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Discussion Starter #1
We currently drive an '04 Sienna. There are 5 of us - two adults, two 8-year olds and a 2-year old in a car seat. We used to drive a Corolla but found it just didn't have enough power to get going when all 5 of us are in the car.

We like the Prius, but we're concerned about the power - at 110 hp, is this going to work or is it going to be the same problem as the Corolla? The Corolla had 126hp, but I don't know if the electric/gas combo will make the Prius seem more powerful.
 

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If you didn't think the Corolla had enough power, I wouldn't do the Prius. I have had both (I sold the Corolla for a Prius).

That being said, I have never wanted any more power that my Prius delivers. But, it is just my wife and I in the car...Nobody else.
 

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If it weren't for the car seat, 3 kids might be ok in the back. With the car seat, it will be too cramped. We have both a Sienna and a Prius.
 

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Two adults and 3 kids shouldn't need a whole lot of power. But if you like jackrabbit starts, I suppose more power would be needed. But doing that is not fuel efficient.
 

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These kinds of posts always confuse me. Just round up the tribe and head on down to your friendly neighbourhood Toyota dealer. Take a test drive! These days in the US most dealers have lots of Prius in stock, so test drives should be no problem. You may want to phone ahead to arrange it. Explain that if you can't test it, you can't even consider buying one.

Be aware, the Prius uses the electric motor to "enhance" the power from the ICE, particularly when accelerating. The electric motor has tons of torque, more than the gas motor.

Also, the Prius interior is almost as roomy as a Camry. It might be tight once the kids start to grow up, but for sure give it a try.
 

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Even before that you can go to:

http://autos.msn.com/default.aspx

and compare the likely candidates across every meaningful metric. That can narrow your search down considerably. If you compare the Prius to the Camry you will see that it compares favorably in leg room and cargo room but the Camry has more hip room. That's why I said that 3 kids, with one in a car seat, would be tight. The car seats are so wide and rigid that they take up as much or more room than an adult.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, we didn't want to drive 20 miles one way to test drive it if we knew from others' experience that it wouldn't work for us.

We did go drive it and ended up buying it. It had plenty of oomph, more than the Corolla ever did. It does feel a bit slower from a dead start, but picks up pretty quickly. No jackrabbit starts for us, but then we don't want to do that anyway.

It's a fun little car, it should work just fine for our 50-mile round-trip commute each day.
 

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Congratulations! On occasion we've had 5 adults in the car, and though not roomy, tolerable for short jaunts. As to oomph, I often get those jackrabbit starts at stoplights. You'll be very pleased you made your purchase. Just yesterday I heard a honk at a stop. A man wanted to know how I liked my Prius. They're still a novelty and stimulate questions by strangers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There are going to be many more people driving the Prius in coming months. The salesman (who we've worked with before and has been GREAT - if you're going to Avondale Toyota, ask for Wesley Hutt) said that a few weeks ago they had a whole line of Priuses on the lot. Now they have about 10? And just yesterday there were three different deals going on at the same time. We were there only 3 hours, and to see three of the same car go off the lot at once was a pretty big thing!

I think gas will continue to go up, and people will be even more interested in the Prius. We hadn't really considered one since there was such a shortage and we weren't interested in waiting for an ordered car to be manufactured, but now that they're available, why not try it out? I don't think they'll be available for long, there are going to be too many people looking for them in the coming months.
 

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Congratulations. So you found it roomy enough for the car seat and the 2 other kids? I'm guessing you did since you bought it. I think you will be very happy with the car.
 

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redwein said:
Congratulations. So you found it roomy enough for the car seat and the 2 other kids? I'm guessing you did since you bought it. I think you will be very happy with the car.
I have a nearly identical situation to yours. 7 y/o twin boys in boosters (8 in August) and a 2 y/o daughter in a car seat (3 in July). We've had our Prius since Oct. of 2003 and it's our prefered vehicle for most routing commuting. We like the Highlander Hybrid for longer trips and when we're hauling more cargo or going skiing and such, but the Prius is more than adequate and nearly as roomy in the passenger compartment as the Highlander is.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, that's quite an accomplishment with three car seats! We traded in our Sienna, which was nice and roomy but only so-so mileage. We have an '07 Tacoma that fits everyone if we need to take a longer trip, so having two large vehicles was overkill.

The 8-year olds aren't in car seats, and they have plenty of butt-room.

My husband is worried that something is wrong though - our fuel gauge hasn't gone down at all! We know it works because it was 1/3 full yesterday, and they filled it up before we drove off the lot. We've put 110 miles on it since they filled it, and the tank still shows full.
 

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Hey Evan, I was wondering when you were going to speak up!

It does seem as if the car lags for a second taking off at stops, but in reality you are getting a whole lot more torque at the start than in a conventional car. Just check out your speedometer.

Depending how full the tank is, you could go about 180-230 miles before coming off of full. There's another thread on that very question so I won't elaborate here.
 

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Sorry, just got home from a week of trout fishing, beer drinking and lie telling, took me a little while to get back to my 'responsibilities' on the prius boards!
 

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I had a Corolla as a rental (courtesy of my local dealership).. and I must say, I hated it. And honestly, I think it has less power than my Prius (it couldn't climb the dang hill.. and it was like a baby slope). Crappy torque?
 

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Somewhere on here is my post about my 1500 mile journey with four adults and a baby in a baby seat (might even be the same model as the middle on in Evan's car, above,) and a completely full trunk. (I'm positive we were over the 800 pound limit.) It kept up with traffic going over the Rocky Mountains just fine. (I kept at the speed limit while I was driving, but my wife and father-in-law both went about 90. At which speed, the Prius gets about 35 miles per gallon.)
 

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We have, several times, moved kids to and from college in the Prius. 3 adults and a dormroom full of stuff (and a case of wine from Wollersheim winery on the way back) from Minneapolis to Madison. It worked just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I went to work today and got grilled about the new car. My colleagues couldn't really imagine that it would be big enough and have enough power for 5 people - they thought I was crazy to trade in the van.

We know the situation better than they do - 95% of our driving is just around town, to/from work, etc. For the times when we need more room or cargo area, we have a truck. There is no reason to keep two large vehicles when a smaller, more efficient one will do. I also told them it is bigger inside than it looks from the outside.

I'm sure I"ll end up driving a couple of them to lunch this afternoon, so they'll get a chance to see for themselves.
 
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