somebody sell me on the Prius....please!

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by pjam, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. pjam

    pjam New Member

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    I am so infatuated with this car, but the net result is because of its technowizardry...it gets awesome fuel economy results by virtue of toyota's engineers' awesomeness. cool. i love gadgets and this car has 'em!

    conversely, i love driving! i am a child of hondas and acuras of the 90s providing high-revving, strong, yet, fuel-efficient lil hatchbacks. i test drove a '09 acura tsx 6 speed the other day and it ranked immediately as one of the top 3 cars i've ever driven. however, i keep coming back to the prius, mainly for its interior room. i have two children, ages 2 and 4. the tsx is just so slightly lacking in rear seat room enough to make me question it. am i wrong here? is the prius really the greatest automotive utility knife we have available??

    thanks,
    brian
     
  2. Silver bullit

    Silver bullit Right Lane Cruiser

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  3. evpv

    evpv Active Member

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    I'm not blinded by the Prius like some here. I own a Prius V, but it's just one of 3 cars I own, each with their own purpose.

    The one thing the Prius does well is get good gas mileage. If that's a big priority then the Prius is a good choice. But it's basically an econobox that starts around $23,000. It's about the same quality as a Corolla or Yaris, just higher cost due to the hybrid technology. I test drove all of the competing vehicles and I found the Prius to be the best in the econobox category. For example, to me it felt more solid and quieter than the Honda Insight. Actually the Prius does another thing well, it gets long life out of the brakes. I bought my Prius for gas mileage, it's an alternative to my other cars. It has some cool features and technology that you won't find on other econoboxes. The Prius shines on longish commutes with stop-and-go traffic. You won't see great mileage on 5 minute runs to the grocery store. It think the styling looks pretty nice, except for the lame 15" wheels that come on everything but the most expensive model. Unfortunately the 17" wheels make it ride pretty harsh. The Prius gets some very polarized reactions, some people think you're crazy for owning one, others think the Prius is cool. It doesn't get much respect on the road, at best it's invisible. For me it's cool because it gets great mileage and has some interesting drivetrain technology.

    Comparing it to the TSX is not really apples to apples, but it's valid because the pricing is similar. The TSX is more fun to drive (numb Prius steering, marginal power), quieter at speed, quieter at full throttle acceleration, safer (5 stars vs. 4 stars, HID lights standard etc.), smoother ride, better quality interior materials, more adjustable (power seats etc), better build quality (Prius creaks and rattles), and has fewer quirky "features" (Prius grabby brakes at low speeds, electro-mechanical buzzing sounds, reverse beep, ABS brief cut-out when transitioning from regen braking to friction braking on bumpy surfaces, poor rear visibility due to aerodynamic shape, unconventional shift gate, Tron-style instruments with late-80's monochrome monitor resolution, no tachometer, no oil pressure/oil temp/water temp gauges, unusual cruise control stalk location, ECVT transmission sounds). The TSX is a very competent car, comfy interior and nice exterior styling except the gladiator grill.

    Your best bet is to rent a Prius for a week to see if you like it. Make sure your wife drives it (a lot). My Prius owners manual is 600 pages for the car and 300 more pages for the Navigation. It takes some time to learn everything. Even after you learn it all it still doesn't all make sense. I find myself making a lot of excuses for it when I let other people drive it. Did I mention it gets great gas mileage? Have fun.
     
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  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Do you commute a long distance each day? The Prius gets great gas mileage after it warms up, but if you drive short distances, it may never warm up?

    Do you plan to drive it every day? Owners who let the Prius sit over a week routinely, tend to have battery problems. (usually the 12 volt battery)

    Do you need to tow a trailer or carry over 800 pounds? The Prius can carry bulky loads but not heavy loads, I can get a 10 foot 2 by 4 or an 8 foot door in mine, but it is not ideal for massive items.

    Are you done having children? Getting 3 car seats in a Prius has been problematic.

    Does your current driving style depend on spinning the tires? Some owners are frustrated by the traction control, because they need to break traction in their normal driving routine, and a Prius won't.

    I love mine, but so far as I can tell, these issues can be show stoppers for some.
     
  5. viclavigne

    viclavigne New Member

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    How the heck can anyone call the Prius an "econobox" is truly beyond me.... it does NOT compare against the Yaris at all. I've driven econoboxes by Ford, Chevrolet, and even Toyota, and the Prius does not fall into that category at all. I've got leather seats, a fully integrated JBL sound system with bluetooth and nav, power windows/doors, keyless ignition, touch door locking/unlocking, climate control, onboard mileage calculator, carpeted rear hatchback, rear window wipers with wash, aluminum wheels....... where the heck is ECONOBOX in all this?????

    Vic
     
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  6. jhinsc

    jhinsc Senior Member

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    After spending some time in Europe, I got a different outlook on cars. They drive smaller more efficient vehicles that serve their purpose quite well. The TSX is a fine car, but over in Europe (Honda Accord over there), they can get it with an efficient diesel. Too bad we can't get that over here. I saw lot's of Prius taxis there too. While I like to drive too, I generally don't have time or luxury to "enjoy" driving like I used to. It made total sense for me to get the Prius. Fuel is not getting any cheaper, unless God forbid we have an economic depression. In any case, I have a car that has almost as much room as before, but getting twice the MPG's. I love it!
     
  7. viclavigne

    viclavigne New Member

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    Backtrack.... maybe I was a little harsh on evpv's call on the Prius as econobox.... not that I agree, but maybe he doesn't know what an econobox traditionally means.
    Wikipedia article here: [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Econobox]Econobox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
    Econobox is usually a very small, fuel efficient car with no luxuries. Some are tiny, have no power, and are very cheap. Cars that qualify (some of these are old models):
    Chevy Vega, Chevette, Aveo
    Old models of the VW beetle
    Ford Fiesta (the older models), Pinto, the Escort
    1st gen Civic
    Geo Metro
    Yes, I'll add the Yaris to this category, but not the modern Corolla and definitely not the Prius
     
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  8. homegameroom

    homegameroom New Member

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    I went to my Prius from an Acura MDX and haven't missed it a bit (not yet, anyway). I certainly don't miss the horrible fuel economy!

    My other vehicles are a motorcycle and a Cadillac XLR.

    I L-O-V-E my Prius!!!!!!:rockon:
     
  9. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    Sounds to me like you already sold yourself on it, lol. I get a feeling you've still got a little bit of the "fun driving itch" left in you, and this may be a little bit to do with your final uncertainty. As was said earlier, rent one for a week, drive it all over the freaking place - highway, city, 'burbs, etc - and see how you like it. It's a little noisier over bumps that a regular sedan, but I equate that to the frame of a "hatchback" mostly. It's not by any means bad. Given that you've got 2 kids, this car will give you the ability to easily carry them in the back, and also has enough cargo room to accommodate the extras you'll most likely need to carry for them as well. For a family of 4, I think this is a good size vehicle with very adequate storage space. It's also going to be one of the most economical (fuel, oil, brakes, etc) for what you'll find out there.

    I'm not here to try to sell you a Prius. I love mine, but that's just how I feel. You may not enjoy it the same. Only you can sell yourself on it....well, or a really good salesman :)
     
  10. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    This is actually where I think my NOT owning a Prius can be helpful. As I can offer an opinion similarly as a fan, but not as someone already vested in ownership.

    You say- "Conversely" I love driving.

    Which leads me to believe your concern is that owning a Prius wouldn't offer you a driving experience to which you are accustom, high reving...strong...

    I would say, my observation of this site, has led me to a belief that many Prius owners evolve or adapt their perception of what makes driving "fun". In other words for many owning a high tech...hybrid means enjoying various degrees of hypermiling, a smooth quiet ride and ultimately maximizing efficiency.

    If you can only afford to own 1 vehicle is this enough to not only encourage you to purchase a Prius...but keep it and operate it for any tangible period of time? Or would the allure of higher reving engines and "stronger" ( I read faster ) rides quickly lure you back to the world of the standard ICE?

    Only you can really answer this for yourself. You already seem well versed on the technology and benefits of owning a Prius. You don't really NEED that salespitch. I have driven a Prius, and I would say you might be suprised at how much of your desire for a high reving...fun to drive vehicle it IS able to become. The Gen 3, has a Power Mode option...that re-maps pedal response it also has a slightly larger engine than the Gen 2....reports from many owners suggest that while nobody would mistake a Prius for a sports car...it can be fun to drive. (ask James Sikes)...just kidding....

    In anycase, I think if you are balancing Prius Techno Gadgetry and Hybrid Gas Mileage...vs. What you perceive as driving fun....or love of "driving"....and you are afraid that accepting the former will give you too little of the latter? Your best bet is to rent a Prius and drive it...see if it's driving feel and experience is acceptable to you. You might be suprised.

    I think your characterization of The Prius as an Automotive equivalent of a utility knife or swiss army knife...also telling.

    The question...do you want a The Prius and all that it directly offers...or would you rather a vehicle you flat out feel is fun to drive...Swiss Army Knife or Bowie Knife? Really only you can answer that for yourself. My advice rent if possible.

    Another option...that may or maynot be viable, if driving experience or feel is a priority...is unpopular with those championing Non-Consumption. But there is no law against owning a Prius and another vehicle(s). The Prius and it's efficiency and economy is IMO an excellent choice. Could you afford a 2nd vehicle, perhaps used, older..a project...something to take out on those Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring weekends when your desire for a high reving, tire squealing experience becons?

    Just something else to think about.
     
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  11. Dweezil

    Dweezil Cat Juggler

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    I just bought my 2010 Prius (package V) a little less than a month ago. I went from a 2008 Ford Sport Trac...previous to that, a Volvo C30 T5, and before that, an Infiniti G35S. My 2nd car is a souped up 10th Anniversay Miata. Then, there's the Harley (hey, I'm in my mid 40's...it's a little cliche, but who cares).

    Anyway, I LOVE "driver's cars". What I don't like is the fuel mileage they get. While it is really tough to look cool driving a Prius, it has been great fun driving by the gas station while everyone else is filling up their gas guzzlers for $50+ per tank. I love all the little gadgets in the car, and for a 4-banger hybrid, the Prius does OK on power. There are posted speed limits, what's the use of having a Porsche GT if you can only drive it 65? You will still get from point A to point B in the same amount of time with a Prius...once you're there, who cares what you drive?

    I've likened the Prius to guacamole...stay with me. Actually, my car's name is "The Blue Guacamole". Anyway, guacamole (I just love saying that...quacamole) looks horrendous...sort of like it's already been through you. BUT, it sure is good. That's what the Prius is to me. It's the fat, ugly blind date with the great personality.

    Strike that, you CAN look cool with your Prius. LOL

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    LOL!

    Yup...that's cool!

    I do find myself agreeing with evpv's appellation of "econo-box" with the Prius though.
    Yeah...you can pay $7,000 for features like leather seats, and gawd knows how many electronic gadgets---but it still has veeeery little insulation, cheap carpet, cheap seats, and low-grade plastiky interior appointments...etc.
    I'm not knocking the Prius per se....and I usually call it an eco-box instead of an econo-box, but if you put $10,000 worth of options on a Cobalt...it's still a Cobalt.

    The "V" is a well-appointed car, and it has some gee-whizz gadgets that are usually only found on other $35,000 (and up) cars, but 90-percent of the interior appointments are the same as those found in my $24,000 II.
    I like to think of a "V" as an eco-box that's targeted towards those that would normally drive something like a Lexus, who want to drive greener........or at least give the appearance that they're wanting to drive greener. JMHO.... :eek:

    Any way you slice it, Priuses are really good cars that deliver phenomenal eco performance at a satisfactory price point. That should be good enough.
    Leave the snobbery to the Mercedes and Lexus drivers.... :D
     
  13. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Do you drive in traffic jam a lot? You'll love traffic jams in Prius. It is the best relaxing car to drive in and watch the MPG skyrocket!
     
  14. pjam

    pjam New Member

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    who is this guy, huh? i wanna be his friend! :) no seriously, thanks to everybody - the electric man (?) and cool guy here especially. it all makes sense...i can have a different kind of fun, both financially wise and safe. versus say, getting my first speeding ticket in 15 years a few years ago within a month of having a WRX. of course, it was yellow, which didn't help.

    anyway, my wife will definitely appreciate the analogous guacamole..after all, i still have to sell her on the prius as well. which, she usually trusts my judgment...usually.

    if mr salesman writes back with agreeable terms i may just tell him to clean me up that barcelona red one. or that winter gray is nice, too. i spend 15 minutes making a decision in the beer aisle...this is tough! :)
     
  15. robbyr2

    robbyr2 New Member

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    I love to drive too. But after thinking about it over the years, I realized what I liked to do was to "go places." With $3, $4 a gallon gasoline, the Prius lets me do that. Is it "fun" to drive? Well, it's better than having something "fun" to drive that I can't afford to drive. Actually, even $4 or $5 wouldn't keep me from going out for a drive with a "fun" car, but it would make it less fun!
     
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  16. J5A

    J5A Active Member

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    Your kids are still very young and tiny so the back seat room in the tsx wouldn't come into play unless you plan to keep the vehicle more than ten years.

    If you love to drive while feeling the engine under your hood and throttle through your veins the Prius is not for you, especially in eco mode. =D
     
  17. Jolly Paul

    Jolly Paul Member

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    The Prius is a utility car. It is not a sports car. It is not a luxury car. I don't consider it a driver's car as so much of its operation feels disconnected and sedate to me. If you want that little pleasure of really feeling the road, tight cornering, and satisfying acceleration then I would say you would be disappointed with a Prius.

    It's great for what I want: reliable, practical, efficient. At the entry level package it is even reasonably priced.
     
  18. dkelly

    dkelly Member

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    I have two kids myself, 4 year old twins.

    I generally drive myself on a long commute (60 miles each way) but also drive the kids to and from school and around town on the weekends. Car seats work fine in the back but their feet are already hitting the backs of the front seats. I suppose if they grow a few more inches their legs will make the full 90 degree bend and won't hit the front seats anymore. That being said, it's a tight fit and they never complain, although I occasionally do with one shoulder against the back of the front seat and twisted trying to fasten them in.

    Once they grow into boosters the rear seat space situation should improve.

    Also, here's something you may have not thought of. Due to the shape of child seats, it is very difficult to fit both of them into the hatchback area if I need to take them out to seat adults. It can be done, with the proper arrangement, but you're not getting anything else back there.

    All that being said, I love my Prius. It makes my commute immensely more tolerable. I get great mileage, and I'm still learning more about it every day.
     
  19. markderail

    markderail I do 45 mins @ 3200 PSI

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    Test drive a Honday Insight, then a Honda CR-Z (both hybrids).

    To really, really get the feel of an anemic car. In any mode - especially 'sport'.

    Then cross the street to the Toyota dealer and test drive the 2010 Prius.

    You'll see the Prius is as good as it gets. Even try the VW "green" diesel TDI.

    If you really want to drive a car that will save money in the long run, save on gas, you'll come back to the Prius which is miles ahead on all the other hybrids.

    The Nissan Leaf probably has the same power output as a 2010 Prius.
    If nothing satisfies you, buy a used Honda Accord V6 or V4 Civic, and wait 4 more years.

     
  20. mmcdonal

    mmcdonal Active Member

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    Plus the Gen III is a mid-size sedan.
     
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