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Discussion Starter #1
I recently (yesterday, as a matter of fact) purchased a new 2003 Prius for my wife. I must admit, I'm surprised at how much pep the torquey electric motor is it seems to be just as capable as any normal car. She was able to keep up with me at 80mph on the ride back down the NJ Turnpike and the ride is very smooth. Exactly what shes looking for.

Of course, no car is good enough as is (check out the M-class forum on http://www.benzworld.org to see what I mean). Ive already compiled a long list of things Id like to add to the car and was wondering if you would care to add any more:

A Valentine1 radar detector would be useful. My wife is used to a much lower Honda Prelude and shes got a tendency to go a little faster since the Prius is up a little higher.

I found a place that will let me integrate a CD/MP3 player:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/bumpelo/front.html

I like this little brake/engine indicator:
http://www.coastaletech.com/brake.htm

It would be very neat to have a rear-view camera:
http://www.coastaletech.com/viewtech.htm

The remote trunk release is a neat feature:
http://www.coastaletech.com/trunk%20opener.htm

Something else that Id like, but probably involves a software upgrade for the trip computer, is an estimated miles until empty. Probably the most useful upgrade would be Xenon projector headlamps, anyone know if any assemblies exist?
 

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jdbower said:
I recently (yesterday, as a matter of fact) purchased a new 2003 Prius for my wife. I must admit, I'm surprised at how much pep the torquey electric motor is it seems to be just as capable as any normal car. She was able to keep up with me at 80mph on the ride back down the NJ Turnpike and the ride is very smooth. Exactly what shes looking for.

Of course, no car is good enough as is (check out the M-class forum on http://www.benzworld.org to see what I mean). Ive already compiled a long list of things Id like to add to the car and was wondering if you would care to add any more:

A Valentine1 radar detector would be useful. My wife is used to a much lower Honda Prelude and shes got a tendency to go a little faster since the Prius is up a little higher.

I found a place that will let me integrate a CD/MP3 player:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/bumpelo/front.html

I like this little brake/engine indicator:
http://www.coastaletech.com/brake.htm

It would be very neat to have a rear-view camera:
http://www.coastaletech.com/viewtech.htm

The remote trunk release is a neat feature:
http://www.coastaletech.com/trunk%20opener.htm

Something else that Id like, but probably involves a software upgrade for the trip computer, is an estimated miles until empty. Probably the most useful upgrade would be Xenon projector headlamps, anyone know if any assemblies exist?
I'm very happy with my CoastalETech Engine Run Indicator.

However, I'm surprised that your dealer didn't inform you of the new vehicle break-in period. For the first 600 miles, you should avoid hard braking, avoid rapid acceleration, avoid traveling too long at a single speed, and also should not exceed 62MPH (100kph).

Once you pass the break-in period, I highly suggest using cruise control whenever possible. It'll keep your wife from speeding without realizing it. Since it'll keep you from speeding, it'll help improve your MPG, too. It's settable down to as low as 24MPH, and has about a +/- 2mph spread. It can be installed if you didn't have it come with the car to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oops!

D'oh! Forgot about the break-in (the dealer never mentioned anything and I forgot to ask). I've heard as a general rule to brake slowly and to keep the engine RPMs below 3000 for the first 5000 miles (I followed a pretty strict break-in on my truck including a series of speed/RPM adjustments for the first 500 miles - I now average 2mpg higher than the estimated highway mileage). The Prius doesn't have a tach (and with a gas/electric hybrid with a CVT I'm not sure if one makes sense) and 80 is around 3000 RPM on my car so I didn't even think about it. I did tell my wife to take it easy on the car for the first few thousand miles. The car does have cruise and I tried to teach her how to use it yesterday. I'll have her keep it to about 62 for the next few weeks.
 

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I noticed you have an ML55 as well as the new Prius; I have the same. I had a couple of comments on the navigation system in the Prius. In general I like it a lot - the touchscreen is very usable. However, it seems to have less detail than what I am used in the ML; also, not being able to enter inputs when the car is in motion is a drag - even when there's a passenger in the car, they cannot enter information.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Prius vs. M-class nav systems

First, let me highly recommend Benzworld.org for your W163 needs :D.

From what little I've seen, the Prius' interface is much nicer. I like the touch screen for the text entry a lot and the split screen views are great. I haven't noticed a difference in the map detail, but I'm in one of the more heavily populated sections of the country and I haven't played with the Prius system very long. What I did notice is that what should have been a straight shot down the Turnpike ended up with the ML's system working just fine but the Prius seems terrified of paying tolls and kept trying to route tens of miles off course to avoid them. Is there an avoid toll road setting that I'm missing?

There is a modification that you can do to cut the speed sensor wire out of the Prius nav. The only problem with that is that you'll be relying solely on the satellites for position information, I was amazed when my ML more or less accurately mapped my progress through a tunnel in Balitmore thanks to the same wire. I can look up the mod and post it if you're interested.
 

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Re: Prius vs. M-class nav systems

jdbower said:
First, let me highly recommend Benzworld.org for your W163 needs :D.

From what little I've seen, the Prius' interface is much nicer. I like the touch screen for the text entry a lot and the split screen views are great. I haven't noticed a difference in the map detail, but I'm in one of the more heavily populated sections of the country and I haven't played with the Prius system very long. What I did notice is that what should have been a straight shot down the Turnpike ended up with the ML's system working just fine but the Prius seems terrified of paying tolls and kept trying to route tens of miles off course to avoid them. Is there an avoid toll road setting that I'm missing?

There is a modification that you can do to cut the speed sensor wire out of the Prius nav. The only problem with that is that you'll be relying solely on the satellites for position information, I was amazed when my ML more or less accurately mapped my progress through a tunnel in Balitmore thanks to the same wire. I can look up the mod and post it if you're interested.
I think I've heard of a setting somewhere for the Prius' NAV that tells it to avoid toll roads or major highways...

As I have a 2001, I can't tell you for sure... It's probably in that thick NAV manual that you got with the car.
 

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There is a modification that you can do to cut the speed sensor wire out of the Prius nav. The only problem with that is that you'll be relying solely on the satellites for position information,
I don't have my tech manual in front of me, but if I recall correctly, the "speed sensor" is just a discrete: moving or not moving. Cutting this wire should not reduce any kind of dead reckoning function, if indeed the Prius NAV system has one. (I don't know--I'm NAVless.)

Douglas (2002 Silver, Wisconsin)
 

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If it's a boolean value

Then there's little harm in trying this modification to the speed sensor. I, of course, take no responsibility if the mod doesn't work and blows up your car or if it does work and you crash into a wall...

http://priuscar.com/nav_speed_disconnect.htm
 

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Clean, Simple Nav mod

First, look through ( http://priuscar.com/nav_speed_disconnect.htm ) then you can understand better the details of my somewhat simple but very effective mod.

I installed a very small but, rather OEM looking on/off rocker switch in the lower mid-console and it works very nicely. I did not go to the trouble of installing the timer mentioned in the above URL, so I or my wife has to reach down about every 30 seconds or so and cycle the switch back on then off again so that she can continue working the Nav's features that are normally unavailable during movement. We have had no trouble whatsoever with the modificaiton and are very pleased that we now have it.

In this URL ( http://priuscar.com/nav_speed_disconnect.htm ) you'll see a switch installed in a plastic panel that is at the bottom of the center console just above carpet. This is a small panel and easy to remove. Just behind this panel where the carpet terminates are a couple of wire bundles (loosely held in black plastic) coming up from under the carpet. One of those bundles has the the V-W wire coming from the Nav unit under the passenger seat.

I cut my V-W wire at this point and installed a cute little rocker switch into the plastic panel that covers this area. Nice simple and clean install.

Wayne
Pittsburg, TX
 

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Avoiding tolls

There is, indeed, a NAV default setting to avoid toll roads. I don't have my Prius at hand just now (it won't fit up the stairs to the computer room), but it seems to me that, after you input your destination and it shows you the map, if you go to the Route Preferences box on the right and press Change, it lets you determine whether you would prefer to avoid toll roads, ferries, etc.
 
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