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Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars, Car Buying, Hatchback, Sedan
#3 of 52 Prius Test Drive.... have questions
Oct 07, 2005 (7:07 am)
After reading all the ravings about the Prius, I had to drive one for myself. I made a quick call to our local Toyota dealer and 45 minutes later, we were test driving the Prius. I must say, it was a weird experience not feeling the engine running all the time. The demo Prius we drove was a 2004 model. I was surprised at how much room it had inside for both passenger seating and cargo room. The Prius had no problem cruising on the highway at 70+ mph. There were only two "negatives" I experienced which leads me to my questions.
1) This car had trouble gaining any speed from a stopped position. It was fine after it picked up speed, but I would be afraid to pull out into busy traffic with it. Are they all this way, or could there have been something wrong with our demo model?
2) I kept hearing a high pitched noise from the rear of the car. This would become very annoying on a long trip.
In all fairness, this was an '04 model, but I would hate to order one only to find out these two problems exist on the newer ones as well. I would appreciate any feedback from current owners regarding these or any other issues with the Prius.
#4 of 52 Re: Prius Test Drive.... have questions [gmctruck]
Oct 07, 2005 (8:02 am)
The acceleration is very deceiving as there is NO shift shock. If you look at the speedometer you'd be surprised at how much it picks up speed. Since it was a demo did you check the state of charge of the battery? If it was low, you will not have full acceleration.
Can't help you on the noise issue. Of all the 2nd gen Prius I've driven, I have never heard such a noise. My advice is to rent one for the weekend. A test drive for 10-15 minutes is not enough for any car.
#5 of 52 Re: Prius Test Drive.... have questions [falconone]
Oct 07, 2005 (9:07 am)
I'm not sure how charged the batteries were. This thing made lots of noise on takeoff, but it just didn't move very well at first. I'll see if I can test drive one at another dealer and compare the two. There were so many indicators to look at, it was hard to check them all out and drive at the same time. I guess in time, one would become used to them. I did like the layout of the instrument cluster. It was strange not turning a key to "start" the car. I've never seen a car with a power button until now. The Prius is a neat little car. I'm not sure I want to buy one just yet, but I think Toyota is on the right path.
#6 of 52 Re: Prius Test Drive.... have questions [gmctruck]
Oct 07, 2005 (11:01 am)
Check out the new Honda Civic hybrid. A real improvement over the recent model and it is a VERY handsome looking car. Much more conventional looking than the Prius. If fuel economy and basic transportation is your goal, have a look at the newly designed Toyota Echo. It's a very light car and bare basics but very reliable.
#7 of 52 Re: Prius Test Drive.... have questions [gmctruck]
Oct 07, 2005 (11:59 am)
If I may what type of vehicle do you normally drive? Is it a GMC truck?. If so you probably drive a V8 or at min a V6. 4c cars are MUCH noisier than V6's or V8's. The high pitched whine you heard was most likely the 1.5L engine. What is different is that the Prius uses the electric motor to give you instantaneous acceleration which is normally much quicker than other 4c or 6c cars.
If you are used to the massive torque feeling of a big truck when you stomp on it to get into traffic the Prius will seem to lack.. but most 4c cars are also in this situation.
#8 of 52 Re: Prius Test Drive.... have questions [gmctruck]
Oct 07, 2005 (12:22 pm)
I would appreciate any feedback from current owners regarding these or any other issues with the Prius.
The car is a great commuter car that can haul stuff. But it does have limitations. The noise, as you noticed, is pretty bad. On the highways, depending on the surface, it can be pretty intolerable. There is like no sound insulation on the car. It's also the only car I've owned where the acceleration totally varies. If the battery is green, it's actually pretty fast. Usually the battery is blue, which is 'mostly adequate'. If you go to a drive-thru on a hot day, and have the AC running, when you pull out the battery will be pink, and the car can barely get out of it's own way in this state. The lack of adjustable seats and a tilt steering wheel makes it somewhat hard to get uncomfortable.
But if you want a basic commuter car, and don't mind paying a lot more than a comprable car, the Prius isn't bad.
#9 of 52 Re: Prius Test Drive.... have questions [kdhspyder]
Oct 07, 2005 (1:31 pm)
I have a GMC truck, but my daily driver is a Pontiac Grand AM (V6) which will throw you back in the seat on takeoff. That being said however, the Prius didn't sound too good on initial takeoff. It just seemed to be having alot of trouble getting itself moving. Not a good feeling when pulling out into heavy traffic. The high pitch noise was coming from the rear of the car. I asked the salesman what the noise was, and he didn't know, but I think that car had a few problems since is was a demo car.
#10 of 52 Re: Prius Test Drive.... have questions [jonnycat26]
Oct 07, 2005 (1:34 pm)
Thanks for your feedback. I like to hear reports from people who actually own and drive the cars!
#11 of 52 Re: Prius Test Drive.... have questions [jonnycat26]
Oct 07, 2005 (1:51 pm)
You must have ultra sensative ears. I find the noise levels at highway speed quite comendable. Every car has sound insulation, including the Prius.
#12 of 52 Re: Prius Test Drive.... have questions [falconone]
Oct 08, 2005 (10:20 am)
You must have ultra sensative ears. I find the noise levels at highway speed quite comendable.
I think it was the car I came from. My old Jetta was tomb quiet on the highway. With the Prius, I can hear the road and wind. And if there is sound insulation, I don't think there's that much of it.