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Discussion Starter #1
Just some general comments about my pkg 6 2005 prius after 9 months and ~10k miles. Wondering if some people feel the same way.

The good:

- Gas mileage, averaging high 48's now. (but goes down to 43's in the winter)
- Technology inside, nav system, bluetooth, etc.
- Very roomy, even with 5 people inside.

The bad:
- Biggest complaint -- The car is SO boring to drive. I recently test drove an acura TSX and RSX with my girlfriend and almost traded in my Prius on the spot. It really opened my eyes that this car is all about the gas mileage only.
- Very unstable at highway speeds, especially when it's windy. (I have tried to increase tire pressure and it did help some, but is still very annoying)
- Seats are very uncomfortable. I am 6'3" and i think about 4 inches of my thighs hang over the seat. Also, no lumbar support is really taking its toll.
- The car has a lot of vibrations due to lots and lots of plastic inside. The small insert just below the smaller window next to the JBL tweeter has been loose for a while now and will not stop moving. In general, the car feels kind of cheap inside.
- No heated seats. Would be very nice especially in the northeast.


Does anyone agree with me on these points? I feel like driving has stopped being enjoyable for me and only good gas mileage and the techy toys inside are getting me by.

Very tempted to sell it, trade it in or give it to my parents who will be in the market for a new car next year.

Chris
 

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I've read some similar complaints to yours.

While buying another car might solve some of your problems, it's a rather expensive fix.

My suggestions aren't cheap either, but you'll keep your mileage.

Replace the tires. Some have found that to help. Also have them check the toe and pressure.

There is a guy at Priuschat selling a heavier metal brace/bar that is supposed to stabilize the car more. Contact them about that.

Another guy had his car reupholstered in leather (you don't have to do that) and when they did that had them put in a heater and some extra padding for more lumbar support or some lumbar thingie. You might be able to have them just pull the current upholster, install stuff and then put the upholstery back on.

None of this is cheap but it's cheaper than a new car. You *might* be able to sell it without much of a loss, I don't know your mileage, but unless you're looking at buying a Honda Insight, whatever you buy won't match the mileage you're getting now. Plus it will be "dirtier".
 

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Sorry bud, but this is not the car for you. It seems your girl and you are still into the flashy sporty fast car that you think is necessary for your image. Sell it to someone who can appreciate it and maybe in a few years you will grow up enough to deserve a Prius :p :p :p :p
 

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Discussion Starter #4
agile pagile said:
Sorry bud, but this is not the car for you. It seems your girl and you are still into the flashy sporty fast car that you think is necessary for your image. Sell it to someone who can appreciate it and maybe in a few years you will grow up enough to deserve a Prius :p :p :p :p
Not sure exactly where that hostility came from. I thought Prius owners were supposed to be understanding.

Regardless, I'm not really concerned with my "image". I am an electrical engineer and I have been involved with a couple electric car projects in the past, so I guess if anything, I do have a green/eco-friendly "image".

Maybe if a few years, you'll grow up and learn not to judge people like that.

Getting back to my point, the car is just not that much fun for me to drive and I feel like I am kind of missing out. The great gas mileage, however, is very addicting and I'm not sure if I can give that up. I feel like the car is not very well rounded and that it gives up a lot in order to achieve the good gas mileage.

If I were to sell, I think I could definitely get what I paid for it. Assuming the demand is still pretty high.
 

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I don't agree with you on any of your points - except that at almost 6'2", I'm glad that I'm not any taller when I'm in the Prius. It's not that easy for me to get into the car. But once my head makes it past the door opening I can sit up straight and I'm quite comfortable in the front seats. I have to slouch a bit if I sit in back - but I should almost never have to sit back there - so I don't care.

To me it is the least boring car I've ever driven and the mileage is amazing. So far I've never felt underpowered - even going over mountain passes. I find all the information readily available on the MFD makes each trip very interesting. I've had no problems so far with stability or with wind - but I haven't had it in the wintertime yet.

I wouldn't think it would matter to you if anyone agrees with your points or not. It's your car. If you're not comfortable in it and you don't enjoy driving it, it sounds like an easy decision to me. Great gas mileage isn't everything. You should have no trouble selling it - especially if oil prices keep going up.
 

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agile pagile said:
Sorry bud, but this is not the car for you. It seems your girl and you are still into the flashy sporty fast car that you think is necessary for your image. Sell it to someone who can appreciate it and maybe in a few years you will grow up enough to deserve a Prius :p :p :p :p
I presume this was meant tongue in cheek, but you missed the delivey.
 

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Then I suggest you sell it and get the Camry Hybrid. That may help since we know they're making it look sporty so let's hope they make it sporty for you. As for your complaints, well heated seats are nice but I've never needed them with cloth. With leather, it's a must. As for boring to drive, I can't help you there. All the cars I've driven were "boring" - 97 Corolla, 00 Corolla, 02 Camry so I don't think I'll make a statement.

My friend has the TSX and I don't find it impressive. Yes it has leather, moonroof and HID for a low price but it's missing a few points that I thought should be standard on a Cdn$34k japanese car. It's missing EBD (only regular ABS), wheel locks, cargo net, a track time on the CD player, power passenger seat, one-touch moonroof, premium brand name sound system. (stock systems don't have midrange control).
 

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agile pagile said:
Sorry bud, but this is not the car for you. It seems your girl and you are still into the flashy sporty fast car that you think is necessary for your image. Sell it to someone who can appreciate it and maybe in a few years you will grow up enough to deserve a Prius :p :p :p :p
Sad to see this type of response here. This is sarcasm, poorly applied? Some people enjoy a sports car, myself included, for the driving fun it offers. It's not always an image thing it's an enjoyment thing, although I know F-car owners who never drive their car as it was designed for.

The choice of having a Prius or other economy car (which is what the Prius and Insight and Civic are afterall) is about image as much or more so than any low to mid priced sporty car (just look at the Hollywood stars driving them). the counter to your arguement might sound like: "Why would you buy the Prius when you can get other 4 seat cars that get slightly lower milage for quite a bit less money (Civic HX, Corola etc) if it wasn't for some other reason..." milage alone enough isn't a good arguement for buying the Prius.

Now I don't mean to say that all Prius owners are looking for "the image", in fact I'm certain many are looking for (and buying) a well rounded package of driving economics and technical features.
 

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huberc said:
Just some general comments about my pkg 6 2005 prius after 9 months and ~10k miles. Wondering if some people feel the same way.

The good:

- Gas mileage, averaging high 48's now. (but goes down to 43's in the winter)
- Technology inside, nav system, bluetooth, etc.
- Very roomy, even with 5 people inside.
My wife and I get 38-45 and consistently 45 with a light right foot. This alone, allows me to forgive the weaknesses of the Prius. Plus, this is a very honest car, it sells itself in a very low-key way and it over-delivers once you get to know its strengths and its versatility.
The industry pundits agree on at least one thing about the Prius -- it has the features, quality and content of a car in the 30-40K price range and it's a bargain at $27K loaded, plus there's the tax advantage and the operating costs. If it holds resale, it will turn into a great solution for cost-conscious drivers covering a high average annual mileage in a mid-size sedan cum hatch.
huberc said:
The bad:
- Biggest complaint -- The car is SO boring to drive. I recently test drove an acura TSX and RSX with my girlfriend and almost traded in my Prius on the spot. It really opened my eyes that this car is all about the gas mileage only.
I find it remarkably fun to drive but then again, I don't think of any Acura (including the NSX) as being at all fun to drive. If you want a car to drive for the joy of driving, go get the Porsche of the year and price range that suits your budget. With $30K to put into a sports car, you're looking at an early 911 that will bring a whole new world to you. The latest Acura-this or Infiniti-that are just branded consumer products designed to generate high profit margins for the car makers.
huberc said:
- Very unstable at highway speeds, especially when it's windy. (I have tried to increase tire pressure and it did help some, but is still very annoying)
Agreed. And this is a real tough one. The car has to be slippery and that means unstable. It has to minimize toe-in to minimize tire drag, so that means unstable. It has to have an electrically assited power steering system and that means "numb" so that all adds up to a car that feels vague and won't "set" in a lane on the freeway and never gives that "balanced and poised" feel that can be communicated back through the wheel of a decent sports car.

Get some performance tires and lighter wheels. Get the alignment set up by an expert with experience with the Prius or use the local dealer. And forgive the little Prius for its humble manners. A good front-engine, Japanese-make tuner should be able to dial in the suspension and fit the Prius with wheels and tires to really light up its handling.

Funnily enough, the more Prius drivers I meet, the more often the topic goes to "How can I really wake up the handling in the Prius?"
huberc said:
- Seats are very uncomfortable. I am 6'3" and i think about 4 inches of my thighs hang over the seat. Also, no lumbar support is really taking its toll.
Right again. The seats are woeful and the lack of lumbar is a bizarre oversight for such an overwise well thought out product. Personally, I have the resources to throw lightweight Recaro performance seats in it. Simple as that. Cost is $1500 a pair, they'll weigh less than any production seat and they'll fit like a glove!
I rented a Prius for a few months and grew to really dislike the flat "wide arse" design of the front seats. That fabric is great as a stain- and wear-resistant seat covering, but it looks bland (in either of the available colors) and it does make the cabin seem "econo box."
huberc said:
- The car has a lot of vibrations due to lots and lots of plastic inside. The small insert just below the smaller window next to the JBL tweeter has been loose for a while now and will not stop moving. In general, the car feels kind of cheap inside.
This worries me a bit. My car is all but new and I drive it on three wheels (so to speak) so I am concerned about the frame going soft and then the cabin getting squeaky and noisy. By the way, the '05 is already reinforced, but maybe the after-market products are even stiffer. I'd be all over the dealer getting every squeak hunted down.
huberc said:
- No heated seats. Would be very nice especially in the northeast.
This is a dead easy after-market upgrade and already mentioned on the various forums.
huberc said:
Does anyone agree with me on these points? I feel like driving has stopped being enjoyable for me and only good gas mileage and the techy toys inside are getting me by.

Very tempted to sell it, trade it in or give it to my parents who will be in the market for a new car next year.

Chris
Handing it off the parents seems like a good option. If you want to spend the money, go for the upgrades, especially getting a comfortable seat -- after all, that's about all we really ever do in a car these days, so a good seat is money well spent. The handling can be improved. Other than that, consider a nice, old Porsche 911 and keep the Prius as a "daily driver" or a "beater" and let it serve its intended purpose and forgive it for not being as much fun a purpose-built sports car.
 

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huberc,
I agree with your points. My advice to you is to sell your Prius.

Now, this reminds me of why I replaced my BMW540iA with Prius

BMW 540iA:
The good:
- 0-60 in 5.9sec (Prius needs 11.2sec - Wow!)
- handling 0.85g (Prius ~ 0.75g)
- great handling and road feel

The bad:
- I had about 20 non-maintenance issues with it in 6 years
- Got me stranded on highway once (broken radiator)
- expensive to repair (averaging $500 to $2K each time in shop)
- averaging 16.5mpg life-time (Prius, 46.5mpg so far)
- 10X more emission! (It barely passed the CA smog check last year!)
- new tires/1.5yrs, new pads&rotor /2yrs

Well, I still have it and drive it once in a while. The drive surely is fun. But, it also comes with tickets and higher insurance cost. In my Prius, I feel calm and non-competing in congested traffic. At 40s, this would be great for my health.

Buy whatever makes you happy! My Prius makes me much happier than my BMW does. Let me know if anyone is interested in my 540 because I am having a hard time selling it.... cheers. :roll:
 

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RSouthern said:
agile pagile said:
Sorry bud, but this is not the car for you. It seems your girl and you are still into the flashy sporty fast car that you think is necessary for your image. Sell it to someone who can appreciate it and maybe in a few years you will grow up enough to deserve a Prius :p :p :p :p
Sad to see this type of response here. This is sarcasm, poorly applied? Some people enjoy a sports car, myself included, for the driving fun it offers. It's not always an image thing it's an enjoyment thing, although I know F-car owners who never drive their car as it was designed for.

The choice of having a Prius or other economy car (which is what the Prius and Insight and Civic are afterall) is about image as much or more so than any low to mid priced sporty car (just look at the Hollywood stars driving them). the counter to your arguement might sound like: "Why would you buy the Prius when you can get other 4 seat cars that get slightly lower milage for quite a bit less money (Civic HX, Corola etc) if it wasn't for some other reason..." milage alone enough isn't a good arguement for buying the Prius.

Now I don't mean to say that all Prius owners are looking for "the image", in fact I'm certain many are looking for (and buying) a well rounded package of driving economics and technical features.
I have to say that I find it sad to find that kind of response too. Tongue in cheek or no, it reeks of snobbery to me. The "I'm better than you" attitude is very disappointing and I think puts Prius owners in a bad light. What's wrong with someone offering objective criticism of the car? It's not like he came in and said, "Wow, the Prius sucks and anyone who buys one is a fool!"

While everyone I've talked to has been extremely helpful, attitudes like this seriously make reconsider wanting to buy a Prius. I'd hate to have to worry about whether I'm going to be attacked or not when talking about my car. Particularly if there is something I happen not to like about it.

I own two "sporty" cars. It has nothing to do with my image. If it were, I'd be driving something newer or flashier. It has to do with the fact that when I get behind the wheel and step on the gas, I get a big smile on my face from the sheer pleasure of driving them. There's more to driving, at least in my mind, than maximizing your miles per gallon.
 

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A lot of interesting replies (and expected) Now's the time to sell the car while you will probably not take too much of a beating as the scarcity is still there in some parts of the country. Hopefully where you live the dealers don't have several just sitting in their lots. If you don't want to go through the pain of personal sale I suggest you go to your local Toyota dealer and tell him what you want. They can usually pick up pristeen models of any make at car auctions and he might make the effort to find you a used car of your choice and make you a good deal so as to get a used Prius on his lot. My dealer even offered to look for a good deal on a Hummer for me during a conversation about this website.
These cars are great conversation pieces, certainly economical, and damned uncomfortable and not very exciting to drive. You've learned a lot so chalk it up to an educational experiance. As for replacing it with any other hybrid expect to go through "sticker shock" I don't expect to see any really worth the extra cost. You would really need to live on the top of a snow capped hill in the northern climes to ever need the use of any SUV and the Highlander at $41,000 would certainly be ridicules.
Don't let the price of gas take away one of lives few pleasures. Try to remain sensible though and skip those "hummers."
Oh, and don't "stick" your parents with it. That would be a little like giving them a "puppy" as that's just what they need in this stage of life!
 

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hyperion said:
Don't let the price of gas take away one of lives few pleasures. Try to remain sensible though and skip those "hummers."
And don't let the young men and women in the armed forces dying in Iraq to protect our cheap, steady supply of oil influence your persuit of lifes pleasures.
 

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Hey Chris,

I hear ya on most of your points...

Most of us long-legged folks don't like the seating. I did raise the front of my seats to get some thigh support and it worked.

I also installed some variable lumbar supports and seat heaters (I'm in the Norhteast, too). http://www.rostra.com

As for the rattles. I've pulled my dash apart several times and haven't had any rattles as the result of it. And, it's all pretty simple how it goes together. I think that there'e gotta be an easy fix to that one.

The look of the interior: Seesm to be a personal preference. Some people love the art deco/futuristic styling with plastic components, others think that it is cheap looking.

Yeah, the handling in wind is crazy. I'm on the list to get the mod that Godiva mentioned. I'm hoping that will help.

Cheers,
 

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Six months and 12K miles later, I have my own list of likes/dislikes.

Likes:
Mileage
Styling (I like unconventional)
Gadgets (Nav, voice, MFD, Homelink)
Lifesavers (8 airbags, crumple zones, ABS, VSC)
General comfort, especially legroom
Roominess for a small car
Quality
Knowing I'm doing less harm to air, mideast oil dependency

Dislikes:
21st century car with 20th century dealer personnel
Lack of thigh support
Lack of telescoping steering wheel
Blind spot to left front when cornering
Crosswind suspectibility and wandering on freeways
Low ground clearance into driveways

Acceptable but not outstanding:
Handling

These aren't too different from your, but I suspect that if the front seats aren't comfortable, everything else seems less important. I'd look into a custom seat with the features you want; may be tough with the side airbags, though.
 

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I only have 4 monts and 5k miles, but I'm happy and none of the things that worry the initial poster are worrying me. I have no rattles (except when I put certain things in the little box under the stereo) and no wander and at 5'7" I find the car roomy and the seats comfy. No need for heated seats in this climate! It's not a sports car and I do feel the wind in it, but compared to my 1994 Saturn SL2 it's an improvement in both "pep" and wind instability. But it isn't a "zoom-zoom" car.

I also test drove the RSX and that's what made the Prius decision. The base model felt too basic and the S-type was fun but I really felt uncomfortable with the requirement for high-octane fuel -- the Prius is not a sports car, but I felt GOOD about the choice. And I just don't care that much about power, though for some bizzarre reason I kind of miss shifting! My over-six-foot SO appears to me to have more head and leg room in the Prius than the RSX... the "zoom" factor may be disguising the fact that it's really quite tiny in there...

It probably helps that my SO has an MR2 and a truck so we have a rather well-rounded collection of cars. I think he likes the Prius OK, but wouldn't want to drive it only all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Astrowoman said:
I also test drove the RSX and that's what made the Prius decision. The base model felt too basic and the S-type was fun but I really felt uncomfortable with the requirement for high-octane fuel -- the Prius is not a sports car, but I felt GOOD about the choice. And I just don't care that much about power, though for some bizzarre reason I kind of miss shifting! My over-six-foot SO appears to me to have more head and leg room in the Prius than the RSX... the "zoom" factor may be disguising the fact that it's really quite tiny in there...

It probably helps that my SO has an MR2 and a truck so we have a rather well-rounded collection of cars. I think he likes the Prius OK, but wouldn't want to drive it only all the time.
I the RSX i test drove was a Type S, I wouldn't consider a base model of that particular car. It was a fun zippy car that gets 25-30 MPG.

The prius still has a lot of features that I find very important though such as the stability control, side airbags, and 4 doors:)

I think I will probably end up waiting it out and try to give the car to my parents and see what cars are available then. Something tells me I won't have any problems giving it to them, they love the prius and will probably buy one anyway if I decide to keep it.
 

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right choices...

"And don't let the young men and women in the armed forces dying in Iraq to protect our cheap, steady supply of oil influence your persuit of lifes pleasures."

Thanks Hep for a well-put simple point. When will reducing consumption become a priority, when oil is gone and we ALL are left with "huh, didn't see that coming"??

The Prius (and all my other green choices) DO make me better than those who have the means to choose greener, but do not, simply because they can (read "cheap oil").

Why as Americans are we SO wasteful? For fun? For the economy?

When you have one of the greener vehicles ever produced, I'm not sure how one can justify going the other way, no matter how many 'issues' there may be. My opinion. That's just how I see the whole reduce consumption thing. Someday things may change and instead of keeping up with the Jones's it will be more like how can I reduce my impact like the Jones's.

The technology is here now (has been for many years, like 8), yet we as consumers are led to believe HP = fun and conservation of a dwindling supply of 'fun' is not our problem. Huh? That I just don't get.
 

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Another bit of perspective on your points. First, give the seats a little time. When I first got my Prius, I didn't like the seats much. Now, after about 15 months and 23k, I've noticed I can do 6-8 hours a day on the highway and feel just fine at the end. Seats that feel great at the outset tend to kill your back in the long run- just like most of the furniture out there! In this matter I consider myself an expert- I'm a chiropractor.

Here's what I've found about handling in crosswinds. You can feel them, since the Prius is tall. More than my mid-80s Camry, slightly less than my '01 Highlander. You can also correct for them extremely easily; they don't make the handling go squirrely. Make sure your tires are inflated properly, with the fronts +2#, as specified. I've found that 40/38 is best for handling, after some experimentation.

Re the fun issue- Before my Prius purchase, I drove many vehicles, including those you mentioned. In terms of flat out fun on a twisty road, nothing beat the Mini Cooper S. If I spent more than .1% of my time driving for fun on twisty roads, I'd probably have bought one. Since I mostly drive on normal roads and highways, I assigned the smooth, quiet, no shift ride of the Prius a higher value. It gets out of the way and gets me there. I can accelerate to any legal speed with alacrity, and pass easily when I need to. Maturity setting in, I guess.

Regarding rattles, I totally agree with you. I'm really hoping that Toyota comes up with a solution. Between the photochromic mirror, the center speaker, and the dash, something is always rattling a little. This is consistent across the two Priuses we own. It really bnings down the experience of the car a notch or two. Then again, I usually have the XM going, which makes it a nonissue!
 
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