CarTalk.com review -- noise-level, handling, stop-start lag? - Toyota Prius Forum : Prius Online Toyota Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default CarTalk.com review -- noise-level, handling, stop-start lag?

Greetings,
I just got word from my dealer that I've been allocated for my Silver #9. I should be sitting pretty in one in about 2 weeks (after I pimp it up with leather!). I've been doing a bit more trolling for reviews before I do the deed and succumb to any buyer's remorse.

Can anyone chime in on the carttalk.com review: http://www.cartalk.com/content/testdriv ... -2004.html

In particular, Tom and Ray panned the noise level, the handling and the stop-start lag at a stop light. And BTW, I don't own any Birkenstocks, but I'd rather give my money to companies that invest in R&D than to Middle East oil despots!

I'll be going to the Prius from a late-80's 5-speed BMW 3-series which still handles well but is showing its age and 187K miles. I have test driven the Prius a number of times already. But you never notice the nuances and the switch until you actually own it!

Thanks,
YM
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 04:58 PM
 
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Default bmw to prius

that's funny you mention that. I'm going from a 1984 bmw 323i to a prius. but anything will beat the 15 mpg I'm getting now. haha.
j
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default BMW to Prius

I get 25 MPG on a mostly SF to Santa Clara commute on 101 on my '87 BMW 325 convertible. But the handling and the acceleration especially with the 5-speed are still pretty good and it's still a fun car with the top down.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 05:24 PM
 
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ah, just noticed you're in sf. I'm getting the prius mostly for the bay bridge/sf traffic.
fyi...since I couldn't find a dealership with a prius to test drive, I rented one from enterprise rent-a-car.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 05:54 PM
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It's a decent review, I guess. I skimmed it, but didn't spend much time on it. I wonder, is it old?

I ask that because I don't notice several of the things they claim.

1) Lag at starup? None in my car.

2) "Jerk" when engine starts up? A small vibration when the ICE is cold, yes, but it's not a "jerk," and it goes away after the car warms up.

3) They also said that "most" of the 2800 pound weight is due to the batteries. Yeah, the battery pack weighs a whole 100 pounds. 3-percent of the car's weight. Where does that claim come from?

4) They also complained about the "science display," saying that it's annoying. I disagree. In any case, this is purely subjective, like color or leather.

5) Noise level? It's very quiet to me. Why are you so concerned if you're driving a convertible right now? I assure you, it's a quiet car.

I'm sure there's more, but I got bored with the review. After all, I have the car. And I love the car. So maybe what's more important is what all of the Prius owners here are saying about the car, rather than two guys who reviewed it who-knows-when.

Good luck on your decision.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 06:25 PM
 
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Hey there ym4949, first off, it sounds like you're getting a killer deal. Way to go.

I JUST got mine today and I have only put 15 miles of city driving on it so far. I hadn't test driven one. Driving off the lot was my first experience in a moving hybrid. It doesn't feel like any car I've ever driven. The car feels light and responsive. I can see how it's easy to start off with a lead foot. A little tap and I was zooming right along. Not good in mid day west LA traffic.

I hopped on the 90 to the 405 to the 10 for a short stretch. Traffic was thick, but I was able to get up to 60 a few times. It gets there quick. I wasn't driving very well to start off. I was just so happy to finally have it and so eager to try out different things that I had to check myself and just focus on the road.

The ride is super smooth. The lack of sound from the car and the outside was and will be an adjustment for me. I've been driving around my wife's '80-something mercedes turbo diesel. Oh man. Feels like I'm driving around in a recording studio now. Nice acoustics in there with the A/C and the radio off. I cycled both A/C and radio on and off just so I could listen to the quiet ride.

I have driven an audi TT and a bmw Z3 (the hard hatch back version) and those cars are super fun for dropping the pedal and sticking to the road, but this is a totally different experience. Less of an adrenaline rush, more of a thrill to be driving around in such a high-tech vehicle that spits out ultra low emissions and sips gas. I'll post more sometime once I've really given it a go. I'm driving to SF at the end of the month for a few days, so that should be a great test.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 06:45 PM
 
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I just took my Driftwood #9 on a 60 mile treck, into DC and back.

The handling and acceleration on the freeway were very impressive. I left this young guy in a older sports car in the dust. It really suprised me (and him). Also, the acceleration from lights in DC were good in my judgement. I think it is very quiet. My truck is very loud until it warms up as most cars are louder when cold. Overall I was very impressed with the car. I don't just say this because I have one. This is the car my husband agreed to so I got it. I am very, very happy I did. It alos looks very cool. It turned out to be very fun today. The toys are nice also.

Jill
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 07:52 PM
 
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I found the complaint about the MFD amusing; they must've missed a) the controls on the steering wheel and b) the "auto" setting for the fan. Who needs knobs, levers or whatever else when you can set the temperature, select "auto" and be done with it?

I did like the bit at the end about it being "too good a car to be held hostage".
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 08:22 PM
 
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Click and Clack's review was one of the most...mixed ones I've seen. Which means that it's definitely fair, as far as it goes. There are some surprising inaccuracies in there, but then, they never really claimed to be hybrid experts or enthusiasts, just two guys with a radio show about cars, reviewing a car

My only experience was a test drive a few weeks ago. I did not find the car to be any noisier than the one I currently drive (Subaru Forester), and actually think that it was somewhat quieter.

Frankly...it's all relative.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-23-2004, 09:02 PM
 
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Well, after driving a Ford Escort wagon for three and a half years (and riding around in lovely Ladas, Volgas, and Zhihulis - and very used Opels - for two years before that), I'd say that the Prius is one of the quietest cars I've ever driven. While I've only had mine (a silver no. 3) for a week, I haven't noticed any jerky starts; noise isn't a problem at all. I'd looked at Click and Clack's review before buying, and thought it was honest (what car doesn't have issues?). As I remember it, Tom and Ray gave the '04 Prius a generally good review.

-Wombatua
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