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If you want to do good for the environment, take transit which emits half the CO2, or better, bike or walk. Don't get me wrong, the Prius is a great car, but it's not for everyone and it's not an environmental saviour.
 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
If you want to do good for the environment, take transit which emits half the CO2, or better, bike or walk. Don't get me wrong, the Prius is a great car, but it's not for everyone and it's not an environmental saviour.
I agree - but for many people, a car is a necessary option. I have not stated its an environmental savior - it is a step in the right direction.

As a hybrid owner since 2001, I know there is so much misinformation as clearly demonstrated in this thread (and others) that people are making decisions - important ones - based on incorrect information, and marketing hype (bigger, faster, status) that should be no longer relevant in 2010 - because we know more now than we did in 1980 (gas prices have increased a bit since then too...). All I hope to do is set the record straight and hope that the decisions people make when purchasing a vehicle are based on facts rather than hybrid/electric vehicle FUD.
 

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The Prius offers a hybrid synergy system that is 2 motors, one gas and one electric so comparing the engine to a Yaris is not very productive. The 2 motors split the wear and tear and is one reason why they are so reliable and need so little maintenance compared to a car with only one engine.

If you are interested in how the drive train works, have a look here:

Hybrid Synergy Drive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The rest of your comments I don't understand - I lost interest in what cars look like a long time ago. The shape of the Prius is the way it is because it is aerodynamic; its designed to be efficient. If you see a phallic symbol in a car, I think you need help...
Perfect comparison. At highway speeds the engine is doing the majority of the lifting. The motor compensates for the additional weight. Hence the slightly lower highway ratings for the Prius versus the Yaris.

What I would like to know is how, and how well the heater works.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Perfect comparison. At highway speeds the engine is doing the majority of the lifting. The motor compensates for the additional weight. Hence the slightly lower highway ratings for the Prius versus the Yaris.

What I would like to know is how, and how well the heater works.
Show me where the Yaris gets better highway mpg. It is close but the Prius gets ratings are between 46 and 60 mpg (US) depending where you read and the stats for the Yaris are good but around 40 to 45 mpg (US). (It's easier to find mpg ratings than kms/L ratings) I average around 4.8 litres/100kms in my 2001 - the 2005 and 2006 we have in the family get about 4.6 on average in real world, mixed city and highway driving. (we live in Burlington and are in and out of Toronto and Hamilton.)

As far as I know, the Yaris still idles when stopped (idling is very inefficient - most engines are designed to be most efficient at high RPMs vs low RPMs) and has no electric motor to take over when gas guzzling torque is needed to get up to speed. So comparing cars based on highway mpg only doesn't really work well anyway.

The heater/air conditioning works great -it's electric heat - what would make you think it doesn't? (The stereo sounds great too...)

The air conditioner compressor in older models does impact fuel efficiency and mpg just like it does in any other car. No car gets it for free. Oops I am wrong -

The 2010 Prius has (optional) solar panels on the roof that operate the air conditioning in the car with no additional emissions and no hit on your mpg. You can even click your key FOB (or pre-program) from your house or office before you drive and your car will be appropriately 'temperatured' when you get in - no fossil fuels burned. No more burned butt from hot car seats in summer and a nice warm (windows defrosted) vehicle in winter - and no increase in fuel emissions - how 'cool' is that?
 

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Just googled this and received U.S. info 8 years, 150,000 miles. $3200 USD to replace. Regardless I didn't pursue.
I have a buddy who owns an independent automotive parts supplier, and he agrees the cost of replacing the Prius battery is about C$4000 including labour, and confirms that replacement is required more often than jef would lead you to believe.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Additionally Canadian Toyota site says 36 months 160,000km.
This is warranty information - not real world evidence of how long a battery will last. Do you decide not to buy a BMW because the transmission is only warrantied for 3 years and/or 160,000kms? Because you think it will blow up at that time or mileage??

Real evidence please!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
I have a buddy who owns an independent automotive parts supplier, and he agrees the cost of replacing the Prius battery is about C$4000 including labour, and confirms that replacement is required more often than jef would lead you to believe.
I have a friend who talks total crap and says the same thing - can your friend provide real (or any) evidence? If you go to a Toyota dealer and ask for a new battery, the cost is now about $3,800 in Canada and about $2,400 in the US (including labour) and about $1,000 on eBay (no labour). If you want to pay more you probably can.

The main point is how many batteries fail? Is Prius battery failure a real concern? Do I need to worry about Mac viruses? So far, I have not seen any hard statistics on failures or viruses. If there was one or more of either event it would certainly be front page news. Failures and viruses have to happen in order to have statistics. Please help me find them. My friend, who talks total crap, says there are lots of statistics but his dog ate them and then he got an OS X virus.
 

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I understand the marketing processes that have got us to where we are. I question the priorities we have when making purchases in 2010.
Well then you don't understand marketing.

A good marketing campaign starts by understanding what the buyer's priorities are and works with those priorities. It doesn't dismiss those priorities as being silly or irrelevant... that's how you alienate buyers.

jef said:
The Prius is not in the same class of car as the cars you mention above. I'll look for figures to back this up but in my experience, the majority of first time Prius buyers are well educated, professional people who are looking to reduce emissions and contribute to new, cleaner technologies. Not people who are looking for a cheap car.
Ah, you see? I am a well-educated, professional person looking for a cheap car.... well I was, and then I bought a cheap car, and three years later I continue to be very happy with my cheap car.
 

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Methinks, Jef, you are working with some intellectual constructs which don't quite match up to the reality on the ground.

Generalizations about well educated professionals tend to go off the rails very quickly; idiocy, much ike wisdom, does not confine itself to certain classes or educational degrees. Let's please get beyond empty stereotypes and claims that others who disagree with your contentions are talking "total crap."
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Methinks, Jef, you are working with some intellectual constructs which don't quite match up to the reality on the ground.

Generalizations about well educated professionals tend to go off the rails very quickly; idiocy, much ike wisdom, does not confine itself to certain classes or educational degrees. Let's please get beyond empty stereotypes and claims that others who disagree with your contentions are talking "total crap."
Sorry Max but my generalization came from somewhere - here is an article summarizing the data that backs it up (its not me in the photo in the article though...):

Profile of Hybrid Drivers | Hybrid Cars

I am quite aware that people don't make purchases based on reality. That is the point...
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Well then you don't understand marketing.

A good marketing campaign starts by understanding what the buyer's priorities are and works with those priorities. It doesn't dismiss those priorities as being silly or irrelevant... that's how you alienate buyers.

Ah, you see? I am a well-educated, professional person looking for a cheap car.... well I was, and then I bought a cheap car, and three years later I continue to be very happy with my cheap car.
I agree with what you say marketing should be - but if marketing did what it should in the automotive industry, then how did Detroit get it so wrong that GM and Chrysler had to be bailed out? They kept on giving us bigger, faster, status messages and cars when the Europeans, Japanese and Koreans gave us smaller, efficient, practical messages and cars (with some obvious exceptions in the luxury and a few other markets).

I have worked with most of the major global automotive tier one and other top suppliers in Japan and Asia. Although we tried hard to present the US manufacturers with the priorities of their markets, their insistence that they knew their markets better than the research showed make them look very silly and their markets remain irrelevant in those countries to this day (and well as their home markets for GM and Chrysler - enough to force a taxpayer bail out).

There are many case studies including GM, Chrysler and Ford launching expensive advertising campaigns for their cars in Japan (bigger, faster, status) but refusing to adapt their cars to the market. The big three thought they could sell cars with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car. (Can you imagine how many NA buyers would have bought Japanese if the cars had the steering wheel on the wrong side?) It was truly silly of them to even try but they did - more than once. Despite tons of money and years of trying, US brands in Japan remain irrelevant and the word 'silly' is appropriate to describe their reputation in the market there.

I'm glad you like your cheap car. I hope soon you can drive a cheap car that also burns less gas and has lower emissions. It is unfortunate that the technology exists to make this happen but you can't have it - yet.
 

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Jef,

Don't get me wrong I think the Prius is a neat vehicle. Four of my neighbours drive them. I've tried them out and I like them it's just that when you're looking at value you are paying a real premium. I have a friend who is a scientist at the National Research Council, he was involved with a team that evaluated hybrids and other vehicles for their fuel efficiency. His team determined that a Volkswagon Diesel (Golf I think) beat out the competition. By the way, the Harper govt. will not allow their work to be published.

My own story is I determined I needed a wagon after considering small SUV's etc. I crossed the border into Syracuse NY and bought a Subaru Outback at a savings of $12k under the best price I could find in Canada. No regrets it's been a super car and the warranty has been honoured by Ottawa's Subaru dealer.
 

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I have a friend who is a scientist at the National Research Council, he was involved with a team that evaluated hybrids and other vehicles for their fuel efficiency. His team determined that a Volkswagon Diesel (Golf I think) beat out the competition. By the way, the Harper govt. will not allow their work to be published.
The NRC announces all of their studies in advance, but I haven't seen this one on the roster at all. The NRC usually doesn't get into consumer advocacy to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Jef,

Don't get me wrong I think the Prius is a neat vehicle. Four of my neighbours drive them. I've tried them out and I like them it's just that when you're looking at value you are paying a real premium. I have a friend who is a scientist at the National Research Council, he was involved with a team that evaluated hybrids and other vehicles for their fuel efficiency. His team determined that a Volkswagon Diesel (Golf I think) beat out the competition. By the way, the Harper govt. will not allow their work to be published.

My own story is I determined I needed a wagon after considering small SUV's etc. I crossed the border into Syracuse NY and bought a Subaru Outback at a savings of $12k under the best price I could find in Canada. No regrets it's been a super car and the warranty has been honoured by Ottawa's Subaru dealer.
The VW Golf Diesel is a smaller car so again its hard to compare directly. I have read reports on fuel economy - some say the Golf wins and some say Prius - it depends on the tests.

'Clean Diesel' is a misnomer. New ULSD technologies are certainly much cleaner than old diesel technology but still fall behind the Prius (but not all hybrids) as far as emissions go. And then there is the VW reliability issue, total cost of ownership and customer satisfaction reports that should also be considered in a purchase decision.

ULSD diesel fuel is also required and was not widely available in the US until this year - I'm not sure how easy it is to find across Canada today. The Diesel Golf (formerly the Jetta) just came out this year so it will be a while before there is cost and reliability data.

Here is one of several articles that does include some discussion of emissions. Most articles just deal with deal with fuel consumption and performance.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Hybrid-Cars-Vs-Clean-Diesel&id=4524743
 

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At the time I was shopping the highway mileage for the Prius was ~41MPG the Echo Highway was

Prius highway mileage has improved since then but even at 50 over all to the 38 overall that I get, that's over 650,000 kms to pay off the price difference. Assuming of course the battery pack can hang in there for the full 25 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #56 (Edited)
At the time I was shopping the highway mileage for the Prius was ~41MPG the Echo Highway was

Prius highway mileage has improved since then but even at 50 over all to the 38 overall that I get, that's over 650,000 kms to pay off the price difference. Assuming of course the battery pack can hang in there for the full 25 years.
If you are only concerned about MPG and payback, there might not be incentive enough for you to trade your current car - and if you did and it is still in good shape, it would be a waste. I think I've pointed out a few more benefits (cleaner emissions for one) that a growing market segment are willing to pay for that doesn't involve paying a huge premium for the status badge or the 0 to 60 horsepower you will never (or shouldn't) use unless you are on a racetrack. (the Prius does 0 to 60 in 9.8 seconds - its not that slow!)

My 2001 Prius gets over 50 MPG (US) with cruise control at 110 kms/hr. If I am bored and use fuel saving techniques and work with the computer display (which is fun to do), I can get much better than this and maintain 120kms/hr on the highway. I admit, for my own entertainment, I do try to get 1,000 kms on each tank of gas ($38 dollars to fill yesterday - its getting expensive!) and I'm usually very close and often a bit over. There are many hyper milers who can do much better. My son has owned his for about 5 months now and he can better my fuel consumption on his new Prius - he was very happy about that.
 

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You know jef, it's fine that you like your Prius, but your insinuation that everyone who chose not to buy one was somehow fooled by marketing is just plain insulting.

Why don't you ride a bicycle if you're concerned about the environment so much?
Doesn't fit your needs? Well, then please respect the fact that other people have different needs in vehicles other than spending the absolute least amount of money on fuel. These people have not been fooled by marketing.

If the Prius meets your needs, then fine. But I looked at a Prius, and quite frankly, it just plain cost too much. I bought a smaller car, paid $20K, taxes included, and am averaging 6.6L/100k - sorry, but over the lifetime of this vehicle, I'll still have spend less money overall than if I bought a Prius.
 

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So why do people pay tens of thousands of dollars to drive cars with a status badge and no savings on fuel? People make these choices every day and they say hybrids are not 'economical'. Can you make sense out of this?
Yes, it's quite simple. People have different needs than you. For some it is status, but for others, it is driving experience. Why do you think saving on fuel is the number one priority for everyone? Why don't you move closer to work, or take public transit - then you'll save on more fuel too.
 

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By now most of you will agree that Jef is obsessed with Prius.

Anything he writes now or in the future will reflect that obsession.

I don't share his views and apparently most others in this thread do not either.

Conclusion: Jef's opinion is his own and he is welcome to it. I won't be wasting any further electrons debating with a Prius fanatic. Best of all, I can get much better mileage in any other thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Yes, it's quite simple. People have different needs than you. For some it is status, but for others, it is driving experience. Why do you think saving on fuel is the number one priority for everyone? Why don't you move closer to work, or take public transit - then you'll save on more fuel too.
The priorities in my posts have not been about the money - the main problem is the tremendous amount of misinformation in the market that shapes buying decisions. I have repeatedly stated that it is more important for me as a buyer to contribute to reducing emissions by investing in new technologies rather than supporting old technologies rather than payback on fuel. And I really do think saving on fuel and emissions is a much smarter societal choice that more people would make if they had better information to work with when considering a car purchase.

I live very close to work - I work mostly from home but have to travel to client sites so I do quite well on fuel. A car is needed because I carry equipment with me that could not be managed on public transportation.
 
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