Last post on Oct 02, 2012 at 8:01 PM
You are in the Toyota Prius
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Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars, Hatchback, Sedan
Mar 24, 2008 (4:39 pm)
Hi, all. Not to bore you: 37 year old husband and father of 4. A quick background of how I ended-up here.
My wife and I currently drive a 2003 Dodge Ram Quad and a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country, both paid for. The Ram gets about 13 mpg and the van about 19. A few weeks ago we decided to just window shop for a replacement for the van. We were trying to find something more efficient. My wife drives about 22,000 a year, much of it shuttling our kids to and from school, heading to the mall, etc. Maybe 10% of our driving is all 6 of us together as a family.
Anyhow, somehow in looking for a more fuel efficient family vehicle we ended-up looking very closely at a GMC Acadia. A nice vehicle, better gas mileage than my truck and about the same as the van. We came very close to buying one but I just had a bad feeling. The whole idea in looking for a new vehicle in the first place was to find something fuel efficient, or at least moreso. The van is still in good shape and I plan to drive the truck til I can't fix it any more as we have a 12x7 trailer and plan to get a boat one day (I've had it 5 years and it has just 38K on it).
After the close call with the Acadia I started looking closely at the available 6 passenger fuel-efficient vehicles. Slim, slim pickings in that department. The Ford Escape Hybrid didn't jump out at me and the fuel savings weren't that great. So I started looking at the Prius, just looking. It was the only car that really jumped out at me. I am not a particularly "green" person. I mean, I believe in being a good steward of what God's given us, but "green" is not my raison d'etre. But the Prius just had so much to offer. It's just so different and the mpg was the best part of the whole deal. (I think the Prius is attracting a lot more folks like me these days: we want a fule efficient family car and all the green features are a great bonus). It just seemed impractical to buy a Prius as we'd have to keep the van for family outings. But like I said, 90% of our driving is not together.
So after falling in love with the car (without ever having driven one or even seen one up close) I told my wife of all the virtues of purchasing a third car. She finally succumbed and agreed to go look at one today. To make a long story short we plunked down a deposit on a 2008 Driftwood Pearl Package 6.
I keep thinking to myself that this was the wrong decision, but I'm so sick of spending $70 to get 270 miles out of my truck (less than 200 towing the trailer) and $65 for 350 miles from the van. The way I see it we'll save at least $200 a month on fuel alone. I think in the long run it'll turn out to be a good decision. Right about the 6 year mark our oldest son will start driving and what better way to begin than a paid for Prius that gets great gas mileage? I mean, in 2013 gas will be $6 a gallon, right? And even if it is $6 I won't fret too much since a full tank on the Prius will be the same price as a full tank in my truck today and I'll get 40% more miles out of it!
Well, we picked it up this morning. So far we've driven it about 50 miles (it already had 460 miles on it since they swapped it out with one from the dealer in Athens). My wife drove it home from the dealership and then I took it to work and then to the kids' school twice. I averaged 61 mpg on the work trip! (about 9 miles, stop and go, max speed limit of 45. Overall average from the computer is 54.7 mpg. My truck would've used 4 gallons of gas today. The Prius used about 1.
It's funny how before I really thought a lot about gas usage and could literally watch the needle wind down. Now I don't think I'll even think about it.
The hardest thing to get used to is the absolute quiet at stoplights. But the JBL sound system with my iPod is awesome.
The nav system isn't that intuitive and I'm pretty computer/gadget smart. It works well so far though. I'll have to get into the manual tonight.
I told my wife that I've never had so much fun just driving a car. All the reviews that said that is was a pedestrian vehicle got it wrong. People who buy a Prius don't care about performance as much as others. Give me a small engine with great efficiency. I couldn't care less whether it takes me 10 seconds or 5 to get to 60mph.
#429 of 674 RE: [ultrahawg]
Mar 24, 2008 (7:24 pm)
Hi great story. Congrats and welcome to the community. For quite a while you'll be more and more impressed with the vehicle day after day after day.
My raison d'achet was very similar to yours. Money. LOL.
I too am not a fanatic greenie but I do appreciate the benefits to everyone around me but frankly the economics swayed me since I put 35000 mi on mine annually. After Katrina and the first run above $3 I didn't want to be beholden to any oil company or any unforeseen circumstances.
You will find the Navi to be a hoot to use. There is a lot to use, talk to it.
I agree about the sound being very very good via an iPod or MP3..and I've only got the standard issue.
How about this nugget, from a friend who also posts here... 'carbot'.. he bought one of the first 04's and now after 50 months he's right at 190,000 miles!!!!!
...on his original brakes!!
...on one set of plugs!!
...oil and filters every 5000 miles
...tires every 40-50K
...that's it..nothing else spent.
It engages your brain to use it to its fullest. Enjoy.
Mar 29, 2008 (9:14 pm)
Bought and took delivery of my Magnetic gray Prius package 2, on 3/28 and the next day took a 200 mile round trip to Orlando.
The trip was about a third interstate, a third two lane rural and the remaining third suburban. I couldn't be more pleased with the results. I got a computed indication of 52.5 mpg. For a new car, right out of the box this was great. I drove conservatively but took care to drive the speed limit as much as possible. (interstate was 70, rural roads from 50 to 65.
I am not thrilled with the rather vague steering and so so handling but it's good enough.
I did tons of research as well as renting a car. One of the reviews I read complained about all the strange noises of pumps and motors going off.
That's the best part! I've always been somewhat of a technophile and all the noises set off by computer is confirmation that I am driving a truly state of the art machine.
Have enjoyed reading this forum and am happy that I can now contribute.
#431 of 674 is the back up camera a necessity?
Mar 30, 2008 (9:29 pm)
still researching and trying to decide on new or used- came across and 07 with only 9k miles and the colors I want, but no back up camera. Can someone whose been driving give me an opinion on getting one without a back up camera?
Mar 31, 2008 (2:52 am)
What is your concern about owning a back-up camera?
If your concern is that you are going to parallel park and strike your bumper against the vehicle behind you, then practice with some cones or cardboard boxes on the ground in a parallel park arrangement. Pass the space, begin entry at a 45° angle, then straighten the vehicle, as you learned in driver's ed class. Give yourself as much space as the typical over-sized SUV. It is extremely unlikely that you are going to bump your boundary.
I drive 1,200 miles a week in a 42 foot bus. If I can back one of those without contact against obstacles, then a little Prius should be no problem for you. On perpendicular parking, always back into your stall, then you will avoid blind backing on your way out, as police officers and firefighters always park. Avoid backing as much as possible, as any driver is instructed in any thorough driving course. Also, never drive while on a cell phone or putting on clothes or covering your face with cosmetics and you will decrease your chances of serious accidents more than a back-up camera will assist you. Furthermore, avoid unsignaled lane changes and turns, especially U-turns, most importantly in front of an on-coming bus or truck. Rather than ever doing a U-turn, turn into a driveway or drive around the block when you are lost. This will also greatly reduce your chances of a stupid accident. In addition, giving adequate following distance behind all vehicles, like a football field on highways, will eliminate your chance of rear-ending anyone who suddenly hits the brakes. Also, lower your speed by twenty miles an hour on snowpack and ice to avoid putting that Prius in the ditch. During a typical snowstorm, I observe five vehicles, usually large SUV's in the ditch due to excessive speed. Reduce your most likely causes of accidents and you will be making real in-roads into your chance of damage to your Prius.
If you can find a low-mileage used Prius at around $20,000, then your savings will exceed the added costs of a rear-view camera. Furthermore, your annual fuel savings will cover more than the cost of replacing your bumper every year.
If you are still concerned about accidents in parking lots, then buy a zero deductible insurance policy. Within a few years, you will be paying the cost of any minor damages with your premium, but your bad driving habits will be covered. As you back into a position, park with your driver's door across from any dragon-length SUV beside you and your rear clearance should be a few feet short of any obstacle behind you.
#433 of 674 First week report
Mar 31, 2008 (6:56 am)
First week with about 420 miles, mixed driving, 49+ MPG per the computer.
The gas fill-up took 8.5 gal, matching the 49+. I am very happy!
But the gas gauge indicated one box (out of 10). The low fuel indicator had not yet beeped. With an 11.5 gas tank capacity, I figured the gas gauge would be about 1 gallon per box, but this is not the case. It is not linear. It seems that I should have several gallons left when close to "empty". Reading on the thread about filling the gas tank, I am a bit worried about letting the tank go until the low fuel beep.
Otherwise, WHAT A GREAT WEEK OF DRIVING !!!!! I love the feel of the car in every way.
I decided that the only practical use of the "B", breaking, gear is one stretch of my commute where there are seven stop lights along a seven mile stretch. It just helps keep me from having to hit the brake pedal as often. Back in the day with manual transy, I'd downshift to avoid using the brakes. I do understand that regenerative braking is used by the Prius (that is, breaking with the electric motor instead of with the wheel brakes) down to 10MPH or so. But I seem to be able to ease to a couple miles per hour without hitting the brakes in "B". Thus, saving brake pads, maybe? Even with this that stop and go stretch still gives me in the high 40's, since the engine shuts off when I stop, and the electric engine tends to drive at the slower speeds. I have a 10 mile stretch on the commute that is two-lane 45MPH winding up-and-down country road. I am getting in the mid 50's on that stretch! The trick is simply to not "gun" the gas pedal. Steady right foot is the ticket!
The back-up camera is a fun novelty, but very hard to judge distance. It is somewhat distracting to look at the screen to look behind, and I probably shouldn't use it as a back-up view anyway for safety! Great picture tho.
I have come to appreciate the split back window. The bar in the middle tends to block out bright headlights from the car behind! Otherwise, I do not mind the split visibility at all.
Got my golf clubs and my softball bag in the trunk, with still lots of room for groceries, etc. I am trying to find an inexpensive option for a protective floor mat for the trunk. There are some pretty expensive mats on the internet. Any suggestions here?
I love the keyless system! I was leery at first about never pulling my keys from my pocket. But it is fun to walk up to the car and have it greet me with friendly beeps. It would be cool be able to attach a voice to that, like, "W'sup Mike!" Now I feel a bit perturbed at having to pull out the keys to open my house door. Wonder if I can get keyless entry for my house too! Better yet, implant that thing somewhere in my body, to unlock everything!
I am a bit annoyed by the lack of info as to how to use the Aux feature of the Audio system. I have package 2, the no NAV and single-CD system. I've found on here some links to iPod adapter cables, but they are very expensive! The Owner's manual does not tell me what type of plug that Aux plug is or what I can hook up to it and how the Audio system deals with devices on the screen. I wonder if anyone has help for this? You'd think that with the backup camera capability, that you'd be able to simply plug in a DVD player and see great video on that screen, even without the NAV system. Same screen I suppose, just different software. I did read where video files from an iPod work well, but that may be with the NAV system, wasn't clear.
I really LOVE my Prius!
#434 of 674 Re: First week report [schaeffz]
Mar 31, 2008 (7:58 am)
When the last bar is left you have about 1 gal to drive ( 40-50 mi ) then the warning will come on and the last bar will blink constinually. You have approximately an additional 2 gal or so to drive ( 80-100 mi ).
After 71000 miles I always drive til the bar blinks then fill up. I normally put 9.5 to 10.3 gal in at that time.
Regarding the 'B' it is intended only for use in steep downhill declines as a type of engine braking. Don't use it in normal day to day driving. Look it up in your owners manual.
Regarding the brake pads this is one of the best features of the Toyota hybrids. Whenever you let off the gas the computer changes the e-motor to a generator and makes the front wheels drive this generator to charge the battery. This puts a load on the front wheels and helps you slow without use of the brakes.
The regen brakes only kick in when your actually press the brake pedal which you shouldn't be doing too often. Coast freely as far as possible then use the brakes only to come to a safe stop without hitting anyone. Your original brakes should last well over 100,000 miles with no problem.
YOu've already discovered one of the best 'unspoken' features of the Prius. Being a 5 door hatch it's actually like a small light truck. I've had a 43" flatscreen TV, my golf clubs and briefcase and two pizza's in the back....with room to spare. I have a customer who goes surfing with 2 friends on the Outer Banks. They carry 6 surfboards ...inside!!!
#435 of 674 Re: is the back up camera a necessity? [eba55]
Mar 31, 2008 (2:45 pm)
My wife and I have decided that the backup camera would not be any reason to buy or not buy the car. The problem with it is that, like some mirrors, its very hard to judge distance with it. It is also like having blinders on as peripheral vision is very poor. The only time this camera is worth having (IMO) is when your in the downtown minneapolis and need to parallel park very quickly. Its a good Idea, but just using the backup camera without looking would be very dangerous. So if you have to look behind anyway, whats the point of having the camera. Plus, its a distraction. Just one of those gadgets that seems neat, BUT NEVER GETS USED.
#436 of 674 Re: is the back up camera a necessity? [trofrnk]
Mar 31, 2008 (6:57 pm)
Thanks. That's what I was thinking too. MPG is much more important
#437 of 674 Re: is the back up camera a necessity? [eba55]
Apr 01, 2008 (7:51 pm)
I have driven a '07 Prius for a year now, and I do not use the backup camera very often. It's like a wide angle lens which makes estimating distance difficult. You can back your car perfectly fine without this camera.