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  1. #1
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    Any Toyota Prius owners? (OT)

    Just wondering if anyone here has a Prius and if u do, what do you think of them? Positives and negatives please. Also, any with bike racks on top (pics?).

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaa
    Just wondering if anyone here has a Prius and if u do, what do you think of them? Positives and negatives please. Also, any with bike racks on top (pics?).

    Thanks
    Our buddy Chris from Ocala/Savannah/Durham has one and loves it, funny he traded in a Duallie Truck for the Prius, Loves it. Cool little car, nice bike too. wish i had some pixs of him crossing the creek at the last Pisgah Gathering, everyone kinda chuckled about driving an electric car through two six inch deep creeks to get to the party, but he made it with no problems. sorry didn't take too many shots of the car, but here's what i've got.
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  3. #3
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    Good job! I don't own one, but many friends do...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaa
    Just wondering if anyone here has a Prius and if u do, what do you think of them? Positives and negatives please. Also, any with bike racks on top (pics?).
    And they LOVE them. Like crazy. Negatives are mostly asthetic. I'm not wild about the looks either... But you can actually fit a lot of gear in there.

    Also, the nav system my buddies have in theirs impressed me also. Punch in "Coffee Shops" and watch the screen guide you to the java... Dorky but cool and great for the navigationally challenged.

    And the gas savings are VERY real....
    - -benja- -

  4. #4
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    I Beg To Differ

    Quote Originally Posted by benja55

    And the gas savings are VERY real....
    I drive one regularly.

    The gas savings CAN be real but you have to adopt a different driving standard. To stick with Toyota...you can't hop in a Prius and drive it the same way you drive a Corolla. You'd be lucky to get better than 35mpg....which is about the same as the Corolla which performs many times better.

    Also in my opinion putting a rack on it would kill the car. Its hampered enough already with just a driver and a passanger. Add the drag of a rack and bikes and you'd be lucky to get up anything but small rolling hills.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne
    I drive one regularly.

    The gas savings CAN be real but you have to adopt a different driving standard. To stick with Toyota...you can't hop in a Prius and drive it the same way you drive a Corolla. You'd be lucky to get better than 35mpg....which is about the same as the Corolla which performs many times better.

    Also in my opinion putting a rack on it would kill the car. Its hampered enough already with just a driver and a passanger. Add the drag of a rack and bikes and you'd be lucky to get up anything but small rolling hills.
    wow...good to know. i had actually been looking at one of these since the gas prices are out of control.

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    Diesel Jetta or Golf will get you about the same results with less cost, but you'll have to fill up next to Billy Big Rigger w/your tiny car in a sea of semi's. Read all the time that Jetta diesels w/a stick can get close to 70 mpg on highway. All depends on how you drive it. The Prius will rule in city driving though.
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  7. #7
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    I don't own a Prius, but I've heard that highway gas mileage suffers because the engine is running full time. Funny that here in the Bay Area, those that got the Prius in time got a free pass in the carpool lane. This always bothered me, because I knew that the Prius was not getting any better mileage than a typical civic in these conditions, yet they get to use that lane. The look the drivers have on their face as they pass me in that carpool lane gets me everytime, because I think many of them bought their Prius for the carpool lane access, and not for the environment. Hell I think the whole theory behind the carpool lane is a flawed and failed experiment. Does it make sense to have thousands of cars stand at idle pumping emissions into the air with an empty, perfectly usable lane next to them?

    Enough of my ranting, if I were looking for an economical car, I would hold off a year or two and see what the diesel will have to offer. With gas prices rising, I expect to see a host of manufacturers bring the diesel back, and put that engine in more popular platforms that may be more convenient for you than the Prius. With the diesel motor, you'll also have the Biodiesel option, granted that the fuel will gain popularity and become somewhat available. Wouldn't it be great if there were a diesel hybrid?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astroguy
    I don't own a Prius, but I've heard that highway gas mileage suffers because the engine is running full time. Funny that here in the Bay Area, those that got the Prius in time got a free pass in the carpool lane. This always bothered me, because I knew that the Prius was not getting any better mileage than a typical civic in these conditions, yet they get to use that lane. The look the drivers have on their face as they pass me in that carpool lane gets me everytime, because I think many of them bought their Prius for the carpool lane access, and not for the environment. Hell I think the whole theory behind the carpool lane is a flawed and failed experiment. Does it make sense to have thousands of cars stand at idle pumping emissions into the air with an empty, perfectly usable lane next to them?

    Enough of my ranting, if I were looking for an economical car, I would hold off a year or two and see what the diesel will have to offer. With gas prices rising, I expect to see a host of manufacturers bring the diesel back, and put that engine in more popular platforms that may be more convenient for you than the Prius. With the diesel motor, you'll also have the Biodiesel option, granted that the fuel will gain popularity and become somewhat available. Wouldn't it be great if there were a diesel hybrid?
    Ok not to annoy you even more but.....

    Are you saying the Prius qualifies for free bridge access to all Bay Area Bridges?? Right now I am commuting via BART from the Peninsula to Richmond...but I am moving to Marin and am going to be commuting via car across the Richmond Bridge. Does that deal still stand? Or was that only for a while....

    Sh*t that may persuade me even more.

  9. #9
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    It still stands...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaa
    Are you saying the Prius qualifies for free bridge access to all Bay Area Bridges?? Right now I am commuting via BART from the Peninsula to Richmond...but I am moving to Marin and am going to be commuting via car across the Richmond Bridge. Does that deal still stand? Or was that only for a while....
    But there are a limited number of stickers allotted. I'm not sure if they re-up it every year or if it is arbitrary. Regardless, it makes buying a hybrid much more appealing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by benja55
    But there are a limited number of stickers allotted. I'm not sure if they re-up it every year or if it is arbitrary. Regardless, it makes buying a hybrid much more appealing.
    Is this ANY hybrid or just the Prius? This is pretty sweet...

  11. #11
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    Good job! Any high mpg/low emissions vehicle, not just hybrids...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaa
    Is this ANY hybrid or just the Prius? This is pretty sweet...
    Its any hybrid, so long as it meets the milage/emissions requirements. It can actually be ANY vehicle (gas, electric, hybrid etc) that meets the clean air emissions standards.

    Read all about it here!
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by benja55
    Its any hybrid, so long as it meets the milage/emissions requirements. It can actually be ANY vehicle (gas, electric, hybrid etc) that meets the clean air emissions standards.

    Read all about it here!

    Cool, thanks!

  13. #13
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    FWIW, I drive my 2006 like a "real" car and get a NO BS 51-53mpg on road trips -- 60mph on secondary roads and 70-75mph on Interstates. I dunno why the other guy is getting such lousy mileage. Also on the PriusChat forum there is interesting data from a guy who took his to the drag strip -- might suprise you. Mine is faster 0-60 than my Honda Element or the Subie that I traded for the Prius.

  14. #14
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    My wife has one, it will be a year this month. She gets 44-46mpg average because she doesn't pay much attention to what the car is trying to do. She just jams the gas pedal and goes. We took it on a 120 mile trip last weekend and got 50mpg at freeway speeds.

    In Northern VA, Hybrids bought before last June got a free pass to the car pool lanes, she says if they end that she will sell it and buy an Acura.

    Overall, very well built car, no mechanical problems at all, one recall for front steering problems.
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  15. #15
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    I've had my prius for 2 years. I usually get around 50 mpg, as long as I'm not driving like a 17 year-old. I agree that a bike rack probably isn't a great idea for it, but if you gotta, you gotta.

    I have the carpool stickers. It doesn't get you free bridge tolls, but you can drive in the carpool lane any time, with no passangers. If you're in the bay area, you have to get the fasttrak thing for the bridges (which is something you'd want to get anyway if you use the bridges).

    The only thing I don't love about the prius is that the gas gage in the car is not very accurate--the gas tank is actually a bag that collapses as it empties, so it not that accurate. However it always errs ont he side of caution--it'll say you're almost out of gas, but you'll stil have plenty left. The "average mpg" on the console is pretty accurate.

    If you're purely doing it to save money, it would actually be cheaper to buy a less expensive conventional car that gets good mileage. But it's nice to feel that you're doing something for the environment.

    Here's my mileage after going down a slight hill and then a few miles to my house:
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    diesels are much better IMHO.
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  17. #17
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    What they really need is a bio-deisel hybrid. The bad thing about bio-deisels is that they have a pretty short range for one tank of gas. If you combine it with an electric motor the way a Prius does, you'd have a car with decent range and power that uses only renewable energy with very little enironmental impact.
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  18. #18
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    I must admit to being fairly disappointed by the whole hybrid movement. My 1987 accord would get near 40 mpg on the highway, and that was with 20 year old technology!! You'd think they'd be able to do a hell of a lot better than 50-60, don't you? Granted, it's better than you're average car, but it's really not that impressive. At least the Prius pretends to try. The Lexus and Ford SUV hybrids use their electric assist for torque and power, so the gas savings aren't even worth talking about.

    Until the automotive companies stop playing grabass with a good idea, I'll be on my bike.
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  19. #19
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    Gotta Agree There

    I think it was Volvo (some euro company anyway) that had prototype gasoline powered cars getting 70mpg in the 70's
    Unfortunately its in the best interest of 'big business' that consumers don't get fuel efficient cars. Tech. deffinately exists to do WAY better that anything that's currently offered.
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    Unfortunately, Diesel technology has been the only motors in recent years to make huge gains in efeciency and emmisions. When gas was cheap 5-10 years ago, Detroit set the trend and began making 300hp v8's again and that sent the market into a horse power war. Now we're paying for it because you used to be able to get a V6 car to get around 30 mpg, now you have to try really hard to get a 4 cylinder car to get 30 mpg and we go nuts for a car that gets 40 mpg. Meanwhile, back in 1995, we made fun of people driving small 4 cylinder cars that were getting 50 mpg.

    Diesel is the best way to maximize your gas dollar right now, small diesels will consitently get 50 mpg highway and even higher if you drive it right. Why does a plastic and alimunum 3 cylinder hybrid only get 50 mpg? Because that's all they want it to get while it maintains a decent amout of acceleration. As soon as some genius realizes you can build the same car and get close to 100 mpg and sacrifice acceleration, we won't see any breathtaking mpg.
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  21. #21
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    We seem to have similar taste in screen appearances...
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky 7
    We seem to have similar taste in screen appearances...

    The dude abides.
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  23. #23
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    The current hybrids are useless for people that drive aggressivly, but great for people that cruise at 75 all the time, or potter around town all day. I dont see why they have to make most of the hybrids so effin ugly though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by karpiel666
    I dont see why they have to make most of the hybrids so effin ugly though.
    Yeah, I here ya. I understand that they're after max aerodynamics (which makes me wonder why more conventional cars don't look similarly weird) but they could do better.

    I don't see as many as I did a few years ago but Honda's Civic-based hybrid looked pretty much the same as the normal one except for skirts covering up the rear wheels. That was the only hybrid that I've ever thought looked ok.

    I wish they'd put out a good hybrid pick-up truck.

  25. #25
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    Another thing to notice.

    The Honda Fit is as big as the old Honda Civics
    The Honda Civic is now as big as the Honda Accord of old.

    The cars are getting bigger, and not just the SUV's. Cars too. The Mitsu Galant I drive is the first year it was classified as a 'mid-size' car. The next generation is bigger yet.

    If we could live with a smaller car we could reap the benefits of higher fuel economy. The only thing is then the 'it's smaller so it's more dangerous' crowd will pipe up even louder than they are now when fuel economy standards are mentioned. Personally I'd rather take "Handling, brakes, and engineering" for $200 Alex. Most people don't realize that the same traction control software and parts and the same brakes are used on their SUV's that are used on their Impala or Fusion.

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  26. #26
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    The trend of toyota making cars look skinny and tall makes no sense to me. Some of them look more rollover prone than an suv, Particularly the ones with wheels that look about 10 inches tall.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qatarbhoy
    I have to ask for them to do a "Number two" on my head

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raghavan
    diesels are much better IMHO.
    What's better? The higher emissions (particulates, sulfer)? The cold weather considerations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mthedude
    Unfortunately, Diesel technology has been the only motors in recent years to make huge gains in efeciency and emmisions. When gas was cheap 5-10 years ago, Detroit set the trend and began making 300hp v8's again and that sent the market into a horse power war. Now we're paying for it because you used to be able to get a V6 car to get around 30 mpg, now you have to try really hard to get a 4 cylinder car to get 30 mpg and we go nuts for a car that gets 40 mpg. Meanwhile, back in 1995, we made fun of people driving small 4 cylinder cars that were getting 50 mpg.

    Diesel is the best way to maximize your gas dollar right now, small diesels will consitently get 50 mpg highway and even higher if you drive it right. Why does a plastic and alimunum 3 cylinder hybrid only get 50 mpg? Because that's all they want it to get while it maintains a decent amout of acceleration. As soon as some genius realizes you can build the same car and get close to 100 mpg and sacrifice acceleration, we won't see any breathtaking mpg.
    What are these huge gains? Blowing on the fire and electronic injection are not exactly new and those are what I am aware of.

  29. #29
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    I think you should get a truck with a big V8 because then you will be discouraged from driving it unless you really have to and you will bike more.

  30. #30
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    Rumor has it....

    That Toyota is working on a plug-in Hybrid, like some Prius owners have modded thier cars.

    More battery capacity, and a charger that plugs in the wall. You can still put gas in it, but it hardly uses any, because it runs off the battery just about the whole time.

    How cool is that?

  31. #31
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    They prolly don't...

    Quote Originally Posted by GuruAtma
    What they really need is a bio-deisel hybrid. The bad thing about bio-deisels is that they have a pretty short range for one tank of gas. If you combine it with an electric motor the way a Prius does, you'd have a car with decent range and power that uses only renewable energy with very little enironmental impact.
    ... because Diesels are harder to start than gas engines. It takes a lot more torque and lots of current to run the glow plugs. Then again, they have battery capacity and a huge electric motor to start the diesel.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger
    What are these huge gains? Blowing on the fire and electronic injection are not exactly new and those are what I am aware of.

    The new generation diesels don't even use glow plugs anymore (some still do), the effeciency has gotten better (up to 70mpg w/a small diesel), you can run 100% Biodiesel in anything short of a winter driver and you can run 10% blend in the winter without any problems. Startup issues are all but gone, winter "gelling" are avoided with new diesel blends meant for winter driving. All the old trucker stories are now thrown out the winder with the new generation diesels. They're built with tighter tollerances, they'll last longer, get better mpg out of the box and are capable of being a viable solution for independance from foreign oil. If they can mate a 3 cylinder gas engine to an electric motor and get 50 mpg, think what kind of mileage a 4 cylinder diesel mated to an electric motor could get. 100 mpg? Biodiesel capable, think about filling up your tank once a month and putting a renewable fuel into your tank...........progress.
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  33. #33
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    I don't think plug in cars are the way to go right now, UNLESS the source of power is coming from a renewable source like a solar panel on your roof. The electricity coming from your outlet comes from a power plant, burning some fuel I would imagine. It would be more effiecient to burn the fuel directly in the car rather than burning it in a remote location.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger
    What's better? The higher emissions (particulates, sulfer)? The cold weather considerations?
    The particulates (soot) coming from a diesel is what everyone sees, and of course everyone makes the assumption that diesels pollute far more because of what they see. The gas engine produces more harmful emissions compared to the diesel...read up on this link:

    http://www.stealthtdi.com/Emissions.html

    The rest of world has figured out that diesels are the way to go, you get better fuel economy, it burns cleaner, and you get all that fun torque. Hopefully us americans will start to catch on.

  35. #35
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    IMHO, as a sporty driver, get the new Golf GT.
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    It has a supercharger in the low rpms and a turbo for the highs. I mean 168hp out of a 1.4
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  36. #36
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    My first car was a hand-me-down from my parents. A 1980 VW Diesel Rabbit, 4 speed manual, 4 door. I kept that car until it had 130k on it, and it was still getting an average of 50mpg. 26 years later??????????

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astroguy
    I don't think plug in cars are the way to go right now, UNLESS the source of power is coming from a renewable source like a solar panel on your roof. The electricity coming from your outlet comes from a power plant, burning some fuel I would imagine. It would be more effiecient to burn the fuel directly in the car rather than burning it in a remote location.

    I think it would be nice if people could afford to buy solar panels for thier plug in cars but then where does it stop? Solar panels for our A/C, our fridge and our cell phones? I think it would best to get plug in cars into the mainstream and force the DOE to make power plants more green or use wind power to offset the emmisions of the power plants. Put the problem in the hands of the people with the money and power to do something about it.
    Darkness warshed over the Dude--darker'n a black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night.

  38. #38
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    they made car w/Turbo and a Supercharger? Nuts.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthedude
    The new generation diesels don't even use glow plugs anymore (some still do), the effeciency has gotten better (up to 70mpg w/a small diesel), you can run 100% Biodiesel in anything short of a winter driver and you can run 10% blend in the winter without any problems. Startup issues are all but gone, winter "gelling" are avoided with new diesel blends meant for winter driving. All the old trucker stories are now thrown out the winder with the new generation diesels. They're built with tighter tollerances, they'll last longer, get better mpg out of the box and are capable of being a viable solution for independance from foreign oil. If they can mate a 3 cylinder gas engine to an electric motor and get 50 mpg, think what kind of mileage a 4 cylinder diesel mated to an electric motor could get. 100 mpg? Biodiesel capable, think about filling up your tank once a month and putting a renewable fuel into your tank...........progress.
    The rest of the world can buy all kinds of diesels the have low emmisions and decent performance. Here is a 530D Bmw that averaged 49 mpg in AutoWeeks driving.
    http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dl...73255624551186
    Honda is getting into the diesel game along with other manufactures
    http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dl...73255624860977

    mthedude, What's the Dude say as he getting his head dunked in the toilet? I remember it was funny as hell...

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astroguy
    The particulates (soot) coming from a diesel is what everyone sees, and of course everyone makes the assumption that diesels pollute far more because of what they see. The gas engine produces more harmful emissions compared to the diesel...read up on this link:

    http://www.stealthtdi.com/Emissions.html

    The rest of world has figured out that diesels are the way to go, you get better fuel economy, it burns cleaner, and you get all that fun torque. Hopefully us americans will start to catch on.
    I'm not saying they're bad, but what I've read points to hybrid and electric as being cleaner, and the changes to regulations for diesel engines alone show that they can be cleaner. There is also a practical aspect. I used to own and manage a fleet of trucks and machines in our family business and I have many friends and associates with diesels. They are not a no brainier with no extra consideration in the northern climate where I live.

    I view them as a great way to reduce your fuel costs if appropriate or get some other advantages depending upon the application, but a diesel as most are today is not the sum total solution that some I know think they are.

    I also live in a metro area claimed to have the one of highest concentrations of the Honda and Toyota hybrid products and same for bio diesel conversions and VW diesel sales. I have a customer that has a fleet of Prius their couriers and they also tried biodiesel and VW TDI. The first observation as a biker is I'd rather breath Prius fumes as the primarily run on battery in stop and go traffic over a bio or dino diesel. The next observation from this fleet is the Prius' have had perfect reliability opposed to VW SFQ and the Prius fleet had no problems starting or dealing with fuel Dec - Feb.

  41. #41
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    Well around here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Astroguy
    I don't think plug in cars are the way to go right now, UNLESS the source of power is coming from a renewable source like a solar panel on your roof. The electricity coming from your outlet comes from a power plant, burning some fuel I would imagine. It would be more effiecient to burn the fuel directly in the car rather than burning it in a remote location.
    ... a good precetage (about 30-50% IIRC) comes from hydro, wind and geothermal.... and some nuclear. We loose about half in transmission, so maybe the net is zero right there, if you don't take into account that a huge turbine system at a constant load wastes a lot less energy than a gasoline engine with huge variations in load.

    As fossil fuels run out over the next 50 years, there will be a shift off burning stuff for energy, because the cost will be so high (assuming the economy doesnt collapse in the process) . The problem so far is that fuels are sooo cheap, and pack a huge punch per pound. Its hard to compete with that in batteries. I think its going to be a very long time before we see a battery powered jet plane, for instance.

  42. #42
    tl1
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    That's a very cool looking engine.

    Quote Originally Posted by mthedude
    they made car w/Turbo and a Supercharger? Nuts.
    It has better torque and power than the 2.5 liter 5 cylinder they're selling in the US yet gets a claimed 39 MPG. The supercharger takes care of lower revs than disengages to minimize parasitic losses. At higher revs. the turbo takes over. Watch the TSI movie!

    http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/new_cars...y_glossary/TSI

  43. #43
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    What generation do you drive?

    Your comments don't sound like they are accurate for a properly running current gen. Prius (2004-2007). I've had a new one for over 4 months and I have no problem accelerating with 1 or 5 people in the car. While a roof rack won't help the fuel economy, it's definitely not like an old 55 HP VW bus or something that wouldn't get up some steep hills with a rack and a passenger. In fact with the electric assist (max torque from 1 RPM up) it accelerates very well for a nearly 3000 lb. car car that gets excellent MPG. I was getting 50-53 MPG overall and it's not even broke in yet (1200 miles) until the temperatures dropped with winter. Now I'm getting 42-45 without any "special" driving standards.

    Techniques for getting good MPG seem to be counterintuitive in my case. I get the best MPG with brisk acceleration up to speed then more or less steady cruising. Babying it and driving really slowly does not produce the best overall numbers for me. Getting the mass from a stop up to speed frequently is what kills MPG as with any car, hybrid or not. At least with the Prius the gas motor cuts off at low speeds and stops to save gas.

    And a Corolla performs many times better? 0-60 times are fairly close. Corolla is 8.9 secs., Prius is 10.5 secs.

    http://www.autos.com/autos/rankings_...tion&year=2007

    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne
    I drive one regularly.

    The gas savings CAN be real but you have to adopt a different driving standard. To stick with Toyota...you can't hop in a Prius and drive it the same way you drive a Corolla. You'd be lucky to get better than 35mpg....which is about the same as the Corolla which performs many times better.

    Also in my opinion putting a rack on it would kill the car. Its hampered enough already with just a driver and a passanger. Add the drag of a rack and bikes and you'd be lucky to get up anything but small rolling hills.

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