Toyota Prius Hybrid Overview


prius
Any consumer looking to purchase a hybrid vehicle knows the name Toyota Prius Hybrid, and knows that it is the foremost and oldest hybrid vehicle on the market. When I say old, though, I don’t mean decrepit. On the contrary, this particular hybrid looks as sleek as the name sounds, a futuristic look that is sleek and new. This particular hybrid was the first released to the public in 1997, and has remained one of the more distinctive, well-known hybrids. An initial look at the Prius shows the car’s unique upright headlights, the interestingly functional and trendy bonnet and bumpers, showing just how unique the vehicle is. Even if you were to completely ignore the unique look of the vehicle, though, no matter how head-turning it may seem, the Toyota Prius is still one of the absolutely most intriguing hybrid vehicles available now.

The very history of the Toyota Prius is quite interesting. In 1994, the concerns of environmentalists on fuel emissions and pollution led the Japanese Toyota Motor Corporation to develop a car that would be stylish, sophisticated, and also deal with these environmental concerns. The first and immediate plan from the manufacturing team at Toyota was that of a hybrid engine. Now, while it was a noble endeavour, the first hybrid engine had a slew of problems, and so an additional three years were given so that the design could be approved for construction and later produced for the market.

It wouldn’t be until December of 1997 that the Prius Hybrid was ready for production, and the vehicle premiered to a market that was desperately seeking an eco-friendly car. In fact, the major issue of the Prius had previously been issues with the battery’s longevity, and now that it had been solved, the current Prius hybrid cars contain batteries that are able to last around seven to ten years. Unfortunately, though, the hope was that with hybrid cars, the batteries would be able to last much longer than they currently can, in order to make the vehicle as useful as possible.

In Japan, the Toyota Prius took off as an immediate hit, and that prompted the company to decide that marketing the hybrid in offshore markets would be much more profitable, as countries, especially the U.S., were looking for eco-friendly vehicles. The problem was that while the US market wanted these eco-friendly vehicles that had boosted car sales in Japan, the general population was unaware of most of the benefits that the Prius could offer. As a result, the car was resigned in 2004 and this gained interest from the US market. Technically using a marketing perspective, the car was a financial success, as well as leading the way for other hybrid vehicles.

In the creation of the Prius, Toyota created its very own treasure trove, an investment that would last the company. This hybrid was a breakthrough in automotive technology, and because it was so successful in the US, it set the bar that other hybrids have had to compete again, even amongst other Toyotas. Considering the name itself, Prius, which is Latin for “going before,” this car certainly is a true predecessor for all other hybrids, and each one of them should seek to improve off of this vehicle.

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Toyota Camry Hybrid Tops Safety Rating


camry
All-new Toyota Camry Hybrid, the powerful redesigned version of a 4-door sedan, tops the safety rating for front and side crash protection. It was rated five out of five stars safety rating. 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid was given seven standard airbags which include knee airbag. The latter is also used to keep the driver in the right seat position in case of frontal crash.

Aside from its safety rating, the most obvious difference of Toyota Camry is the drive feel. In its newest version, said car was made more refined and quiet. With just a touch of the standard push-button, the driver can experience the difference. However, the downside of it is passed on to the pedestrians. The latter must be cautious enough to notice Camry Hybrid coming up from behind.

The car is equipped with .4-liter, I4, 192-horsepower, hybrid engine that yields 40-mpg in the city and 38-mpg on the highway. Camry Hybrid is given the latest Hybrid Synergy Drive system with state-of-the art electronics that is capable of mixing electric power with gas engine power, when needed. The 105-kilowatt electric motor can instantly yield 199 pound-feet of torque for easy and smooth acceleration. Camry Hybrid is also given a quieter interior for a more tranquil ride.

Compared to Toyota Prius, which has a combined 110 hp from its electric or gas system and a 5-door hatchback design, Camry Hybrid serves less mileage. The ratings for Prius are 60 mpg city/51 mpg highway.

Camry Hybrid weighs 3,680 pounds. Said car weighs less than Prius and Accord. Its trunk space loses approximately 4.6 cubic feet than the gasoline-only Camry. To reduce the trunk space, the battery pack is placed behind the rear seats.

So far, Camry Hybrids have more than 17, 300 sales just for this year. The suggested retail price of Camry Hybrid is $26,480. It includes continuously variable transmission (CVT), up level ergonomics and amenities like the 8-way power driver’s seat.

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What does a snow flake outline mean on the display of a 2007 Prius?


prius
My 2007 Prius has a type 3 display. In ENERGY MONITOR mode, the outside temperature is shown in the upper right corner in an oblong box. Sometimes this box is replaced by a snow flake shaped box for a second or two. It never stays on long enough for me to read it or understand why it changed. What purpose does the snow flake serve? Under what circumstances does it change or change back?

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What is the best way to condition a Prius battery?


prius
Is there a set of driving habits that leave the Prius battery in best condition? If so, are these habits complimentary with best practice of driving for high mileage?


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Does the Toyota Prius really pollute more that it saves?


prius
It’s Question and Answer time again, Mark asks:
I heard that the Prius’ battery or something causes more environmental harm than helping it, and that the Hummer is more cost/waste efficient that the Prius. Is this true?



How much interior is in the Prius and Element?


prius
I’m buying a car in a few months and I’ve narrowed it down to the Prius or the Honda Element. I’m a sizable gal, however, and I don’t know how much interior room there is in these vehicles and I haven’t had time to visit a dealership to test drive them. Do any larger folks have either of these cars? Do they have lots of room inside? Are they comfortable side to side in the driver and passenger seats? (And please, keep any rude comments you might have to yourself.) Thanks!

By: Rogue Scrapbooker

About the Author:



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Toyota Prius Hybrid Extended Review


prius
Handling and Performance

Now it’s time to take a look at what makes the Prius tick. With a 1.5-liter engine, the Prius uses both the engine and battery pack under the very seats of the car to create an eco-friendly, fuel-efficient vehicle. Before you start getting too excited about the Prius’s features, though, understand that this car is not a vehicle built for speed. While it is luxurious and convenient, this isn’t the kind of car you want to take out on your weekly street race.

The Prius is able to hit its top speed at around 106 mph, and in accelerating, the vehicle takes 10.9 seconds to hit 62 mph. The vehicle will keep up on the highway, but this is not a precision instrument. The handling prowess isn’t bad, yet if combined with a need for speed, you may want to reconsider. The tires are also fairly skinny, but the tread on them attempts to keep an overall strong grip while saving on fuel. The car clings to the road very well, but there is nothing of specific notability about the handling or speed in the car.

The quality of the actual ride, however, is wonderful. While at lower speeds, the vehicle runs smoothly, while quickly, utilizing the electric motors to generate enough power. Then, stead ling accelerating, the gas-powered engine begins to give more clout to the vehicle while still charging the batteries. Another positive feature of the hybrid engine is the silent driving feature, although, it’s still important to be extremely alert and cautious on the road, as the silent driving may lull you into a false sense of security.

Because of its main feature as a hybrid vehicle, the gas needed for this vehicle is greatly reduced, and the engine shuts itself off during traffic stops. To be fair, accessories such as air conditioning and your radio do get their power from the battery pack, so while the engine will move the car and recharge the battery, it is important to note exactly the kind of power consumption you are looking at.

Finally, the Prius is a very light vehicle. The hybrid has a gasoline tank made of resin, and instead of the heavy steel used in conventional vehicles, aluminium is used to maintain a lightweight vehicle.

Fuel-Efficiency and Eco-Friendliness

The Toyota Prius hybrid was developed specifically to be an eco-friendly vehicle, and with so much time to perfect the design, don’t be surprised that this particular vehicle can boast to be one of the best vehicles in low consumption of gasoline. The car is also able to claim that the production of other greenhouse gases is extremely low, and the emissions are near negligible.

As for the fuel consumption for the Prius, you can expect to get around 65 to 67 miles per gallon in urban areas. The EPA has stated that the car can get up to 45 miles per gallon on the highway. Why is this the case? The light weight of the vehicle, as well as the drag coefficient is able to make the car much faster and more efficient.

Initially, there was concern that the batteries of the Prius hybrid would be an environmental concern, which prompted Toyota to begin a program where in they recycle the old batteries. The fears of environmentalists allayed, dealerships are paid anywhere up to $200 in the event that they have consumers turn over used and old hybrid batteries.

The important thing to remember is that the main reason that the Prius is so popular is because of the impact it has as an eco-friendly and green car. This car has every reason to be popular for that reason, too, seeing as how by using this vehicle, the contribution to improving the environment is amazing.

Other Features

Now that you’ve had a chance to look at the different features of the Prius’s exterior and interior, it is important to note that there are even more new and different features that make the Prius unique. Not just for the efficiency of the vehicle, there are new technological features that are, quite frankly, pretty cool. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. If you’re not going to be travelling on the highway, there is a new mode for the Prius that allows you to completely move to electric motors. The EV mode can allow 1.25 miles while at a speed of 30 mph. Using this mode, the car would produce zero emissions and would be nearly silent, which is a nice change when driving in a noisy city.

2. While not only removing that gross engine smell that some older conventional cars have when you use the air-conditioning system, the hybrid has an AC system that’s completely powered and run by the electric motors. There is an electric-inverter compressor that has been built into the system and allows the AC to run completely independent of the engine, on top of reducing the amount of gas you use.

3. It wasn’t just a cute catch-phrase to call the Prius a “Smart Car”. There actually is an electronic brain in the core of the vehicle that is used to coordinate all of the systems in the vehicle, which increases the reliability of the vehicle while you’re driving.

4. Once again, the car keeps getting smarter and smarter, as now the newer version of the hybrid uses a voice recognition system that can control your GPS, air conditioning and audio system. That way, when you’re trying to change your

CDs from The Strokes to the Rolling Stones, you won’t have to look away from the road and shuffle around to do that.

5. There’s always a concern about safety with hybrids, seeing as how they are smaller and lighter, but be assured that from the EuroNCAP crash test program, the Prius snagged a five-star rating, which is the maximum. The airbags are located on the driver, passenger, front side and curtain of the car, and the stability control in the vehicle keeps the balance steady.

6. I’m sure you’re curious about the price of the Prius as well, and there’s no worry there. The Toyota Prius is sold at around $21,000 to $27,000, which is around the same price range internationally for hybrids, if not cheaper. It is also one of the most affordable hybrids on the US market.

The Toyota Prius Hybrid has the unique position of having been one of the precursors to the rest of the hybrids that we see on the market today. Not only is it the first and foremost hybrid, the most well-known, Toyota has continued to promise that the future models of the Prius will continue to be even more sophisticated, efficient, functional and enjoyable.

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Toyota to Build Hybrid Parts Plant in Japan


Toyota Prius
The Toyota Motor Corp. said last Friday that it plans to build a new factory in Fukuoka in southwestern Japan to produce components for gas-electric hybrid vehicles. Toyota, which leads the market in hybrid sales, said it plans to acquire about 340,000 square meters of land there and put production lines for hybrid parts together from other plants.

Classic Car Parts

Toyota spokeswoman Yurika Motoyoshi said details, including the size of the investment and timing, are still unknown. The Nikkei, Japanese daily, earlier reported that the automaker would likely invest tens of billions of yen.

The Japanese auto giant targets to sell 430,000 units of hybrid vehicles worldwide this year. The figure is up by 37 percent from that of last year. The automaker also has said that it aims to boost domestic production of the popular Prius hybrid cars by 40 percent to 280,000 units this year.

The Toyota Prius, the first mass-produced and marketed hybrid car, went on sale in 1997 in Japan and in 2001 worldwide. In the United States, the Prius initially attracted purchasers interested in the vehicle’s low particulate emissions, advanced technology, and high fuel economy. The benefits are boosted by Toyota cold air intake, engines and other auto accessories.

Last year, the demand for the Prius increased because of various reasons that include the rising price of gas, tax credits provided by the federal government lowered the end-price to consumers, and some states introduced privileges for hybrid vehicle drivers.

Separately, the automaker also plans to invest $413M in its Kentucky plant in Georgetown to manufacture new vehicle. The board of directors of the company will make a decision soon about where it will make the new model, which has not yet been announced, according to Jim Kersteiner, the assistant general manager in the accounting and finance group for Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc. Kersteiner added that the project would begin by late 2008.

Rick Hesterberg, the assistant manager of corporate communications for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, said the company is not looking to expand the plant. The new investment would be used for the acquisition of new production equipment and for repairs of assembly and engine production areas in connection to the new model.

To encourage the Japanese automaker to make its investment at the Georgetown facility, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval for Toyota to receive $25 million in tax incentives. The incentives were offered under the Kentucky Reinvestment Act, which offers tax breaks to companies with more than 1,000 employees that plan to invest $100 million or more in an existing facility. In 2006, the automaker also was granted $18 million in state tax incentives under the reinvestment act for investing $248 million at the Georgetown facility.

By: Lauren Woods

About the Author:

Given her background on cars as an auto insurance director, Lauren Woods finds the world of cars to be constantly changing.

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Toyota Prius Hybrid Overview


prius
Any consumer looking to purchase a hybrid vehicle knows the name Toyota Prius Hybrid, and knows that it is the foremost and oldest hybrid vehicle on the market. When I say old, though, I don’t mean decrepit. On the contrary, this particular hybrid looks as sleek as the name sounds, a futuristic look that is sleek and new. This particular hybrid was the first released to the public in 1997, and has remained one of the more distinctive, well-known hybrids. An initial look at the Prius shows the car’s unique upright headlights, the interestingly functional and trendy bonnet and bumpers, showing just how unique the vehicle is. Even if you were to completely ignore the unique look of the vehicle, though, no matter how head-turning it may seem, the Toyota Prius is still one of the absolutely most intriguing hybrid vehicles available now.

The very history of the Toyota Prius is quite interesting. In 1994, the concerns of environmentalists on fuel emissions and pollution led the Japanese Toyota Motor Corporation to develop a car that would be stylish, sophisticated, and also deal with these environmental concerns. The first and immediate plan from the manufacturing team at Toyota was that of a hybrid engine. Now, while it was a noble endeavour, the first hybrid engine had a slew of problems, and so an additional three years were given so that the design could be approved for construction and later produced for the market.

It wouldn’t be until December of 1997 that the Prius Hybrid was ready for production, and the vehicle premiered to a market that was desperately seeking an eco-friendly car. In fact, the major issue of the Prius had previously been issues with the battery’s longevity, and now that it had been solved, the current Prius hybrid cars contain batteries that are able to last around seven to ten years. Unfortunately, though, the hope was that with hybrid cars, the batteries would be able to last much longer than they currently can, in order to make the vehicle as useful as possible.

In Japan, the Toyota Prius took off as an immediate hit, and that prompted the company to decide that marketing the hybrid in offshore markets would be much more profitable, as countries, especially the U.S., were looking for eco-friendly vehicles. The problem was that while the US market wanted these eco-friendly vehicles that had boosted car sales in Japan, the general population was unaware of most of the benefits that the Prius could offer. As a result, the car was resigned in 2004 and this gained interest from the US market. Technically using a marketing perspective, the car was a financial success, as well as leading the way for other hybrid vehicles.

In the creation of the Prius, Toyota created its very own treasure trove, an investment that would last the company. This hybrid was a breakthrough in automotive technology, and because it was so successful in the US, it set the bar that other hybrids have had to compete again, even amongst other Toyotas. Considering the name itself, Prius, which is Latin for “going before,” this car certainly is a true predecessor for all other hybrids, and each one of them should seek to improve off of this vehicle.

Toyotausablog.com


Toyota’s Prius — is the Hybrid Technology Worth the Extra Cost?


prius
The Prius embodies Toyota’s motto, “Moving Forward.” They designed the Prius to be a step up in the car world, rather than a step toward awkwardness, as I would expect from any environmentally conscious car. The car looks and feels special. People notice the difference in appearance and realize that the whole motivation for the car is different.

The people have cried out for relief from rising gas prices. They have sought after something that doesn’t destroy the environment. Toyota has answered the people with their gas/electric hybrid, the Prius.

The Prius gets an average of 45 mpg in the city as well as on highways. People with lead feet complain that this car gives them no better gas mileage then a regular car, but this is because gas usage depends very much on the driver, how he or she works the gas pedal. The driver can ensure the best possible gas mileage by watching the screen mounted on the dashboard.

It is disputable whether or not additional cost for the hybrid technology is worth the money saved in gas expenditure. The car costs at least five thousand more than the average Toyota sedan to begin with. Then there is an additional seven to eight thousand dollar cost when the battery wears out. The battery’s warrantee comes to an end after one hundred thousand miles.

The car is trim and slim, easy to fit into small spaces. Unfortunately, the leg room is a bit wanting for the driver’s side in particular. I don’t understand why they didn’t allow the front seats to slide back any further. This is one of the few misgivings I have about the Prius.

So would you rather give your money to gas companies who are deliberately raising gas prices because they know there is nothing you can do about it, or would you rather support Toyota who is putting forth effort to give you a choice in the matter? Assuming I’ll break even in car payments vs. gas prices, I would rather support Toyota.

Toyota’s Prius also includes keyless entry and push button start. As long as the key is in your pocket, the car will sense this and unlock the car. Same thing goes for starting the car. As long as the key is in your pocket, just push the button and the car will start. The keyless key also makes it impossible to lock your keys in the car.

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