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Author Topic: And now for something completely different - Toyota Prius  (Read 1178 times)
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Justin McArdle
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« on: 01 July, 2007, 07:42:51 PM »

Did anyone catch Andrew Engish's article in Saturday's Daily Telegraph about the Toyota Prius - or more accurately his attack on Prius owners!
My wife has a Prius which we use as the family car. We have had it for two years and have been remarkably impressed by it. We have found the Prius to be very refined and relaxed transport. Our purchase was not an environmental statement - we were attracted by the technology and the economics (exemption from congestion charge; 100% company write down, 15 car tax etc.). We do not castigate owners of other cars and are whole-heated supporters of the democratic right to purchase whatever vehicle one wishes to.
I always took Andrew English to be an eminently sensible and knowledgeable man but must admit I took some umbrage at being described as a smug, condescending eco-warrior purely on the grounds that I drive a Prius!
Just interested in what people thought of the article.
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ncundy
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« Reply #1 on: 01 July, 2007, 08:23:00 PM »

I'm afraid it rather accurately described the three owners I know. Their purchase was definately a statement that is ramed down anyones throat when the occasion arises. A specialist in our propulsion division did a breakdown of the energy costs and disposal costs of the batteries just to wind one of them up - it worked a treat ! If I had one I too would be upset about being bracketed with the eco-warriers - but those that drive a Prius as a statement are quick to bracket those who don't as determined to wipe the world out inside one genereation. Sort of comes with the territory I guess.
However I think it is a good effort to do something different, and will lead to something even better in the future.
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Justin McArdle
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« Reply #2 on: 02 July, 2007, 08:54:50 AM »

It's sad that people need to express their opinions and views via their choice of transport! I think it was unfortunate that the many  sound points made in Andrew English's article with regard to the validity of the technology being promoted (and hyped) by Toyota and other manufacturers was overshadowed by the attack on Prius owners en-masse.
The emphasis on disproving advertised consumption figures should not be confined to the Prius. By way of a comparison, our previous car was a Honda CRV Petrol; the Prius has used less than 50% of the petrol that the CRV over a year. We were planning to replace the CRV with the new 2.2 Diesel CRV but a ludicrously low valuation from the Honda dealer led us to look elsewhere.
By the way, the Prius's consumption degrades significantly in cold weather - it's much happier and more frugal during the summer months.
Next time you see your Prius owners tell them to enjoy and to keep schtum - they're giving us all a bad name!!
   
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lee69
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« Reply #3 on: 02 July, 2007, 05:42:33 PM »

We considered a Prius when our smart Roadster decided to go into "safe" mode one time too many.  Having weighed up all the factors we eventually decided to go for an Aygo.  The Prius is a great idea, but I think it's a heavy car with a relatively low powered petrol engine.  In the long run the Aygo actually gave us more miles per whatever fuel type we used.

I was also concerned about the long term prospects for the cell technology used in the Prius.  If I remember correctly there's no guarantee that they'll last at optimum performance after 5 years (although of course there's no guarantee that a petrol engine will be at its best after the same time!).  I'm not sure how much 'cleaner' the Prius' batteries are to produce and how they are going to be disposed of at the end of their life.

Still, you have to applaud Toyota for making the technology more accessible (and attractive RX400h anyone?) and owners for making a considered purchase.  Incidentally, the other day I saw an early Honda Insight (the one with the partially covered rear wheels).  It was strangely appealing in a Tron sort of way....

Lee
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« Reply #4 on: 05 July, 2007, 07:29:41 AM »

I am one who believes Toyota have made claims of the Prius that are difficult to substantiate. However, a company that I am close to operating in the enviromental sector in Belgium are very happy, it improves their image and overall their running costs and tax breaks show a forty per cent saving. Of course the technology is now seven years old and apart from increasing the guarentee to life on the battery and extending the top speed of battery power to 29mph nothing else has changed. What has happened and this is the most significant step forward. Other manufactures have been forced to react and we are now seeing a dramatic reduction in emissions from conventional power units whilst at the same time retaining resonable performance levels. Using BMW as an example their fuel consumption over the entire range has improved in the last three years by twenty seven per cent. At the same time keeping their reputation intact as a provider of entertaining cars. This is where the Prius falls down. It is asthetically displeasing, jerky and incredibly boring to drive. It is also, in round terms five thousand pounds more to buy than a Golf that sprints to sixty in less than eleven seconds, returns 56mpg with an emission level of less than 120 milligrams of soot per km. The private motorist has to drive eighteen thousand boring miles a year to break even. In America a group of disgruntled motorists are taking Toyota to court, claiming average fuel consumption is no better than 44mpg. A figure born out by the majority of official road tests. Lastly, the company is losing money on every Prius it sells.   
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