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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a newbie. (Uh-oh.) I just put a refundable $500 deposit down on a Prius that is supposed to arrive in Boston in about 2 weeks. Of course, I didn't get to test drive a vehicle, which seems to be par for the course. I did get to sit in one, although it is not the same as the one which is earmarked for me, which has all the bells and whistles.

Last night, several hours after we got back from the dealership, my daughter asked whether the front passenger side has an armrest. Now this would have struck me as stupid, but I was just looking over the specs on some cars and gather some don't. Does the Prius have one? If not, and if one's normal passenger cannot live without one, what can one do?

The other concerns I came up with mostly involve vision. How is the front and rear vision--especially for someone who is only 5 feet tall? (I gather the seats cannot be raised.) How is the vision out the passenger side?

My daughter and I are both pretty heat-sensitive. Is the AC good? (I understand this will have ramifications; OTOH, we don't like heat in the winter. For that matter, can one turn off the climate control?)

Also, can one raise and lower the seatbelt attachment? I didn't think to look--or to attach the seat belt as we sat in the car, so I don't know whether it's going to be on my neck, which I hate.

This both is and is not a spontaneous purchase. I guess I can say the timing is somewhat spontaneous, but I have had the thought in the back of my mind for a long time. I consider myself to be "green"....

Thanks,
 

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Both front doors have an arm rest. The seat belts are adjustable up and down. My wife is 5-2 and has no problem with visibility.
I'm sure you will love the car.

2005 silver, option6, 12,000 miles
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for your quick reply! I was a tad concerned after my daughter posed that question, since she also said she would "die without an armrest". I then looked at some interiors via images.google, and it seemed there was a small one, but I really wasn't sure.

Thanks, too, for your comments on vision and the seatbelts. I assume you and your wife both drive this car?

I note that you joined this board fairly recently. Is your current Prius your first? How difficult was the transition? The gear, um, knob looks like it might take some getting used to.

Thanks again,
 

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If by armrest, you refer to the armrests on the door, then yes, both front seats have one. If you mean an armrest in the middle, then there is one that both seats share.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! It was the door one that my daughter was concerned about. It did register that there was an armrest in the middle.

I wish I had thought to look around a bit more. It was all so overwhelmingly different that I was sort-of focussed on the dashboard area. <g>

I think the main problem I am going to have is that I feel like a traitor to my current car. In ways, I want to keep it. Maybe the answer is to overlap it a bit until I find myself just driving the Prius and loving it. That seems to work in other contexts....

Thanks again,
 

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erstwhile_editor said:
I think the main problem I am going to have is that I feel like a traitor to my current car. In ways, I want to keep it. Maybe the answer is to overlap it a bit until I find myself just driving the Prius and loving it. That seems to work in other contexts....

Thanks again,
What are you driving now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A W8 Passat. It is a fun car--very quick (in spite of what Consumer Reports says) and agile. Quite comfortable. But I also think of it as the "gift that keeps on giving". The posted mileage is bad (ca 20 mph), and I prided myself on getting better than that (although 22 is still bad). Last fall, the MPG dropped a lot (at least 20 percent). Of course, the dealership can find nothing wrong with it, and it is virtually out of warranty. That's part of why I decided to buy a Prius, but, as I said, I have had this thought in the back of my mind for quite a while. It's not so much a monetary thing, although it will be nice to have fewer visits to the gas pump, to be able to buy regular gas, and to take less gas when I am there. I am a pretty green person--don't use pesticides and herbicides, buy a lot of organic food, etc. Treading more lightly on the earth with a hybrid car is consistent with this.
 

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You will enjoy this car, more than you know. It acaually has surprising acceleration up the ramps, and you will find it just as roomy as the Passat. I passed my much loved New Beetle to my daughter but I don't miss it one bit any longer. And I certainly don't miss the frequent visits to the VW service department!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Service Department. That has become a dirty word and is yet another reason why I am doing this. The service department at my dealership used to be a pleasure to work with, and now it has become an ordeal to go there. There have been several changes in key personnel, and they are now somewhat sexist. I am also most frustrated that such visits seem to go fine as long as they are routine, but they are a real problem when something is wrong with the car--unless it is totally obvious. (I suspect this may be the case almost everywhere though.)

I am planning to use the Toyota service department that is perhaps three miles from here. I could even walk home in nice weather--possibly even through conservation land.... I will check out what folks think of this place. It is NOT where I am buying the car. I guess that would not be that uncommon these days, given the fact the Priuses (is that the plural?) are hard to come by. Indeed, they had a 4-6 month wait. I was most surprised to see two Priuses available at another dealership. Well, it turns out that was a bit misleading: they had deposits on them and just had not been picked up. They did, however, have two arriving imminently. That, too, was surprising. I still don't quite understand that, since the salesman mentioned a waiting list--but these were somehow not spoken for. Maybe folks want the less-expensive ones?

Anyway, I am excited and nervous.... The latter about my W8.
 

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erstwhile_editor said:
A W8 Passat. It is a fun car--very quick (in spite of what Consumer Reports says) and agile. Quite comfortable. But I also think of it as the "gift that keeps on giving". The posted mileage is bad (ca 20 mph), and I prided myself on getting better than that (although 22 is still bad). Last fall, the MPG dropped a lot (at least 20 percent). Of course, the dealership can find nothing wrong with it, and it is virtually out of warranty. That's part of why I decided to buy a Prius, but, as I said, I have had this thought in the back of my mind for quite a while. It's not so much a monetary thing, although it will be nice to have fewer visits to the gas pump, to be able to buy regular gas, and to take less gas when I am there. I am a pretty green person--don't use pesticides and herbicides, buy a lot of organic food, etc. Treading more lightly on the earth with a hybrid car is consistent with this.
Augh... I came from a Jetta 1.8t, which got 30mpg... and I know how you will feel when you get rid of that car.

Short answer: Keep the Passat! There are going to be lots of times when you're in the Prius and you'll find yourself cursing the wet-soap handling of the Prius and the soft braking. And when you look at the dashboard, you'll wish someone from Japan would just give up and copy the German ergonomic designs... it's just that much better.

On the other hand, if you have a long commute, definetly get the Prius as a commuter car. I go between 52 and 65 miles (total) and the Prius is perfect for that, altho I have noticed that the seats are not that comfortable if you plan on spending more than a hour in the car.

Bottom line, really... the Prius isn't a bad car. It just doesn't have the personality or the agility that the VW does.

You could always trade in the Passat for a TDI passat, which gets roughly 40mpg. Or an Accord Hybrid which gets 38mpg and has almost the same level of agility that the Passat has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My initial idea was to keep the Passat and to drive that at night (It has great headlights, not sure how well I will see with the Prius's headlights) and when it was really slippery out. My (male) friend thinks it is stupid for me to have money invested in two cars. Nonetheless, I think, given my attachment to my W8 and my sick feeling about getting rid of it, I might just do that for a while--at least until I can see how the Prius is in slippery weather. I am assuming I will want to get aggressive winter tires for it....

I need to figure out the quote function here--and I think somehow I have this going the wrong place in the thread.
 

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Yep, first Prius, drove a Sienna before.

I don't see why some people claim it's uncomfortable. I don't have nearly as much driver fatigue in the Prius as I did in the Sienna. I travel a lot on the job, shortest "commute" is 40 miles, longest is over 400. The climate control is great, just set the temperature and forget it. There is a short hesitation when you "punch it", I guess it's the engine getting up to speed, but it's easy to live with. First 5 - 10 minutes of driving the mileage really sucks, (about 35 mpg) takes a while for all the sensors to stabilize & the engine runs pretty rich during that first 5 minutes.

It's so quiet, you have to be on the lookout for pedestrians in supermarket parking lots, they can't hear you (turn up the stereo).

I have only one complaint, I've become used to the auto-dimming rear view mirror and really wish Toyota could add that to the driver's side door mirror.

We waited almost 6 months for the car, the dealer called us, said the car was on the boat and if we still wanted it to make a deposit. Picked it up a week later & haven't regretted it at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks!

I have no idea how it's going to feel when I am driving it for a while. I guess my longest drives are less than two hours, and that is rare. We (daughter and I) shall see. I will miss my power seats (I think) and (maybe) being able to change the height of the seats--although they seemed okay to sit in, anyway.

I have been doing a lot of reading, both on this forum and elsewhere, so I have hit the comments re how quiet it is a few times. I am thinking I might want to leave the radio on at first, so I will know it has started.

I have also read about the warmup--and that it is good to, say, string one's errands together rather than drive for 10 minutes and then later go out again. I will need to change my inefficient ways....

I am wondering whether I should have ordered a 2006. I don't see that option on the dealer's site. Is it stupid to get a model at the end of its run, especially when there is no discount?

Oh, I wish I had a crystal ball and could predict what my current car might do in the next months. Since I don't, I guess it is safer to do the deed now.
 

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If I could do it again, I would wait for the 2006. Apparently it will have at least the driver's power seat, according to some projections. Altho, if you like the darkish grey 'Tideland' color (which I have!), apparently that will be phased out.

There is some risk that it will not have the power seat, and probably, yes, the price WILL go up a bit, but if you're worried about seeing, adjustments, etc., then maybe it is worth the risk and wait.

Check out the 'projected 2006' threads here (and elsewhere?).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have been reading the speculation about what the 2006 models will offer. I don't need power seats, although they may be a plus--especially if they offer height adjustments and one could fiddle with lumbar support. However, I would not want such things if they were in conjunction with leather seats, which I hate. (I was glad to see at least one other person here shares my opinion: they are scorching in the summer and freezing in the winter. Ugh.)

I wish I could build a 2006 model now to see the options. (I assume the site I am using is like all the others in that regard.)

I have come up with more questions, and my daughter pointed something out too.

Do the rear headrests obscure the view out the back? Are they removable?

I was telling my daughter about the keyless entry, and she pointed out that someone else could just open the car and hop in when they see you obviously heading for it and close enough so they can open the door. What is to prevent that from happening?

I guess, relatedly, does the key have a panic button?
 

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Do the rear headrests obscure the view out the back?
For short people like us, yes.

Are they removable?
Yes.

I was telling my daughter about the keyless entry, and she pointed out that someone else could just open the car and hop in when they see you obviously heading for it and close enough so they can open the door. What is to prevent that from happening?
For non SKS opening of the doors, first push only unlocks driver door, second push shortly thereafter unlocks all doors. The dealer can change this.
For SKS, only the door with the valid fob will be able to command opening any doors. You can set it 3 different ways:
1. driver door only opens driver door, passenger and hatch open all doors
2. driver/passenger/hatch open all doors.
3. Driver door opens driver door, hatch opens hatch, passenger door opens all doors.
You don't need the dealer to change between these modes.




I guess, relatedly, does the key have a panic button?Yes
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks. I will have to ponder the ramifications of the settings.

I am glad I found this board in the course of my reading last night. It is most useful.

Among other things, I am now pondering the extended warranty (and absorbing what has been said about the price) and the prepaid maintenance plans.... :)
 

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erstwhile_editor said:
. . .I was telling my daughter about the keyless entry, and she pointed out that someone else could just open the car and hop in when they see you obviously heading for it and close enough so they can open the door. What is to prevent that from happening? . . .
You know, if the thief is big and bold enough to jump into your car when you're that close, you might just be glad he decided to do that rather than knock you out and take your keys. Anyone doing this must know enough about the car to realize they won't be stealing it by doing this. They must just be planning to take things from it. Better they take your things than your life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was thinking more of muggers, etc. I did realize a thief wouldn't get too far if I was not there. I guess, too, unless the entry was practically simultaneous that wouldn't be a problem either--as far as bodily harm goes.

Speaking of such, I need to see how high this car is on the car theives' wanted list.
 

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Jonnycat26 said:
erstwhile_editor said:
A W8 Passat. It is a fun car--very quick (in spite of what Consumer Reports says) and agile. Quite comfortable. But I also think of it as the "gift that keeps on giving". The posted mileage is bad (ca 20 mph), and I prided myself on getting better than that (although 22 is still bad). Last fall, the MPG dropped a lot (at least 20 percent). Of course, the dealership can find nothing wrong with it, and it is virtually out of warranty. That's part of why I decided to buy a Prius, but, as I said, I have had this thought in the back of my mind for quite a while. It's not so much a monetary thing, although it will be nice to have fewer visits to the gas pump, to be able to buy regular gas, and to take less gas when I am there. I am a pretty green person--don't use pesticides and herbicides, buy a lot of organic food, etc. Treading more lightly on the earth with a hybrid car is consistent with this.
Augh... I came from a Jetta 1.8t, which got 30mpg... and I know how you will feel when you get rid of that car.

Short answer: Keep the Passat! There are going to be lots of times when you're in the Prius and you'll find yourself cursing the wet-soap handling of the Prius and the soft braking. And when you look at the dashboard, you'll wish someone from Japan would just give up and copy the German ergonomic designs... it's just that much better.

On the other hand, if you have a long commute, definetly get the Prius as a commuter car. I go between 52 and 65 miles (total) and the Prius is perfect for that, altho I have noticed that the seats are not that comfortable if you plan on spending more than a hour in the car.

Bottom line, really... the Prius isn't a bad car. It just doesn't have the personality or the agility that the VW does.

You could always trade in the Passat for a TDI passat, which gets roughly 40mpg. Or an Accord Hybrid which gets 38mpg and has almost the same level of agility that the Passat has.

Last that I checked, the VW TDIs (diesels) weren't for sale in CA-emission states (which the OP lives in Massachusetts, a CA-emission state)
 
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