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Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars
#856 of 1489 Prius vs. Honda Civic Hybrid
Apr 14, 2002 (10:34 am)
After a relatively disappointing test drive of the new Honda Civic Hybrid automatic two weeks ago, we thought we'd give the Toyota Prius one last chance. Even though we first test drove the Prius last year, we now had a solid competitor to compare it to.
The Prius only comes as an automatic, and that is what we test drove yesterday.
Having owned my Honda Accord for 17 years now, I have to admit I'm biased towards Hondas, but facts are facts. The Toyota Prius outperformed the Honda Civic Hybrid in two significant areas where we found the Civic lacking: Where we were less than thrilled with the Civic Hybrid's acceleration, the Prius took off up an uphill freeway entrance ramp with punch and pep comparable to any other compact economy car. Where Honda only offers the Civic Hybrid in three limited and boring colors, the Prius comes in at least six colors, including a nice navy color we thought would be a good pick for my girlfriend who is now a vice president of her environmental engineering firm, and something a guy like me wouldn't be embarrassed to drive as well.
While quirky and unconventional, the interior of the Prius is also more aesthetically pleasing than the two-tone Civic interior. The dash mounted automatic shift lever takes a little getting used to, as do the digital readouts and touch screen computer, but so what? When most people still think you have to plug these cars in at night, what's wrong with educating your passengers as they ride. The Prius' interior also makes you feel as if you're in more of a luxury car than you actually are. The Civic Hybrid's interior makes you feel as if you're riding in just another Civic. The only advantage that the current Civic Hybrid has over the Prius right now is that the Prius wheel wells may be too small to accommodate chains.
Even though the word on the street is that the Honda Civic Hybrid standard version has better acceleration than the Prius, and Honda promises better exterior colors in the future, we don't have time to sit around and wait for Honda to get their act together. We're buying a Prius next week.
Postscript: The Sierra Club's magazine "Sierra," published an article in their May/June 2002 issue (p. 64) where they compared the performance and environmental impact of a Toyota Prius Hybrid to a GMC Yukon SUV in a side-by-side road trip of over 700 miles in Florida. The Prius costs $20,450, the Yukon costs $35,552. Over the identical distance, the Prius achieved an overall gas mileage of 44.5 mpg, while the Yukon only achieved 16.3 mpg. The Prius used 16.24 gallons of gas during the entire trip, at a cost of $22.84, while the Yukon burned through 43.01 gallons, at a cost of $60.21. The Prius only produced an estimated 308.56 pounds of CO2, versus 817.19 pounds for the Yukon.
#858 of 1489 No, people have put chains on their Prius for snow.
Apr 16, 2002 (6:53 pm)
#859 of 1489 Chains and snow
Apr 17, 2002 (4:56 am)
And if one wants, there's still the option of getting winter tires. That isn't really that expensive an option, when one considers the longer life you get out of the corresponding 3-season tires. I don't know about Blizzaks, but certainly Michelin Arctic Alpins are very good tires on snow, ice and wet surfaces.
Prius owners would probably see a fuel economy drop, but chains wouldn't help fuel economy very much either - kinda high rolling resistance there, I think.
#860 of 1489 Rumor of battery disconnection after 4 days
Apr 18, 2002 (11:14 am)
Is absurdly false. A couple Facts for you all.
1) I own a '02 Prius
2) The 12 volt battery is very small in relation to a normal car battery.
3) The 12 volt battery DOES NOT START THE CAR.
4) The 12 volt battery only powers the computer and the anti-theft system.
5) If you leave the car for long periods of time the 12 Volt battery will probably have enough charge to allow a start after at least a month.
6) The 12 volt battery can be jumped like any other car.
7) Go to yahoo_groups and read the Thousands of owners comments and problems and likes and dislikes in the prius groups.
#861 of 1489 Test drove a Prius today
Apr 20, 2002 (12:26 pm)
And I have several questions. Has anyone put close to 100,000 miles on one yet? It will only take me 3 years (less if the winter is dry) to do that.
How does the car handle in the wind? I saw the reports in Edmunds about their Insight, and since I often have to deal with high winds, I wouldn't get one.
How comfortable are the seats for long trips? I found out a month after I bought it that the Tacomas have very uncomfortable seats if you have trips over an hour. Since my commute usually takes an hour and a half, comfortable seats are very important for me, and something that is hard to judge during a test drive.
I was impressed with the acceleration getting on the freeway, but the test drive was on totally level ground (no hills around the dealership). I would have to drive a freeway that goes up a long, steep mountain at freeway speeds. My 4 banger, 5 speed Tacoma often passes Honda Civics and Metros on the steep parts, only to have them "blow my doors off" when the freeway levels out. Would I be stuck in the slow lane with the Civics, Metros and 18 wheelers if I were driving a Prius?
Thanks for all your information!
#862 of 1489 various myths about Prius
Apr 22, 2002 (12:03 pm)
I have view some of the discussion on this group and find the same myths rolling around that have been dispelled many times over at other sites. The most informative site is the Yahoo-prisu-groups site (sorry about the constant ads), but myths which I saw here like the NIMH batteries will start dying in a year and their huge Chrysler car is better for the environment? well anyway obviously a Chrysler fan wrote that one.
At least the main battery pack is warrenteed for 8 years and 100,000 miles - which is pretty good and it is designed for at least 200,000 miles which is better. Actual real world experience shows no change in that battery pack after many owners having 40k and more miles to date - on US cars. Owners in Japan have had their cars for almost 3 more years now and we have not heard of any problems to speak of with the main battery pack.
The car is a steel car and will probably rot out long before the battery pack dies (at least in the salty areas of the country).
So that is just for one myth.
The other myth is about pay back time versus something like an Echo.
BOLD FACE NOW::
MOST OF US BUY THE PRIUS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT _ NOT JUST LINE OUR POCKETS WITH EXTRA CHANGE BECAUSE OF GREAT GAS MILEAGE.
Was that loud enough?
Anyway - sure you can also buy a Volkswagon Diesel which matches the mileage or even does better than the Prius, but it is FILTHY to your lungs and our world..
Myths, myths , myths..
Someday I hope people realize that we all can do something about our environment and probably should be individually doing something.
It is surely known that our current government will only help the industries that pollute much to our demise.
sorry bout the politics..
#863 of 1489 msdickerson
Apr 22, 2002 (6:28 pm)
Thanks for the info about the batteries - I was concerned about that to a certain extent, but also with the CVT and how well it holds up in general.
I am not cross shopping the Prius with a little, miserly car, such as the Echo, because of my commute - I don't want to crawl up the steep portions of the freeway going 45-55 mpg when others are going 80.
I'm really interested in economy but not at the expense of everything else. My one way commute is usually an hour and a half, covers 75 highway miles, varying from slow-n-go to 75-is-too-slow, and (going home) almost 6,000 feet elevation gain. I need something that I won't burn trannys out every year (I did that with a 4 banger Nissan auto pickup), that can go up steep freeway grades at 65 or more, and that will be comfortable to ride in for long periods of time (something my Tacoma isn't). My gas bill is a large portion of my budget, so lowering it while being more comfortable than I am now is the most important thing for me. And what is wrong with that? If I buy a Prius it will because it will meet my transportation needs - otherwise I won't buy it, no matter how much better for the environment it might be.
It does seem at first glance to meet many of my needs. I know it won't meet all of them, but I have another vehicle that can handle those times when the Prius can't get out of the driveway. I really have a thing against shovels and chains at 4am...
#864 of 1489 I finally drove a Prius!
Apr 22, 2002 (9:47 pm)
I finally had a chance to drive a Toyota Prius (it's my brother's NEW car).
First of all, the instrument panel does take a little getting used to because it's not in front of you like a normal car. Also, the shape of the Prius may not be to some people's liking, either.
Anyway, what pleasantly surprised me was how much low end "pep" the Prius has. Getting onto the freeway was almost as good as my own Honda Civic HX CVT coupe, thanks to the CVT-like transmission on the car.
The first few days my brother has the car he reported fuel mileage of 47 miles per US gallon, not bad considering part of his commute is on the freeway.
I would not be surprised that a more powerful variant of the hybrid drive system on the Prius ends up on the Corolla within a few years.