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Test drove a Toyota Prius

Discussion in 'Other Brands & Models' started by benw123, May 15, 2008.

  1. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [May 15, 2008]
    Test drove a Prius last week and wanted to share my thoughts. First some background though: I live in Herts and commute to Chiswick in West London every day. The train/tube combination is generally okay but expensive (£280 per month with a season ticket plus Oyster) and it takes well over an hour each way, too.

    I've driven it a few times in my Sportback now, to consider if it would work out buying a second car, and although the drive is quicker I quickly realised an auto would be much better with all the stop-start traffic. After lots of research into various fuel-efficient automatics, the Prius looked interesting; the fact that the engine stops when stationary seemed clever and the long-term magazine reviews spoke of brilliant fuel economy - in the city at least.

    So with Jeremy Clarkson's Top Gear review still in mind - he described people who would buy the Prius as "believing they could save the Tasmanian Fruit Bat" - I went along to have a look.

    Starting and moving off in the Prius is weird. There's a small, rectangular key that goes into a slot and you press a button marked "Power". No noise, nothing. The display says "Ready", you press on the brake pedal, flick the little stubby gearshift into "D", release the foot-operated parking brake plus the pedal and squeeze the throttle to go.

    If there's enough battery power, and you drive slowly enough, you stay on electric power but more likely, the engine starts silently and runs. It was impressive; the electric motor only works to 28mph but delivers about 295 lb/ft from zero rpm, so pick-up from standstill is swift although at faster speeds the Prius starts to struggle. There is a button which switches power solely to electric until the battery runs out, and when you brake or come off the accelerator, the electric motor becomes a generator to recharge the battery.

    The ride was stunning, miles better than my Sportback SE, and the overall quality inside and out was excellent. The T-Spirit model I drove was fully loaded with things like sat nav and bluetooth, plus a reversing camera and Intelligent Park Assist, which reverse-parks the car automatically. That'd be a laugh...

    Overall I was very impressed. For a second car, I would never have thought of a hybrid before but this is very much a surprise choice. The press haven't always been kind, and admittedly it does look a touch odd, but I discovered this week that the Prius topped the 2008 JD Power survey (and was joint top with the Lexus IS200 in 2007) so it must be good.

    Still thinking about it but definitely worth a look!
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  3. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [May 15, 2008]
    You need to check the actual canadian plant where they make the batteries, 20 mile radius nothing grows anymore, they compared a hummer to the prius on lifetime green issues, the hummer won by a mile, no **** because of the energy etc needed to make the prius & I'm a greener person for sure after S3 went & S4 so its not a petrolhead talking here, I swapped to 3door of your car, do a google & see for yourself.

    Definitely not worth a look!!!!
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  4. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [May 16, 2008]
    Fair comment but I'm not interested in it because it's supposed to be good for the environment; I'm interested because it'll be cheap to run. £15 road tax remember!
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  5. NHN
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    [May 17, 2008]
    lol, yeah so can how that would be rather attractive, but it does have a very weird shape huh, not sure if I could get my head round that to be honest when there are so many others on way out in near future that do look better.
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  6. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [May 17, 2008]
    Agree - hybrids will probably grow as manufacturers look to find ways of not feeling so guilty about plundering the earth's oil, regardless of whether they're harmful to the environment or not.

    And yes, it does look a little strange but they're not so bad when you get up close! The main thing is the quality and Toyota provide an 8-year hybrid powertrain warranty (3 years/60k for everything else) so the way it looks is less important.

    Having done some more research on this, I've got in touch with the dealer who offered the test drive and he's now locating one for me within a set budget. If this all works out, I'll post up some comparative thoughts between the Prius and my Sportback!
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  7. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [May 29, 2008]
    Well, I finally took the plunge and have put a deposit on an 06-plate Prius T-Spirit. This one has only done 18k, and came with the rare option of a leather interior too and got it for £14,600. Collect it on Saturday all being well.

    This is the ninth car I will have owned but the hardest to purchase! Thanks to the press coverage of "green" cars plus rising fuel prices, I chased up six Prius' before securing this one. Every time I called they were sold, and I was even ringing a dealer up in Dunfermline to find one. Madness.

    Anyway, looking forward to taking delivery, especially to compare it with our Sportback.
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  8. SteveTDCi
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    [May 31, 2008]
    so you have a pirus as a second car ? hmmm i've never seen them as a green car, not when they run on batteries. let us know how the 2 cars compare though, it should be interesting
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  9. g60jet
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    [May 31, 2008]
    The Pruis is an eco nightmare from what I've read. more toxins and stuff in that car than any normal car. you have to have then serviced at selected dealers, and the batteries cant be re-cycled very easily.

    Get prepared to drive with your hand on the horn cos no one can hear you coming and people will be stepping off the pavements in front of you.
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  10. benw123
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    [Jun 2, 2008]
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  11. KarenCaren
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    [Jun 5, 2009]
    How was it? Is it good? I think Prius is good for a hybrid but not good in your wallet. Prius are way too expensive.



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  12. HotboxDeluxe
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    [Jun 5, 2009]
    OP has possibly disappeared due to Prius turning him into a tofu-munching, Birkenstock-wearing, eco-lesbian :happy:

    Everyone knows that Prius drivers are singlehandedly saving the earth...apart from the absolute Earth-rape needed to build one. I think the battery gunk (ooh, listen to this scientist) is dug up in America, shipped to Canada for refining, then shipped to Japan. Producing just one of these cars makes something like 20,000 tons of Co2.

    I've nothing against the car itself, after all alternatives to need to be taken seriously for the future. The problem I have is the drivers are so sodding smug, I want to drive over them and their crappy hybrid thingy in a V8 monster truck :aggressive:
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