Newbie thinking about buying a Prius

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by abledsoe, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. abledsoe

    abledsoe New Member

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    My wife recently got a new job that will be a 45 mile commute each way. We had been thinking about replacing her 2000 Camry anyway, but this has had us considering it more seriously.

    We are interested in a used Prius, probably a 2008 (based on whats available in our area and price). One thing I had read said they are best on shorter trips. Since most of her driving will be long highway rides, should this be a concern?

    Thanks for any help. Sorry if its too newb of a question, I am just getting started in my research.
     
  2. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Where did you read that "they are best on shorter trips"? Your gas mileage will suck on short trips (as in <10 minutes).

    I see no significant concerns w/long drives at all.

    However, if she's looking for a softly sprung car, the Prius' ride quality is comparable to econoboxes and not cars w/soft suspension like a Camry nor luxury cars. (I came from an 02 Nissan Maxima which had very soft suspension, maybe a bit too soft, thus hurting its handling.)

    The only other possible concern is that some complain about seat comfort, or the lack of. Frankly, I think it's ok but some here on PC complain bitterly on this. Some of the complainers are tall drivers, but not all are. (I'm not tall, so I wouldn't know.)

    Maybe consider a Camry Hybrid? I gave my impressions at http://priuschat.com/forums/toyota-...impressions-after-driving-hycam-62-miles.html. Mileage isn't nearly as good as a Prius though. Here's how the generation of Prius you're considering stacks up against the HyCam in CR's tests: ConsumerReports.org - Most fuel-efficient cars.
     
  3. ThePriusMan.com

    ThePriusMan.com Waiting for my Prius

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    Have her with the key in her hand open the Door, Sit down push a button and Test drive the new 2010 Prius without putting in the key...

    Go 2010 IMO :)
     
  4. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    While I agree that the 2010 Prius is overall a better car, it seems that OP has some budgetary reasons w/going for a 2nd gen.

    The USA section of http://priuschat.com/forums/knowled...andard-optional-equipment-some-countries.html may help him in comparing used Priuses.
     
  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    (<= I have a 2010, so I can't tell you about the 2008 but...)

    The "bad" highway mileage of the 2nd gen Prius is still better than gasoline cars, just not so much better driven hard or at high speed. It also depends on terrain.

    My suggestion is to have her test drive one to see whether the car suits her.
     
  6. danix

    danix Junior Member

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    I just put my first 5000 miles on a 2006, with a 49 mile each way commute.
    Real world MPG is dead even at 39mpg, apparently no matter how I drive the car.
    As a "car guy" I miss things like road feel and handling. But I'm stuck in traffic anyway, and the combination of the automatic and engine turnoff is perfect for that situation.
    When there's no traffic, I've had it up to 95mph and it tracks just fine.
    Compared to new, a used one is a great value, just be aware of what a replacement battery pack will cost after 10/150k and factor that into your purchase.
    If you have the $ to get into a 2010 especially as the 2011s roll out, do it, it's a better car.
     
  7. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    With a commute that long, you should be able to a do a lot better in mileage on a 2nd gen w/proper tire inflation (not the too low pressure on the door sticker), proper tires and a few techniques, unless it's almost all stop and go.

    As for replacement pack cost, you're in a CARB state w/the 10 year/150K mile HV battery warranty. The OP isn't so his HV battery warranty will be 8 years/100K miles.

    Prius Battery Change is No Big Deal - Newsroom : Our Point of View Post / Toyota is Toyota's stated cost but most here on Priuschat suggest that for an out of warranty HV battery on a Prius that's old/high mileage to find a much cheaper one from a wrecked Prius.

    I should make one note that I neglected to regarding seat discomfort on 2nd gens. The only time that I can recall ever have discomfort was after I'd put ~1000 miles on my Prius in ~3 days: driving from San Jose, CA to the Seattle area including some sightseeing around Portland. I did have some back pain. Other than that, it's not been an issue, including on my previous ~50 mile/day roundtrip commute and ~350+ mile drive (each way) from San Jose to So Cal, then back.
     
  8. theotherone

    theotherone Junior Member

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    Hands down, getting a Prius was one of the best decisions I made in terms of buying a new car. I drive about a 100 mile commute, four days out of each week.

    With all the special/financing promotions, you may want to look into getting a new 2010 Prius.
     
  9. neon tetra

    neon tetra Member

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    Likewise.

    I also took an almost 11,000 mile road trip in it (08 Touring) & it performed flawlessly. Leaving for another one in a few weeks!
     
  10. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers, Nadir of Wrongness

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    The good news is that this is almost completely wrong. When cold, the Computers are biased to reduce emissions, which hurts economy. As the car warms up (by 10 minutes) it settles into a very fuel efficient mode for the rest of the trip.

    I drive 56 miles most days at 61 MPH, and in summer and winter the 'limit' tends to be 50 MPG while in spring and fall it is closer to 55 MPG. (I am running less heat or A/C) The 'bad' mileage in the first 10 minutes pulls my average down to 42 in summer and winter, 47 MPG in spring and fall.

    Expect a MPG slope like this if you test drive a Prius with a cold engine.
    [​IMG]]
     
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  11. abledsoe

    abledsoe New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies, lots of info and links which I appreciate. I am just starting my Prius research and need to seperate the myths and facts. Looks like this board will be a big help.

    Thanks again!
     
  12. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    Driving cross country at wickedly fast speeds with no mind of economy through mountains and all on my 2006 nets 42mpg to 44mpg. If you are getting 39, I would suggest looking for a problem. Perhaps 12v?
     
  13. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I think I know what the problem is. :madgrin:
     
  14. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    My 2006 has 131k miles on it. I have 45 miles each way commute. I still average over 50 MPG. I used to average over 53 MPG but I have been driving faster this year (around 70 MPH for 35 miles and 10 miles local/congestion).

    How fast do you go? You must be going 85-90 MPH fast to get 39 MPG.
     
  15. danix

    danix Junior Member

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    It all depends. I can go for 30 min stretches at 5-10mph, then open up to 60 when I hit the carpool lane, then drop down again. If I return home after peak hours, the average speed on the road is around 70, and as hinted, I'm not a slow driver. I'm happy with 39, I didn't buy the car for its fuel economy (rather, for the carpool lane sticker, which makes my commute slightly more tolerable).
     
  16. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    Good that you are happy, but I would get the 12v checked or maybe your tires too. It shouldnt be that low especially since your speeds are still low. If your 12v is low, then when it finally goes your car will get wonky and who knows where you will be stranded. Good insurance is to check and replace.

    My average driving is 80-85mph in the 65-70mph interstate along with the rest of traffic. My last trip to Los Angeles through the mountains and back again (1800mi+ in a 72hr period) average 42mpg and I was driving anything from stop-n-go in LA to 105mph average throughout Las Vegas area and 100mph average throughout parts of Utah. Again keeping up with traffic, no problem. Although there was one particularly angry pickup driver who felt the need to pass me on the right while I was doing 105, just to get behind the person infront of me and stay there for 20 minutes. Apparently hybrids arent allowed to go fast :(
     
  17. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Gotcha. What was your previous car and what kind of MPG did you get?
     
  18. danix

    danix Junior Member

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    Jetta TDI Wagon. EPA 42/49, real world MPG 36mpg.
    However, this car is heavily modified.

    The Prius had a full checkup at Luscious Garage before I bought it, so I'm sure it's fine. Tires are crappy Bridgestones but I don't think they are impacting fuel economy.

    I'm sure if I keep it to 60mph for a tankful, I would crack 45mpg.
     
  19. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    If you really want to see what it will do, take a leisurely drive in the Napa Valley where the typical speed will be under 55 mph. Under those conditions, my tank mpg will be in the mid 50's and climbing.

    I have also gotten 54 mpg from Sac to SF and back, keeping highway speed at 65 mph. A/C use doesn't seem to affect mpg much in highway driving, but will kill mpg in stop and go driving because it drains the HV battery quickly and the ICE will run to recharge the battery.