Hi, Guys. Long time, no see. I got rid of my '89 CRX and got hold of these in April '12. The CRX was sold the first few hours I had it for sale and I got $100 more for it than I paid.
I've had the new C for 18k miles now. A 10k mile mpg average was 46.3 this morning, but that's low due to me finishing my cigar and idleing for heat and ventilation in the morning before I go in to work. Most tanks I get 50-53 mpg. The best tank has been 60.7 (w/caluculator). The scangauge mpg is pessimistic by a little over a single mpg, and the car itself is a little optimistic by about the same.
I'm 6'2" and 240. There is plenty of room and I don't feel cramped at all. Vision is good forward and side, but the rear view is clipped to the rear. It isn't dangerous but it keeps you from seeing a wide open view like I'm used to.
It has an ECO mode that diminishes the reaction of the gas pedal and holds the A/C back a bit. It works well and I keep that button pushed most of the time. With the button off it reacts normally and is quite peppy. As with all Prii, it is slow off the line. But when moving and the engine room rung for power it produces pretty good.
It has stability control that works pretty good. Once, on the highway on the way home, an inattentive driver tried to pull into my lane while I was already in it. I had to swerve right and brake. That unsettled the right rear and the brake was automatically applied there. I heard it scratch the pavement and the car's stability was quickly returned. That could have been a bad thing had it not been an option.
Braking overall is cat-like. Some Gov't vehicle driver pulled out in front of me one day and I had to throw out every anchor I had. It stopped like nothing short of my Z28. Awesome! However, comma, I braked so hard that I bent the support for the brake pedal pivot. It's made so that it bends in an accident, I suppose. I pressed it so hard it bent out of shape and the brake pedal didn't meet up with the brake light switch when not in use. It took a couple of weeks for the dealer to look at it and go, "Yep. It's bent." Then a regional guy to take a look and go, "Yep. It's bent. Let me get an expert to look at it." Then the next guy up had to look at it and go, "Yep. It's bent. That's a new one on us. Let's get all the info, send it up to Toyota, and get it fixed."
Traction control, on the other hand, sucks greatly. If anything I would want more tire spin in any circumstance I felt it needed. Unfortunately, there is no more than 1/3 revolution of spin in the best circumstance, and absolutely zero when you really need it. Real snow tires go a LONG way to getting through snow. But, here's the best part, there's a secret handshake that turns off the traction control and allows you to tractor up a hill or through a snow-piled intersection just as a regular car would allow. I didn't drive my truck all last winter, deferring to the C. It worked wonderfully in the snow.
The stereo isn't all that great but will suffice for about 95% of most circumstances for most people.
The ride is a bit choppy but I opted for the 16" wheels. Tire pressure is set at 40/37. Cornering and handling is very good, though it feels a little top heavy compared to the CRX.
There is a real back seat, and real people can fit into it. The CRX never had one of those! Rear storage is about what the CRX had. The seat folds down and larger items can be fitted. The rear is a little over AR-15 wide...more like an FAL or M1A. But a couple of rifles and a range bag fit really good. I don't think the golf bag would fit without putting the seat down, for sure.
The color, well, took some getting used to. I'm used to getting looks from when I had the Vette and the Harley. Even the black '98 Z28 gets some looks. But this is wild when it's just a little bitty car. It REALLY stands out in a parking lot. When I drive the truck it stands out like crazy. Just look for the clearance lights. When I drove the CRX I would look for the hole in the parking and the CRX was at the bottom of it. This car, though....BANG. HERE I AM! It could even be a safety benefit.
Overall, this is a car I recommend for someone that may want a modernized CRX sized vehicle.
You have to be careful when disabling the traction control. Toyota didn't install it has a safety feature. It's to protect the HSD from potential damage. The 'handshake' only exists for emission sniff tests on rollers or dynamometer runs.
Did you test drive the CR-Z? Any thoughts on that car?
I did not test drive.
I gave one in the supermarket parking lot a real hard look one day. The driver came out while I was looking in it. I asked him some questions about how he like it and such.
It looked way too small. The gas mileage wasn't that much better than what I was driving (the CRX, 40's). I just wasn't interested and continued driving the CRX and getting 40mpg every tank.
When the time came to get something else we (wife & I) gravitated to the Prius family since she was driving a 2009. What with the new members of that family coming out it was worth a look.
I got the CRX when gas was $4 to keep from having to drive my 10mpg truck, and the Z28 in the winter. Paid $850 for it. Fixed a lot of things that needed attention, upgraded the stereo and tires/wheels, and drove the snot out of it. Loved it. A real rust bucket, but I loved it. Needed hundreds in fixes, still. I loved it. But it had to go.
The closest thing I could find in size was the Prius C. Plus it had a back seat. Plus it got 50 mpg. Plus it was new and had tons of safety stuff the CRX didn't have. Plus a lot of things. I was sold. Wife got her choice of color. I got a new daily driver that gets 51mpg every tank full. Great heater. Great A/C. Comfy seats. Plenty of visibility. Tight. Handles good. Corners well.