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Old 08-03-2010, 08:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
Daox
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Location: Germantown, WI
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CM400E - '81 Honda CM400E
90 day: 51.49 mpg (US)

Daox's Grey Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
Team Toyota
90 day: 49.53 mpg (US)

Daox's Insight - '00 Honda Insight
90 day: 64.33 mpg (US)

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Toyota did evaluate the impact of the additional environmental impact of the manufacturing process of the Prius vs a conventional vehicle. In fact, they put out some good videos when the 3rd gen came out. You might try scouring youtube for them. The study showed that BY FAR the most emissions from the vehicle's lifecycle comes from its actual use, not the manufacturing of it. Aha, I found it:

I disagree that hybrids are only good for city driving. Yes, they are very good at city driving, but I still beat almost every TDI out there with my cruise set to 55-60 mph. Even the best Jetta/Golf TDIs here never beat the Prius on the EPA highway test cycle (03 TDI = 44 mpg, 04 Prius = 45 mpg). The electric motors enable you to downsize the engine, and this is what helps the highway cruising. TDI's suffer the same oversized engine syndrome as normal gassers do. As far as the start/stop capability, yeah you can turn your engine off yourself, but do normal people do this? The Prius automates many such things like engine off so that normal drivers can mindlessly use hypermiling like techniques without even thinking. Sadly, thats what needs to be done since they obviously aren't willing to drive reasonably in the first place.

I guess I'd also disagree that the trunk is tiny. I've fit quite a bit of stuff in my Prius. It is smaller than a normal hatch, but if you want an aerodynamic vehicle thats what you get.

For a family car, it doesn't get any better over here in the US. I don't think that it gets that much better over in Europe either, but I don't know all you guys have to choose from. If I were going with the highest mileage car I could get, I'd go with a smaller TDI if I could (and I can't since there aren't any here), or 1st gen Honda Insight. However, if Toyota released the FT-CH I'd probably take that over a small TDI.
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