Pros: FUEL ECONOMY, LOW MAINTENANCE, VEHICLE STABILITY CONTROL, RELAXING TO DRIVE IN TRAFFIC
Cons: THE WHOLE CAR LOOKS LIKE A BIKE HELMET
In this review I will describe my experience buying and driving a New 2007 Toyota Prius pkg 3.
My wife and I purchased this car new in march 2007. It now has 25,500 miles on it. We have driven it from Minneapolis to Montana, and everywhere in between. In nicer months, the fuel economy is 47.1 MPG. Note: we mostly drive in the fast lane and never go less than the speed limit. In the winter, the lowest we have ever done with a tank of fuel is 36.3 MPG. The weather was -25 degrees F for the majority of that period, and it included lots of short trips which we let the car warm up for. (not recommended)
I am a car nut. I Like anything American that can lay two streaks of rubber at the same time and has loud exhaust. That being said, this car was a strange fit for me. It doesn't do any of that stuff. But after driving it for the last year, here's a list of reasons why I will not sell this car:
The fuel mileage is REALLY GOOD. All BS aside, you won't do this good in a Geo Metro, or a Ford Festiva, OR ANY OTHER CAR. If anyone tells you that you could, tell them that Fred Flintstone's car gets unlimited miles per gallon. The Prius is WAY nicer riding, safer, more powerful, and those of us with common sense realize that old POS's are going to leave you sitting on the side of the road. Plus, who wants to spend their weekends working on a Ford Festiva?
This car needs almost nothing to maintain. OIL changes are recommended every 5,000 miles, and check the tire pressure. That's it. Wash and vacuum it if you want. The reliability has been perfect. Gives me time to think about important stuff.
Prius has decent acceleration. I live North of Minneapolis. Its got enough power to pass, and there has never been a time I couldn't keep up in the left lane. My description of it is: if it had any more power or acceleration, I could manage to get into trouble. Yea, its not a GTO or a Mustang or a Camaro, but did you really think it would be at 47 MPG? Test drive one and do a quarter mile run. Its not really slow, feels like a normal car. And even with the wide open throttle starts, I still get an average of 47 MPG!
I have decided that the ugly styling is worth the extra fuel savings. When your driving home after a hard days work, do you really care what your car looks like? NO. But it sure feels nice to have AC, a CD player, auto trans for traffic, and a comfortable seat. In most of the other economy cars I owned, it seemed like something in this category was screwed up. This car has actually managed to reduce my stress level in traffic. Its painless and easy to drive, and my wife and I agree we feel less in a hurry when driving this car. Besides that It has every option you could get on the nicest cavalier as standard equipment.
The vehicle stability control is amazing. When there's snow pack on the roads, the car helps you get through by not spinning the tires too much, and its GREAT on ice. The ABS is also one of the best I've ever had on a vehicle. With the factory Goodyear integrity tires, there was never a time last winter when work was open that I had trouble getting there. There was a couple of snow storms where common sense ruled that driving the Prius would be a bad idea, but the roads where plowed by the time I needed them anyway.
Resale value. Right now I could sell mine for 100% of what I paid new. Part of this is because of the tax credit, but the other reason is that they don't depreciate much at all.
The smart key system is nice. One less thing to fumble with every time you get in and out of your car. You literally never need to touch the keys. They can always be left in your pocket, plus its actually impossible to lock the keys in this car!
MY WIFE REAR ENDED ANOTHER CAR AT 50 MPH ON THE FREEWAY WHEN SHE WAS 8 MONTHS PREGNANT. IT COST $11000 FOR MY INSURANCE TO FIX THE CAR, BUT SHE ESCAPED WITH NO INJURIES. I'm no expert on auto safety. Actually, I'm not even a safe driver. But, anyway, with the experience mentioned above, plus vehicle stability control, ABS, and Side curtain airbags, it gets a good safety grade in my book.
The back up camera: If nobody has told you about this, I'll explain the deal here: Its good for checking for bikes, toys, and kids directly behind the vehicle where you wouldn't normally see them from inside. Its also useful for really tight parallel parking (like at parking meters). I say it's not needed, but it comes as part of the package. Note: it can be a distraction when backing out of normal parking spots.
If your looking for an explanation of features included in the packages, check out the Toyota website. Its good to know what you want before going in to buy, because the sales people will try to sell you everything, and lots of extras. I'm glad I said no to everything but the car with Package 3.
About the options: we're both happy with the AC, heat, electric windows, cd player with mp3 player input jack, cruise, smart key system, and window defrosting system. But the best option offered is the vehicle stability control. It alone is worth the extra cost of the package 3. The OEM all weather mats are worth while too. They eliminate most vacuuming by collecting dirt in their grooves, which dump right out when you clean. They cover basically the whole floor in the front seats.
To sum it all up, its all of the benefits of this car in one package that make it worth getting, regardless of the unusual looks.