Are you seriously comparing a Prius to a Lupo? They're over two size classes apart! Prius is bigger than a Golf, which is bigger than a Polo, which is bigger than a Lupo.
I have a Prius, and something as tiny as a Lupo was not an option.
And on top of that, I wanted an automatic. Why should I be forced to spend my whole time wiggling some pointless lever just to get reasonable consumption? How many automatic cars of the Prius' size can get anything like its mileage?
And don't forget that diesel is maybe 5% more expensive than petrol at the moment - add that into your calculations.
And it's not as if it's all about economy - it's also about pollution and the high-tech features. I don't want to be sitting in urban traffic jams belching out soot, I want to be drifting along quietly on electric with the engine off.
No, the Prius cannot run on electric only for any length of time - unless you run the fuel tank dry and Toyota does NOT recommend that at all.
The only time the Prius (or any hybrid for that matter) is producing fewer emissions than a conventional small economy car is in heavy stop-and-go traffic that you find generally only in large cities.
The Prius has an EV mode switch (electric only) that can be selected at any time - you certainly don't need to run the fuel tank dry. The petrol engine will kick back in if your battery gets low or you exceed 28mph (but in busy urban traffic that is not likely)
I've been researching hybrid cars. Found a really good site on the Prius:
This site has everything about the Prius; even some stuff Toyota wouldn't tell me.
I heard through the grapevine that by 2008, each vehicle in Toyota's line up will be a hybrid. Lexus is also bringing out a GS450h, which has a 225kW V6, giving V8 performance with a 4 cylinder's economy.
If I had AUD$50,000, I would buy an all-options Prius. It's not a particularly beautiful car, but I'm a sucker for gadgets.
I would hate to be in one in a major accident.
Where does all that battery acid go? have you seen what gel acid does to your skin... your kid's skin.
Ask Toyota for a major impact crash study. Where is that.
If I am going to be in an accident I am better off being the hammer, not the nail. My kids are worth more than a tankful of gas!
Oh, and where do you dispose of the batteries when they are depleted? Recycle? Oh yes, there is no environmental impact there. Ignorance is bliss!
ER the same place that all other cars go to? I believe its called a scrap yard. Nobody is claiming that hybrid cars don't polute just that they polute less than conventional petrol/diesel powered cars.
As for the poster who was worried about battery acid-are you having a laugh?? You might as well say your scared of getting electrocuted!
The fact is hybrid haters that sooner or later we are going to have to cut down on pollution and you can't keep on putting your head in the sand. Hybrid is one step closer to the solution. I will buy a Prius once they come down in price..don't like the way it looks much though..
I happen to live in the States and have owned a Prius for nearly 27 months. It has been extremely reliable. It has excellent crash test results, so you needn't worry about acid burns from the battery. I found that comment very funny indeed!
Hey, I recognize the commenter who mentions the battery acid! He posted a comment as a Hummer owner, and made the exact same statements about rather being the hammer than the nail, and that his kids are worth more than a tankful of gas. Extremely interesting that a Hummer owner would come and make disparaging comments about hybrid vehicles. Very interesting, indeed...
As for accidents, I had a head on with a Ford SUV and held its ground. You must realize the Prius weight is around 4000 pounds.
As for the taxi driver comment, the real risk isn't performance or accident safety (the Prius can easily handle both) but batteries. If you are averaging 50,000 miles per year you may be looking at battery replacement (estimated between $5,000 - $7,000) every two years according to Toyota's estimate of 100K mile battery life.
Yes, the costs of batteries are going down, but if you are considering a Prius I would recommend some sort of business leasing program where you can turn in the car every year or two in order to avoid an extremely expensive repair bill.
If you're interested in using the Prius as a taxi, just put "prius taxi" in a Google search. One Prius taxi here in Canada went over 300,000km without any failure of any hybrid component. The battery is basically good for the life of the car, because of the way the computer manages it.
I am hoping you are correct about the batteries, but everything I've read in the press is that companies like Honda and Toyota are very shy when talking about "battery life".
Industry experts estimate the batteries will last 7 - 10 years if that.
And although the case you cite is promising, it does not really take into account time. Getting high mileage in, say, three years is not the same as accumulating the same mileage in 10 years. Will the batteries last over time, especially when exposed to a variety of seasons year after year?
I'm considering buying a Prius, but have some concerns. I live in Maine and wonder if the car is too light to drive on snowy roads? Are the tires designed to handle such conditions? Would negative degree weather have negative effects on the life of the battery? I like the Prius, but don't want to get one if it means I can't leave the driveway in winter.
Respectfully, this comment is not correct.
I bought a used 04 Prius with 15k miles (mint condition) and great price (now that the tax credit no longer applies to pre-owned Prii). Before I did, I checked on the battery question. It is expected, overall, to last for about the life of the car. There will be exceptions in either direction (I've seen two cases at 221k miles and 243k miles on the up side).
The price for a new battery array, if you had to buy one today, is $2300 (US). Not cheap, but if it lasts the life of the car, the fuel savings compared to a similar gas conventional, will more than make up for it.
In the end, it's a personal choice. If a hyb fits your needs, buy one, if not, don't.
I did find the "noxious chemicals" comment from the diesel advocate sort of funny. Stand around a diesel tailpipe recently?
And for the gent from the UK, our Prii in the US don't get the EV switch. Apparently, we get a longer wty, and they don't want us reducing battery array life by overstressing the thing.