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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my #7 2004 for about a week now and had a couple
of questions about the car's performance at freeway speeds
(50mph and up).

First, the car feels pretty stiff. It reacts quickly to very slight
movements on the steering wheel, and the ride itself is very
rough. I imagine I've been enjoying a lexus suspension up to
now, but I wondered if this behavior is typical of the car, or
whether I should check with the dealer.

Second, when I'm crusing at a fixed speed I notice what feels
like a very slight acceleration/deceleration pattern that coincides
to the ICE charging the batteries, then just the wheels. It's subtle
but noticable enough to be annoying. Note that it only occurs when
I'm cruising at speed. I notice no transitions between power sources
when accelerating or breaking. They are very smooth.

The car's mileage is still very low, so these may just be breakin
issues, but I wonder if others have noticed.
 

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Check the tire pressure. Toyota recommends 35/33 PSI front/rear. Some will advise a higher pressure to improve fuel economy; safety calls for never exceeding the figure given on the tire sidewall.

I've not noticed the mild surging you describe. It does sound odd...
 

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I have noticed the surging, and made reference to it in another post. The first time, it made me slightly nauseous. But then, I'm weird. I can go on the fastest, highest rollercoaster without problems, but give me a strange computer trackball, and I'm ready to lose my lunch!

My car only did the surging thing twice. Since then, I've noticed it likes to change its mind quickly and often (via the MFD), but it no longer gives me tummy-aches.
 

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I can feel the engine transitions at all speeds (both ICE and electric). Feels roughly equivalent to a fairly good automatic transmission when it shifts. Overall Im a bit surprised its not smoother. Its especially noticeable when I accelerate from a stop. I can feel a rather firm hiccup when the ICE kicks in after about 1 second. My car is only 300 miles old so it might smooth out with time. Id be interested to know the experience of other owners.
 

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Could you please describe what you mean by rough and stiff?

For example do you feel the grooves of the road pulling on the steering? Do you feel a rolling / bobbing on the freeway at speed? Or low vibrations in the cabin due to imperfections? Could it be new car glue making you nausious?

Just wonderng.
 

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I have just under 4k miles on my #7. On a long road trip to California, I used the cruise control extensively; in fact, anytime I was on the freeway. I did notice a slight pulsing from time to time, mostly when the car had to climb a grade or begin a descent. It wasn't at all annoying, nor was it any different from cruise controls I have used in other cars.
I don't know what you mean by "rough" riding. I thought the car handled road bumps quite well. The steering is precise but there isn't much feedback so the wheel seems inert; not necessarily a bad thing, but it takes getting used to. There is a set of three speed bumps on one of the streets I take to the airport. My Escort used to bounce over those really hard, so much so that I often went another block out of my way to avoid them. The Prius handles them easily with nary a bounce. Maybe it's the length of the wheelbase or something like that. I've noticed that crossing railroad tracks and other road imperfections is mostly a non-event in the Prius.
If you feel your car is acting improperly, you should talk to your dealer and, perhaps, drive a demo Prius to make a comparison and determine if you have something wrong with your car.
The car does seem stiff, but I actually like it that way; like the German cars I've driven. My only complaints are road noise on some highway surfaces (dead quiet on others) and a susceptibility to crosswind buffeting.
All in all, I thought my car was great for long trips, in spite of some reviews I've read which suggest that it's primarily a commuter car. I've never owned a high class car like a Lexus or BMW, so I have nothing to compare the Prius to except the Escorts I drove before, and there is no comparison. My Prius was comfortable and fun to drive the whole trip; very little road fatigue.
The road noise I think is a price we pay for fuel efficiency. The weight savings had to come from somewhere and batteries are heavy, so.....there goes some of the insulation you might get on a Lexus or Camry.
 

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Bob Allen said:
...There is a set of three speed bumps on one of the streets I take to the airport. My Escort used to bounce over those really hard, so much so that I often went another block out of my way to avoid them. The Prius handles them easily with nary a bounce....
I think people take speed bumps way too fast. I found that out when I had to get my Miata aligned and they said I need to be careful, because it was "way out". They also said that it might not be adjustable someday in the future if I didn't change my ways. I loved that little car, so I turned over a new leaf immediately.
...If you feel your car is acting improperly, you should talk to your dealer and, perhaps, drive a demo Prius to make a comparison and determine if you have something wrong with your car....
Excellent advice.
...The car does seem stiff, but I actually like it that way; like the German cars I've driven....I've never owned a high class car like a Lexus or BMW, so I have nothing to compare the Prius to except the Escorts I drove before, and there is no comparison....
I like it too. And I have owned a BMW, albiet a smaller one (Z3). My Prius rides smoother and quieter than my Z3, and steers with precision roughly on a par with my '93 Miata. It's even as quiet as my big ol' Delta 88 was (and that was remarkably quiet inside).
...My Prius was comfortable and fun to drive the whole trip; very little road fatigue....
I'll second that! I haven't driven a long trip in mine yet, but I have no fatigue after rush-hour stop-and-go driving. That's as good an indicator of comfort as any others I can imagine.
 

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I do not own a Prius yet, but I rented one for a day and did notice the speed surging on the freeway. I too got somewhat nauseated from the phenomenom. At first I thought it might just be the resolution of the drive-by-wire accelerator pedal and my foot was causing the pedal to move between adjacent speed points. Or, being an electrical engineer, I thought it could be a "dirty pot". Like the old days when dirt would get into a volume control and you couldn't get a smooth transition across the volume range. But after holding my foot absolutely still and still detecting the surging I concluded it wasn't either of those conditions.
After that I had read a review of the car where the reviewer experiences and writes about the same surging. That reviewer, along with people in this forum, surmised it was from the ICE transistioning on and off. When I felt the surging it didn't occur to me to look to see if that was the cause.
Anyway, it is that condition along with the somewhat boat-like front-end wandering on the freeway that may keep me from actually purchasing the car when it comes in.
 

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Thanks for your candor. The vehicle is definitely not for everyone and not everyone is, or will be marveled by it. Once it is actually purchased, I believe there is a natural subconsciousness perspective that takes over addressing the cognitive dissonance assocated with the justification against of some/many of our negative experience realities.

The aerdynamic considerate design and to reduce wind drag is rightfuly boastful but the wind sheering effect, and fatigue with extensive highway driving seem to be fairly on the mark. The mileage is undeniably relatively high but varies from the mileage estimates more notably than the other vehicles.

The added value of saturation marketing.

Make sure that for the money you have spent, they Fixit and don't simply placate you with kindness.
 

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I think the Prius is wonderful. I think the Prius cruise control is wonderful. I think the Prius transmission (if you can call it that) is wonderful. I think it is very quiet. I think all the Prius colors are outstanding including especially my Salsa Pearl. I have been driving Lincoln Towncars and Cadillacs for years and years. Whenever I drove over speed bumps I usually never noticed them. Road damage, chuck holes and freeway slab misalignment were all smoothed out. I'm on my second Prius now and I feel every little pebble or peanut on the road. Speed bumps bump my head on the ceiling. My Prius cruise control did make itself evident when I went up hill or into a strong wind, but no worse than any other car I owned or used. None of that matters. I just completed a 2800 mile trip in my new '04 usually completing 400 to 450 miles a day and I felt GREAT. Big dinners and then sound night's sleep in the motels. I could never say that about the big cars I've driven. I was always exhausted. I hated the trips then. Now, I'm raring to go. I feel so good at the end of a day driving my Prius I could go ten rounds with any body. Provided they allow this 83 year old to do it. :p Whatshisname
 
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