Last post on Oct 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM
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Toyota Prius, Hybrid Cars
#33 of 42 Re: Why Does Edmunds Hate Hybrids? [fintail]
Oct 30, 2012 (4:39 am)
The MB W212 not sold here...so that's why I had a hard time looking one up! There's the Jetta TDI that's practical, but then the back seat is pretty tight, but it's an option for someone needed high MPG and does mostly highway driving. But then there's the quality issue of both MB and VW. Neither of them ever ranks very high on quality ratings. In the news today, the Prius C has the best quality score with other Toyota brands (including other hybrids) generally coming out on top.
And quality/reliability means a lot more to me than performance. The last thing I want is a car that needs to be with a mechanic ever month for something. It's like people who say, "My car is with my mechanic." If I go to a car mechanic enough to know them on a first name basis, then it's time to get another car!
I like a lot of European cars too, but I gave up wishing they would come to the USA. For example, the Honda Stream, Prius V and Ford C-Max both with a third row. I think the problem with those cars is that the super-sized Americans and their kids wouldn't fit in them comfortably.
#34 of 42 Re: Why Does Edmunds Hate Hybrids? [bobw3]
Oct 30, 2012 (8:12 am)
W212 is the nomenclature for the current E-class. I use this rather than model designations, as nobody who hasn't ventured to places with more developed vehicle selections will know what an E250 etc is. Some of these diesels can reach Prius levels of efficiency, but look and act like actual cars. We get the bigger engined less efficient w212, which will do in the mid-30s in 75mph highway cruising, not bad for 400lb/ft of torque and a roughly 700 mile range.
I see it as a reliability issue more than quality. German complexity fetish, bleeding edge tech, cars that do not tolerate when one strays from maintenance schedules, etc. A friend of mine has a Prius C...if being stuck in that thing means having the best quality, I will take a reliability hiccup now and then, and smile. He's not even a performance fan, and his claim about the car is "it's powered by 4 gerbils - but one of them died on the trip out here" (he drove it cross country, and didn't like the hills). It reminds me of a microwave on wheels. For me, life is too short. Virtually all cars that top the reliability list score low when it comes to being pleasant to drive in any enthusiastic manner.
Cars made for big Bavarians are usually compatible with all but the most southern fried Americans
#35 of 42 Re: Why Does Edmunds Hate Hybrids? [fintail]
Oct 30, 2012 (10:53 am)
Personally, I wouldn't get the Prius C either. The average MPG is identical to the regular Prius, so I'd rather get a used Prius and have the same MPG with the additional space for the price of a new Prius C. One thing with MPG is that it's the average, not highway MPG that should be used for comparison (unless you live and work on exit ramps).
As far as a 700 mile range...I like to get out and stretch at least every 500 miles, but you're talking about a Mercedes, so it probably comes equiped with seat, leg and shoulder massagers, which aren't available on a lowly Prius!
And I'm just wondering, what do you consider driving in an "enthusiastic manner" as you mentioned in your post? Just flooring the gas after a red light? Or taking an on ramp or exit ramp a little bit faster than what you could in a non-enthusiastic car? Driving 90mpg vs 75 mph on a straight highway? Or driving really fast on a curvy road?
The last one I can see as being fun (at least for the driver), but then I've driven on the Pacific Coast highway in a Ford Escort, Ford Cougar, Mazda RX-7, and Prius and do you know what? Driving any of them near their individual capability was fun and I was often catching up with "enthusiastic cars" in the twisty parts with my Escort and Prius because i knew the road better, plus I was willing to drive the car closer to its limit.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but driving an "enthusiastic car" can be more boring than driving a non-enthusiastic car in most driving situations. For example coming into on a curve in the road with moderate traffic, the driver of an enthusiastic car may be totally bored because the car is designed to go so fast that it's really boring to drive in the normal environment. However in my Prius, it feels funner going into the same curve at the same speed as compared to the enthusiastic car because the Prius is already at its lateral G limit.
So I'd rather have a car that feels "fun to drive" in the 99% of the normal driving situations rather than having an enthusiastic car that feels so restrained and boring in the 99% of normal driving situation. That may be why muscle/sports & generally other enthusiastic car sales are on the decline...because 99% of the time drivers can't use their capability and not only does it become a waste of money to have that unnecessary capability, but more so it becomes a source of frustration to have that capability and not have the opportunity to use it.
Maybe that's why those drivers get so irritated at other drivers and post practically ever day in the Inconsiderate Drivers forum about their frustrations
#36 of 42 Re: Why Does Edmunds Hate Hybrids? [bobw3]
Oct 30, 2012 (3:54 pm)
If I was to buy a Prius, I'd get the big one. Might as well maximize potential utility, as the consumption increase is nominal. It also looks less dorky to me - closer to an ordinary tall wagon.
I know the diesel E isn't an apples to apples comparison with a Prius, but I used it to show that conventional cars can be efficient too. I would seriously consider a 4cyl diesel E if it was offered here...I might even spring for the manual if we got it (Europe does). E250 diesel wagon would be an ideal car,just pricey.
Enthusiastic driving - being able to corner without tipping over, precise throttle and brake inputs, some kind of steering feel, stable non-floaty ride, engine that doesn't run out of breath at random rpm ranges, etc.
I understand what you mean in the "fun to drive" idea - the idea of driving a fast car slow vs a slow car fast. My fintail is more fun to drive than the E55, even though the latter has near supercar performance, and does everything effortlessly. That's kind of the fun, operating the quirky old car and working hard to make it perform, being able to hit the limits without being a felon. I don't know if I would find the same fun in making a modern slow car perform, however. Like my mother's 4cyl Camry - driving it is a numb experience. It's a deluxe model toaster. Not all slow cars are equal. I can't imagine any Prius is more fun. I don't see much appeal in driving a car that is so dull that normal traffic makes it feel like it is working hard.
I don't know if fun cars are in an all out decline on the way to being replaced by toastercars though - most sporty new model debuts have been met with much fanfare. Guzzler fun cars are waning, due to fuel costs, greenie image, and the expanding socio-economic chasm making running one an impossibility.
I get irritated when I get behind a hybird driver hypermiling it and playing with the mpg readout when he should be merging with traffic or maintaining a certain speed. It's a disease around Seattle anyway.
#37 of 42 Re: Why Does Edmunds Hate Hybrids? [fintail]
Oct 31, 2012 (7:05 am)
If you see me in a Prius, you will really know TSHTF! I'd also go for the Prius V as it would have the most utility for a nominal sacrifice in fuel economy.
#38 of 42 Re: Why Does Edmunds Hate Hybrids? [lemko]
Oct 31, 2012 (11:23 am)
Really depends on what a person needs. If they were looking at buying a typical 4 door sedan with a trunk, then a regular Prius has more than enough utility; however, if they're looking at a wagon or small SUV, then a Prius V would be a better fit. Or if you were looking at a compact Corolla, Fit, Civic, Focus, etc., then a Prius C would be comparable.
#39 of 42 Re: Why Does Edmunds Hate Hybrids? [lemko]
Oct 31, 2012 (11:29 am)
I think you'd be in a Volt before a Prius. Actually, in a weird way, the Volt has kind of grown on me. Not something I'd buy, but I am less jaded about it now.
Prius C roller skate...no better than an Insight to me, and a CR-Z or Civic hybrid might be better. Normal Prius is a little nerdy in an in your face way. Prius V it is.
#40 of 42 Re: Why Does Edmunds Hate Hybrids? [fintail]
Oct 31, 2012 (11:33 am)
"nerdy" is pretty subjective, although I admit that I wouldn't be caught driving in a Nissan Cube or Smart car!
#41 of 42 Re: Why Does Edmunds Hate Hybrids? [bobw3]
Oct 31, 2012 (11:58 am)
I could see a Smart Diesel for urban use, but a Cube - amusing to look at, but I wouldn't want to do so every day.
Also, Brian the dog on "Family Guy" drives a regular Prius, which isn't a big selling point to me
#42 of 42 Re: Why Does Edmunds Hate Hybrids? [lemko]
Oct 31, 2012 (3:53 pm)
If your going to drive a Prius V on the highway, it helps to be hard of hearing.