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Old 08-03-2010, 10:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hot Tamale - '10 Toyota Prius III
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Originally Posted by robchalmers View Post
I want to understand the draw, but I just don't get it, can one of the many Prius owners on here explain to me why they plumped for it?
OK, here are my reasons:

What I really like about the new Prius (3rd generation) is the improved styling (definitely more mainstream than the 2nd generation), the improved safety, the great gas milage (at least double what I got with the Volvo S80 I used to own, and the potential for a whole lot more), the fact that it's a hatchback (allows hauling larger items than the sedan style), the fact that it has cloth seats (on the one I bought) versus leather (leather makes me sweat), and all the high-tech stuff that comes on it (touch tracer display, keyless entry system, Hybrid System Indicator, Bluetooth, XM). In addition, the Prius has very few maintenance items and few things to break: no camshaft timing belt or tensioner (uses a chain); no hydraulic power steering pump or rack (it's electric); no accessory belt or tensioner (all accessories are driven electrically); no starter motor (uses one of the motor/generators to start the engine); no automatic transmission to malfunction and/or require a rebuild/replacement; the regenerative braking reduces the wear on the brake pads and disks (some people have over 100,000 miles on them in their Gen II cars); and the oil change interval was just changed to 10,000 miles. There's just not much maintenance to do on a Prius.

So far the Prius drives great. It provides a ton of feedback through the Hybrid System Indicator to make you a more efficient driver. No problems with the brakes, either. I think the interior noise is about comparable between the Prius and the Volvo. I thought the Volvo sound system was great, but I have to say that the JBL 8-speaker audio in the Prius is better (it also has Bluetooth and XM built in).

I don't know about the UK, but where I live diesel costs more than gasoline, which reduces the appeal of diesel cars. Also, few gas stations (I would guess about 1 out of 10) carry diesel, which may be an inconvenience.

IIRC, the carbon footprint of diesel cars is higher than the Prius, also. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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