By on September 17, 2009

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65 Comments on “Five Minute Review: Toyota Prius...”


  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    4.5k for a technology package to park yourself? I’d gladly park myself and spend that money on a super-fast computer with 8-9 separate monitors like in the movies and an ipod and an iphone and an automatic lawn sprinkler system and a 40″ LED TV with 240hz and 1 million to 1 contrast ratio and a blu-ray player.

    All those gadgets > technology package you’ll use like once or twice in the 1-2 hours you spend in your car everyday.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Nice job. I’m really starting to like these video reviews.

    I’m not really a Prius fan, but 46.3 MPG is impressive. I’m getting 15 MPG on my G8 GT right now, and that’s my most fuel efficient vehicle. It would be nice if someone would make a 40 MPG hybrid that isn’t rolling Ambien.
    _______
    Roman- I’m not sure how you get your test cars, but if you can, try to get your hands on a Taurus SHO or 370Z convertible. I’d love to see either of those in action.

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    Was it kismet that a Yellow Cab Prius was on your test route? Likin’ the more obvious TTAC flava: chocolate-dipped vanilla with some nuts. (Did the Drumstick have a caramel center?)

  • avatar
    postman

    Thumbs up on these video reviews. Roman does a great job!

  • avatar
    Robstar

    46.3 is not all that great.

    My wife’s 2000 neon has done 2 tanks at 40 (55mph 100% highway) and regularly gets about 35.

    My bike ( 600cc, high hp, high rpm, crappy mileage for a bike) gets 44 regularly and that is going 80.

    if I spent 6 months a year on my bike @ 44
    and I spend 6 months a year in the neon at say 32 and do 12k miles (say 8k car, 4k bike)

    8000/32 = 250 gal
    4000/44 = 91 gal

    341 gal total vs prius @ 46 = 260 gals, I’m saving 81 gal a year or right now less than $250/year.

    I’ll pass and stick with what I have.

    btw, I started watching the video, but no closed captioning kills it for me since I’m hard of hearing & don’t have speakers/headphones on my computer.

  • avatar

    After owning an S550 and a Chrysler 300, its hard to believe cars this bad actually exist.

    This review perfectly expresses why I’d never ever drive a Prius.

    As far as I’m concerned, the Earth’s natural cycles are going to renew and restore the ecosystem long after the last human is dead so I’m not worried about getting 15 mpg on Premium.

    As far as I’m concerned, I pay that $3000 a year in fuel costs GLADLY to go 0 -60 in 6 seconds in a fully airconditioned lux barge.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    It seems that the car left the wheels pointed away from the curb after the parallel parking maneuver. Is there are special configuration for California, where that position is illegal?

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    Good Lord!!! In the time it took the Prius to parallel park itself, you could teach ANYONE how to do it properly without assistance. Not to mention can you imagine taking this long ‘in the real world’ to park? News flash – Most places where people have to parallel park are in busy cities. If you stop for more than 5 seconds before backing into the spot people will LAY on the horn (or worse). What a useless ‘POS’ feature!

  • avatar
    kamiller42

    2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid is a much better hybrid. Sure, the MPG is in Prius, but still very good. Looks like a regular car. Drives like a regular car. Lots of technological toys. I have one loaded and love it.

  • avatar

    I agree. The Ford Fusion is tons better than the Prius.

    Lets not forget to mention Mazda.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    After owning an S550 and a Chrysler 300, its hard to believe cars this bad actually exist.

    Yup, you’re spot on; the S550 and Chrysler 300 are total crap.

  • avatar
    stuki

    The multi thousand dollar tech package is also the only way to get radar cruise, which is rapidly becoming the only polite way to keep ones license in this traffic cops as profit center age. But, with all the tech, also come 17′s with low profile tires. Now, who the heck came up with that idea on a Prius?!!

    I drove the new one, and didn’t mind it nearly as much as I did the 2nd gen when it came out. But my perspective may well have changed more than the car.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    This car is rediculously amazing for the price. A five door hatchback made in Japan (still the best stuff) with the most advanced hybrid system on the market (no CVT rubberbands) for a they-must-be-dumping ~$20K? Toyota is basically throwing in the hybrid system for free.

    Every car I’ve owned (six so far) has been RWD with manual transmission, and the only hybrid that I would personally consider is the first generation manual Insight, so I won’t be buying a Prius (I will be at the top of the list if the rumored hybrid MR2 Spyder ever becomes reality).

    But the majoriy of Americans that buy some kind of FWD automatic transmission sedans or crossovers would be fools not to at least test drive a new 3rd generation or pre-owned 2nd generation Prius if they are in the market.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    As far as I’m concerned, I pay that $3000 a year in fuel costs GLADLY to go 0 -60 in 6 seconds in a fully airconditioned lux barge.

    Doesn’t sound terribly intelligent to me. Get back to us when fuel costs double (not too far away again).

    0-60 in 6 seconds in luxury comfort? Straight lines are so boring.

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    @ Flashpoint
    “As far as I’m concerned, the Earth’s natural cycles are going to renew and restore the ecosystem long after the last human is dead so I’m not worried about getting 15 mpg on Premium”

    Um, well maybe the point of driving a ‘crappy’ Prius is to not accelerate the process of arriving at “the last human is dead”… or of the Earth needing to do a total healing makover on itself, after our stupidities are long passed.

    It’s nice you’re guilt-free, and I’m not saying everyone has to drive a Prius or any hybrid, but you sound like the poster child for reinforcing some people’s images of a pompous S-class owner, not sure if that was your intent…If Prius owners (and I’m not one) are accused of being smug holier-than-thou types, then unrepentent gas guzzlers shouldn’t get a free pass either.

    There’s a new lithium-ion S-class hybrid on the way, does 0-60 in about 7 to 7.5 seconds, gets about 30mpg or so…not bad for a primo luxury-barge. Just passing that info along, but I wouldn’t want to slow you down, barreling down the highway to oblivion.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    46.3 mpg? I spent the last three days in a rental Peugeot 308, driving through Austria and Hungary with an average speed of 118 kph (73 mph) – mostly highways driving @ the 130 kph speed limit (81 mph) with a few short stretches of B-roads.

    Refueling before returning to the rental car station, I realized I had done 49 mpg on the trip.

    The 308 is roughly the size of a Prius. But significantly cheaper.

    At home, my daily driver is a BMW 1-series. Unlimited autobahns and sticky tires are the reasons I only get 40 mpg in it.

    @sfdennis1 :
    There’s a new lithium-ion S-class hybrid on the way, does 0-60 in about 7 to 7.5 seconds, gets about 30mpg or so…not bad for a primo luxury-barge.

    Flashpoint clearly stated in an earlier post that he needs AWD in his S-class. The hybrid S is only available in a totally unsafe RWD version.

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    The cost of Gasoline in any European Countries is a lot more expensive than what we pay in either the USA or Canada so if ones gets 49 miles per gallon in Europe and here a Prius gets 46.3 mpg guess who wins eh?
    In Vancouver B.C. site of the upcoming Winter games all the Taxi Cabs are Toyota Prius over the last couple of years they have proved they are worth it as compared to other Cabs that are not Hybrids! We cna’t compare Europe with North America in any way.Thank you.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    A Prius is still on our hatchback list. Gone are: Mazda3 hatch (uncomfortable seats, and we’re not outsized, ignorant dealer), Volvo C30 (poor gas mileage, cramped rear seat entry and small cargo space, worries about Volvo’s future), VW Jetta TD wagon (not easily available, reliability concerns, rapacious dealer, expensive parts and service), Hyundai Elantra Touring (meh). Still being considered with Pruis: Honda Fit. Ford Fusion hybrid not available as a hatchback or wagon. Hatchback and fold flat (or nearly) rear seats are important to us. From time to time we carry a lot of stuff, not a load of anvils but bulky stuff.

    What are we missing from the list?

  • avatar
    ConejoZing

    Still don’t want it. Where’s the diesel?!

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Another Prius post and another Flashpoint post reminding us that he has an S-class. One of these days, someone on the internet is going to be impressed and the S-class will have been worth all that money.

  • avatar
    sfenders

    The Prius must have something special. So many reviews, like this one, spend most of their time acknowledging the various things that are wrong with it and then conclude like this: “So what’s wrong with it? Nothing! Toyota has succeeded in building something that can unquestionably be called a car. A real treat!”

  • avatar
    jmo

    Is there are special configuration for California, where that position is illegal?

    How can that be illegal? If you’re in San Francisco and parking on the left on an uphill incline you need to park with your wheels pointing out to avoid runaways. There are even signs telling you to do that on SF’s steeper hills.

  • avatar
    M1EK


    The 308 is roughly the size of a Prius. But significantly cheaper.

    Huh. Sure doesn’t look like it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peugeot_308

    Like all the other European diesel pretenders, it’s either smaller or really doesn’t get the same mileage.

  • avatar
    Mekkon

    @oldowl:

    I’m helping a friend shop in that segment, and it’s tough to beat the Prius for a functional efficient daily driver. If comfort outweighs athleticism, have a look at the Nissan Versa/Cube. The Cube in particular is very competitive on price, can haul lots of stuff on occasion, and comes standard with electronic stability control, with the option of a 6-speed stick or CVT. Well equipped for under $17k.

    And for those flaming the outright performance of the Prius, please take a moment to consider the purpose of said car. Boys: It’s not part of the pony car wars. If you’re after visceral performance, build a Caterham (if you have the cash) or buy a motorcycle (if you don’t.)

    The Prius is quiet, roomy, comfortable and more efficient than anything else on the road. It’ll take you to and from work for years with safety and reliability in spades, and that’s why people buy it. Now there’s no law saying you can’t have your cake and eat it too, plenty of room in a one-car garage for a Prius and a motorbike.

  • avatar
    Mekkon

    @Robstar: Anecdotal evidence is, well anecdotal. Sure, a 2000 Neon might be able to hypermile a tank at 40mpg, but a Prius can hypermile a tank at 80mpg. The facts are in the EPA numbers: On the highway the Neon is rated for 31mpg, the Prius 48mpg. (27 vs. 50mpg combined, so if you’ll use twice the gas in the Neon.) As for the motorcycle, I couldn’t agree more – if you’ve got to get one person somewhere in fair weather, there’s no better, efficient, and fun way to do it than on a bike.

    BTW: Does the EPA include blowing a headgasket and coasting to the side of the road in their mpg calculations? Because I hear that’s an integral part of the Neon experience.

    That said, I honestly say that driving the Neon (at least the sport model with the 5-speed) is an absolute hoot, whereas driving the Pirus is a non-event. Some people just don’t want their drives to be eventful. To each his own.

  • avatar

    Well done. Why do we need cars that park themselves? If you can’t parallel park successfully, you don’t belong behind the steering wheel.

  • avatar

    Best of these yet.

    As others have mentioned, the Tech Package includes more than the parking feature. And, for reasons I cannot fathom, some people find that parking feature quite nifty. It’s got novelty value more than anything else.

    TrueDelta will have reliability stats on the 2010 Prius in November, and has real-world gas mileage stats now. Owners typically get around 50.

    http://www.truedelta.com/fuel_economy.php?stage=pt&bd=Toyota&mc=272

  • avatar
    wsn

    Quentin :
    September 18th, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Another Prius post and another Flashpoint post reminding us that he has an S-class. One of these days, someone on the internet is going to be impressed and the S-class will have been worth all that money.
    ——————————————–

    This is the 6th time I have seen it. No, I was not referring to the Prius review.

    And to Flashpoint, your S550 is a complete POS. An Enzo could run circles around it. A 18 wheeler can smash it into the ground. Got the idea?

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    My wife can parallel park her 19 mpg ’03 4Runner with the rear wheel above the curb and the front wheels turned right in 1:47 also.

  • avatar
    srogers

    I hope that the Euro and Canadian guys comparing mpgs here remember that an American gallon is smaller. We’re talking 20% difference here, so it’s not negligible.

  • avatar

    I was going to comment yesterday about the S550 post but I was wondering if it was just me that was noticing that constantly. Anyway yes a Prius does suck compared to a S550 and yes if you can afford it then you probably don’t care about mileage but for the vast majority of people such concerns are a reality. The Prius wasn’t meant for you so why keep harping on it. I mean I’m sure BMW 7 series owners think the Camry and the Impala suck too but guess what normal every day Joes aren’t going to be comparing the Camry and Impala to a 7 series. Likewise Mercedes S class owners bitching about the Prius is kind of silly.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    Mekkon>

    Headgasket problem neons are prior to model year 2k. My y2k has no such problem and is closing in rapidly on 176k miles. I really expect the body to rust out before having any major problems. It has run like a champ for the $1k purchase price I bought it for except for wearables (tires, brakes, oil, etc).

    In any case, as mpg gets higher & higher there is a fall off in value.

    Going from a car that gets 20mpg to 30mpg gives you 50% better gas mileage. Going from the neon at say 32 to a car at 40 gives you only 25% better gas mileage, and going from my bike (44) to 48 gives me only 9% better gas mileage.

    This is one of the reasons I wouldn’t consider a (new) prius for my 2 person family over a standard econobox that costs $12k. That missing 8-10k buys YEARS of gasoline.

    On the other hand, a prius at $10k might be something I’d look into.

    Also, if I used 2x the gas in the neon @ $3/gallon it would take me forever to make the money back on the purchase price.

    One other disagreement: Driving the DOG SLOW 3 speed auto (my wife needs an auto) is quite the adventure as I imagine driving the prius is — esp merging into the left lane from the onramp on certain sections of highway in Chicago.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    My wife’s 2000 neon has done 2 tanks at 40 (55mph 100% highway) and regularly gets about 35.

    The Neon is also smaller, lighter, less safe, slower, gets much worse mileage in the city, etc, etc. And it’s a 2000 Neon, which is about on par with a Chevy Cavalier and a cut below a Ford Escort in general nice-ness. You may as well compare a Geo Metro, because I’m sure someone in this thread will bring up either that or some other 1980s compact.

    Valid comparisons to the Prius would include the diesel Passat or Peugot 407 wagons. You could possibly include the Fusion, Altima and Camry hybrids, though all of them have mediocre trunk space. There’s also the Insight, which gets worse mileage and is a little more cramped, but is slightly cheaper. But a 2000 Neon? Come on.

    My bike ( 600cc, high hp, high rpm, crappy mileage for a bike) gets 44 regularly and that is going 80.

    Can it carry four passengers and their luggage? Can you crash into anything without killing yourself? Can you stay dry in the rain?

    You may as well say an orange is more nutritious than a iPod. It’s about as valid a comparison.

  • avatar
    jmo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N13KOM1OpFY

    Yeh, Neon… I can’t imagine how you could sleep at night.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Compare any hybrid to whatever you like – Hybrids suck. If you want to be eco-friendly, take the bus, ride a bike – walk (GASP!) whatever. Buying a car is polluting full stop. The fact that you may get 6mpg more than a Diesel VW Jetta is immaterial – you’re spending more and driving around in a car which is infinitely slower and more boring.
    I know life is a compromise but seriously, hybrids only exist to appease the deep seated guilt that eco-nutters have about the fact that the modern world they live in is built around the car and they can do NOTHING about it.
    Even when cars become electric or Nitrogen powered there will be an environmental downside – where does a majoirty of electricity come from? Coal Fired Power stations! Nuclear Power! Yay!

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    I like his tongue-in-cheek humor. “It’s better than the old Prius in just about every way…and…it’s pretty much the same as the old one in…every way.”

    Funny stuff.

    If I were in the market to replace my 2004 Prius, I would probably seriously consider the 2010. But as it is, I plan to drive this one another two to three years. Hey, it’s been paid for for several years!

  • avatar
    tedward

    I’m with Sinistermisterman (the first part at least), why compromise all of your everyday fun when you care about driving? If you don’t care about driving…fine, just don’t try to defend the Prius on those grounds. If you do, you should write Toyota angry letters as a loyal customer until they get it right. Would you really like the Prius less if it had a Honda or VW’s (or Mazda, or Nisaan, or Ford’s) steering? I doubt it. Room for improvement is room for improvement.

    Oh yeah, and is someone actually criticizing the Pruis’ straight line ability? That would be the only venue where the car does “ok” in terms of subjective feel.

  • avatar
    CV

    Yet another review…and associated comments, that harsh on the Toyota Prius. What is this, number 3 or 4 from TTAC?

    I don’t own a Prius but if was looking for a new, mid-size car I’d certainly look at it. You can’t find many mid-size hatchbacks and I occasionally need to haul stuff so I don’t want a sedan.

    By the way, when Jalopnik (not a Prius-friendly site by any means) reviewed the 2010 model in March the reviewer drove the model with 17-inch wheels. Although he criticized it for some issues, he wrote When equipped with 17-inch wheels, the body control and steering are on par with most European mid-size hatches…

    That’s not a bad thing.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Sinistermisterman and tedward, the new Prius does not feel as awkward as the earlier ones. And it gives amazing range for a US marketed car, though not any better than some big tanked, small engined diesels for sale abroad.

    The new Prius only drives truly horribly compared to cars that drive unusually well, not compared to many other people transporters. And driving in a manner benefitting from an unusually well driving car, now means one is targeted for revenue collection from the donut shop mafia and their handlers.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    psarhjinian>

    I think it’s very fair to compare them. They would both fulfill a commuter car need for me, and lets be serious — how many people most of the time ride around with more than just themselves?

    I see many priii (or however you want to pluralize it) around the Chicago area and rarely if ever do they carry more than one person sitting by themselves “hauling” almost nothing noticeable.

    The neon/bike do this JUST fine. The object of both is to transport people and/or cargo somewhere. In my case, cargo is normally 0 and 90% of the time I drive by myself.

    An ipod is to listen to music an orange is to eat. That is not a valid analogy at all.

    Also — I do stay dry in the rain on my bike, except perhaps my hands (gloves are not waterproof). My boots, pants and helmet are waterproof. My jacket has armor + insulation + I wear clothes underneath. I’m rarely if ever wet.

    @jmo>
    If I get hit by the semi’s that are frequently at my side/behind/in-front of me (I am in the center of the country), a Prius is really no more safe than a neon. I’ve been in 1 car accident in 17 years of driving as a driver, and about 10 as a passenger (various cars, not mine). It’s kind of funny to hear “safety” concerns from a crowd that mostly deplores suv’s and large vehicles because they make it unsafe for small cars & then criticize my car for safety.

    When I shop, what I look for is fuel economy (reasonable) and reliability. The prius really makes no sense for me, and, IMHO, probably not economic sense for other people (that doesn’t mean they don’t have other reasons for buying it).

  • avatar
    jmo

    Robstar,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD_tuGe_S_s

    It’s not the semi’s you have to worry about it’s the drunk driver drifting into your lane, or the blue hairs blowing through stop signs. It doesn’t worry you at all?

  • avatar
    Whitaker

    oldowl,

    You might want to check out the Insight. I know the reviews haven’t been good but I like it. The wife and kids love it. I’ve had mine for five months with no problems. There’s plenty of room in the hatch. In 7000 miles since I drove it off the lot I’m getting 50.7 MPG, mostly highway, 65-70mph.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    I can’t think of a car that I’d want less than a Prius. It’s an interesting car and has contributed to other automakers developing interesting technology. But I think they look retarded and I have an irrational urge to ram them when they are in front of me. I know, I know… I am trying to switch to decaf.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Ok ok, maybe the Prius does handle quite well compared to other vehicles out there, and maybe it is the ultimate MPG machine on the North American side of the Atlantic, but in Europe?
    For far less money you can buy a small diesel engined vehicle which returns much better MPG (think 70-80MPG in the case of the VW Polo Bluemotion) and actually produces LESS co2 than the Prius.
    And I’m willing to bet that in the life of these cars, when it comes to replacing worn out parts these small diesel engined vehicles will be much cheaper to fix as they are a helluva lot more simple.
    There are cars out there which are cheaper than the Prius which do it better, and until we see 100+mpg out of a hybrid I remain to be convinced.

  • avatar
    ghillie

    Sinistermisterman :
    September 19th, 2009 at 2:26 am

    For far less money you can buy a small diesel engined vehicle which returns much better MPG (think 70-80MPG in the case of the VW Polo Bluemotion) and actually produces LESS co2 than the Prius.

    C’mon – you’re just making this up (you are talking US gallons, right?)

    And I’m willing to bet that in the life of these cars, when it comes to replacing worn out parts these small diesel engined vehicles will be much cheaper to fix as they are a helluva lot more simple.

    You’re dreaming

    There are cars out there which are cheaper than the Prius which do it better, and until we see 100+mpg out of a hybrid I remain to be convinced.

    There are cars out there which offer a credible alternative to a Prius, but you’re still dreaming. Why set the bar so high for hybrids?

  • avatar
    tedward

    “Ok ok, maybe the Prius does handle quite well compared to other vehicles out there”

    no need to give up on that criticism. It really dosen’t. I’ve been in the latest generation 3 times but have yet to drive it, and have driven quite a few 2nd gens by now. The new car feels more like a normal car, but is still only mid-pack by Toyota’s own low standards.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    No I’m not making it up. Check out the VW Polo Bluemotion in Europe. While you’re at it check out the Top Gear episode where they drove 3 diesels from Switzerland to Blackpook England on one tank of fuel. And yes it was UK Gallons I was talking about which still gives better MPG.
    And on the repair cost side? If you actually read some (of the admittedly very few) reports on repairing hybrids compared to the costs of repairing a modern diesel you’ll see that I’m not making that up either.
    Look I’m not saying I’ll never drive one – just hybrids currently don’t do the MPG/Eco-friendly thing better than certain other cars out there, and until hybrids do that better than any other vehicle, they are just a poster child for the green brigade.

  • avatar
    StatisticalDolphin

    blue adidas :
    September 18th, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    I can’t think of a car that I’d want less than a Prius. It’s an interesting car and has contributed to other automakers developing interesting technology. But I think they look retarded and I have an irrational urge to ram them when they are in front of me. I know, I know… I am trying to switch to decaf.

    In Virginia, Pri-eye are permitted to drive in the HOV lanes with only 1 occupant, which is all that 99% of them usually carry in rush hour traffic. They clog up the HOV lanes and destroy one of the major incentives to commute in carpools and vanpools, which share the same HOV lanes. So, they cause MORE environmental damage. The ‘green’ sanctimony and hypocrisy of the Prius owners makes them much worse than SUVs, IMHO.

  • avatar
    Thinx

    I have had the 2010 Prius for a few months now. Nothing to get terribly excited about, it is a Prius. I did not get the silly parking assist option or the equally pointless “solar roof” option – I can parallel park myself, and I have figured out how to crack the windows open when parked, thankyouverymuch.

    The three times I have filled it up so far, I recorded 54 mpg, 56 mpg and 56 mpg. The current tank is showing 59 mpg on the trip-meter half-way through the tank. This is real-world driving – commuting (50/50 street and freeway), grocery-getting, going out in the evening to dinner, type of activity. That gives me a range of about 550 miles between regular-unleaded fillups at Costco (cheap!). Warm weather means the A/C is on most of the time too. Priora are not allowed to drive in the HOV in California any more (only older ones with the magic sticker).

    As a commuting appliance, its efficiency is pretty impressive. It is also much more refined than the Insight or the Nissan Cube, which I test drove twice before buying the Prius. It isn’t a sports-car on the curves, nor a jack-rabbit at the lights. And the rear-visibility is terrible. But it is comfortable, roomy, smooth, safe, refined and has a hatch.

    And oh yeah, I also have a Merc CL550, which I drive when I feel like burning some premium gas to impress strangers. :-) I like the anonymity of the Prius these days – there are enough of them here that you don’t stand out much.

  • avatar
    wsn

    # StatisticalDolphin :
    September 19th, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    In Virginia, Pri-eye are permitted to drive in the HOV lanes with only 1 occupant, which is all that 99% of them usually carry in rush hour traffic. They clog up the HOV lanes and destroy one of the major incentives to commute in carpools and vanpools, which share the same HOV lanes. So, they cause MORE environmental damage. The ‘green’ sanctimony and hypocrisy of the Prius owners makes them much worse than SUVs, IMHO.
    —————————————-
    Well, if they don’t drive Prius and instead drive Camry/F150 and occupy other lanes, I can’t see how that would be any better.

    The problem is not with Prius, it’s with HOV lanes. It shouldn’t be there in the first place.

    Got a congestion? Raise gas tax 1% per day, until there is no congestion and the highway is utilized fully.

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    As a motorcycle rider who often braves downtown Chicago traffic, I find the debate over safety very amusing. Tear the doors and roof off the Neon, and it will still be ten times safer than my bike.

    The extent to which the American consumer has been brainwashed to believe our precious asses mustn’t ever be placed at even a modicum of risk, is hysterical, until one contemplates the 10 airbags aimed at the occupants, and the corresponding weight penalty and complexity.

    I’m pretty sure I survived the 70′s, when child seats, seat belts, helmets, etc. were optional. And their use pretty much relegated you to the status of dork. But then, companies realized there was money to be made, and consumers soon bought into the safety-as-status symbol.

    My minivan has a 5-star crash rating, and 12 airbags, therefore, I love my family more than you, who only has 4.5 stars and a 8 airbags… Good Lord.

    I’m a firm believer in wearing helmets and seat belts. My kids, when appropriate for their age and size, rode in car seats. But at some point, enough is enough. When your ticket gets punched, it will get punched. And frankly, there are worse outcomes than death. In some cases, perhaps if I were to get smoked by a semi carrying a set of doubles, piloted by a drunken 14 year old who ran away with Pa’s truck, I’d rather be caught in the Neon, than the S500, especially if it meant going quickly rather than lingering for even a moment, incapacitated and relying on the kindness of strangers to feed me or wipe my ass.

    (Now there’s a sight they leave out of the commercials sporting all the airbags and safety stars…)

    Maybe as the economy, the job market, and our natural resources continue to contract, we’ll return to a certain amount of sanity, where driving a Neon and eeking the last bit of life out of one’s ride (out of love for the family’s financial well being) carries with it as much or more status than the level of horsepower or number of airbags.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The mileage isn’t all that great. Not when you have to put up with odd ball styling, terrible rear visibility, cheap interior bits and the lame dash placement where some folks have a hard time viewing it. And then there is cost. I have been pricing typical models that dealerships have in stock and the price of admission is 30K and above. Now that really is false economy when you can get into just about any other similar sized compact for under 20K. I’ll pass.

  • avatar
    jmo

    any other similar sized compact for under 20K.

    Compact? Funny I thought the Prius was a midsize.

  • avatar
    Thinx

    @ponchoman49 – I actually use a 2010 Prius as a daily driver and am getting 56mpg in real-world driving. Not sure what you by “the mileage is not that great”. Is there a comparable midsize non-hybrid that gets that sort of mileage?

    The interior bits are on-par with most other 25K-35K cars – my sister’s 2009 Accord is no better in terms of interior quality or roominess (and costs about the same).

    I grant that the styling is ‘oddball’, though the 2010′s roofline is actually much closer to that of a conventional hatchback than that of the previous model. I personally have some subjective quibbles about the styling myself, but then most mass-market cars have a wart or three…

    BTW, I am not trying to sell you a Prius, nor am I a Prius fan-boy – I actually am not too excited about it myself – only trying to help inject some personal, first-hand ownership insight for what it is worth. Having compared the Prius to pretty much everything else (hybrid, conventional, diesel, what-have-you), my decision swung to the Prius… your mileage may vary.

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    Nice job, Roman. Enjoyable review and fun similes :-)

  • avatar
    sutski

    @robstar “since I’m hard of hearing & don’t have speakers/headphones on my computer.”

    May I suggest a fat Denon amplifier and Bose speakers turned upto 11 ?

    You will probably even feel him speaking through your PC table vibrations!

  • avatar
    sutski

    @robstar “since I’m hard of hearing & don’t have speakers/headphones on my computer.”

    May I suggest a fat Denon amplifier and Bose speakers turned upto 11 ?

    You will probably even feel him speaking through your PC table vibrations!

    Love the vid reviews Roman !

  • avatar

    Nice review. I’ve driven a few prions, and yeah, I hate that goddam beeping in reverse. I bet it will rattle a few prius drivers enough to cause accidents. WHoever caused trucks in the US to have to have backup beepers should have to hear beepers for a month straight.

  • avatar

    PS: everyone should read Maserati Dreamin’. One of the best pieces TTAC has ever seen.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    You can turn off the beeping – look on the internet for the not-too-difficult sequence of things to make it go away.

  • avatar
    zintradi

    why, for all that’s good and pure, will they not put a simple electrical plug in and on board trickle charger so that you can plug the thing in when you get home and leave every day with fully charged batteries thereby making it a true hybrid with 2 different fuel sources and not just a gizmo that takes gasoline and converts it to electricity.

  • avatar
    T2

    zintradi writes
    why, for all that’s good and pure, will they not put a simple electrical plug in and on board trickle charger so that you can plug the thing in when you get home ?

    I don’t think you get the purpose of this car. The Prius is not about the advantage of being an electric car but is all about being the advantage of an electric transmission.

    The Prius does not contain a storage battery for energy. Obviously because at 1.3Kw-hrs it stores only 50% more energy than your conventional 72 A-hr lead acid car battery. The storage battery in the Prius is there purely for power. It is able to supply 21kw for up to two minutes without destroying itself. Don’t try that trick with your car battery it would probably boil the acid about the same time the terminals melt and the plates start buckling.

    Simply put the Prius is what it is despite the efforts of those who would try and PHEV it into an electric car. Sorry, not going to happen.

  • avatar
    StatisticalDolphin

    wsn :
    The problem is not with Prius, it’s with HOV lanes. It shouldn’t be there in the first place.

    Mission Accomplished

    The Prius has pretty much eliminated them, for all practical purposes. With the extra bonus of creating additional cynicism about environmentalism and ‘green’ politics.

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    In order to implement the auto-parallel-parking-do-hickey, the guy doing the review had to do five seperate steps while the car beeped at him angrily before telling him he was in the wrong position, and then he had to start over. Is this really an improvrement over just doing it yourself? And that spraying washer fluid on the headlights thing is one of the dumbest gimmicks I’ve ever seen.

    The Prius’s excessive, annoying gadgetry is laughable.


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