TTAC - Toyota Prius

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,737
    Likes Received:
    1,604
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    The Prius is the anti-car and no manner of sport package or aftermarket modification can transmogrify the eco-worrier [sic] into anything resembling an automobile.

    [​IMG]

    By Jay Shoemaker
    June 8, 2009

    Sitting in the new Toyota Prius, I suddenly blurted out, “Open the pod bay doors, Hal,” half expecting something to happen. Alas, I was still entombed in the resin chamber that passes for an automobile interior. If Ralph Nader had been an engineer, this is the car he would have designed, a vehicle for people who loathe automobiles.

    Nothing about the insides feels familiar in the traditional sense, unless you are a prior Prius person. The new interior is swathed in low rent plastics which emit nauseating vapors, leather seats (if so equipped) that made me long for Naugahyde and gauges which were not only situated well out of sightlines, but rendered in a primitive digital manner which were indecipherable even up close. Of course I could always tell how slowly I was driving from the desperate looks on the faces of the drivers eager to get past me.

    The 2010 Prius’ ergonomics were designed for only two kinds of creatures: those who like to sit five inches back from the front windshield and orangutans. Everyone else will find that the steering wheel, adjustable now for tilt and reach, is still too far away for a proper seat position. There is a nice new electric lumbar support in the seats, which are otherwise unsupportive and ill-shaped.

    The driving experience was engineered by faeries. There is an Unbelievable Lightness of Steering, flagrant disregard for handling and a general sense that you are not in a car at all but some anti-gravity device which yaws and rolls without regard for normal physics. I would rather visit my dentist than drive the Prius again—at least he gives me laughing gas.

    The one positive aspect of my Prius experience: the serenity of the ride quality. It may have been totally non-involving but it was otherwise quite placid. This proved to be a disaster as I developed a case of narcolepsy while operating the Prius (you don’t drive a Prius, you just sit there and moan along in harmony). On one occasion I drifted off and when I was able to refocus, I discovered I had driven well past my intended destination. If you have a small child or spouse with trouble sleeping, this might be your ride. This sample was mounted with optional 17″ wheels and I found that they not only magnified the road impact but they did little to add interest to the “driving experience.”

    The Prius is rendered silly by its own gimmicks. Let’s begin with the transmission. It has three buttons for its various modes, a stubby stalk and a fourth button for park. The car defaults to its economy mode to start, which makes it impossible to make it up my driveway or escape the neighbor’s kids on their bikes. Hammering the throttle only causes a dull moan to be emitted from the engine compartment. The car doesn’t really accelerate—I think it uses sound waves to attempt forward progress.

    There is also an EV mode which only goes to 20 mph and only for a mile or so; it’s perfect for when your golf cart breaks down; otherwise it is totally useless.

    Finally, there is power mode, which is much like economy mode only the moaning is louder. The transmission stalk made me smile: It provided me with a false sense of control over the driving experience. I could only choose forward or reverse or braking, which was nice since the brakes themselves felt greasy and wooden at the same time and did little to retard forward progress.

    To place the car in park required a push of the “P” button, which was separate from the transmission for some reason. My favorite part is that they hid some of the controls underneath the center console; I think there were switches for the seat heaters down there and maybe something else, I couldn’t really tell.

    I tried to get into this Prius thing; after all, I receive e-mail from Al Gore all the time. It’s not like I am some Neanderthal gear head (my M3 and S65 notwithstanding). I have a Honda Civic hybrid in my garage. I Grok hybridese. But I must not speak butterfly.

    The Prius is the anti-car and no manner of sport package or aftermarket modification can transmogrify the eco-worrier [sic] into anything resembling an automobile. The 2010 Prius needs a new moniker like, “personal vehicular transportation module,” or something similar. It just doesn’t meet my definition of an automobile. At least my Honda Civic hybrid drives and feels like a car, albeit a very slow and dull-witted one.

    Maybe that is a good thing. But I have a feeling that one day soon we will be able to drive something that gets outstanding mileage while stimulating its operator in the process. Here is the punch line: the Prius I drove with the technology package approached $34 grand before dealer tack-ons. Honda Fit anyone?

    Review Summary: Review: 2010 Toyota Prius

    [​IMG]

    PERFORMANCE:
    No point in flogging this dead horse
    RIDE:
    Uncontrolled but calm
    HANDLING:
    Ca marche
    EXTERIOR:
    Contemporary Pug ugly
    INTERIOR:
    Unpleasant; hardly fit for humans
    FIT AND FINISH:
    Shockingly low-rent
    TOYS:
    The only entertaining part of this ride
    DESIRABILITY:
    Only if you live in Berkeley
    MILEAGE:
    51/48
    PRICE AS TESTED:
    $33,350 (with lots of toys)
    OVERALL:
    I'd rather take the bus

    [​IMG]
     
  2. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    29,840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Random Location.FL
    Yeah, pretty much.

    Are they still doing more damage to the environment than they could ever possibly recover? I'd imagine they are doing more...since now they are putting massive solar panels on the roof and the car's life expectancy is no where near that of the time it takes to obtain net 0 pollution.
     
  3. PanzerAce

    PanzerAce Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    14,502
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    N37°18'37" W120°29'50"
  4. OniMinion

    OniMinion ...recalls when this forum was actually about cars OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Indiana/Minnesota
    I laughed so hard. Nice article.
     
  5. 4W4K3

    4W4K3 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    5,108
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    TX
    I couldn't agree more.
     
  6. Jujharoo

    Jujharoo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,053
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UpOnOne
    Regardless of what some jackass says, they'll still sell like cupcakes.
    I am not interested in buying a Prius, but I have driven a couple of them and sure do appreciate the technology and the quietness and the ergonomics. As a consumer, my experiences with the Prius are nothing but pleasant.

    'I'd rather take a bus'... my ass.
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    My shop has a couple of Priuses as loaner cars. They're not sports cars, but they're not the wimpy little rubber-band-powered things they appear to be either -- especially once they're chipped so the motor actually produces all the power it can, which is how the ones at my shop are.

    I intentionally swung the car back and forth in my office parking lot, and I found the steering to be precise and the body roll wasn't nearly as bad as this article makes it sound. It's no sports car, but it was very soothing to drive to work and back.
     
  8. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    29,840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Random Location.FL
    They're ugly and you can get the same MPG and do less damage to the earth (their fucking selling point) for a LOT less with a LOT less technology.

    So, that is why I hate the shit box.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aesthetics are relative; I don't think they're the best-looking car on earth, but they're no Pontiac Aztek either.

    I love how people keep comparing the Prius to the Honda Fit. Yes, the Honda Fit gets similar gas mileage -- but it's also smaller than a VW Golf, whereas the Prius is a midsize sedan. Anyone who isn't aware of that hasn't actually been in one. I would never take my kids to soccer practice in a Honda Fit.
     
  10. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    29,840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Random Location.FL
    The Prius is about as big as an xB.

    Prius still takes a ton of Nickle mining to create.

    There is no argument that will negate its shitiness. The only people who like them are blind/stupid (figuratively and literally respectively) wanna be tree hugers.
     
  11. Jujharoo

    Jujharoo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,053
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UpOnOne
    That argument has been debunked over a decade ago.

    Someone argued the same point, that you are making, at ClubLexus.
    I wish I had the details handy.

    You probably watched Top Gear and took it too seriously.
     
  12. mtnbikekid08

    mtnbikekid08 Aime-moi moins, mais aime-moi longtemps

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    3,549
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Jose
    Lol
     
  13. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    29,840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Random Location.FL
    :ugh:

    The argument that the nickle mining is worse than the total damage of a hummer H2 was debunked. Do you seriously think nickle mining is better than no nickle mining when making a car of the same size with the same performance and similar economy?
     
  14. Zot

    Zot OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    10,258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Central Coast & Orange County, CA
    :rofl:
     
  15. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Prius can use lithium batteries too, they're just using NiMH batteries right now because they're cheaper and less likely to catch fire. The switch to lithium batteries will also make the car lighter and more efficient. There are new lithium chemistries (like Lithium Iron Phosphate and Lithium Manganese) that don't present the fire hazard that Lithium Cobalt Oxide batteries do, they just need more R&D before they'll store as much power as LiCO batteries. That's where all the research is right now.
     
  16. PanzerAce

    PanzerAce Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    14,502
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    N37°18'37" W120°29'50"
    Or you could get a diesel, and get the same or better real world mileage, and actually have useable power :mamoru:
     
  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Electric motors can produce torque at 0rpm. Even a diesel can't do that.

    Have you ever even driven a Prius? When chipped, they can spin the tires as easily as any VW diesel can, and without needing you to piss in the fuel-additive tank to keep the exhaust clean.

    Your same argument could've been used 150 years ago (and probably was) when ICE-powered vehicles were first being built -- "if you want to go 30mph, you can just get a good horse and feed it well instead of constantly futzing with that infernal contraption."
     
  18. GammaRadiation

    GammaRadiation Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    29,840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Random Location.FL
    :hsugh:

    150 years ago the average person didn't need one of those fancy infernal contraptions nor where they practical or efficient for the average person.

    Think of it this way, where we are at in battery technology now and where we need to be is like steam engines vs modern engines. There were a few steam powered road vehicles, but they weren't worth driving when a horse and buggy would do the same thing (equally well) for less with less hassle.

    I'm all for alternative forms of transport...when they are better in some way than my current form of transportation. The prius only gets better MPG than a gasoline or diesel car tuned for economy in stop and go traffic where you spend a lot of time sitting still. Practically, the prius is better than other cars in no manner. It pollutes more, gets similar MPG, is slower (all this talk about chipping, but how will toyota feel about that when you need to make a warranty claim?), uglier, poor ergonomics, and has a shorter life span.

    In short, it's a pile of shit who's only practical purpose is to give douches a false sense of superiority.
    /thread.
     

Share This Page