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It's new TNGA platform will also allow for 20 percent less vehicle weight

Toyota Motor Corp. is shedding more light on the upcoming fourth-generation Toyota Prius, including a whole new design and at least an 8 percent gain in fuel economy. 
 
According to Automotive News, Toyota is looking to make some major changes in design, manufacturing and technology for the next Prius, which is due to be released in a year.
 
For starters, the next-gen Prius will be the first (or one of the first) Toyota vehicles based on the automaker's latest platform, "Toyota New Global Architecture" (TNGA). TNGA aims to improved engineering and low-cost as well as flexible manufacturing. 
 
This platform will call for a major redesign of the Prius' looks. TNGA means lower-slung vehicles with a more planted stance and lower center of gravity, which should improve handling and offer a sportier look.


One possible design direction for the next generation Prius -- the FT-Bh concept
 
Chris Hostetter, Toyota's vice president for strategic planning in the U.S., has said that the Prius could use a new look. 
 
"There's an undercurrent among most people that they're ready for a new Prius look," said Hostetter. "Maybe our architecture has been a little bit similar for the last two generations."
 
The Prius, which was first launched in Japan in 1997 and the U.S. in 2000, had an exterior design that was altered from Toyota's Yaris sedan. The second-generation Prius was released in 2003, and it received the raked hood and windshield. From 2003 to 2004, Prius sales increased dramatically from 43,162 to 125,742. Toyota is likely hoping to do the same with a completely redesigned fourth-generation Prius. 
 
Aside from design, the new Prius is getting a makeover under the hood. Its new ultra-efficient gasoline engine will achieve thermal efficiency rates above 40 percent, which is a nice boost from 38.5 percent in the current Prius. 
 
Toyota also talked batteries in its latest Prius revelations. It’s deciding whether to use lithium ion batteries for its fourth-generation Prius, or to offer some models with lithium ion and others with nickel-metal hydride batteries. While Toyota likes the power and energy performance of lithium ion, it worries about the cost compared to nickel-metal hydride batteries. 


Another possible avenue -- the NS4 concept
 
Satoshi Ogiso, managing officer in charge of global product planning at Toyota, said the automaker is pushing for at least an 8 percent improvement in fuel economy, which is slightly less than the 10 percent gains each Prius before it has received. 
 
"Generally speaking, hybrid powertrains are more mature than before. So, the general tendency is that when a technology matures, the improvement ratio is saturating, dropping," said Ogiso. "We will do our best effort to keep that pace."
 
But the fact that TNGA models will cut vehicle weight will be helpful. It was reported that Toyota should be able to cut overall vehicle weight by up to 20 percent on TNGA models, which includes the new Prius. 
 
Toyota mentioned lighter components, such as its new one-size-fits-all heating and air-conditioning unit that 20 percent smaller than the previous Prius generation's. 
 
Jonny Lieberman, senior features editor at Motor Trend, recently spoke with his sources at Toyota and shared a bit of secret info about the next Prius. Lieberman hinted that the next Prius would have a fuel economy rating of 60 mpg. This shouldn't be too hard to achieve assuming a lighter vehicle weight, more powerful electric motor, and a possible switch from NiMH to lithium-ion batteries.

Source: Automotive News



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Volt
By flyingpants1 on 1/29/2014 5:19:08 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't you rather have a next-gen Volt for $30k before credits?




RE: Volt
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/29/2014 5:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
Not if it only seats four people and only has minimal trunk space.


RE: Volt
By flyingpants1 on 1/29/2014 7:46:36 PM , Rating: 2
I can't really see GM making the same mistake again with the 4 seats. What is the difference in trunk space?


RE: Volt
By purerice on 1/30/2014 4:40:27 AM , Rating: 2
Allegedly the Volt has 10.4 cubic feet (300L) of cargo space and Prius models have 17 to 34 cubic feet (485-970L). The trunk/hatch I've seen of a Prius did NOT look like 500L+ but if the number were a lie Toyota would have been called out on it by now.


Close
By Gunbuster on 1/29/2014 2:45:15 PM , Rating: 4
Top pic looks pretty plausible, but the production car will have wheels at least 25% smaller making it look 100% more cheap and hideous.




Meh
By PRND[S] on 1/29/2014 6:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
Looks more grounded to the ground...




RE: Meh
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/29/2014 6:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
By Roffles on 1/29/2014 10:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
This is pretty cool news but no surprises really. It's known Toyota targets 10% efficiency improvements.

A few points to add regarding hybrids:

The 50mpg EPA rating for a Prius is an average and conservative number that is meant to cover a basic driving style of your average non-hybrid driver. But their are exploitation points within the aerodynamics, battery motor, regenerative braking, and start-stop engine that can add 10% conservative and/or 20% hypermiling to that 50mpg number. In short, driving technique is important to saving money on fuel with hybrid cars.

Why am I saying this? Because if the next generation Prius gets 60mpg average by the same rules, you should be able to get the same 10% and 20% efficiency improvements on top of that 60mpg based on driving style. That means achieving a 65mpg average in the next Prius should be very doable without much effort at all.

65mpg is an important number. As your mpg's climb higher, you begin to receive diminishing returns on your petrol dollar. A good example is if two people drive 12,000 miles a year along the same route at $3.50/gallon. The person who averaged 70mpg spent $600 on fuel while the person who averaged 65mpg spend $646 for that entire year. 5mpg only means $46 at such a high level of efficiency. At a lower level of efficiency, say 15mpg vs 20mpg for a truck or SUV, the difference is bigger at $700. I've always considered 65mpg to be the sweet spot for diminishing returns. For a 1000 mile a month commuter, even if gas were to hit $10/gallon, you still would only be spending ~$1,800 a year on fuel. This makes it a future proof car.




A bump in the road
By adaviel on 2/5/2014 2:19:12 AM , Rating: 2
Lower slung ? My 2007 Prius already scrapes the underbody on some speed bumps.




100mpg Civic
By flyingpants1 on 1/29/14, Rating: 0
Ugly and so-so
By troysavary on 1/29/14, Rating: -1
RE: Ugly and so-so
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/29/2014 12:54:43 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Unless the new model can go at least 50 miles all-electric, I still don't see the point, though.


You don't see the point of a practical vehicle that costs around $24,000 and can get 58 mpg in the city and 52 mpg on the highway (if we believe the 8% efficiency gains) on regular gasoline?


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Argon18 on 1/29/14, Rating: -1
RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/29/2014 1:25:41 PM , Rating: 5
1) In America, diesel fuel almost always costs 10%+ more
2) High pressure fuel pumps, injectors, DPF, SCR, turbochargers = $$$ repairs
3) Diesels get marginal city fuel economy, which is increasingly more important
4) The Otto cycle is rapidly approaching real-world diesel thermal efficiency
5) Your 1979 Rabbit would be considered a death trap today
6) The only 3L/100km cars in Europe were the Lupo and A2. Both were failures.
7) The Prius sells nowadays primarily on economics. It's a hedge against volatile fuel costs.
8) The UK's "Greenest Cars" probably couldn't be sold in America due to emissions.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By DanNeely on 1/29/2014 1:35:39 PM , Rating: 5
9) The UK Imperial gallon is ~25% larger than the US Customary gallon. Argon18's diesels would only be ~40mpg here; alternately the new Prius would get ~65/72 MPG there.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Mint on 1/29/2014 2:48:54 PM , Rating: 4
Not only that, but Europe's test cycle is a joke compared to the EPA's. Between the easier test and smaller gallon, the same car will get almost twice the MPG there than here.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Mint on 1/29/2014 2:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
(sorry, meant larger gallon)


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Spuke on 1/29/2014 5:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be willing to buy the second one as a used, beater car in a few years.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/29/2014 5:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
Just realize, no Prius will ever see the light of day rolling on dubs...

:)


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Spuke on 1/29/2014 5:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I know! It's a concept but I'm actually amazed that Toyota is considering making it look like a normal car.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By mjv.theory on 1/29/2014 3:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
A US gallon is 3.785litres and a UK gallon is 4.546litres. A UK gallon is 120% of a US gallon, a US gallon is 83% of a UK gallon.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Argon18 on 1/30/2014 10:24:32 AM , Rating: 2
"The UK Imperial gallon is ~25% larger than the US Customary gallon. Argon18's diesels would only be ~40mpg here"

Incorrect, 1 US gallon is .83 Imperial gallons. ~25% is a bit of an exaggeration, no?

Plus I'm not in the UK. I'm in the US. My figures were in US gallons. My VW diesels are a true 50 mpg here in the US.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By UNHchabo on 1/30/2014 4:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
1 / 0.83 = 1.205

Not quite 25%, but more than 20%.

You achieving 50mpg in highway driving is apples and oranges to a car getting 50mpg in the EPA "highway cycle" test. Almost every car is capable of exceeding its rated highway mileage in ideal highway conditions.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By FITCamaro on 1/29/14, Rating: 0
RE: Ugly and so-so
By Mint on 1/29/2014 2:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter if it's leaner. The problem with city driving is that all the kinetic energy is lost when you stop unless you have regenerative braking. That's why hybrids get better city rating than highway. Start-stop tech only gets rid of idling, and many people find it annoying.

Sure, some people drive mainly on the highway, and marketers like to look only at the former to fool customers that they have a fuel-efficient car. But the reality is that the EPA's combined rating is based on real-world driving patterns, where over half of mileage is driven in stop and go traffic.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By yomamafor1 on 1/30/2014 2:17:16 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Getting 44mpg in a CT200h in pure city driving is really hard to beat.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Argon18 on 1/30/14, Rating: -1
RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/29/2014 4:53:25 PM , Rating: 2
Diesels produce a lot of NOx when running lean, which is compounded by their high compression ratios. Soon new diesel cars will need to fill up with diesel *and* urea to meet emissions.

Stop/Start definitely helps, but it uses an oversized battery and starter motor. Both are relatively weak links. A hybrid can use its drive motor and HV battery.

Diesels don't have full regenerative braking and only get decent city mileage with a manual transmission. Planetary/CVT automatics are inefficient and complicated ($$$). The Prius transmission is efficient and dead-simple... and automatic!

A VW TDI will likely require more ($$$) maintenance than a Toyota gasoline engine. The only maintenance a Prius needs over 250,000 miles is filters and fluids.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Argon18 on 1/30/14, Rating: -1
RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/30/2014 5:23:29 PM , Rating: 3
Gasoline-electric hybrids either eliminate (e.g. high pressure pumps, DPF, SCR) or replace complex moving assemblies (e.g. turbocharger, automatic transmission) with motors/electronics.

I read the maintenance manuals for both. The Prius maintenance manual is 1/2 page. The VW TDI Sportwagen maintenance manual is 2 1/2 pages. I won't get into details, but the amount of work needed is reflected in the manual length.

The Prius doesn't have belts, its water pump is electric and brakes can easily last the life of the car. I doubt most Prius owners ever replace batteries/bushings/bearings/control arms, unless they live in a harsh environment.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Kazinji on 2/1/2014 7:36:03 AM , Rating: 2
Mazda's newer diesel engine is interesting. Reduces NOx and no fluids.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Dorkyman on 1/29/2014 10:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
Beg to differ.

Diesels are inherently more efficient in city driving because the engine is idling most of the time. A gasoline engine is basically a big vacuum pump, sucking against the closed throttle plate at idle. Takes a lot of effort (and fuel) to maintain that high vacuum. A diesel by contrast breathes freely and at idle has almost no resistance in the intake. Takes very little fuel to keep things spinning.

This is also why a diesel engine usually has a big air filter--a lot of air is gulped in regardless of throttle position.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By hpglow on 1/29/2014 3:26:01 PM , Rating: 1
I drive a '00 Jeta as my DD it gets between 37 and 40 MPG in the city (my calcs based on fuel added vs trip odometer reading). It gets between 45 and 55 MPG on the highway. 10% higher cost of diesel is moot. I have put just short of 210k miles on it with minimal repairs plus regular scheduled maintainance. Most people posting this fud about diesel cars have no clue what they are talking about. I get good fuel economy and I get to drive a midsize car.

The car I owned before my Jetta was an '96 Pontiac Sunfire 2.4L and it threw a pushrod at 138k miles and it was constantly breaking down after it hit 80k.

I also own a '04 Jeep and a '66 C10 but I have nothing remarkable to say about either.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/29/2014 5:05:30 PM , Rating: 3
A Prius gets ~50mpg city and highway, so what advantage does a diesel have?

1) Purchase price? No.
2) Fuel price? No.
3) Emissions? No.
4) Maintenance costs? No.
5) Performance? Maybe.
6) Convenience? No, especially not if a manual
7) Higher resale value? No.
8) Comfort/size? No.
9) Anti-hybrid social cachet? Yes!

I'm not the "eco-warrior" type. I just think a Prius nowadays is a rational choice for the average driver. It sure wasn't when it first came out...

Oh, and your Pontiac threw a pushrod because it was a Pontiac :).


RE: Ugly and so-so
By niva on 1/29/14, Rating: 0
RE: Ugly and so-so
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/29/2014 5:52:37 PM , Rating: 2
For "ME" the Fusion Hybrid would be a non-starter due to the fact that it's a sedan with reduced cargo capacity compared to even the standard Fusion due to the battery pack.

The standard Prius automatically wins over the Fusion for my needs due to its practical form-factor as a hatchback. The large cargo area coupled with the fold-down seats make it more practical for families with kids/dogs.

When I was looking for a vehicle to replace my sedan (which wasn't cutting it as a family vehicle with a kid and a dog), I looked at the Prius v, Ford C-Max, and Jetta Sportwagen TDI. They all had similar fuel economy, all have plenty of cargo space, and all were priced around the same. I ultimately crossed the Prius v off my list because I didn't like the seating position (high like a crossover), the interior was cheap as hell, and it was gutless.

The C-Max was nixed due to its non-intuitive, Jetson-eque dashboard, seating position, and reports that its fuel economy wasn't what Ford had originally claimed.

I finally settled on the JSW because it had a driving position that I was more comfortable with, the interior was high-quality, it was quiet, performance was quite respectable with the DSG, and it was the best handler of the bunch. It also helped that they were moving out the 2013 models to make way for the 2014s so I saved a few grand.

To me, it isn't so much about looks (hey, I drive a friggin' station wagon) as it is about practicality and fuel economy.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/29/2014 6:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
Here's the story of a man named Brandon
Who was living with three boys of his own.
They were four men living all together
yet they were all alone...

Planning any trips to the Grand Canyon. :)

(Good choice, BTW.)


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/29/2014 5:59:47 PM , Rating: 5
I will add that Toyota sold 234,000 Prius vehicles in the United States last year. Face it, it is no longer a "hippie" niche anymore and it is actually "appealing" to mainstream America.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/29/2014 6:31:51 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Bottom line is the average driver should select a vehicle that appeals to him/her and not to you.


I agree, but my argument was framed around making rational choices. People buy cars based on emotion, only constrained by practicality. The lure of a 500hp luxury sedan gets soured by its high cost of ownership.

The Prius wins the practicality argument for many consumers, just not always the emotional one.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By piroroadkill on 1/30/2014 6:21:54 AM , Rating: 2
Comfort/size? Uh, yes.

Almost all massive European luxo-barges come in diesels, which are popular.

Unless you think the Audi A8 is less luxury than a Prius.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/30/2014 5:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
There are few diesel luxo-barges in America, but many come as hybrids.

Compare like-sized/powered automobiles and you'll see hybrids have competitive, if not better fuel economy.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Argon18 on 1/30/14, Rating: 0
RE: Ugly and so-so
By e36Jeff on 1/30/2014 10:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
Please get your facts straight. The 335d was slower, by a good margin, than a 335i in 0-60, 5-60, 0-100, and the 1/4 mile. It was faster than a 328i, but it is the same price as a 335i. The current 328i is so much faster than the 328d that its laughable. the closest any diesel comes to its gasoline equivalent is the M550d xdrive, which is only slightly slower than a 550i, but not sold in the US.

And fundamentally, the back and forth in the comments of is diesel better than hybrid is broken. Which one is better is purely down to what your driving habits look like. If you do heavy city driving, or get stuck in stop and go traffic all the time, a hybrid is better for you. If you do mostly highway driving, you should probably look at a diesel.

I think a diesel hybrid would actually be the best option, as it gives you the economy of a diesel in low load situations with the regen of a hybrid in stop and go.

Having said all that, I'd still only buy a diesel or a hybrid if someone put a gun to my head and told me those were my only choices, unless we are talking about an i8, P1, 918, or LaFerrari. Maybe the M550d. I'd consider a 335d if it came with a manual though.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By JediJeb on 1/31/2014 10:06:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
6) Convenience? No, especially not if a manual


Don't know about convenience, but I would prefer a manual any day. I have only ever seen one manual transmission fail and that one the owner never checked the fluid level and let it run out of fluid. It was also nearly twenty years old at the time.

I have however seen many automatic transmissions fail or need major repairs to keep them going. And the electronic ones are just that much more complicated and costly to repair.

It is also a biased statistic that drivers want to buy automatics more than manual transmissions, simply because the most popular vehicles like minivans and SUVs rarely offer a manual even as an option.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By piroroadkill on 1/30/2014 6:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
The Lupo 3L and Audi A2 were not failures.

Not only were they not failures, they are sought after in the used car market. The A2 holds up well with its aluminium body (as long as it hasn't been damaged!).


RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/30/2014 5:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
The Lupo 3L and Audi A2 were the equivalent of the original Honda Insight. All three automobiles were technology demonstrators that made little economic sense. None made their meager sales expectations because they were overpriced for the gain in efficiency. Who wants a 72mpg Lupo when you can have a 50mpg Golf for the same price?

The 2000-2006 Honda Insight is also a sought after car. Like the Lupo 3L/Audi A2, it's because it was advanced for its time, sold in relatively few numbers and nowadays is heavily depreciated.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/30/2014 6:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
EDIT: As a side-note, I think all three of those cars are amazing and would love to own an example of each. Most people love HP; I love efficiency. That doesn't take away from them being market failures, though.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Argon18 on 1/30/14, Rating: 0
RE: Ugly and so-so
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/30/2014 12:08:52 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not going to get into your other comments, but this one stuck out to me:

quote:
No, the price in the US is seasonal. Diesel is cheaper than gasoline in summer, and more expensive in winter. It's supply and demand. Diesel fuel is the same thing as home heating oil - the only difference is the additives and the taxes.


Where do you live? It has been YEARS since I've seen diesel priced LOWER than regular unleaded. Even in the summer time, diesel is at least 50c higher than regular unleaded in the Raleigh, NC area.

I manage to get my diesel premium down to 40c by using my Kroger rewards points at Shell and Kroger fuel stations.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By FredExII on 2/2/2014 12:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
I was wondering the same thing, where does he live? I'm in southwestern Michigan and near Indiana and diesel has been running much higher than unleaded here for years, year round.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Dr K on 1/30/2014 2:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
Here in Ohio, Diesel rarely is ONLY 10% more than gasoline and typically it is 30% more. I started watching the difference because I was thinking of looking at a diesel vehicle and also figured the diesel offered roughly a 30% better fuel economy. Paying close to 30% more for the fuel effectively nullifies any net economic advantage of having a diesel engine.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/30/2014 5:43:57 PM , Rating: 3
1) In America, diesel is taxed at a higher rate and sold in lower volumes than gasoline. It's very rare to see diesel cost less than gasoline, at least where I've traveled.

2) Heavy-duty diesel engines have extreme longevity because they are under-stressed. An semi-truck diesel puts out ~30hp/L. A VW TDI engine puts out 70hp/L.

3) The Prius hybrid system makes up for the otto cycle deficiency. The Prius and VW TDI Sportwagen are comparably-sized/powered automobiles. Look at the EPA city ratings.

4) The Prius engine has a thermal efficiency of 38.5%. The next-gen engine should break 40%. The hybrid drive system also allows the Prius to operate near max-BSFC for longer periods of time than an automatic TDI diesel.

5) The 1979 Rabbit fuel economy rating is irrelevant since it can't meet modern safety standards. The 1986 CRX HF was rated well over 50mpg combined, but it's irrelevant because you can't build a CRX today.

6) They were available, but too expensive for the gain in efficiency. The Prius had the same problem when it came out, but was saved by government subsidies (which I never agreed with). Total cost of ownership is what matters.

7) This simply isn't true anymore. Also, the Prius battery pack has proven to be extremely reliable. The early Honda hybrids were notorious for eating batteries.

8) I'm not 100% sure, but diesel emissions are stricter in the USA, especially with regards to sulfur. Euro emissions are often modeled after CARB regulations.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By nolisi on 1/29/2014 1:57:39 PM , Rating: 5
Here's the point you're missing (actually, it seems like you're ignoring it completely in order to pretend that you have a point).

1) You may have been able to coax 50 MPG highway out of your Passat (congrats on getting 25% more mileage out of your engine). Given what we know about the variability of milage, the likelihood is that most drivers didn't get the same. Any claim you make to that effect without statistics to back it is just foolish. At the time, the maximum highway was 41. In almost 20 years, VW has only been able to improve that number to 43.

2) There's no way in hell your Passat or Rabbit got better city mileage than highway, which is becoming the more important number with how much traffic is impacting highways. Stop ignoring this number. Hybrid technology is not "gimmicky" when it can enhance your mileage to this degree. No modern diesel can accomplish the same.

3) Since our own experience seems to be what matters to you, I'll provide mine. I own a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid- after about 90,000 miles of driving, I have yet to have ANY component break on me. My tires are in good shape, and I haven't needed a brake job (thanks regenerative braking)- and at last check I still have an estimated 15-20k miles before I have to replace either. Oil and filter changes only. I could cite a friend who had a mid 2000's VW Passat who spent $5-6 K in repairs alone in the first 3-4 years outside of regular maintenance.

4) Most cars, regardless of power train, make, and type get worse mileage than EPA in real world driving. This phenomenon is not unique to hybrids. (Coincidentally, I've bested EPA combined mileage by 6 MPG in my Escape). It depends on how you drive the vehicle.

5) http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/top-10/top-11-m...

I don't know what hybrid availability is like in the UK, but here's a list to chew on. You'll be surprised to find that the Passat isn't anywhere on the list.

And those are just a few of the criticisms I have of what seems to be your intentionally limited perspective.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Heidfirst on 1/29/2014 4:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think that 1 of those hybrids is available in the UK/Europe but then again we will have ones that aren't in the USA.
It's very hard to compare between N.A. & Europe because not only are the cars different (e.g. the N.A. Passat is not the European Passat) but driving patterns are too (even between countries in the EU).


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/29/2014 1:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
I drive a Jetta Sportwagen TDI, I know the joys of diesel power. My vehicle is rated at 29/39. The most I've seen on the highway is 45 (well above EPA, but still below a Prius)

But I'm not going to sit here with my head in the sand proclaiming that vehicles like Prius aren't just as (if not more efficient) without the 10 to 15 percent fuel cost premium.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Dorkyman on 1/29/2014 10:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's silly to argue the merits of 50mpg versus 40. The enormous gain in efficiency comes in going from 20 (conventional car) to 40 (hybrid). Beyond that it's just incremental. It won't make that much of a difference in fuel costs for the year when compared to everything else.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/29/2014 11:17:07 PM , Rating: 4
I was never arguing about that...

I was simply stating that it's ignorant to bash a relatively affordable car that would get close to 60 mpg on regular unleaded.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Argon18 on 1/29/14, Rating: -1
RE: Ugly and so-so
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/29/2014 1:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
Nowadays it's mostly about $$$.

The Insight is Honda's cheapest hybrid. Cheap almost always outsells expensive.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By inighthawki on 1/29/2014 1:29:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I don't think that's true at all. I know quite a few people with Priuses that have them simply because they want good fuel economy. They couldn't care less about what people think about them.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By retrospooty on 1/29/2014 2:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... Ya, his "analysis" of the situation is about as thorough as his analysis of MS... Myopic and ill thought through.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By purerice on 1/30/2014 3:53:11 AM , Rating: 3
The "Pious" joke was funny when South Park did that 8 years ago. The point South park made with "Pious" was that hybrid technology was great but society was not mature enough to handle it. I know 4 families who purchased a Prius in the past 2 years who never would have touched one 8 years ago. None of them are ostentatious.

The problem you seem to have is that while society has moved on, you're still stuck in 2006.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Jeffk464 on 1/29/2014 1:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
yup, the purple one looks pretty good, only downside is you loose the utility of a hatchback.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Dr of crap on 1/29/2014 1:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
Utility - I'd rather have a trunk.
Not everyone wants hatchback.
Fold down seats in a trunk works fine too.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Jeffk464 on 1/29/2014 1:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, its much easier to get large RC planes and bikes into a hatchback.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Jeffk464 on 1/29/2014 1:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
I put my mountian bike into a Mazda CX5 and it looked like it was made to fit my bike.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Flunk on 1/29/2014 1:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
If it's even slightly more efficient and looks better I can see a lot of sales. The Prius can be more cost effective than non-hybrid vehicle depending on your usage pattern, particularly if you drive in slow traffic a lot.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By DanNeely on 1/29/2014 1:38:05 PM , Rating: 4
I'm not sure if it's just the way they did the shadows; but the top Prius looks like the sort of silly low rider that would get stuck on an ordinary pothole and that would have to drive around speed bumps instead of over them.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By M'n'M on 1/29/2014 2:07:17 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like an updated Mazda 3 to me.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By Flunk on 1/29/2014 2:42:38 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you live where driving around speed bumps is an option? And how can I move there?


RE: Ugly and so-so
By DanNeely on 1/29/2014 3:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
The only speed bumps on a publicly accessible road around here are in strip mall parking lot. Instead of driving strait down the road between the stores and parking area you could zigzag up and down rows of parking to avoid them. Or you could drive a car with more than 2 inches of ground clearance and not look like an idiot.

If my ascii art survives the line to the left is the normal driving route, the = is a speed bump, the x's are parked cares, and the route to the right is how you could avoid the speed bumps by driving in a way that makes you look like more of an idiot than the people driving trucks/jeeps with off road lift kits to race to the bump at 25, slam on the breaks, cross it at 2, and then immediately stomp the gas to speed back up to 25.

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RE: Ugly and so-so
By Concillian on 1/29/2014 2:00:27 PM , Rating: 3

Aero is a huge deal at highway speeds, expect a Prius to be "ugly" in the rear because of that. You can make decent front aero look okay, but anything done to the rear that negates a good deal of the wake is going to make the rear end "every bit as ugly as the current Prius." (which sells incredibly well despite being "ugly")


RE: Ugly and so-so
By holymaniac on 1/29/2014 3:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
There is a point that some people value, and some do not called extremely low pollution emissions.
I find value in that. But it is more long range and not immediate.


RE: Ugly and so-so
By HoosierEngineer5 on 1/29/2014 4:17:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the first looks ridiculous, the second looks a bit sublime. Perhaps a *hybrid* of the two ideas?


yuck
By Argon18 on 1/29/14, Rating: -1
RE: yuck
By Jeffk464 on 1/29/2014 1:03:22 PM , Rating: 3
Not really, at the price level and mileage rating people could be buying them as a budgeting issue.


RE: yuck
By gamerk2 on 1/29/2014 2:10:34 PM , Rating: 5
Considering I own a Prius let me correct you: I got 7 in the left. And I get ~45-50ish MPG to boot.

Gas is going to go up again; $3.50/gal isn't going to hold, and anyone who thinks it so is kidding themselves.


RE: yuck
By Reclaimer77 on 1/30/14, Rating: 0
RE: yuck
By Mint on 1/30/2014 5:28:35 AM , Rating: 2
Excluding light trucks and SUVs, hybrids/EVs are 7% of US car sales in 2013.

In Europe, 20% of Toyota's sales are hybrids, up from 12% in 2012:
http://europe.autonews.com/article/20131220/ANE/31...

That's not "hardly anyone".


RE: yuck
By Reclaimer77 on 1/31/2014 2:04:35 AM , Rating: 2
Way to massage the numbers lol. 20% of Toyota sales being hybrids is FAR different than saying 20% of all EU auto sales are hybrids. So yes, as a whole, hardly anyone in the US and EU are buying hybrids.

Facts are facts, sorry. At this point in time I would expect to see at least a 25% total hybrid adoption rate, if everything you people say is true.

Unless less than 10% of something is a big deal in your book.


RE: yuck
By Roffles on 1/30/2014 3:40:26 PM , Rating: 2
"You get a few more MPG than us...."

You sound like a complete lunatic with your "us vs. them" mentality. There's nothing "smug" about saving thousands of dollars on fuel every year. And it's not a "few more MPG". Compared to your average 30mpg all-motor car, it's more like 20mpg savings and compared to your average 15-20 mpg truck or SUV it's more like 30-40mpg. It's several thousands of dollars a year in savings for a lot of people. And the financial impact is compounded when gas prices go back up during the summer.

I have a 15-25mpg 420hp gas burner in the garage that I take out on the weekends. I used to take it out every day for a very short period but I quickly wised up and realized I was flushing my money down the toilet every weekday going to-and-from work on the same congested roads where the vehicle you drive is irrelevant. Ugly? Who cares!

Every time I've decide to take my sports car to work instead of my Prius, I always end up in the same old stop-and-go pattern and I always tell myself, "This miserable crawl is no-more and no-less enjoyable than in my Prius and I just spent $5 on fuel instead of my usual $1". The amount of money I save on gas every month covers 85% of the Prius monthly payment. This allows me to use both cars with hardly any discernible extra out-of-pocket expenses and the miles and depreciation (resale value) of my nicer car stays high. It's a complete win-win situation.

The only thing your bias is doing to you is hurting your checkbook. Good luck with that.


RE: yuck
By TheEquatorialSky on 1/30/2014 6:03:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So what, we should all drive a Prius? No thanks.


Buy whatever you want.

If you want an economical car, then a Prius makes rational sense. If you want a luxury car, then a BMW makes rational sense. I think that's the point being made...


RE: yuck
By tayb on 1/29/2014 3:43:13 PM , Rating: 3
Those smug liberal idiots will laugh all the way to the bank while you keep shoveling your money as fast as you can into Exxon pockets.


RE: yuck
By Spuke on 1/29/14, Rating: 0
RE: yuck
By Spuke on 1/29/14, Rating: -1
RE: yuck
By JediJeb on 1/31/2014 10:32:03 AM , Rating: 2
Very true. Hardly anyone wants to admit just where all the things they use come from.

People want to trash talk the petroleum industry then turn around and refuse to wear any leather or wool clothing because it harms the little animals while wearing cloths made of polyester, nylon and rubber, all of which come from petroleum. The only way to avoid using petroleum would be to live as people did in the 1700s, and not many want to do that.


RE: yuck
By Spuke on 1/29/14, Rating: 0
RE: yuck
By purerice on 1/30/2014 4:27:25 AM , Rating: 3
You again. You seem to have a judgmental chip on your shoulder.

The people I know who have a Prius are conservative Asians who want to save money on gas. They are not smug, nor liberal, nor do they drive 52 in the fast lane unless stuck in LA traffic. They did not pick a car to try to save the planet but if the money saved via fuel economy is better for the environment, that's a bonus.


And i thought Gen 3 was ugly.
By overlandpark213 on 1/30/14, Rating: -1
RE: And i thought Gen 3 was ugly.
By purerice on 1/30/2014 4:31:40 AM , Rating: 2
Wait, does electricity come from coal or wind? You must not get out much if they Prius owners you know buy them for the environment. That stereotype expired last decade.

Furthermore, if you take pleasure in watching wind farms kill bald eagles what kind of sicko are you?


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