Go Back   Club Lexus Forums > General Forums > Car Chat
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?

Review: 2006 Toyota Prius

Reply
 
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-19-06, 06:34 PM   #1
mmarshall
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (0)
 
mmarshall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 50,349
Default Review: 2006 Toyota Prius

http://www.toyota.com/prius/index.ht...TN_PRIUS_INDEX

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.





In a Nutshell: Great mileage, clean emissions, smooth ride, but Geeky,
overstyled, complex, wierd controls, and an unconventional driving feel.


Well, guys.....sooner or later I had to get around to reviewing this car.
With regular gas at $3 a gallon in many areas and automotive emissions
becoming a greater concern ( even with today's low-pollution cars )
as our cities become more and more traffic-choked, not only has it become
in general the " green " symbol of the auto industry, but environmentalists,
college professors, and the Hollywood elite have also embraced it in droves
as well. The non-enthusiast portion of the automotive press has glamorized
this car like almost nothing else in recent memory.....never mind the fact
that Honda beat Toyota to the U.S market ( in 2000 ) with hybrids by almost
8 months.

And, while I, for one, could care less about a car's " image "
( I have written much about this in various CL posts ) there is no denying
not only the social appeal of this car but the tax benefits and HOV lane
priviledges this car can qualify for a well, depending on the varying state
laws. There are definitely reasons for buying this car, but there are also
reasons for choosing something else...as we will shortly see. Not only is the
car complex and rather expensive, even without dealer markups, for its size
compared to conventional cars ( although Toyota and Honda both say they lose money on hybrids ) but I found it quite unpleasant to drive except for the outstanding ride quality and the front-seat room. Modern Volkswagen compact diesels ( discontinued for 2007 but returning in 2008 to take advantage of the new low-sulfur diesel fuel here ) offer basically the same fuel mileage as hybrids but with far less complexity, lower production costs, and fewer dealer mark-ups....but admittedly even the low emissions of a modern automotive diesel cannot match the ultra-clean exhaust of the Prius. With a Prius, unless something is way out of line, you will NOT fail an emissions test....and you will pass a lot of fuel pumps just like a diesel will.

Toyota, after about 18 months or so of selling the first-generation Prius in
the home Japanese market with right-hand drive. decided to export a left-hand drive version of it to the U.S.by late 2000 in response to Honda's marketing of the 2-seat Hybrid Insight starting in January of that year. ( I was lucky enough to get a test-drive of an Insight soon after introduction that year but I did not find it very impressive......it was pretty much a toy ). The Prius, in contrast, despite its small size, had four doors and a usable if small back seat....but unlike the Insight and later Civic Hybrid, the first-gen Prius had unconventional and needlessly geeky controls. The new Prius, in that area, IMO is even worse, as I will shortly describe.

First-generation Priuses, in contrast to Honda Hybrids, generally did not
carry much if any of a dealer markup, as the supply-and-demand situation at
that time was more critical for the Honda products. Then, with the second-gen Prius, the roles were reversed....the press suddenly glamorized the new Prius, sales shot up ( at the expense of the Civic Hybrid, of course ), and Toyota shops, of course, started to profiteer from it. Keep in mind that it was the dealers making the money with markups, not Toyota. To this day, Toyota still claims they lose money at the corporate level on every Prius sold, even with fully-optioned ones going for a factory list of almost $30,000. Honda, selling its chief competitor, the Civic Hybrid, claims likewise.

Now, however, the factory has decided to rein in the dealerships a little. Upon noticing today that the few Priuses that were available did NOT have second stickers or ADM ( Additional Dealer Markup ) price-gouging, I asked why. The dealership said that Toyota told them that if the markups did not stop, the invoice prices of the cars ( the price the factory charges the dealership ) would go up while the list would stay the same, making it more difficult for the dealerships to make money, gouging or no gouging. There was also a hint, not expressly stated, that the dealer franchises could be pulled. Scions, already available at many Toyota shops,fortunately already sell for list only, Saturn-style...they WILL lose their franchises if they try to mark up Scions.

(flipside909...you're our expert on Toyota / Lexus marketing.....There's a issue
you might want to look into ).


There is also no denying the fact that high gas prices have strongly pushed up the sales of these cars, even aside from the glamorization of the press, as many people decide they no longer need a gas-guzzling Suburban or a rubber-laying GTO to get them from point A to point B. The chief way of convincing some people, of course, is through their wallets...but it must be said again, as I've said before, that although these cars are true gas misers, they still are not particularly cost-efficient. The difference in price between the average Prius and the average conventional Toyota or Scion compact / subcompact will buy a LOT of gasoline. It also must be kept in mind that those other Toyota / Scion small and entry-level cars are not gas hogs either....they get outstanding mileage too, though admittedly not as good as a Prius....and their emissions are not quite as low. The Prius is EPA-rated at 51 highway, 60 city.( Hybrids often do better in the city because the electric motor usually assists more in stop-and-go driving ). In this area, though, most owners are reporting 45-50 MPG, with an average of 47-48, still nothing to complain about.

Anyhow, after a long examination inside and out, lot of fidgeting with the complex and unconventional controls, and a fairly thorough test-drive, here are my opinions of this quite unique and polarizing car. In many ways I found it much like the French Renaults and Peugeots that were sold here until the 1980's...smooth-riding and comfortable, but with maddening controls and layouts. Unlike those trouble-ridden cars, however, this car holds the promise, already confirmed in Consumer Reports, of Toyota reliability, although the question remains of what will be done with the big battery packs when they finally wear out and how they will be recycled.








Model Reviewed: 2006 Toyota Prius ( 2007's not yet available )

Base Price: $21,725

Major Options:

Option Combination C: $5730

Cargo Net $49

Delivery, Processing, and Handling: $580

List Price as Reviewed: $28,084


Exterior Color: Super White

Interior: Dark Gray fabric.


Drivetrain:
FWD, In-line gasoline VVT-i 4, 76 HP @ 5000 RPM, 82 ft.-lbs. torque @
4200 RPM.
Permanent-magnet AC electric motor, 67 HP @ 1200-1540 RPM,
295 ft-lbs. of torque @ 0-1200 RPM.
Electronically-controlled CVT Transmission.



PLUSSES:

Treats $3 a gallon gas like it really is $3 a gallon.

Has notoriety and is owned and driven by many celebrities.

Tax and HOV benefits depending on the state.

Very low depreciation.

8/80,000 warranty on battery pack......longer in some states.

No longer selling for markups at some dealerships.

Well-above-average reliability confirmed by Consumer Reports.

S-M-O-O-T-H, pleasant ride with good noise isolation.....an increasing rarity
in today's cars.

Smooth, seamless CVT transmission.

Good legroom front and rear.

Typical Toyota / Lexus first-rate paint-job.

Somewhat dull but nicely done exterior paint colors.

Good exterior hardware.

NAV package includes reverse back-up camera for visibility.

Solid-feeling and solid-shutting doors.








MINUSES:


Much more expensive than similiarly-sized conventional compacts......and
expensive option packages.

Terribly overstyled, inside and out.

Absurd, ultra-sweep headlights that go almost back to the windshield.

Ultra-Geek dash and controls.

Very tight fit of twin engines and powertrain ( with covers ) under the hood
and little if any room to get to anything.

Intensive Owners'Manual study required for many simple dashboard operations.

Impossible to see front fenders from the driver's seat for parking.

Sluggish acceleration with A/C even with the high-torque electric motor assist.

Unconventional power-assisted brakes with wierd sensations.

Low-RPM vibrations from the twin powerplants combined.

Roly-poly Cornering.....a characteristic of soft suspension and tires.

Odd transmission stick-out tab instead of a lever.

Battery pack close to fuel tank....could be hazardous in a rear-impact.

No power seats in this super-electronic car?....adjust them yourself.

Flimsy-feeling front console and cupholders.

Droop-down roof lowers rear-seat headroom.

Honda Civic-like digital speedometer and other readouts far forward
at base of windshield.

Video-screen powertrain monitor in center of dash very distracting
and hard-to-read.

Tiny, Mickey-Mouse-sized steering wheel loaded with stereo and climate
control buttons.

Stark, dull look behind the steering wheel....nothing but blankness.

Dull, electric power steering devoid of feel.









Well, the first impression you get of this car as you walk up to it is
that you are looking at a slightly flattened egg. The outside styling
of this car, while it may be appealing to some people, is definitely
not my cup of tea. The absurdly swept-back headlights that go up the
side of the short droop-hood almost to the windshield, the little
triangular port-windows in the A-pillars, and the large expanses of
nothing but paint up and down the sides with little exterior trim...none
of this exactly gives my eyeballs a treat.
I mentioned earlier that I compared this car to 20-year-old French
cars in some things....the rear roofline and tailights, ironically,
reminds one of some older Renaults.
Fortunately, those rather large expanses of untrimmed paint are done
with the typical impeccable Toyota / Lexus quality, which, of course,
means a better paint job for the money than any other products in the
auto industry. If you want a super paint job at a low price, no one
does it better.
Also quite pleasing on the outside is the well-done hardware, with
solid-feeling door handles, solid-feeling outside mirrors, that, unlike
those on some other entry-level Toyota and Scion cars, fold and swivel.
The doors open and shut with a precision-like thunk unusual on small
cars. And even though I myself consider the exterior styling ugly, it
does pay its rewards. The body shape, while fairly small on the outside,
has enough room on the inside to classify it as a mid-sized car by EPA
standards ( EPA vehicle-size ratings are determined by interior, not
exterior volume ). This is shown by fairly good legroom both front
and back, even with the front seat back ( More on those front seats
in a minute ). The egg-shaped roof, though, with its droop-line to the
rear hatchback, significantly affects rear seat headroom despite its
relatively good legroom.
The hardware inside is all of high quality except for the plastic on
the center front console and the flip-open cupholders in the console's
front. The stereo manual plastic buttons, in a straight line under the
NAV screen, are OK but could be better...there are also numerous sound-
system controls in the NAV screen itself and on the pint-sized steering
wheel that is more worthy of a kiddy car than a real one.
And...an interesting question: Though the front seats are otherwise
fairly well-designed and comfortable, why no power controls for them in
a car that is arguably Toyota's electronic showcase? The dealership
people say it was done to cut down on weight with no power motors and
linkages and keep the mileage up. I'm not convinced....they don't weigh
that much, with modern materials used for them.

As bad I think the exterior styling is, I can at least live with that,
but the dash and dash controls are A-W-F-U-L, IMO one of the worst I have
seen in a modern car. In some ways even BMW's I-Drive is easier to deal
with. First of all, just starting this car is out of of the ordinary.
Take the square plastic ignition module about the size of a book of matches
( there is no metal key at all built into it ), stick it straight into the
rectangular-shaped HOLE next to the steering column, do not turn it, set
the buttons in the center of the dash ( the salesman had to fiddle with them
for a few seconds ), push the POWER button, and either the gas or electric
motor starts up depending on the computer. It takes some more fiddling with
the NAV screen buttons to get the Video-screen monitor up so you know what
mode the drivetrain is in. Then, pull on the stubby dash-mounted
transmission lever, slide its spring-loaded action into the one small gate
either forwrd or reverse, and it springs BACK into the neutral position while
the bluish shift-indicator at the base of the windshield with the digital
speedometer indicates what gear range you are in for the CVT transmission.
There is a conventional step-on-and-off parking brake under the dash on the
left, but it can also be activated electronically ( don't remember how ).

On the road, the car is a curious and interesting mixture of pleasant and
unpleasant. The thing I liked the most about actually having it on the road
was the VERY smooth ride, especially for a car this size. It is quite
softly-sprung by today's standards and has narrow, high-profile tires with
a lot of give over bumps...you glide over road irregularities just like they
weren't there. Noise isolation, particularly with the quiet-running electric
motor, is quite good as well. I wish more cars still rode like this.....cars
that do are becoming increasingly rare these days, with the continuing
obsession with trying to make everything into sports cars and sports sedans
with Porsche 911-like handling and steering response.

The transmission was smooth and seamless as well, although it filtered out a
lot of the two engine's power as well, surprisingly so for a CVT, which are
usually very efficient.

Unfortunately, the rest of the driving experience was less than pleasant, to say
the least. The two engines, unlike the older Honda IMA ( Integrated Motor
Assist ) systems can work either in tandem or separately, depending on driving
conditions, engine temperature, and computer input. Sometimes the car comes to
a stop in complete silence as the gas engine shuts off. It will start up again
sometimes like an electric golf cart....no noise at all. Punch it or give it some
throttle from a stop and you get an odd vibration and grinding noise as both
engines spool up at once for max power. But don't let that 295 ft.lbs. of
electric-motor torque fool you...this car barely gets out of its own way from a
stop and at low speeds, especially with the A/C on. ( Toyota doesn't say much in
its literature about this but I think this car has both conventional compressor-based
A/C for the gas engine and heat-pump-based A/C for the electric motor so you
don't have to sweat or have lousy defogging when the gas engine is off.
The center video-NAV screen for the Electronic Powertrain monitor is distracting,
to say the least... twice I almost crossed the center line into oncoming traffic
while trying to figure it out ( fortunately it can be turned off ). and many
other touch-screen buttons are built into it as well. It is, IMO, a major step
backwards from the simpler, straightforward Powertrain Indicator in the original
Prius, where simple red and blue arrows showed you what was going on under the hood and which motor was driving you. Technology can be a real PITA sometimes.

As to be expected, the very soft suspension and the narrow, high-mileage and
comfort-based tires combine to give less-than-Formula-1 handling precision. The car rolls like a ship in heavy seas in anything but gentle cornering. The electric
power-steering has several deficiencies...from the kiddy-car wheel to the novicaine-like numbness to the almost complete lack of road feel. It is proving quite difficult for engineers to design all-electric steering and brake systems with the feel of conventional hydraulic ones. The brakes are effective and have a firm pedal feel but, like other electronic brake systems, are hard to modulate, and this particular setup also gave the impression of the calipers and pads dragging on the rotors after you let off the pedal.....a pecuiliar quirk of the regenerative braking system built in to recharge the battery pack on deceleration.




So...the verdict? I like the car's Cream of Wheat suspension and tires, the cabin
space efficiency, the Lexus-quality paint, the door solidness, the
gas-dollar-stretching mileage, and the tax and HOV benefits of ownership.
Otherwise there is little, in my opinion, to praise this car for. The front end is ugly
and droops too much to aid in parking, the headlights are outrageous, the dash layout and controls are a disaster, especially when you are not used to them, the powertrain is either stone-cold silent or vibrates and grinds like a massager, the brakes feel like you are dragging your feet out the door, ( even more in the engine-brake hill-descent mode ), and the power-steering system needs a lot of tweaking. Toyota needs to learn some serious lessons from Honda in how to design a proper hybrid dashboard, as Honda does in the superb Civic Hybrid's, ( although the new Civic's two-level dash is less conventional than before ) just as Honda needs to learn some serious lessons from Toyota in ride smoothness and noise isolation.
The Prius, IMO, is also somewhat overpriced ( Toyota's claims to the contrary )
and not very cost-effective with gas when you consider how much gas you can buy with the difference between the price of the Prius and a conventional small car....and the mileage competition that small diesels give, with less complexity. The main reasons for buying a Prius seem to be extremely low emissions...the lowest this side of a pure electric, the desire to make an environmental statement, the need to keep up with the Jones's, and the glamour of driving a car that is popular with celebrities and movie stars and idolized by the press.
If this is what you want from a vehicle, then buy one. Otherwise there are, in my opinion, better alternatives.
This ad is not displayed to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on Club Lexus!
__________________

Last edited by mmarshall; 04-18-08 at 08:45 AM..
mmarshall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-06, 08:01 PM   #2
xioix
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: so. cal
Posts: 1,708
Default

The Prius is a mid-size due to its interior volume, it is right around the same as the Ford Fusion and the Chevy Malibu

And thanks for another review

Last edited by xioix; 08-19-06 at 08:06 PM..
xioix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-06, 01:17 AM   #3
Nextourer
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: BC
Posts: 3,983
Default

Pretty good review, thanks! Here are a few things to note

- the parking brake is mechanical. There is no electronic activation
- you don't need to fiddle with the buttons in the centre of the dash (where?) before start up. Not sure why the salesman was doing it.
- You probably tested the base model since other packages have the SKS feature similar to the IS/ES/GS/LS which don't require the fob in the dash
- The shifter is a joystick because it's by-wire. It is setup conventionally if you think about it (PRND) with B to the "right"
- The A/C compressor is electrically operated from the HV battery
- I believe power seats (two) add 80kg. I don't remember where I got the number but if someone has a better estimate, please correct me.
- I actually thought the suspension was a bit rough at times (especially the rear torsion beam)
- Lastly, I thought the speedo at the windshield is better than the central location like the Echo/Yaris and old Prius. It's like a pseudo HUDs. I kinda forget to look down now when I drive my dad's Camry.

Hope this helps!
__________________
2010 Prius Technology Package
Nextourer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-06, 01:42 AM   #4
encore888
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
encore888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: CA
Posts: 8,695
Default

Thx for the thorough review.

One thing, I thought some Toyota execs made statements saying that they were making money off of the second gen Prius, although the articles quoting them would usually cast doubt and suggest that Toyota was still losing money on the Prius hybrids.
__________________
encore888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-06, 02:05 AM   #5
xioix
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: so. cal
Posts: 1,708
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by enigma888 View Post
Thx for the thorough review.

One thing, I thought some Toyota execs made statements saying that they were making money off of the second gen Prius, although the articles quoting them would usually cast doubt and suggest that Toyota was still losing money on the Prius hybrids.
Toyota did say they are making money on hybrids small amounts of profits
xioix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-06, 03:14 AM   #6
mmarshall
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (0)
 
mmarshall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 50,349
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nextourer View Post
Pretty good review, thanks! Here are a few things to note

- the parking brake is mechanical. There is no electronic activation
- you don't need to fiddle with the buttons in the centre of the dash (where?) before start up. Not sure why the salesman was doing it.
- You probably tested the base model since other packages have the SKS feature similar to the IS/ES/GS/LS which don't require the fob in the dash
- The shifter is a joystick because it's by-wire. It is setup conventionally if you think about it (PRND) with B to the "right"
- The A/C compressor is electrically operated from the HV battery
- I believe power seats (two) add 80kg. I don't remember where I got the number but if someone has a better estimate, please correct me.
- I actually thought the suspension was a bit rough at times (especially the rear torsion beam)
- Lastly, I thought the speedo at the windshield is better than the central location like the Echo/Yaris and old Prius. It's like a pseudo HUDs. I kinda forget to look down now when I drive my dad's Camry.

Hope this helps!
Thanks for the response.
The car I drove was very complex electronically. It was NOT a base model. It had the $5700 Option package with the NAV screen. ( There are no separate trim lines as such in the 2nd-gen Prius....only option packages ). The parking brake was mechanical on start-up, but the salesman mentioned a way to automatically re-apply it electronically on shutdown ( don't remember how ). Maybe he was wrong. He was fiddling with a lot of screen buttons before the POWER button would activate. I didn't have time to go through the entire Owners' Manual and figure out every electronic function in detail.
My car also had a very smooth ride...the warm temperatures helped by softening up the rubber in the tires, but even apart from this you could distinctly tell that the chassis and rubber is set up for comfort and low rolling resistance for mileage rather than F1-type handling.
You may be right about the AC compressor. That would be a change from the last Prius, which, I believe, had a heat-pump style type of AC. As I mentioned in my list of Minuses, the underhood compartment, with two separate motors, each with a plastic cover, was very crowded, and it was difficult to see exactly where the AC compressor was and how it was hooked up. With my lower back healing from a muscular injury it was only possible to stoop down so far, too.
__________________

Last edited by mmarshall; 08-20-06 at 03:55 AM..
mmarshall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-06, 04:14 AM   #7
mmarshall
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (0)
 
mmarshall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 50,349
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by xioix View Post
The Prius is a mid-size due to its interior volume, it is right around the same as the Ford Fusion and the Chevy Malibu

And thanks for another review
Yes...as I mentioned in the review, that is one of the EPA quirks in coming up with vehicle sizes. Another quirk is how they separate " cars " from " trucks ". More on that in other threads.
__________________
mmarshall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-06, 05:46 AM   #8
spwolf
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 15,995
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
Thanks for the response.
The car I drove was very complex electronically. It was NOT a base model. It had the $5700 Option package with the NAV screen. ( There are no separate trim lines as such in the 2nd-gen Prius....only option packages ). The parking brake was mechanical on start-up, but the salesman mentioned a way to automatically re-apply it electronically on shutdown ( don't remember how ). Maybe he was wrong. He was fiddling with a lot of screen buttons before the POWER button would activate. I didn't have time to go through the entire Owners' Manual and figure out every electronic function in detail.
My car also had a very smooth ride...the warm temperatures helped by softening up the rubber in the tires, but even apart from this you could distinctly tell that the chassis and rubber is set up for comfort and low rolling resistance for mileage rather than F1-type handling.
You may be right about the AC compressor. That would be a change from the last Prius, which, I believe, had a heat-pump style type of AC. As I mentioned in my list of Minuses, the underhood compartment, with two separate motors, each with a plastic cover, was very crowded, and it was difficult to see exactly where the AC compressor was and how it was hooked up. With my lower back healing from a muscular injury it was only possible to stoop down so far, too.
there is no need to fidle with buttons before you turn it on.

Did you even try it yourself?

I mean, you simply press brake pedal and hit power... THATS IT. Then put it in D and drive.

In fact, you dont have to enter the key into the slot, you can keep it in your pocket.

It is one of the easiest cars to start and drive.

And size is not an "quirk", check back space in Corolla and then in Prius, and then in Camry and you will find Prius having more space than either of them.

Brake is completly mechanical, no way to re-apply it electronically. A/C is completly electrical.

It seems to me that you should have spent some time in car and research it a bit because a lot of things in the article are simply not correct.
__________________
- 07 Lexus GS350 AWD
spwolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-06, 05:50 AM   #9
spwolf
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 15,995
Default

And if you are so much bothered by power screen, you can simply change it to Navigation or Music or A/C screens. It is quite silly to complain about one of the options on standard 7" screen (something that only GS has standard).

It seems to me that you came into this review knowing what you will write already, and nothing stopped you.
__________________
- 07 Lexus GS350 AWD
spwolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-06, 08:25 AM   #10
bitkahuna
resisting entropy
Trader Score: (15)
 
bitkahuna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Present
Posts: 45,291
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by spwolf View Post
It seems to me that you came into this review knowing what you will write already, and nothing stopped you.
I have to agree.

mmarshall - suggest you edit the technical errors in your original post. The "defective" salesperson "fiddling" with the car shouldn't be a reflection on the car itself. I could be wrong but I think the slot for the key is just a "place to put it" and not required to start the car.

I am no fan of the style, the complexity, the interior, the cost, or the image of the Prius. BECAUSE it's weird it appeals to tree-huggers and image-conscious celebrities who can express their contempt for "others".
__________________
TLN #911 * Stop Global Whining
9/11- never forget
nosce te ipsum
bitkahuna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-06, 09:58 AM   #11
mmarshall
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (0)
 
mmarshall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 50,349
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitkahuna View Post
I have to agree.

mmarshall - suggest you edit the technical errors in your original post. The "defective" salesperson "fiddling" with the car shouldn't be a reflection on the car itself. I could be wrong but I think the slot for the key is just a "place to put it" and not required to start the car.

I am no fan of the style, the complexity, the interior, the cost, or the image of the Prius. BECAUSE it's weird it appeals to tree-huggers and image-conscious celebrities who can express their contempt for "others".
OK, guys...comments noted.

bit and spwolf...I know you two are car guys to the core, like me, and I highly respect your opinions.

I did not mean to imply that the car couldn't be started in the manner you described......just what actually happened. This is quite a complex car; I had not driven it before, did not have time to study the Owners' Manual, and unlike some places, the salesman insisted on demonstrating the start-up. He was the one screwing around with most of the buttons on the start-up.

I take my reviews seriously, so I'm sorry if there was any confusion or if my statements were unclear.
__________________

Last edited by mmarshall; 08-20-06 at 10:07 AM..
mmarshall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-06, 11:21 PM   #12
Nextourer
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: BC
Posts: 3,983
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
Thanks for the response.
The car I drove was very complex electronically. It was NOT a base model. It had the $5700 Option package with the NAV screen. ( There are no separate trim lines as such in the 2nd-gen Prius....only option packages ). The parking brake was mechanical on start-up, but the salesman mentioned a way to automatically re-apply it electronically on shutdown ( don't remember how ). Maybe he was wrong. He was fiddling with a lot of screen buttons before the POWER button would activate. I didn't have time to go through the entire Owners' Manual and figure out every electronic function in detail.
My car also had a very smooth ride...the warm temperatures helped by softening up the rubber in the tires, but even apart from this you could distinctly tell that the chassis and rubber is set up for comfort and low rolling resistance for mileage rather than F1-type handling.
You may be right about the AC compressor. That would be a change from the last Prius, which, I believe, had a heat-pump style type of AC. As I mentioned in my list of Minuses, the underhood compartment, with two separate motors, each with a plastic cover, was very crowded, and it was difficult to see exactly where the AC compressor was and how it was hooked up. With my lower back healing from a muscular injury it was only possible to stoop down so far, too.
It's quite possible the salesman had other things in mind before he decided to start the car for you. With the navigation system, you would've had the SKS so he didn't have to slot the fob in. That's two strikes. The third strike is that the brake is mechanical. It is in no way, electronic. It's just a cable-operated parking brake. I think he got confused with "P" and the parking pawl.
__________________
2010 Prius Technology Package
Nextourer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-06, 03:27 AM   #13
mmarshall
Lexus Fanatic
Trader Score: (0)
 
mmarshall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 50,349
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nextourer View Post
It's quite possible the salesman had other things in mind before he decided to start the car for you. With the navigation system, you would've had the SKS so he didn't have to slot the fob in. That's two strikes. The third strike is that the brake is mechanical. It is in no way, electronic. It's just a cable-operated parking brake. I think he got confused with "P" and the parking pawl.
I think you're right. He did demonstrate an " electronic " parking brake, but probably what you described.
Perhaps more so than with any other car I have ever reviewed, reading the Owners' Manual diligently on this car is a MUST. Even the auto enthusiast mags that tested this car or kept it for long-term review had trouble understanding all of the controls without studying the book....and these guys, unlike us, review and drive cars every day for a living.
__________________
mmarshall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-06, 05:45 AM   #14
marshmallo
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
marshmallo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: MA
Posts: 2,184
Default

LOL, salesmen can be such clowns. I think they are mostly
there for comic relief.

The Prius is pretty cool, but it drives weird to me (eerily quiet).
__________________
2006 GS300 AWD - Flint Mica
19'' Work Euroline FE, Toyo T1-R 245/40/19, Madico Tint 35%
Fabulous front lip | Wald sideskirts | INGS rear trunk spoiler | INGS rear half spoiler
marshmallo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-06, 05:19 PM   #15
Nextourer
Lexus Champion
Trader Score: (0)
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: BC
Posts: 3,983
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
I think you're right. He did demonstrate an " electronic " parking brake, but probably what you described.
Perhaps more so than with any other car I have ever reviewed, reading the Owners' Manual diligently on this car is a MUST. Even the auto enthusiast mags that tested this car or kept it for long-term review had trouble understanding all of the controls without studying the book....and these guys, unlike us, review and drive cars every day for a living.
In that case, maybe I should become a reviewer haha.

I'm okay in most, if not all Japanese cars. I should be okay in most European cars in terms of deciphering symbols and buttons.

I remember my first test drive of the Prius. Canada didn't get the nav model yet but it was pretty much fully loaded sans nav/bluetooth/HIDs. I learned pretty quickly and focussed mostly on the the drive rather than the electronics. I haven't been able to decipher i-Drive, however...
__________________
2010 Prius Technology Package
Nextourer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-06, 05:19 PM
 
 
 
 
Reply

Tags
dh, euroline, prius, work

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:47 PM.

Join ClubLexus
Advertising


Copyright © 2000-2008 Internet Brands, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms of Use | JOBS


Get all contact info