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2010 Toyota Prius
Toyota is looking to leverage the Prius name

Certainly the most popular hybrid car on the road is the Toyota Prius. Toyota has made no secret of the fact that it wants to have a full line of hybrid cars that rely on the Prius name. So far, the only car Toyota has with the Prius name is the one we are all familiar with.

The 2010 Prius hatchback is the car DailyTech spent a week with earlier this month. Toyota is now reportedly getting ready to launch a new wagon or SUV using the Prius name. Toyota doesn't offer traditional wagons in the U.S., but Edmunds reports that the automaker does have wagons in Japan that could act as the underpinnings for a Prius hybrid wagon.

A Prius SUV would be no stretch either. Toyota has the hybrid Lexus RX 400h in its line and has the small RAV4 SUV in America that could be used for a hybrid platform.

According to reports, the battery pack that the new SUV will utilize will be lithium-ion. Toyota has said in the past that it felt lithium-ion batteries were not yet cheap enough or ready for retail use in hybrid vehicles.

Lithium-ion batteries are reportedly in the works for the Prius through a program with Panasonic and new battery packs that meet Toyota's price requirements may be available and waiting for a new vehicle

The new batteries may be needed for the increased power needs of a larger, heavier SUV or wagon pushing Toyota to rethink its position on lithium-ion batteries. At this point, Toyota has made nothing official and these reports originate from a Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri.



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RE: Getting there...
By Spivonious on 11/16/2009 1:33:13 PM , Rating: 2
The price limits you a bit, but the Honda Insight would fit all of your criteria, unless you have a huge suitcase for each member of the family.


RE: Getting there...
By Spuke on 11/16/2009 1:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
It sounded like he was talking about an electric car. Because distance on battery is a non-issue for hybrids.


RE: Getting there...
By Lou Czar on 11/16/2009 2:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
I think the Prius meets all of his requirements except the $20,000 limit.


RE: Getting there...
By mdogs444 on 11/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Getting there...
By Bateluer on 11/16/2009 2:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
How much luggage are you bringing for how long of a trip? A long weekend type trip should be perfectly fine unless you're packing everything but the kitchen sink.


RE: Getting there...
By Lou Czar on 11/16/2009 2:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
For a 3 hr trip to Grandma's? The car has plenty of room for 4 people and has lots of trunk space. I really don't like the way the car looks or the image it projects to some. It does have plenty of space though.

Maybe he could pick up a used hybrid Ford Escape for 17K. However, if the Prius is too small the Escape is probably too small as well.

I suppose he could wait for a hybrid Suburban that gets good mileage? Perhaps an 18 wheeler powered by natural gas would be large enough for a family of 4?


RE: Getting there...
By Steve1981 on 11/16/2009 3:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It does have plenty of space though.


For a mid-sized car, I'd tend to agree.

Recently, the in-laws Prius held 5 good sized adults up front...
weekend luggage for two, bowling gear for one, and my mother-in-law in the trunk...


RE: Getting there...
By AEvangel on 11/16/2009 3:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
I would disagree, if any off those kids are a toddler and require a car seat also if your bringing toys for the kids then that trunk will fill up fast, not saying it could not be done but it is a compact car.

For my money I would rather have a TDI Sportwagen

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/wagons/112_090...


RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/16/2009 4:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well if you want to bring babies into it then you wouldn't even want a sedan period with 3-4 other people in there. It just doesn't work on long trips. Too much crap.


RE: Getting there...
By Steve1981 on 11/17/2009 3:13:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would disagree, if any off those kids are a toddler and require a car seat also if your bringing toys for the kids then that trunk will fill up fast


Probably why they're looking to add a wagon and SUV, ehh? Of course the fact remains it has as much cargo room as any midsized sedan I can think of at 21.6 cubic feet (the ever popular Camry has 15 for comparison).

quote:
but it is a compact car.


Not according to the EPA!


RE: Getting there...
By Ytsejamer1 on 11/16/2009 4:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
I got my 2006 Option 5 for $11,900 in March (the bottom of the recession). It had higher mileage but it's a Toyota...it doesn't scare me. Dealer had all maintenance records...which were done in house as well.

If you want new...sure, 20K is a tough number to keep under. But the cars can be had for much less.


RE: Getting there...
By invidious on 11/16/2009 3:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
except the trusting the technology part. The oldest hybrids on the road now are still very new. Many people are waiting to see how they handle themselves after 80,000+ miles.


RE: Getting there...
By Spivonious on 11/16/2009 3:44:27 PM , Rating: 3
The Prius was introduced to the U.S. in 2001, according to Wikipedia. If they haven't gotten 80k on them in almost 9 years, then people aren't driving them enough.


RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/16/2009 4:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
And if you go back to Japan they were introduced in 1998. Plenty of time and miles put on the Prius and they hold up very well. People just don't care to look up this kind of information.


RE: Getting there...
By Nfarce on 11/16/2009 7:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Prius was introduced to the U.S. in 2001, according to Wikipedia. If they haven't gotten 80k on them in almost 9 years, then people aren't driving them enough.


True, but that was the 1st generation Prius which had very limited interior room due to battery placement, and hence, was not a successful sales success story. The 2nd generation, introduced in 2004 and the one we are all more familiar with seeing, was really the first success story of the genre.

In short, in 2001 a whopping 15,000 units were sold. In 2004 that number more than tripled to over 50,000 sold in said year. In 2008 nearly 160,000 were sold. So, when you look at the bigger picture, the vast majority of Priuses on the roads are no more than four years old. Besides, I see far more Priuses in metro areas than on the highways - and I do a lot of highway driving.


RE: Getting there...
By Spivonious on 11/17/2009 3:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
Hybrids make no sense for highway driving. You see the big mileage gains in city driving.

I'd focus on the turbo diesels for highway driving. Jetta TDI Wagon gets 30/41mpg. In practice it does better, with some people even getting close to 60mpg highway if they're trying. Just think about that. Assuming a 15 gallon tank, you could drive for 900 miles on one tank of gas.


RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/18/2009 1:38:27 AM , Rating: 2
Why not just have both? BTW, you can get over 60 MPG on the highway in a Prius if you try. I think if you combined both you'd get even higher highway and city mileage. Not sure what the cost of the car would be though.


RE: Getting there...
RE: Getting there...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/17/2009 12:11:54 PM , Rating: 2
I have an 80K+ mile Camry hybrid (3rd generation hybrid) that runs great. I average 38+ mpg and have only replaced the rear brakes and all 4 tires.

The resale is still higher than what I owe on it after 3.5 years even with those miles. I am selling it this weekend if you are interested (I have too many cars)

There are many hybrids on the road (Toyota and Honda) that have been there since the first gen in the mid-90's. That whole wait and see thing is getting a little old. I am going to wait and see if this internet thing catches on.


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher














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