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Toyota Prius and Honda Hybrid: Will anyone buy Hybrids??



  • ejsejs Posts: 36
    So, wouldn't a side effect of hybrid vehicles be the elimination of the stick shift?
  • dae3dae3 Posts: 55
    Actually, the honda hybrid only comes with a
  • ejsejs Posts: 36
    Rock on! I figured that since onboard computers decide which power plant to use and when, you wouldn't get to choose gears yourself. Anybody know about the Prius?
  • manchildmanchild Posts: 18
    It depends on how the power is distributed through the car. In the Honda Insight, the electric motor is there to provide more power to the combustion engine during hard acceleration and hill-climbing, so you can row gears on the combustion engine to increase power.

    Now, on a series hybrid (and GM has a prototype of that as well), the engine exists only to charge the batteries that run the electric motor. Thus, acceleration is entirely up to the electric motor, and it can't use a stick. The combustion engine could be replaced by a fuel cell and get the same result. (with fewer emissions, of course)

    The Prius is somewhere in between a series and a parallel hybrid in that it switches power plants back and forth, so unless 1st gear is the electric motor, you'll probably have to use an auto tranny with it.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    I read that the Toyota Prius is roomier, more powerful, better handling than the Honda Insight. I think it was automotive magazine (but could be so many other that I read), that said the Insight is put on civic CX hatchback platform, while the Prius is purposely built in a sedan format. Any one knows more about the performance of these 2 cars?
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Prius uses differemt engine according to conditions. At low speed, small acceleration, electric engine only. If the battery is low, or peddle is pushed hard, the gas engine comes online in support. So at top performace, both engine works together, (generating something like 140 hp!!! more than my corolla). The computer switch the engine operation by it's programing. And it is said that the transition between engine can not be felt, it's that smooth. :)
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Why do car makers assume that because they have this hybrid technology, they have to put it in a car that looks like a refugee from Clown College? If they would put a hybrid drivetrain in a Full-sized car that's normal looking (say a Crown Vic or DeVille?), then I'd see if that phenominal gas mileage was all it was cracked up to be. (Get a fill-up every time you change the oil;-)
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 143
    They must think people that would purchase such "futuristic" technology want it encased in a "futuristic" package, which for me is most certainly not the case. I happen to like the way the Mazda Protegé looks, for an economy car. Why can't they put the technology in something somewhat normal like that?
  • ejsejs Posts: 36
    Car makers want their cutting edge technology to look cutting edge too. When a new hybrid drives buy, they want you to say "wow, look at that" and not "there goes another Crown Vic." If hybrids ever become popular, you can expect the styling to become less clownish and more Protegé-ish.

    But an advantage of clown cars is that they can seat about 25 clowns and one tiny dog with a ruffled collar and a pointy hat.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    And that should get anyone through the HOV lane!

  • ladyblueladyblue Posts: 326
    ... the LOL lane!

    Community Leader/SUVs Conference
  • The site I read momentarily escapes me, I found it thru Metacrawler search "Prius", but as fast as Toyota builds the Prius they sell. I think economies of scale, competition, and innovation will work to the hybrids' advantage. I for one would seriously consider one if after the test drive (and reviews by others); actually, I wish Toyota would consider me for being one of their testers. While one could claim the gas savings isn't a big deal to them, the thought of a quiet car and a 800+ mile range (eliminating inconvenient gas station stops and being periodically shaken down by the oil companies like on holidays) is appealing enough to me to consider it. I think a lot of smog-plagued consumers would really appreciate it in the city. People loved and laughed at the cute little Honda Civic in 1977, the same will probably happen with the Prius. I keep in mind that Toyota built this (look where Lexus is in only 10 years) and wonder what they will do with it. Maybe make it into a mini-Lexus (it's probably quiet enough). How about creative financing with a really generous warranty package, or innovative leasing, or... I don't work for Toyota, and their think tank will do something; the potential and actual demand is out there. There must be things that present vehicle owners don't like that Prius. Maybe a consortium to beat the high initial build cost.
  • I would consider the Honda Insight if its styling were more like some of its prototypes. I'd consider the Prius but its not sporty looking.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    I consider the prius to be a useable car.

    The Insight is a 2 seater, built on a civic CX (or DX) hatch back platform. The only 2 seater out there are trucks, roasters, sports cars. Quite frankly, the Insight is none of those.

    If i was going to buy a compact hybrid car. i would definitly go for the Prius, which is a true sedan with 4 doors and 4 seats. Besides, it been sold in Japan for over a years now, so the teething trouble with such complex hydride technology should all been ironed out. Since both the insight and the prius would be priced similiarly, i think the prius is the better bang for the buck. But I have to agree, the styling of the Insight is better looking. Toyota, conservative styling is good for a traditional family car like the camry, but not for the futuristic car like the hybrids. But Prius's specs does look good though. It remains to be seen if it will sell here in the U.S where the gas is cheap.
  • I'd like to buy one of these. So I went to find out more, and to express my interest to the local car dealers...

    I went to the nearest Honda dealer. I asked about the 'hybrid' (didn't know the name until today). The salesperson showed me the S2000. 2-seater, really cool styling -- they did it right! When he started talking about a turbocharger and 400hp, I began to suspect that he had misunderstood. I finally had to explain what a hybrid was. "Oh, the electric thing ... We don't know when we'll get one of those ... Did you know this dealership was just bought out ... We bought that big chunk of land over there ......" Completely clueless.

    I tried to get some information from Honda's website. I found the name of the car, and a little thumbnail picture, but every other link was broken.

    My experience at the Toyota dealer was just about 180-degrees different. The young sales guy was enthusiastic about the Prius, if a bit short on real facts. He said that the car would be sold to fleets first, and individuals next summer.

    From all that I've read here, I think I'll wait for the Prius.

    Thanks for the info!
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    if you want to know more info and facts about the Toyota Prium, go to Then click on the News/corporate info tab. on the next page, click on the environmental technology button. And you will get access to lots of prius info and facts. have fun. :)
  • With the new Honda and Toyota Hybrids, they still use VERY expesive batteries, right? I hope they come with some kind of extended warranty. I would sure hate to pay $3,000 + for new batteries when these lose their capacity. Of course, Im only speculating. It would be nice to hear something from Honda or Toyota in regards to battery life and replacement...

  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    And then there are those of us who are going to wait until they put them in something like an Avalon to buy one. Sure, they won't get quite as good mileage as a Prius would, but its still a lot better than you'd get with a V-6, and you don't have to put up with all the hassels of a small car (some people like them, but they don't suit my wants or needs). Plus, both of the hybrids are a little too "futuristic" looking for me. (I don't want something that looks like it came from the Jetsons). I love the hybrid technology, and I think its time has come. The vehicle they're putting it in however, leaves a lot to be desired.
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    very few will actually buy these vehicles. The people who always talk about them want everyone else to buy them . They dont want to spend their own money on these expensive low production cars ..the only way to raise production and lower the price is to cough up the cash now !!!!!!! once again Symbolism over substance.... what about a 6 or 8 year loan on these earth saving vehicles
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 143
    I totally agree. If they would put the technology in something bigger and normal looking, I would snap one up. Sure, the milead would be worse than a Prius, but 35-40 MPG (a guess) would still be pretty amazing for a large car.
  • I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the hybrids, and it's a shame they are not hear now as I am looking for a very near future car replacement. I also think the cost may be reasonable; they are still being snapped up at $17,500 appx, aren't they? I don't necessarily need the 66 mpg that Prius offers. I would settle for the "lowered" mpg for a sedan like post 50 suggested. Barich also hinted about some creative financing for the Prius. I have faith in Toyota that their think tank (like their creation of successful Lexus) will have an angle for the popular hybrids. Maybe they'll swathe it in leather and additional comfort features and make it a mini-Lexus. Competition from Honda and looks like Ford is also on its way. At its present "cost" I'd even look close at the Prius.
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    Hybrids have been around for a long time .Even with HUGE factory subsidies The beautiful people still wont touch them .You are only considering..... wait till after you buy then you can say " I stood up at the plate " Talk is cheap lets do it for Mother Earth
  • By the time they come on the market in the US (maybe next year at the earliest; there are NONE in my region AT ALL) I will already have replaced one of my aging vehicles. I don't need to buy TWO in the next year. I'm not picking an argument here; I plan to acquire another luxury ride in the immediate future, which is why I check out the luxury vehicles posts, among MANY MORE sources outside of Edmunds. A quiet, earth-friendly, comfortable hybrid would be nice but I don't plan to wait that long. Peace.:) P.S. Any suggestions you can recommend? I'm already in the other Edmunds' rooms considering (but you should know that by now).
  • Does doing a significant amount of commuting in a Ford Festiva count as earth-friendly for now? (43 mpg).
  • dweickdweick Posts: 3
    I assume you're in Phoenix, your comments about
    the clueless Honda dealer sure rings a Bell.

    On my visit the "salesman" said they didn't have
    any brochures because they were always running

    How tough can it be to keep literature in stock?

    Heck, with the $15K premium they were asking on
    the pair of S2000's I figure they could have
    had a couple of boxes on brochures hand carried
    from Japan.

    Asked about the Honda GX. Huh? says the salesman.
    Figured it wouldn't do me any good to ask about
    the Insight cause the dealer was severly lacking
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    If it were an engine option for a Crwon Vic. While there are some people who drive Geos et al for the gas mileage, I think they have too many trade-offs. They are for some people, but not me. I think with the Prius, Toyota is wantng bragging rights for phenominal gas mileage more than anything else. Once they start selling hybrid Camrys and Avalons, then we'll talk sales. No1, the luxury twist with the hybrids might actually be a good idea. While someone with the wherewithall to buy a Lexus won't care about fuel bills, there's always the "Snob-Factor" to appeal to. Self serve gas stations are on the decline and the Caddilac crowd is not likely to enjoy pumping gas. Give them a car that will keep them out of the "lowly" gas stations, and that may be the deciding factor between buying a Lexus compared to an Infiniti or a Lincoln.
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    #56 I have a Cadillac Eldorado Touring coupe and I always pump my own gas .So take that LOL. Electric vehicles have been around for a while now .... solectron a massachusetts company markets them but no one steps up to the plate to buy one ?? What are we waiting for ? so what if they are a little inconvenient to use ?
  • Electric cars and hybrids are not identical. Electric cars have too many disadvantages, unlike the hybrids. (From the hype anyway) Hybrids combine the best of both worlds; the advantages of the gas engines and the electrics. Put the technology in something tempting like for example a Lexus, and soft-butted Americans like me would go for it.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Should reach dealership by December. It will cost under $20K (and is supposedly loaded with "performance" gear). It is also the most aerodynamic car in production today (Cd is only 0.25). Only 5000 to be produced per year (not sure if that is just of US/N.A. market), if so, they will go just as quickly as they come. a reason, it is rebirth of Honda CRX, a lightweight, small engine two seater, with good handling (Honda seems to have focused on handling aspects of this car, aiming at younger buyers, than buyers who think Lexus like car is fun). The car is nice looking (just like the concept), and weighs 1887 lb. According to Honda, the 1.0 liter VTEC delivers about the same power as 1.5 liter engine, so even if the car delivers about 90-95 hp, it will be reasonably fast.
    At low rpm, electricity generated and stored onboard takes on (electric motors have low end torque characteristic, with near flat high torque curve in under 2000 rpm). Once past the flat output of electric motor, the VTEC takes the task of acceleration. Overall, I think, the car will have a near flat curve from about 1500 rpm to 6500 rpm. Hopefully we will get to see a test drive soon enough.
  • ... in the Honda Insight. I do light commuting, am single, and would be thrilled to have a fun-to-drive eco-friendly car. I don't need 250 horsepower to enjoy driving -- I'm more interested in quick response and nimble handling. From the pictures I've seen of the Insight, it has an intriguing look, and as a designer in the computer field, I'm always interested in the bleeding edge of technology. I'm probably the perfect target demographic for this car!

    I hope it has a sunroof option, and that they'll move include a CD player rather than just casette.

    If it's true that there will only be 5000, I hope I'm one of the first in line for a test drive.
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