Sign in to follow this  
Aeneas

Scary Moments With A Prius

Recommended Posts

I like my new Prius Gen 3 for its fuel economy, its roomy interior and its comfortable seats. Although I had fears about the boot space I am surprised at how useful the space is; and the area underneath is good for hiding away things like waterproofs, boots etc. But after four thousand kms I am afraid that the driving experience is less than satisfactory and even at times scary. Here are my problems:

Steering: The steering is light and responsive. But there is very little feedback from the wheels to the steering wheel. To be honest I had not noticed this as an advantage in my other cars but its absence in the Prius is very noticeable. What it means is that when you take your eyes off the road, for example to check mpg or mph, the car can wander. In most other cars I have driven the steering wheel gives a better sense of where the wheels are on the road and the direction of the car. With the Prius you don’t get this sense of where the car is and the driver needs to keep his eyes on the road all the time

Stability: I mentioned this in an earlier post. I find on less than perfect surfaces and at faster speeds the car shifts around a bit, as if it were being buffeted by side winds. This may be related to the steering or it may have to do with the lightness of the car. But again it requires constant attention.

Hills: On downhill runs or long declines the car can give a sense of running away from you and needs more braking than others. This may be because there is less engine braking with the Prius but the effect can be a bit frightening.

Brakes: The brakes themselves are “softer” than most cars. I have on occasion been startled when I push on the brake pedal to find that the car is not slowing down as much as I anticipated. A further push is needed to slow it down or bring it to a stop. The result is that braking can be a bit harsh and less smooth than I desire. This may have to do with the regenerative braking system.

Visibility: Visibility is a real problem. Not just with the rear but all around.

- Rear: It’s not possible to see the back of the car so reversing through a narrow gateway or into a parking spot is difficult and needs special attention. Moreover if there are children around you need to take particular care to ensure that a toddler is not in the substantial blind area behind you.

- Spoiler: the spoiler obscures traffic behind you. This is generally not a problem during the day and an advantage at night is that it prevents glare in your rear mirror. But the disadvantage is that you cannot see that the car behind is signalling a turn or passing manoeuvre.

- Front: The left window strut can obscure traffic at T-junctions.

- Rear Mirror: the mirror is large and positioned low on the front screen. For a tall person like myself, even with the driver seat at its lowest position, it obscures a surprisingly large amount of the screen area. In certain manoeuvres I need to look below and around the mirror to ensure that the way ahead is clear.

On its own any one of these problems might be accepted when set against other advantages of the car. But taken together I find that they make for a less relaxing, and sometimes even anxious, drive than I would wish. A result is that I have not adjusted to this car as quickly as other I have owned and I find that driving needs more attention. When I add in the poor radio reception, the occasional dashboard rattle, and the puckering of the cloth in the driver’s seat I begin to wonder if the Prius was a wise investment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:unsure:

I have to say my experience is different from the Aeneas' in every way, except the dash rattles.

Steering is light but i've gotten used to it fine

Dont have any issue with the car wandering

Its the most stable car ive owned, taking all conditions into account

Hills, i notice that it slows going up them in eco mode to preserve fuel, but otherwise its fine

Brakes sharp and powerful

Visibility good with the exception of to the rear, and i havent had any problems yet

I think its a brilliant car.

All the Best

Rich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting comments. I find that most cars have blind spots of some sort. I would agree with the comments about reversing, but with good use of the rear camera and side mirrors it is not a huge issue. I find the camera is very good for toddlers etc. as they can all but vanish when they pass behind a normal car.

Steering wise- I used to own a landrover which wandered from county to county let alone within its lane! I would describe the prius steering as "numb". If I wanted a car to give me feedback so I could find out what it does I'd get a sportier one. Happy to plod about a bit more rather than test road holding on corners. Must be getting old!! :drool:

Brakes- they are OK when you get used to them. I find the abs cuts in on badly pot holed surfaces which can be unsettling. Living in Kent where tarmac had become a rare sight this was annoying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are my problems:

...

- Rear Mirror: the mirror is large and positioned low on the front screen. For a tall person like myself, even with the driver seat at its lowest position, it obscures a surprisingly large amount of the screen area. In certain manoeuvres I need to look below and around the mirror to ensure that the way ahead is clear.

If you haven't seen it you may find it helpful to read this thread about repositioning the rear view mirror. The first thing to check is that you've tried adjusting both ball joints. The link takes you to post 5 where a more drastic option of rotating the mirror by 180O is suggested. This has helped some drivers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like my new Prius Gen 3 for its fuel economy, its roomy interior and its comfortable seats. Although I had fears about the boot space I am surprised at how useful the space is; and the area underneath is good for hiding away things like waterproofs, boots etc. But after four thousand kms I am afraid that the driving experience is less than satisfactory and even at times scary. Here are my problems:

Agreed! the lower boot is amazing for the normal detritus of motoring that you don't really want in the boot but is useful to have there :)

Steering: The steering is light and responsive. But there is very little feedback from the wheels to the steering wheel. To be honest I had not noticed this as an advantage in my other cars but its absence in the Prius is very noticeable. What it means is that when you take your eyes off the road, for example to check mpg or mph, the car can wander. In most other cars I have driven the steering wheel gives a better sense of where the wheels are on the road and the direction of the car. With the Prius you don’t get this sense of where the car is and the driver needs to keep his eyes on the road all the time

with the HUD invariably the only time I take my eyes off the road is to find the pwr or ev switches, and that will go when I get used to the car. The steering is the same as my Gen2 and pretty similar to my wifes Aygo and number1 sons Seat Ibiza - I've not driven number 2 sons Golf yet, but I've never had a problem with the steering

Stability: I mentioned this in an earlier post. I find on less than perfect surfaces and at faster speeds the car shifts around a bit, as if it were being buffeted by side winds. This may be related to the steering or it may have to do with the lightness of the car. But again it requires constant attention.

Hills: On downhill runs or long declines the car can give a sense of running away from you and needs more braking than others. This may be because there is less engine braking with the Prius but the effect can be a bit frightening.

On less than perfect surfaces I would normally reduce the speed of the vehicle, it's not an off-roader, nor is it an suv! As far as hills go, the 'b' helps enormously as does the cruise control up to a certain degree. Again, if it is scaring you then you are probably going too fast!

Brakes: The brakes themselves are “softer” than most cars. I have on occasion been startled when I push on the brake pedal to find that the car is not slowing down as much as I anticipated. A further push is needed to slow it down or bring it to a stop. The result is that braking can be a bit harsh and less smooth than I desire. This may have to do with the regenerative braking system.

Get them checked! the brakes on my gen3 are so blood6 sharp they would cut you! I HAVE to be gentle on them otherwise I would have unwanted guests in my boot

Visibility: Visibility is a real problem. Not just with the rear but all around.

- Rear: It’s not possible to see the back of the car so reversing through a narrow gateway or into a parking spot is difficult and needs special attention. Moreover if there are children around you need to take particular care to ensure that a toddler is not in the substantial blind area behind you.

- Spoiler: the spoiler obscures traffic behind you. This is generally not a problem during the day and an advantage at night is that it prevents glare in your rear mirror. But the disadvantage is that you cannot see that the car behind is signalling a turn or passing manoeuvre.

- Front: The left window strut can obscure traffic at T-junctions.

- Rear Mirror: the mirror is large and positioned low on the front screen. For a tall person like myself, even with the driver seat at its lowest position, it obscures a surprisingly large amount of the screen area. In certain manoeuvres I need to look below and around the mirror to ensure that the way ahead is clear.

On its own any one of these problems might be accepted when set against other advantages of the car. But taken together I find that they make for a less relaxing, and sometimes even anxious, drive than I would wish. A result is that I have not adjusted to this car as quickly as other I have owned and I find that driving needs more attention. When I add in the poor radio reception, the occasional dashboard rattle, and the puckering of the cloth in the driver’s seat I begin to wonder if the Prius was a wise investment.

All cars have blind spots. I have not been able to see the 'back' of any car I've owned since a mkiv cortina estate 20odd years ago! you have to gauge where the back of the vehicle is, practice with someone telling you to start with until you get used to where the back is - the rearview camera helps of course but I think they are only on the t-spirit.

As to the mirror, I too am tall - 6'6" I have had to 'look round' the rearview mirror in every car I have ever owned so it's not a problem.

I have never had bad reception on the radio - but I didn't have the jbl upgrade, and never listen to the BBC, my local station is well powerful enough to give me excellent reception wherever I am and if I'm out of the county then the relevant local station or the hard drive suffice for entertainment when I get bored with the wife's chatter.

There are no rattles in mine, and I would expect the seat upholstery to last the life of the car. I remember the leather seats in my old Ford Popular years ago.... split, worn,stuffing poking out after only 3 years!

Basically I, and I suspect many many others believe the Prius to be one of the best cars that Mr T has produced for a variety of reasons and I am really sorry to hear that you are not satisfied.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hills: On downhill runs or long declines the car can give a sense of running away from you and needs more braking than others. This may be because there is less engine braking with the Prius but the effect can be a bit frightening.

This is where you slip into B :thumbsup:

Brakes: The brakes themselves are “softer” than most cars. I have on occasion been startled when I push on the brake pedal to find that the car is not slowing down as much as I anticipated. A further push is needed to slow it down or bring it to a stop. The result is that braking can be a bit harsh and less smooth than I desire. This may have to do with the regenerative braking system.

Have to disagree. The prius brakes are very good at stopping the car when you have to and are easy to feather.

Visibility: Visibility is a real problem. Not just with the rear but all around.

- Rear: It’s not possible to see the back of the car so reversing through a narrow gateway or into a parking spot is difficult and needs special attention. Moreover if there are children around you need to take particular care to ensure that a toddler is not in the substantial blind area behind you.

Agree. You need to use the door mirrors.

Good job they are electric.

Am looking at fitting a backup camera for the blind spot.

- Spoiler: the spoiler obscures traffic behind you. This is generally not a problem during the day and an advantage at night is that it prevents glare in your rear mirror. But the disadvantage is that you cannot see that the car behind is signalling a turn or passing manoeuvre.

- Front: The left window strut can obscure traffic at T-junctions.

True

- Rear Mirror: the mirror is large and positioned low on the front screen. For a tall person like myself, even with the driver seat at its lowest position, it obscures a surprisingly large amount of the screen area. In certain manoeuvres I need to look below and around the mirror to ensure that the way ahead is clear.

I had this problem too but thanks to help on here...

The mirror has two knuckle joints so you can get it positioned higher up. If this isn't good enough just rotate it through 180 degrees (so it is upside down) to move it even further up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

with the HUD invariably the only time I take my eyes off the road is to find the pwr or ev switches, and that will go when I get used to the car.

I stuck a transparent blob on the ECO button. This allows the label to show but means I can now tell where the button is by feel, thus keeping my eyes on the road while changing modes. By deduction when I feel the blob it also tells me where the other buttons are (PWR is the button to the left of the blob, EV is the button to the right). I got the blob from a kitchen unit door, it's one of the ones that was stuck on by the kitchen fitters so that each door closes softly.

R04drunner1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

with the HUD invariably the only time I take my eyes off the road is to find the pwr or ev switches, and that will go when I get used to the car.

I stuck a transparent blob on the ECO button. This allows the label to show but means I can now tell where the button is by feel, thus keeping my eyes on the road while changing modes. By deduction when I feel the blob it also tells me where the other buttons are (PWR is the button to the left of the blob, EV is the button to the right). I got the blob from a kitchen unit door, it's one of the ones that was stuck on by the kitchen fitters so that each door closes softly.

R04drunner1

Brilliant idea thanks for the tip :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this