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Who owns a Toyota Prius and how do you like it?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Nic36, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Could be ugly like a blaze king?

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  2. sesmith

    sesmith Member

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    [quote author="Nic36" date="1294707412"]

    But, I have considered buying a little Corolla or Civic as a gas saver for longer trips and daily driving. I know owning two vehicles does not make financial sense. I had an older Camry I had just sold, betting I would never get into this predicament.

    Anyway, I have also had the wild idea of a buying Prius. I have found a couple for sale reasonably priced. If anyone owns one, I would appreciate their thoughts on it.
  3. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    If you just view as a car as something to get you to work and back then I suppose, but people own vehicles for various reasons. I have a truck, 2 cars, and a Jeeps... just me for a driver.

  4. cdnxj

    cdnxj Member

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    Thought I would chime in here since there has been a bit of discussion on non-Prius hybrid models. I drive a 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, I have a 50 km commute on the highway. I average around 20-25 mpg. Not great but comparable to a 4 cyl SUV I guess. The Highlanders are just too heavy to get the same mpg as the Prius. Another thing, the "4wd" is a joke...the thing is a boat anchor in the snow. And don't expect to use it to tow anything. I got stuck on a boat ramp with a 14' aluminum, probably 500 lbs trailer included. The traction control shuts everything down as soon as the tires slip. No tire spin, no forward progress whatsoever.

    These things have their place don't get me wrong. But save your cash on the hybrid premium and get yourself a toyota 4 cyl or VW diesel. My 0.02$.
  5. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I'd rather go with the veggie car, but I can't find the grease. Not as easy as you think. I wonder what the Prius mileage would be without all the extra weight from the electric motors and such. What if you put in a nice 3 cylinder or smaller diesel?
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    It was interesting to find that the Prius engine is not a standard Otto cycle.
    Its an Adkinson cycle engine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atkinson_cycle
  7. Hydronics

    Hydronics Feeling the Heat

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    I have a 1st gen Prius company car, we also have Civic and Ford Escape hybrids. The Prius is economical but I've never driven anything that handled so poorly. Not the safest feeling vehicle either. Personally, I'd take the Escape then the Civic, the Prius would be my last choice. Just my opinion -selection of a vehicle is not just about fuel economy.
  8. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    1'st generation Prius are a very different vehicle than Gen 2 or 3. I've driven one and didn't like it much either.
  9. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    Joining in here late, but I have had a Prius since Nov. 2003 - the first gen. 2 in our area. I currently have 136k miles on it. I've replaced the muffler and the 12 volt battery - not unexpected with our cold, snowy weather and lots of road salt on a 40 mile per day commute. I am conpletely satisfied with it and would buy another if needed. When gas prices rose to $4, it really felt good saving so much money! The hatchback design is a big plus since I haul a lot of chicken feed and garden materials at times. I really plan to take this car to 200k or beyond.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    How about a MINI? I love mine. The hatch is great and it's got a 6 speed and handles great. Gets consistant 40+ mpg. Have 60k miles on it. Only problem was a leaky water pump that I replaced myself (out of warrenty). It has chain drive cams-my old VW tdi cam belt drove the water pump, and you didn't want to break that belt. Comfy seating (in front).
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Rented a diesel Crossman in Italy last year. It was fun to drive and pretty easy on the diesel.
  12. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Hi,
    We are actually on our 2nd Prius. First was a 2005, and I've documented the whole deal on it here:
    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Vehicles/ourprius.htm

    We traded in the first one at just over 100K miles. I figure that compared to driving our Honda Pilot small SUV (or the Subaru Outback we had before that) that we saved 3467 gallons of gasoline, $10,400, ad 65,800 lbs of CO2 -- the calcs are explained here: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Vehicles/ourprius.htm#100K

    We traded the old Prius in on a new one, so I guess that tells the story on how much we like it.

    Most of our driving is highway driving, and I think the Prius is great for that -- I'd take it on a long trip any day over the Pilot -- its quieter and more comfortable.

    We have snow on the ground here 6 months of the year, and the Prius is fine on snow. My wife likes the Pilot better for snowy driving, but I think its more image than substance. One downside for snow is that ground clearance is low, so you won't be going anywhere in 6 or 8 inches of heavy snow.

    I've never quite understood the EPA city mileage being better than the highway -- we routinely get 50 mpg on the highway, but mostly high 40's around town. Maybe the EPA city test is more severe than what we drive in.

    One thing I feel is that the Prius is not just another hybrid, its an exceptionally well engineered car from a fuel efficiency standpoint. Its the combination of a great aerodynamic shape, low rolling resistance, attention to weight, the Atkinson cycle engine, electrically powered accessories, ... that just make it shine from an efficiency point of view. Most of the other hybrids are not designed from the ground up with efficiency as the main focus -- they are just regular models with a hybrid power train added -- and the fuel economy numbers tend to reflect this.


    I took a cut at how various cars compare for total cost of ownership (MSRP + fuel costs) for 100K miles. I tried to cover a wide range of vehicles including hybrids and non-hybrids. I think its an interesting read with some mildly surprising results:
    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Vehicles/Compare/CompareLife.htm
    This is kind of hard to do accurately (especially in getting comparable MSRPs), but I tried to make it clear what assumptions were made.

    By the way, Toyota announced two new members to the Prius family a couple days ago -- a sort of station wagon model, and a baby Prius. http://green.autoblog.com/ has the details on them.



    Gary
  13. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    That claim about a fuel cell vehicle ready for 2015 is pretty bold.
  14. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    A little late as well. but I have a 2006 Gen 2 with 93K. I agree with all the positive comments expressed here. Done nothing, except tires at 75K and oil changes with Mobil 1. It's never been back to the dealer. For what it is, one of the best cars I've ever had. I don't think you have to green blood like me, or a be a geek to drive one. Did you guys get the recall on the electric water pump. It's an issue with air being trapped at the pump. Always heard it was tough to get the air out after changing the coolant. Toyota is so gun shy, seams like they will fix anything. They have a all electric version that they asked if i want to test drive, unfortunately i was away and couldn't be there.

    Tom
  15. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Tom,
    We got the Toyota letter offering to replace the water pump on our 2005, but it was about a month after we had already traded it in.
    Never had any problem with the water pump during the 101K miles we did drive the car.

    Gary
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We just got that done. It does seem a bit of overreaction, but I can see how it might have been a possible issue for some people having the coolant changed at the local garage. Our old Accord caused a somewhat similar issue when you had a rube mechanic change the coolant. If you were sloppy about bleeding the system it could get an airlock in it.
  17. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    I guess with air trapped in the pump, you don't circulate coolant. With no coolant moveing you may no get a over temp, before the engines and inverter frys. When I bring it in for the recall I'm going to have them replace the coolent. Also i'm going to replace the transaxel oil.

    Tom
  18. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    If i were going for "green" i would lease a GM volt electric for $350 a month. Since i have been getting excellent service from GM for 35 years despite what the GM bashers have to say. especially for short trips which are hard on ICEs I did have a 1999 tacoma truck but got rid of it as it was not much of a work truck and i had a lot of problems with it. My GM trucks were much better suited as work trucks and i never have any problems with them. IMHO
  19. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I have been thinking about an escape hybrid to replace the family mover as i need it to seat at least 5. SO you like the escape ? whats your avg MPG? I may wait for the plug-in version.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That was why we got the Prius. Seats 5 pretty comfortably with good back seat legroom. The Volt only seats 4 I believe. We tried the 2006 Jetta tdi, but the rear seat was just too cramped. Looks like they are improving that with the new mode. Note that the Prius v coming out soon is a bit taller and wagon like.
  21. mainemac

    mainemac Member

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    Add me to the list of very satisfied Prius owners.
    Red 2004 2nd generation
    I have 83,000 miles and average 45 mpg in winter and 50-55 summer. (though 40 mpg in this brutal cold though all cars drop in this weather)
    Figure if and when I make 200,000 miles will use 4,000 gallons compared with my Highlander which would be 12,000 (16 mpg).
    8,000 gallons less pollution and $ 24,000 smackaroos in my pocket, assuming gas stays at $3 per gallon which of course it will;)

    Best of all I can whip down back seats, open hatch and load it with lots of garbage, recycling material,
    Even my 9 foot surfboard fits in there.


    Looking to trade in Highlander for electric mini or leaf or fusion or something electric.

    Tom
  22. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Also look at an older Geo Prism which is a Corolla except for a few body parts and you can usually pick one up for really inexpensive and in great condition. I have a 1995 Geo Prism I'm still driving and I have no real complaints.
  23. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Financially speaking leasing a car is the worst decision you can make unless of course your employer is paying for it.
  24. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Not always, Sometimes the value of the car drops faster than your paying it off. Or in the case of a lease it drops faster than your monthly pmts I made a few killings with leases in the past.Also if you want a new car every 2 or 3 years ,you dont have to go through the trade it in and lose your shirt fiasco. I guess my employer is paying for it cuz im self employed and run my own business for 22 years now. SO my rule of thumb is if your going to trade in 2 or 3 years lease is great.If your going to keeo it forever of course you want to buy it. Im guessing with the volt 3 years is a lifetime for this new tech and the new and improved version may be much more capable. plus at the current purchase price i think your 5 yr PMT would be $599 at 0 interest. Lease looks good at $350.
  25. Nic36

    Nic36 Feeling the Heat

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    My coworker has a Geo Prizm and it will not die. You would have to know the owner of the car to appreciate it's durability. He literally does no maintenance on his vehicles. I don't even think he changes the oil. He has had the car ever since I started working with him. I think he has almost 200K miles on it and I know he has never changed the timing belt. He only fixes something when it breaks.

    Leasing a car is not an option for many reasons. First of all, I don't drive enough miles to justify that...........and I'm pretty cheap.

    I have not made up my mind on anything yet. I have learned to be patient. Anytime I rush into anything, I usually regret it.

    However, right now, I am sorta shying away from a Prius. I am considering a Corolla LE though. I have my eye on two or three in my area at a good price with low miles.

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