Consumer Reports Rating of 2010 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by CPSDarren, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. Gokhan

    Gokhan Active Member

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    Summary of the Consumer Reports comparisons of Gen III Prius to Gen II Prius. It's interesting that although the car got better overall, it got worse in several areas, including routine handling, ride, driving position, and city MPG. It's also interesting that, despite the common misconception, acceleration is the same as the Gen II. This misconception is perhaps because the engine now revs much less at 60 MPH.

    Acceleration: same (as Gen II) (0 - 60 MPH @ 10.6 s [III] vs. 10.5 s [II])
    Transmission: better (than Gen II)
    RPM @ 60 MPH: better (than Gen II) (1,800 vs. 3,495 RPM)
    Routine handling: worse (than Gen II)
    Emergency handling: same
    Max maneuver speed: better (52.5 vs. 50.5 MPH)
    Braking: better
    Headlights: same
    Ride: worse
    Noise: same
    Driving position: worse
    Front-seat comfort: same
    Rear-seat comfort: same
    Front access: same
    Rear access: same
    Controls: same
    Interior fit and finish: same
    Luggage: same (3 big + 1 small)
    HVAC: same
    Overall MPG: same (44 MPG)
    City MPG: worse (32 vs. 35 MPG)
    Highway MG: better (55 vs. 50 MPG)
    CR rural MPG: better (53 vs. 48 MPG)

    This is in agreement with my conception that cars have been getting better overall, but in certain areas, older models used to be superior. There is certainly no quantum leap for the good-old automobile with the good-old ICE engine.

    Enjoy the ratings and don't trade-in your Gen II for a Gen III so fast! :)
     
  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Thanks!
    Looking at the City values:
    16
    16
    15
    13
    14
    This is consistent with a too aggressive 'City' test that appears to drive every vehicle's city performance into the dirt. The problem with a bad scale is it provides no useful data. We can't make decisions that require knowing city performance.

    Bob Wilson
     
  3. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    Besides below average handling, the Gen II Standard Prius had poor 60 - 0 mph braking distances --- it ranked only in the 11th percentile of the over 100 current model sedans tested by Consumer Reports as of 2008.

    IMO, braking performance is important. And if a car ranks only in the 11th percentile in braking distances, it deserves a relatively low overall numerical rating.

    The good news is that you could dramatically improve the Gen II Standard Prius' braking distances by ditching the OEM 185/65R15 Integrities and putting on wider and better tires. This was demonstrated by Consumer Reports' subsequent testing of the Gen II Touring Edition Prius which, with its OEM 195/55R16 Turanzas, had 10 - 12 feet shorter braking distances than the Standard Prius.
     
  4. Gokhan

    Gokhan Active Member

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    When it comes to MPG, absolute numbers don't matter. What matters is the comparison. CR does their tests in a very controlled manner and in the field. It's as honest as you can get with controlled field tests. If they say the Gen III gets 10% less in the city, I believe them. Note that city means a short trip from a dead-cold start with a lot of stops and goes, not cruising around a small town with a warm engine. That said, I agree that their city numbers are very low. This is probably because of their specifics of their test method (very short trip, too many stops, etc.) But the bottom line again is that what matters is the comparisons of controlled field tests. The actual MPG you will get with a Prius depends on whether you are driving it as a taxicab in Manhattan or hypermiling in a rural area. So, you can get anywhere between, say, 30 and 70 MPG, depending on the conditions.
     
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  5. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    May as well throw in some CR ratings for 4 cylinder auto family sedans for good measure:
    10 Camry LE: 17/37, 26 overall; 31 for 150 mile trip
    07 Altima 2.5S: 18/33, 25 overall, 30 for 150 mile trip
    08 Accord LX-P: 15/34, 23 overall, 28 mpg for 150 mile trip
    09 Malibu LT: 16/38, 25 overall; 32 for 150 mile trip
    10 Fusion SE: 15/38, 24 overall; 31 for 150 mile trip

    All had autos except the Altima which had a CVT. One can also look at Most fuel-efficient cars but it's dominated by hybrids and many manual econoboxes.
     
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    But that assumes there is a range of values large enough that we can make fact based decisions. In this case, the range of city values is too narrow so it loses any utility for making a buying decision. In contrast, the EPA has a much broader range of City mileage that allows making a fact based decision.

    I don't fault CR for having tests but rather this particular test, city mileage, shows such a narrow range of values as to call into question that particular set of tests. Something is broke.

    Bob Wilson
     
  7. chefHawk

    chefHawk Junior Member

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    I think that CR along with a mind set towards Debunking which was noted above, the drivers are not trying to get the best millage, and are not altering their driving habits.

    For example, I'm sure the CR tester is not doing a pulse and glide. If you drive fast, accelerate hard up a hill and brake beyond the regen ability of the car, i'm sure you can get bad millage.

    The reality is the Prius changes how people drive; meaning once I bought it I started driving differently; I want to get good millage and i've only been able to get 43 MPG (i'm only on my 3rd tank of gas).
     
  8. damack1

    damack1 Member

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    But note that the numeric scores for owner satisfaction shine a little more light:
    Prius - 93
    Malibu - 79

     
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  9. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    i agree with Bob. something is not good for a comparison if a certain percentage of average drivers do not obtain the same figures. now we do have a handful of people that do get into the 30's for city mileage so i will not say that CR's numbers are impossible. but that is not representative of what most people can expect.

    now, i dont expect most people to get 65-70 mpg in city driving like i do. but until CR can do a test where they are coming up with city mileage in the 45-55 mpg range (which where i believe the bulk of drivers are) then there could be other flawed numbers being obscured here.

    is there any specifics to how they drove?? is it on a track?. i would assume not. i do know they drive the same route many times with multiple drivers. in real city driving, conditions change rapidly due to traffic, light timing, temps, weather, etc. do we know when these tests were done? a lot of variables possible, but none, other than severe cold weather would provide these numbers. with the limited time the 2010 has been available, the weather is not a factor and hot weather does not provide nearly the hit
     
  10. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    The PDF I referenced at http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...r-reports-rating-2010-prius-2.html#post961807 gives quite a few details. There's some info at How we test: Fuel economy: Consumer Reports Cars Blog as well.
     
  11. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    Again I'll go to the point that CR is not intended to promote autos but rather to show Consumers where the faults might lie with a series of products. If CR believes that the typical 'city' driver makes a lot of short cold-start trips then that's their belief right or wrong.

    However I am not in favor of their presentation methodology because then don't go to any effort to explain why their results might be so different than the well-understood EPA ratings. In the way that they show their results it's left to the Consumer to decypher the differences. The taste left in the casual reader's mouth is that 'the EPA tests are faulty and the vehicle makers are trying to put one over on the Consumer'.

    In fact the 150 mile trip in every case is very representative of what each maker indicates.
     
  12. CPSDarren

    CPSDarren CPS Technician

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    As a side note to that, the EPA's tests were substantially revised since the Consumer Reports wrote those summaries that were linked earlier. Some comments still apply, but others may not.
     
  13. yadax3

    yadax3 Member

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    I wish CR would review the nav system and inform Toyota of its shortcomings thereby prompting them to improve it.
     
  14. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    great details on how they strive to insure consistent results... but a "city test done on a track" is a statement, nothing more. so it answers a question. and that would be "is this closed circuit city test accurate to real world conditions?"

    before we answer that question....lets look at how CR does the city drive


    These tests are stop-and-go city-driving simulations
    on our test track, which has a total of 18 stops and 4 minutes of
    total idle time. Top speed is 40 mph. Two different testers each
    drive three runs for a total of six 2-minute, 40-second trials on
    every test vehicle. Total test time is approximately 16 minutes.


    so we have a "course" that is not completed one time. each test is 2 minutes and 40 seconds long? there is no mention of what the ICE temp is during these runs, no mention of the time elasped between tests, driver changes or nothing.

    so, what is the warm-up penalty?? well, lets see, they get 32 mpg... average driver here gets 45-55 mpg...so i am "guessing" (since i dont have the technical expertise that CR reputedly has) of about say... at least 13 mpg. now please do not ask me to clarify this number as i am a bit foggy on how i came up with it.

    but now that i think of it!!, i always do city driving in 2 minute and 40 second bursts. ya, i get in my car, start it up, drive to the corner, turn right, repeat this 2 more times and then park... total elasped time; 2 minutes and 40 seconds!!

    actually on retrospect, i am surprised that CR got as HIGH as 32 mpg
     
  15. archermoo

    archermoo New Member

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    It is worth keeping in mind that the 2010 Prius is a CR Recommended vehicle. So despite whether or not you think they are being fair in any of their tests or conclusions, they think highly enough of the vehicle to recommend that their readers buy it.
     
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  16. indianagreg

    indianagreg Member

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    Good find Damack1... I looked for those figures on CR, but gave up after a couple of minutes. :rolleyes:

    Greg
     
  17. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    not saying much considering Prius ranked #1 in CR's own survey for like what?? 5 years in a row? how could they recommend otherwise?
     
  18. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Yep, here's some additional discussion from CR about the revised EPA tests that apply to MY 2008+ vehicles.
    New EPA mileage figures
    New EPA mileage figures, Fuel economy results

    There's some great info about the EPA tests at http://priuschat.com/forums/other-c...uth-about-epa-city-highway-mpg-estimates.html.
     
  19. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Yep, Best and worst in new car owner satisfaction: Car owner, auto shopping. The Prius has been ranked #1 in owner satisfaction 5 years in a row.

    That said, whether or not they recommend a vehicle has nothing to do w/how well it does on owner satisfaction survey results. The Corvette is #2 in owner satisfaction and NOT recommended because of its poor reliability. It otherwise did very well in their tests. (Reliability is not part of their road test results.)
     
  20. archermoo

    archermoo New Member

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    Primarily because they don't base their recommendations on the owner satisfaction surveys. And for that matter I don't believe they have an owner satisfaction survey yet that includes the Gen III Prius.
     
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