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Well, I did and I didn't. I was cast in one of the commercials for the new Insight, and it called for me to be seen pulling into a parking spot. In truth, the car was in neutral and was being pushed by 4 large men.

However, I got a pretty good sense of the interior in the time I was in it. Here's my gut reaction: The new Insight feels much more youthful and fun than my beloved 2005 Prius. After being in the Honda, my Prius felt a bit like yesterday's news. The photos of the 2010 Prius don't look all that much better, in my opinion.

That's not a commentary on functionality—which I can't attest to, with regard to the Honda. I'm just talking about a general vibe. Much of the design may be useless decoration—or just bells and whistles. But, as I said, it has a fun, contemporary feel to it. I predict it will do well with 18 to 30 year olds (the cheaper base price won't hurt either).

Anyhow, for those interested, that's my take.
 

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And unless the "wind tunnel" design is eliminated from the Prius engineering you will find few exterior design changes to the Prius for years to come. A great advantage to those 04/05 owners who like to own a "new" looking car, but it is getting a little stale. Possibly they will add a little extended "buldge" in the fender lines as they did on the Highlanders. Make it look a little more like a car without losing any of it's "slipperious."
 

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I agree. The current and even "new" prius looks rather bland and outdated. The car wasn't particularly attractive to start with, but that was Ok when they were new and hybrids were still breakthrough technology.
 

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hyperion said:
And unless the "wind tunnel" design is eliminated from the Prius engineering you will find few exterior design changes to the Prius for years to come. A great advantage to those 04/05 owners who like to own a "new" looking car, but it is getting a little stale. Possibly they will add a little extended "buldge" in the fender lines as they did on the Highlanders. Make it look a little more like a car without losing any of it's "slipperious."
I'm satisfied with the exterior "wind tunnel" design of the Prius. I don't need any fender bulges or other silly sheetmetal changes just so some owners can feel like they have a new model. The only body changes the Prius needed were better rear visibility and more rear headroom. When I sit in the rear seat, my head touches the headliner and I can feel a steel bar underneath, which would not be good for my brain if the car was rear-ended. The 2010 model fixed the rear headroom problem by extending the roof "bulge" back a bit. Unfortunately, the rear visibility has not improved and, yes, the 2010 model has silly little fender bulges. Are you happy?

The Honda Insight had to change to compete with the Prius, but my car still gets better mileage and acceleration. I owned my last vehicle for 17 years and plan to keep the Prius at least that long.
 

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RocketScientist said:
hyperion said:
And unless the "wind tunnel" design is eliminated from the Prius engineering you will find few exterior design changes to the Prius for years to come. A great advantage to those 04/05 owners who like to own a "new" looking car, but it is getting a little stale. Possibly they will add a little extended "buldge" in the fender lines as they did on the Highlanders. Make it look a little more like a car without losing any of it's "slipperious."
I'm satisfied with the exterior "wind tunnel" design of the Prius. I don't need any fender bulges or other silly sheetmetal changes just so some owners can feel like they have a new model. The only body changes the Prius needed were better rear visibility and more rear headroom. When I sit in the rear seat, my head touches the headliner and I can feel a steel bar underneath, which would not be good for my brain if the car was rear-ended. The 2010 model fixed the rear headroom problem by extending the roof "bulge" back a bit. Unfortunately, the rear visibility has not improved and, yes, the 2010 model has silly little fender bulges. Are you happy?





I purchased my "04" because it was innovative, hi-tech, and no one knew anything about hybrids including Toyota dealers, so I decided to find out for myself. It was a fun car, drew a lot of attention, performed well for what it was and I was happy with it for about the first year. The 2nd year I realized it's faults. Uncomfortable front seats, poor visibility, terrible shifting design but I was still able to "live with it." The third year, even with gas over $4.00 a gallon I asked myself "do I really want to drive something like this and the answer was "no."
Right now, it makes a wonderfull "2nd" car. I live on the waterfront in a resort area and hence have a lot of visitor company and the car suffices greatly as a "loaner" or as transportation if my "Highlander" is loaned out instead on account of the "Mickey Mouse" shifting lever and smart key that a lot of "new" folks are uncomfortable with.
The fender buldges in the "Highlander" make it one of the most attractive cars in the SUV market and hopefully they will do a lot for the very plain Prius.
I personnally do not believe the hybrid is the car of the future. The Prius is too darn complicated for the mass market. Very few owners know "what makes their car work," along with a lot of dealers. And the other manufactures who have "simplefied" the hybrid system enormously are not acheiving the high milage figures that people who purchase the things desire.
I believe when better evaporative and clean exhaust systems are designed we will see a sharp decline in hybrid sales.
Even though I am in my "eighties" I have gone from a Cadillac sedan to the Prius, to a Highlander SUV, and in another year when I get tired of the SUV we will be going back to a convertible. I still love to drive and I won't waste anymore time with low performance cars of any type. (Although, I will really be giving the Chevy "Volt" a good lookover as it will be at about "trading" time.)
 

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hyperion said:
I personnally do not believe the hybrid is the car of the future. The Prius is too darn complicated for the mass market. Very few owners know "what makes their car work," along with a lot of dealers.
I understood how the Prius worked before I bought it. My user name is not a joke- I am a Rocket Scientist. I have worked in the space business for many years and was delighted to discover that the Pruis used NiMH batteries. The space vehicles I work on use NiH batteries, which have the same electrochemistry. The only difference is that the NiMH batteries store the hydrogen at much lower presssure as a metal hydride. NiH batteries, if used properly, are very reliable, which is why they are used in multi-million dollar satellites. The lithium ion batteries planned for the GM Volt have twice the energy density but I have concerns about their reliability. If I'm proven wrong, I'll be happy, because plug-in hybrids need either lithium ion or some other high energy density battery technology.

While the regenerative braking certainly helps efficiency, the real efficiency on long drives comes from the Atkinson cycle engine (12-14% more efficient than the more powerful Otto cycle), a CD (drag coefficient) of 0.26, and low rolling-resistance tires. The batteries and electric motor are needed for acceleration because the Atkinson cycle engine has low power density.
hyperion said:
...I have gone from a Cadillac sedan to the Prius, to a Highlander SUV, and in another year when I get tired of the SUV we will be going back to a convertible.
I guess we have different philosophies about car ownership. I didn't buy the Prius as a toy. I plan to keep it for many years. The higher cost and environmental impact of a hybrid can only be justified by owning it for a long time.
hyperion said:
(Although, I will really be giving the Chevy "Volt" a good lookover as it will be at about "trading" time.)
I do hope that GM is serious about the Volt and won't kill it like the EV1 (see the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car"). The power electronics for the EV1 were refined by Hughes Electronics, which was owned by GM at that time. I knew people who worked on it. Hughes Aircraft Company supplied the solar panels and battery for the Sunraycer, the winner of the first solar powered car race in 1987. Unfortunately, the Sunraycer and the EV1 were just publicity stunts. It is ironic that GM displayed a diesel/electric parallel hybrid EV1 prototype at the 1998 Detroit Auto Show that could go 550 miles on a single tank of diesel with a fuel economy of 80 mpg. The EV1 had a CD of 0.19! GM could have made a hybrid to compete with the early Prius and chose not to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Solar_Challenge
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunraycer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EV1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Volt
 

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I'm sure that GM and most of the rest of the worlds auto manufacturers felt the hybrid is impractible and still do. The few others made have been tokens because of media and government attention.(incentives from the American taxpayer)
The only others that came out with one were the Ford Escape and the Saturn "Vue" Both SUV's for the American market. The rest of the world outside of the orient "Passed." (And are still doing so.)
 
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