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Toyota Prius (First Generation)



  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051

    Has anyone else noticed the footage they keep showing of Gary Conditt walking in Washington?

    That blue Prius gets air play every day.

  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    As for the "looks" issue, Honda will begin selling a hybrid version of its Civic 4-dr sedan next year.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051

    Not much info about it, but it sounds interesting.

    A Civic is not that great-looking, but it is at least more mainstream-looking than a Prius.

  • mbohunmbohun Posts: 31
    Previous message stated: My consumption screen said I am getting 48mpg but when I actually filled up my tank and calculated my mpg, it's only about 38mpg. Why is there such a big difference?

    I don't own a Prius, but I would assume that you cannot calculate fuel mileage directly as you mention, since this hybrid would be using a combination of fuel and electric during total miles driven and thus you would need to know the percentage of miles driven in each mode... that is electric, gas and combo modes and then calculate the fuel mileage based on this data... It would be difficult unless your cars computer gives you some percentage or proportion of miles driven in each mode. I drive an ECHO and get between 37 and 41 MPG in combo driving... pure fossil fuel.
  • bob354bob354 Posts: 11
    whether you count the miles in electric mode or not. Remember that the battery is charged using the energy originating from the fossil fuel, so in the end, it's all the same. Bottom line is always, how far can you go for each gallon of gas you have to pay for. Your Echo is treating you right!
    My question is, why is the on-board calculator so inaccurate? My paranoid self makes me think that it's a trick by Toyota to make us feel good about our new cars, but it may just be that they haven't figured out a way to accurately measure how much gas is going in to the engine... No, it's gotta be a conspiracy! :-)
  • mbohunmbohun Posts: 31
    MPG(Prius)= Total Miles / (gallons of fuel used)- (Electric Equivalent Gallons of Fuel Used)

    The above is how I believe one needs to calculate the MPG for the hybrid... note in the bottom term you have an additional term called (Electric Gallons Equivalent of Fuel Used).... this term comes from the storage battery which in theory gets its fuel from regenative braking. This term is free energy you get during braking and thus should increase the MPG because it provides free equivalent fossil fuel which reduces the amount of "real" fuel your car needs via its gas tank!!!!!

    Thus, if you calculate MPG via the traditional method, you would come up with LOW MPG value since you have not accounted for the free energy that was used by the car's electric motor. Remember, the electric motor is REDUCING the actual amount of fuel the car's piston engine needs.

    Also the regenerative braking energy is energy that would normally be dumped out of the brake... instead this energy is re-captured and stored in the battery, so its not really free energy but energy that traditionally has been lost and finally the auto engineers are using for your benefit.
  • bob354bob354 Posts: 11
    As I was meaning to say... nope, nope, nope. MPG means miles-per-gallon and while it may be greatly improved by electric assist or regenerative braking (or the wind at you back or a long downhill), it still follows the simple formula of gallons divided by miles.

    The brakes do not produce power, they just prevent some power from being wasted. Same with the electric motor. All the energy in the Prius is derived from the engine burning gas. All the other processes are just there to help get the most out of that original burn.

    The bottom line is that all energy used by vehicles (except solar and nuclear, I suppose) is derived from fossil fuels. The formula to come up with would be one that helps to compare the total energy consumption of all types of vehicles in a universal unit of measure. Maybe calories?
    Thanks for the discussion!
  • ive been driving my prius 2001 for almost 6 months now and it has over 12000 miles. i love this car! i just discovered this forum - so allow me to put in my two cents...

    first of all, i drive a lot :) and within the first week of owning my prius i took her out to the beach and up a mountain into the snow. she handles beautifully!

    i personally think the prius can handle the winter snow type weather well because of all the weight of the battery system on the back tires. my mother grew up in wisconsin, and she used to teach us kids to put bags of sand or kitty litter in the trunk during bad winter seasons to weigh down those back wheels so you can drive on the ice. i figure the huge battery in the back does just that trick. regardless, the prius handled exceptionally well in the snow. no complaints from me! i could drive right up to the top of the mountain and go snowboarding! woohoo!

    and since i got the car in february ive taken it onto rocky off-road adventures, long distance driving sprees, and hours and hours of 50mile commutes to and from work every day. and ive never had a problem. i think one of my tires may need a little air after going camping last weekend... but its alright.

    i had cruise control installed after my first maintenance at 10,000 miles. that was exciting! i LOVE cruise control. but i am actually a bit upset now. my service people at toyota had to pull all sorts of strings and hassle around on the telephone all day to get my the upgrade package (which is just a new steering wheel base - all the technology for the cruise control was already in the car!) so i dont understand why this had to be such a hassle for them. theyd never done the upgrade before and toyota acted like it didn't exist. until they finally got it and installed it. and furthermore - i am sick of not having GPS.

    id like to get the scoop on this GPS system. why do we all have all the components for a GPS system, but no GPS. whats up! i get lost all the time. i really would like to have GPS. i look enviously at my map and location buttons on the console on my prius, and they just sit there useless. why can't i get the software! this seems so rediculous to me. what do we have to do to get GPS.

    well - ill keep in touch. i love my car and im always eager to learn more about it or share whatever ive learned. its so great how people stop and ask me about it all the time.

    for any of you out there who are reading this list and wondering, should i buy a prius? my answer is this:

    its the best damn car you'll ever consider buying. its peppy on the highway and it proactive at the gas stations.

    you will place your order and put down money and spend the next few months second guessing and cursing out toyota for their negligance and incompitence... how can they make these overexcited car owners wait MONTHS for their new car! months of rising gas prices and anticipation... did they ever even process your order (my order was fouled up at first and it ended up taking about 5 months for it to come, but i gather this is not that unusual) and then all of a sudden you receive an owners manual in the mail. useless because you dont own the car yet. and then you receive this nifty little pocket organizer. i like the time converter. that is a handy option. its a useless little nicknack, but its cool none-the-less, and at this point you know that toyota knows you exist and according to the letter that came with the little gift, they appreciate your order :) and then prompty all of a sudden your car will arrive and your whole life will change. suddenly you wont care that gas prices are rising. and people will be staring at you as you drive by, asking you questions in parking lots (i find that i can't grocery shop without people in the parking lot asking me questions). and your friends will love driving in your car. is it because they are saving money on gas by not driving their gas-guzzling cars? or is it because your new prius is the coolest car ever. :) if you are considering buying a prius, it looks like you'll just have to place that order and find out for yourself!

    and yes, the car is a little bit funny looking. i dont personally care for the ecofriendly tiny look... but i find the beauty is in the subtle distinctions between the look of the prius and the look of the tiny cheap ecofriendly car... they both look geeky and small from the outside, but then you look inside the prius and realize that you've been had! - this is a luxury vehicle with next level technologies, touch screen monitors, cruise control, power windows and a cd player. this is no geeky car - its all pimped out!

    i dont know why anyone would buy any other new car when they could get a prius!

    one more prius lover
  • bob354bob354 Posts: 11
    a listserve (Yahoo?) that focuses on the Prius. Do any of ya'll know how to get hooked up with it? I went to the Yahoo home page and got all befuddled. Thanks!
  • afireafire Posts: 30
    That link I found by doing a search there at yahoo, and it is

    and they have a list that you can join and read for information.
    is the header of their email digest.

    It's a very friendly list. Many also post here too, and go back and forth to learn experiences and technical details.
  • I'm just about 2 weeks before ordering a new 2002 Prius, but I'm having buyer's remorse before the sale. I hate to give up my peppy li'l Camry with its 5-speed standard, but I'm also a confirmed ecofreak and believe I need to do what I can for the environment. Here's my dilemma: I'll take on all the technical problems, but NOWHERE have I seen stats for crash testing and safety in general. I drive my grandson everywhere, and I have to be sure this one is SAFE before I buy it. Sites, advice, words, anyone??
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I just found out something curious. The navigation system on the 2002 will be DVD based. I am still trying to figure out where the DVD player will be mounted, but I assume it will take up most of the center console. For those who don't know, with a navigation system, you need some method to get updated road information and DVD is the best way to do this.

    This bring up an interesting question. Since most DVD players will also play CDs, I wonder if you need to get a separate CD deck. I'm in the process of finding this out and will report back when I find out.

    For those of you who have already ordered with the Nav and the CD, don't worry. After the order is placed, your dealer can still change the accessories, but not the factory options.
  • My wife is having a problem that neither I nor our dealer can reproduce. About one-in-three times, when she turns off the car, the key cannot be removed from the ignition. In fact the car is not really "off" -- the electronic display remains on 'cause the lever won't go into park.

    Workaround is to re-start the engine, run the gearshift through its positions, return it to park and shutdown normally.

    The problem has NEVER OCCURRED when I am driving, and of course, the dealer cannot reproduce it. However, I have seen the car stuck in our driveway with the key unremovable.

    Anyone got any ideas? My wife drove a 5-speed 300ZX for sixteen years before switching to the Prius.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    More than likely, your wife missed getting the shift lever all the way into park. It takes a pretty firm hand to move that lever and if it is not fully engaged, you will not be able to move the key to the off position. The next time this happens, have her put her foot on the brake, shift back into gear and then firmly move it back to the park position. This should do the trick.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    Just wondering if anyone has had to replace or has priced out the replacement of the battery pack in the Prius? Before I bought my Echo, I was seriously considering the Prius but it is out of my price range for now.
    My Echo gets 35+ on a regular basis so I wouldn't be buying a Prius to save money on gas. I also like 'different' looking small cars that are well designed-an affectation I carried back from living in Europe.
  • elgin16elgin16 Posts: 2
    We are about ready to order a 2002 Prius (should see it in Jan, 2002)
    A friend owns a 2001 and we have had it for the last week. My wife has trouble putting it in to park. She is 5"2" and uses the seat way forward and totally upright. I was wondering is it has to do with the angle of the shifter and the top button when she is so close to it.
    I have no trouble at all, nor do the owners of the car.
    I noticed so other posts about wives having trouble? My question are they short wives?
  • I recently had my first service appointment for my 2001 Prius, which I recieved in December, 2000. I am sad to report that my first service appointment did not go well. I am posting this message in hope of hearing other people's experiences as well as any advice that might be offered. For starters, I made my appointment for my 7,500 mile service. For this particular service two things should have been done: an oil change and rotation of tires. I was told that the oil change is free, but that the tire change is not. I had dissonance with this and stated to the service manager that indeed ALL MAINTENANCE is covered for the first 3 years of this car's life. He said he would check. Well, I returned some 8 hours later only to find that the oil was changed and nothing else. Unless you want to count the oil smudge marks all over my steering wheel and dashboard. In any case, they did not do the tire rotation, since I would be charged with it. Confused, I called the a Toyota Customer Service Representative who told me that ALL MAINTENANCE is indeed covered and that my tires should have been rotated as the owner's manual suggests. I'm not the "wave making" kinda guy. I just want what's best for this vehicle and my frustration lies in the fact that NOBODY seems to know enough about this car including the people who are supposed to be servicing it. It is frustrating. Has anybody had similar experiences? How should I handle such problems without isolating myself from the very people who are suppose to keep a watchful eye over this car. To wrap up, the Customer Service Rep. told me that my local Toyota dealer will be calling me back in to get the tires rotated. My guard, however, is already up with this particular dealership. I do not trust them. I don't even trust they put the correct type of oil in this car. On another note...I am going to be taking a long trip from Connecticut to Kentucky. Part of my trip will be taking me through the mountainous state of Pennsylvania. Has anybody had the experience of driving this car up and down large mountains? Does it perform well? Is there any advice you can give for getting the most mileage on a long trip? Thank you so much for reading and responding to this message. I want so very much for this car to be a success. KEEP IT GREEN! :)
  • bob354bob354 Posts: 11
    to post #672 and go to the yahoo site for lots of milage-extending discussions. There are lots of theories as to how to stretch your mpg, though in the end, most come back to "just drive it." There are some posts there about mountain driving as well.
    You should also give out the name of the offending (offensive?) dealer. We all want to avoid folks like that! I think we all want the Prius to be a success, but we need to remain critical of problems if we expect it to evolve into a truly mainstream option.
    Good luck!
    PS--- How come the spell-checker doesn't recognize "Prius"? :-)
  • wayne323wayne323 Posts: 1
    My wife and I placed our order for the Prius the first week of April and took delivery one week ago today..... not bad, delivery in just over 3 months.

    I have been following this message board since before we ordered to get the general flavor and comments of current owners and have for the most part enjoyed the reading.... topics sometimes seem to digress and exchanges occasionally become protracted but most are interesting and beneficial.....(do I not now digress myself?)

    At any rate, we love the car and cannot say enough good things about it. I've only put 343 miles on it in the week of ownership but they've been fun miles to drive. We live in northern Virginia and HOB restrictions are lifted for this vehicle so the commute to/from work is a pleasure.

    A couple of interesting observations in response to recent postings....gas mileage, I have not yet topped the tank but the fuel gauge indicates half a tank left and as I wrote earlier I have traveled 343 miles... the on-dash computer tells me that I am obtaining right at 50 mpg, doing quick math in my head tells me that the computer doesn't seem to be lieing. When I picked up the vehicle and the dealer was going through the standard pre drive-off speech I was told that they were happy to provide me with 2 years of free maintenance. I reminded them of the 3 year/37,500 mile maintenance package advertised by Toyota on the web site for the Prius and when we went to the web on the dealer's computer I saw that the web page had been changed with the "maintenance incentive" reference being deleted. I had kept a copy of the web page from the time that I ordered the vehicle in April that showed the maintenance promise and produced it the next day for the benefit of the dealer. To make a long story short, I received a call from the service manager yesterday and he assures me that the dealer and Toyota will honor the 3 yr/37,500 maintenance, that Toyota didn't realize that the web site had been changed, and that a correction would be made to get the wording back.

    At any rate, things are good....I hope to keep following the message board for future stories, questions, and info.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I've really enjoyed your update and contributions to this site. I am absolutely horrified that your dealer is so ignorant of how to treat its Prius customers. The procedure is pretty clear on this and in your maintance guide, they even mark those services are being covered by the warranty. From a dealer perspective, its very simple. When a Prius customer comes in, we submit a warranty claim to be paid for the maintance.

    Now, if you want more frequent oil changes than 6 month or 7500 miles, you will pay for it. It sounds like you may need to find a new dealership. If you don't have that luxury, start with a conversation with the service director (make sure you get the director and not just a service manager). Ask him how many Prius' they have serviced and why their dealership is not processing the warranty provided by Toyota.

    You sound like a person without a chip on his shoulder and that is a good thing. Hopefully, your good attitude will result in the service director making the small effort to discover that you are right.

    Good luck and feel free contact me off line if you need help with this. My e-mail is in my profile.
  • Thanks to those of you who have given me feedback on my recent dilemma regarding my first oil change. To update, Toyota (Headquarters) called my local Toyota dealership in Hartford, CT and must have conveyed my confusion regarding the prescribed service agreement for my car, because Hartford Toyota called me to apologize for the oversight. My sense of "relief" is not quite over, however, as I still get the sense that this dealership is not quite "equipped" to deal with these cars. Perhaps it's all in my mind... but, for example, when I left my car the first time the gentleman who moved my car tried to turn it on even though I told him it was on "electric" at the moment and he had only to put it into drive. My sense, overall, is that people just do not "get" this car. Even when I explain it and show it to people, their preconceived ideas supersede what I am telling them. At times, it's laughable, while at other times, it's downright frustrating as is/was the case with my local dealer. Suffice to say that I am going back to my dealer to get my tires changed. Once this ordeal is finished, I will be seeking out another, more reputable dealership in the Greater Hartford area. On a more positive note, more and more people are noticing my car and asking questions. My enthusiasm for this vehicle is clear. I love it's overall performance. I love it's style. I love it's stability and quality workmanship. I simply love this car. Is it flawless? NO! There is room for improvement, to be certain. For one thing, the seat (set for my long legs) is too far back so as to block the view of stop lights, at times. I feel as if the windshield should extend back a bit more. Frankly, if I drive up the the "white line" just before a stoplight, I almost never see the light unless I duck my head to view it. Another "flaw" might be the lack of immediate power, as I attempt to get onto the highway from a ramp. Unfortunately for me, many of the "on ramps" in the Hartford area place the driver in the "fast" lane.... well, I hate to say it, but this car is too cool to go fast...LOL...I usually say 10 Hale Mary's before I merge! :) Oh well, I still love the car...flaws and all. I will write back when I return from my trip to Kentucky to let people know who it handeled itself on this long trip. Take care my fellow Prius People. Again, thanks for your words of wisdom. KEEP IT GREEN! :)
  • redly_oneredly_one Posts: 122
    That is the most incorrect post I have ever read.
    If the guy got X number miles on Y gallons of fuel, the mileage is still 38mpg.

    The part you leave out is that his emmisions are only a percentage of what is coming out of the tailpipe of an Echo (which is still nill in comparison to, say, a Durango or Tahoe)
  • marriimarrii Posts: 3
    I guess I'm a loner. I've really tried to like my Prius, but I don't. Yes, it gets good gas mileage. On a 189 mile round trip to Seattle on I-5 I averaged 52 miles per gallon. My in city (small town) driving gets me about 43 mpg.

    The car is fine around town, but on the highway I feel like I'm always bucking headwinds when I near 60 mph. The ride is rough and loose.

    I am 5'0" and I had to remove the rear headrest to see out the back. I can reach the gas and see out the front fine, but I still feel like I am sitting in a hole. If there are passengers in the car I really have a visability problem.

    I had to reverse the headrests on the front because at the lowest position I was getting a stiff neck from having my head pushed forward. In the reverse position I can sit a little straighter, but I still get a back ache after an hour or more of driving because of the way the seats curve. These cars may be small, but they are not designed for small people.

    I, too, had the "check engine" light come on for no apparent reason. The error cleared after leaving the car parked a few hours, but the dealer said bring it in anyway. My dealer (and the closest) is a 45 minute drive. I took the car in a couple days later (no service on Saturday when the error came up) and they could find nothing. The service people were very nice, washed the car and put in five gallons of gas for my trouble.

    One last thing, today I was washing the car and when one of the "bugs" wouldn't wash off the front bumper I took a closer look and the paint was peeling. It's just a tiny spot, but with only 3600 miles on the car I wonder what the paint job is going to look like a year from now.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Even at the better dealerships, there is still confusion on this car. One nice thing we have here is that one of our Master Technicians bought a Prius himself. He really doesn't care about the "greenness" of it, but love the fact that he can drive in the carpool lanes on his way to work. He does love the car though and has a very strong understanding of what it does. I would bet that our porters would try to restart the car in the lane though.
  • elgin16elgin16 Posts: 2
    Anyone else concerned about Door dings? The Prius seems totally unprotected. I plan on my wife driving our Prius to work and parking it a hospital parking garage. Has anybody put any kind of side protection stripe on a Prius?
    How did it look? any pictures?

    Jay Wolf
  • Hey Prius People! I know you're going to think I'm a nudge for bringing up my "service" problems again, but here goes another one. I took my Prius back to the dealership to have my tires rotated. When I asked if they would also be balanced, the gentleman said, "Sure for $29.95". I said, WHAT?! You mean to tell me that part of my service agreement for this car includes oil changes and tire rotation, but no tire balancing? You have got to be kidding. I thought rotating tires and balancing them was kind of like peanut butter and jelly.... they go hand in hand. I told the gentleman that I would like for my tires to be balanced as well and that I would pay the price to have it done. It seemed odd to me, so I called my customer service representative at my Hartford Toyota and sure enough... the service agreement does not pay for tire balancing. This to me does not make sense. Like most major cities, our highways are a maze of bumps, potholes and debris. I explained to the service person that it is perfectly reasonable for me to expect the tires to be out of whack a bit and to therefore adjust them. Well, I must say I picked up my car today and it felt like a new car all over again. The ride is smoother than when I first put the key in the ignition. It makes a HUGE difference to keep your tires rotated, balanced and filled with the appropriate amount of air pressure. YIKES! WAIT a minute. I didn't specify to add air to my tires if they needed it. I wonder if I would have to pay for that too! LOB Well, I bring this to your attention to get feedback from other Prius owners to see if they had a similar experience. If the balance is a part of the "deal" I would like to know that as well. My opinion about the "greatness" of this car is beginning to wane a bit, as I can not get a "straight" story out of any of the service people. Well, gotta jet. Thanks for reading my message. KEEP IT GREEN! :)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Up to the most recent post, I was with you, but as a car nut who got started in the tire business, I can tell you that it is NOT routine to rebalance tires at rotation, and in fact, as a long-time car nut, you should be aware that doing so only makes the chances of someone screwing up the balance that much greater. Tires these days don't get out of balance unless something happens: high impact, uneven wear [yes, from lack of proper rotation], or over a very long period of time [at least 20000 miles typically], normal wear. I would never let any of the gorillas working for a typical new car dealership get anywhere close to my tires/wheels unless there were some symptom that needed addressing [vibrations...which as often as not are tires that are out of round rather than out of balance].

    I understand where you are coming from about your expectations of dealer service - but proper pressure should be YOUR responsiblity as much as theirs. Frankly, my experience is that the tire gauges in use out there in dealer land are so far off compared to my racing dial gauge, that having them fiddle with the pressures is worse than useless.

    Anyway, I think you are asking for trouble to routinely put tires on the balancing machine that are showing no symptoms that justify same. I've watched the process too often, and while there are good people out there who know what they are doing, there are just as many who will send you out on the road with a balance problem you didn't have when you came in. Caveat emptor...
  • Crash Test Results are In! Got the below information off Yahoo! Prius car group posting. The crash test results on frontal crashes for the 2001 Toyota Prius are as follows: DRIVER SIDE - RATING OF 3 STARS (OUT OF 5 STARS POSSIBLE); PASSENGER SIDE - RATING OF 4 STARS
    The above ratings can be found on the NHTSA website:
    Also from this posting: there were no hybrid-electric-vehicle-related problems found when testing for electrical shock or battery leakage on the Toyota Prius.
    The crash stats aren't the greatest but, taken with the other features of the car, have convinced me to go order my car TODAY. Keep it green, y'all. xxx
  • jkrystopajkrystopa Posts: 2
    I ordered my Prius the first week in July 2001. Has any one received a car recently? How long was the wait. They are saying 5-6 months. I read that someone received theirs in 3 months. I'm trying to coordinate the sale of my current car with the arrival of my Prius.
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