient T-bird I traded in or the Mercury Sable that was my wife's car and now is my car.

    The Prius is fun to drive, even if a little squirrelly in crosswinds. After a weekend of driving only the Prius, the Sable seemed heavy and sluggish this morning, although it drove just like it always has.
  • philmophilmo Posts: 77
    Our mileage is up to the mid-50s now that things have warmed up in the Rockies, and will likely see another bump once they switch back to regular fuel from the winter oxy version. It was in the 80s today down in Denver but the AC got things cooled down quickly after an hour in a strip mall parking lot. Perhaps our low humidity helps, but I've no complaints regarding the AC. One thing I am worried about is how hot the LCD module on the dash gets sitting up there next to the windshield and containing so many components. It's nothing if not the very definition of a black box. Time will tell...
  • florida_wenflorida_wen Posts: 29
    My Wife and I have just ordered a new 2007 Prius Touring w/package 5. We were both very curious as to WHAT EXTERIOR COLOR DID YOU CHOSE ?? Out of five dealers (Tampa/Lakeland Florida area) we visited and "talked" with we were "told" that the most popular as well as most difficult color to get was the (blue) Seaside Pearl which we were very disappointed when we saw it as it is not "metallic" and lacks "depth". We actually fell in love with the (light green) Silver Pine Mica which has various "different shades" depending on the amount of daylight and time of day the sun shines on it (or if it's cloudy) !! Like they say, "To each his own" ..... and I am sure many people love certain colors and hate others.... we were just curious as to what "percentage" bought WHICH EXTERIOR COLOR ?? Thanks..............
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    White. Perfect for Florida.

    I got mine at Earl Stewart Toyota in North Palm Beach, FL, back in November. $500 over invoice, no ridiculous dealer fee.

    By the way, if you to to, you can see the on the ground and incoming inventory for every Toyota / Scion dealer in the South East Toyota distributor region. It's a great way to see what inventory is available.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    How is driving the Prius in temps of 110F?

    Does the A/C have the capacity to keep you cool in really hot weather in slow city traffic or was the capacity reduced in the effort to maximize fuel economy?

    How much of a hit in fuel economy to you take with constant A/C use in city and highway driving?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    My son and daughter-in-law bought an '06 Prius almost a year ago in Silver Pine Mica, their first choice. Beautiful color!

    I actually prefer blue myself, and I'd get the Seaside Pearl if I were in the market for a Prius.

    My guess is the most popular color for the car is silver (not silver pine, which is green).
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