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Discussion Starter #1
Updated!

Here are some of my observations (in no particular order):

Headlights in daytime. They dim the MFD, making it difficult to see. A daytime running lamp (DRL) option would be nice to have. Yes, I found the dashboard "dial" to force the MFD in "daytime" mode. I think that will work!

Smart Entry/Smart Start. This is pretty slick! I have had no malfunctions or inconveniences. I love being able to leave the keys in my pocket. <<Update: I learned that the car doesn't like it when you unbuckle, even if you're just getting a parking stub or money out of your wallet. Car beeps and flashes warnings when you "click out". I guess my car loves me. Or some Toyota designer loves me. I have disabled the seat belt buzzing. Yes, I always buckle up, and I make my passengers do so, too. >>

Map/Nav Software. The maps appear to be very accurate for the Orlando, Florida area, but I don't like how it tries to avoid expressways and tollroads (hmmmm....does it know gas mileage is better on side streets?).

I like the differences between day (white background) and night (black background). Even though it makes for a smaller display, I usually have it in "split screen", with one in "North Up" and the other in "Forward Up".

<<Update: Home Link. Hey, this thing works with my gated community's gate system! I just assumed that I wouldn't be able to use that feature, but I just tried, and ......oh, cool! One button for the main gate, and another for the rear gate, and I still have a button left over! Hmmmm, possible uses: A) Cause chit-chatting careless "annoyaphone" drivers' phones to hang up. B) Shut off H2 engines at traffic lights. >>

<<Update: Voice Commands. Whoa, this is awsome. So now I have my fast disc change feature. Some commands that seem to work include: Map
Next Disc
Previous Disc
Next Track
Previous Track
AM
FM
Display Off
Audio off (but I think it's just recognizing "audio" and treating it as a "toggle")
Audio on (same as "audio off" above)
It thinks "Info" means "FM". That's strange. I'd like to see a more complete list. I'll do a search here when I have some time.>>


Storage. Wow, this car has tons of storage! There are plenty of pockets, drawers, boxes, and so forth. I have room for all my sunglasses and my cowboy hat, too! I can store everything but the kitchen sink! And there's even room for that via the hatchback!

Handling I like it a lot. In fact, I like it better each day I drive this car! Decent turning radius. Handles just fine on the highway and on the side streets, and it's easy to park (I often "back in", and I don't have any trouble doing this in my Prius).

Ride. Smooth. I like!

Tires. I have driven them in the rain and on dry pavement. The tires are fine. But keep in mind that I have put only about 400 miles on the car at the time of this update (May 06), and still haven't driven it enough in the rain to give you a complete yay/nay vote.


JBL Sound. The 6-disc changer is nice. You can load or unload any CD without having to load or unload all the others. The MFD works fine on this, but I wish it also had hardware buttons for "power off", "stop/pause CD" and "disk change". Maybe there's a way to do it with the steering wheel controls. I'll check the owners manual. <<update: I've learned that holding "mode" on the wheel will shut the sound system off. And I finally saw the "PWR" button on the dashboard.>>

JBL speaker and sound quality is only "okay". Not really what I would expect of an upscale sound package. But I'm mentally comparing it to my Corvette's Bose system. Okay, I've revised my opinion on this. The rest of the sound system is fine, but the JBL speakers kind of suck, and so does the lack of control I have for the benefit of my back-seat passengers. I plan to talk to my dealer about this.


Wow Factor. Surprisingly, I haven't gotten much of this. I was approached by one person at Auto Zone, and we talked for a few minutes, but other than that, I'm truly in stealth. One older guy who's always taking walks where I live, asked me where my red BMW was, I said I sold it and bought "that", gesturing to the Prius. He said "what's that?" I said, "it's a Toyota", hoping he would inquire further. To my dismay, he cheerfully said, "Oooohh, good", or something like that, and went merrily along his way.

One other time, I was in front of a pickup truck at a traffic light, and I noticed that the driver behind me was sitting up, moving forward (in his seat), looking over my car very carefully. But he was the only one (out of several hundred who stop behind me at traffic lights in a given day or week) who probably noted the "Synergy Hybrid" logo on the back of the car.

Only people who know I bought a Hybrid are interested in the car. I have not gotten any other type of interest from fellow drivers or passersby. Most people just ask me "where's your red BMW?" This is gonna take some time. John1701a, you may think your work may be complete in Minnesota, but we have a looonnnggg way to go here in Florida!

I have also never seen another Prius on the streets in my city. I know there are a few, because the dealers can't keep them for more than 24 hours. I guess it will just take some time. I have seen about six Insights, and a couple of Civic Hybrids.


Power. I've already passed a couple of tractor-trailers, several SUVs, Mustangs, a Camaro, two Corvettes, more than one BMW, and an old 70's era sedan ("yuck," I thought). Add to that list: more 'stangs, more 'vettes, more Bimmers, lots of trucks, many many junkers, and all sorts of farm and lawn-care tractor-trailers. Yeah, just because I could. This car's got enough power. I also drove the guys at work to lunch on Friday. No problems carrying 4 guys (three of us were over 200 pounds, one was about 170 to 180).

Computer Indecision. This happened twice, and that's the best way I can explain it. I'm at a speed, on an incline, or headed into a wind, or whatever, and the conditions are just "perfect" for the computer to be uncommitted as to what to do. So he does everything! ICE on. ICE off. ICE on + Motor from battery. ICE off, motor only. ICE off, all motors off. ICE on.

Both times this happened, I got a slight queasy sensation (I think because of the motors activating and deactivating so much so fast), and noticed what was happening via the MFD. It was brief (lasted only 5 to 10 seconds), and went away when the road conditions changed (encountered a hill or turn), or when I had to adjust the throttle position to react to traffic conditions.

This was a very minor thing, and I don't think most sedan or minivan drivers would notice such an event. But having driven highly responsive sports cars for so long, it was something I noticed right away.

At this time, I don't think it's a bug or flaw. It's a very very slight sensation, almost nonexistant. I'm guessing that it's probably the effect of computer trying to make realtime decisions as to what to make all the parts (ICE, MG1, MG2, battery, etcetera) do, and maybe certain conditions make it harder for the computer. Anyhow, I'm not concerned about it, but I did think I should mention it here.

Braking. I haven't had to step on the brake hard yet. The regeneration thingie is great. Slight pressure on the brake pedal causes one or both Motor/Generators to become generators, recharging the battery. The resistance put up by the generators equates to a "braking effect." How can I tell when I'm pressing too hard for regeneration to take place?

Comfort. Some on this forum have complained about the seats. I have a bad back, but have not had any trouble with the seats yet. In fact, they're quite comfortable for me. BTW, they're not automatic, nor do they have any memory or explicit lumbar support. That's fine with me, because I don't change my seat positions often, and nobody else drives my car. And the fancy seat controls all just seem so "over the top" to me anyhow....yeah, even when I had my Corvette.

Passengers are VERY comfortable in this car for short trips (I cannot yet vouch for longer trips). The guys at work remarked about how nice the armrests were, and how much legroom and headroom they had. One of them is about 6'1", and he had plenty of room, even in the back seat.

I have another friend at 6'3" who's long-legged. He had no problems with headroom, but his knees were too long for driving comfort, even with the seat all the way back. He said he would have been quite comfortable as a passenger in the front seat, though.

Stealth. Coming home in my community at night is a treat. It's quiet, no traffic, no stop-go-stop-go....so I can use stealth at 7 to 9 mph, almost the entire way from the gate to my home. Stealth is very quiet, so take note! This afternoon, I almost hit a guy in my gated community, beause he wasn't watching when crossing the street. Luckily for him, I was watching, and I always drive slow in the neighborhood. A tap on the brakes, and I was completely stopped. Surprised and relieved, he knew that he could have been hurt really badly.

For some reason, my car doesn't like to enter stealth mode when I'm going faster than 38 MPH. It's possible that I just need more practice at this "feathering" technique. In any case, I know the top stealth speed is supposed to be between 40 to 42.5 MPH. I really REALLY would like to see this improved so that it's easy to enter and maintain stealth at speeds of up to 45 or 46 MPH.

Many of my local surface street speed limits here are 40 MPH or 45 MPH. If there's power in the battery, I'd sure like to be able to enter stealth mode and stay there for as long as possible, without having to slow down to 35 or 38 (I don't want to be an obstruction or a danger).

I have also noticed that the computer is very reluctant to enter stealth mode with the battery at 50% or less. My impression is that the battery range visible on the MFD is actually a very thin sliver of what the battery's maximum and minimum limitations are. Most of our streets are flat and level, and we don't often get strong winds. I think it would be nice to somehow be able to configure the computer to know this, so that it will let the battery discharge a bit more when in stealth mode. You know, maybe let it go down to 40% or 30% (per MFD icon; not necessarily 30% of actual reserves) before firing up the ICE.


Well, there are some of my observations. Another update will be forthcoming in a few days.
 

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Disabling seatbelt warning beep

<<Update: I learned that the car doesn't like it when you unbuckle, even if you're just getting a parking stub or money out of your wallet. Car beeps and flashes warnings when you "click out". I guess my car loves me. Or some Toyota designer loves me.>>

To disable the annoying seatbelt beep, just perform the following:

1. Power on the car, set the odo/trip option to odometer.

2. Power off.

3. Power on again, and within 6 seconds, press and hold the odo button for 10 seconds.

4. While still pressing the odometer button, buckle and unbuckle your seatbelt. The front display will now show the status of the seat-belt beep option as either on or off.

5. Release the odo button. Now press the odo button again to toggle between seat-belt beep on/off.

Of cosurse, you should only do this if you ALWAYS wear your seatbelt and do not need the warning beep. This will only disable the beep. The seatbelt warning light will still be on.


Bob, Super White #8
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Another update, this time in << brown >> above.

I have also applied the "reverse beep" patch and the "seatbelt beep" patch. I have confirmed that the former works, but I have not yet been able to confirm that the latter works....I still get a series of beeps when powering up, and I don't know to what they're referring.

But so far, so good!
 

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I have also applied the "reverse beep" patch and the "seatbelt beep" patch. I have confirmed that the former works, but I have not yet been able to confirm that the latter works....I still get a series of beeps when powering up, and I don't know to what they're referring

When you have disabled the seatbelt beep using the above method, the beep will still sound for a few seconds when powering up, but it wont' bother you anymore if you, Heaven forbid, never buckle up.

You can use the same method to disable the "reverse beep" by changing the gear lever to R and then back to P while holding the odo button (instead of buckle and unbuckle you seatbelt wile holding the odo button as noted above). It works, but I have elected to keep the reverse beep on, so I won't unknowingly shift into the R mode when I did not intend to.
 
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Hi Bif:

___Nice overall article/review I have seen professional car mags not do as good a job with 3 to 4X the length!

___Nice job and Good Luck w/ your new package 9.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3du6i9hc][email protected][/email:3du6i9hc]
 

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Headlights in daytime. They dim the MFD, making it difficult to see. A daytime running lamp (DRL) option would be nice to have.
Note that the panel brightness control has a position that keeps the MFD bright when headlights are on.

Also, my back-seat passengers can't hear the sound system....doesn't play very loud in the back seat, so I think there may be something wrong.
Check the "balance" setting on the MFD Audio screen, in my new car the rear speakers were turned off - perhaps that is a default.

Thanks for the nice report I hope you enjoy your new car as much as I am enjoying mine - and I concur with most of your remarks and observations.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Status Update: It's been a week now, and I still love my new car! I have posted a couple of updates in green above.
 
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