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Good fuel economy but overall value?
Pros: Reliable, gas consumption, cargo capacity
Cons: Cost-initial nad disappointg trade-in1) The advtg of good fuel economy 45 mpg over 38500 over 3.25 yrs, mostly hwy miles, is lost taking into consideration 2) the initial price being 2000$ more than a conventional engine (non-hybrid) comparable Honda or Toyota car and 3) ins rate is higher for the Prius (State Farm, rural area, 65 yr old owner w excellent driving record) than for a new Subaru Forester 4) The Priu was reliable excpt for needing a new 12 V (not the 4,000$ or so hybrid battery) battery within a yr of purchase. 5) Resale value was utterly disappointing. Thanks to moderate gas price and Toyota's tarnished reputn, I got NOT A SINGLE offer after having advtd on cars.com for 4 months. The dealer's trade-in was also disappointingly low. Summary: My experience over 3.25 yrs of ownership shows there are better values than a Prius. Consumers Reports calculates that it'd take 8 yrs of use @15,000 miles per yr w gas at current prices, to recover the higher purch price. I'm a tree lover but not at this cost.
Pros: Smart key entry
Cons: VERY HIGH EMF
Advice: Beware of the high EMF if you have kids.The test drive was great. We fell in love w/ this car. My husband and I did research on the internet for safety and reliablity and everything seem to come back great. We purchased this vehicle July 2, 07. However after buy and reading the owner manual about the high voltage cable under the left rear passanger and driver seat we wonder about EMF. After some research and digging around we decided to test our car where my newborn sits. The backseat is over 24 mG (not sure the actual since that is as high as it will go) 2 - 3 MG is considered safe for kids. I asked Toyota to shield the car and they declined to do so. And stated the car is safe since it has been on the road for 10 years. Cancers and leukemia can take longer then 10 years to show. They would not tell me what they consider safe for EMF and children. I'm very disappointed since other manufactures have been willing to to shield vehicles if
Pros: Synergy drive system and wireless key
Cons: Running into rabbits that dart in front of you - bat's them off the road - low to the ground!
Advice: Everyone who experiences the driving wants one - just buy it!I liked the tight feel of the steering and smoothness of the engine and electric motor quickly going to speed when getting on the freeway. The view from the large front window, the speedometer in easy view and the KEY in my pocket with a start button was all it took to say yes, this is the car for me.
Pros: Love keeping the key in your pocket to open, lock, and start the car.
Cons: Seat does not have good lumbar support.
Advice: It's a definite buy.This is the best car I have ever owned. The computed MPG may overestimate the mileage by 10%, but I probably have had as many cases of it underestimating as overestimating when I compare the computed with my own calculated mileage from the pump. I average 42-45 around town. I've gotten 50 on the highway, but only when traveling 60 mph. On some Interstates, the speed limit is 80mph (west Texas) and the MPG drops off dramatically, especially if the car is loaded. A full car at 80mph might only get 35 mpg. I got a fully loaded car with the road noise undercoating. The undercoating makes a big difference and it is by far the quietest car I have ever driven. We have driven the car 11000 miles in the first 3 months and are very pleased. It is a good car for traveling long distances with two people. It's a little tight with three or more (if you have a lot of luggage).
Cons: promised gas mileage
Advice: DO NOT BUY THIS VEHICLE UNLESS YOU ENJOY BEING SCAMMEDDO NOT BUY THIS CAR!! This is a scam from start to finish - all carefully orchestrated by Toyota feeding off of misleading EPA numbers. The car gets nowhere NEAR the promised mileage, the dash consumption screen overestimates - by Toyota's own admission, actual mileage by 25% - call them and press them - they will tell you. Car gets TOPS in winter actual 32 MPG - even though the dash screen reads in the 40s, and EPA says 61. What a joke!!! The sales people at Toyota will crow all about wonderful mileage, but the service people know best - this car is a scam. I can't believe there has not been a consumer revolt! Once you buy the car, you will be told - it gets only half its mileage potential in the winter, it does not get better mileage in cities, it gets poor mileage over hills.
Pros: Hybrid Synergy Drive, Partial Zero Emission, safety
Cons: Would have liked a lower price
Advice: Check window-sticker info for specific cars at specific dealerships on-line at Toyota.com and seek discounts from MSRP through dealerships and car-referral web sites like autoweb.com, cars.comAs a satisfied owner of one Toyota, a peppy, manual-transmission 2000 Toyota Echo despite the 1.5L engine with 99K miles, I really didn't need a replacement. Reliability is important to me. The only mechanical problems I had with the Echo were a loose fan belt (replaced) and what appears to be a wearing left wheel bearing. The mileage was close to the EPA's 35/41 with low 30s in cityand low 40s on highway (at 60-65 mph). My husband's 1998 Toyota Corolla runs quietly without problems. In December my old high school buddy visited me in her Prius, and we cruised around North Florida Gulf Coast roads with a car that sipped gasoline and was almost silent. In February I started price shopping academically. I found myself in a price war between dealers, and I sweetly surrendered on Valentine's Day to a Prius with extra options like Package 2 and Toyoguard and the preferred color (white) $2K below MSRP at $23K. That price is more than I would have paid for a fully gas-powerd car, but in line with those for the Camry or Accord. Most features come standard like CD stereo, AC, alloy wheels, power brakes and steering, color LCD screen, cruise control, 60-40 folding back seat, console with compartments, and more. What attracted me to the Prius was the satisfaction of driving a partial zero-emission vehicle and the hybrid synergy drive. I was not prepared for the high-tech features: the color LCD screen with an energy diagram that shows where it is made (brakes, electric motor, engine) and directed discreetly by the computer. The consumption screen graphs MPG over time with a bar graph for current MPG. Automatic climate controls and audio have touch-screen settings. The additionl safety features were the main attraction: side curtain airbags, automatic braking control, and vehicle stability control (in package 2). The light-sensitive, fisheye backup TV camera is included from Package 1 up, which comes in every car I looked at. Each package has the features of the one below plus more. Package 2 adds the Smart Key, which means never having to pull out the black fob with Toyota logo and being able to wave a hand around the car like a magician to make the front and rear overhead lights go on (great effect at night) and the car door unlock to the touch. The car handles nicely, like a heavy Echo (almost 3K pounds). Despite only a 1.5L engine and automatic transmission, start ups are peppy. I'm not getting the EPA ratings of 60/51. Stop-go in the city yields almost 44 mpg so far--still, one-third better than the Echo, double for most cars that size. A/C doesn't noticeably affect gas mileage or noise. I'm pleased to see a 100K-mile/8-year warranty on the NiMH battery for the electric motor. The interior is quite roomy with five seat belts. There are four doors and a hatchback. Now I need to sell the 2000 Echo. Toyota.com has a handy feature. You can look up the inventory at each dealership by ZIP and see window-sticker-like information on each car including VIN and prices. The competitive dealerships will offer an 'Internet discount' from MSRP if you contact them because Toyota has increased production 70 per cent in 2007 to 175K cars and has at least 300 in stock at every dealership I checked. There are car-referral services like autoweb.com and cars.com that will put you in touch with a discounting dealer.