Sue's New Toy - 2004 Toyota Prius

29 April 2004

I've now had my 2004 Prius for just over six months.  With 6600 miles on the car, I still absolutely love the car.  Warmer weather is upping my average mpg to/from work to 53 mpg, and increasing weekly!  Maintenance so far: I've had a flat tire (big mama nail) that was covered (though a hassle), a software upgrade from Toyota that was covered, a 5000-mile oil change that was $20 at the dealer... and that's it!  

We took the car on a long trip to Kansas City, and can confirm that at 80+ mph, the gas mileage does go way down, to more like 30 mpg.  Slowing to 75 matters a bit, slowing to 65 gets the mpg back over 40.  Rides fine on the freeway and handles great, cruise control works well.

I've had the car on dirt, snow, ice, and it handles quite well on ice with the anti-lock brakes.  No issues on snow or dirt either.  I took it from Fort Collins up I-70 over Berthoud Pass at 11,300 feet and down to Winter Park for skiing (skis fit inside up to 190's) and over the whole trip I averaged 46 mpg - much better than I expected!  The battery was down to red halfway up I-70 and the poor gas engine was working to get up the hills, but I had no issue with power and I was never "floored" going uphill.  Of course going down into Winter Park and then back homebound all the way down I-70 the battery was full up solid green... I wonder if that kind of full cycle of the batteries does any damage...???

I had the car on display for Earth Day at work last week, with lots of folks stopping by to ask questions, lots of "wow" at the roominess and that a real owner is confirming the gas mileage, great handling, and no issues.  The deep maroon color sells itself.  For Earth Day (and every day), this car is a real showcase.

I hear the local dealer in Fort Collins has 700 cars on order and if you order one now, they're so far behind you'll end up getting a 2005 model!  Wow!

8 November 2003

So far, I love my new car :-)  Toyota delivered the car a full month early even!  We had a week of yukky weather, overcast drizzle and snow right after I got her, so on the first clear day Bob washed her (gotta put in a plug for the Executive Car Wash in Ft Collins who saw my new toy with the temporary license plate and gave me a freebie wash!) and we took pictures.

I love the deep red color, there's gobs of room with the hatchback and fold-down seats... The "Power" button to turn her on is just too geeky-cool!  The 7-inch touch screen display for everything is way fun.  So far I have put on almost 300 miles in 10 days and am averaging 42 mpg... with the average increasing daily as I learn what works best.  Great turn radius, good handling on the turns, most of the time it feels like a normal car... until you coast for an upcoming red light and the gas engine shuts off and you glide in stealth mode :-).

This hybrid car could rid the world of road rage -- it's not smelly polluting or gas-guzzling while in stop-and-go traffic.  Instead the gas engine shuts off for silent comfortable, calming driving.  It encourages gentle smooth acceleration and deceleration, with the instantaneous mpg readout giving instant feedback -- smooth gives better mpg.

I can see why Prius owners are fanatics, and so loyal - after only 10 days I am addicted.

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