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Old 29th April 2005, 22:16   #1
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Default First Drive: Toyota Prius (Hybrid)

This has to be one of the most interesting cars I will ever drive. On my second day at work, I found a Prius standing in the parking lot and since it was a hybrid I just had to drive it. So off i went with 2 of my buddies in this interesting little car.
It was a 2001 model with 52K on the odo. Since I currently have a G1 licence I am not allowed to drive on the 400 series of freeways here so my friend had a crack at it first. To start off, it's a real spacious car with funky interiors. The chrome buttons for everything somehow don't look out of place. And despite being a hybrid it's really spacious and gives the feel of a normal car.
Finally, we came back into the city roads and i had a chance to drive it. It took some getting used to at first. Step on the gas and there is a momentry late reaction and then the car zips. And yea, it's supremely silent. On the freeway, we could hear the small engine really roaring as it struggled to get the car moving but in the city there was pin drop silence. The suspension felt nice and supple and there were no rattles or squeaks at all. The screen in front kept showing what engine was working and where the charge was going. So as soon as i stepped off the gas or braked it showed that the batteries were getting re-charged. I really don't have much details as the car was used and there was no manual in the car so no idea about the engines or how it worked. The only way we knew what was happening was from the screen in front of us that kept updating us on what was going on. All in all, it's a great city car and with great mileage too. And the feeling that you are doing something for the environment was a real "feel good" factor. It was a short 20 minute drive and i did manage to get the car to about 70kmph in a 60kmph zone and it was doing it real effortlessly. I would surely buy it given a chance.
Sorry i have no pics about the car and not much details. We went back to the showroom as we had a lot of other cars to drive
all in all, that one day, i drove 6 cars : the Toyota Prius, Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Tiburon, Pontiac Wave, Pontiac G6 and the Pontiac Vibe. All the pontiacs were new rest were used. I will share the experiences with the other cars soon but the Prius was easily the most interesting car of all of them.
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Old 29th April 2005, 23:35   #2
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Really interesting machine you've driven there Amit. If I am not mistaken you've driven the previous gen Toyota Prius haven't u.

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Old 30th April 2005, 00:10   #3
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Nice one amit.
actually what happenes is that your IC engine kicks in at hgiht speed (above 4omph but not sure) & at the same time your battery gets charged (dynamo principle) below that speed IC engine gets switched off & battery juice is used once you stop again IC engine kicks in & your battery starts to charge again.
it would be more benificial in countries like India because of lower speed of traffic
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Old 30th April 2005, 08:47   #4
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hey amit ..
wassup ... looks like your settling in fine there ...
the new gen prius looks damn nice .. what year was the CTS and the Tiburon ???
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Old 30th April 2005, 11:33   #5
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Good write up Amit . You seem to be enjoying yourself there. Can you tell us more about the Prius "Parking itself" feature and which model its present on?

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Old 30th April 2005, 20:43   #6
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Prius 'self park' feature is offered only on the Japanese market version. Too many liability issues in North America.
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Old 30th April 2005, 20:51   #7
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Ah, but what exactly is the 'self park' mechanism(?)...?
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Old 1st May 2005, 08:01   #8
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The car has sensors and cameras that measure the available space and then the steering and the axle are operated by electric motors which park the vehicle without driver intervention. All this is controlled by an ECU.
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Old 1st May 2005, 11:16   #9
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Dear God, that sounds very interesting... but then why not introduce it world wide...? Isn't it just meant for extra convenience? And I'm sure that anyone buying that car would be loking for a decent level of cconvenience, so why not offer it on the American models as well...?
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Old 1st May 2005, 23:48   #10
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Quote:
Can you tell us more about the Prius "Parking itself" feature and which model its present on?
The car did'nt have self park feature.

Quote:
what year was the CTS and the Tiburon ???
The CTS was a 2003 model with 80,000+ kms. It had a 3.6L V6 with 255bhp and it rode like a dream. Even after 80K there wasn't any rattle or squeak from anywhere and the suspension felt as good as new. The build quality was amazing to. As good as any top end European model.
The Tiburon was a 2003 model with 60K+. Strictly for 2 ppl. It had Tiptronic transmission and went like a cracker. Suspension was typical sports car like.
But the best car of the lot was easily the Pontiac G6. 3.5L V6 with 200HP. The car looks sexy as hell, has the biggest sunroof in the business, rides like a strong mean machine. This car has the potential to set the sales charts here on fire and it seems to be doing well too.
By the Way, I got a job in a GM showroom, hence i got to drive so many cars. OF course, More are to follow This is just the beginning guys

Last edited by amit : 1st May 2005 at 23:50.
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Old 20th June 2008, 08:59   #11
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Your experience about Prius was positive. How does it compare to the just now launched Civic Hybrid?
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I would surely buy it given a chance.
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Old 20th June 2008, 09:08   #12
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3 years late, diabloo ?
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Old 20th June 2008, 09:13   #13
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Amit is probably the only person who can give 1st hand account of Prius v Civic. He has driven Prius, lets see if he gets time to drive the Civic.
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3 years late, diabloo ?
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Old 20th June 2008, 09:25   #14
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Yes but more than 3 years down the line? The Prius he drove is more than 7 years old.

My friend in US recently bought a Prius and his brother has a Civic Hybrid. Both of them say that the Prius is a better car compared to the Civic. As per them the Civic is nothing great. The Prius looks better is more spacious and has more features.

Driving wise the Prius is more seamless and you don't feel the motors switching whereas in the Civic it's not a smooth transition.

I'll ask them again for a more detailed comparison and post the review.
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Old 20th June 2008, 11:50   #15
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Well too much of an expectation here. A 2001 car driven with 52k on the odo and now a comparison with a 2008 car. What do you expect mate ?
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