Welcome to PriusChat

We'd love to have you join our community and participate in the conversation! Sign up for FREE today.

Sign Up

Prius vs VW Diesel for Long commute

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by Pflow1, Dec 31, 2005.

Social Buttons

  1. Pflow1

    Pflow1 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am looking forward to a 75 mile freeway commute. 150 miles per day. The 2 guys I know with a Prius get 40 mpg during a high speed commute. My friend with the VW gets 49-50 mpg. It may be driving style. I don't expect to employ mileage tricks and will pull onto the freeway and set the cruise at 75 mph for 70 miles. How does the Prius handle that for mileage?

    I love the technology and plan on getting the Prius but I'm not sure it's worth the money for this type of driving.

    As a side note, my real decision is between the Prius and Avalon. I can get $500 off on a Prius and over 2K off on an Avalon. That makes them only a couple thousand different in price and another work associate claims close to 30 mpg commuting in the '05 Avalon.

    I will be paying cash and the money is not an issue. I just like both cars and the Avalon is amazingly quiet at high speed. I love the Jetta diesel with the new 6 speed auto but am afraid of the reliability. I just want the personal satisfaction of driving a high mileage car but don't want to give up a smooth quiet ride.
  2. samkusnetz

    samkusnetz New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR


    given gas prices in my area (portland, or):

    doing 150 miles at 40 mpg takes 3.75 gallons of gas. at two bucks a gallon, that's $7.50.
    doing 150 miles at 50 mpg takes 3.00 gallons of diesel. at 2.50, that's also $7.50.

    so it's going to cost the same amount of money for each car. i recommend you consider the other advantages of a hybrid over a diesel engine before you make your choice.

    cheers
    sam
  3. Pflow1

    Pflow1 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    As I said, the money isn't the issue. I believe the high diesel prices are a short term spike which will change. After the initial spike in Gas prices after Katrina diesel was .30 cheaper then gas.

    Will a Prius do better then a Civic or a Matrix or something similar at a steady state 75 mph? It's mainly been a point of curiosity for me.
  4. cdavid

    cdavid Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    North Carolina
    For a long steady commute, the Prius engine will be running except in the occasional situations that you coast. It should consume less overall fuel because of the 0.26 drag coefficient and lighter weight that most other cars. I doubt the difference in $ would be all that significant over a new civic, moreso with the Avalon.

    I owned an Avalon, and it is very confortable for a long commute, for you and also for 3 or 4 friends and their junk in the trunk, which cannot be said with the Prius to the same degree.

    At 75, you'll probably get 27 max with the Avalon, 30 at 65.

    If your commuting solo, then Prius is an easy choice.
  5. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Messages:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,067
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Prius and TDI will perform very closely mpg wise. I suspect, as you mentioned, that driving speed is the major factor.

    Realize that the Prius mpg will be a bit more sensitive to environmental changes such as temperture (outside), tempeture (where you set the AC), maybe a bit more sensitive to wet roads and wind (but not much).

    Here are some sample MPGs for Prius at 75mph:
    (Assumptions, OEM tires, 250lb total cargo (driver and other), no wind, stable elevation @ 400ft, 67% humidity, I'll vary the AC to be consistant with what I drive for efficiency and comfort, steady speed, summer fuel, smooth dry paved road)

    30 degrees OAT, 67 degree AC: 40 MPG
    50 degrees OAT, 67 degree AC: 43 MPG
    70 degrees OAT, 70 degree AC: 46 MPG
    90 degrees OAT, 78 degree AC: 49 MPG

    All above calculated with Wayne Brown's THS II simulator (see : http://www.privatenrg.com)

    Prius has a little more cargo room and is definately a 'fancier' car as far as amenities. You'll quickly become addicted to the SKS. Comfort wise the Avalon is likely to blow the Prius away due to the lack of adjustability of the seats. Please don't discount emissions...as much as you'll be driving your emissions with the TDI or even the Avalon will be markedly greater...your world and fellow man will appreciate you.

    Also, I noticed you mentioned being able to get a $500 discount and that's fantastic if you can get that with the Prius...but don't forget about the $3150 tax credit..maybe money is no factor at all for you, but to me that's a lot of money to figure into my decision.

    Finally, despite your protestations otherwise, you may, just may, find that you'll become addicted to striving for higher gas mileage. It's easy to do...speaking as a reformed Type A road rage driver! :blink:
  6. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Messages:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,067
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Oh, and yes, the Prius will do much better than either the Civic or Matrix at those speeds and it's much more car.
  7. K5VMI

    K5VMI New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    My 1999 Jetta TDI just got totaled at 196,000 miles. My work commute is 40 miles each way with most being highway driving at 65 to 70 mpg. I kept detailed mileage and repair information on an Excel spreadsheet (attached). Pay particular note to the repair costs. I also believe that diesel prices will stay high in relation to gasoline for the long term. I've had the TDI... my Prius will arrive the end of January.
  8. sanguis

    sanguis New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    VA


    I know you meant to use mph, but i'd love to do highway driving at 65 to 70 mpg!!
  9. Pflow1

    Pflow1 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Serious answers. Thanks for the help.
  10. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    7,975
    Likes Received:
    1,948
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced


    What kind of transmission did it have?
  11. sanguis

    sanguis New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    VA
    great info in that spreadsheet!

    I did a trendline of a plot of fuel cost over time! --yikes!
  12. 200Volts

    200Volts Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    The calculations from Dr. Fusco are almost exactly what I got with factory tires.
    At 66k on my 04 my repair costs are just my oil changes and a set of tires at 40k miles.
    Also consider resale value in the true cost of ownership. From what I see on traderonline.com the Prius are holding their value pretty well.
  13. skruse

    skruse Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,443
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Great Central Valley, Fresno, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Prius is AT-PZEV. Even with good fuel economy, diesel particulate matter (exhaust) is a carcinogen. Until diesel becomes more efficient (in part by being able to use cleaner fuel to start with), I recommend the Prius.
  14. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,084
    Likes Received:
    413
    Location:
    Bahstahn
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    If you set the cruise for 67 instead of 75, you'll probably do
    quite a bit better in the Prius. Somewhere centered around 65 mph
    seems to be around a "sweet spot" that balances efficient, high-load
    running vs. air resistance. Too high, air resistance kills you.
    Too low, and you fall off the efficiency curve of engine output
    and have to start playing pulse-n-glide type games.
    .
    _H*
  15. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Messages:
    4,147
    Likes Received:
    6
    I noted the repair costs, what per chance did you spend 10 grand on? that seems a bit excessive. Just curious.
  16. daronspicher

    daronspicher New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Owning a Prius won't save you that 10k in repair costs.

    You're still going to pay $400 to $600 for tires.

    Any time you want, stop at my house and I'll change your $40 alternator and only charge you $500. That should be a substantial savings over what you're accustomed to.

    You basically got ripped off every time you went to your dealership or whoever did all those 160,000 mile service type things.

    Go buy a 12 pack of oil filters and a couple boxes of oil. Every 5000 miles, change the oil, top off the window washer fluid and stop paying your dealer $2000 a year to do nothing.
  17. Technogeek

    Technogeek New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Hi Pflow1, you should try renting a Prius for a couple of days. Not all Toyota dealers rent them, so call around first. One of my local Toyota dealers rented a Silver 2005 Prius to me for 2 days at $30/day. I took the opportunity to drive my normal commute for 2 days. Additionally, I drove around to places that I frequent (like restaurants, grocery stores, etc) at day time, at night (to test the HID headlights). I had time to try out the utility of the vehicle (hatchback, folding rear seats). In short, renting the Prius for 2 days helped me determine if the vehicle was right for me. I think renting a Prius could help you make the right decision. Good luck with your research!
  18. K5VMI

    K5VMI New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA


    Manual Transmission. The '99s did not come in an automatic.
  19. K5VMI

    K5VMI New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA


    Take a look at the tab in the Excel spreadsheet for Repairs. Repair details are listed there. Mostly trouble light issues with glow plugs and replacement of the mass flow air meter.
  20. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Messages:
    4,147
    Likes Received:
    6


    thanks, you'll be happy to know that the mass flow air meter on a Prius is $138.78 from my price list (it's a bit dated now so don't take it as gospel) so if you ever have to change one it's not much in the big picture. And no alternator at all.
Similar Threads: Prius Diesel
Forum Title Date
Fred's House of Pancakes Got charged $1500 repair costs for fueling diesel into Prius 2013 4D (Zipcar) Dec 14, 2013
Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News Top 25 High MPG ICE/Diesels (any Prius Killers?) Nov 11, 2013
Diesels What do you think the future holds? Diesel plug in electric prius? Oct 3, 2013
Gen IV Prius Speculation Diesel Prius Sep 13, 2013
Newbie Forum Passat Diesel Owner - Should I Buy a Prius Jul 15, 2013