You'll love it. They only thing I have noticed is that the traffic behind me seems to be close when stopped. Because of the flat rear end, and the ability to look out thru the lower window.
The accel and decel is effortless, the pedal feels and car reaction is perfectly matched.
The looks you get are priceless. I had one for a week in Dallas two weeks ago, was record heat, and even with all the glass, and being heat soaked, the A/C was the best I have ever had... I have a Mercedes and a Porsche, wish those worked as well.
I'd have to say WAY better in stop and go traffic. You're not idling away, wasting fuel. Stealth mode runs at the lower speeds, if u learn how to invoke it. The accelerator pedal is no longer just a "gas" pedal, it truly dictates what will propel the car, by how u depress it, stomp it, feather it, and such. Plus, your AC stays on, even when the gas engine shuts off! Win, win, win. Truly an amzing piece of car technology. Just the other day a Saturn Ion driver tried to tell me what a better 'value' their car was. They were under the impression I wasn't getting EPA numbers. I asked if they were, they said they were. I asked how they knew. They said they calculate mileage after every long trip. I said the Prius does this EVERYDAY, ALL DAY to maximize efficiency. And I can carry a full-sized wheelbarrow inside. (recently bought one and it fit no problem!). Try that in an Ion as well as stealth mode, smart entry/start, etc. The list far outweighs ANY and ALL perceived negatives. There just are't any substantiated reasons that this isn't the best car out there, bar none. I'm just a little satisfied... Drive fun, drive clean, drive Prius!
Here's another positive vote for the Prius in traffic. Not only does my mileage skyrocket when encountering dead stopped traffic, the complete silence makes the experience far more tolerable if not a little enjoyable (O.K. perhaps that’s going too far).
Since the ICE only runs occasionally to charge the batteries or for heavier acceleration, overheating is no longer an issue. With a recent commute during a “Clean Air Action” day here in Portland, the knowledge that I was buzzing through downtown traffic without a single bit of exhaust was priceless.
The first time I hit stop-and-go freeway traffic in my Prius, I was happy. It was an odd sensation to be happy about bad traffic. But it let me play with feathering the pedal to try to stay in EV mode.
In my experience, it depends on how long you're stuck in traffic, or how you define stop & go. This week I was on the way home from Manhattan and got stuck in re-routed traffic because of an accident on a NJ highway. It was a 35 minute delay, and the only reason I know that is because I counted my 5-minute displays. It was 85 degrees outside, so the A/C was on. The first 10 minutes of stop/crawl I got 100 mpg. I was delighted. Then the ICE started running, so I took a look at the energy screen and saw it was charging the battery, which was down to 2 red bars. For the entire rest of the holdup I got anywhere from 0-20 mpg because the ICE kept running to charge the battery, and I was barely moving at all during that time. Maybe if I had turned off the A/C the mpg would have been better, but since I knew I wasn't at risk for either overheating or battery drain, I opted for comfort in the stressful situation of about 15 lanes converging into 1! So the answer to your question is the type of traffic holdup you're in determines your mileage performance.
As a former NY'er, I can't say that the traffic here in Portland rivals that of the NY area, but at times, it comes close. I too have noticed the situation you described where the ICE runs often due to the discharged battery. In situations like this, I have found two tactics that have helped me get back into the high mileage range.
Firstly, when I hit stop and crawl, I increase the temperature of the AC a few degrees (I.E. from my normal 72 to 76) and ensure that the AC is on recirculate (also helps to keep the exhaust from others out).
Once the batteries drop to around 3 bars, I try to encourage the ICE to run continuously (via the gas pedal) driving the car and charging the batteries at the same time. I have been quite surprised how quickly the battery comes back to a decent charge, at which point, I can gain back this mileage loss through EV mode.[/quote]
Here in Fargo, a "traffic jam" is when you have to wait 2 cycles to get through the light at a busy intersection. Once, when I forgot about a stretch of road work, I got stuck for 3 or 4 minutes getting through it. I wouldn't live in L.A. or NY for a million dollars!
I hear you! Though I've heard ND is beautiful, it's the price I'm willing to pay for what NY does have to offer, especially in the arts. OK, there are other prices, too, like outrageous real estate, terror threats, bad air, the Republican National Convention . . . hmmm, what was I thinking?!
No, I wouldn't give up NY for anything, except maybe LA or San Francisco. You can take the woman out of the city, but you can't take the city . . . Wait, no, you can't take the woman out of the city, either.
Melgish, my last car was a 5-speed Saturn, too, and after 22 years of driving 5 speeds in NJ & NYC, my left foot is soooo happy to be driving the Prius!
I'm not sure that pressing the accelerator while in neutral will cause the ICE to charge the battery, though I've never tried this.
I have been able to encourage more active charging in traffic by letting a little more space to open up in front of me. The ICE can then be encouraged to restart (and charge the batteries) by pressing the accelerator a touch harder than one would normally do in such traffic conditions.
Of course, with the gridlock you are describing, this may not even be possible, not mention having another car jumping into the space in front of you.