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Old 08-03-2010, 05:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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(granade pin pulled) Whats the point in the Prius?

I'm just trying to understand the Prius. I'm sorry if the title is a little sharp, but I'm not sure what the aim of the car is.


A few petrol cars here in europe can produce the economy figures the prius does.

At somepoint you have to run the engine to charge the cells, the sitting in traffic = zero emissions, doesn't really wash with me, if you're sat still - switch off your engine.

Highway economy seems poor when you compare it other cars especially TDi's

Manufacturing requires a huge amount of time and effort to shift the ingredientsfor the batteries around the world to build the cars in Japan just to ship back out around the world. thus completely obliterating and CO2 saving the car will have in service.

Aero? really?
Practicality? - the trunk is pretty tiny. and I drive a small hatch!

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?

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Old 08-03-2010, 06:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Priuses (Prii?) are great if you do lots of city driving, because having to stop and start is a fact of life. They are also a good size, while similar to a Corolla for actual dimensions, the interior is way more roomy.
I'd love to see a diesel version, because current gas engines just can't compete with TDIs. But as Toyota's main market is the US, a gas engine is really the only option if they want to be able to sell to normal people, who are yet to notice that diesels aren't horrible smoky machines anymore.

I'm also very interested in seeing some real research into how far a Prius has to drive before it cancels out the effects of making the batteries. I saw the thing a few years ago about a Prius being worse than a Hummer, but it had so many flaws it was just stupid.

IMO, hybrids are really only a good answer to people that do lots of city driving (like taxis and delivery people). For most other people, a good TDI would be better, ideally with an aerodymically designed body like the Prius (a 1.6L TDI from the Skoda Octavia in a Prius shell would be awesome).
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What I've learned over the last few years, reading what hypermiling hybrid owners say,
you can get much better than the rated MPG, with the Prius, Fusion & Escape hybrids.

For many people, the 'point' of owning one of these hybrids, isn't to 'break even'
(compared to a gas car) or make it pay for itself someday.

The reason most people buy these hybrid models, is they want to.
They aren't forced to buy, because of high gas prices etc.
Like any other car, people 'like' it, so they buy it..

I like high-tech toys. If I could justify owning a Fusion, I would buy one.
They just seem like the coolest hybrid out there now..
But, since I don't drive very many miles, (and haul lumber on my roof racks)
I don't really feel the need for a fancy car that I will hardly use..

Because the price wasn't too high, I did buy 500w of solar panels this summer.
When people ask me, "When will they pay for themselfs?",
I just say, 'When they find a sucker, that will buy them for the price I paid'...
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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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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Old 08-03-2010, 08:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tumnasgt View Post
Priuses (Prii?)
IMO, hybrids are really only a good answer to people that do lots of city driving (like taxis and delivery people). For most other people, a good TDI would be better, ideally with an aerodymically designed body like the Prius (a 1.6L TDI from the Skoda Octavia in a Prius shell would be awesome).
I think its mainly the price of them over here (equiv to $30,000) but I don't think they could make sense over a decent diesel over here for anyone who drives for a living, as you said delivery driver, taxi etc (due to fuel price) I mean there is about a 2.4% difference in price per litre of diesel and petrol over here

Got a feeling its a bit of an 'IPOD' car. Great features, other companies do it as good if not better (cough honda), but every one knows the name..... thanks to Miss Diaz and pals.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by robchalmers View Post
Great features, other companies do it as good if not better (cough honda), but every one knows the name..... thanks to Miss Diaz and pals.
Unfortunately, Honda does not do it better. Look at their abysmal 2nd gen Insight. Less room and less mileage (40/43/41) than the Prius (51/48/50). Probably why they haven't sold even 1/10th the number that Prius has this year. "Prius Killer," Ha!
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Unfortunately, Honda does not do it better. Look at their abysmal 2nd gen Insight. Less room and less mileage (40/43/41) than the Prius (51/48/50). Probably why they haven't sold even 1/10th the number that Prius has this year. "Prius Killer," Ha!
I have to agree.

If the Insight was a desirable car, I would be seeing some of them on the road.
We have a Honda dealer right up the road. There are a bunch of dealers
in this part of Mass. But I don't see any Insights.. Mostly CRVs.

Actually, I see about as many Prius, as CRVs.. This is a snowy place
in the winter, but the Prius is a Very popular car here.

Just a guess, but the Insight is going to be upgraded a bunch or dumped in the coming years..
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just a guess, but the Insight is going to be upgraded a bunch or dumped in the coming years..
I hope they do upgrade it. We need more competition. Honda makes great cars (I used to own an Accord), but their hybrid offerings have not met the grade lately. Hopefully several companies will step up to the plate and challenge Toyota's dominance in this area.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The main problem for other manufacturers is that HSD is very simple part wise (and thus cost wise), and of course its patented. So, other companies have to use different designs that to this point are either not as effective (Honda's IMA), or more more complex (GM 2-mode) and more expensive. Ford has been able to use HSD since they worked with Toyota developing it (or something like that).
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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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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