My sweety and I went out and looked at the 2004 Toyota Prius the other day. The thing gets 48 to 60 MPG, can go 0-60 in 10 seconds, seats five, and costs between $20,000 - $26,000, depending on the option package. They only had one there that had already been sold, so we got to look but not test drive. The waiting list is 3-6 months long. They didn't make enough. If six months go by, they'll start to deliver the 2005 model(s). The tester had been damaged, for a second time apparently.
I'm I the only one here that is interested in getting one of these? Does someone here already drive one? How is it?
Sure they're efficient and all, but since it's got an engine and a motor it's got one heckuvan oddball drivetrain (and a couple of other similar quirks). If anything happens to the powertrain you've got yourself quite a hefty repair bill. All the money you saved on gas would probably make up ffor it so unless you're a hippie you're no better off.
Of course, Toyotas have all that excellent workmanship and borking it is less likely than, say, getting knocked out by a falling pig, but something to think about.
That and the fact that it looks like a gimped echo (as if the echo wasn't fugly enough). They could have at least put some half-decent sized wheels on it.
Otherwise, it's not that bad.
After "The Wreck" almost two years ago now, my wife and I were determined to get another Civic. Y'see, I had already tested the safety features, and I walked away from a 60-to-0 in 20 feet wreck. So we liked the Civic. We thought about the Civic Hybrid, but the initial price difference is what screwed the deal.
2002 Civic Hybrid - $26K base, 45-55 mpg
2002 Civic EX - $17K almost fully loaded, 35-40 mpg
We went with the Civic EX, and even now, almost two years later, I still get 38-40 mpg without sacrificing horsepower.
Well, I think that there is a 3 year total warranty, and the batteries are guaranteed for 10 years. They, in the past, have been the shortest lifespan feature of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Your comment made several negative conjectures without any examples, experiences, or reports. Please, stick with factual info.
I wouldn't buy a first year product new technology. However, this is this vehicles second (third?) year of production, and next years' is on its' way supposedly without any major improvements.
I test drove a 2004 Prius several months ago. The dealer I went to had a dedicated tester (That already had something like 30K miles on it), as they were already back-ordered by about three months. Anyway...
If I had to buy a new car, right now, the Prius is the only thing I'd consider. In terms of technology it's far more advanced then the Honda hybrid, it has a much more interesting and utilitarian body (it's a hatchback, rather then a #$%#ing boring small sedan), and, well, it's a Toyota. Hondas have *never* impressed me when it comes to reliability. They start out well, but they seem to be completely used up after 130,000-150,000 miles. Toyotas *laugh* at the 300,000 mark.
(And of course there's always the story of the B.C. taxi driver:
He put 200,000+ miles on an original-model Prius in less then four years, and it was still running fine when Toyota traded him a new one so they could do forensic testing on it.)
I'm too cheap, too lazy, and I like my old wreck too much to buy a new car now, and I'm also hoping that Toyota will start putting their "Hybrid Synergy Drive" into some of their other models. (I want a hybrid MR2 Spyder!) But if my VW *had* failed smog, I might be driving one right now.
The only thing I didn't like about the Prius, honestly, is in some respects the interior is more then a little too gadgety. The computer in the middle of the dashboard sort of freaked me out, as did the voice command option. I'm also not a fan of climate control/radio buttons on the steering wheel. The magic key that you don't have to put into the ignition was pretty cool, though, I have to admit. (The car "knows" it's inside. All you have to do is press the "On" button.)
Anyway. That's the only real criticism I have for it. If you don't mind the idea of driving around in a Star Trek (TNG) Shuttlecraft, go for it! ;^>
I drove a Mk I demonstrator a couple years ago for a university project (Coming up with a Europe-wide sales strategy for the Prius). I found it pretty weird, economy was good but styling and space was debatable.
The current (MkII?) version seems to be better proportioned and I've certainly seen far more of them on the road than the old model. If the whole hybrid 'eco-friendly' idea floats your boat, then go for it, and like others have said you can't really beat them for longevity (other than a old Mercedes). If nothing else its a conversation starter.
Me, until fuel cells make a mass-market appearance, I'll stick to a diesel - better fuel economy, lower price, greater availability (at least in Europe anyway).
Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defence.
In the U.S. we're more likely to find a diesel on a truck as an option motor than anywhere else. FWIS it is easier to get a hybrid here than a diesel car, unless you go for a used Merc. I have read rumbling of fuel cell busses in the detroit area, but I haven't seen much alternative fuel vehicles around here except the hybrids and a few natural gas/propane powered govenment cars.
No one should be protected from the effects of his own stupidity. - Anton Szandor LaVey in 1988 (There is a certain irony in this quote... :p)
Just my opinion on the asthetic styling of these vehicles. This styling of these families of cars (the Echo, prius, Honda Insight, etc) is freaking awful. The whole appearence of these cars is badly marred by the very high back/tiny wheel combo. Its so freaking ugly. The tires/rims look so small in the rear of the car. They have this high back and the large amount of sheetmetal from the top of the rear wheelwell lip to the bottom edge of the window. A car's rear wheel opening should take up a good portion of the sheetmetal, not leave so much that it appears that you could stack to tires on top of each other below the rear window.
The only car that I really think got the styling right with that highbacked look on an economy car was the Honda CRX. They had a nice big wheelwell opening and didn't have an exorbiant amount of sheetmetal above the wheelwell that made it look cheesy.
I don't care how much mileage it gets, I just can't stand that whole look of cars. The matrix is a bit better but still its not pleasing to my eye.
I wouldn't own one for 2 reasons, unproven long-term techonlogy (I try to buy cars that will last 10 years, I am not a trade-it-in-every-2-years-guy), and the awful awful fugly styling.
[QUOTE]I wouldn’t own one for 2 reasons, unproven long-term techonlogy (I try to buy cars that will last 10 years, I am not a trade-it-in-every-2-years-guy)
I can't think of any new car for sale right now that has a better chance of lasting 10 years then the Prius does, honestly. The "Synergy Drive" in the Prius in some respects has the potential to hold up better then conventional (automatic) transmissions. (Since it uses a CV, there's no gears to strip, among other things.) Reports on the previous model show that the regenerative braking system saves wear on the brake pads... Etc.
Everything related to the Hybrid drive has an eight year warranty anyway.
[QUOTE]and the awful awful fugly styling.
The *new* Prius isn't *that bad*. I'd be the first to admit that the 1999-2003s left a lot to be desired. (Looking essentially like stretched ECHOs... and the ECHO is probably in the top ten ugly-yet-boring cars on the road.) The new one looks very little like an Echo... so far as I'm concerned it looks about as good as the Mercedes C230 Coupe, which has the same high-butt-teeny-wheel-well-in-a-huge-expanse-of-metal look. I'm not saying that's a good look, but it's becoming sickeningly common on small-to-midsize coupes and utility vehicles. (So you might as well deal with it.)
Frankly, I give cars credit for looking different, even if they are ugly. My car is ugly, but it's quirky, 1970's European ugly. It's better then driving around in a completely soulless 3-box sedan, which is what the bulk of the market out there still is. (Cross your eyes and try to tell the difference between a 1984 Ford Tempo and a 2004 Civic sedan. Good luck.)
What kind of car do you drive anyway? I'm just curious.
I still can't stand that tiny wheelwell in an huge expanse of sheetmetal look. I am pretty pleased to hear that they have an 8 year warranty on the hybrid drive. Thats a big ole postive selling point. I can like cars that look different but to me different means like the recent Ford Thunderbird (yeah, it was retro but it was cool looking even if it bombed on the market). I also like the Cadillac XLR, the Infiniti Q45 (i like the gatling gun look headlights).
I have a 1985 VW Cabriolet. Which looks like a high-performance baby carriage. (With yellow fog lamps!) ;^>
I think what I like about it is its utterly schizophrenic mix of modernesque and retro design features. It has the angular slab-sided profile of an early 80's car, which was actually ahead of its time when the Golf Mk 1 was designed in the mid-70s, combined with idiosyncrasies like round headlights and those little push-out ventilator windows in the doors. (A feature that pretty much died in the early-70s) Overall, it's very "Eurofunctional", which to me is amusing on a convertible. (Convertibles usually being either roadsters or luxury cars.) It's not sexy by any stretch of the imagination, but park it next to a modern sedan and at least it looks... different. :^b
Anyway. It's really sort of dirty pool to compare the styling of $40,000 - $60,000 luxury cars to that of a $20,000 economy car. For the price the Prius doesn't look that bad. As I said, it's a lot more interesting then most of the sedans in its price range, and it's no uglier then some of the other "niche" vehicles on the road out there. (It'd win a beauty contest against a Honda Element, Pontiac Aztek, or just about anything Saturn makes any day of the week.)
Also, just as an aside, personally I think the XLR is plug ugly. It's a squarer Mercedes SLK (which *is* a good loooking car), with that weird sharp crease down the middle (bumper to bumper, over the hood) that Cadillac insists on putting on all their cars these days. I seriously don't know what the heck is wrong with their designers. Guys, that looks terrible! Cut it out!
The Infinity Q45 doesn't do anything for me either, honestly. It looks like, well, a car. I *would* agree on the Ford Thunderbird looking sweet, although the fact that it looks so much like the 1955 version sort of means it's cheating. ;^>
Anyway, I suppose aesthetics are a rather personal thing. I just don't think it's fair to label a particular car "too ugly to own". In my mind, there are far fewer of those then there are cars "too freaking boring to own" out there.
I know we are leading this thread down the wrong path, but I have to say in regards to ugly car: "AMC Pacer". Ew.
I actualy really liked those golfs/rabbits when in convertable form. I always wanted to own one but could never afford one because they used to hold their resale well.
And about the Element and Astek, I agree totally. Ew. To me the element looks like a Land Rover that was bastardized, kinda like honda went in there and took all the good parts out of the Land Rover and only left the crappy parts. I dont' know, when i see landrover, i go "ohh nice/expensive/unreliable" but when I see the element I go "ohh ugly land rover/cheap/reliable".
In regards to my other choices, I just like the more squared look because its different than all the jellybeans that have been coming out of auto companies for the last 12 years.
2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd
All options EXCEPT trailer hitch/running boards (its fun to step up into it!)
Ahhh.. 265 HP Powertech HO V8.. AWD/ 4WD quadratrac....
did this conversation veer way off topic, Anyone else experience the Prius? I heard a report about some Academy Awards attendee's driving them.
not experienced it, but wouldn't mind to...
Had a lot of interest in the first model (kinda green colour)...
As far as hybrid or electric vehicles go, I have something cool (well, I don't have it ... but will in the beginning of July)
Official C5 site
Your inquiry has been here for months, but I feel like replying because I have a 2001 Prius. I love it. Never had any serious problems, but then I bought the extended warrenty knowing that any problem would be very very expensive. The regular little ol' battery (not the big one) failed and would have cost over $200 to replace. You supposedly need special tires, etc. etc. But I still get 44 mpg on long highway drives and better in stop and go driving. Comfortable. I envy the new version. My only complaints are no cruise control on the early models and no luggage rack. Another plus was the tax credit.
May I ask how much you paid for the '01 Prius?
The only reason I ask is to provide a comparison between the Toyota '01 hybrid and an '02 Honda fuel burner ($17K). I get a real-world average of 41 MPG, and I plan on hitting 100K on Monday, maybe Sunday if we drive out to Tyler. I have gotten as little as 35, but as much as 45. How does the Toyota compare. I honestly haven't seen any real-world use numbers.
I used to get 35 with my 89 Honda CRX (pure gas burner). I think those primative rabbit diesels used to get like 40 or something like that (but god were they such uninteresting cars to drive).
Worst diesel car ever, the early 80's oldsmobile 350 converted gas diesels. Ugh. Powerless and not as reliable as a Yugo. GM learned big that you don't push 23 to 1 compression in a block designed for 9 to 1. LOL
pretty good for such a big and heavy car. They're zippy and fun-to-drive, not the boring and slow diesel Rabbit of yesteryear.
Heck, my petrol/gasoline '85 Golf 1.8 gets 27/32 without effort, even better when I'm not flogging the s*&t out of it. Oops, now I gotta mention it's road age (bragging rights 'n' all), it's got 819K miles on it and still going strong. Think any dumb#$$ Honda or Toyota can hold up like that? No way!!!
dan k (heh heh, another rabid VeeDub fanatic!!)
Well it's eight months since my original post, and the 2005 models of both cars are now available. The interleaving comments were somewhat interesting but need correction for accuracy.
Both the Toyota Prius, which has been on the market for at least three years, and the Honda Civic Hybrid, which is now in it's second year of release, come with 10 year warranties on their battery packs, regenerative braking systems (they generate electricity instead of heat), and three year complete warranties. The Honda warranty can be extended for another four years (total of seven) for $1500, the Toyota has similar arrangements, but I didn't get the specifics.
My honey and I test drove both this weekend. In it's favor, the Prius is slightly quieter, peppier, but about $3,000-$6000 more (depending on which package of accessories you get), and the greatly reduced rear visibility (compared with the Civic), and about half of the trunk/storage space (compared to the Civic having 10 cu ft of trunk, versus the Prius which gets it's 16 cu ft with both rear seats down, and without I'd guess about 6 cu ft) which is also not in a secure seperate compartment (it has a hatchback not a trunk) are definite negatives. There were two, more intended "features" that, subjectively, were negative. The intrument layout was distracting, with the basic data displayed as digits twice as far forward as the typical instrument panel, and then a video screen with lots of menus and displays in the center of the dashboard. The second negative "feature" was the rearview mirrors "automatic dimming" feature which made other cars headlights turn green and muted. The Prius gets 48-60 mpg, the Civic 49-51 (I think).
My girlfriend is getting the Civic. I agree with her choice. Based on the rear visibility issue alone, I wouldn't want to drive the Prius. Any thoughts?
You don't like the autodimming rearview mirror? Wow. I love mine in my chrysler. Tonight while driving around in town in heavy traffic, i never had to move my mirror to a different positoin so that i wasn't blinded.
Sorry for the somewhat off topic posting, but you mentioned the mirror.
Same here, I've retrofitted them to both of my cars I find them so useful!
I don't know if I have great eyes or what, but I've never needed dimming mirrors... I've never even used the flippy thing on *any* rearview in any car I've ever driven. I just don't get it; do bright lights hurt your eyes, or what?
I've driven the 1st-gen Prius and the Civic both, and I liked them alright. The Civic, I think, had a nifty regenerative braking meter, let you know how much you were putting back into the battery system when you slowed down. But for my money, both are oversized road hogs compared to this little beauty: the Suzuki Twin (available with Hybrid for ~$13,000)http://www.suzuki.co.jp/dom4/lineup/twin/
No expanses of *anything* here
That thing looks strikingly like a melted Charade...
To put it bluntly, Yes. The same way it hurts when you look at the sun. When you're driving at night in areas without street lights then the dipped beams from a vehicle behind you seriously affects your night vision, particularly when you read the road as far ahead as possible when driving. I've found that reflected glare from the rearview mirror can cut my adjustment to the darkness (and hence the distance I can see ahead of me) by 50% or so.
And I'm not going to go into what a vehicle behind you with high beams on does to you - let's just say the driver behind tends to come off worse in the situation...
That's a REAL car?
BTW, just for an update: Yesterday, at 5:38pm, at the intersection of Hwy 287 and hwy 67, my '02 Honda Civic EX full-on fuel burner flipped up to 100K. This is the first time that I have ever put 100K miles on a car.
When I filled up this morning, I did the math, and this last tank got me 41 mpg.
Holy crap. For the love of what is the most ugly car I think i have ever seen.
Wow. That takes the cake. I don't care for those hybrid car looks much but i have to say that the Prisus and its similiar breathen put that thing to shame in the looks dept. Heck a 1978 AMC Pacer looks better than that.
I would love to see that thing vs my customized lifted dodge ramcharger. LOL. (without people in it of course!!)
I swear, that whole "tiny tire" look is awful on any car.
As for the autodimming mirror, i find it very useful when you are driving down a dark road and there is little traffic and your eyes are adjusted to the darkness and then some yahoo comes up behind you with their brights on, it dims the mirror so that you aren't blinded by the light that your eyes aren't used to. Its like when you wake up at night and the lights are out and you turn on a light, you eyes aren't adjusted so you squint until they finally adjust.
I have 2 Prius so you may think my comments are a little bias but I chose them (for the wife and I) after researching all the models based on power (more horse power and torque), passenger space (about the same), cargo space, warranty (batteries are under warranty up to 10 yrs), emmissions, and fuel economy. Basically the Prius beat all of them. I have been driving it for about 3 months and I get an avg of 56 MPG (58 on my last tank). I would estimate I drive 70% highway and 30% city. I think the record is 1167 miles on one tank of gas (I usually get about 550) but that was all city driving. In the last 3 months I have spent about $50 in gas.
I have not had any problems with the rear view. Yes my old Honda civic had a better view but I use the side mirros and look over my should more anyways so not an issue. As for the display screen, if it is too busy you can simply turn it off. At first I looked at it a lot (it helps you improve your driving effeciency) but now i rarely look at it. Having owned a civic there is no comparison. Not sure on how you figure there is more cargo space in the civic. The 16 cu ft is with the rear passenger seats up. There is a small hidden cargo space in the Prius you can uncover to expand the space.
As for reliability. The Prius has been out since 1997, a bunch of drivers have hit 200k+ miles on their cars with no issues. Ever since then they have continually improved on the model. One reason for Toyota's increased efficiency (more power and better MPG) than Honda is that Honda simple designed a new engine and slapped it into an old car. The Prius was designed from the ground up.
I personnaly like the autodimming rear view mirror (the side mirrors are not). I have spend a lot of time now with SUVs with high beams of high intensity halogens right behind me. If not to the tinting mirror I would have been annoyed. It does not tint that much, but just enough to reduce the high glare. If you do not like the tinting mirror do not get it. It is an option.
The prius will also let you know how much power you put back into the car with the regenative breaking in 50kW increments.
I am not too crazy about the look (I used to drive a F250 crew cab), but it is beginning to grow on me. A big perk for me is the smart key system. No more fumbling around for keys. I am not a big user of the voice system or GPS navigation. I also like how extremely quiet the car is compared to our old Honda Civic. Not to mention my old Honda Civic with 4 people and luggage I would have to have someone get out and push us up a hill. The Prius has absolutely no problems.
Another help was the $2k tax deduction (probably about $550 for my tax bracket). In some states you get free parking at the parking meters and can drive in the car pool lanes.