Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

A bunch of questions - Page 12

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Posted by Cathy F. on July 8, 2006, 1:52 pm

I explained why I keep them for ~6 years in another post.  1) I can drive
them for 2 - 3 years loan-free, and  2) at 6 years they've hit the point
where I need to either sell them & get a decent price to put toward my the
down-payment of my next car, or else keep it & run it into the ground.  It's
the point before the resale/trade-in price is going to really start to drop

Plus - I don't know where you live, but I'm in the NE, & body rust and its
upkeep tends to become a problem after that. The car may run well, but the
body starts to need constant attention.


Recent cars:

Posted by =?iso-8859-1?Q?mark=5Fdigital= on July 8, 2006, 8:00 am

Good luck. Bye.

Posted by MFH on July 7, 2006, 12:42 pm

either you are zero emisions or you arn't, the back up beep can be turned
off, I have an 06, the 07 will have an updated nav software package,
distronic parking, height adjustment for the front seats, 16 " wheels but no
one knows when, it's already in circulation in the eu, australia, etc.
it's more fun to drive than my A4 avant with sport package, get's twice the
mpg, has understeer, which means on a dirt road when you turn for a corner
the front end turns in, it's great, most cars have oversteer, you turn and
they don't, handels very well, has lots of pep and is going up in value
every day.

Posted by mrv@kluge.net on July 7, 2006, 3:06 pm

MFH wrote:

the 2006 already has an updated display and nav software, there'll be
another update?

the 2004-current Prius has always had 16" wheels outside of North
America, while the North American version has had 15" wheels.  The
Prius outside of North America have always had 4 wheel disc brakes, but
that's never made it to the North American model either.  Then again,
outside of North America they've never gotten our bladder fuel tank or
the CHHS from the current Prius (thermos for coolant)...

The only guess I could make is that perhaps the IPA (Integrated Parking
Assist) may eventually make it to North America.  It was an option on
the 2004 Prius in Japan, and has just been made available as an option
on the 2006 Prius in Europe/UK...

Posted by mrv@kluge.net on July 7, 2006, 2:34 pm

Cathy F. wrote:

Note that the Prius tends to hold its value much better than a
conventional car...  (For a while used Prius were selling for more than

2005 was about the same as the 2004.

2006 had several changed since 2005.  Besides what's below, some colors
were removed, and there is now some "hybrid" badges on the side of the
car. Quoting from a Toyota USA dealer memo dated Nov. 4, 2005:

The Prius receives updated front headlamps and rear taillamps, and a
new front spoiler. A chrome finish is applied to the front
grille~@~Ys center bar, and freshened rear combination lamp is
added to enhance its appearance.

In addition, four new exterior colors update the color palette:
~@ Classic Silver Metallic
~@ Barcelona Red Metallic
~@ Silver Pine Mica
~@ Magnetic Gray (available May 2006)

On the inside, the instrument panel receives a new black organic
textured grain in place of the burgundy or brown colors available last
year. The rear seat bottom cushion has been lowered slightly for better
head clearance and enhanced riding comfort. Also new for 2006 are the
luxurious options of Leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel,
available in both Gray and Bisque, and a Rear Backup Camera to help the
driver see objects behind the vehicle when in reverse.

The standard audio system is AM/FM CD with 6 speakers. An optional
mid-grade audio also includes MP3/WMA playback capability and an
auxiliary audio input miniplug. The optional JBL audio features several
updates for 2006:
~@ JBL AM/FM 6-disc CD changer with 9 speakers in 7
locations (cassette
deck is no longer available)
~@ MP3/WMA playback capability and an auxiliary audio inp=
miniplug in
the center console
~@ Hands-free phone capability via Bluetooth wireless

The optional voice-activated DVD GPS (Global Positioning System)
Navigation system is the most sophisticated yet. It offers increased
map quality, over 32,000 colors, an ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival)
display, a route tracer function, voice recognition street address
search functions that allow you to enter a destination while driving,
and can now be set to operate in English, French, or Spanish languages.

In addition to standard ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution
(EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Traction Control (TRAC), several safety
features are now standard equipment:
~@ A Tire Pressure Monitoring System directly measures the
pressure of each tire with a sensor and signals the driver in the event
of a drop in tire pressure
~@ Standard Driver and Front Passenger Advanced Airbags
(SRS) now feature a passenger occupant classification sensor that
determines not only whether the seat is occupied, but also whether an
occupant meets the weight requirement for airbag deployment. The
passenger front airbags are deployed only when the sensor detects an
adult passenger in the front seat.

The complimentary roadside assistance program has been discontinued for
the 2006 Prius.

Toyota's not saying.  (The last time they did that (announce the 2004
redesigned Prius in spring of 2003), people stopped buying the older
2003 Prius and just waited for the new one to come out...  People who
bought 2003s were treated to bargain prices as they were sitting on

Prius in North America have auto-off headlights.  Turn on your
headlights.  as long as you shut your car off AND open the driver's
door, the headlights automatically go out.  Start the car again and the
headlights come back on.


The US Federal hybrid vehicle income tax deduction is beginning to
phase out for purchases of hybrid Toyota/Lexus/Scion vehicles.  Q1-Q3
2006 sales (through Sept. 30, 2006) get $150, Q4 2006 and Q1 2007 get
$5.75, Q2-Q3 2007 get $87.50, and sales from Oct. 1, 2007 (start of
Q4 2007) get $ credit.

The Prius has been in monthly allotments since late 2002.  That doesn't
mean that there dealer trades haven't been done, even with the long
wait times - you just need to find a dealer (or more specifically a
salesperson) that is willing to do the work to get you the car that you
want.  (My dealer would trade with another dealership based on the
allotment off of the boat, before it was loaded onto the truck.)

Depending on your flexibility and the color/option package that you
want, and the dealer you choose, you could walk off the lot with a car,
or you could be waiting a few months.

Check the archives for the monthly sales figures.  Prius sales are
still down compared to last year, since production is down thanks to
parts being diverted for the hybrid Camry production (and not because
of waning interest!).  Prius is now being built in 2 plants in Japan.

Well, I haven't heard as many people complaining about the "market
availability" premium/markup of $000 - $000 that some dealers were
putting on the Prius because it's in such demand.  I do still hear of
dealers forcing accessory packages and dealer profit items (like
"fabric treatment/paint protection" or "upgraded wheels") onto buyers.
There's little wiggle room down from MSRP.

Currently in the US the Prius comes with:
Goodyear Integrity (Standard Load)
P185/65 R15
Treadwear 460
Traction A
Temperature B
44psi max. cold pressure

My husband thought that they were fine for their first MA winter, but
the 2nd winter was brutal.  3rd winter we switched to Nokian A.W.P.2 WR
tires (the only all-season tire that is also rated as a snow tire
(snowflake on mountain symbol on it)).  We'll be switching to them
full-time shortly, as the Integritys are about worn.

Some people hate the Integrity model so badly that they don't leave the
dealership without new tires put on it...

The reverse beeper is only heard on the INSIDE.  Even with windows
open, you pretty much have to be right at the car window to hear it.
It is there to remind the driver that you are in reverse (gear shift
joystick returns to a central position), along with the blinking box
around the "R" on the PRNDB display.  Yes, it'd be far too noisy, and
ineffective (small children may go towards the beep, animals and
objects and often most inattentive people will just ignore it), if the
beep was on the outside.  On North American Prius there is a procedure
that you can do to disable the reverse beep if you don't like it.
Outside of North America the procedure doesn't work (a wire to cut has
been identified to get rid of the beep, but no one has been daring
enough to try it).

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