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Toyota starts sales of 4th generation Prius hybrid

15 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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15 Comments
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96mpg in Japan, but 52mpg in US? That's a huge difference.

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Here they measure by pushing the car down a very long heel.

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It's the fuel composition.

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Europeans are sure to pick the model for consideration after the VW scandal which is going to decimate the small diesel car section for sure.

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The automaker is promising mileage of 40.8 kilometers a liter (96 miles a gallon) in Japan

An impressive fuel economy promised, but delivered?

Our Prius works best economy-wise in the stop/start conditions where normal engines fare the worst.

Using the brake to save fuel (by charging the battery) was totally counter-intuitive to a former biodiesel hypermiler. We're very happy with the economy we get from the seven seater in our higher mileage suburban use.

It's nowhere near the claimed range for the model, but a central Tokyo taxi driver would get better.

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The front headlight styling is weird..it will sell its socks off in Japan since its a Prius but will be interesting to see the sales numbers for other countries down the track.

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The front headlight styling is weird.

I agree.

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96mpg in Japan, but 52mpg in US? That's a huge difference. yes that is big but Japan has much better octane fuels here. next time you fill up your car try premium fuel, youll find the 7~8% price differance will almost be made up in the extra milage you car gets especially on the expressway. higher octane fuel burns cleaner leaves less residue in your engine , making the engine run better, last longer. I fill all my cars on premium

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Improvements in the battery, engine, wind resistance and weight are contributing to the improved performance, according to Toyota.

I think the incremental improvements Toyota makes to its vehicles in all fleets are to be lauded. The Lexus and Prius obvious cases in point. I hope Toyota continues to find ways for vehicles to use less petrol and continues research in developing vehicles that are not petrol powered.

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I'm not so keen on the styling, but it sounds like there are some impressive improvements in this version. An AWD option too.

Low global demand has forced the oil price right down, so you don't save as much money as before from driving a high fuel-economy car. With competition from electric cars, esp Tesla in the US, Toyota could well struggle to sell as many Priuses as before. That may have some pundits jumping on some "Prius fails!" bandwagon, but it doesn't mean its a bad car. It looks like a bigger improvement than the last time when the Prius went from 1.5 to 1.8l.

AWD cars generally have poor fuel economy, so it should beat all of them, especially for cars this size.

The smog in Beijing should be a lesson that even if you don't like eco cars like this, you should be happy that other people drive them. Air pollution kills, and efficient cars produce less of it.

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I used to loathe Prius styling.... It's nice to see them putting some sexiness into it. Looks a lot better now.

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Kato brushed off questions about how the recent drop in oil prices may negatively affect sales. Energy and ecological worries are here to stay, he said.

Actually, a look at 2nd hand models show massive price drops. They are so uninspiring to drive (so far) that I've know owners to dump them within a year and buy something else!

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Doesn't the US still mix 10% ethanol into the fuel in which case they have a lower power output for the same amount of fuel.

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I got to this thread pretty late.

General comments about mileage. Normally I don't pay too much attention to the figures, but I do know that Toyota fuel efficiency numbers are pretty widely regarded in the industry as being VERY reliable. It is not a marketing thing for them. They engineer and tweak using the figure, so it is real. As PTownsend notes, Toyota makes incremental changes to reliable systems, and they already have some surprises lined up that I think will give them another 10% improvement and then another 10% on top of that as the years go by.

The other thing to consider is that Japan traffic is slow. Maximum speeds and average speeds are lower than those in the states by quite a bit. The drag coefficient increases by the square of velocity, so ... and this will make people groan... if you halve your speed, you cut your drag to a quarter of what it was.

The max speed on Japanese highways is 100 kph or roughly 60 mph. The Prius already has pretty low drag, but it is a huge component of fuel consumption, so this might explain A LOT of the discrepancy between US and Japan fuel efficiency figures. Personally, I find that my fuel efficiency figures compared to figures I hear from other countries are extremely high. My math is correct, but the results are "unbelievable" in some cases. Shout out to SENSENOTCOMMON... hypermiling in Japan works very very well for all kinds of reasons.

Hybrids are excellent vehicles. Society is stretching and straining to make EVs and hydrogen vehicles work, but for many reasons, I believe that hybrids will make perhaps THE GREATEST social impact for the least social cost of any green technology developed yet. And we ain't seen nothing yet.

Remarks to Kurisu: Looks like sales will fall a bit. I don't think anyone is concerned about that. The thing about a hybrid is that there is no "loss" from falling gas prices (in fact, you benefit from them), but you are hedged against rising prices. Toyota says it has orders for 60,000 and there is a 4 month wait for these vehicles. The aftermarket for Prius is still pretty tight, but more amazing is that the NEW price of a Prius is less than 20 k now. So if the aftermarket is falling, it is probably reflecting the decrease in the price of new vehicles. And ummm. That is a good thing. More people wasting less gas equals more win.

If you know some people in Japan who drive a Prius for one year and sell it, you are hanging out with criminals. Pretty sure that the law in Japan requires that if you accept an e car subsidy, you have to keep the car for six years or surrender the subsidy. Hope you aren't mixed up with the racketeering.

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Racketeering? Err, what are you on about? Keep a car for 6 years? In Japan? People change their cars here on average well before that!

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