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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at purchasing a new car within the next year. I've had an increased interest in Hybrid cars given gas prices, among other reasons. I was just wanting to get some feedback from those who own these cars, as thus far the Prius is my 1st choice. My other interest for a non-hybrid car is the VW Jetta. Just to give an idea what I'm comparing it too. Anyway, here we go:

Driving and acceleration: What is the pickup/acceleration of the prius? I'll be giving up my pig-of-a-car Camaro Z28 for a new vehicle. I'm not looking for speed, just something that can get around comprable to your average 4-cylinder on the road today.
Also, how do these cars drive? Again, not looking for a BMW, just something thats nice to drive.

A/C: This might sound trivial, but hows the A/C in these cars? I live in Texas, it gets hot and crappy in the summer. I'm a wimp. I have no idea how the accessories work on these cars.

Aftermarket stereo: Again, trivial, but I'm just curious. How easy is it to install amps, subs, etc etc in the prius. I wasn't sure if the power systems effected this at all.

How they work: Is there any place on the web that you can point to me that might give a good overview on how hybrids work, specifically the Prius. I'm semi-knowledgable regarding normal ICE engines, I'd like to know more how these cars work as to understand them better.

If anyone is in the DFW area and has had good dealing with a particular dealership, please let me know.

Thats about it...for now, lol. Any general info you could offer would be great, or any objective websites with info.
Thanks for the help, I truely appreciate it!


ps, just a side note, does anyone know when the hybrid camry is set to come out?>


-Ryan
 

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Driving and acceleration: It is very comparible to any 4 cyclinder that I've driven. I used to have an 86 Camry and my wife drives a 95 Saturn and the Prius accelerates better than any of those. I have no problem accelerating from 0-70 when getting on a freeway.

A/C: I live in Phoenix, so all summer its been about 105-115. I never put need to put my A/C past medium, and it's set at 80 degrees. Since the inside probably gets to at least 130-140, 80 degrees is comfortable. My mileage using the A/C drops from 54 MPG to about 47 MPG.

How they work: The Toyota website gives a nice on-screen tutorial of how the hybrid works. http://www.toyota.com/prius/features.html


Camry hybrid: Here's the Toyota press release about it, they say late 2006: http://www.toyota.com/movingforward/200 ... tucky.html

I've had my 2005 Prius about 9 months now - I would never go back to a regular gasoline only engine!
 

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drowningguinea said:
I'm looking at purchasing a new car within the next year. I've had an increased interest in Hybrid cars given gas prices, among other reasons. I was just wanting to get some feedback from those who own these cars, as thus far the Prius is my 1st choice. My other interest for a non-hybrid car is the VW Jetta. Just to give an idea what I'm comparing it too. Anyway, here we go:
Heh... having come from a Jetta (MKIV) to a Prius, I'll give you my opinion on the two cars.

The Prius has a much better A/C, and the JBL stereo in the Prius is better than the Monsoon stereo in the Jetta. The Prius also, obviously, gets better milage.

The Jetta is faster than the Prius, and my old 1.8T had no problem keeping up with much faster cars while still pulling in about 30mpg. It handled better, and the brakes worked on uneven pavement (something which troubles the Prius).

Most importantly, if you plan to spend a lot of time driving, take a good hard look at the interior of the Prius. The seats are bad. How bad? I heard they were going to transfer gitmo detainees in the Prius, but decided the seats would be against the geneva convention. There is literally next to no soft touch material in the car(other than the seats, obviously). It's all either hard plastic or some sort of suede like material that wears poorly.

The Prius is basically a 12K car with an 8K engine. Don't expect VW level interior quality, handling, or performance and you won't be disappointed. If milage is your primary concern, go for it. It is a fantastic commuter car.
 

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The A/C in the Prius is the best I've ever experienced, the biggest difference is the fact that it's electric rather than belt driven. When you get into stop and go traffic with conventional cars, I've always noticed that the A/C output drops where in the Prius it still puts out full.

I don't agree with Jonnycat about the seats, I find them to be quite comfortable. But this is one of those areas of personal preferences, the best way here is to test drive one and judge for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies so far, I appreciate it! At some point when I get closer to buying a car I'm going to go out and try to fins a dealer with one to test drive.

any more input is much welcomed!

Oh yeah, one other question: I'm not sure how easily you can answer this, but how are these cars in the long run? I know toyota offers a lengthy warranty on all the expensive stuff, but what about everything else? I just wouldn't want to have to pay tons of $$ down the road simply because its a hybrid.
 

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I think the seats are great, except for the lack of lumbar. (Although now that I'm used to them, I find myself turning the lumbar DOWN on the other car.)

As mentioned, A/C is great. The big thing is you get to use it without having the gas engine run!

Another site for more detail than you can shake a stick at is http://www.john1701a.com.

Finally, my wife compares the Prius' performance favorably to her old V6 Nissan Maxima. And I used to own a 6-cyl Camaro, and a Ford Escort GT (185 horse Mazda engine, zippy little bugger,) and I don't miss either of them.
 

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I say "ditto" to johnnycats remarks about the seats and car. The A/C and milage are the cars great assets but in Texas that engine will be running quite a bit to keep your batteries up for the A/C operation and you will never know just how hot your coolant will be reaching as besides the speedometer/odometer the only instrument in the car is the fuel guage and that don't work very well.
Since johnnycat is coming from a jetta his remarks seem to be more knowledgable in regards to comparison so I would say it comes down to cost. If you can get a Jetta for less you will probably not notice much of a savings in fuel costs overall.
Driving what I call normally in the past 18 months I've averaged 45 MPG in my 04.
And as far as warranties, because of the complexity of the many systems and the lack of knowledge about the car at Toyota service I would not consider one without the "extended." A good Toyota "platinum" one can be purchased from "SOME" Toyota dealers for about $900. (plus or minus a few bucks) In my mind that would be the number "one" option to purchase. (especially if you think you might sell in a couple of years as they are transferable.)
 

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I'm in Dallas and keep the A/C running full blast. (A Sunshade for the windshield helps noticeably.) I have no trouble getting 45 MPG in street driving, which includes sometimes indulging myself by speeding smoothly away from light trucks and Mustangs (this is possible because most people don't shift perfectly, even, or maybe especially, when using an automatic; there is no shifting in a Prius).

Who says the seats don't wear well? After 16 months mine look new.

Like any insurance policy, extended warranties are priced to make a profit for the seller. You will be better off if you can "self-insure" (that is, just be prepared to write a check if anything goes wrong).
 

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The A/C works fine for LA conditions! I'm one of those who is happy with the seats -- I certainly wouldn't object to having more adjustment options, but I've been on long road trips and been perfectly comfortable. My experience with the suede materials so far is that they look delicate but actually seem to wear pretty well. I do have a console cover to protect the center console. I like the look and feel of the interior, but this is definitely one of those personal things, you just have to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Once again, thanks for the replies. So far in my comparison it seems like the Jetta would come in just a little cheaper than that Prius with one of the cheaper packages. I'm still pretty torn between the two however. :(
 

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drowningguinea said:
Once again, thanks for the replies. So far in my comparison it seems like the Jetta would come in just a little cheaper than that Prius with one of the cheaper packages. I'm still pretty torn between the two however. :(
Honestly... if you're not commuting 60+ miles a day (as I am), don't go for the Prius. It really is a econobox with a wonderful engine and some neat toys. The Jetta is a 'car'.
 

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Seats? No problem. Find them comfortable on a trip around the state. Better than our two previous cars (Ford Contour - phooey/Explorer? About the same.).

Cruise control is very accurate and maintained exactly 79 mph going over the mountain pass in Washington State. On a 900 mile trip, mostly interstate at speed limits, I averaged about 50 mpg. It is the smoothest cruise I have experienced.

Air? No problem. Usually on air, on the highway, I get a little over 51 mpg.

So far, no complaints. Don't know about the Jetta, but the Prius may get a few mpg better and, just as important, it polutes a lot less than a gas only car. By the way, it costs me $112 less per month in gas than the equivalent mileage on the Explorer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
richard schumacher, what dealership did you work with? At some point I'd like to find a dealer who has one I can test drive to see for myself.

Right now in school I drive about 60 miles round trip, plus any other trips I make in the day. I'm not sure what things will be like after I graduate. Both the jetta and (of course) the prius would be more effecient than my current vehicle. ( I get about 11 mpg in my pig) I'm just trying to get all the info I can on both and eventually try to get out and test drive both.
 

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If you are worried about long-term reliability, I would recommend any Toyota over any VW of late.

Not a real car? Please.

Best advice is to drive both and decide what you want. There is really nothing on paper or on the web that can answer your question better.
 

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I bought from Sport City Toyota, but that saleswoman and the guy who replaced her were both fired during the six months I waited for delivery. Maybe they gave me too big a discount.

A cow-orker bought from Toyota of Richardson and says he's happy. They were my second choice out of seven when I was shopping in October 2003. On the basis of one oil change I also prefer their service department.

I recommend shopping the Consumer Reports way, by calling for first and second bids, and getting everything finalized by fax. It saved me a lot of running around.

Of course if what you really want is the lowest possible total cost of ownership, don't buy a new anything. Buy a two year old something with a good reliability record, like a Corolla or Civic, after an evaluation of it by a third party mechanic.
 

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:idea: Hi Ryan (drowningguinea)...

In the DFW area, finding a Prius for a "test drive" might be a problem due to finding something in stock. You may just have to call around to dealers. We have a nice "Prius Meetup Group" here which will meet Sunday 8/28 at 1:30 PM. We will be at "Trinity Hall (Irish Pub & Restaurant)" at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane #250. Our Prii will be parked at the Dart Station on the upper level in a "group." You would be very welcome as a visitor. Last meeting we had 13 Prii and 1 Highlander Hybrid and about 26 people. This could be an opportunity for you to chat with a number of Prius owners for first-hand information and a look at a Prius collection.

Also, you can access the Meetup Group web site at:

http://prius.meetup.com/43/events/4193726/
 

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KTPhil said:
If you are worried about long-term reliability, I would recommend any Toyota over any VW of late.
I think it's a little bit of a toss up. My Jetta spent time in the shop for annoying little things (power windows that got stuck, brake light issues)... but it *never* rattled or squeaked. I'd almost trade some time in the shop every 6 months for the Prius if I could make all the plastic fantastic rattles and squeaks go away.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ChasSuitt,

Thanks for the info! I really appreciate it. I may have to come and visit if I get the time off. 8)

I appreciate everyones input. It's going to help me greatly when finally making up my decision. I've also decided not to completely rule out other hybrid models such as the Civic, although the Prius is stil my favorite for various reasons.
 

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VW's electrical problems are legendary. I don't know who to blame: VW, Bosch, Hella (I'm not sure who their suppliers are anymore)? Everyone I know who owned a VW over the last ten years has had major, inexplicable electrical problems, and they sold their cars before solving them (but not before spending $1000 or more to try). Ignition, body electrical, dashboard, headlights... one problem after another.

I'm a VW nut of old (or maybe just an old VW nut), but I have to admit their quality, especially in areas electrical (which is so much of the car now), has suffered.
 

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KTPhil said:
VW's electrical problems are legendary. I don't know who to blame: VW, Bosch, Hella (I'm not sure who their suppliers are anymore)? Everyone I know who owned a VW over the last ten years has had major, inexplicable electrical problems, and they sold their cars before solving them (but not before spending $1000 or more to try). Ignition, body electrical, dashboard, headlights... one problem after another.
I know, my Jetta had tons of electrical gremlins. But despite that, if I had to do it all over again, I'd keep it rather than get the Prius. There's something about the fit and finish of the VW that is just lacking on the Prius. Seams and gaps and springy material are everywhere on the prius, and you'd *never* find those on a modern VW.
 
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