New Prius 2010 gets no respect on roads

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by springfield, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    Read what I said about depressing the accelerator pedal to the floor. You weren't here before when I owned the car and posted about it a lot. Believe me, I have no fear of taking most any machine to the limit if need be.

    You're kidding about "taking" any car you want to, right? I guess that's true, if the only cars you want to "take" are slower than the GII.

    From 0-20mph or so the Prius has lots of torque, so it seems very fast. Beyond that it's all about horsepower, and the little thing is back there somewhere, wound out. And on the freeway, with a couple people and a bit of luggage in it, a little headwind on the nose and pull up a hill of any length, you've got 110hp and that's it.

    But, like I said, it's all in they eye of the beholder.

    ________________

    I'm beginning to think that this lack of willingness to acknowledge the Prius' limitations may be why they get no respect on the road. What feels "fast enough" to some may not be to other people, and all of a sudden that person becomes the one either (a) Enforcing the law or (b) Impeding the flow of traffic.

    Clint Eastwood said it best: "A man's got to know his limitations."

    I'm willing to admit the limitations of my car: It's inefficient and it really isn't right to drive something like that on a daily basis, although people do and don't think twice about it. I don't think there's anything wrong with admitting that the Prius, especially the earlier models, are slow and corner only adequately at best, and sometimes it's courteous to let faster traffic pass you by.
     
  2. roverguy78

    roverguy78 Elite Lurking Member

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    A lot of people just assume the car is a slug because quite a few people drive them very conservatively so they can get the absolute highest possible MPG (which can be understandable). Also, frankly, a lot of older people drive them, and they usually drive rather slow.

    I came from an SUV with 190 HP. The Prius feels pretty quick compared to the SUV. Not to mention it handles much better. I also drive it like a normal car and go the speed limit or 5 over. I still average 47-48 MPG in doing so. I am quite happy with that.

    Also, some of the Prius-hate might actually be foreign-car-hate. The majority of the tailgaters around here are driving domestic trucks and SUVs.
     
  3. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    I agree.

    It's like it's un-American somehow to be frugal. I love riding my bike and going three weeks or longer without starting up my car (then turning the key and feeling relief when the battery is not dead). Just seeing it sitting in the garage makes me happy. Sometimes I push it out of the garage, wax it just for fun, then back into the garage it goes.

    For me, it's all about potential...I could drive if I want, and there's all that power and all the other fancy stuff calling out to my emotions—c'mon, take me for a spin, put the top down, give it the gas—but I choose not to.

    I'm a rather emotional person.

    I hope I'm not offending anyone, but isn't it odd how the American flag—especially when displayed on a vehicle of one type or another—no longer symbolizes patriotism as a general sentiment, but specific political beliefs? How did that happen?
    :-(

    I sure wish it would go back to the way it was before, when my Dad painted a huge American flag on the garage door of our house to celebrate the Bicentennial.
     
  4. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Agree, when "beating" somebody in traffic it's 99% skill and reading traffic and being in the right place at the right time, not how fast you can accelerate to the next car in front of you :)
    True, average new car is $26k in US right now and sales are up, this despite a 10% unemployment rate and median household incomes only about twice that $26k (I realize the 26k includes many well above median income, though).
     
  5. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    This is exactly the point I was trying to make. Say that traffic is flowing fast at 75 mph. You are approaching a Mercedez in your lane that's travelling 70 mph. Obviously you need to change lanes and pass him to maintain your speed. And you do, it's easy. By a broad definition, you've just "taken" him. In fact, you do this every day, you just may not realize it. So nobody should ever think the Prius is underpowered for real-world, safe driving conditions.

    Or take a more extreme scenario: Say you're stuck in traffic on a 4-lane freeway. It's carpool hour and all lanes are stopped except the carpool lane. You happen to be in lane 3. You look in your left side mirror at the cars whizzing past and wonder if you can "peel out" to go in that lane. Assuming you have good judgement, you bet your bottom dollar that you can, and catch up to the lane's speed in a reasonable time before the car behind you has to brake. But here's my point: Do you think a more powerful car would be any more safe attempting this maneuver? Absolutely not.
     
  6. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    There are a scant few circumstances in which having more power are safer, though in truth generally times when a given maneuver is safer in a more powerful car it's because it was of questionable safety anyway, and I say this with a long history of such behavior behind me (mostly). 10 seconds 0-60 is really not bad, 15 years ago a vast ton of vehicles did this and most of us didn't consider them unsafe.
     
  7. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    Here's one: you're on a winding two lane road in the Prius. Speed limit is 55mph. You've got a couple of passengers in the car and some luggage, and you're climbing into the mountains. There's a big, slower moving truck in front of you and you want to pass. Would you rather have 110hp or 300hp? Sometimes all the smarts in the world don't make up for capability in an automobile. Sure, you could wait and maybe eventually there's a passing lane up ahead...but when you get there the guy behind you passes first because he's one of those people who are always upset about being behind a Prius, and by the time he does and the Prius collects itself and begins to get around that truck, the lane ends and you're still stuck.

    We can cite hypothetical examples for ever and a day, and I'm sure we'll always counter each other.

    But, this isn't what it's about.

    I'm not about "taking" any more than anyone else here. I'm not into racing anyone on the street, nor should any of us be.

    It's the entire driving experience, not whether in a single instance one car is better than another. I wasn't terribly fond of the driving experience in the Prius. You may be. Great, we're both happy. I'm not driving a Prius, you are. And we're both doing our part to save gasoline and reduce pollution. You're driving an extremely efficient automobile. I normally don't drive at all.

    Also, getting back to the topic, it's so nice not to be bullied on the road anymore. Everything else aside, I got really tired of being hassled in my Prius. That's my observation. After three years in my '06 Prius, I can't lie, I'm glad to be out of it now.
     
  8. skilbovia

    skilbovia Member

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    I live in central Massachusetts and maybe it's because of the way we drive up here, but I really haven't had any problem that I can blame on driving my Prius. The Gen III Prius doesn't really look like a Prius to the untrained eye. I really don't pulse and glide when I can see anyone behind me. I have also started using ACC in my Prius V around town to a great advantage. I set the ACC to 5 above the speed limit and basically let the car in front of me control my speed. This keeps the "blame" on the car in front of me and if 5 over the speed limit isn't fast enough, well @#$*'em. They can tailgate me all they want. I also like the fact that I never subconsciously tailgate the car in front of me with ACC on. And the way ACC breaks is a blast, always keeping a safe distance and handing over the controls to me at about 25 mph. Same story on the highway, except I'll set the ACC to 7 over the speed limit. Again, generally if there is a slowup in the inside or outside lane it's the car in front of me that is causing the problem. I just adapt and roll along. Now of course there's times where 72 in a 65 isn't fast enough in the outside lane for the idiot behind me. No problem here, I'll just pull over unless of course I have interference in the inside lane. Then I just turn on my blinker and tick down the ACC 1 mph at a time till I get a spot BEHIND the car or truck to my right. Ain't nobody worth getting a ticket for by speeding up to get out of the way. So in a nutshell ACC plus a little courtesy to the drivers around me and I haven't had a problem with Prius envy yet. Then again, I'm only 1600 miles into this great ride so we'll see what happens as time moves on.
     
  9. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    I don't get bullied in a Prius. Maybe drivers just take a look at you and chuckle. Don't mean to be sexist here. Or maybe you were (are) just too self-concious. Maybe it was the way you drove. Probably both. But if you need a more powerful vehicle to feel good about yourself while driving, well that's just sad and takes us back several decades.
     
  10. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I'm not picking on you, Pinto Girl. I just didn't really agree with what you were writing although I can understand the feelings that went with it. :) It's good to see your face again. :)
     
  11. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I do wonder how much of this is just purely fabricated in one's mind. I suppose I've not been on the lookout for it but I'm not sure I can point to any different behavior from others in the 15k that we've had the Prius. My wife doesn't complain and I doubt I've noticed. I do have a very much "this is my space" kind of deal when I drive, though. I once got into a "shoving match" with an 18 wheeler when I was in a sentra. Very low speeds (5mph), so very safe, but I ended up winning. In the end it was me against one other guy regardless of what he was in.

    When I'm tailgated I lock cruise on the speed I want to ensure that I don't subconsciously speed up to please the person behind me. When I was younger I used to hit the brakes, that gets somebody's adrenaline going but I don't do it now.
     
  12. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi Pinto Girl,

    Welcome Back, and I too am glad to see you here.

    The fact that you feel you were out-gunned in your 2006, means you felt you had to drive a weapon. And, yea, I can understand that. It what I was getting at in my post. People are just not civilized on the interstate any longer. Speeders used to be very civilized. They knew they were stretching the limits of civilization, and they were careful to not let it turn into negligance. No longer.
     
  13. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    I don't believe that a car can make us feel better about ourselves, only about how we feel when driving it.

    Bicycles, though, can make us feel better about ourselves. And how we feel while riding one.

    As far as my driving style, let's just say that my Prius was one of the few with multiple TRD mods to the suspension including lowering springs and struts imported from Japan via Carson Toyota, low restriction exhaust and induction systems, and Bridgestone RE01-R tires on 16" rims which I salvaged from a wrecked Touring.

    Thank you.

    You're right, the the highways are becoming a war zone. The use of the word 'outgunned' was not accidental. I remember when I was in my 20s and used to speed, I always made sure that I didn't weave or scare anyone, and I always used my turn signals. It seems almost quaint now.

    Maybe I'm not a strong enough person to counteract the war zone mentality with my choice in automobiles. Or maybe—since I drive a car that doesn't get bullied, but don't bully others with it—that's making its own positive statement, I really don't know.

    _________________________

    Here's an interesting stat: Ford did a survey about SUVs. They asked, "How important is towing ability to you?" Over 80% of the respondents answered, very important. When those same folks were asked, "How often do you tow?" nearly the same percentage answered, never.

    The beauty of this entire discussion is, none of us are in that place.
     
  14. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    You drive in California. Traffic is heavy there. In my experience people devolve immediately into animals when in crowded cities or heavy traffic because they feel they have to fight for what little space they can (and they're right). When I'm in a large city I step it up right away to be an aggressive driver, too, or else you never get anywhere. I don't have to do that around here, though; rarely on the highway and it's never packed anyway, so your experience may indeed be real whereas if you drove that same Prius somewhere else you'd not notice it at all.
     
  15. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    Your mods tell me that you care a lot about performance and so obviously the Prius was never a good choice for you. I actually have very similar mods as you, but the difference between you and me is that I embrace what I have.
     
  16. rlr66

    rlr66 Junior Member

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    My other car is a BMW Z3 roadster and when I drive Following the rules of the road, people will pass that too. I don't think it's the car. Anyone following the rules of the road will not get respect. It's just the way. Don't sweat it.
     
  17. PapaGallo

    PapaGallo Junior Member

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    like a lot of people have mentioned on this thread, its not just the Prius, but all kinds of vehicles that get tailgated,
    I drive a 4 axle(14 wheel, ) tractor trailer for work, and I get tailgated all the time, if i had to stop suddenly, they are going to be prying the icc bar off hood of the knuckle head who was tailgating me, but i dont worry about that I have 40 ft of trailer between me and the car behind me.
    and not just tailgating ,I see all kinds of stupid things, someone passing me like a bat of hell, then having to slam on the brakes because traffic front has just come to a stop, not really understanding the 65,000 lbs of truck will crush any car or suv like it was a soda can.Just do what we are told to do at work when we encounter any type of reckless behavior, just let them get ahead of you.
     
  18. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    You're right, the car wasn't a great choice for me. I tried to embrace, but felt frustrated at every turn (no pun intended). Maybe that's just where I am in life, I'd been embracing things that didn't feel right to me for way too long, and can't any more.

    Just me. I'm all about emotion and how things feel.

    Yes! It's like at a concert: One person stands up, then a group does, and now we're all standing. Thing is, the view is no better than when we were all sitting, but we're all a lot less comfortable now.

    The volume of life is being turned up higher and higher, but it's not helping us hear any better.
     
  19. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    That may be true for you and me, but not the fellow behind the tree.:D Seriously, there are people like that.
    I'm trying to reconcile that with quoted comment above that one and not succeeding.;)
     
  20. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    Lol, that's a great analogy. :D
     
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