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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 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
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

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
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).

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 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.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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