Last post on Jul 28, 2013 at 8:39 AM
You are in the Toyota Prius
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars
#3666 of 7508 my Prius experience
Jan 23, 2004 (6:41 pm)
Hello, everyone! New forum member here. My husband and I bought our Prius 2004 last year, taking possession just after Christmas. What a wonderful gift it has been!
We live in Colorado, in the NW suburbs of Denver. Before we bought the Prius our only car was actually a truck, a '91 Toyota PU, V6 4WD. While most of our driving is very much short run, stop-and-go driving - back and forth to the grocery or the Park-and-Ride - we also have taken many long road trips, done camping and a bit of off-road, and have driven it all over the western US and up into Canada. The truck is perfect in the occasional deep snow blizzards we get here, hauls a ton of mulch for my garden, and while not good on gas mileage, it was at least acceptable at roughly 20-21 MPG (this has dwindled a bit as it aged).
So, we really love our truck, but it's approaching 150,000 miles, and when we decided we needed a second car we were primarily thinking of a Subaru Outback, which has the AWD, carries a ton of stuff, and is affordable, reliable, and extremely common in this area.
We're not familiar with luxury cars, or power cars, as many of you seem to be. But we are very environmentally aware, since we both have allergies and asthma that kick in hard when the air gets bad. And so when we got serious about a new car last summer we started looking at the Prius.
I'm not entirely sure when or why we decide the Prius was the car we most wanted. We were very much intrigued by the environmental aspects of course - not just the MPG that you all discuss a lot, but the overall low emissions. And having had a Toyota truck, we were convinced that it would be a quality product. Besides all that I think we were swayed by our general love of technology and computers, since we're both sort of geeky. So we read a lot of stuff, and slowly our interest turned to the Prius rather than the Outback.
By the time we started to settle on a Prius, it was late summer and the 2003s were long gone. We worked with a broker affiliated with our credit union (and had a wonderful experience there, but I don't think this is thread for that). We started reading all the incredible press the Prius has gotten in the last half of '03, and began to worry that we wouldn't be able to get our hands on one, now that we'd settled on it.
We did know that we wanted the Driftwood Pearl, and the #7 (AM) pack, since that had all the safety features plus neat things like the Smart Entry. So we had our broker put in a special order, and hoped it would arrive before the end of '04 (we ordered in November, so the timing was definitely tight). We got a call or two about other colors and features that showed up while we were waiting, but decided that even if it meant a lower tax break, we really wanted out first new car to be exactly what we wanted.
Here in Colorado, by the way, there is a tax credit of almost $3000 for buying a hybrid (Colorado has some serious pollution issues and has been aggressive about dealing with them). That's an actual tax credit, and on top of the federal tax reduction. So while the nearly $25k price was pretty high for us, the tax considerations made a big difference. And our broker and the dealer (Elway, for those in the area) came through perfectly, delivering exactly what we wanted in just over six weeks.
I know this will sound insane, but we bought the car entirely on instinct, never having seen this model of Prius, much less ever driven one. And it was love at first sight.
The seats are completely comfortable, the interior size and hauling capacity are more than I ever imagined, the car itself has a faster, more responsive engine than I expected, and takes hills, traffic, and at least light snow very well. It easily holds our normal shopping, even when we go to Costco and load up, and we can carry our friends around with no trouble at all.
Between here and the Park and Ride, our most common drive, there are six stop lights in less than three miles. And every time we pull up to the light and the entire car shudders and goes silent, I smile. All those people around us are belching out fumes but we're in this little bubble of quiet and clean air, and it's a great feeling.
I mention that because our gas mileage is nothing like what some of you report. We're still in our first tank, and averaging under 34 MPG. From reading here, I think that's because: 1) it's really been cold this time of year; 2) the car is way new (we hit 200 miles today); 3) we're not very good at driving for best mileage yet; and 4) we're doing the worst sort of in-city, short run driving. We rarely drive for more than 5 or ten minutes at a time.
Anyway, that's my Prius experience so far. We're very happy with the purchase, and if, as I expect, the car is as sound and reliable as other Toyota vehicles, I hope to remain happy with it for years to come.
#3667 of 7508 From Ripley's Believe It Or Not: Nebraska's Prius Tax
Jan 23, 2004 (7:06 pm)
The Great State of Nebraska has decided that all Prius owners must pay a $75.00 annual fee for driving an "alternative fuel" vehicle. If you want the gory details, click on the top link at:
Next I suppose they will charge motorcycles $100 and bikes $150!
#3668 of 7508 Minnesota Gathering
Jan 23, 2004 (7:37 pm)
We've settled on a date, time, and location now.
Saturday, January 31 at 3:00 PM
This time we'll be in the northwest corner of the Twin Cities, at the STARBUCKS in Maple Grove.
If you have a hybrid, are waiting for the delivery of one, or are just curious, stop by.
Like usual, it is just a casual get together to ask questions and swap stories. We will probably take a few photos of the cars too. That particular location is great. There is a ton of parking space, making a "line up" photo very easy. And of course, the inside of the coffee shop (where it's warm) is quite large, offering easy seating for all that show up.
Just take the first exit on 94 North. Turn right on Weaver Lake Road. Then turn right on Elm Creek Boulevard. You'll see the Starbuck's at the end of a small strip-mall. Behind it is a large Barnes & Noble, with a Kohl's and Cub Foods off to the north side. In other words, it's pretty easy to find.
Hope to see you there.
Jan 23, 2004 (9:06 pm)
Simply outrageous. Right now I can't figure out from memory where Nebraska is located. Isn't it one of those farming state that may never heard or experience smog? When most states are encouraging greener and more fuel efficient cars, there's always that one state that will actually encourage gas guzzling polluting vehicles. Should I decide to go cross country with my Prius, I'll definitely bypass the state. I might get taxed for using my Prius on their highways.
#3670 of 7508 HID & HID & HID NOT!
Jan 23, 2004 (10:26 pm)
Factory installed HID systems are required to have auto-leveling.
There are many type/styles of aftermarket HID headlamp systems.
And then there is the RIP-OFF kind.
There are folks out there in the market selling HID kits that actually use incandescent bulbs. Not HID look-a-like, those are out there too, in abundance.
Absent a modification of the base/socket, I know of no HID bulb being manufactured that will fit in place of an incandescent bulb.
#3671 of 7508 Black BC (8) Available in Plano, TX
Jan 24, 2004 (6:39 am)
I got a call from Ray at the Plano Texas dealership late last night - there is a black BC (8) '04 in that's apparently available. Although I've been doing my share of whining about waiting on my Prius, I don't want to pay the "at least $4,000 over MSRP" that this dealer admitted to charging for this car. He was honest enough to tell me that before I decided to make the drive down to TX.
Ray is sure it will be gone quick, but if anyone else waiting wants to check out this car, call Ray at 972-814-7861.
#3672 of 7508 re cold weather
Jan 24, 2004 (7:11 am)
thank's John our cold weather fix was a battery blanket easier than removeing it just plug it in with block heater. Have delivery date of late March for 04 prius.
#3673 of 7508 Just drove 2004 Prius
Jan 24, 2004 (11:39 am)
I just drove my first Prius. Very impressive car, didn't have a lot of options, I think it just had package 1. The salesman said that if I were to order one today, it would probably take 7 months to get it! I'm in Green Bay, is that really the typical waiting time these days?
Jan 24, 2004 (5:56 pm)
> our cold weather fix was a battery blanket
Makes me wonder of heat-tape would work too. Hmm? I hadn't ever thought of simply wrapping some around the battery and plugging it in.
#3675 of 7508 Black BC (package 9...not 8) Available in Plano, TX ...
Jan 24, 2004 (6:34 pm)
That's funny and outrageous at the same time. I live in Plano (suburb of Dallas) and the first Toyota dealer I stopped at to order my Prius last Sept. was Toyota of Plano. Plano is a very nice city of 250,000 and I was sadden to find that Toyota of Plano is such a bad dealer. I figure since I live in town I wanted to support the merchants in town. To my disappointment, this dealer is one of the worst Toyota dealer I have ever set foot in. Their sales staff were pushy and their managers were arrogant. After about an hour talking to them about ordering a Prius, I was fed up and walked out. I then drove down to another Toyota dealer in another Dallas suburb and wow, what a difference. I am now a proud owner of exactly the car I ordered without any overpriced ad-ons. I was surprised at how accomodating my second choice dealer was; even the delivery process was great.
I can tell you that I will never buy a car from the Plano dealer. I may, if in a pinch, can not find a part for my Prius elsewhere, I may call on their parts dept. A friend of mine told me recently that on two different occasions, he had seen customers with picket signs protesting in front of the Plano dealer on their bad service. IMO any amount, however popular a vehicle is, over MSRP is outrageous. I know there are people out there who are desperate enough to buy over MSRP but not this family. Now, I believe that dealers should get a fair profit for their business but $4k over MSRP? In this day an age where car manufacturers are handing out low interest rates and incenstives left and right, paying over MSRP is rediculous. Capitalism at it's finest. Sorry for the rant...getting of my soapbox now...Tony.