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Diary of a Code Trotter by Laurent Bugnion is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

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Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Diary of a Code Trotter

Since my wife stopped work, we've been thinking of selling both our cars (we have a Toyota Previa and a Toyota Yaris (big Toyota fans)) and getting a new one. The Yaris is too small for me and the Previa is too big for my wife, so we're looking for something in the middle.

So we're considering a Toyota Prius. It's a hybrid, with both a conventional engine and an electric one. Apparently it's quite popular amongst celebrities in the US, but that's not why we are thinking about it. I quite like the hybrid concept. Apparently it really good in Switzerland, where a lot of driving is done on relatively short distances. Of course the mileage is better than anything I've seen.

So anyway... does anyone of you guys have experience with a Prius? I'd love to hear about it.

For the records, our other possible choice is a Toyota Corolla Verso.

Posted on Friday, August 17, 2007 3:13 AM Personal , Technical stuff | Back to top

Comments on this post: Toyota Prius, someone?

# re: Toyota Prius, someone?
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The current 2nd gen Prius gets pretty good mileage, but the next gen, due in another year and a half, will get surprisingly better mileage, and be a plug-in hybrid. I'd wait if I were you, unless you can find a good deal on a used one.
Left by Lorin Thwaits on Aug 17, 2007 6:07 AM

# re: Toyota Prius, someone?
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I recently purchased a Prius and recommend it for these reasons. I get around 42 miles per gallon, which is about what my other friends who own a Prius get. The interior has more room inside of it than it seems from the outside. No claustrophobia here. You can get it with all the latest gadgets, such as bluetooth, GPS and satellite radio. The car does accelerate OK. If you saw the Penn and Gillette show "Bullsh*t" about how slow they accelerate, then you should also consider how those crackpots compared the Prius to a Corvette and a motorcycle! I pretty much stopped driving my Chevrolet Tahoe because of the gas savings and the ability to get in and out of tight situations with a smaller car.
Left by Jeff Jones on Aug 17, 2007 8:37 AM

# re: Toyota Prius, someone?
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I bought a 2003 Prius in October of 2002. The "Hybrid Synergy Drive" is used in 2004 and late models (and is also licensed by Toyota to other auto manufacturers). So I can't fully inform you about a new Prius. But I love mine. 44.8 MPG long-term - approaching 90,000 miles. But I drive like a geek. It will do 0 to 35 faster than about any car, but at quite an expense of gas. I play the game - I watch the built-in MPG meter, and use a feather touch on the accelerator. I also love the built-in navigation system. Comfortable, quiet. Turns heads, too. I plan on getting a new one soon. NOTE: plan on a very expensive battery replacement at 5 years or 100,000 miles. Best wishes.
Left by John Cell on Aug 17, 2007 4:25 PM

# re: Toyota Prius, someone?
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Wow, in Europe you have a huge choice of clean diesel motors and you want to get a hybrid? I don't think the intent of hybrids is bad but I think it is a bad implementation and ultimately Hybrids will not be a large part of the auto market. There are two different motors which is more complicated. There is a very large battery that will eventually need to be replaced. What is Toyota going to do about that environmental mess? These batteries are very large. I think about 200+ pounds and they intrude on the trunk space.

Honestly I think you are better off with a diesel car. They get great mileage and don't have some of the compromises of a hybrid. If I had the choice of cars that you have in Switzerland, I would not get a Prius. A friend of mine has a Prius. He likes it but I think that is mostly because he lives in California where he gets to used the HOV lane even when driving solo.
Left by Louis on Aug 17, 2007 5:09 PM

# re: Toyota Prius, someone?
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Nice comments, everyone, thanks. We just came back from a test drive with a Prius, and I really liked driving it. There's something eerie in using the electrical engine only in town, or hearing everything switch off when you wait at a red light, and switching on again automatically. I'll write more about the test drive soon.

We're still not sure about buying it, for various reasons, but the comments help a lot, so thanks!
Left by Laurent on Aug 17, 2007 11:32 PM

# re: Toyota Prius, someone?
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I love my Prius. I got it April 9, 2005 and it has been very good as a commuter car. I love the fact taht the engine doesn't run at all when I am sitting in a traffic jam (well, so long as I don't have the A/C running, and in Atlanta, GA that's at least five months out of the year). I get in the low to mid 40s for actual MPG; as Lorin pointed out, the plug-in hybrids will be out in 1-3 years and will get an estimated 100 MPG. And as Louis pointed out, you have clean diesels to consider as well. Lots of good "clean" cars out there- but make sure you get keyless entry and start. That's my favorite thing about my car. :)
Left by Steve on Aug 17, 2007 11:35 PM

# re: Toyota Prius, someone?
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Hi Laurent,

I currently drive a Suzuki Swift (1.5L auto) and I get around 38 - 42 MPG around Sydney, and it's a very nice small call considering it's still a 5 door hatch and looks pretty close to a Mini.

I did drive Prius from Avis when I was down in Melbourne last week and although it was OK I did notice that it really THUMPED over the speed bumps at the entrance to the car park at the Airport - I'd suspect that there is a lot of unsprung weight? i.e. the electric motor might have to be moving with wheel?

Anyway, have a very good test drive and make sure you do take it over some speed bumps?

Left by Dave Caddick on Aug 19, 2007 2:07 PM

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