Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
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.
Pros: Environmental friendly, Extremely low CO2 emissions, High MPG, Tax credit
Cons: Low to ground
Advice: Buy it, it is everything that it claims to be. . . You'll LOVE it!I waited a month for my red Prius to arrive from Japan and I'm thrilled to hear that in 2007 they will begin manufacturing this car in KY. I love everything about this car, but I purchased the car primarily because it produces very little CO2 emissions and it has great MPG. I have owned the car for six months now and usually get highway MPG in the high 40's to low 50's. My experience was to get 49-52 MPG in late summer and fall, but 42-44 MPG in the winter. Now at winter's end, I've been averaging 47-48 MPG. In the city, it averages higher MPG. Traveling at high speeds on the interstate, it averages 45-46 MPG. The car is extremely quiet and provides a very smooth ride for driver and passenger. The car is roomy and very comfortable. Another huge plus is the auxiliary jack that allows my ipod to play and the rear back up camera. A really convenient feature is the smart key system that allows me to leave the key in my purse, but sensing the key is present, the car allows my entry and permits me to push the power button. I also find the display screen very easy to use when adjusting audio or climate controls. Owning this car has actually made it fun to drive again and something to look forward to whenever daily travel is needed. There are three things that I would change about the car's design, if I could. 1) I would like the car to be a little higher. It picked up a stick underneath the car once, when traveling up someone's driveway. 2) I would appreciate having a mute button on the steering wheel as another option to control the audio volume. 3) I would like to see the car doors automatically lock when I place the car in reverse. Another added bonus about the 2006 Prius was the $3,150 tax credit offered.
Pros: Regenerative Braking
Cons: The overall cost and the perceived lack of supply. (I was able to get mine off the lot, however)
Advice: Realize you are making an investment in a green vehicle..consider owning 10 years.I have looked at the Prius models for several years and was not convinced to make the purchase until the 2007 Touring Edition made its debut. My primary motivation to fork over hard earned cash was based on the styling and comfort and well as the mature THS or Total Hybrid System now a part of this model. This model will be what Toyota will base future models from. The car gets lots of looks, even more so from other Prius owners. There is no mistaking that it's slightly longer, has a larger deck spoiler and you can feel the difference with the European Tuned Suspension. I purchased a top of the line model with all of the bells and whistles. I traded in a 2006 Jeep Wrangler at time of purchase. Also, the Prius can be hacked and I am interested in adding solar panels and more storage batteries to mine for extended electric driving.
Pros: Synergy system
Cons: No height-adjustable seats.
Advice: Buy oneI bought the Prius because of the (1) mileage, and (2) the environmental impact. After putting 4000+ miles on it, I find it's a great car in many other ways. The Prius is fun to drive, very comfortable, spacious, and filled with high-tech feature, which I enjoy, being a Tech-Head. The fit and finish are first-rate, as I espect from Toyota. My gasoline bill for the last three months had dropped about $250, over what I was paying for the Volvo XC70, which sits forlornly neglected (until ski season, that it). Some minuses: the ride is a bit soft for me, the speedo display and clock are very dim and hard to read, and the JBL sound system is a bit whimpy, for the cost. Other than that, the Prius is what I wanted in a car.