On the fence on buying a Hybrid after owning two sports cars, will I be disappointed?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by sluday, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. sluday

    sluday New Member

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    Hello all, my first post. As I was shopping for my next sports car, the recent gas price surge had my looking at fuel sippers for my 70 mile a day commute.(95% highway) I have compared the Honda Civic coupe, Civic Hybrid, and the Prius. The Prius won hands down. The Civic coupe was close because of its price and it felt a little faster but the Prius has the complete package I was looking for. My questions are.... Does the Prius have enough power for highway on ramps and passing slower cars when needed? Does the engine squeal on the highway or have wind noise going 70-80 mph? Do any former sports car or luxury car owners regret going Hybrid? I know that Hybrids are driven differently to achieve the best mpg's but I don't want to be the slowest car on the road if I need to get somewhere fast. I am leaning towards getting a Prius but I have some last minute wedding jitters. Any advice you guys have would be great.
     
  2. MontyMan

    MontyMan Prius Driver

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    Dear Sluday:

    Only you can say whether you will be disappointed with the feel of the Prius. The feel of the car was definitely an adjustment for me, but I mean that in a good way. My history is with other compacts and with GM intermediate family cars, not sports cars. I have been driving the Prius for 15 months and I am loving it.

    When you accelerate in the Prius on the highway, power is applied to both motors AND the gas engine. And the sound of that little engine racing for the few seconds bugs my wife a little but does not bother me. When you take your test drive, try to take it on the same type of highway you normally drive.

    My normal highway speed is 65mph; for my wife it's more like 70 and I've not been disappointed with the performance of the Prius at those speeds. The 50 mpg performance you hear people talking about is real. But that normally happens in city driving. Highway performance is usually a few mpg less, but don't think as I did that your performance will drop dramatically just because you are driving at highway speeds. For example, if you're getting 49 in town and 45 on the highway, you're still worlds better off than if you were driving an engine-only vehicle. Your 12 gallons of gas will take you amazing distances.

    For myself, I can say the Prius definitely has passing power. When I pass, I click the A/C compressor off (there's a handy switch) and just punch it. This is not an inconvenience for me, because my history is not with huge horsepower cars, and since I was a kid I've clicked the A/C off temporarily when passing.

    When I first bought the Prius, I did get it up to 90mph briefly just to see if it could do so. It performed admirably and I quickly slowed down to my normal highway speed again, because those speeds scare me in any car.

    You will read discussions of people driving a certain way to squeeze every last mile out of each gallon of fuel but there is also the "just drive it" school of thought and IMHO there is nothing wrong with just driving it normally, as you would any automatic transmission car.

    I hope you enjoy your new car, whatever it may be.

    Best,
    ........MontyMan.
     
  3. stumpy_c

    stumpy_c New Member

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    It's hard to answer your question as preferences are so subjective.

    The car I owned previous to my Prius was an '06 Subaru WRX STI. While the Prius is obviously not even in the same league in terms of performance, it is absolutely not the dog most people assume it is. It handles well enough on the mountain roads around my home, has plenty of get up and go for normal (sane) driving, is stable on the highways up to about 90MPH and will actually cruise at 100MPH fairly willingly if you need to get somewhere in a hurry (I used to do 120+ in the Subie everywhere I went, heh...stupid).

    In return I get almost three times the gas mileage, less than half the insurance bill, 25% of the fuel cost, tires that last more than 6 months and cost a third as much to replace, half the oil changes and a lower monthly payment. There are definitely trade-offs to be made in switching from a sports car to a hybrid, but the way I see it they are both REALLY cool in their own ways.

    I don't find myself really missing the Subaru in the sense that I regret having jumped into a Prius, but sometimes I do get a bug to go out and pretend I'm 18 and immortal again. I bought a Hayabusa to quell the need for speed when it beckons. Difference is that the bike does it at almost 40MPG - the Subaru did it at 18 on a good day (and on premium fuel).

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  4. Fred_H

    Fred_H Misoversimplifier

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    Take a thorough test drive.
    After a very thorough test drive (400 mi. vacation rental), I didn't have the slightest doubt, and I could hardly wait to order mine.
    .
     
  5. Devil's Advocate

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    The handling is definelty different. A little, shall I say, unstable, but what I really mean is that things like wind and road grooves affect the direction of the car. Not so much that I care, but some people have a problem with it. However, the unstable, nimble, hadndling does make driving fun and never boring.
    Now don't take this as me saying that the handling is something to be really concerned with.

    I have a lot of fun with the car and find it rather fun to drive. I really have fun on curving freeway entry ramps, where I can get the VSC to kick in.

    Also, as for accelleration, I am usually the first person off the line at stop lights and no one will be ahead of you unless they want to be.

    Definetly change the stock tires when you can. Also, the Touring model I've heard really helps.

    Best bet, rent one from Enterprise for a day and tool around town.

    I drive from Vegas to LA everyweek and have no trouble cruising at 85 for 4 hours. Yeah and getting 42 MPG's for the trip!
     
  6. Sufferin' Prius Envy

    Sufferin' Prius Envy Platinum Member

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    The Prius IS a sports car . . . It all depends on how you define 'sport.'

    Rather than zipping around like fools, which the Prius will do quite well, many of us Prius drivers are now into the sport of high MPGs. We even have a factory installed video game to help us improve our sport skills. ;)
     
  7. Boo

    Boo Boola Boola Member

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    If you decide on a Prius, consider getting the Touring Edition for its improved suspension and bigger/wider tires.
     
  8. HardCase

    HardCase SilverPineMica, the green one

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    I own and have driven a Honda Prelude (the SH version if that means anything to anyone, it basically had improved handling features) for more than a decade. I don't know how it might compare to other true "sports cars", this one was more of a sports coupe, but was designated by Car & Driver as the best handling car under $40,000 or some such a number of years back. It's definitely a bit of a hot-rod, has a lot of power, speed, and handles very well.

    When I bought my Prius I immediately felt a bit 'insecure' in hard corners, and thought the handling felt a bit mushy, but it was definitely a relative thing and as I drove the Prius those feelings abated over time. I still don't consider the Prius to be a particularly good cornering car, it seems to wander and feels a little unstable. All front wheel drive cars have a reputation for understeer in corners, but I don't notice understeer with the Prius so much as it just feels "mushy" for lack of a better word. However, the Prius has changed the way I drive, it has slowed me down, and I don't consider that to be a bad thing. In fact, my stress levels while driving have decreased and I'm enjoying it more than I did when I was hammering around curves at 80.

    I did hang onto the Prelude and take it out occasionally. When I do I am struck by how well it handles and how responsive it is to throttle inputs, but the Prius is my daily driver now. I agree with Boo, you might look at the Touring models. Mine is a standard Prius and I'm considering doing a couple of suspension upgrades in the near future.
     
  9. Tbirdtony

    Tbirdtony New Member

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    Just like someone else said on a post here - take a test drive and really check the areas where you have a concern. The Toyota dealer near me had 2 base model Prius cars as rentals. The salesman gave me one of them for the afternoon. I put 50 miles on it. I accelerated hard, easy, drove on city streets, the freeway (had the car up to 75), & in stealth mode. I was very impressed. I am replacing a 2005 PT Cruiser Limited Edition turbo and the Prius acceleration times from 0 to 60 are the same (10 seconds). The Prius doesn't handle like a sports car but I was impressed by the ride and quietness of the car. I also have a 2001 Miata SE with a 6 speed. I don't expect the Miata & the Prius to ride & handle the same. Both are great cars and do what they were designed to do well. By the way, I also drove the Honda Civic Hybrid (HCH) and while it was nice (except for the poor exterior & interior color choices in my opinion) it didn't have the fold-down rear seats, the interior room, the features, or the gas mileage of the Prius. The Prius was a clear winner over the HCH for me. I ordered a Barcelona Red Prius and was told by the dealer that it arrived late yesterday. I pick it up on Monday.
     
  10. biggus

    biggus Junior Member

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    I had a dice(race)driving a Prius with a stranger in a 1990 porsche 911 on back roads. The 911 driver couldn't believe that he couldn't shake off this funny looking family car. I got by and left him dumbfounded. You can't beat modern lightweight engineering.
    If you anticipate overtaking and flatten the throttle earlier then in a normal car the combined power of the engine and electric motor makes this car outperform a lot of so called sports machinery. This point seems to be lost in these forums and by motoring journalists.

    Yes ;if you are constantly accelerating flat out. the monotone drone from the engine is uninspiring to say the least,but in reality you learn to use this in short bursts.

    The most suprising thing is, that, it becomes more fun chasing ever higher gas mileages instead. This has the added benifit of keeping you within the speed limit. (an EX subaru WRX driver agrees with me. see;(lightened Prius thread modification forum).

    As well as the Prius,I am lucky to to have sports machines at my disposal, currently BMW M3 CSL,
    previously I had a 350z,after an Mr2 spyder allof which which are used sparingly.1000 miles on the CSL in a year.
    Buy the prius for commuting and an old muscle car(gas guzzlers will only get cheaper) for the odd week-end blast
     
  11. John in LB

    John in LB Life is good

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    My other car is a sports car... :D and is definitely a different experience. The sports car is about handling and power. The Prius is also fun to drive... but its more about the technology and the gadgetry that it comes with (I have the full options package with the GPS).

    We are in southern California where the freeway speeds are typically 75 to 80 MPH (if we are not stuck in traffic).... The Prius seems to be fine up to about 80... I have hit a hundred, but the squirrel cage is reallllllllly spinning then...

    The car handles like a typical sedan with body lean. Acceleration is reasonable for an econo car.... it is definitely not an under-performer.

    Most of the hybrid technology benefits is in city driving and not on the freeway.... so, if you really plan to use the car at freeway speeds 95% of the time, I would suggest that you consider a fuel efficient non-hybrid vehicle... it will be cheaper and give you most of the bang that you are looking for. Our Prius gets consistently 43-44 MPG... and you can really see the difference with the hybrid technology when we do a lot of city driving.... in that situation, the fuel economy does NOT drop.... just stays at the same level.

    The car is very reliable, easy to use and fun to drive - because it is "different".
     
  12. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    One more comment on acceleration: It is more than adequate, though a bit deceptive. The continuously variable transmission doesn't give you the "jolt" into your seat back as it shifts during a hard acceleration. That's because it really isn't shifting in the conventional sense. You might actually think the car is hesitating as you slam the pedal down, and then in a few seconds you glance at the speedo and see 60 MPH. I call it "sneaky quick."
     
  13. livininspirit

    livininspirit New Member

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    My previous car was a 2004 VW Jetta 1.8T. It was by no means a real sports car, but the turbo was surely fun, and handling was awsome. I drive up to Big Bear Lake (mountain roads) 5 times a year, and that Jetta was def. fun passing people up and taking corners.

    Now I own a 2008 Prius pkg 2, its a complete different feel. Handling is probably half as good, acceleration doesn't push you back to the seat, and yes if you do get on it, the engine is quite loud. Now I'm not bashing the Prius, I actually like the fact that it's all of the above because then it makes me want to drive slower.. I mean they did a study, if you speed, over a 30 minute commute you only save 75 seconds... so to be honest, speeding doesn't really save much, but waste far more gas.

    Anyways, my conclusion is I still miss my Jetta sometimes, but Prius def. change the way I drive and I love getting 49 MPG.. that was my very first tank, filled up last night. I only filled up 7.2 gallons, and the gas pump nozzle clicked off, i was like.."what?? one of those broken nozzles again.. " so i kept on trying to pump it, until I realized...... right... i only have a 10 gallon tank with 2 bar of gas left.... total cost.. $28.00 for gas heh =) can't be happier.
     
  14. PRIUS007

    PRIUS007 James Bond -007

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    I drive this when the weather is nice and on the weekends
    [​IMG]

    And this as my daily driver
    [​IMG]

    I love my Prius and can't say enough about it. I actually think I brag and talk more about my Prius than I do the 505HP Z06 Corvette.

    The Z06 Corvette with 505HP is a street missile, no question about it. This car is so crazy fast it's scary.

    The Prius isn't really any dog in my opinion though. I don't have any issues driving this car every day to and from work and absolutely LOVE it.

    It performs well, handles just fine, gets great mileage and is just overall a blast and a fun car to drive!!!
     
  15. lefat1

    lefat1 Fat Member

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  16. okiebutnotfrommuskogee

    okiebutnotfrommuskogee Senior Member

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    Sorry, just took another look and saw that your car is a 2001 with engine driven compressor. My mistake!!

    Just curious as to why you click off the AC compressor since it is not driven off the engine and would not rob power from it during passing?
     
  17. sluday

    sluday New Member

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    I did take it for a test drive but not at highway speeds. I was on a 50 mph road at a got up to 65 briefly and the car felt solid and was not sluggish. All the interior gadgets are there to feel close to luxury which was nice.
     
  18. sluday

    sluday New Member

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    I would get package 5. Don't really want the leather.
     
  19. triumph1

    triumph1 Member

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    I got rid of my '07 Vette for the prius. I drive 87 miles a day, and the Prius will save me 3000 per year. No regrets. I have a motorcycle if I want to go fast.
     
  20. Sheepdog

    Sheepdog C'Mere Sheepie!

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    I love the Pri. I love it so much we now have two! I think that makes it "Prii".

    I am technically trained from the AF and college (Electronics Engineering BASEET) and went that way as my boyhood hero was Engineer Scott from Star Trek. This car is as close to Star Fleet as any I have seen yet.

    It is a radical departure from Henry Fords cars. This car is computers and engineering first then wheels to make it roll. Almost everything else other than doors is magical.

    I am continually impressed and amazed at the application of science in this little car. It really is ahead of it's time.
     
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