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Old 06-04-2013, 11:46 AM   #21
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I think you will do your frugal bit for the environment with either the Honda Fit or the Prius C and the final choice is a personal preference.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:37 PM   #22
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I have a 2012 Prius. I test drove the Prius C prior to testing the Pruis. I did not like the Pruis C. It has much less power than the regular Prius. I felt like I might need to get out and push. The gas mileage offered on the C is only a couple of mpg better than the Prius.

I love my Pruis and regularly get more mpg than what was promised. It has plenty of power and is roomy, but still handles like a small car. It also gets tops on safety ratings. That was very important for me.

I was told that the batteries in the new third generation Prius may never have to be replaced. They said that the only batteries replaced so far were damaged in accidents. The third generation Prius is now on it's fourth year, so you should be able to find plenty of used ones available.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Cruisinthru View Post
I have a 2012 Prius. I test drove the Prius C prior to testing the Pruis. I did not like the Pruis C. It has much less power than the regular Prius. I felt like I might need to get out and push. The gas mileage offered on the C is only a couple of mpg better than the Prius.

I love my Pruis and regularly get more mpg than what was promised. It has plenty of power and is roomy, but still handles like a small car. It also gets tops on safety ratings. That was very important for me.

I was told that the batteries in the new third generation Prius may never have to be replaced. They said that the only batteries replaced so far were damaged in accidents. The third generation Prius is now on it's fourth year, so you should be able to find plenty of used ones available.
Thanks for your "review of the C. As a Prius owner, perhaps you can answer my question about where do you get your car serviced? Do you go to a local non-dealer shop for routine things like oil changes, tire rotation and then the dealer for hybrid related work? Or do you stick to the dealer service only?

I'm probably in the minority as I like driving tiny (subcompact) cars, but perhaps I should give the regular Prius a closer look.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:09 PM   #24
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My Prius is only 10 months old so I haven't had anything done to it. While it is in warranty I will go back to the dealership for service. I really like the Toyota dealership near my home, so I will probably take it back to them after the warranty period.

I also enjoy driving a small car. Prior to the Prius I drove a Toyota Yaris. It was a great little car. I just didn't feel safe in it since it didn't have side airbags. They do come equiped with side airbags, I just didn't get them on mine. My Yaris was a two door hatchback and I had no way of knowing that I would have a small grandchild to transport when I originally got it. So for safety and convenience I went to a four door Prius.

I would recommend that you drive both a Pruis and a Prius C before you buy. I get around 55-58 mpg around town with mine. I have learned the best way to drive and that helps boost it up from the 51city/48 hwy promised. There are some excellant articles on the internet about driving and increasing your mileage with a Prius.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:42 PM   #25
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Before you buy the Prius C, make sure to read the Consumer Reports review of it (in your library if you aren't a subscriber). It is a fundamentally different car from the Prius and is based on the Yaris chassis which is much less refined.

I have a 2010 Prius and have never had any work done on it other than routine oil change service (which I have done at the dealer as it's free - part of the deal when I bought the car). I love driving a small car also (my previous car was a Ford Focus) but the Prius is my favorite car ever. It feels small to drive but carries 4 adults comfortably on a road trip and with the rear seats down, I can haul decent cargo (like a bookshelf and desk from Ikea yesterday).

I have a friend with a 2003 (original model) Prius and it still has the original battery. Of course, YMMV.

Priuschat.com is the best source of info on Priii of all types.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:58 PM   #26
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Definitely test-drive the Prius ASAP. If you don't like how it feels, your decision will be much easier!

I have a 6-year-old Prius, and I get it serviced exclusively at a Toyota dealership. FWIW, I HATED getting my old Ford Probe serviced at Ford. They regularly tried to rip me off, and I eventually found a great independent shop. We also had problems with DH's old Saturn at their dealerships.

Toyota OTOH has been great. The dealership I go to regularly doesn't try to upsell me or b.s. me about my car (although it helps that nothing much has gone wrong). They even showed me how to replace the taillights for free, since the bulb costs $1.50 and it takes something like 30 seconds to do.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:01 PM   #27
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All else being equal, a 2.0 liter engine will provide better cruising mpg than a 2.5 liter engine. Apparently, enough to offset the extra motor/battery weight of a hybrid.

I wasn't aware of the Atkinson cycle that travelover mentioned. Sounds like it is basically a valve timing thing which is adjusted to be more efficient during lower power modes. Looks like that can also be used in non-hybrids:

2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD Test - Review - Car and Driver

I learned something, and I'm still on my first cup of coffee!

-ERD50
For what it is worth, Toyota uses the same size engine in both the standard Camry 4 cylinder and the hybrid. Perhaps to reduce production and maintenance issues? I don't know for certain.

My understanding of the Atkinson cycle engine is that these hybrid engines are not true 100% Atkinson engines, but they mimic them using things like valve timing to get similar results. Sort of like how index funds mimic the total market using statistical methods. Of course I could be wrong, I only know what I read on the Internet. :-)

The real issue is their ability to get much better mileage while keeping a similar level of performance and reliability. I was a skeptic for a long time but am now convinced they are not a flash in the pan fix.
My 2 cents.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:22 AM   #28
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For what it is worth, Toyota uses the same size engine in both the standard Camry 4 cylinder and the hybrid. Perhaps to reduce production and maintenance issues? I don't know for certain.
Thanks, I wasn't aware of that. I suspect you are right about the reasons, same engine for production issues. So rather than go for a physically smaller engine, they de-tuned it (lower peak HP and lower torque), which gives some of the same benefits.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_AZ_engine#2AZ-FE
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_AZ_engine#2AZ-FXE

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The real issue is their ability to get much better mileage while keeping a similar level of performance and reliability. I was a skeptic for a long time but am now convinced they are not a flash in the pan fix.
Hybrids have 3 things going for them -

1) Electric motors have max low-speed torque, this compliments an ICE, which has low torque at low speed (right where you need it most - for acceleration from a stop).

2) Regenerative braking - this is big, you recapture energy that other cars waste (and you save on brake wear).

3) It's possible to downsize (or de-tune?) the ICE and maintain performance.

Going against them -

1) Weight/cost of the battery/motor.
2) Life of the batteries (but real-life experiences seem very positive).

So I think it is just a matter of the pros outweighing (no pun intended) the cons. At this point, I think you still need to be a fairly high mileage driver for the economics to work out. We put ~ 6,000 annual miles on our two vehicles, so I doubt that a hybrid will be our next purchase.

There is also a question of the 'embedded' environmental impact of the added battery/motor. I've seen hack pieces on this (attacking the hybrid batteries), I don't have any links to a solid sounding study. I might look around later if no one else comes up with one.


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Old 06-05-2013, 10:50 AM   #29
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Slightly off topic - since it's a bigger car - but some comments on the hybrid Toyota Highlander and gas mileage.

I have a 2006 (bought in June 2005) HyHi. The mileage is/was not what was originally promised (they reduced the stated mileage the next year.) Part of my issue is that the combustion engine comes on a minute after you start the car, and runs for at least 5 minutes... to warm up the engine or some such. My commute in the morning is only 11 minutes - so I have half of my morning commute with NO gas savings. A coworker who bought at the same time has a 20 mile commute in semi-stop-and-go traffic - her mileage is much better. So, at least for the Highlander Hybrid - you won't get the promised mileage if your commute is too short. I only get about 25 mpg in my normal commute.

Conversely - when we take it on longer trips the mileage improves dramatically. I just got back from a 9 day school field trip - 6 people, luggage carrier on the roof, 2100 miles driven. Averaged just above 30mpg for the trip. (remember - this is an SUV!). So highway miles, longer miles do have better mileage.

I'm not sure how much of this translates to the prius - my understanding is the algorithm is similar.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:36 PM   #30
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I have a 2006 (bought in June 2005) HyHi. The mileage is/was not what was originally promised (they reduced the stated mileage the next year.) Part of my issue is that the combustion engine comes on a minute after you start the car, and runs for at least 5 minutes... to warm up the engine or some such. My commute in the morning is only 11 minutes - so I have half of my morning commute with NO gas savings. A coworker who bought at the same time has a 20 mile commute in semi-stop-and-go traffic - her mileage is much better.
Toyota hybrid systems go through phases of operation as they are started and warmed up. Here are descriptions of them:

http://www.ae.pwr.wroc.pl/filez/2011...HEV_Toyota.pdf

http://techno-fandom.org/~hobbit/cars/five-stages.txt
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:26 PM   #31
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Well, I went ahead and test drove a Prius C today. Overall, I like my body fit inside. Of course, that's just a test drive and not like a 200 mile trip. Though thought of driving around town and smiling each time gas prices go up is appealing. What I didn't like is the visibility (more correctly, lack of visibility) when looking out the rear view mirror.

I'm glad I test drove and for me, I'm not ready to cross that car off my list.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:16 AM   #32
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Okay, the stage is set.

I just dropped my car off for a second opinion on the oil leak repair.

My thought is if the cost is less than $1000 to just fix it and have the car live to fight another day. If over $1000 then that's the end of the line .

I brought my car to a place that's highly recommended on Yelp. 23 reviews (Five Star average), by appointment only. So we shall see.

Of course, what'll probably happen is the the cost will be around $1200 to make me suffer more paralysis by analysis

The only good thing is I still have time to think and not rush as the car is still driveable. (I just came back not long ago, on over a 1000 mile round trip. Did have to add about 1 Qt of oil total though)
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:53 AM   #33
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The only good thing is I still have time to think and not rush as the car is still driveable. (I just came back not long ago, on over a 1000 mile round trip. Did have to add about 1 Qt of oil total though)
How much is leaking and how much is burning? One quart / 1000 miles really isn't all that bad (IIRC, most mfgs will consider 1Q/1500 miles 'within spec').

How many miles do you drive a year, how much can you buy a years worth of oil for?

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Old 06-10-2013, 10:10 AM   #34
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How much is leaking and how much is burning? One quart / 1000 miles really isn't all that bad (IIRC, most mfgs will consider 1Q/1500 miles 'within spec').

How many miles do you drive a year, how much can you buy a years worth of oil for?

-ERD50
Yeah. As the first repair place said, the car is still driveable and I just went over 1000 miles. Yet, to constantly have a drip drip drip is no fun .
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:34 AM   #35
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Dripping oil can be a fire risk. It also stains the surface underneath. It needs fix in'.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:13 AM   #36
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Dripping oil can be a fire risk. It also stains the surface underneath. It needs fix in'.
A very good point Meadbh. I didn't think of the situation from the fire risk perspective. Well, looks like I'm more towards fix it or purchase and not drip drip drip.

Just did a quick search:

Oil Leaks are a Danger to the Environment, But Can Also Cause Fires
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:30 AM   #37
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A very good point Meadbh. I didn't think of the situation from the fire risk perspective. Well, looks like I'm more towards fix it or purchase and not drip drip drip.

Just did a quick search:

Oil Leaks are a Danger to the Environment, But Can Also Cause Fires
For the reasons above, if you lived in my condo building and parked in our underground parking, we would now be sending you a notice of bylaw complaint and fining you if you didn't clean it up within a week. We would also forbid you to park your vehicle in our parkade until the drip was fixed.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:34 AM   #38
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What did the first place actually say was the problem ? Most likely places for an oil leak are around gaskets and seals. If they said they have to remove the engine, then there is a rear engine seal near the transmission that usually does require the engine to be removed and the expense is mostly labor.

Also what type of oil are you using ? If you have tried, change it a high mileage formula that helps a lot of times.

Another thing to try is a "stop leak" product like Bars http://www.barsleaks.com/catalog/vie...al-repair-1040.

You can google around for reviews of the stop leak products. Worth a shot with an older car facing expensive repairs.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:43 AM   #39
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For the reasons above, if you lived in my condo building and parked in our underground parking, we would now be sending you a notice of bylaw complaint and fining you if you didn't clean it up within a week. We would also forbid you to park your vehicle in our parkade until the drip was fixed.

Ah..Condo living
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:45 AM   #40
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What did the first place actually say was the problem ? Most likely places for an oil leak are around gaskets and seals. If they said they have to remove the engine, then there is a rear engine seal near the transmission that usually does require the engine to be removed and the expense is mostly labor.
The first estimate did say to remove the engine in order to fix the leak. I heard, "remove engine, over $3K" and the rest got tuned out
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