In regards to fuel economy and the Prius, I think it's safe to say that this car was intended primarily for the North American market. Reason being that many states do not currently permit diesel cars. The Prius gets excellent fuel economy for US standards.
My wife's dad has a 2002 Prius and so far the car has been trouble-free. I wouldn't say that it is the most attractive or fun to drive car, but it does get roughly 50MPG, which while not close to the 60MPG Toyota claims, is still pretty decent. He also lives in Upstate NY, where it gets below zero in the winter. I'm amazed that the batteries have held up that long.
The Prius is at least 2-3000 Euro more expensive than comparable cars. It's got that famous Toyota reliability. Besides that it's got few selling points. Still sales are good. Coming from a large SUV this car must seem to have good mpg. From a European point of view this car has not got a good mpg. More or less any diesel car will easily outperform the Prius by at least 20%, maybe 30% lower petrol consumption. Now most new cars are diesels. I'm really puzzled about Toyotas success in selling this car.
1. US currently does not have any small diesel engined cars. 2.0l VW diesel is the first small diesel in years.
2. You need to check your MPG figures, the Prius will average 45mpg US at least if not more. That's better than anything but a tiny diesel motor.
3. Diesel is currently 20% more expensive than gasoline in the US.
Really? My Audi A3 2.0 TDI has 140 HP, does 0-60 in 9 sec, has 320NM of torque which is comparable to a large normally aspirated V6. And it does 4L/100KM, that is about 60MPG if I'm easy on my right foot. And I think there's even a "econo" version of my car that has even better fuel consumption.
The Audi is a far better choice for many, many reasons. Better build quality, looks, handling, refinement, driving pleasure etc, etc. Better environmental choice too. Toyota has the largest carbon footprint of any motor manufacturer.
One of my vehicles is a 1992 1.4cc, four cylinder, petrol engine ford escort. I average 43mpg. It is little wonder that the Prius is such a revelation in the US. I really feel for you guys, we have had good economy from our cars in Europe for years. My problem with the Prius is the impact the manufacture and disposal of the batteries has on the environment, has anyone considered this?
Yes the U. S needs to allow more Turbo Diesels that get far better fuel economy than most small cars now. It's crazy, damn goverment regulations.. doesn't matter soon, we'll all be driving cars that run on water. Hydrogen baby!
As long as the big oil companies don't kill the inventor.. rip Stanley Meyer. Japanese have a H2O car now. We'll see. We just need to accelerate this technology because we are killing the ozone with all our carbon emissions, and polar bears :(