Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More Prius

Ready to offer some more comments on the Prius I'm driving.  The route is 489-496 miles a day, Monday through Wednesday. Another driver covers Thursday through Saturday. I leave at 0330, go to Wheatland, WY by 0600, Torrington, WY by 0715, Scottsbluff, NE by 0830 and Denver International Airport airfreight by 1245. Back to Greeley, CO by 1430.

What do I like about the Prius? Bluntly, nothing. It is adequate, nothing more, and nothing special. Rough ride, little adjustment available in the seat and little aural and tactile feedback. Without cruise control, keeping a steady speed is difficult. More time is spent glancing at the digital readout than focusing on the road. You steer it constantly; no centering or holding a line. Take your eyes off the road to pour a cup of coffee and it immediately drifts out of your lane. Surely isn't one of my Lincoln Towncars.

It has adequate passing power and decent headlights.
We flog the little dear hard and rarely see more than 40 mpg economy. Our route is fairly flat and it climbs the few hills at cruising speed. We do eat up tires, especially the rears. Brakes are adequate and it has a deceleration downshift available which is useful. Otherwise, it is D only and a CCVT automatic transmission.

It offers a techie's delight information center which interests this Latter Day Luddite not at all. You can watch power flow displays and calculate your fuel costs in real time. Me, I don't care. What I do care is the short legs, about 350 miles range with a full 8 gallon tank. I fill it twice on my route. This old Rocky Mountain driver considers a half full tank to be empty. The two trip odometers I do use and, per my GPS readout, the speedometer is very accurate.

It has some tech stuff, phone pairing, etc.,  which I don't use and don't care to learn.

As couriers, we often carry bulky boxes. The rear seat stay folded flat. On two occasions I've need to use the front passenger seat to carry cargo but most times the available cargo space is adequate. We carry three 2'x3'x5' shipping boxes and a small picnic type cooler. We carry a lot of dry ice in the shipping boxes so the rear windows are always open about 1". Noisy, but we don't want to nod off while we are driving.

The A/C is marginal and rarely feels cold. More like cool. Today saw 94 degrees on the OAT. The cabin was bearable but not cold even with system in the maximum setting. I remember from last winter the heater and defrost were adequate. The rear wiper on the hatchback models we use keeps an area clear no greater than a large bandana.

My opposite number loves the car. To each his own. YMMV. Would I ever spend my own money on a Prius? Uh, no.


  1. Economy is one good thing for a company, but I find that the bigger the better on long road trips. I would have to have a good CD player so I could listen to my audio books (free from the library). They do pass the time for me on long trips.

    1. There are any number of vehicles available that will do the job and get 30 mpg. The Prius has a very expensive to replace battery pack. I've calculated the breakeven point at around 140,000 miles.

      It has a decent sound system per the audiophiles in our company.

  2. That's a lot of Butt In Seat time... And sad it's in a car that is that uncomfortable.

    1. The comfort is marginal for the driver. Front seat passengers find it gets uncomfortable at about the three hour mark.

      The good news is the pacemaker bills are being paid down at a most satisfactory rate and the savings are intact.

  3. That's great to hear! Hopefully you can 'really' retire soon!