Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Initial impressions - Page 5

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Posted by Paul Missman on September 18, 2005, 10:16 pm
 

I've had more time with the Prius now, so I have a few more comments.

(This is a 2005. package 4 Prius.)

The stereo is excellent.  I've played all sorts of music on it now, and it
has handled it all well.  My guess is that they designed the doors
specifically to match the charicteristics of the bass drivers.  The upper
range speakers have separate enclosures, at about ear level, just to the
driver's left and passenger's right.  There may be separate power amps for
the low and high range speakers, since, when the bass is pushed hard, the
treble doesn't seem to get any distortion.

I've been getting a bit over 45 MPG on mostly highway driving.  I love the
fact that it runs on regular unleaded gas.

I haven't changed the tire pressure, and I doubt that I will.  I've done
some pretty good cornering.  The tires do not lose traction, and I'm
satisfied with the gas milage.

I put the door unlocking system in mode 2, so that it unlocks all of the
doors at the same time.

I like the idea that there is no power steering fluid to leak, since the
steering is electric.

I found the free tie down straps in a bag in the lower luggage compartment.
I had thought that these were an extra cost item.

It accelerates fast enough for me, and seems quick enough to get out of the
way in most emergency situations.  I believe that thanks for this goes to
the torque provided by the electric motors.  The overall power curve is very
smooth, and you can get power on demand at any speed.

The forward visability is great.  It alsmost feels like I'm in my Piper
Tomahawk, and that if I just pulled back on the wheel, the Prius would do a
smooth takeoff from the roadway.

Despite having fixed lumbar support, the seats are very comfortable for me.

One thing I haven't been able to determine from looking at the owner's
manual or under the hood:  Does the Prius have a 14 volt alternator to
recharge the 12 volt battery, or do they have some sort of isolated recharge
circuit from the 500 volt system to keep it charged?

The internal esthetics of the car are almost flawless and cohesive.  The
symetrical layout of the passenger's  and driver's side dashboard makes for
a great look and feel.  Everything feels like it is exactly where it should
be.  The only exception, as noted by another owner, is that is is
inconvienient to have the cruise control rotate with the wheel.  If it would
stay put, like the headlight and wiper controls, it would be both more
available and out of harms way.

I really do love the car.  It is an exceptionally well thought out,
futuristic design, that is both comfortable and functional.  Its reduction
of wear-prone moving parts should improve the reliability over most other
hybrid and non-hybrid automobiles.  The design team at Toyota really did a
great job on this car.

Paul

P.S.  I don't really mean to sound like a salesman for the Prius.  However,
Toyota has done such a good design job, that it is difficult to find much to
criticise.

The one thing that could use serious work is the owner's manual.
Information that should be in one place is scattered throughout the manual.
If they had taken a more systematic approach, it would be easier to find
what you are looking for, and to determine what is missing entirely.




Posted by Michelle Steiner on September 18, 2005, 10:32 pm
 


That strap is to tie down a full-size tire if you have to put on the
spare.  A full-size tire will not fit in the well that the spare is in.

--
Stop Mad Cowboy Disease:  Impeach the son of a Bush.

Posted by Jean B. on September 19, 2005, 12:03 am
 Paul Missman wrote:
[snip]

I have to chuckle at this, because, coming from my VW manual,
I think the one for the Prius is great.  The VW manual--for my
car anyway--is LOTS of separate little booklets, and it is a
real pain to look anything up.  At least there is manual for
the Prius (in addition to the quick start one and other little
one).

--
Jean B.

Posted by Calidous on September 19, 2005, 1:19 am
 

Living in western MN where wind is a significant mileage factor, I've been
wishing it had an airspeed indicator.  :-)



Posted by dbs__usenet on September 20, 2005, 12:45 am
 
That was one of my key learnings too.  The cruise control uses very
gentle changes to the acceleration, so it keeps the ICE off longer.
When I'm on a long, straight thoroughfare at 25 or higher I set the
cruise and marvel at the milage.

My wife, on the other hand, blips the throttle when the speed falls,
kicking in the ICE much more frequently.  Her milage (when I'm sick,
for instance) is always significantly lower than mine.

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