Any MR Prius owners?

Discussion in 'Community' started by rikers_mailbox, Jul 21, 2005.

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  1. rikers_mailbox macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I've been researching new cars and the Prius has caught my eye. There are lots of things I like about it, but was hoping I could get opinions from people here on MR. (Since we are all appreciative of good technology ;) ) Here are a few questions... feel free to answer some/all/none.

    1. In your experience, what is the realistic gas milage?

    2. Do options like Smart Keyless Entry and Navigation make the loaded Prius worth 25K?

    3. How much can the MSRP be haggled down (if at all)?

    4. How well does the car perform when loaded with 4 people + stuff?

    And PLEASE, if you have any cons or disappointments with the car, tell me!! I'm sure not going to hear any from the dealer. :p

    Thanks!
     
  2. EJBasile macrumors 65816

    EJBasile

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    #2
    1) I myself do not own one but I know someone who does. They say that it gets very good city fuel economy, but on the highway it actually gets worse gas mileage because with highway driving only the engines powers the car. Not the electric part of the car. My friend says his gets close to 60 tops, and at the lowest mid 40's- so definatly not bad.

    2) I think having navigation and the Smart Key for $25,000 is a pretty good value. I have an $78,000 car and it doesn't even have a smart key.

    I'm not sure about all your other questions but do some internet searches. The prius is definatly a highly reviewed car, and I know its highly rated too. Toyotas are great, reliable cars.
     
  3. rikers_mailbox thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Thanks.

    Yes, I've been not searching, but scouring through various Prius forums and googling like a mad-man. This is my first new car purchase with 100% money I earned. Needless to say, I want to make a well educated purchace.

    I agree that Toyotas are great, quality cars. I was also looking at Scions becuase they are so economical (and cheap), however they all look so strange. Point being, an xB is 10K less than the Prius I would get.

    I guess the real decision is: Buy the car I want or get my 2nd pick for 10K less? Always a car-buyer's dilemma.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #4
    The Toyota Echo gets nearly as good mileage as the Prius, esp. as noted, on the highway. It's also 10K less

    Haggling down MSRP on a car that is so backordered you have to wait for it to come in? Don't think so.
     
  5. rikers_mailbox thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    The Echo is also tiny... like driving a sooped up Go-Kart. :) I'm tall which, unfortunately, means I need a larger car.


    I think you're right, especially here in Cali.
     
  6. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    #6
    Anyone here watch Curb your Enthusiasm? I can't help but think of the Prius episode and laugh.
     
  7. GorillaPaws macrumors 6502a

    GorillaPaws

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    #7
    Let me first issue this disclaimer: I am not really educated well in this subject so this is me just repeating things I've heard other people say they've read. But I've heard that when you factor in the extra, up-front cost of a hybrid vehicle, at current gas prices (granted, I'm certain that they will continue to rise over the coming decade), it takes something like 10 years to pay back the extra cost in gas savings. Again, that may be a false statistic, but if you considered if you invested that premium cost in the market, and purchased a cheaper, fuel-efficient vehicle (not a hybrid, but still gets good mileage), you would would come out significantly better in the long run.

    Another issue with the hybrid that a friend raised is the potential expense of battery replacment. He said that since hybrids essentially have two motors, you are potentially vunerable to twice as many mechanical problems in the future (and that he suspects that the special hybrid batteries won't be a cheap replacment). Again, this is just unfounded speculation, but they seemed like reasonable objections. Now, if you are buying the car because you want to make a political statment, or support environmental efforts, than I applaud your efforts, and by all means, drive it with pride, but from a purely economic standpoint, I'm not sure if hybrids are viable just yet. Either way, good luck with your purchase.
     
  8. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

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    #8
    I have a friend who has one. I loooove the gas meter thingiee.

    she got like 70 MPG one trip! IT WAS NUTS! we were both like "ooo!" and touching buttons on the screen and stuff.

    I'd looooooove to have a Prius!
    It would match my PowerBook so well!

    ..I mean, it's an environmentally responsible car.
    :D
     
  9. MacFan26 macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

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    #9
    1. In your experience, what is the realistic gas milage?
    47-57 mpg

    2. Do options like Smart Keyless Entry and Navigation make the loaded Prius worth 25K?
    Eh, they make it worth 20K, but overall the car is worth 25 (although nice when you can get it for less)

    4. How well does the car perform when loaded with 4 people + stuff?
    Perfectly fine. People still think there is a big performance differences in electric cars, but this runs just as well as any other mid sized car. I'd say it has the same performance as a camry or corolla, etc.
     
  10. rikers_mailbox thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Yes, I've seen/heard a number of other arguments that basically say the premium for a milage boost doesn't payoff for 8+ years at today's gas prices (how long until it's $4.00/gallon?). But hybrid-hype aside, I think the 25K Prius is still a good value. It's Toyota safety and reliability in a midsize sedan with a nice stereo, Navigation, Smart Keyless Entry.

    And in regards to the potential for battery/engine related maintenance expenses. The powertrain warranty is 60 mos./60K miles, and hybrid-related component coverage is 8 yrs./100K miles. I guess this is good, no?

    Thanks for all the comments.
     
  11. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    May 1, 2005
    #11
    That's the key to buying a hybrid-- is whether or not it would be a good price even if it wasn't a hybrid.

    Also, let's not forget that the Terminator has started the ball rolling on allowing green cars into the carpool lanes- that's another plus! I know of one specific parking garage in downtown SJ that gives free parking to green cars, I wouldn't be too surprised if similar offerings started popping up all around.
     
  12. MacHarne macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I drive a 1991 Jetta diesel. On average I get 45 mpg and have a tank trip of about 600 miles. The engine model does not include the turbo as the current TDI models do, so I only have 52 bhp.

    And with 52 bhp I can pull four people at about 60 mph with no problems. The Prius has over 100 bhp, if I remember correctly, so I doubt you'll have trouble moving around a lot of stuff. If you actually do the physics and math, you will find that it takes only 8 bhp to move a 2,000 lb vehicle at 60 mph, and when counting average wind interference that becomes 13 bhp. A calculation like that shows you how viable my 52 bhp car is. But I'll take fuel efficiency over power any day.

    I'm only waiting for the Mini Cooper D to come stateside. It gets about 65 mpg in the city... and!... comes in a manual transmission! If they don't bring it over here, I am likely to have one imported, but that is costly. Oh well.
     
  13. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #13
    You mean the MINI one? Yeah... I own an "S", but if the States had the "one" I would trade my baby in quickstyle. Did you know, that the MINI one w/ an aftermarket turbo kit is not only faster than the supercharged S, but it still gets well over 30 mpg!!! :eek: As for manual transmissions, I'm terribly upset that the 05 Cooper S' come in automatic now. Psh, if ya can't drive stick, you shouldn't be allowed to have an S. :D
     
  14. joetronic macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I have last years model. I have been vary happy with it. We also have a 2005 civic hybrid, and the prius blows it away on long trips, and its more comfy to drive. I have thought about trading it in for the newer one.
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #15
    I have always had a thought about the Prius. Actually, its more of a questions, or wonderment (you're right....it's not a word ;) ): If you get into an accident in a Prius, you're going straight to the Toyota repair shop where they may not even be able to help you fix your car themselves.

    And about the time it takes to save that extra $5000-10000 in petrol costs, some people are willing to pay more to get a big car that also doesn't pollute, so while financially it doesn't make sense, it does environmentally. Some of you are just looking at it from the perspective of an accountant. ;)
     
  16. MacHarne macrumors 6502

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    #16
    No, Mini makes a diesel version as well. They have it on the UK version of the Mini Cooper website. As far as I know, they are currently available in Europe. The diesel version gets some ridiculous gas mileage (they claim 70 for "extra-urban" travelling) and, since it is diesel, can be run on certain vegetable oil fuels meaning no harmful emissions.
     
  17. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #17
    Yes it is called the "MINI one." That is why I was referring to it as "one." There is the MINI Cooper "S" and just the MINI Cooper, and the other one is called, MINI Cooper "one." I am well aware of it. ;)
     
  18. SiliconAddict macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

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    #18
    Ask me again next summer. Only 6 more months and my Cougar is paid off. Only 6 more months.....it will be mine. Oh yessss. It will be mine. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. :D
     
  19. Totalshock macrumors member

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    Mar 20, 2003
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    Tarana (to locals...)
    #19
    Me and my fiancee both own Prii... she has an older '01 model, and I have the newer '04.

    1) Lifetime mileage for my 04 here in Canada is 48 mpg. Typically gets well under 50 in the winter, a bit over in the summer.
    2) A very personal question... to me, it was the combinations of the features, the mileage, and the emissions -- I wouldn't call myself a tree-hugger, but if I can get a car that I like that puts out one-tenth of a normal car's emissions, it just seems to make sense.
    3) Not at all. Waiting lists are long. If things go down like they did with the '01, though, you should be able to buy one at a discount in a year or two. Not a steep discount, though. And remember that the new Prius is making many times the number of waves that the original did.
    4) Superstar. The car's never going to win the Indy 500, but can handle four people in the car plus all their travel junk, over fairly hilly terrain, and handily keep up with whatever traffic will do.

    Downsides... it's frustrating not getting the gas mileage which the car manufacturers HAVE TO USE because they're the government's unrealistic test. It's even more frustrating with the Prius because there's instant feedback on how it's doing, right there on the screen. That's a weak drawback at best. The rear window takes a while to get used to... but I quite like it now.. gives you a great view right out the back. Obviously, it doesn't climb or accelerate like a V8 would, but it more than holds its own. You WON'T mistake it for an Echo or Corolla in that regard. There were a nubmer of minor recalls, including a fairly major operation to replace the gas gauge -- or as we owners called it, the "guess gauge," but those fixes have long since been incorporated into the 05 out of the factory.

    Other notes -- love having the steering wheel controls, and the set-it-and-forget-it climate control system... they didn't offer the Bluetooth/Nav package in the 04 n Canada... but most reviews I've heard of it have been pretty favorable, and we Mac folks love the Bluetooth, so.... storage capacity is pretty decent, as it seating for four. A little tight with five people, to be honest. Although not up front where I sit, so who cares? Headroom is fantastic, both front and back, as is legroom. I'm only 5'11", but I have short legs, I actually have the upper body of a person much taller than me (yeah, I'm a freak....) and find plenty of room both front and back.

    It has a decent sound system with a 6-CD changer and a cassette, although the CD never gets used because I just plug the iPod into the cassette deck and go from there.

    Although it's a midsize (and it is midsize internally), I find it much more agile and manouverable than the average Camry or Accord.

    People say it does its best work in the city, but that's not correct. The EPA's "city" test is to run the car at low-ish speeds at a constant temperature, on the flat, without a lot of stopping and starting. In the real world, that stopping and starting is what costs you gas, because the engine has to come on and work at not-peak-effeciency for a bit, just so you can stop again and repeat. In my experience, where the car REALLY stars is not-quite-freeway, but suburban or rural highway driving, where you're doing about 80-90 khm/h, without much stopping or starting. Mileage for trips like that can easily get into the 60 mpg range. Also, the car uses more gas when it's cold, both because in more northerly climes, gas companies switch to a less-effecient but less-likely-to-freeze "winter gas" formulation, and because the car's number one job is ALWAYS to run as clean as it can, and that means keeping the engine at the right temperature.

    I think about the Prius as having sort of an Asimov's Laws of Robotics sort of set-up.

    Law 1) Obey the driver's order -- even if you're going to suck the gas mileage right out of it, and cause it to pollute more, if the driver wants to accelerate as hard as possible uphill on a cold engine with the internal heater cranked up to 80 degrees, do it as best you can.
    Law 2) Reduce emissions to the greatest degree possible while not disobeying Law 1.
    Law 3) Increase gas mileage to the greatest degree possible while not disobeying Laws 1 or 2.

    Keeping those "laws" in mind makes the car's sometimes enigmatic actions (coming on when you wouldn't think it should, etc.) make a lot more sense.

    Hope it helps. Happy shopping!
     
  20. sprstu macrumors member

    sprstu

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    #20
    Jetta TDi, as mentioned earlier. They always get 40mpg around town, and if you are a ginger driver, you can expect to see high 40s and into the 50s on an everyday basis. And on the highway you can always get 50+ and a 60 isnt that uncommon. I have a 98 tdi for travel and love it very very much. It isnt the fastest thing on the road, but I dont care on long trips. My best mpg was 73 on a trip form st louis to minneapolis. Plus, they are a little cheaper to start and fully loaded top out in the mid 20's, so right in your range.
     
  21. Dros macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I have a 2005 Prius. I like it because it gets good mileage (45 mpg is lowest I've had). But people will throw all sorts of calculations at you about how long it will take to recoup the cost - but who makes all those economic decisions for all the other parts of a car? People don't say, the DVD player will be used for 4 hours every month on long trips, so that is $1.20 per year versus getting a portable, etc. etc...

    Bottom line, I got it because it was a hatchback, very quiet (people pay plenty of money for a "quiet" ride... try driving when only the electric motor is going for a quiet ride! It has plenty of torque from the get-go, also something people pay plenty for. Well-designed, comfortable. Emissions are low. Obviously, you don't get paid back for that, but you can appreciate it. Frankly, lots of cars are cheaper, but lots of cars are more expensive as well, for even more dubious benefits like a brand name. So get one and enjoy!
     
  22. rikers_mailbox thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I like the Jetta TDi, but it is unavailable in California. That's right, legislation against diesel emissions prohibits VW (and other diesel car manufacturers) from selling diesel cars! I think it's insane. Diesel engines are not what they were 10 years ago... much less emissions and great gas milage. I've heard (not sure where) that the legislation was borne out of emissions concerns over semi-tractor/trailer usage, and that somehow it applies to consumer-level diesel vehicles. Like I said, insane.

    Pretty typical for California. :rolleyes:

    And thanks to TotalShock for the lengthy write-up. Much appreciated.
     
  23. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #23
    The Echo has also been canceled in the US, with a replacement due near the end of the year.

    Probably more in line with the size and price of the Chevy Aveo, but likely with a smaller more efficient engine.

    Of course in you are tall and need an efficient vehicle, the VW Bug TDI is always a possibility.

    And do what most people do, buy in AZ or NV -- there are quite a few for sale with the CA warranty.
     
  24. MacHarne macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Woah. I had no idea all consumer diesel vehicles were outlawed in California. What about non diesel fuel-running diesel cars? In a more succinct manner: what about cars like mine that are "diesel" but are run on vegetable oil or other no-emissions fuels? It would seem ridiculous to have such an overarching ban like that, even more so without any exemptions (like my car, for example).

    If that's the case, then certainly look for a Prius. It'll be tough being in California, though, because the demand for them is far greater than the other parts of the country. Luckily, Toyota has actually been sending many more Prii to the San Francisco areas instead of blanketing the USA more so equally (from a WIRED article in April regarding Toyota's success with the Prius).

    To devilot76, I checked the Mini's UK site and the car I am speaking of the Mini One D. Sorry about the confusion; we were both thinking of the same thing but had the terminology mixed up. Regardless, if they bring the Mini One D to the states, I'll wet my pants all the way to the dealer.
     
  25. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #25
    Okay, there is some confusion. VW diesels are allowed in CA. I would know. My bf drives a Wolfsburg Jetta and he's always on VWvortex. Not to mention all the golf and jetta TDI's I see all the time on the road as well as at dealerships. :confused:

    Rikers, where did you get your info?

    And MacHarne, all is well... I just knew that I wasn't crazy for calling it the "one" haha because when you see an image of it, it says "one" on the hatch. :D
     
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