Need information on long distances in the Prius C

Discussion in 'Prius c Main Forum' started by Daniel Florentino, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Daniel Florentino

    Daniel Florentino New Member

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    Well about 6 months ago I convinced my mother to buy a 2012 Prius C (currently 7700 miles on it) as she drives 18 miles each way all streets to work and home. Works out great for her and all but;

    In July me and 3 friends are going to Pensacola Florida, from Los Angeles California. 2080 miles. My mom offered to trade cars for the week as I drive a Lexus SC400 getting less than half the gas mileage compared to the Prius and it'll save me a few hundred dollars. My friends and I be trading off driving trying to get their asap so I don't think that poor Prius will get a break aside from bathroom breaks and refills when it hits ~1/4 tank we'll be constantly going and as high as the speed limit permits us which is generally 70 but up to 80mph through a long stretch in Texas.

    Think the car will be alright with only a couple stops for gas & bathroom over a course of 2k miles? I'm not expecting 55mpg driving 70-80 but it'll at least be in the low 40s correct?I've driven it on many occasions but never at those speeds and am curious how it handles also. I've been in some American economy cars and they're shaking @ 80mph. Will I still get a smooth ride in the Prius @ 75+ mph? Heck, I know my old SC400 can do this trip so I'd imagine a 2012 car can. I'm just curious as what to expect from it and if it's a better choice.
     
  2. Rob.au

    Rob.au Active Member

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    The car will be fine, but no you won't get great fuel economy at those speeds. I don't know how big your SC400 is, but will the four of you + luggage be comfortable in the c?
     
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Correct, I suspect there may be comfort issues, and you may only be able to pack bathing suits, but the car will do fine. With some moderation, 45 MPG should be doable at 70 MPH.
     
  4. Ardentauthor

    Ardentauthor New Member

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    At 75MPH I experienced a bit of wind/road noise, but the ride itself was smooth. I averaged about 46-47 MPG at that speed.
     
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  5. wmo168

    wmo168 Member

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    Is doable at 82mph but when you set the cruise the car go up hill or over a bridge you will hear the engine roar since it lack of power. but I think you get about 36mpg doing 82mph so you be filling up about every 260 miles so you be filling up at least 8 times since it has a small gas tank.

    I think the SC400 will ride better on highway.
     
  6. oberkc

    oberkc Junior Member

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    Car will be fine. Big people? Lot's of luggage? Not so good.

    Given miles, gas, oil, wear-and-tear, maintenance, I am not convinced that it would be cheaper than bus, or flying.
     
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  7. minkus

    minkus Active Member

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    I see $466/person round trip for Tuesday flights I checked between LAX and Pensacola in July. $1,800 plus a rental car or transportation around the area (at the very least, a taxi/shuttle to/from the airport). I don't think that's cheaper than driving, unless they're pressed for time (i.e. taking more time off work, especially if unpaid), plus road trips are fun! Greyhound for the same dates is $900 total, and that takes two days and three transfers, and they'd still need to get to their destination from the Greyhound station, at least. The trip is 2,100 miles/29 hours without stops, but it looks like OP plans to drive in shifts and sleep in the car. Greyhound could be slightly cheaper assuming they don't need a car at their destination, but if it is, I'd personally be willing to pay a slight premium for spending 1.5 days with the freedom of my own car vs. 2 days in various Greyhound buses and stations.
     
  8. DriverA

    DriverA Member

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    I've done 2100+ mile road trips in my C...(and several other cars) generally I go solo but loaded down with much luggage. In your situation I'd only be concerned with luggage space for the 4 of you... the car should be fine, or at least as fine as any other new, reliable car.

    & Road trips are great :) Happy travels.
     
  9. Fauxknight

    Fauxknight Active Member

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    Luggage for 4 is going to be rough, with only three you'd at least be able to pack a decent amount of stuff. Still, I think 4 guys might be able to do it, just make sure they pack extra light...one non-giant sized duffle each.

    Mileage shouldn't be an issue, while rated at 46 freeway it can get 50+. It'll be weighed down a bit with 4, but it should still easily get in the 40's.
     
  10. oberkc

    oberkc Junior Member

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    I see $466/person round trip for Tuesday flights I checked between LAX and Pensacola in July. $1,800 plus a rental car or transportation around the area (at the very least, a taxi/shuttle to/from the airport).



    Yes, probably you are correct. I thought it might be a bit cheaper to fly. My bigger (unspoken) point about the cost to drive is that most people don't consider things like depreciation (probably around 0.10 per mile or over $400 for the trip), cost of tires (4500 miles is nearly 10% of the life of a set) oil changes, potential roadside assist cost (unlikely, but a risk). By my math, this road trip is going to cost nearly $1000. Some of that cost is deferred, of course, but it is just as real.

    Yes, in the end, this is probably still cheaper than flying.

    As an aside, I would pay a premium to leave the driving to others.
     
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  11. B2FiNiTY

    B2FiNiTY Active Member

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    The thing I value the most when considering a trip like this is the value of time. Something as everyone knows, cannot be bought, earned or otherwise returned.

    Other than that, you have fully evaluated and considered this proposition.

    Personally, unless there are specific spots or reason to take the road trip, I would fly, train, or bus your way over to LA.
     
  12. minkus

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    Given OP's scenario (college-aged, roadtrip with friends), time probably isn't that much of an issue, though I'd budget an extra day or two to stop at interesting places along the way. Roadtrips with friends are fun, but having time to make a few stops, whether planned or "ooh look at that thing!", is what really makes them worth it. If OP or friends have jobs, lost working time can be taken into account, but if they like driving they probably consider that part of their vacation, and it's better than work and ends up costing less.


    Anyway, as for OP's original question, I'd lean towards taking the Lexus. The Prius C's mpg advantage really shines on city drives (like your mom's commute) and at low highway speeds. Sticking to 70-80 mpg will make your mpgs drop considerably (they'll still be pretty good given the circumstances, but not great), and I don't think the overall advantage is enough to justify putting all those miles on your mom's c. Plus, you'll have more room - the c would be enough room, but the Lexus would definitely be more comfortable. As others have mentioned, 70-80mph speeds + hills + 4 people and luggage + AC usage means the c will probably be getting high 30s-low/mid 40s. Be sure to report back to tell us which you chose and the results (speed, mpg, how much luggage, how much space you had, etc.)!
     
  13. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Chance favors the prepared mind.

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    I'm not seeing 4 people, plus baggage for a week, plus snacks and travel items all fitting into a C and being worth the trip. Let alone for the there, and en back again after an already long week?

    Cough up some more gas money.

    However, if you insist, expect high to mid 30's for mpgs. Also expect a strained and buzzy ride. The C will do it, but you'd be more comforable in a larger car.
     
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  14. ftl

    ftl Explicator

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    My wife and I did a 1500 mile road trip in my C3 last summer - no strain, no buzz, but I wouldn't have wanted two more passengers and their luggage.
     
  15. chicagoaficionado

    chicagoaficionado Junior Member

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    IMAG1124.jpg

    One guy, empty car, 10 mph crosswind.
     
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  16. minkus

    minkus Active Member

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    Average speed/temperature, and how many hills?
     
  17. chicagoaficionado

    chicagoaficionado Junior Member

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    Temp 60's. Southern Iowa to Chicagoland, there are some hills. No mountains :) Avg 70 mph. I tried to follow something big the whole time, but didn't draft. 3 second follow. 35psi stock tires. No grill block.
     
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  18. Daniel Florentino

    Daniel Florentino New Member

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    Appreciate all the replies :)

    Yes we're all college guys who aren't taking a plane by choice we love driving. None of us are old enough to rent a car and we want to travel around Florida not be in the same place we land/rely on public transport. Plus it's not that far of a drive in theory when you have four drivers. We've all taken many road trips together including Los Angeles -> Seattle non-stop in a 99 accord ex, no longer have the accord or I'd take that no doubt, loved it.

    Re: &Minkus; She offered me the C. I wouldn't want to put 6k miles on any car that only has 78xx miles. Guess she felt like being nice as it's my last summer in the USA.

    The SC400 gets no more than 20mpg if I'm conservative which won't be the case in this drive, I'm in no hurry but I like to maintain the maximum speed possible whether it's the legal speed or the speed of other traffic and we won't be stopping to see anything until Florida, we're not interested in anything in the south/Texas etc. The Lexus is definitely a tank and very roomy but the car is lowered and we'll feel every little bump given the rest of the interstate is as bad as the Fwy in California...honestly all we're bringing is one duffle bag with all of our clothes, towels, sun screen, and toiletries and a cooler with food and water. Can't really imagine anything else we'd need and that'll fit without an issue. We've had 5 in the car going to Vegas and it was no issue, none of us are overweight or even stocky for that matter so we fit great. I don't think the 4 of us together even weigh 700lb and I weigh 200 of those so the other dudes are pretty small lol. Regardless we've been in some sticky situations where comfort is not in our favor, mainly at college dorm parties etc, what's the worst that can happen? A numb leg? Oh no vacation ruined. *Sarcasm* :D

    We'd be saving so much in gas it'd pay for our entire vacation in terms of hotel and vacation rental accommodation so I think it'd be worth it, leaving us a lot more money to have fun. Not counting the given the tire depreciation, oil, other small wearables etc. It doesn't add up to be too much anyway. Beats 2k in just flights. Value won't depreciate that much lol. My mom also keeps cars until their death, never goes about reselling them anyway. Also which cop is going to pull over the little red Prius? The blacked out, deep dish rims, "ricer" Lexus SC400, bit of a different story from my experiences in it and maintenance will be 5x the cost, guaranteed. =/

    &aurdentauthor Thanks, I am hoping to get around the same if I average around 70/75 mph as most of the terrain is relatively flat all the way there. I've experienced that wind noise on the fwy driving it also but it wasn't too bad.

    Appreciate everybody's input; decided I'm going to take the Prius.
     
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  19. p00kienrayray

    p00kienrayray Active Member

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    Have fun! I'm jealous. I'm about to hit 30 y.o., and my buddies don't even have the time of day to do a road trip with me anymore (even if its just a trip to norcal over the weekend:rolleyes: ).

    Btw, rotating drivers or not, 6k miles on the road is 6k miles!:D
     
  20. Daniel Florentino

    Daniel Florentino New Member

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    Well I figure, the first stretch is 2k miles. Given each of us can put in 500 miles behind the wheel which is ~7.5hrs given we're going only about 65mph. Between the span of 30 hrs + gas, bathroom, etc. I'd imagine it's not hard to do 2.5hrs 3 times each at some point in that time period or something along those lines switching off, napping, munching in the car etc. We're not interested in any sites on the way to Florida, just getting there. A couple days after chilling there we can take it easy getting to Miami which is another 9-10 hours on the road. Two of them live in San Bernardino and drive to Orange County for work Monday -> Friday so I know they're well used to it, these open roads will be a breeze compare to the parking lot on So Cal freeways we endure regularly. From our previous experiences we all do well in the car for long periods. No different than sitting on the couch at the house, listening to music and what not occasionally putting in some time behind the wheel.

    Thanks! & don't worry man I know how you feel. These friends I'm going with are the only ones I'd ever go on a road trip on, it's our tradition. They all work and go to college while recently I started a business, which I'm working from home. The chance everybody has a day off at school and work is so rare these days. This is our last summer in USA so we wanted to go somewhere we've never been and we planned this to be a month before our planned move date. Ahh, NorCal was our last trip, Santa Cruzzz. Talk your buddies into a good one. I bet if you offer to take the Prius they'll all be begging to go :D
     
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