TheLorax
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Yup, that was a photo of the new model Fiesta- ooops. I still think it's cute.

I don't know anyone who has a new model Prius. Everyone is still driving their older model Prius. To me, that speaks volume. Only one person so far has had to replace their battery but non-hybrid cars have routine maintenance that is required too so I don't get what the big deal is about a battery and the guy who had to replace his drives his car into the city every day for the last 5 years he has had the car so my bet is he's way over 100,000 miles. What do intake manifolds cost these days... easily 3k. If you own a car long enough, there are going to be costs associated with keeping it up no matter what kind of car it is. I'm really not hearing anyone whining about their Prius and my friends are whiners when it comes to having to shell out money. There's got to be a reason why these cars aren't showing up on the used market.

wing, you gotta please let us all know how well it can accelerate up hills and how much oomph your new car has when passing or merging into traffic on an expressway. I'm thinking it will do just fine.

cynthia_h
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My girlfriend N and her husband R purchased a 2002 Prius. We took it for a neighborhood test drive before we purchased ours.

Hers was the design model that is NOT a hatchback and DOES have a very large battery pack.

They've had it now for 6 years. No battery replacement.

We purchased a 2004 Prius on December 31, 2004. This is the Hybrid Synergy Drive model and it's a hatchback.

My husband has a 120-mile (almost 200 km) round trip commute. The Prius had 17,000 or so miles on it when we purchased it; now it has 94,000 miles.

No battery replacement.

The batteries are guaranteed, according to DH, for 10 years. The dealership where DH's Prius is serviced has not yet replaced a battery, and we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has a high density of Priuses on the road.

We've also carried 16-foot lumber in the car. We tied down the hatchback to its latch and placed a red flat on the few feet of 2x4 that were sticking out the back.

Our worm's-eye view of the situation, Lorax; maybe this info is helpful?

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

TheLorax
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Ohhhhhhhh, a ten year guarantee on the battery? Maybe that's why Dave never whined when he had to replace his. I know his car isn't ten years old yet. I'm already sold on hybrid cars. My husband isn't just yet because they are impractical for him with the number of kids he has to haul around camping but the Escape will do fine for him because it has additional optional seating in the far back and a trailer hitch can be added to haul their gear.

I have no idea what kind of hybrid I'll buy in a few years. It's going to depend on advancements in the area as well as which model has the most space to haul plants. I don't need additional seating to haul any more than say 4 kids at a time so I'd be fine with a Prius from that respect. I really do need an area that can handle bags of compost and plants and such more so because I can not handle driving my husband's vehicle. It's too big for me to see to change lanes safely and I can't drive anything with anything attached to the back of it. I'd end up in an accident if I had to back up a trailer.

cynthia_h
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DH, our two Bernese Mtn Dogs, and I drove in the Prius last Monday. DH dropped me off at a client's office and then continued to his mother's house to deliver some gardening supplies.

The dogs take up all the back seat by themselves, and these supplies rode in the cargo area behind the back seat:

--one 3.5 cubic-foot bag of vermiculite
--one 3.9 cubic-foot bag of peat
--two 1-cubic-foot bags of potting soil
--one 2-cubic foot bag of grape-pomace compost (cool stuff...)

We could have put two more 1- or 2-cubic-foot bags in the space without blocking the direct rearview. There were a couple of half-gallon jars of water for the dogs, a blanket, and a water bowl.

DH had no line-of-sight problems. He could see straight out the rearview mirror. We could have put about 60 to 75% more stuff in the back if he had been willing to use just the exterior mirrors and not worry about the direct rearview mirror. We haven't yet packed the Prius COMPLETELY full; that is, with the back seat down and all cargo space stuffed. That would be an interesting experiment! The passenger seat can also fold down, so if you are an "only driver," heaven only knows how much you could pack into the car.

When shopping for groceries or other things, there's a screen available which will cover the cargo, thus protecting it from curious eyes and from direct sun. It "snaps" shut when you don't need it.

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

TheLorax
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Sounds more desirable with each and every reply. This is VERY appealing to me, "so if you are an "only driver," heaven only knows how much you could pack into the car".

wingdesigner
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The newer Prius' have two batteries, a 12v for the ICE; and the larger LION (lithium ion) battery that powers the electric motor. So I'm told. I'm more concerned about winter starts and how does one warm the thing up/defrost the windows/etc., so the driver's teeth aren't chattering like castanets for the first five miles... Also, how does one go through the car wash? Supposed to put the car in neutral w/engine off, but a Prius is different? And those newfangled antennae in the middle of the roof (like having an itch in the middle of one's back that one just..can't..quite..reach...); how are short people supposed to remove it? Already emailed the dealer w/some of these questions.

cynthia_h
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Well, the winter weather here is *nothing* like Michigan/Wisconsin, so I can only speak to 60 mph wind during torrential rain and/or weather in the 30s or high 20s with wind and sleet (rare, but it happened a couple of times this past January).

During one of these fine weather episodes (Friday, January 4), I waded out to the car. Prius started right up in our carport. I was on my way to a job interview during an epic flood, so I wore hiking boots and casual pants to this job interview (at a hospital) b/c of the 8 inches of water in the driveway. I was VERY interested in defogging the windshield, using the lights, and having the wipers on fast fast fast. I also had the radio on for traffic reports and definitely wanted some heat.

I backed out of our fairly long (80 foot) driveway, did a Y turn, and ended up at our corner Stop sign. I had warmth already and a clear windshield. :)

I've taken Prius (yes, that is its name) to the carwash a couple of times. No problem with the weird antenna, no problem with Neutral. Just don't turn the engine off; put the car in Neutral and let 'er coast on those tracks and enjoy the suds! (Re. the "short people" thing: I'm 5'4" and have no intention of taking the antenna off, but since it's survived the carwash, no problem.)

I can't speak to the two batteries thing; I've never actually :oops: popped the hood on the car. Honest! There doesn't even seem to be a need to check the oil, DH tells me--that's all part of the scheduled maintenance. I *can* tell you where the spare tire is b/c I had the flat last December. But two batteries; sorry, no can do.

Glad you asked your dealer about that one, Wingdesigner.

Is your back any better, BTW?

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

TheLorax
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I backed out of our fairly long (80 foot) driveway, did a Y turn, and ended up at our corner Stop sign. I had warmth already and a clear windshield.
Braggart. Takes me several miles to get a clear windshield and several more to begin feeling warmth during the winter.

cynthia_h
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Braggart, am I? Bwhahahah! I wish...that the Prius had been meant to be MY car, but at the time I had a good running 1986 Honda Accord.

Bill's 1989 Ford Taurus overheated in Davis at work and was (eventually) flat-bed towed all the way home, thanks to our excellent AAA coverage. It couldn't be fixed for any reasonable amount of money, even by the mechanic who'd kept it running for several years. So we donated it to an animal shelter.

I was able to drive Bill up to his commute partner's house for a couple of weeks and planned very carefully for my car-less days when he had to hold up his end of the commute deal. But Bill took the week between Christmas and New Year's Day off and focused on selecting the new car. New to us, anyway; it didn't have to be brand new, just nice. The dealership had us in a good place (for them): we NEEDED a new car, ours was thrashed, and after our research, given Bill's regular commute, fuel economy, reliability, and maneuverability would be paramount virtues in the next car.

We wanted to know about the Prius. "Well, we don't get too many used Priuses; people tend to hang onto them." We'd heard that, too, but also knew that Berkeley Toyota had sold the most Priuses of any dealership in the Bay Area the previous year, so they would also be a good source of used Priuses. I went to the dealership on Wednesday to see what they had in and to get the dimensions of the "new" design. The salesman said, "Why didn't he just look it up on line? What can I tell you here that you couldn't find online?" "The headspace for the driver and the passenger." "Oh, yeah, that's not in the brochure, is it?" "No, and that's why I'm here. Could I sit in a car?" So I sat in the floor-demo model, a nice solid black 2005 model Prius (with back window wiper) feeling like I was looking at the control panel of some aircraft.

"Would you like to go for a test drive?" he asked me.
"No, I think both of us should go for the test drive, especially since Bill will be using it to drive to Davis."

So we came back together on Thursday. There had been a white and a blue Prius in the lot on Wednesday, but when we arrived Thursday morning, there was not one used Prius visible on the lot. I was just about to suggest to Bill that we make an offer on the floor model when the sales rep's phone rang and he let us know that Service had just accepted a used Red 2004 hatchback Prius with 17,000 miles on it. It hadn't even been cleaned or certified yet, but would we like to take a test drive?

Boy, would we! In a New York "minit"!

We closed the sale on Friday, December 31, 2004, fulfilling one of Bill's life dreams: to buy a model of car in the same year of its birth. We paid extra for this used Prius; the dealerships honor the MSRP for folks who pre-order their cars AND CAN WAIT for delivery. Unfortunately, we needed a car right NOW and couldn't take advantage of the "waiting" offer. It cost us probably $6,000 extra.

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

TheLorax
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It cost us probably $6,000 extra.
I would have had heart failure over having to pay an additional 1k over MSRP let alone 6k. We'd be talking smelling salts time.

cynthia_h
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Yeah. It's not like we had/have the money, either...but once you start looking around, I think it's still the case that a brand-new Prius will cost LESS than a used one if you can wait for delivery.

At least in the Bay Area, used Priuses go for what the--ah--traffic will bear. And, since I had had a bad fall (hit my head, twisted my neck) the day of the paperwork, it didn't dawn on me that we had paid so much extra until the next week. :x

Cynthia

TheLorax
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Ohhh, that makes me want to gag. We'd probably be talking beyond smelling salts time for me. Think I would have rented a car from like Enterprise and waited for delivery of a new one and told them to sell that one to somebody else or come down a few thousand into a reality zone. Poor you. Hind sight is always 20/20.

wingdesigner
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The first dealership we went to was not our usual Toy dealership. We did the test drive and sat down to fill out paperwork, discuss a time for me to drop by w/my car to assess the trade-in value, etc. Not until it was almost time to sign did we hear the spiel about "premium", meaning a few grand over sticker. We got up to walk out, got the "Fargo" line about seeing the sales manager, waited, listened, walked. That was just plain dirty pool. Had he even mentioned it whilst taking the test drive we might have been more agreeable. Lesson learned, we went back to the dealer/saleswoman from whom we purchased our last three cars, and after she heard our tale she said: "You don't even have to say the name of the other dealership--I've had many complaints about them." She sold it to us for sticker less trade-in or whatever I can sell my car for. Shoulda stuck w/the one person we knew we could trust, but emotions ran high that day. Now, we're waiting on a blue one which should arrive by the end of the month! Anybody wanna buy a Corolla? 30+ mpg! Low miles...just kidding--none of you live around here, anyway. However, we will take references...

TheLorax
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Big jerks.

cynthia_h
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Oh I am SOOOO jealous. I really wanted blue or even black...

There are six Prius colors:

Blue, white, black, red, light green, bronze.

Good for you, telling that other dealer to take a hike! :clapping:

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

wingdesigner
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We had more choices of colours, so chose three with the caveat of whatever came in first, any colour, with our package. Black, dark grey, light grey/silver, white, light blue, dk. blue, red, icky green, and metallic beige. Beige or grey interior. The touring package gave a few more interior and exterior options, but was waaay too expensive.

wingdesigner
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Three weeks and counting.

Give or take. I'm putting my car up for sale and OF COURSE it starts acting up. I think it's the shifter cable AGAIN. Second time in two years. Every car I've owned has had shifter cable trouble, it must be me. Make/model doesn't matter, and yes, I do depress the button to shift gears. So by the time I get it back from the shop I'll have less than three weeks to get it sold or I'll have to use it as a trade-in. Ugh. I guess I won't have to worry about a shifter cable in the Prius--it doesn't have one! It's an electronic tranny. I'm gonna hafta learn to drive all over again. Guess we'll see if you CAN teach an old dawg new tricks...
(Don't even THINK of replying to that previous sentence!)



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