2008 Toyota Prius from North America - Comments

20th May 2008, 05:55

The question if Prius has good highway mpg is a "this car can make energy out of thin air" discussion. In highway driving the Prius is in effect a "normal" car; it does not get any help from the electric motor unless overtaking. The hybrid principle mainly has an effect in the city braking (accumulating energy) and accelerating (using the electric energy) where mpg is good. At an even 90km/h (55 mph) the Prius is only helped by its energy tires and good aerodynamics. At higher speeds, from 120-130km/h and up (80 mph and up), the engine struggles and mpg is affected. So please don't state that this is an ideal car for long trips, especially if you want to go faster than 120km/h.

20th May 2008, 09:54

We own a 2002 Prius and take it on long trips. We averaged over 47MPG on the last trip, which was over 300 miles. The trick is that you have to drive it slightly differently than a typical car. If you keep the speed steady and allow the car to coast as much as possible, you can average decent fuel economy. We were averaging 75MPH the whole trip.

20th May 2008, 11:32

A recent article on the high cost of repairs on cars such as the Prius is enough to scare me away from them. In one case an owner had a problem with the transaxle (not unusual with Toyota) and they were informed that the cost would be fully HALF of what the car cost!!! Since the car was just barely out of the (very short) warranty, Toyota agreed to drop the cost by $3000, still leaving them with a repair cost high enough to buy a good used car.

With Toyota's recent plunge in quality, we definitely are steering clear of ANY Toyota, and especially one that has repair cost high enough to make it basically a "disposable" car.

One of our friends bought a used non-hybrid Camry, and the tranaxle failed within a month. He was told the cost of repairs would exceed the point where it would be better to just buy another car. He bought a used Chevrolet and it has performed flawlessly.

22nd May 2008, 02:05

How can a new transaxle cost that much, even on a Prius? Either these people were taken out for a ride, or this whole story is exaggerated. So long as the axle is not bent, you can even fix it yourself. It usually isn't bent; it's just some of the bearings that are worn, often because of a tiny hole in the flexible rubber "hose" around the cv-joint.

The best case if you can do the job yourself, is a €60 repair kit containing new bearings, cv-joints, rubber hoses and grease. Even if you have to swap the whole thing at a workshop, it's not even €1000 and it's a 2 hour job for an skilled mechanic.

Regarding +120km/h cruising: That's the rule rather than the exception on most European motorways. Even in 120 zones the police do not stop you doing 140. In 110 zones you can safely do 130-140, so any car should be able to cruise at a steady 140.

22nd May 2008, 11:49

The commenter is not talking about a "drive axle," but a transaxle. That is the entire (transversely mounted) transmission, which is much more than a routine job.

Another example of the Toyota quality myth right here.

29th May 2008, 10:09

Bought 2008 Prius about a month ago. Have been very happy so far. You will have to change driving patterns, but the results I've had in Atlanta traffic (worst in the US) have been fantastic. Averaging about 40 to 45mpg in mostly city driving. Overall very satisfied. Agree, would like the car to be more American built, but that's the fault of the American Car Industry.

15th Jun 2008, 01:31

I've gotta laugh at some of these comments. About 6 years ago, I was nearly killed in a car accident and now make it a point to always drive at the speed limit and in the far right lane. (I live in Atlanta, where I'd get squashed like a bug if I drove the speed limit in any other lane, lol!) You guys are right, this isn't a car for someone who wants to speed. But this is a great car for someone who doesn't speed and who lives in the South. From what I've read, cold weather does affect the power. Not that I'd know, mind you, but that's what I hear.

And when I get behind someone going at a maddeningly slow rate on a curvy, two-lane country road, driving this car helps curb the insanity that situation inspires. Just think of the gas mileage, lol!

I think that this review does raise an issue that anyone considering buying any car should really consider. Make sure that you're absolutely comfortable in whatever car you get. My husband and I rented a Prius before buying, so we could have an extended test drive. We wanted to make sure that he'd be comfortable, because he's very tall (6'4"), and we didn't think that a 20 minute test drive was going to be enough to evaluate. It really easy to say to yourself, "Well, to save that kind of money, I'll put up with metal spikes on the driver's seat," until you spend a few days sitting on metal spikes.

2nd Aug 2008, 16:37

The "Prius mania" just makes no sense at all. Doesn't anyone buying one of these things own a pocket calculator?? If you got 45 mpg (doubtful) then you'd save possibly 15 mpg over a regular car. The dealers are jacking the price of the Prius WAY over list, so getting one for under $25,000 is virtually impossible.

The batteries wear out in a couple of years and cost over $2000. They are HIGHLY TOXIC and pose a terrible hazard to the environment (so much for "going green"!!).

The transaxle repairs on these cars cost as much as the car, and Toyota quality is FAR from good at the moment. With the money you could save by keeping your old car, even if it got 15 mpg would pay for your gas for the next 10 years.

A study on the Prius determined that you'd have to drive it 600,000 miles to break even. NOT a likely scenario with Toyota's dismal reliability record.

5th Aug 2008, 04:02

I agree with last commenter. If you buy the Prius on perceived fuel consumption alone I think you are doing a bad decision. Road tests (for example done by Autoweek some time back) indicates real mpg figures of about 40 mpg, while a regular compact car is in the 33-35 mpg region. So the difference in average may be as little as 5 mpg.

The problem is that you pay at least $5000 extra for the Prius and you are buying a potential maintenance nightmare in the future, batteries, added electronics, weak transmission at least in the first generation. There's no way this will add up.

But I'm not sure about the claims regarding bad reliability in general. I would buy a Toyota any day, just not the Prius.

I'd rather buy an optioned Camry for the same money or a new Corolla and save $6000. The Prius simply isn't worth the extra money.

5th Aug 2008, 13:42

As an owner of a 2007 Prius I have to say that the people who are against owning one do not HAVE one to comment on. The posters who own one seem to really like them.

We are averaging 46.5 mph on a mix of city/hwy driving and have the flexibility and space of the Subaru Outback that we traded it in on. The Subaru was getting 22-25 mpg so we effectively doubled our mileage for the same space and price.

The Prius is also Toyota's MOST reliable vehicle and Consumer Reports' top car in customer satisfaction. These are facts. I recommend checking the facts and you'll find that the Prius is a great and innovative car. I agree that the seating can be odd but I've gotten very comfortable in it- even on long trips.