Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Bought 2010 Prius, not Insight or Jetta TDI

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Posted by Bob & Holly Wilson on June 2, 2009, 10:00 am
We picked up our Prius III four days ago and I wanted to share our
preliminary results from the car as driven off the dealer's lot:

• 50 mph - 67 MPG
• 60 mph - 62 MPG
• 65 mph - 55 MPG
• 70 mph - 53 MPG
• 75 mph - 49 MPG
• 80 mph - 39 MPG (*)

Test protocol: two runs in opposite directions averaged, temp: 82-84F,
wind 15-20 mph steady; speed cruise control maintained and GPS
validated; distance: 7-15 miles per run; mileage trip meter reset after
GPS validated speed. (*) Temp: 62F, wind 15 mph steady, defroster on by

I also ran a series of hill climb tests to compare with our 2,700 lb,
2003 Prius versus the 3,000 lb. 2010 Prius:

• 55 mph - .0725 gal. (2003 Prius, 2,700 lbs, straight gas)
• 55 mph - .0675 gal. (2010 Prius, 3,040 lbs. E10)

The 2010 has at least 6.9% better performance. This also shows up as
extra power when climbing a hill:

60-65 mph - gas-only 2003 Prius hill climb speed
80-85 mph - gas-only 2010 Prius hill climb speed

The gas-only climb speed is how fast a hybrid goes up a 6% grade hill
without drawing on traction battery power. I've climbed this 6% grade
hill at 80 mph in my 2003 Prius only to deplete the traction battery at
the 525 ft. crest. In contrast, the 2010 Prius will continue up at 80
mph until the gas runs out. But I got this car to replace our oldest,
2001 Echo.

My wife loves her new, 2010 Prius because compared to the Echo and my
2003 Prius; it is quieter; has more power; more room; more comfortable
seats and ride; and burns less gas. Her 2010 Prius handles the road
better than the Echo and 2003 Prius with significantly improved safety
from the frame and air bags. Happily, my wife's 2001 Echo sold after
nine years with 29,500 miles. In three and a half years, I've put 70,000
miles on our 2003 Prius getting just over 52 MPG and I'll continue to
drive it "until the wheels fall off."

I tested the new Honda Insight and hit my head on the door jam. After
adjusting the seat, it felt like a coffin with my head barely clearing
the roof. Worse, the instruments had to be viewed through the steering
wheel and folding down the seats, the interior looked more like a
homeless cardboard box so driving was out of the question.

We've heard a lot about the Jetta TDI but the automatic Jetta TDI does
not get better than our 2001 automatic Echo. Worse, VW brags about their
engine noise!

So we voted with our dollars, $4,250, and after four days, are very
happy. Our 32 MPG, low mileage Echo went to a family of five for $,000
and replaced their 22 MPG pickup. Everyone has moved up and the Honda
Insight and Jetta TDI remain on the sales lot.

Bob Wilson

Posted by Randy Gabelung on June 2, 2009, 11:37 pm

What state are you in Bob?  Which options did you purchase?

Posted by Bob & Holly Wilson on June 5, 2009, 12:05 am
. . .

Huntsville, Alabama.

I got a Prius III with the nicer radio.

Bob Wilson

Posted by Was Istoben on June 5, 2009, 3:23 am

Great!  I'm looking forward to more of your reports.

Posted by Tomes on June 4, 2009, 2:16 am
 Nice post, thanks.

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