The responsible part: it's got very low
emissions. It's got a combined city/highway mileage rating of 55 MPG.
One of the nice additions on the Prius for
2006 is traction control. In
canadiandriver.com's traction test, the Prius with traction control
did as well as some all wheel drive vehicles. A well designed front
wheel drive car with computerized traction control might be a much better choice
for many people than AWD. All wheel drive is very complicated and can present
some real maintenance headaches and expenses. Look for packages that include
Stability Control (VSC).
Demand for hybrids has been high so far,
and being a Toyota, the Prius will likely hold it's value well. In fact, a
used 2004 Prius often sells for almost as much as what a new 2006 lists for.
I've talked to lots of
people who own a Prius, and every single one of them has really loved
theirs. Owners range from somewhat technically oriented people who
appreciate the engineering to regular folks who could care less how a
hybrid works. They just appreciate the phenomenal gas mileage. Almost
everyone reports getting about 45-50 miles per gallon in suburban
Maryland and Virginia
driving, and they've been very pleased with that.
Fuel mileage is displayed
The fun part. Do any of these words describe your life: dull, boring,
mundane, monotonous, dreary? If so, the Prius will add a little fun to your
woeful existence. From the cool "Start" button, to the voice-activated navigation system to the electronic
key that you can leave in your purse or pocket, this is a great blend of
high tech innovation with practicality. All told, you'll probably look
forward to that morning commute for quite some time in the Prius.
How's the power? This second generation power plant is much more powerful
than the initial Priuses. No problem here. Quite amazing for a car that gets
such good mileage.
Other improvements that have been made are more interior room and a
totally redesigned air conditioning system. Overall, Toyota has done a
really good job of taking a groundbreaking design and making lots of
significant improvements on it.
With the rear seats
folded down, there is a surprising amount of space for storage.
If you have a Bluetooth enabled cell
phone, you can take an incoming call even if you're phone is out of reach.
The car's speakers let you hear the caller and the car's navigation system
microphones pick up your voice. If you are using the nav system to look up
an address and want to call that number, just tell the nav system and it
will make the call hands free using your phone.
The optional JBL 6 CD changer/cassette
player is really nice. Other available options include intermittent rear
window wiper, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side and front and
rear curtain airbags, and an anti-theft system.
There's a lot of people who will really get a kick out of this car. For
the eligible bachelorette, it may be the ultimate guy magnet (over half of
Prius buyers are women). For the
environmentalist, it's a dream come true. For the average person, it's a
practical car with something extra about it. It might make sense for a lot
of different reasons. Why, if Einstein were with us now, he'd probably drive
one. But would he have a hard time deciding which color to get?
© 2003-2006 David