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Discussion Starter #1
About 6 weeks ago I heard about the Prius and started doing some research on this and other websites. The more I read about people loving this car, the more I wanted one. After many phone calls, I found a dealer about an hour away that would enter my name in a lottery for a Prius. The idea was the salespeople hold a lottery among themselves and whoever wins, gets to sell the car. Well wouldn't you know it the person I spoke to won and I now have the right to purchase a new '04 #6 at MSRP. I'm getting cold feet. Suddenly, now that it's real, I read where people are getting stuck because the car just dies, the seats are uncomfortable, you need some fancy footwork to actually get the great gas mileage etc. I never even test drove the car.

Am I crazy? Should I be thrilled at my good luck and realize that you can't please everyone? I have to decide soon so any thoughts are welcome.


Thanks

Iris, Long Island, NY
 

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No car model is 100% perfect. There have been problems reported, but the overall reliability of the Prius has been outstanding, and the overall custmer satisfaction is excellent. I absolutely love mine. Comfort may depend on what you are used to, but again, I find mine very comfortable. My previous car was an '89 Civic and the Prius is a tremendous step up. Most people do not get the EPA mileage. Cold weather and short trips are mileage-killers in any car. In the dead of the North Dakota winter, running the engine for 5 minutes to pre-heat the cab, and then driving only 4 miles for my daily commute, I was getting around 30 mpg. No other car could come close under those conditions. My present tank I'm sitting at 46.8 mpg. That's still mostly short trips, as Fargo is a small city and my daily commute is still only 4 miles, with occasional longer trips to the shopping district. 47 mpg is well below the EPA city figure of 60, but it's more than double what most other cars get in the city.

The 2004 pkg 6 has all the air bags and SS/SE, but does not have VSC. If you have to drive on icy roads, VSC is great to have. But ABS and trac ctrl are standard, so you'll still have a very safe car.

If you are going to buy a new car, and if the Prius is big enough for your needs (five seats, no towing) there is no other car on the road that can compare. Buy it! If you really need a bigger or more powerful car, or you are a Lexus kind of guy and want the extreme luxury of a $40,000 car, then it may not be for you.

The above, of course, is just my opinion.
 

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If you want to turn around and re-sell it for a profit, then of course.

If you're shopping for a car to keep, then don't rush into it. Test drive one. Ask yourself whether 45 MPG is good enough. Decide how important clean air is for you and those around you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the peptalk

You made me feel more comfortable. I'm not a Lexus kind of Gal. I drive a Subaru now and my commute is also about 5 miles to work. Unless we have a freak storm the roads here don't get too bad in the winter.

I'm glad you're so happy with your Prius. I'm sure I'll love mine too.
 

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Sorry for the guy/gal confusion. I didn't look at your sig. This really is a wonderful car. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but the Prius is a darn good bet. And if you don't have ice you probably don't need the VSC.
 

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Iris

Iris, In Sunday's L.A. Times Magazine Section there was a 3 page write up on the Prius. I believe it was the third paragraph in where the Times writer stated the car to be slow (I have no idea why he said that). The rest of the article was nothing but praise from owners.

I drove mine back from Stockton, Ca. to Orange County, over 350 miles. No sore rump, no fatigue from driving the long distance, nothing but a smoothe ride. It was hard to keep it under 75 mph. due to its' driving ease and power output. By no means is this car a "sleeper". This car will get you more speeding tickets than you'll know what to do with if you aren't careful.

I averaged 47.6 m.p.g. from Stockton to Orange County. I rarely drove under 65 m.p.h.

I drove my wife's Honda CRV yesterday. It seems very strange to drive a vehicle where the engine runs constantly. Remember, not only do you get good gas mileage while driving, you save on gas when stopped as the engine shuts off. :wink:
 

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Lots of good answers have been posted for you, Iris. Just remember that the dealership's "lottery" is not binding to you in any way--go drive the car like you would any other. If you like it, buy it. If you don't, simply walk away.
FYI, I went from a Subaru Legacy to my Prius and I feel that the Toyota is far superior in every way. I don't have VSC and drove all winter on snow-covered and icy mountain roads--no problem. During those colder months I averaged approximately 45 MPG; summer average is approaching 53 MPG. However, you would likely use your A/C a lot more than I do.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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I can relate to all the answers you got, Iris. Prius owners are a smart bunch, and here's your chance to be one of them! 8)

My own experience on the comfort has been excellent, but then I came from an old Toyota 4Runner - which is pretty spartan. But, I am a little surprised that my passengers always seem to comment on how comfortable the seats are, how roomy it is in the back, and especially how smooth the ride is.

I have seen the posts about some of these cars 'dying', and it concerns me too. But Consumer Reports puts Toyota at the top of the list of reliable cars, so I take comfort from that. The Prius' record overall is supposed to be pretty good.

As far as gas mileage goes - with the Prius you won't be disappointed unless you expect the EPA rating, which no car ever gets. The fancy foot work is mostly a fun game Prius owners play with their cars, I think, just to prove to themselves what a great car they have!
 
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