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Toyota Prius
Toyota's Prius is a big hit globally

Although Prius drivers are often the butt of jokes here in the United States, the vehicles are still quite popular due to their lofty fuel economy numbers and "green" image. The original Prius was introduced to the United States in 2000 and is currently in its third generation. The larger Prius v was introduced late last year, while the smaller Prius c went on sale in the U.S. earlier this year.

The popularity of the Prius family of hybrids doesn't just apply to the U.S., however. Sales of the hybrids have been booming globally. According to Automotive News, the Prius is now the third best-selling nameplate in the world when it comes to the automobile sales through the first quarter of 2012 (247,230 units).


Toyota Prius v
 
First place goes to Prius' cheaper, older brother: the Toyota Corolla (300,800 units). In second place sits the Ford Focus (277,000 units), which was recently revamped with a host of technological improvements and new engines to boost infotainment options and fuel economy across the board.
 
With three different sizes of Prius available and with prices starting under $20,000, Toyota is hoping to solidify its position as a leader in hybrid vehicles. 


Toyota Prius c

Source: The Globe and Mail



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Interesting
By dagamer34 on 5/30/2012 12:52:36 PM , Rating: 1
Considering most of the world prefers small cars out of necessity, it's not that surprising. Whereas gas is $3-4 here in the US, it's $7 in Europe and $9 in Japan. That might be a significant motivator...




RE: Interesting
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/30/2012 12:59:22 PM , Rating: 1
I was kind of surprised at first, and had "What about the Ford F-Series?" rolling around in my head. I looked up the numbers, and Ford managed to sell 144,000 F-Series for Q1 2012 in the United States.

I don't know how big a market there is for the F-Series outside of the U.S. and Canada.


RE: Interesting
By Flunk on 5/30/2012 1:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
Not much of one, they're just too big for most markets.


RE: Interesting
By StanO360 on 5/30/2012 1:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
Looks they sold about 700k in 2011


RE: Interesting
By Samus on 5/30/2012 6:14:47 PM , Rating: 1
The F-series doesn't sell well outside of North America. Toyota trucks dominate Central/South America, Africa, Australia, and most of Asia.

Interestingly (I think) Toyota might do really well here if the NA Tundra wasn't such a piece of crap. They still offer no Diesel options, something that sells quite well in the F-250/350 Super Duty, while the F-150 has seen sales success with its Ecoboost models. Again, Toyota offers nothing like either of these options in the United States. The Tacoma isn't offered with a 4-cylinder engine anymore, and the Ranger and S10 have always been clear examples of the market for a small truck with a small engine, many of which can get over 30mpg with a small I4.

But PR may have meant to say car, not 'vehicle', line. Who knows. I think the Prius technology is fascinating, from the coolant storage heater to the hybrid drive system. It's too bad they're styled by a 5 year old.


RE: Interesting
By Bad-Karma on 5/30/2012 11:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Ranger was discontinued.

A 4-cylinder in a Tacoma leaves it woefully underpowered and sluggish.

Light to mid sized diesel truck engines are considerable heavier as the engine has to hold up to much greater pressures and stresses over its lifespan. In response the frame then also has to be reinforced in order to resist the higher constant torque produced by a diesel. Add to that the extra suspension needed to carry the additional weight of the diesel engine and you price and weigh the truck right out of the 1/2 ton category.

As an example: The 7.3 liter in my F-350 weighs in over 980lbs thanks to the heavy cast iron block it requires, but the whole truck with full tanks (180Gal Diesel & 120lbs of propane) weighs in at just over 10,000lbs. The smaller 6.4 liter diesel is around 1200lbs. Also the transmission for either of those two engines is well over 400lbs.

The curb weight of a 2wd F-150 is only around 5000.


RE: Interesting
By Samus on 5/31/2012 1:12:22 AM , Rating: 2
I want to agree with you, and I know what you mean, but there are dozens of small vehicles (cars, suvs, trucks) with torquey diesel engines available around the world. The only structural difference between them and their petrol brethrens usually comes down to different engine mounts. So for trucks where towing capacity is increased, a stronger frame for a diesel is definately more desirable, but that was never the idea of a small pickup truck.

Small pickups are for hauling around light loads and objects that won't fit in a roofed vehicle (refridgerator, mattress, large glass panes, doors, etc) and most of the time this stuff doesn't require any significant power under the hood.

The NA Ranger was canned because it became too expensive to produce alongside the F150. Ford is on record (going back to the Nasser-era) stating that they'd rather have everyone buy an F-150, and slowly priced the Ranger into extinction. Solid proof this was a motive was the obvious price increases year over year for the Ranger. By the time it was phased out last December it cost $19,000 dollars in base trim. A more equiped F-150 cost $22,000, if you consider the F-150 V6 to be 'better' than the 2.3l I4 the Ranger comes with. The truck always sold well, Ford just wanted to streamline their assembly lines, and I know what they mean, it makes sense to build more of one product. That's why they killed Mercury, even when SOME Mercury's sold as well as their Ford equivilents and at a higher profit margin. It still, to Ford, didn't justify the extra SKU.

The Ranger is still sold in other markets and with a diesel, all engine options are I4's. The Tacoma is commonly sold with an I4 diesel as well, but again, isn't available in the USA. And back to my point, it can't even be equiped with an I4 petrol engine in the USA like the Ranger and S10 are, yet Toyota wonders why they don't sell as well.

Try telling a VW TDI owner there isn't a market for small diesel engines and they'll just laugh their way to the gas station, a place they only visit every 500 miles.


RE: Interesting
By EddyKilowatt on 5/31/2012 3:16:38 PM , Rating: 2
"Try telling a VW TDI owner there isn't a market for small diesel engines and they'll just laugh their way to the gas station, a place they only visit every <strike>500</strike> 800 miles. "

/2003 TDI Golf

BTW, to OP: Higher diesel torque is only between the engine and the transmission input, and affects only the bellhousing, not the frame/body. Between transmission output and wheels, torque is comparable... probably higher for the gas engine, in case the driver floors it in first gear.


RE: Interesting
By Bad-Karma on 5/31/2012 4:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
BTW, to OP: Higher diesel torque is only between the engine and the transmission input, and affects only the bellhousing, not the frame/body. Between transmission output and wheels, torque is comparable... probably higher for the gas engine, in case the driver floors it in first gear.


Did you sleep through high school physics?

According to you then no matter how much torque or horsepower you can generate it doesn't matter since it all goes into the "bell housing" and no further. Really??

Yes , the transmission convert what the engine is handing it into the appropriate configuration depending on demand and speed. However, the transmission doesn't magically absorb all the extra power and make it go away. The power still gets transferred back down the drive shaft and axle. If the frame is not able to handle the torsion place on it by the resistance of the axle then it will eventually fatigue and twist the frame.

Watch the tractor of a heavily loaded 18 wheeler when it applies power from a dead stop. There is so much torque being applied to the axle that the entire tractor frame will start rocking on it's springs as the suspension tries to absorb all that resisted torque.

And no, gas engines do not make more torque than their respective to displacement diesel counterparts. They usually generate far more horsepower but not torque.



RE: Interesting
By Reclaimer77 on 5/31/2012 10:45:19 AM , Rating: 2
I had a 1999 4X4 Tacoma some years back. With the 4 banger and a 5 speed. It was definitely NOT "sluggish", and had plenty of power for everything except towing. It was a really nice little truck actually. With a great ride considering the high height.

Find it pretty ironic you drive a 10,000 pound truck around and call the Tacoma "sluggish". Pretty sure my Tacoma would have driven rings around that beast of yours.


RE: Interesting
By Spuke on 5/31/2012 12:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Find it pretty ironic you drive a 10,000 pound truck around and call the Tacoma "sluggish". Pretty sure my Tacoma would have driven rings around that beast of yours.
I have an 06 F250 diesel and it's definitely NOT the fastest thing in the world and most certainly a 4 cyl Tacoma could wax it. The torque fools a lot of people into thinking they're fast but they really aren't. I believe C&D's testing yields 0-60 in 9-10 sec range. Nothing fast about that. I have no idea why some people even consider acceleration prowess (there are some that do) when purchasing these types of vehicles. That was not a consideration AT ALL when we bought ours. Buy a Mustang or 370Z for speed. Leave the trucks for towing and hauling.


RE: Interesting
By Bad-Karma on 5/31/2012 1:15:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Leave the trucks for towing and hauling.


I'm 6'5" @230lbs. Most sports cars just will not accommodate my frame, at least not comfortably.

But I am comfortable in my F350 CwC LB DRW. So I have made them my daily driver since I first got into them back in the early 90's. But I am also a tinkerer so I always enjoy adding or modifying this part or that in an effort to get a bit more umph out of something.

With the mods my trucks can not only tow but also are good for challenging the average rice burner or mustang at the stop light. I don't always beat them, but seeing them scanning their dash gauges looking for a malfunction is priceless as I stay up beside them.



RE: Interesting
By Bad-Karma on 5/31/2012 12:58:10 PM , Rating: 1
I need to put in a correction on that last post: my 7.3 is in an 03' F550, not F350. I also had an 03 F350 up until a year ago when I traded it in for a 2011 6.7 F350.

When I first bought the F-550 I was pulling a 36' fifth wheel camper through the Rockies and couldn't stand the poor performance on the higher grades. We were stuck traveling at 15-20Mph with the heavier 18 wheelers. So we started modifying it for better torque and HP. /4-pos flip performance chip /A2E Turbos/ massive intercooler/3 stage injectors/ Portion controlled Propane injection/high pressure oil pumps/custom designed high HP trans/Water & methanol injectors.....On and on....I last had it heavy wheeled dyno'd back in Tucson in 05' and we posted 617HP @2600RPM and 1203 lb-ft @ 1700RPM.

We have a video of it doing 13.9 on the 1/4 at the Las Vegas speedway. My old F-350 was also similarly configured. How's your Tacoma on the 1/4?

I grew up in the 60's& 70"'s so I'm more into the old muscle car power and performance style and feel of driving. That seat of the pants thrill helped push me into my career with the USAF and jet aircraft. Being pushed back into the seat ups my "grin" meter. I just like the g force loading no matter which direction it comes from.

I have test driven a 6 cylinder (3.4 liter I think) Tacoma but it still felt "sluggish" to me. Just not enough power to weight ratio for my taste. Maybe a better geared axle would have made some difference. Although then you would be sacrificing any economy advantage.

I'm not trying to argue with you, I just think our standards of performance are a bit different.


RE: Interesting
By Reclaimer77 on 5/31/2012 7:23:57 PM , Rating: 1
So wait, after putting thousands into your truck in mods and boosting the horsepower, you're going to talk crap about my old stock Tacoma in the 1/4 mile? It's a light truck! Of course I didn't buy it for "performance".

quote:
I'm not trying to argue with you, I just think our standards of performance are a bit different.


My daily driver is an Impreza. I also race Autocross. I think my standards of performance are just fine, and the cars I drive will definitely push you back into your seat.

Trucks aren't sports cars no matter how much money you put in them. I don't doubt your truck, after being modded to 600+HP would smoke my old Tacoma in a straight line. But it's still a truck, and that doesn't mean the Tacoma was "sluggish".

quote:
I just like the g force loading no matter which direction it comes from.


Me too. Which is why I take winding onramps/offramps at 70mhp with a big sh#t eating grin on my face :)


RE: Interesting
By Samus on 5/31/2012 7:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
Torque generated by diesel engines does put stress on the frame, especially in rear-wheel drive vehicles where the rear-end has a counter-torque damper bolted to the frame. Differentials and transmissions need to be beefed up for diesel torque, but most of the time manual transmissions just need a heavy duty clutch. The Golf TDI traditional 5-speed uses the same transmission, dual mass flywheel and clutch with the Golf. The GTI has a 6-speed now I think, obviously a different transmission. But looking at Rock auto, a 2008 Golf and Golf TDI use the same transmission parts, probably because in VW's case, the trans was designed beefy from the get-go.

And if you want a fast truck, a F150 Lightening or Harley Davidson Edition will satisfy; both are supercharged. The Silverado SS isn't bad either for decent fun in a truck.

Some of the Dodge guys seem to think their 5.7l "Hemi" are all that, but they are slower than the competition, get stupidly poor fuel economy and are not reliable. I have yet to hear from someone who has made it 60k on the transmission without a rebuild and whenever I see one on the road they blue smoke like crazy out the tail. I don't know why the hell we bailed Chrysler out.


RE: Interesting
By inperfectdarkness on 5/31/2012 1:11:56 AM , Rating: 2
i wouldn't say toyota "dominates". i see quite a few fords & a LOT of mitsubishi L200's--and even some nissans.


RE: Interesting
By Apone on 5/31/2012 12:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
@ Brandon

- I did a grad school research paper on international new market entry regarding Ford and its F-150 truck and I looked at the truck industry for the Philippines. Long story short, industries like construction and commercial fleet transportation would benefit from full-size trucks. In countries like the Philippines, it’s customary to utilize mass transit, also fuel is expensive, and the average Philippine working consumer’s mean yearly income is not nearly enough to support the monthly vehicle payment, maintenance, and fuel costs of owning an F-150.


RE: Interesting
By Reclaimer77 on 5/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/30/2012 1:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Can there really be THAT many people out there with no taste? It's blowing my mind :)


Every time someone gives Donald Trump a platform to speak, I think the same thing ;-)


RE: Interesting
By Reclaimer77 on 5/30/2012 1:45:28 PM , Rating: 2
You're fired!


RE: Interesting
By sinjinx on 5/30/2012 2:51:15 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Can there really be THAT many people out there with no taste? It's blowing my mind :)


Is it that hard to believe that some people don't make their likely second most expensive purchase based on emotion? I'll share a few of my reasons for owning a 2010 Prius.

Toyota - like it or not, they just work. Had a 96 Corolla that I traded for the new Prius and it NEVER had a problem...nothing. Compare that to my keeping up with the Jones' friends and their Suburbans and Audis - you should just pay an extra $10k up front for these cars.

Utility and space - I can fit two big dogs in there. Almost as much space as our Outback, which I really like (especially in snow) and very necessary where we live.

Future Proof - Gas going to $10/gal? No worries - I'm operating almost as normal. Heaven forbid people actually PLAN FOR THE INEVITABLE RISE in gas prices.

Notice, there is no mention of being green above, because I DIDN'T BUY IT TO BE GREEN. In fact, I think there is a good argument for it being WORSE for the environment to buy a new hybrid.

My point of all this is to finally put into words my distaste for the comments that riddle forums like these with the singular mindset of "I hope I look cool in it and can squeal my tires."

</soapbox>


RE: Interesting
By KeithP on 5/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting
By tayb on 5/30/2012 4:56:11 PM , Rating: 2
I can go buy a Prius C brand new for around $19,000 and enjoy 53/46 MPG. I could also go grab a certified used model for as low as $14,000, which speaks volumes of resale value and depreciation. What is this higher cost that you speak of? The Ford Focus gets schooled in MPG and the base model is in the same price range.


RE: Interesting
By sprockkets on 5/30/2012 7:10:18 PM , Rating: 4
You could, but you'd have like the worst driving experience ever.

I'll take a 6 speed manual skyactive mazda3. In their own words, "it isn't the first 40mpg car, its just the first one worth driving."


RE: Interesting
By tayb on 5/30/2012 8:15:00 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you have a really long commute on highway roads I'll take the gas savings than the driving experience every single time. The 2.0L manual Mazda3 w/ SkyActiv can only manage 27MPG in the city, nearly half of the Prius C. Even then you're rocking a whopping 155HP which isn't much of a performance beast to begin with.

If you calculated how much time you actually spend driving your car (sitting in traffic doesn't count) you would probably find that 90%-95% of the time your car is either parked, in traffic, or idling. I'll never understand why people have these humongous car payments when they rarely actually use the car. This is why this argument is purely hypothetical for me as I'll never buy a new car unless I'm retired and feel like taking a real long road trip.


RE: Interesting
By sprockkets on 5/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting
By sprockkets on 5/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting
By Pudro on 5/31/2012 4:09:26 AM , Rating: 1
If your goal is to enjoy driving, sure, by a Mazda.For the rest of the world, there is the Prius.

I don't care how much a relatively small group cares about enjoying driving. That doesn't matter when discussing whether a car is worth buying when that clearly doesn't define the target demographic.

I'm not even defending the Prius here. (Personally, I would prefer a Mazda as well.) Just pointing out that your argument is retarded.


RE: Interesting
By Reclaimer77 on 5/31/12, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting
By Spuke on 5/31/2012 3:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
Total hybrid sales are indeed in the minority just like sports cars. The rest of the world, as you say, drives gas and diesel cars. Those make up the vast majority.


RE: Interesting
By FITCamaro on 5/31/2012 8:54:55 AM , Rating: 2
My Chevy Cruze Eco 6M is only rated at 29 in the city but with the right driving techniques, 40-50+ mpg is achieved. My daily commute is roughly 50 miles round trip and my lifetime average is 42 mpg. My last commute fillup was 45.6 mpg. A trip to Florida and back lowered my average since I get lower mileage on the highway at 75 mph than I do commuting.

And no my car, when driving, isn't in traffic. I plan my day specifically to avoid traffic.

Most people buy cars to meet their needs. Someone who hunts isn't going to buy a Prius. Someone with a family of 5 isn't going to buy a Prius. Much less a Camry or any other sedan. Three small kids in the back of a sedan on a trip of any real distance ends with extremely irritated parents.


RE: Interesting
By Spuke on 5/31/2012 3:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you calculated how much time you actually spend driving your car (sitting in traffic doesn't count) you would probably find that 90%-95% of the time your car is either parked, in traffic, or idling.
Where do you get these numbers from? LOL! My commute is 35 minutes one way and my car only stops for traffic lights/signs. There is no heavy traffic on my commute. So since I park my car while I'm at home or at work, I should only care about price? If I were to do that, I wouldn't buy ANY new car. Seriously, buying new cars are among the worst economic decisions to make. If price and economics are the goal, a used car that gets acceptable gas mileage and has low maintenance costs wins everytime. And even then, you drive them until cost of keeping it outweighs the cost of replacement. Another thing, cash buys only unless you can get some 0% financing that will also serve to boost your credit rating.


RE: Interesting
By ritualm on 5/30/2012 9:01:50 PM , Rating: 1
In other words, all that fancy schmancy potential power is wasted idling and guzzling gas like a bukkake porn star. Honda Civics are hella better than that.


RE: Interesting
By sprockkets on 5/30/2012 10:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In other words, all that fancy schmancy potential power is wasted idling and guzzling gas like a bukkake porn star. Honda Civics are hella better than that.


I know, how could it that mazda3 ever achieve PZEV guzzling all that gas?

Too bad it takes about 10k miles of transportation all over the world just to make that battery on your prius. What a green car.


RE: Interesting
By Reclaimer77 on 5/31/2012 9:17:37 AM , Rating: 2
Using the Prius C is cherry picking of the worst kind. It's a stripped down crapbucket and everyone knows it. Crap interior, cheap fit and finish, no extras. And maybe the worst ride quality in it's class.

Do you see any other sub $20k hybrid out there? Using the Prius C to try and prove hybrids aren't generally more expensive is just dishonest. Where is your ethics?

quote:
I could also go grab a certified used model for as low as $14,000


Well if it's a race to the bottom you want, I can go buy a new Suzuki SX4 sedan for $13,500!


RE: Interesting
By InTheNameOfMyself on 6/2/2012 4:44:00 AM , Rating: 2
Which is better than...?

SX4, now that is a peice of junk !


RE: Interesting
By kmmatney on 5/30/2012 6:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
The fuel savings do make a big difference, and you are getting a better car than "the cheapest thing out there".


RE: Interesting
By inperfectdarkness on 5/31/2012 1:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
way better cars to buy in the same size segment if you are looking. small cars are the norm in europe, and priuses are a rarity. the ford ka and the pugeot 206 are the "small" cars of choice--that is at least for everyone who isn't driving a bmw.

if prius is doing so well in the US, it's probably because 99% of the small car market isn't sold in the us. american sub-compacts are virtually like midsize cars in europe.


RE: Interesting
By FITCamaro on 5/31/2012 8:59:02 AM , Rating: 1
I have zero desire to drive anything smaller than an American compact car like a Cruze or Civic.

Maybe Europeans love shoving themselves into tin cans that they barely fit in, but we don't.

I considered a Sonic when buying my Cruze. But the back seat is all but worthless and the mileage is the same as the Cruze which is larger. Same powertrain too.


RE: Interesting
By thurston2 on 5/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting
By Spuke on 5/31/2012 12:51:20 PM , Rating: 1
It's the Prius line not just the one car. I would guess that it sells much better outside the US but their numbers seem fishy to me also. In the US, Prius sales are all over the place. One month it's top 5, the next month, it's not even top 20. It would interesting to know why that happens.


RE: Interesting
By Real_Time on 5/30/2012 6:15:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think the biggest motivator is gas savings. Once the gas market in the USA catches up to the rest of the civilized world, plug-in hybrids will be the norm rather than the exception.


RE: Interesting
By Solandri on 5/31/2012 6:41:10 AM , Rating: 2
U.S. gas prices are actually about the closest to true market cost. Gas prices in Europe and Asia are so high because of taxes added on by the governments there. Not that there's anything wrong with that - most of those countries have a much higher population density than the U.S., so try to discourage personal vehicle use and encourage public transportation. But it's foolhardy to assume what works best there will work best in the U.S.

It's interesting to note that despite having higher fuel prices for decades, hybrids and EVs were not developed for the European and Asian markets. It took California's stringent emissions requirements (not mileage requirements) to cajole automakers into making EVs and hybrids. That would suggest the biggest motivator is emissions, not fuel savings or fuel cost.


RE: Interesting
By martin5000 on 5/31/2012 5:22:48 AM , Rating: 2
Europeans drive relatively small cars because they LIKE them, some don't even have very good fuel economy!

Just because Americans generally like big cars, don't make the mistake of thinking Europeans do as well.

Even if gas was free and we had cities that weren't designed 800 years ago, most/many would still want small cars.

Anyway, Landrovers etc. are quite popular in UK at least.


RE: Interesting
By Dr of crap on 5/31/2012 8:30:24 AM , Rating: 1
So that fact that there are streets that are only 4 feet wide has nothing to do with the small cars. And the population density has nothing to do with it either?
You just "want" a small car, and don't ever carry 4-5 people in your cars to need something bigger?

I not an SUV driver.
One of my cars is a Focus.
Your post just doesn't make sense.
You like Smart sized cars - really!??


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