Yes, Cliffy, the sales target for the model year 2001 was 12,000 units. They have sold and delivered 8058 cars by Feb 28th. By the end of April, Toyota anticipates Prius will sell out, leaving many to wait for the 2002 models in the fall. Did you know that 36% of all Prius orders are in California? 36% in one state!
Toyota's Prius planning manager initially thought the sole competition for the Prius was Honda's Insight. But, they are fast learning thru surveys and internet message boards such as this that people are also starting to consider Prius alongside Taurus, Honda Accord, and Camry. I myself have had buyers settle for Camry CE vs. Prius rather than wait. Yes, the Camry CE is less costly too... that also is a motivating factor as well.
#608 of 1489 In case you haven't seen these...
That is an excellent question Cliffy and I have no idea why it let me post it either, but I've experienced exactly what you say. Sometimes the limit bites you, sometimes it does not - all for the same link.
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#612 of 1489 After 6 months and 800 miles
May 12, 2001 (2:42 pm)
I haven't read Edmunds Prius chat for a while so if this is old news, just go on to the next message.
We took delivery on our 2001 Prius in January. We live in mild northern California, so the following is based on temperatures from the 40's in January to 80's in May (eat your heart out fellows!). First off my wife is the principal driver of this vehicle. She does not have a heavy foot and will coast for a block until the red light turns green. Most of her driving is not in rush hours.
My computer indication, using standard 87 octane fuel, we consistently average 43 mpg in silicon valley light traffic. We have filled the tank twice (not letting it get too much below half tank) and gotten 39.6 and 39.7 mpg using the same pump in the same gas station. I should note that about half the time she is traveling alone and half with me.
The only highway trip we have taken is about 40 miles to Gilroy and return with three adults in the car. I drove one way at 65-70mph and the compute output said 43.7 mpg. My wife drove back at 60-65 and got 45.3 mpg. That makes me happy with near agreement to PEA figures for highway use.
I then took it in to my Toyota dealer for a warranty checkup as to why the city driving average of 43 mpg didn't come even close to the 54 mpg Toyota likes to brag about. I have gotten to know both Toyota Prius qualified specialists at this dealer. I have gone into the shop and scanned through their shop manuals. (Do you know that they haven't' been issued any manuals on the motor/generators or the planetary transmission? These could have been Echo manuals)
I noted to them that the engine ran fairly long compared to the free loaner they gave us (which also averaged 43 mpg) and suggested the cat convertor probe may be reading low. I also noted that upon return from the Gilroy trip we got two succesive 50+ mpg 5 minute computer readouts before it fell back to past readings and suggested that the fuel/air ratio compute may be making the engine rich and carbonizing the cat convertor (driving at high speed would tend to burn off any such deposits).
One of these two swell guys spent two days testing and driving our car and said all of the parameters (including the ones I had noted) were normal, The best he could get was also about 43 mpg, unless 1: you had on the defroster/airconditioning (this runs the motor full time and gets much poorer mileage), and 2: you went on long enough trips for the engine to heat up the absorber/cat convertor in only the earliest part of the trip and you accelerated slowly to the speed you wanted and then did no adjust the accelerator petal either up or down (Oh where is cruise control? 2002?) Try to do the latter in normal city traffic
I'd probably be sick if my car, a 2000 Camry, had an instantaneous and trip average readout (I'm probably lucky to hit 20mpg in the city with my heavy foot). Ignorance is bliss! But I wouldn't trade cars for a long road trip!
Several magazine articles have indicated the 43 mpg is achieveable in the city. Of course if you can hold you accelerator foot exactly in position while driving in traffic and over pot holes you may hit 50+mpg. Otherwise we're happy with the car. Try to accelerate from a standing start with an Echo and then with a Prius and note the difference on engine noise (Echo engine sounds like a old Beatle engine windup, versus the Prius's battery/motor start).
#613 of 1489 More on "After 6 months and 800 miles"
May 12, 2001 (2:50 pm)
After hearing the shop etch note that varying the accelerator even slightly cut into gas mileage I asked if he could dampen the speed response top small changes in the accelerator position? He stated that they are not allowed to do anything to the computer settings. And he had been to two Prius schools already. If it isn't trivial, they have to call for a Toyota re to investigate the problem. My dealer is sending two more mechanics to Prius school soon. They have to be rated in the top 10% of the mechanic pool to qualify.
Sorry for the few typos in my original message. The spell check can't catch typos if they are spelled right.
...is affecting the Southern California buying climate. We've had more Prius Internet Online orders in the last week than we've had in any one month. Amazing. I think some possible buyers are on the fence, thinking to wait for a new 2002 also but who knows what that 2002 model year will bring for options, and pricing. We all know that the 2002's are expected to offer side impact airbags, CD changer in dash, and perhaps a GPS system, but we don't know when/what. I still think they will keep that pricing point down near to the $21000 area for the base, but who can say for certain. It's just astounding how frenzied some folks are, watching the gas prices rising and not knowing IF they will drop back down to the more comfortable $1.50 area for regular gas in Southern Ca. but I'm willing to wager that of the 12,000 cars Toyota planned for 2001 sales, they will be completely OUT in 2-3 weeks... and we'll see a long waiting list for the 2002's for September/October delivery.