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On The Fence - Help me!

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by tekmaven, Jul 19, 2010.

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  1. tekmaven

    tekmaven Prius Newbie

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    Model:
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    I'm looking to purchase my first car, after driving a hand-me-down 2000 Mercury Sable for the past few years. I've had so many problems with it that literally every mile I now drive in it, I feel like I'm another mile closer to breaking down for good.

    I drive about 45 miles each day round trip for my daily commute - from Nassau County (in Long Island), New York to Brooklyn, NY. The trip is about an hour drive each way - but 45 minutes are usually in traffic (ugh). I'm kind of a gadget geek, so I'm looking at a Prius V fully loaded. I'm very much on the fence with the Prius. I'm also looking at the Honda Accord, as well as the Toyota Camry.

    First off, I have one huge requirement - that I fit in the car. I'm 6' 2", and you guys would be totally shocked about how many cars I *don't* fit in. When I went to the Toyota dealership last weekend, I went looking at the Camry, but sat in a Prius for kicks, and was completely shocked that I fit. I also test drove it, and thought it was an interesting experience. Any tall people care to share their experiences in driving a Prius on the long term?

    I'm a very aggressive driver and I have somewhat of a lead foot. I'm the guy you hate that drives to the front of the exit lane and cuts in front of everyone waiting. I'm the guy that passes people when they really shouldn't be passed (like a one lane each way road or something). If I can get over 80 on a highway, I would. I also like to change lanes in traffic and go around people. With all of that said, I already knew the Prius would not be a sports car. When I first drove the Prius, it was in EV mode and it felt very sluggish to me. The salesman pointed out the power mode, and the car definately felt a lot more responsive. Are there any similar types of drivers here that would care to comment on their experience with the Prius? Also, say I did highway driving in power mode, what sort of MPG would I expect?

    The next point that I'm thinking about is the fuel economy. The is the reason most people get one of these, I'm assuming. This morning when I drove to work, as I sat in the stop and go traffic and just thought, "this is where the Prius would shine". I frequently fill up 3 times per week at around $30-$35 in my current car. That's a lot! I haven't done any math, but I'm guessing I would probably only need to fill up once per week, if not less. Anyone with a 50 mile commute with traffic care to comment?

    One other thing I've been thinking of is that it's getting near the end of the 2010 model year. I would be really upset if they came out with a 2011 Prius like the next month after I took delivery. Anyone have a heads up of when we will see a 2011 model?

    Lastly, I just wanted to say that I think this is a great site, and everyone seems to be contributing to make a great community here. Belive it or not, a great forum like this would be a huge if I got a Prius.
  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    Hi,


    You sound more like an OCD personality type. The risk is if you start playing the 'fuel economy game,' you might carry the OCD a little too far . . . not that there is anything wrong with that! <grins>

    Bob Wilson
  3. tekmaven

    tekmaven Prius Newbie

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    Never thought about that Bob, but now that I do, I probably would have nothing better to do while I sat on the BQE at 8am :).
  4. Darius510

    Darius510 New Member

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    I'm like your doppleganger, and I live in LI too. :p

    I'm 6 3, and I fit mostly fine in the prius. The only slight discomfort is the new dash design kinda squeezes your side knee-room for us tall people. Its fine, but I'd like another inch or two. I dont have a problem fitting front to back - the seat goes back more than far enough, the wheel comes out. Its not a perfect fit, but its a fit.

    My last 3 cars were a 180hp 6speed celica gts, a 265 hp maxima, and a 200hp stratus. The prius does just fine in the power area. Its not particularly fast, but its not particularly slow either. Basically the same as your average small car - AKA fast enough to drive like a normal human being, but not fast enough to drive like a maniac or show off. Power mode makes a huge difference, unless you constantly feel the need to floor it, it's quite decent.

    In the parking lot, I go with EV mode. On normal streets I either do normal mode during rush hour, or power mode when traffic is light. On the highway I usually do normal or eco mode, as Im traveling at a constant speed. In traffic, I actually prefer eco mode, since youre not going anywhere anyway, might as well do it the most economical way.
  5. tekmaven

    tekmaven Prius Newbie

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    How do you put it in "normal mode"? I remember only seeing "EV" (which is electric only?), Eco, and Power buttons. Do you just hit the button of the mode you're already in to go back to normal mode?

    BTW, the more I look, the more I'm convinced I'm going to take the plunge. Intelligent park assist is SO cool (just watched a video :D).

    How often do you fill up Darius? How long is your commute usually?
  6. Darius510

    Darius510 New Member

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    Correct.

    The main thing the modes change is the sensitivity of the pedal - power mode doesnt add 50 hp, it just feels that way cause it takes less pedal travel to get more juice out of it. If you floor it in all three modes, you get the same acceleration.

    Eco is good in traffic because you can drive slowly very smoothly. Power can be a little too jumpy, but its fun on the streets.



    From what I've heard, that feature is nothing more than a gimmick, youre better off just learning how to parallel park well.



    My commute is only like 15 mi/30min, but its a mix of nassau/queens streets and LIE bumper to bumper traffic. I dunno how often Ill fill up cause I havent had to yet, but at this rate, itll be once every few weeks.

    My fiance has the 09, and as Im sure everyone here will tell you, the 50mpg isnt a joke, it's legit.

    Its kinda strange to see your MPG shoot up in traffic because youre running on battery. If you spend enough time in traffic (15-20 min <10 mph) to drain the battery your MPG plummets like any other car, but you still come out way, way ahead compared to just about any other car.
  7. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    I've got the fully-loaded-with-toys-I-don't-need V, and it's great! The DRCC is great for use in traffic, and it fits me well (I'm 6'1"). The back seat is also better for us tall folks than the Gen2 Prius was.

    For MPG, if you're just going a constant speed, it doesn't matter what mode you're in; Power, normal, or Eco will give you the same fuel economy (excluding some benefit in Eco WRT the A/C, if it's running). For that matter, if you do the same acceleration in each, you'll also have the same results; the mode just changes the throttle mapping of the accelerator pedal. Flooring it in any mode will give you the same acceleration, but lightly touching the pedal in Power mode will make the car jump a bit more than it does in Eco.

    That said, if you insist on driving like you currently do, it'd probably be pretty easy for you to get down to 35-40 mpg or so. If you do like many others and treat driving like a game (see the "high scores" in the Fuel Economy forum... ;)), a little bit of anticipation can go a long way, and can get you over 50 mpg. I basically always get slightly over 50 on the highway with DRCC (assuming that traffic is fairly free-flowing, anyway).

    As far as the model year, it is always getting closer. Common estimates on these forums place announcement around September, with first deliveries in late October or early November. You could always mention this casually to the dealer, and see if they'll give you a few bucks off their price... But if you need a car now, buy a car now.
  8. Khoi

    Khoi New Member

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    My boyfriend is 6'2 as well and he fits in my '03 just fine. He doesn't like driving it though because he says it's boring. Don't know how aggressive of a driver you'll be able to be in a Prius.
  9. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    At 6'2" , you'll fit well in the 3rd Gen Prius. It's not quite as good as a Camry or Accord for driver's seating, but it's pretty good.

    I'll bet even the way you drive - fast - you'll still get well over 40 MPG.

    If you're easier on the gas, maybe you can get 50. Things really come in to perspective when you drive 400 miles, and pump in 8 gallons for less than $25 to fill back up (this is like fuel economy on a small to midsize motorcycle).

    Also, you could spend $45 and rent a Prius for a day, take it to work and back. Call it an extended test drive or SLT. I think you'll like it, they are very easygoing cars and are great for commuting.
  10. Colonel Ronson

    Colonel Ronson New Member

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    Go for It. I have a lead foot as well, and even if you drive aggressively, you'll still get 45+ mpg, which is better than ...well better than anything else out there. It'll also be great to be spending less than $30 every time you fill the tank. The prius is quite roomy inside. don't let the small size fool you. 2010 prius was my first new car purchase, and i'm loving it. Many features other cars lack. My favorite is the smart key system. Its the best thing ever.
  11. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    I'd say it's slightly more than a gimmick, but only barely. It needs more space to park in than you probably do, and it does it pretty slowly (you have to pause for a few seconds to approve the selected spot, and you have to back at <1 mph), plus you have to pull further forward than you would if you were just parking yourself, and drive by slowly (~6 mph is good) if you use the pre-assist feature. It's still cool to use on occasion, and especially so if you have somebody else in the car who doesn't know about it. :D
  12. Colonel Ronson

    Colonel Ronson New Member

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    IPA Works. I've used it on my mom's lexus all the time. Key is to just line up properly. You'll have to practice and get used to it, but eventually its easy.
  13. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Prius power adequate, mileage great; also consider NAH, HyCam and FFH



    Since mileage is a big question, the lists at http://priuschat.com/forums/other-c...s-best-worst-lists-april-2010-auto-issue.html and http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/buying-advice/most-fuelefficient-cars-206/index.htm might be helpful and give you some basis of comparison.

    I checked Side-by-Side Comparison and by adjustment via formula, both V6 engines of the 00 Sable got 17/26, 20 combined. When Consumer Reports reviewed an 00 Sable SE (might be a different V6 than yours), they got 14 city/30 highway, 21 mpg overall, 26 on a 150 mile trip.

    The Prius would be PERFECT for your in traffic commute. You'll LOVE the ICE (internal combustion engine) shutting down at idle and crappy traffic (unless the HV battery is low). You'll love recapturing some of that energy upon braking (be light on the brakes though). One of my reasons for ditching my 02 Maxima (I liked the car a lot though) for a Prius was I used to go to San Francisco often and be stuck in crap stop and go traffic having a 255 hp V6 idling away, wasting gas.

    As for power, yes, the Prius isn't the car to buy if you want a lot of power. I don't have a 3rd gen (2010) but my 110 hp 2nd gen is adequate for all driving, but definitely crappy on the highway compared to my former 255 hp Maxima and 287 hp 350Z. But, I can survive. I cringe every time I fill my Z now since it's so much $ to fuel vs. my Prius for a given distance. :(

    If you want more power, I strongly urge you consider the Fusion Hybrid, Camry Hybrid and Altima Hybrid. My mom has an 07 NAH and it has GOBS more power than my Prius (no surprise), 198 hp (almost a yee haw! :)). Only prob is that none gets Prius league mileage at all.

    Regarding the NAH, I put in a Long Island zip code at Northeast Nissan Dealers Altima Hybrid Offers - 0.0% APR - $279 Lease - Nissan USA and see that the NAH has a $4500 incentive. To top it off, per New Energy Tax Credit for Hybrids, there's still a $2350 Federal tax credit.

    Other downsides of the NAH (at least of the 07 and that generation): doesn't have the eco, power, EV buttons, nor does it have gadgets like IPA or solar roof but does have smart key system. I don't like Nissan's SKS implementation for locking and unlocking as much. It's also far less refined in terms of ICE shutdown and startup roughness esp. compared to HyCam. (I've driven my mom's NAH a lot, in the past and had a HyCam loaner for ~1.5 days.)


    IMHO, IPA is a cool gimmick. I've tried it out briefly on a test drive (w/a salesman who really didn't know how to operate it, so I eventually ignored him and just tried stuff in the parking lot). I think it's cool to show off and all but it's quite slow and the AT package is just too much $, IMHO. The other features in AT package are pretty cool, but, again, it's so much $. :(

    If you park outside in the sun, you might be better off w/the solar roof package.
  14. Colonel Ronson

    Colonel Ronson New Member

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    For the record, the Altima Hybrid and the Camry Hybrid are essentially one in the same. The Hybrid technology is borrowed from Toyota. So it just depends on which style car you'll like better.

    But you test drove the 2010 Prius. Especially in Power mode, it feels super responsive, should be able to suit your lead-foot tendencies.
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I don't think we've ever gotten statements from what parts of the NAH are from Toyota. But, at an auto show, a plastic cover was loose on the NAH's inverter and under it, I saw a Toyota part # and bar code. :) I'd imagine that the PSD and HV battery pack are sourced from Toyota or its suppliers. I'm unclear about the electric power steering and AC compressor.

    I've got a copy of the service manual for the 07 NAH and IIRC, there are a few (but not many) references to HSD and Toyota.

    However, the rest of the car: interior, exterior, SKS, seats, dash cluster, ICE, etc. are all Nissan.

    Having driven both, I'd say the HyCam feels more refined but a bit more like a boat. I gave some impresions of the HyCam vs. my mom's NAH at http://priuschat.com/forums/toyota-...impressions-after-driving-hycam-62-miles.html. For the OP, do keep in mind, I was comparing my 2nd gen Prius to the other cars. The 3rd gen (2010) wasn't announced until January 2009.
  16. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    No one mentioned the electric air conditioner. First released with the 2004-09 Prius, the 2010 system continues with some efficiency tweaks. It is great to stop at a store for a quick errand, leave the car on with AC for the wife and dogs, and hop back out with the engine never having run and the car staying cool . . . just the gentle whine of the AC keeping everyone happy.

    Bob Wilson
  17. tekmaven

    tekmaven Prius Newbie

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    Thanks everyone for all the advice!!!! I think I'm going back to the dealership tonight after work.

    I really have the feeling that my driving habits would change in the Prius. Only time will tell :).

    I have already checked out the Ford Fusion Hybrid. I don't fit :-/. My head hits the ceiling / goes out the moonroof. It's a huge bummer because that was actually my first choice. When I went to the Ford dealership and couldn't fit, I actually immediately wrote off the Prius - so being able to fit in it was a huge shock.

    I wouldn't be buying it for the IPA, but I still think that's cool. In the demo video, they did show some crazy ideal circumstances. In NYC you have (the size of your car) + 2 inches to park, if you're lucky :D.

    I got a weird sign from the universe today. There are literally 10 Prius's parked in front of my office all in a row. They are all government cars, but still - it's a sign :). I'll try to take a picture of it later!
  18. pikesfish

    pikesfish New Member

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    Well a 6'2" guy can fit in the 2010 Prius...husband fits in it just fine and he hates small cars. As for your driving habits, the Prius may change them if you really get into the gas mileage game. I thought I would be tethered to my V6 for years to come but I am just fine with my little 4cyl car and happy to boot. I am averaging 57+ mpg at the moment and the top fuel savings was 60.2 mpg on one tank. I am sure I could have gotten more but I didn't want to risk a low fuel warning.

    Like you I kept seeing Prii on the road before I pulled the trigger and it seemed everywhere I was going there was another one. Would I do it again in a NY minute. Have fun and good luck with the purchase. As a former city girl, I wouldn't waste my time or money on that parking assistant. If you drive in the city then you need to know how to parallel park and get in quickly.
  19. Darius510

    Darius510 New Member

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    Let me put it this way, I've driven enough on the LIE and BQE in rush hour to know that no matter what car you have, it might as well have 20hp, cause that's all youre going to use.

    The only power difference between the 138hp prius and a 200hp+ V6 is that the V6 is going to be a few seconds faster in WOT. That's it. How often do you go WOT on the BQE?
  20. tekmaven

    tekmaven Prius Newbie

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    Well, to be honest, somewhat often. But only for like 50 feet. Then I have to hit the breaks hard :-D.
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