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Old 01-26-2009, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
29,592 posts, read 71,626,462 times
Reputation: 36863

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I am very disappointed. I was very excited to see a Prius as an option when I rented a car last week. I was interested in the Prius and considered buying one.

Although I tried really hard. I really wanted to love this car, I hated it.

It was very uncomfortable for me to drive. I am pretty big (6'1" 210) and I had a very hard time getting in and out. I had to sit spread eagled to get my knees in. The car kind of pulsed at high speeds (70-80) on the freeway. It would make some people get seasick.

The doggone thing continually refused to go into reverse. It would go into neutral and then no matter how hard I pushed the brake or how many times I pushed the lever to reverse, it stayed in neutral. It would not go into drive either. It was locked in Neutral. I had to shut it down and restart it to get it to go into reverse. A dealer told me to open and close all the doors and that worked, but I was not about to do that every time I wanted to go into reverse. It did not happen every time, only about half of the time, usually when I was parked and then started the car and put it in reverse. Once it happened when I was just trying to back up to turn around. I do not know whether it was defective or not, but even if it was a defect, it show how susceptible these cars are to problems.

The reverse issue may have been caused by some safety feature. However I had my seat belt on and the doors closed and the brake pedal firmly depressed. I cannot imagine what safety feature made the car decide that I should nto back up. All this electronically controlled stuff with safety features designed with the idea that the car needs to be smarter than the driver, make a troublesome combination. If I decide to be an idiot, I do not want my car to tell me that I cannot. Usually there is a reason for it.

The ride is poor. Road noise is bad. Handling is poor. Acceleration was pretty good from a stop, but from about 30 to 80 it was bad.

THe controls are a mess. Nothing is located where you would expect it to be. I was constantly turning on the turn singal int he rain (trying to turn on the wipers). I had to read the manual to figure out how to park it and what the "b" on the shift pattern was for. The windscreen and rear widow do not alow a very good view.

I found the back up cameral to be totally useless. It is better to trun and look with my eyes. I could not look behind me and look at the video screen and relying on the video screen with a fish eye lens is a bad choice. It was somewhat helpful when paking down a very narrow driveway. I could check it occaisionally to make certain the the car was lined up properly with the drive. Otherwise ti was not useful.

I was sitting in a parallel parking space making telephone calls when the battery got low and the engine kicked in. Suddenly the car started moving forward. It was in park but it just started rolling when it switched from battery to engine. Lukily I hit the brake before it hit the car in front of me.


On the positive side - mileage was awesome. According to the computer I was averaging 49.9 mpg and I mostly drove it on the freeway at around 75 - 80 mph. head room is very good, especially compared to some of the other cars that I rented recnetly. Back seat space is really good. They are real seats that can hold a small adult comfortably, rather than the psuedo seats that most smaller cars seem to have. Trunk (Hatch) space is also pretty good. Not as good as some other economy cars, but pretty good.

I found the other controls generally not intuitive and mostly difficult to operate. I spent a lot of time with the manual and still di dnto figure everything out. I was annoyed with some aspect of the car the entire time that i had it.

This might be a fine car for a smaller person who wants to spend five or six hours going over the manual before driving it.

Overall however, it was a terrible driving experience. Neat engine system, but the car just does not seem to be adquately developed yet. I never want to drive one again and I certianly would not buy one. Maybe the Honda is better. The ford Fusion is supposed to be a nice hybrid with better ileage if it ever comes out.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,163 posts, read 25,213,542 times
Reputation: 10428
I have an '08 Prius and have none of the problems you had. I find it comfortable, quiet, and intuitive. I've never had it much over 70 mph, but then I don't want a ticket either.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Incognito
7,005 posts, read 19,925,068 times
Reputation: 5490
I am 6'3, 310lbs, I drove one and it felt very nice and I too didn't find any of the problems you had.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
15,805 posts, read 50,849,348 times
Reputation: 15570
The Prius is IMHO built for people who don't really like cars, but have to have one. They are capable of very good in-town mileage but not that much better than a straight-gas car on the highway. It's heavier than you might think and I have heard they are hard on tires, needing new ones about every 40K or so. Of course your mileage may vary.

For roughly the same money you can get a Lotus Elise, which is a riot to drive, MPG in the 30's unless you are really cutting up.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:05 PM
 
3,743 posts, read 12,441,724 times
Reputation: 2766
The Prius is a pain to drive - ungainly, numb steering, bad handling, poor seat support, and it looks homely. The car feels tenuous in a crosswind at speed, or passing (or getting passed by) a truck. If I were looking to buy a hybrid today I'd be looking at the Honda Insight - Honda builds cars that drive much better than Toyotas.


Last edited by Sayantsi; 01-26-2009 at 02:25 PM..
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:13 PM
 
28,736 posts, read 43,772,690 times
Reputation: 37724
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
The Prius is IMHO built for people who don't really like cars, but have to have one. They are capable of very good in-town mileage but not that much better than a straight-gas car on the highway. It's heavier than you might think and I have heard they are hard on tires, needing new ones about every 40K or so. Of course your mileage may vary.

For roughly the same money you can get a Lotus Elise, which is a riot to drive, MPG in the 30's unless you are really cutting up.
??

2009 Lotus Elise Base Price$46,270-$55,425 (est)Vehicle Typemid-engine roadster
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
20,870 posts, read 20,763,201 times
Reputation: 18759
I know of 6 people who own prius's and they all love them and would buy one again if they had too.

And how can you compare a 2 seat roadster with a family car and at twice the price too.?
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:43 PM
 
10,838 posts, read 19,793,981 times
Reputation: 10416
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
The Prius is IMHO built for people who don't really like cars, but have to have one.
I don't think a truer statement was ever uttered, no real car guy (or girl) could by a Prius (or any hybrid) and maintain their self respect. They're for people that just need a car or want to make the "I'm green and I'm helping the environment" statement.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
9,529 posts, read 29,109,442 times
Reputation: 11452
Very interesting "critique," Coldjensens.

Even more interesting mainly because my experiences with the Prius have been very similar. The good gasoline mileage aside, far too many weird quirks. Contrary to other posts, my friends with a Prius would all love to "dump and never again," especially since the price of gasoline has dropped substantially.

One quirk that was super annoying to me was the constant engine starting and stopping, mainly during city driving. In addition to being annoying, I cannot help but be concerned over the long term negative effects this feature will have on the engine.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Southern California Mountains
563 posts, read 1,334,134 times
Reputation: 456
"I had to sit spread eagled to get my knees in."
"The ride is poor."
"Road noise is bad."
"Handling is poor."
"I was averaging 49.9 mpg."
"Feels tenuous in a crosswind at speed, or passing (or getting passed by) a truck."
"I'm green and I'm helping the environment."

You could have been describing my 28-year-old VW Rabbit Diesel!
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