Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 50807
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2022/08/07 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2008/8/7-13 [Transportation/Car/Hybrid] UID:50807 Activity:moderate
8/7     JD Power dependability study:
        "Toyota's Prius hybrid was the top-ranked vehicle in the compact car
        Hybrid cars are not inherently less reliable.
        \_ But how will it be in 10 years? 15? Will it end up in a
           scrap heap sooner than a gas car?
           The Prius compared to a Camry or Accord (or Chevy Malibu)
           * more expensive, and also costs taxpayers with rebates
           * worse crash test ratings
           * less comfortable (less room, especially in the width, rear),
             no seat height adjustment, no telescoping steering column.
             \_ "headroom is cavernous and there's a tad more rear-seat
                legroom than in a Camry or Ford Crown Victoria."
           * batteries and electronics have their own environmental cost
           * Prius is slower, has poor handling and worse braking. (This
             is also a safety issue.)
             \_ Prius has higher peak torque at lower RPM as well as lower
                curb weight than even Camry V6 and Accord V6.  It can
                accelerate faster from low speed.
                curb weight than Camry 4-cyl and even Camry V6.
                accelerate faster from standstill.
                \_ It's still slower overall though.
                   \_ Yes, 0-60mph at 10.4sec.  But the Prius was never meant
                      to be a performance car.
           * Prius looks weird.
             \_ Maybe that's one compromize Toyota had to make in order to
                achieve a Cd of 0.26 with a 5-passenger car.
           In summary: people buy it to impress other people with their
           supposed environmental concern.
           \_ Why are you comparing interior room of a compact car with that
              of mid-size cars?  If the Prius were as big as Camry or Accord,
              it wouldn't be a compact car, would it?
              \_ I don't really care how it's classified since the real world
                 distinction doesn't matter much.  The Prius has a longer
                 wheelbase than most compacts and it costs a ton more than most
                 compact cars.  It is a fair bit bigger than a Yaris.
                 If you compare it to a Mazda 3 or VW Jetta it still loses out
                 on price and performance.  The new VW TDI isn't cheap but
                 at least performs much better than Prius with similar MPG.
                 IRS announced a $1300 credit on those now...
                 By the way:
                 "The 2008 Toyota Prius is a full-featured *midsize* car..."
                 \_ Hmm.  Wheelbase, right?  Let's see:
                    Civic Sedan:        106.3in wheelbase
                    Prius:              106.3in wheelbase
                    I guess by your logic the Civic Sedan is also a mid-size
                    car then.

                    Civic Sedan:        wheelbase 106.3in
                    Prius:              wheelbase 106.3in
                    I guess by your logic the Civic Sedan is a mid-size car

                    And the cost, right?  Let's see:
                    BMW M3 Sedan:       $53800 MSRP
                    Prius:              $21500 MSRP
                    I guess by your logic the M3 Sedan is an extra-full-size
                    car then.
                    I guess by your logic the M3 Sedan is an extra-extra-full-
                    size car then.

                    VW TDI?  Do you mean the 2009 Jetta Diesel?  Let's see:
                    Jetta Diesel:       29 city, 40 hwy, 33 combined
                    Prius:              48 city, 45 hwy, 46 combined
                    Similar MPG?  Well, if you say 33 and 46 are similar ......
                    (And how much is a gallon of diesel again?)
                    Similar MPG?  Well, if 33 and 46 are similar ......

                    \_ I don't know that you can trust the EPA estimate for
                       this car with the "revised EPA procedures".  VW claims
                       a lot better, and it got AMCI certification for
                       38 city/44 hwy. Ok, so not as good as a Prius with
                       more expensive fuel. But, it is a normal car with
                       much better performance (more fun to drive) and I
                       think more luggage space.  And a bit cheaper.
                       It will emit more CO2 though.
           \_ By "rebate" do you mean the fed tax credit?  That already ended
              for the Prius last year.
              \_ Ok. Weird. They still have tax credits for non-Toyotas.
           \_ Is it possible that someone could buy it because of a genuine
              environmental concern? I don't own a car, mostly because of
              a genuine environmental concern and I seriously doubt that my
              lack of car ownership impresses anyone.
              \_ Well maybe they just don't know and want to feel good about
                 it.  Marketing tells us that hybrids are wonderful for the
                 environment.  Your lack of a car is far better than having
                 a Prius.  Tons of people at my silicon valley work bought
                 Priuses.  Very few of them would bike to work.  But they
                 feel like they are saving the environment because they have
                 a hybrid.
                 \_ I used to ride the Line M bus across the San Mateo Bridge
                    to go to work.  I did that for 5yrs.  But when my son
                    started going to daycare, I went back to driving.  -- OP
              \_ I bought a Prius out of genuine environmental concern.  I'm
                 my late 30s, have a wife and two kids and a soccer-dad
                 in my late 30s, have a wife and two kids and a soccer-dad
                 minivan, and I leave work early everyday to pick up my kid
                 from daycare, and I take my kid to the office when daycare is
                 on holidays.  So whatever flashy car I get is not going to
                 help me impress any hot women or anyone else.
                 on holidays.  So even a flashy car is not going to help me
                 impress any hot women or anyone else.  And since I carpool
                 with my kid, I don't need a hybrid to use the carpool lane.
                 -- OP
           \_ Pretty much everyone I know who bought one did so for the
              carpool lane privilege.
           \_ The Prius acccelerates as well as most 4 cylinder cars and
              handles better. Are you thinking of the old Prius?
              \_ Not really... not compared to a gas Camry for instance.
                  "Wow, this is a strikingly slow car."
                  \_ From the very web page that you cited:
                     "Given the leisurely nature of most motorists'
                     acceleration habits, many will only occasionally notice
                     the Prius' power deficit."
                     "a 0-60-mph sprint of 10.4 seconds.  Given the leisurely
                     nature of most motorists' acceleration habits, many will
                     only occasionally notice the Prius' power deficit."
                  "Crummy steering feel "
                  \_ From the very web page that you cited:
                     "It is, however, tremendously easy to turn at any speed,"
                  "Sub-limit brake response is awful "
                  "Base model's soft suspension and fairly skinny,
                  economy-based tires allow marked cornering lean and
                  noseplow." (from your link)
                  \_ From the very web page that you cited:
                     "Everyone should be happy with the ride comfort, which
                     provides a buttoned-down, big-car feel to a lightweight
                     car. Compared to fuel-efficient compact cars, the Prius
                     feels almost Lincoln-like as it softly damps road
                     \_ A soft dampened ride is what 60 year old women want.
                        In fact, the entire car sounds perfect for a 60 year
                        old woman. For people who like to drive it's hideous,
                        but Prius doesn't claim to be a driver's car. It
                        just claims to save fuel, which it does. I wouldn't
                        buy one. In fact, I wouldn't drive one if you gave
                        it to me for free.
                 \_ "slow"?  Depends on the situation.
                    Camry 2.4 4-cyl:    161 lb-ft @4000rpm, curb wt. 3307lb
                    Camry 3.5 V6:       248 lb-ft @4700rpm, curb wt. 3483lb
                    Accord EX:          162 lb-ft @4400rpm, curb wt. 3408lb
                    Accord EX V6:       254 lb-ft @5000rpm, curb wt. 3567lb
                    Prius:              295 lb-ft @0-1200rpm, curb wt. 2932lb
                                        (not counting torque from engine)
                    Now imagine starting from a red-light.
        \_ I have no problems with hybrids or even electrics (see Tesla) if
           they are regular cars with a different engine and drivetrain.
           The Prius is different just to be different and the people who
           drive them *want* to be seen as different. It's actually a pretty
           shallow and feel-good thing. I think it's that same appearance
           which is more important than any actual environmental concern.
           Now that more manufacturers are making hybrids that otherwise
           look and act the same as any other car I don't see a point to buying
           an ugly and underperforming POS like a Prius.
           \_ So why is Prius still the #1 selling hybrid when there are
              a bunch of good hybrids like the Camry Hybrid and SUV hybrids?
              \_ Because those cars don't say "HEY LOOK I DRIVE A HYBRID".
                 It is also cheaper than a Camry Hybrid.
                 \_ Yeah, CAMRY, really impresses WOMEN!!! Women with BABIES
                    \_ Exactly his point. People drive Prius for shallow
                       reasons instead of Camrys.
                       \_ More or less shallow than people who buy sportscars?
                          \_ People who buy sportscars aren't claiming to
                             be saving the world by doing so.
                             save the world.
           \_ I have no problem with Prius or Prius drivers. I have problems
              with people who live in FUCKING SOUTHERN CAL. Dumb asses
              who drive 2-3 hours a day in LA. All that PLASTIC LOOK and
              BOTOX additicts and BEVERELY HILLS WANABES and SUPERFICIAL
              assholes living in HUGE MCMANSIONS and drive 2-3 HOURS a
              day in/around LA. LAME!!! I also think people who
              drive the fucking ugly Accord Hybrid are dumb. I mean,
              who the fuck pays that kind of money to drive a fucking
              Accord Hybrid with pretty much the same MPG as regular
              Accord with extra 100HP? Why don't you spend that money
              on a sports car? Fucking LAME TARD. FUCK I want to
              key scratch all fucking dumb ass Accord Hybrids in Pasadena.
              Stupid dumb asses. I guess they're so used to being told
              they're stupid that they don't GET IT anymore.
              \_ Bad troll, no cookie.
2022/08/07 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

You may also be interested in these entries...
2011/12/5-2012/1/10 [Transportation/Car/Hybrid] UID:54250 Activity:nil
12/5    "Eight Ferraris wrecked in million-dollar pileup" (
        "Police and video reports say the wreck began when a 60-year-old
        businessman from Fukushima driving a Ferrari F430 attempted to pass a
        Toyota Prius, but instead hit the guardrail.  That set off a chain
        reaction among the cars driving in a tight formation behind the lead
2010/3/9-30 [Transportation/Car, Transportation/Car/Hybrid] UID:53749 Activity:nil
3/9     "Prius with stuck accelerator glides to safe stop"
        "After the car decelerated to about 50 mph, Sikes turned off the
        engine and coasted to a halt."  Hmm, then why didn't he turn off the
        engine when the car was going at 94mph?
2009/11/23-12/2 [Transportation/Car/RoadHogs, Reference/RealEstate] UID:53540 Activity:moderate
 11/23  "Warming's impacts sped up, worsened since Kyoto"
        \_ what do you propose we average Joes do about climate warning?
           Oh really? Yeah, exactly.
           \_ Make life choices which reduce your carbon impact.  Communicate
              with your representatives that you consider this an important
Cache (4194 bytes)
AP Lexus once again tops JD Power dependability study By DAN STRUMPF, AP Business Writer Thu Aug 7, 3:01 PM ET NEW YORK - Lexus once again stands alone atop a closely watched ranking of vehicle dependability after Buick slipped from the No. Lexus had 120 problems per 100 vehicles, down from 145 last year. "That's a pretty good track record," said Dave Sargent, JD Power's vice president of automotive research. where a couple of their very important models in their second year on the market -- the ES and the RX, which together account for over two-thirds of lexus sales -- both improved significantly." The industry average improved to 206 problems per 100 vehicles, from 216 a year ago. Buick, owned by GM, fell to sixth place in this year's study with 163 problems, although its now-discontinued Buick Century was the top-ranked vehicle in the midsize car segment. "The lower score is largely due to vehicles that are no longer in the marketplace," Sargent said. "The vehicles are still out there, so the study is still relevant. Buick spokeswoman Debbie Frakes said JD Power's study is only one of several that the company focuses on. "Obviously we're disappointed not to have been at the top, but as a brand we consistently rank high in many, many quality studies," she said. GM's Saab brand was the most improved in this year's study, improving to 254 problems from 319. More than 60 percent of the 38 brands in the study improved from last year. Vehicle dependability has been steadily improving across the industry overall, Sargent said. Since the 2005 study, the industry average has improved from 237 problems per 100 vehicles to 206 this year. That equates to slightly more than two problems per vehicle. Furthermore, the types of problems reported have trended toward "soft" problems, like funny noises or aesthetic wear, in place of "hard" problems such as major technical defects, Sargent said. It's good for the consumer -- they don't have the annoyance of problems, they don't have the costs associated," he said. "For the manufacturer, it's obviously good news because they don't have to pay so much in warranty repairs." Broken out by segment, Lexus took top honors in six categories for its IS 300, ES 300 and LS 300 sedans, the SC 430 coupe, and the GX 470 and LX 470 utility vehicles. Toyota's Prius hybrid was the top-ranked vehicle in the compact car segment. Bob Carter, Toyota group vice president and general manager, said the JD Power results are important because they reflect the performance of cars after "real-world exposure." He said the Prius' performance in the study signals the extent to which hybrid technology has improved since the company unveiled the car in 2000. The technology is bulletproof, and customers understand it," Carter said. "In today's environment, the only concern I have with Prius right now is meeting expectations with availability." Besides the Buick Century, one other GM vehicle was ranked the best in its segment: The Chevrolet Monte Carlo took the honor amid midsize sporty cars. Ford led three categories with the Crown Victoria large car, the Ford Ranger midsize pickup and the Mercury Monterey minivan. Chrysler LLC was the only Detroit automaker with no brands ranked better than the industry average. Chrysler spokeswoman Mary Beth Halprin said its namesake and Dodge brands improved their ranking from the 2007 study and have improved by 24 percent over the past five years. "In the last year, significant changes have been made in the way the new Chrysler LLC works on improving quality and customer satisfaction," Halprin said in a statement. JD Power's dependability results are watched closely by automakers and are often used in advertising. Owners' opinion of a car after three years can be a major influence on their opinion to buy that brand again. In this photo provided by JD Power and Associates, a 2005 Lexus ES330 is shown. Lexus once again stands alone atop a closely watched list of vehicle dependability after Buick slipped from the No. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
Cache (8010 bytes)
Cons: Unacceptable space for drivers of above-average height, easy-to-turn steering is too uncommunicative for many, non-eco-friendly leather upholstery. There are certain things you notice when driving through Los Angeles. The blonde bombshells in BMWs The way highway on-ramps are frequently not in the same place as the off-ramp. Or, you may notice that there's a Toyota Prius everywhere you look. Californians often credit themselves with being "ahead" of the rest of the country when it comes to basically everything, while the rest of the country considers California to have an inflated sense of self-worth. However, the 2008 Toyota Prius is certainly a part of such a debate, and there are a number of questions that should be asked before taking one of these quintessential hybrids home. First, is there something meatier at the heart of Prius mania than just a green fad fueled by poseur environmentalists trying to make a statement to friends, neighbors and passing strangers? Also, we all know the Prius gets excellent gas mileage, but what does that fuel savings really mean to your wallet and the environment given its price tag and non-hybrid competitors? Finally, is it really a good car, or have 1 million American motorists been duped by a questionable green message? Well, the simple answer is that the Prius is actually quite good. Given its superb interior packaging, ample features list and unbeatable fuel economy, the Prius was designed to be the epitome of practical, head-over-heart automotive choices. Its driving experience will never excite and its styling is hardly what most folks would deem attractive, yet for those who view cars as simple transportation devices, it's easy to recommend the Prius. It is priced similar to traditional midsize sedans, while sacrificing some performance and standard features in favor of better fuel economy and greater interior/cargo space. Plus, you can equip a Prius to near-luxury levels, as our test car was. long-term 2004 tester) showed that this car is much more than just a political or fashion statement. And with sales continuing to rise after more than four years on the market, it's a safe bet that Prius mania is no passing fad. Enlarge Photo Anyone having flashbacks to a Pontiac 6000? There are nearly as many buttons on the wheel as on the dash. This setup allows for the gasoline and electric motors to work by themselves or in concert with each other depending on the driving situation. When creeping along in traffic or under light acceleration, the Prius uses only its electric system, which is where a majority of fuel savings comes from. When speeds and acceleration demands increase, the gas engine kicks in with a noticeable but not distracting shudder. Attached to a continuously variable transmission of sorts, the gas engine can sound a bit gnarly when pushed, as it's hardly a power champion with 76 horsepower and 82 pound-feet of torque. Given the leisurely nature of most motorists' acceleration habits, many will only occasionally notice the Prius' power deficit. Many will also turn a blind eye given the unbeatable fuel economy this hybrid returns. The EPA estimates a return of 48 mpg city/45 mpg highway and 46 mpg combined. We conducted an extended fuel economy test-drive with this particular Prius and were actually able to best the EPA's numbers. Driving in and around Las Vegas, we achieved a truly impressive 52 mpg. On the highway between Vegas and Los Angeles, the Prius still managed 47 mpg, despite its relying less on the electric motor. In both tests, we did nothing fancy to achieve these numbers -- although knowing how to maximize all-electric acceleration will certainly improve your own results. While there's much to discuss about the Prius' powertrain, the rest of the driving experience will leave you cold (if you care). The electric-power steering system is lifeless and transmits practically no information to the driver's hands. It is, however, tremendously easy to turn at any speed, which has proven particularly popular with senior citizens. The ride is also tuned for maximum comfort and cossets passengers well from road imperfections. Comfort Toyota designed the Prius with the intent of maximizing interior space. Anyone 6 feet tall, however, will find the front seat lacking in legroom as there is no height adjustment and limited seat track travel -- there is also no telescoping steering column. Two 6-foot-3 staff members couldn't come remotely close to finding a comfortable driving position. This is a major area in which the Prius differs from traditional midsize sedans. If you're of average height or less, though, the Prius' wide, comfy seats and airy greenhouse will please. Everyone should be happy with the ride comfort, which provides a buttoned-down, big-car feel to a lightweight car. Compared to fuel-efficient compact cars, the Prius feels almost Lincoln-like as it softly damps road imperfections. The Toyota is also very quiet thanks to ample sound-deadening materials and an exterior designed to slice through the air like a light saber through tofu. Around town, the electric motors' muted hum also contributes to a very serene cabin. Function Our fully loaded test car came with a navigation system, but all Priuses are equipped with a touchscreen interface that controls nearly all stereo and climate functions. Thankfully, the steering wheel has an inordinate amount of secondary controls to make more frequently used functions like temperature and radio presets quick and easy to change. The steering wheel also houses controls for the Bluetooth phone connection and the navigation system's voice commands. The latter work OK, but they take too long to use as there is no way to turn off the car's command prompts and parrotlike command confirmation. In total, however, the 2008 Toyota Prius is a marvel of practical functionality thanks to its space-efficient body style. A rear- and front-facing child seat was easy to install thanks to the huge backseat and generous rear door opening. We managed to fit in three men's weekend luggage, several paper grocery bags, 2 gallons of water and two guitars (plus the three men). Design/Fit and Finish The Prius often makes you feel like you're driving the Epcot Center Car of Tomorrow. The dash is wide and flat, with the touchscreen jutting up in a rectangular pod. The car starts with the push of a button, but there's no engine start-up noise, just an instrument panel light that says "Ready." That all-digital instrument panel resides just below the windshield, almost like a head-up display. The stubby shifter juts out of the dash and operates like something made by Atari. In other words, it's weird, but you quickly get used to it. Interior quality is decent for this price point, with good materials and tight fit and finish. Most Priuses come with a nice velourlike upholstery, but our test car came with leather. It's nice leather, but if you really care about the environment, you'll skip this option: The cattle industry is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases, as well as a significant cause of land and water degradation. Who Should Buy This Vehicle Those who do not prioritize speed or driving excitement. If you're just looking for practical, comfortable and fuel-efficient transportation that can be luxuriously equipped, the 2008 Toyota Prius is a very wise choice. Toyota Camry Hybrid The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation. No real technique required to generate these numbers -- just mash the throttle in drive and go. Braking Comments: Sub-limit brake response is awful -- awkward feel. Handling Comments: Skid pad: Bizarre programming choices on the non-defeatable stability control system. On-again off-again brake application makes the chassis jump around like crazy during steady-state limit cornering. Slalom: Crummy steering feel offers almost no useful info to the driver in fast transitions or during steady-state conditions.
Cache (7910 bytes)
com says The 2008 Toyota Prius is a full-featured midsize car that just so happens to be the most fuel-efficient car on the market. The fact that it now starts at less than $21,000 is icing on the green-colored cake. Pros Outstanding fuel economy, low emissions, generous amount of interior space, easy to maneuver in tight spaces, space-age interior design, a lower price for 2008. Cons Less powerful and agile than other midsize sedans, a few disappointing interior plastics. What's New for 2008 Toyota now offers a slightly decontented "standard" Prius model that lacks cruise control and heated mirrors but in exchange has a significantly lower base price. Of course, people buy cars to make statements all the time. A stately luxury car can say, "Look world, I'm successful." Buying a Hummer can say, "This enormous 6,000-pound truck is synonymous with my (delusional) sense of personal machismo." Yet despite being the poster child for environmental awareness, the Prius should be closely considered for all the real, tangible ways it provides daily transportation. You don't have to bleed green to appreciate its virtues. Even without its innovative and revolutionary hybrid power plant, the Prius would be a sensible, functional-first midsize sedan. It may look small, but the well-packaged and airy interior is spacious for passengers and cargo alike. Plus, a long list of standard and optional features allows the Prius to serve both customers in search of a low-priced conveyance and those in need of more luxurious trappings. Of course, the Prius is first and foremost a hybrid -- and the benchmark upon which all others are based. Capable of running on electricity alone or in concert with the small gasoline four-cylinder engine, the Prius is capable of fuel economy that no current mainstream car can match -- even with the lower, revised 2008 EPA estimates. Like most hybrids, the 2008 Toyota Prius is best suited to drivers whose travels rarely take them farther than the city limits. Around town and in stop-and-go traffic, the Prius' electric motors and regenerative braking are optimized to provide superior fuel economy and optimal power delivery. It's OK on the freeway, but without consistent braking or coasting, the battery runs down, forcing the anemic four-cylinder engine to carry most of the load. In a few short years, the Toyota Prius has gone from low-volume oddity to being one of the 10 best-selling cars in America. With that popularity have come a slew of new hybrid models that generally trade a few miles per gallon for a more traditional body style. Toyota's own Camry Hybrid and the Nissan Altima Hybrid have gas-electric systems similar to the one in the Prius, but offer a more regular car-driving experience. The Altima can even be described as fun to drive, something few other hybrids --including the Prius -- can boast. The Honda Civic Hybrid is also a similarly priced alternative, providing more rewarding handling and a higher-quality interior. Despite this competition, though, nobody comes close to beating the Prius' mix of fuel economy, interior versatility and for 2008, a base price under $21,000. Plus, for better or worse, nothing else can make a better environmental statement. Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options The 2008 Toyota Prius is a midsize hatchback sedan available in three body styles: standard, base and Touring. The new standard model comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, tilt steering wheel, touchscreen controls, a hybrid system display and a six-speaker stereo with CD player. The base model (in name only) adds cruise control, different wheels and heated sideview mirrors. The Touring model adds a sportier suspension, 16-inch wheels and xenon headlights. The Prius options list is extensive, capable of transforming this hybrid from an economy car to a near-luxury sedan. There are five packages available on the base and Touring trims (Packages 2 through 6 -- there is no Package 1), which bundle features that include a rearview camera, keyless ignition, HomeLink, foglamps, an auto-dimming mirror, leather upholstery and steering wheel, auxiliary audio jack, MP3 playback, Bluetooth, a navigation system and a nine-speaker JBL premium sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer. A choice of satellite radio providers is a stand-alone, dealer-installed option. Powertrains and Performance Powering the revolutionary Prius is what Toyota calls Hybrid Synergy Drive. This drivetrain consists of a 15-liter gasoline engine and two electric motors, one of which helps drive the front wheels and the other of which functions solely as a generator (recharging the car's battery pack). The gas engine produces 76 horsepower and 82 pound-feet of torque, while the electric-drive motor produces the equivalent of 67 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Net peak horsepower is 110, mainly because the two power sources hit their peaks at different times. Regardless, power delivery is smooth and consistent from rest all the way to top speed. The Prius features a simplified continuously variable transmission of sorts. It provides the ease of a conventional automatic transmission, but there are no gears to shift, drive belts, torque converter or clutch. After the EPA revised its fuel economy testing procedures for 2008, the Prius and other hybrids suffered a perceived hit in gas mileage ratings. The Prius is now rated at 48 mpg city and 45 mpg highway. This is a far cry from the ridiculously optimistic former numbers (61 city), but they still represent the most fuel-efficient mainstream car money can buy. Safety Every 2008 Toyota Prius comes standard with antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In government crash tests, Toyota's hybrid car earned four stars out of five for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. In side-impact testing, it earned five stars for front-occupant protection and four stars for the rear. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Prius earned the top rating of "Good" for its protection in frontal-offset and side-impact crashes. Interior Design and Special Features The overall look of the 2008 Prius is upscale, if not a little oddball. The dash is flat and wide, with a large touchscreen, digital gauges, stubby electronic shifter and plenty of steering wheel buttons. Climbing inside, you tend to feel as if you're about to take a trip inside Epcot's "Car of the Future." Fit and finish is very tight and materials are pretty good, although some plastics are starting to seem a little cheap. We've complained before about centrally located instrument clusters, but the Prius' electronic gauges are at least crystal-clear and easy to see. Although the front seats are relatively roomy, the driving position in the Prius is somewhat awkward, as the driver seat is not height-adjustable and the steering wheel does not telescope. Plus, the folding seatbacks provide an uninterrupted cargo area that most sedans can't match. There is no engine start-up, just an instrument panel light that says "Ready." Thanks to its Hybrid Synergy Drive, the Prius can accelerate up to about 25 mph using only electric power, which can make it sound like a huge golf cart. It's all very different, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Aside from its idiosyncrasies, the Prius features minimal cabin noise and a suspension that provides an acceptably smooth ride despite the car's weight-saving chassis components. The Prius makes a fine highway companion, but it is best suited to the city, where its light electric steering, tight turning circle, excellent visibility and available rearview camera make it easy to park and maneuver through traffic. Also, this hybrid returns its best gas mileage in stop-and-go driving, as it's able to spend more time in full-electric mode.
Cache (1899 bytes),,id=176409,00.html
Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury Accessibility Skip to Top Navigation Skip to Main Content Home | Contact IRS | About IRS | Site Map | Espaol | Help &$self.text(u'search'); Advanced Search Search Tips * Individuals * Businesses * Charities & Non-Profits * Government Entities * Tax Professionals * Retirement Plans Community * Tax Exempt Bond Community IRS Resources * Compliance & Enforcement * Contact My Local Office * e-file * Forms and Publications * Frequently Asked Questions * News * Taxpayer Advocacy * Where To File 2008 Model Year Hybrid Vehicles Make Model Credit Amount Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid $1,300 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid 2WD and 4WD $2,200 Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD $3,000 Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD $2,200 GMC Yukon Hybrid $2,200 Honda** Civic CVT Purchase Date Prior to 1/1/08 $2,100 1/1/08 -- 6/30/08 $1,050 7/1/08 -- 12/31/08 $525 1/1/09 and later $0 Mazda Tribute 2WD $3,000 Mazda Tribute 4WD $2,200 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 2WD $3,000 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD $2,200 Nissan Altima Hybrid $2,350 Saturn Aura hybrid $1,300 Saturn Vue Green Line $1,550 Toyota* Camry Hybrid Purchase Date 1/1/06 -- 9/30/06 $2,600 10/1/06 --3/31/07 $1,300 4/1/07 -- 9/30/07 $ 650 10/1/2007 and later $ 0 Toyota* Prius Purchase Date 1/1/06 -- 9/30/06 $3,150 10/1/06 --3/31/07 $1,575 4/1/07 -- 9/30/07 $787.50 10/1/2007 and later $ 0 Toyota* Highlander Hybrid 4WD Purchase Date 1/1/06 -- 9/30/06 $2,600 10/1/06 --3/31/07 $1,300 4/1/07 -- 9/30/07 $ 650 10/1/2007 and later $ 0 Lexus* RX 400h 2WD and 4WD Purchase Date 1/1/06 -- 9/30/06 $2,200 10/1/06 --3/31/07 $1,100 4/1/07 -- 9/30/07 $ 550 10/1/2007 and later $ 0 Lexus* LS 600h L Hybrid Purchase Date 1/1/06 -- 9/30/06 $1,800 10/1/06 --3/31/07 $900 4/1/07 -- 9/30/07 $ 450 10/1/2007 and later $ 0 updated 1/2/08 Accessibility | | Freedom of Information Act | Important Links | IRS Privacy Policy | US Treasury
Cache (3746 bytes) ->
Research we analyzed for this review advertisement Performance - What the Auto Press Says The performance of the 2008 Toyota Prius is competitive with some conventionally-powered midsize cars. The car uses a four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to two electric motors, a continuously variable transmission with built in artificial shift points, electronically-assisted steering and regenerative braking, all features found on few other cars. Driving the Prius necessitates some adjustments from most drivers. Its steering requires a light touch, its regenerative braking is noticeable but performs well, and its acceleration, while not about to win any drag races, can keep up on the highway. Pontiac G6 in our performance rankings, despite its unique architecture. And it does it all with industry-leading fuel efficiency. Most reviews say the Prius is not a driving enthusiast's car -- instead, it approximates a normal family sedan while squeezing more than 40 miles out of every gallon of gasoline. It's OK on the freeway, but without consistent braking or coasting, the battery runs down, forcing the anemic four-cylinder engine to carry most of the load." Edmunds * "In performance, the latest Prius takes the lead over Honda's Civic Hybrid. Acceleration from a standstill and for passing and merging is enthusiastic, though it's weaker at higher speeds. though occupants can feel rough spots, they're largely subdued." com * "The Prius's acceleration won't cause tunnel vision, but the steady stream of power from the two sources and the continuously variable planetary transmission call for little compromise on the part of the driver." Consumer Guide Acceleration and Power The 2008 Prius is powered by Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system, which mates a 76 horsepower, 15-liter four-cylinder engine to two electric motors, which produce 67 horsepower. Reviewers are generally pleased with how the system automatically runs on one or both of its power supplies to balance acceleration and fuel economy without having to charge the batteries. Reviews often compare the acceleration of the Prius to that of four cylinder midsize cars -- a compliment to how far the car's hybrid powertrain has come, since the first-generation Prius was widely viewed as sluggish. It uses a continuously variable transmission that includes no gears -- yet the Prius electronically simulates gearshifts. The Prius is clearly built, however, for maximum fuel economy. US News Handling and Braking Experts generally like the steering and handling capabilities of the 2008 Toyota Prius, but some note a learning curve when buyers slide behind the wheel for the first time. The Prius is stopped by anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist and traction control on the base model's 15-inch wheels, and 16-inch, 7-spoke alloy wheels on the Touring model. The 2008 Prius uses regenerative braking, in which the electric motor operates as a generator when the car is coasting or the driver steps on the brakes, in order to recharge the batteries. Many reviewers say the effect is noticeable, but does not seem to impact brake performance. Edmunds * "Toyota says much of the Prius' braking is of the regenerative sort, without input from the friction-operated brake pads. This phenomenon is noticeable while driving, but it's not intrusive." com * I found it to be quite nimble and fun to drive, actually. I'd say it drives just as well as the Civic Hybrid I tested a little while ago, if not even better." com: * - "Base model's soft suspension and fairly skinny, economy-based tires allow marked cornering lean and noseplow. Touring models have sharper moves, slightly better grip in turns. Prius is also less stable in crosswinds than most conventional compact cars."
Cache (8192 bytes) ->*
And by fake hybrids, I mean those leather-laden Lexuses and big fat Escalades. They're about as green as Al Gore and his private aircraft. The ones that pack the entertainment value of a Post-it. The ones that suck the car down to its basic intent: transportation. No looking at it in your driveway because it's fun to just look at it in your driveway. You drink it because some doctor convinced you you're lactose-intolerant and now 6 months later you've convinced yourself that it tastes good. I know, I know, they're good on gas and gas is expensive. You pay for what you get in this world and if you want to live a good life, it costs money. Heck, the Toyota Prius is so popular, Toyota is upping production as fast as it can. Last year a ridiculous number of people paid to see Celine Dion in concert. The best thing you can do for the environment is drive the car you have. The fact is, it takes thousands of factories to build a car. The tires, the steel, the rubber, the aluminum, the plastics, the seats; every individual component of a car is made somewhere else before it is trucked to the assembly plant where it's built into a car. In the case of the Toyota Prius, that plant is in Tsutsumi, Japan. And if that car is a hybrid it takes even more factories and even more trucks because the car is now that much more complex. Then of course, they ship them to America on a big smelly ship. But if we all just continued to drive the car we have, then we can shut down all those dirty factories that build all those new cars. And if we do that, we can stop all the trucks and the ships that transport all those new cars to those new car dealers. And then all those new car dealers can turn off their lights and the employees can stop driving their cars to work. Sure we'll all be in bottomless economic depression, but if you want to be green, then let's be freakin' green. It may not be politically correct, but it's the right thing to do. July 29, 2008 12:17 PM I could argue everyone of your points but it would serve no purpose other then to waste my time. I'll just say go have a beer (or a smoke or whatever) and mellow out. July 29, 2008 12:32 PM Escalade 15 -> 20 = save $1029 (250 gallons) Matrix (Prius) 27 -> 46 = $943 (229 gallons) Highlander 19 -> 26 = save $869 (211 gallons) Lexus RX 19 -> 25 = save $820 (199 gallons) Tahoe 16 -> 20 = $770 (187 gallons) But I agree with his rant, we should all quit our polluting jobs, live on the grasslands, hunt wild dogs, cats and birds for food, and be green! July 29, 2008 1:17 PM "anything worth having is expensive. You pay for what you get in this world and if you want to live a good life, it costs money. Am I wrong, or didn't we have a ton of people paying what an overpriced house was worth because of this same logic, and now the economy sucks because they all foreclosed. Now everyone has lost money in the housing market, and many of them can't even get a loan on a pack of cheetos let alone a loan on a car they want. Hell, even people with solid credit can't get the car they want. And most hybrids are expensive to begin with since most are not small cars. Almost half the models of hybrids sold today start at over $30,000, and the number is increasing with Chrysler/Dodge introducing Durango hybrid's as well as BMW introducing one or two new ones very soon. Most hybrids under 30K are either close to 30K, or are clones of the same model or are the same model different year. He should love them because they're more expensive than economy cars, and more expensive than most cars to begin with. But, if he read paid any attention to the news on Insideline (the very site he's complaining on), he would know this instead of talking out his tailpipe. whether it's because their old one is getting old or because they just want something else. So therefore I think it's right that car makers are trying to build vehicles that use less fuel. Gas sipping technologies and driving fun are not mutually exclusive, and I think we'll start seeing proof of that in the near future. The Prius is boring because it's a Toyota, not because it saves gas. I've always liked to think of the Edmunds editors as fairly unbiased and its readers fairly intelligent (Ever been to the MotorTrend forums? I know the folks here like cars, and I'm no fan of the Prius but this is a pretty poor showing none the less. Believe it or not some people buy a car that is practical and gets them from point A to point B - and why not save some gas and have zero emissions as well? I don't think we all need to be driving around in HUMMERS and BMWs Now that would be boring. July 29, 2008 2:17 PM If you're not a car fanatic, you shouldn't be reading IL. I love this story because it got everybody's panties in a bunch. What I love about hybrid owners is that 1) they pay for their gas 5 years in advance and 2) buy a quirky looking car for a statement. They are the equivalent of the person with a Starbucks cup in their hand not because of the coffee but because of what it says about them - I belong to this group. I drive a Scion (Toyota for those of you who accidently found themselves here) and cut my consumption by 40% by telecommuting more, making more phone calls instead of driving, and driving slower on the freeway. Yeah, don't agree about the big house, hot wife, etc but I know what The Mechanic is getting at. I plan on purchasing a V8 in the next couple of years and I will thoroughly enjoy hearing my exhaust resonate over every hybrid. But I will also be driving even less miles and keeping my Scion as my daily driver. If everyone bought less junk (ie clothes, TVs, and other non-essentials) we'd burn less oil by consuming less plastic and have less boat trips from China to the US delivering us all that garbage. What I love about our country is that we are either 'on' or 'off'. Europe's been like this for decades and we're telling them how to be more efficient. This is simply a love letter to the death of driving passion. my heart ached as I traded in my 2006 Mustang GT for a Ford Focus, mainly due to guilt from insane gas prices. Though it'll be paid off in time to get a new Camaro SS, where it'll stay in the garage during the week as I drive my Focus to work. The reality: dramatic cars are being relegated to toys of luxury. The same thing happened to muscle cars in the 1970's, but we turned it around. Give it ten or twenty years, and you'll be getting a hybrid or electric Mustang with 500lb feet of torque to whet your performance appetite. July 29, 2008 2:29 PM "I love this story because it got everybody's panties in a bunch." Sometimes its good for this site to give everyone a sharp dig in the ribs just for the hell of it. July 29, 2008 2:34 PM "What I love about hybrid owners is that 1) they pay for their gas 5 years in advance and 2) buy a quirky looking car for a statement. They are the equivalent of the person with a Starbucks cup in their hand not because of the coffee but because of what it says about them - I belong to this group." Don't forget, not everyone who drives a hybrid does so to decrease their fuel costs. We bought one to decrease our carbon footprint and drive a cleaner burning vehicle. Also, it USED to be 5 years to re-pay the premium cost of a hybrid motor. Now, it's more like 3 years, and with the tax savings (ours was a $3000 write-off), that gap closes even further. And the more gas prices rise -- which they most certainly will -- the faster we'll recoup those costs. I'd love for my Armada to eek out a few more miles per tank. Make it available at a reasonable premium over a non-hybrid model and I'm all in. The point is to use the technology that we have and make the cars we drive more efficient. I'm not saying that a Mustang GT should be able to sneak up on you in a parking lot silently. Of all the technologies that are being considered, hybrids are currently the most viable in the big scheme of things. I often wonder what the real world mileage of a Prius would be fitted with a clean diesel, or a 3cyl turbo. I could go on, but it would be lost on the ecoweenies anyway. Like Mechanic said, if you are truly "green" you'd either keep your car or b...