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Is the Prius for me ?


dread_uk
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I'm currently driving a 57 plate petrol Merc A class 1.5, which has been a great little car just coming up to 90k miles

My journeys tend to be quite short with a 15 min drive to work, which on a good day I can get 40mpg, around town is around 30' and on the motorway sticking to 60 I can get around 45 - and on very warm day maybe up to 50, but very rarely

most weekends I tend to do around 100 miles on the motorway 

Reasons for a change, road tax is £180 a year, servicing is silly money at a main dealer, and not much cheaper at a specialist merc garage - cruise control would be great on the motorway  as would the auto and bluetooth, bigger boot

what kind of mpg could I expect on the motorway ? At 60 to 70 mph, I don't have a heavy right foot and tend to stick to the speed limit around town and drive to save petrol

im looking at some 60-61 plate t4's or T sprits at around £10k or maybe a 63 new shape auris 

So to some up would the short daily commute not be worthwhile to take advantage of the hybrid? Mpg on the motorway, would I be better of with a diesel? And finally how does the Prius compare to the newer shape Auris

thanks for the comments and sorry for any typo's using a tablet rather than a pic keyboard...

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I'm currently driving a 57 plate petrol Merc A class 1.5, which has been a great little car just coming up to 90k miles

My journeys tend to be quite short with a 15 min drive to work, which on a good day I can get 40mpg, around town is around 30' and on the motorway sticking to 60 I can get around 45 - and on very warm day maybe up to 50, but very rarely

most weekends I tend to do around 100 miles on the motorway 

Reasons for a change, road tax is £180 a year, servicing is silly money at a main dealer, and not much cheaper at a specialist merc garage - cruise control would be great on the motorway  as would the auto and Bluetooth, bigger boot

what kind of mpg could I expect on the motorway ? At 60 to 70 mph, I don't have a heavy right foot and tend to stick to the speed limit around town and drive to save petrol

im looking at some 60-61 plate t4's or T sprits at around £10k or maybe a 63 new shape auris 

So to some up would the short daily commute not be worthwhile to take advantage of the hybrid? Mpg on the motorway, would I be better of with a diesel? And finally how does the Prius compare to the newer shape auris

thanks for the comments and sorry for any typo's using a tablet rather than a pic keyboard...

Hi there,

I have a first generation Auris hybrid. My commute to work is about 3.5 miles, on an A road with a 40 mph limit, compared to my old 1.8 petrol, it does the same in winter and summer I get 40-55 from a cold engine. On the way back from work I can get 56-70mpg.

On the motorway I am lazy and set the cruise control to 70 and get at least 56mpg.

In stop start traffic and town driving, when you can run on just electric you can get quite far before the engine kicks in to recharge the Battery.

For me a hybrid works, I bought a 5 year old one and not regretted it.

Nothing beats having a test drive, plus there is 5 different hybrids to choose from.

I hope I haven't bored you ;-)

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Go visit some dealers. Drive a few. 

 

The HSD experience does not provide instant gratification for the Type A personality. (It is a totally different experience to what BMW drivers crave.) 

Which seems to account for most motoring journalists' opinions. 

Its not slow (as booting it for overtaking demonstrates), but it does provide a much more relaxed drive.  

 

I've had the (2 years old) estate for a couple of months now, 1200 or so miles, and I'm enjoying it more and more, and even though I'm still learning how to drive it most efficiently (hills are still a puzzle) the computer is showing 61 point something mpg overall since I got it. (Actual is probably 5% or so less, nevertheless I'm impressed.) 

Most of my "starts" are for really short trips.  I've only had one long day in the car (involving a tour all round the M25 and 100+ miles on top - 63mpg showed for those sectors). Best mpg was on a cross-country amble, mainly across -flat- Romney Marsh where after an hour and 20 minutes of driving the thing was showing almost 79 mpg. Then I had the last steep uphill to home and I was left with 'only' 75 mpg indicated overall. 

I just wanted it not to drink petrol on the multiplicity of short trips ... and it does that very well indeed. 

 

Annoyances? Its a very quiet car, but the (factory fit) tyres generate a lot of road noise on most (not all - which shows the difference) road surfaces. That's OK because I can change the tyres. However, the sat nav is less use (and more awkward) than Google Maps on my phone. The handsfree insists on sorting my contacts by what it takes to be the surname (with unpredictable results for business etc!). And the digital radio gives 10 seconds or so of FM before catching the digital station, every single time the radio is powered up. But the oddest one is that there is a time limit (20 minutes?) before the car shuts itself down when you leave it in 'accessory' mode - necessary if you are leaving someone in the car with the radio to listen to! That's right, when the car is off everything you might think of using (radio, lighter socket, windows) is dead. You need to set it to accessory mode to get the radio powered (but even then, not the windows!) and it shuts itself down after 20 minutes. (It seems to be because the 12v Battery is unusually small.) There are a few other oddities, but nothing too significant, like the inconvenience of setting a trip for individual trip miles covered.

It is an estate version (biased towards bootspace rather than rear legroom, which is ideal for me), of an unexceptional (but hopefully boringly reliable) car, with a truly utterly remarkable power unit. It shares the power unit (and Battery and computers) of the Gen3 Prius (ie the Prius that was current up until this year). 

I'm very very happy with it. (So far!)

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1 hour ago, dread_uk said:

Had a 60 plate in today to install CCTV 170k on the clock and it was like new, the chap hadn't done anything to it apart from servicing and tyres

Couldn't tell me what it did on the motorway thou :( 

That would be a 3rd generation Prius and going by they do more than the Auris, due to having better drag figures. I get about 60Mpg compare to about 70mpg.

The big question is, did you like the way it drives?

The Mpg is dependent on the driving style. Driving a non hybrid you can use the pulse and glide to boost your mpg, in a hybrid the ICE turns off during the glide part. Each time you slow down you are generating electricity that goes into the Battery, to use later. 

 

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1 hour ago, dread_uk said:

Your right I need to get out and drive one, I haven't driven an auto for me then a few yards so could be quite interesting !

Drives like any other automatic, but with the added fun of trying to go further and further on electric.

 

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If you are not used to an automatic, just keep your left foot out of the way!  You might find yourself involuntarily pressing the clutch during the drive and you don't want to be doing that near any pedals in an automatic. 

I had a gen3 prius for almost 7 years and 135k miles (just traded in for a plugin).  I was sorry to see it go. It has been the most reliable car ever and has paid for itself in fuel savings.  You can see my fuel consumption at fuelly.

http://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/prius/2010/johalareewi/30847/fuelchart

 

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1 hour ago, johalareewi said:

If you are not used to an automatic, just keep your left foot out of the way!  ...

Also, be aware the Prius doesn't have a normal hand brake - it's a pedal where the clutch pedal would normally be.  Press it, and it clicks like a handbrake when you don't hold the button in and stays down when you take your foot off.  To release, press it again, it clicks once and releases.

Pressing it accidentally while moving like it were a clutch pedal will probably result in an unwanted 'handbrake turn'!  (and possibly a crash!).  You soon get used to it  though.

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3 hours ago, PeteB said:

Also, be aware the Prius doesn't have a normal hand brake - it's a pedal where the clutch pedal would normally be.  Press it, and it clicks like a handbrake when you don't hold the button in and stays down when you take your foot off.  To release, press it again, it clicks once and releases.

Pressing it accidentally while moving like it were a clutch pedal will probably result in an unwanted 'handbrake turn'!  (and possibly a crash!).  You soon get used to it  though.

Initially I used to keep my left knee bent with foot tucked as far up as I could towards the seat until I got used to driving an auto. Wouldn't drive anything else now though.

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2 minutes ago, Duffryn said:

Initially I used to keep my left knee bent with foot tucked as far up as I could towards the seat until I got used to driving an auto. Wouldn't drive anything else now though.

I just keep my foot on the foot rest, just like on a long motorway journey in a manual car.

My main problem was jumping back into a manual car and forgetting about the clutch when coming to a stop. :wink:

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On ‎21‎/‎09‎/‎2016 at 10:53 PM, Anthony Poli said:

Drives like any other automatic, but with the added fun of trying to go further and further on electric.

I'm not sure whether you really meant to say that . . . . . :smile:

I have been driving automatics since the early 1970's and have driven autos by several manufacturers, both European and Japanese. Mostly, the gear boxes had a series of ratios (just like a manual box) with some mechanism for changing gear at appropriate engine/road speeds. I once drove a Daf with a continuously variable box but it was very basic compared with the Prius drive system and really struggled with hills. All the other boxes were necessarily "steppy" and several of them changed gear with a noticeably jolt especially when using the "kick down" facility. Some of them were very unreliable. I bought an automatic Austin Maxi in about 1973 and kept it for only a year, during which time the gearbox was changed twice.

By comparison, the Prius drive mechanism is entirely smooth and without any steps. In essence it has only one gear ratio which it does not change. The change in ratio between ICE speed and road wheel speed is achieved by a differential speed mechanism within the sun and planet gears on the transaxle.

Changing from a standard auto box to the Prius eCVT is a revelation. It is simpler to drive and is a large contributor to the relaxed driving style that is possible in this vehicle.

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45 minutes ago, Sagitar said:

I'm not sure whether you really meant to say that . . . . . :smile:

I think he's getting at the fact that you just select forward or reverse and have one pedal to go and one to stop...

I've driven a number of 'conventional' CVTs from Honda and Nissan, which use cones and a metallic band to achieve a continuously variable ratio (a more advanced version of the DAF system), and they feel remarkably like the Toyota Hybrid System in the way they respond to accelerator pressure, but as you say, achieved in a very different way.

The Honda Jazz CVT even had buttons (flappy paddles on later models) that could make it simulate stepped gears, which seems daft, although the one time I found it useful was in being able to select a fixed ratio to ascend steep hills so that pressing the throttle pedal hard was not accompanied by high revs.

[Most of the Honda Hybrids use this CVT box coupled to a torque converter, and again feel very similar to the Toyota Hybrid system in the way they drive].

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I was meaning with it being a hybrid, you learn how little pressure you need to apply with your foot to keep the car moving on electric power only. For instance my 1st gen Auris, the manual says 0.5 mile range and when I first had the car I could just about do that on a road that was 0.5 mile long at 20Mph.

Now on the same road, I can do that without being anywhere close to the ICE kicking in.

Even on faster roads, with traffic lights I have managed to get nearly 5 miles. Only using the ICE to get up to speed from the lights, before the Battery was completely drained.

 

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^^^^^^ What he said!

I still find now, in some situations, I'm accelerating harder than necessary. You do need to be more alert to your speed as it is quite easy to go over the speed limit in a hybrid (especially 30 limits), not least due to the lack of any engine sound to alert you to an increase in speed (yes, they are that quiet).

You will find yourself lifting off more than you would in any other car, and the power meter is very useful for this (especially at lower speed on Battery, the throttle hardly needs any pressure to make a change). Even at 50-60 MPH the power meter is useful for knowing how hard you are accelerating. Climbing/descending hills becomes more obvious, too, as (IMHO) hybrids seem more sensitive to the gradient changes than a conventional car (this might be due to the power instrument though reflecting throttle position, which conventional cars don't do).

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^^^^^^ What he said!

I still find now, in some situations, I'm accelerating harder than necessary. You do need to be more alert to your speed as it is quite easy to go over the speed limit in a hybrid (especially 30 limits), not least due to the lack of any engine sound to alert you to an increase in speed (yes, they are that quiet).

You will find yourself lifting off more than you would in any other car, and the power meter is very useful for this (especially at lower speed on battery, the throttle hardly needs any pressure to make a change). Even at 50-60 MPH the power meter is useful for knowing how hard you are accelerating. Climbing/descending hills becomes more obvious, too, as (IMHO) hybrids seem more sensitive to the gradient changes than a conventional car (this might be due to the power instrument though reflecting throttle position, which conventional cars don't do).

I would also add like conventional cars differ, so do hybrids. My Auris is more sensitive to the accelerator, compared to mothers Yaris when both are on Eco. On EV mine is slower to accelerate and less EV range. The Yaris isn't that much more economical, just has a smaller tank.

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^^^^^^ What he said!

I still find now, in some situations, I'm accelerating harder than necessary. You do need to be more alert to your speed as it is quite easy to go over the speed limit in a hybrid (especially 30 limits), not least due to the lack of any engine sound to alert you to an increase in speed (yes, they are that quiet).

You will find yourself lifting off more than you would in any other car, and the power meter is very useful for this (especially at lower speed on battery, the throttle hardly needs any pressure to make a change). Even at 50-60 MPH the power meter is useful for knowing how hard you are accelerating. Climbing/descending hills becomes more obvious, too, as (IMHO) hybrids seem more sensitive to the gradient changes than a conventional car (this might be due to the power instrument though reflecting throttle position, which conventional cars don't do).

I would also add like conventional cars differ, so do hybrids. My Auris is more sensitive to the accelerator, compared to mothers Yaris when both are on Eco. On EV mine is slower to accelerate and less EV range. The Yaris isn't that much more economical, just has a smaller tank.

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^^^^^^ What he said!

I still find now, in some situations, I'm accelerating harder than necessary. You do need to be more alert to your speed as it is quite easy to go over the speed limit in a hybrid (especially 30 limits), not least due to the lack of any engine sound to alert you to an increase in speed (yes, they are that quiet).

You will find yourself lifting off more than you would in any other car, and the power meter is very useful for this (especially at lower speed on battery, the throttle hardly needs any pressure to make a change). Even at 50-60 MPH the power meter is useful for knowing how hard you are accelerating. Climbing/descending hills becomes more obvious, too, as (IMHO) hybrids seem more sensitive to the gradient changes than a conventional car (this might be due to the power instrument though reflecting throttle position, which conventional cars don't do).

I would also add like conventional cars differ, so do hybrids. My Auris is more sensitive to the accelerator, compared to mothers Yaris when both are on Eco. On EV mine is slower to accelerate and less EV range. The Yaris isn't that much more economical, just has a smaller tank.

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Well to keep you updated and to also ask another question.

i've had a look at a couple of cars now and test drove one today, a 10 plate t-sprit with 35k mile for just over 9k which seems great value, the car was in very good condition, a few small marks, and a a couple of marks on the interior plastics, but nothing that you could see from the drivers side thankfully, anyways.... 

i drove about 30 miles, around 20 miles of that on the motorways and the rest around town, to answer my own question (I reset the trip at the start of the journey) on the motorway with the cruise set at 67mph I was getting 60+ I did boot it a few times to over take and just to get a feel what it was like under power...

overall journey on my return the trip showed 67mpg so no complaints there !!

i found the ev mode very sluggish around town so your have to get used to that I think, I think the lack of throttle response makes it feel "worse"

quick question the sensor on the screen behind the rear view mirror what is that used for ? Auto lights or auto wipers ?

also when I was sat in the car before we moved off I could hear a fan I think from the radio is that normal ?

one final one, is there anything I should be looking out for when I'm looking at these cars ?

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The sensor on the mirror is for the Auto wipers  and the auto lights sensor is integrated into the windscreen vent.

Is the cars private sale or dealer?

If its a dealer, then you have a warranty and you may have the chance to extend it. 

If private then check it has a hybrid health check certificate, 

The good thing these days, all the service history is available online via mytoyota, so even a private seller can show you its history from day 1. Unless they have anything to hide, Toyota is moving to paperless online service records. Plus the past MOT's are available online as well, so it should be easier to spot an unlucky car.

Happy hunting :biggrin:

 

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It's a dealer that only sell Toyota's not a main dealer he had probably close to a 100 cars

Mot's and HPI checks on the car all look legit

Just waiting on the version number so I can check the info on "my toyota" shame you can't just pull the info up without verifying it.

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also when I was sat in the car before we moved off I could hear a fan I think from the radio is that normal ?

There are noises which are normal which you are probably not expecting. When you open the driver's door before you set off, you may hear a buzzing noise come on that lasts several seconds.

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2 hours ago, dread_uk said:

It's a dealer that only sell Toyota's not a main dealer he had probably close to a 100 cars

"Toyota Approved Used" gets you a cast iron warranty backed all the way to Toyota. It doesn't depend on the garage staying in business! Similarly, you can buy Toyota Extended Warranty, where again the warranty is with Toyota UK, not the garage or some insurance company. 

Look critically at whatever warranty you may be offered and compare against these schemes. Says the man who bought his used hybrid privately while still under Toyota's from-new warranty! 

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