By on July 3, 2013

Picture courtesy

Talk about timing: On the day Toyota announced that cumulative sales of the Prius passed the 3 million mark, Reuters says Toyota may fall short of its goal to sell 250,000 of the Prius in the U.S. this year.

“The 240,000 to 250,000 range is kind of where we’re settling our sights for the Prius family,” Toyota’s U.S. sales chief Bill Fay told the wire.

U.S. sales of all Prius models fell 5.1 percent during the first six months of 2013, while Toyota’s overall U.S. sales rose 6 percent. The Prius usually gets a lift from rising gasoline prices. The reverse is also true.

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30 Comments on “Prius Sales To Fall Short Of Expectations...”

  • avatar

    That Prius looks pretty good from the front.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, it’s certainly more exciting than the current Prius models.

      To tell you the truth…a “sporty” Prius in coupe style with the Corolla motor and a slightly-juiced up version of the normal electric motor could be a fun car.

  • avatar

    As an owner of an 2007 (GenII) Prius, I am waiting for the 2015 GenIV Prius to come out. If this any indication of the design, great. I hope its a hatch though. It is amazing what you fit in these cars. I test drove a very low mileage GenIII 2010 Prius and didn’t find the improvements enough to consider a trade. The 2010 car was a bit louder overall and the dash/gearbox set up make the car feel less open. ( I will say some of the interior is more refined.) Other than that, including myself – owners are waiting for the GenIV model to have improved gas mileage. After all, unless your car has is very high mileage, why replace it it the improvements are really not all that improved or have the same MPG essentially?

    • 0 avatar

      We have a ’12. That “bridge” does seem weird, at first, but you quickly get used to it and I like the way things are arranged.

      • 0 avatar
        Japanese Buick

        My wife has a 12 Prius and that bridge is bar none the best armrest that I have ever encountered. And the front cup holder falls right to hand when you’re using it.

        Now the open space below…significantly less usable.

  • avatar

    Still not happy about the speedometer not in front of the driver on the 2013 Prius. Takes eyes more off the road than a conventional location.

    • 0 avatar

      For some reason I recall that the center mounted cluster is set closer to the base of the windscreen and that requires less focus change for your eyes. I could be making that up, though. Too lazy to google. The speedo is a massive digital number on the display, so it isn’t hard to see in your periphery anyway.

      I like the layout of my ’12 Prius v. It is more of a mini-van setup, so you get a big purse/parcel pocket in front of the center console. Great for when I run in the store to grab something or a place to toss the phone, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      My biggest complaint about that speedo cluster up there is that, at least at my height and seat adjustment, it reflects off the windshield something awful at night.

  • avatar

    I will say this much- I am a previous owner of a 1997 and 2004 Corolla. I appreciated the simplicity of the dash design in each vehicle and appreciate the continuted momentum in the 2007 Prius. Hopefully the 2015 will contintue the same way.. less buttons, better.

    b787– Thanks for the info.. I will look for the link.

  • avatar

    Toyota doesn’t have to worry about Prius, any car selling over 20k of month is doing fine. It’s Scion they should put a fork in. The sales numbers are pathetic.

  • avatar

    The Prius has more competition now. Not just the C-Max and Fusion Hybrid, but a less-expensive Nissan Leaf, a cheaper Camry Hybrid, several non-hybrid 40+ MPG cars and 38 MPG highway Nissan Altima and Honda Accord.

    • 0 avatar

      The prius easily returns 50mpg combined once you learn to exploit its inherent hybrid tricks. Once you’ve mastered how to goose HSD, it is very hard to drive a non-HSD car as they all seem to waste fuel for no reason. The way in which HSD uses its 2 motor-generators is simply an engineering marvel.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve seen the pix of the non-plugin Accord Hybrid, and it doesn’t have the overstyled beak of the plug-in. Very classy-looking, and less “look at me, I’m green.” Certainly less so than the Sonata Hybrid, for example!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Small diesel cars entering the US market will put additional strain on the Prius. Hybrids are a feel good product.

    I rented a Toyota Yaris diesel in France recently it averaged 5 litres per 100km. That included high speed autoroute driving.

    • 0 avatar

      False. They are not a feel good product.

      The Prius is the real deal.

      – anytime you decelerate (not just brake) you recapture wasted kinetic energy into the battery
      – a Prius, thanks to its HSD, can coast for ridiculous distances using just the slightest bit of current from the battery

      These are just a coupe examples of where a traditional combustion engine cannot compete with the Prius HSD.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Certain uses, yes, the Prius is good.

        When the Prius is loaded with weight/higher speeds it will not perform so well.

        For the guy living in the outer suburbs a small diesel will do just as well.

        My friends son works for Toyota as a mechanic and he told a story about a person who had a Prius and a Camry. The situation he found himself in was the the Camry and Prius were both returning the same FE.

        The guy used to work in Newcastle, locally, then his job moved to Sydney. The Prius was achieving the same FE as the Camry driving the 160km stretch of freeway between the two cities.

        This high speed driving was killing the Prius’s FE. During the high speed stints the Prius was returning a lower FE than the Camry.

        I’m sorry but I do think small diesels will perform as good as hybrids with a much lower running costs.

        The only people in Australia where I see Prius’s used extensively is taxi cabs. Few people drive them, especially government departments.

        We have taxpayers dollars subsidising this. If a small sector of an industry requires handouts it shouldn’t exist, actually no handouts should be given to any part of any industry.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly a suburb or inner city car. Which is not like the rest of the country with open highways and higher speeds. Sometimes acceleration for merging is required(eastern Pennsylvania with their stop signs at the end of the onramp) into traffic and 10+ second 0-60 mph is grit your teeth and shut off the AC. Luckily everyone can recognize your lack-luster performance Prius.

        Turbo-4’s and non-turbos are making the biggest strides in fuel economy along with double the torque for acceleration.

  • avatar

    The claim (in those “I know someone who had a friend who knew someone who……” stories) that the Prius only gets good mileage around town is false. I’ve taken two long highway trips now ( 52+MPG for 5000+ miles from Massachusetts to New Mexico,and and back,and 50+MPG for 2000+ miles from MA to West Virginia and Chicago and back), and got over 50 MPG on both. Speeds were whatever traffic was doing – over 70 regularly, and over 80 some times in the West. The trip to New Mexico included driving in the mountains, where I had no difficulty keeping up with traffic, while mileage dropped into the high 40’s.
    I regularly get over 50 MPG on shorter highway drives of 100 or so miles.
    My fuel consumption figures are actual calculated numbers: the figures shown on the Prius display is optimistic by about 2 MPG

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for posting this. Glad I am not the only one getting better highway mileage and with the same driving charactaristcs. My MPG shown is about 2mpg on the display as well.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for posting this. Glad I am not the only one getting better highway mileage and with the same driving charactaristcs. My MPG shown is about 2mpg higher on the display as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      I’m pretty sure those claims are made by people who don’t actually drive Priuses. When my wife bought hers I drove it from the dedaler in Maryland to our home in NC on I-95 and I-85 and got 52 mpg doing 65-70 the whole way.

      We live in the sticks, her car is mostly driven rural. Usually rural 2 lanes and divided highways fr 15-20 miles to get into town, then maybe 5-6 miles in town. I’d say it’s 70% rural driving. My wife doesn’t do anything to optimize the Prius… she won’t use cruise control, and she’s always mashing the accelerator and revving the engine when it’s not necessary. Her average mileage over 11 months of ownership so far is a bit over 46. When she drives strictly rural, she gets over 50 easily.

      What people who are talking theoretically don’t realize is that accelerating away from a stoplight, especially one at the bottom of a hill, is something you do very often in urban and suburban environments, and hurts the Prius gas mileage more than anything else. Stop and go sounds like the ideal use case, until you realize that the go part involves acceleration which wipes out the advantage of being stopped or coasting compared to steady highway driving, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Do you work for Toyota? This isn’t one of those 3rd or 4th hand stories, my friend’s son and I were discussing Prius’s/Toyota’s.

      This guy apparently brought his Prius to find out why it wasn’t getting good FE. My friends son was the tech was given the vehicle to look at and who had to explain to him that this was normal because of the weight and the small engine was working hard to push the Prius along.

      Your FE figures at those speeds considering the weight of the Prius seem overly optimistic. How does the vehicle recharge?

      A Prius has a place and that place is definitely not the open road.

      • 0 avatar

        It has a drag coefficient of about .26 and the frontal area of a typical compact. That makes for good highway economy. In addition, the small engine makes for more time spent with larger throttle openings for a given power requirement relative to a larger, less utilized engine. That makes for lower pumping losses. You don’t need to work for Toyota to get better highway fuel economy in a Prius than in any comparable sedan.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          My advice is if you are doing a lot of commuting (freeway) at high speeds for any length of time the Prius isn’t your answer.

          A small diesel FWD car is the best choice.

          Cheaper intial costs, no battery replacements, almost equivalent FE.

          Below is a cut and paste.


          “As another points out, the faster you go, the worse the fuel economy, citing just 22 mpg while traveling in a Prius liftback.”

          • 0 avatar

            Not true – I have a 2006. I drive 100+ highway miles daily. I have 236K on the clock. Never needed a repair or replacement. I still average 46 mpg. I have found that the car is better on the open highway then in town even though thats the opposite of what people think. The car has excellent drag coefficient and is heavy so it’s not pushed around from semis and cross winds like most other vehicles.
            Also I went on vacation a couple of years ago and drove the car 1200 miles each way. At furthest point from home my wife found ceramic tiles she wanted. We bought as much as we could load into the car. It worked out to just under 600lbs. The shocks were pressed almost all the way down. Drove the car back home 1200 miles and got 48 mpg! I did drive slightly slower but that meant 65-68 rather than 70-75 mph.

  • avatar

    I have had my Prius for two years and drive it 50/50 city/highway. I can say for certain that I get better fuel economy on the highway than city driving by 3-4mpg. This may be due to many of the hills of the area I live in as well. As far as acceleration, that is a non-issue. No problem getting on or keeping up with quick drivers on the freeway and getting around 52 mpg.

  • avatar

    Prius is fast enough – I mean it takes a big rig forever to hit 60 and they can get on and off highways. The problem with Prius is the drivers they attract.

  • avatar
    Lynn E.

    I am one of those missing sales. I really wanted one of the new longer 2013 Pri. I was all set to trade in my 2006 Prius but when I saw the new Pri with the same mileage figures I was pissed.

    Toyota hadn’t made any advancement in miles per gallon in 7 years.

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