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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 200 mile a day newspaper route and I was looking at getting a new car for the route.

Does anyone know if the Prius or any other Hybrid would work for 450 stop and goes a day??? Or should I just go get a gas vehicle?

Anyone use a hybrid vehicle for a mail or paper route?
 

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Sometime long ago someone posted to this board about using a Prius for a paper route vehicle. He was not happy. It was not the 2004 model, but he claimed that his gas mileage was far from what he had expected. I believe he sold the car.
Does anyone else remember those posts?
 

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I don't know where you live...but really you should have a look at the VW Jetta TDI.

HUGE trunk, parts are more common than a Prius and easier to customize (springs), and fuel costs will be LOW...and even in the dead of winter, you should get 34+ MPG. Highway will yield 50+. I've miled out 5 TDI's and that has been my experience
New 2004 model has increased HP, and torque has gone up as well (15%).

Personally, I can't wait till California VW dealers are able to offer the TDI models as most of the other states.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice and help. I have been looking at the Toyota Corolla(30-35mpg), the Pontiac Vibe(awd, 25mpg) and the VW TDI. I live in Central Washington and we can have some heavy snowfall and lots of compact ice. I just have to decide if I want more mpg or the safety of awd.

After reading about all the problems with the Hybrids, I'm thinking I'd be better off with a gas auto. The extra mpg wouldn't be worth all the hassles. I need a dependable vehicle.

Thanks again!
 

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Stop & Go

I go through a couple of areas that have a series of speed bumps. I have noticed that by tromping on the gas and using stealth to coast up to the next bump, I can actually improve my gas mileage after 4 or 5 bumps. It goes up a couple of tenths in about 6 bumps within a quarter mile. (I usually get about 44-46 mpg around town in my 2002 classic Prius.)

A paper route may exaggerate this much more, since you would do a whole lot more starting and stopping, but I would think that you could get pretty good gas mileage in a Prius. You might try renting one from the local Toyota dealer and use it on the route for one day, to see what happens. You might be surprised to get 50+ mpg.

Let us know what your results are, if you try one out.
 

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I'm pretty sure this is the very best situation where a hybrid such as the Prius can prove its efficiency. No possible comparison with the Jetta TDI concerning pollution, too. But as Phoenix said, you should try to rent one Prius first just to know exactly if it fulfills your requests.

I just have to decide if I want more mpg or the safety of awd.
The Prius is a front-wheel-drive. But if you're thinking that AWD gives you more safety on the ice or snow, then you're in serious trouble. It allows you to accelerate faster, but all cars have brakes on the four wheels...

The extra mpg wouldn't be worth all the hassles.
Hassles ? Which ones ? Oh yes, the waiting list... :lol:

I need a dependable vehicle.
Then have a look at the Toyota reliability statistics. :wink:
 

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Having spent all of my adult life in Canada in rural areas with much snow and compacted ice...You'll find a fully outfitted Jetta with nice meaty snows like Hakkapelittas able to laugh at winter. Hard a tough time getting really stuck and needing to get pulled out :p -
not to mention...the Jetta has that big trunk :lol: BTW, my 2002 had zero defects and maintenance hassles( I guess the way it should be :shock: )
 

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I would imagine that the 2004 Prius would be excellent in stop-and-go driving. That's where it really shines.

You can get good mileage with a diesel, but you will cause a lot of pollution also.

Reliability: You'll never find a more reliable car than a Toyota or a Honda.

Handling: I live in Fargo, ND. We don't get large snow accumulations, but we do get a lot of compacted snow and glare ice. The 2004 Prius with VSC (vehicle stability control -- an option included in the #7 and #9 packages) handles marvellously on slippery roads.

An all-wheel drive has two advantages: it can plow through deeper snow, and it can get going quicker on ice. But the traction control (standard) in the Prius works really well. And the drawback of AWD is that you think you can go through anything, so you go where you shouldn't, and you get stuck more often. I once owned a jeep, and I got stuck more often because I over-estimated what the car could do.

What kind of stop-and-go is your route? If there are a lot of very short, slow segments (from one house to the next) the Prius will often creep on electric power ("stealth" mode) saving on gas. If there are longer stops where you have to get out of the car, the gas engine shuts off, saving gas in comparison with a diesel or conventional car. Note that the Prius has much less wear and tear on starts because it is designed to stop and start a lot in normal operation, and uses a whole different method of starting.

In my opinion, the only situation where a Prius would not be ideal is if you must travel on muddy or heavily-snow-covered roads where AWD is really necessary.

Note also that the 2004 Prius is a hatchback, and the back seats fold down, giving you an enormous amount of cargo space.
 

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If your customers are going to be relying on you even on snowy mornings before the plows have cleaned things up, you probably ought to look at a Subaru Legacy Outback. It's an AWD station wagon with a really good implementation of AWD for its price range. It's gas mileage is kinda lousy though, about half that of a Prius (i.e. 22-25 MPG).

If you can wait, Toyota should have a hybrid Highlander early next year, but its price is likely to be much higher than the Prius and Subaru.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I need a car that's low, a highlander won't work.

I was thinking of getting a Subaru AWD or Pontic Vibe/Toyota Matrix AWD. But then I thought of getting a Corolla or vw Diesel and getting a real cheap AWD or 4x4, for the days in the Winter that are real bad. For the most part I get along alright in the winter, but you never know how much it's gonna snow every year.

Thanks
 

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Subaru used to make at RHD drive version just for delivery routes. I don't know if the still do. You could call Subaru USA and ask...
 

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Real cheap does not spell reliable. If you aren't that concerned, just get the cheapest car you can find with front wheel drive and a good warranty. Splurge a little on the tires. Don't bother with an additional AWD or 4x4. If you hardly ever drive it, it will be especially unreliable.
 
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