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Old 09-25-2007, 08:17 PM   #1
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Need Quick Pruis Tips

I lucked-out and got an '07 Prius rental for a couple of days in the Portland, OR area.

I ended up with 52.x mpg on the way from the airport to the hotel (20 miles) -- are there any secrets or tricks to try?

Instead of doing a regular-style driving review on the vehicle, I'd like to maximize FE...thanks!

RH77
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:08 PM   #2
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cool beans.
The prius is capable of some redonculous numbers. Give this a quick once over regarding P&G and Warp Stealth. The P&G is highly effective if you can keep the regen from kicking in. 100+ mpg segments are achievable.
Good Read for the Prius
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:06 PM   #3
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Warp Stealth, etc...

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Originally Posted by 01_fast_ride View Post
cool beans.
The prius is capable of some redonculous numbers. Give this a quick once over regarding P&G and Warp Stealth. The P&G is highly effective if you can keep the regen from kicking in. 100+ mpg segments are achievable.
Good Read for the Prius
Good link to the info...

Yeah, I couldn't believe the Prius was even available to rent as a usual vehicle -- I've seen Hertz mark them up to rediculous figures as part of their "Green" collection, but this time, National had it there for the choosing. It took a while to figure out how to get it going (no key, pressing the power button, pushing the Park button, all with the brake pedal pressed or nothing happened )

So, I think I hit the "Warp-Stealth" a few times... not really knowing what was going on. I did notice the 41-42 MPH change in behavior that's mentioned. It's interesting how the HSD works and actually requires some ICE input at times for counter-balance. I'm going to have to read the articles a few times to absorb the info.

I'll definitely be hooking-up the SG to get a sense of engine RPM.

I plan to head out to Mt. Hood National Forest after my short work visit tomorrow morning, which should offer a good driving experience and some photo shoots.

I have to say -- the display is bit distracting at times, but I'm sure it's better in daylight and after a level of comfort develops with driving it. It is a lot of fun though!

RH77
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:44 AM   #4
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The P&G article by Wayne Gerdes is a good one. Stay out of the battery if you can, this is a gas car, not an electric one. Make sure the tires are pumped up above the door specs, 44 front/ 42 rear works real well. On the highway don't worry about warp stealth, without experience you'll get worse MPG trying to use it. Instead try to keep your speed down and try for the highest instant fuel comsumption for your speed on the MFD screen. Only use cruise control on flat highway, you can do better on up and down grades.
Enjoy!

Wayne
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:35 PM   #5
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Nice Car, but...

So, do I like this car?


Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon

After about 250 miles and ~54.x MPG, I think "maybe". It's nice to rent, but I would I want to own one?

Pros:
Of course, FE
Great Handling: feels light and maneuverable
Base models come well equipped with safety and amenities
Nice heads-up display for the speed, and center control screen is modern

Cons:
Great FE comes with technique (something John Q. Public isn't generally going to do), but it's better than nothing.
Complicated drive mechanism and battery set. Rough operation (engine and transitional engagement)
There's about 1mm of padding for your elbows -- kinda cheap for an interior.

I really enjoyed driving this car -- it'll be tough giving it back tomorrow. Climbing mountainous grades and coasting back down on my scenic drive in Oregon was a pleasant trip. But over the course, it became apparent that the Prius might leave too much to the machine and less to the driver.

There are groups out there getting great mileage in these cars, I agree. I really respect the feature of coasting up to a traffic light with the engine off, and having it start-up automatically to build speed -- but how does this compare with the essence of a Civic VX, for example? I like running through the gears, feeling more connected with the road, and being able to modify a well-understood blueprint. But at the same time, it nearly doubles the FE in my daily driver.

With the Prius, you don't know what to expect. You can definitely feel the ICE kick-in when you need it. Keeping up with traffic requires more fuel than I'd like. The CVT-HSD is unnerving at times + the regenerative braking is a bit gruff. It's hard to drive smoothly. Plus, I expected more EV-only power, especially from a standing start -- it was weak, and generally prompted the engine to kick in. EV-only operation is a slow-go.

So, if you can master hypermiling in other cars, this one is no different. P&G and "Warp-Stealth" is a piece of cake. Making a significant improvement over EPA compared to a regular gasser, will be very difficult.

I honestly don't want to discourage folks from buying this car. It helps with FE, emissions, and advances the technology in each generation of vehicle. I just don't think I'll be running to the Toyota dealer tomorrow to buy one. Perhaps as the technology evolves and branches out into different models, it will appeal to this driver. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it...


Shepperd's Dell -- Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

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Old 09-27-2007, 05:56 AM   #6
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Have you ever driven an HCH? I wonder about the comparison...
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Old 09-27-2007, 06:23 AM   #7
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RH77, nice summary write-up... thanks
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy View Post
Have you ever driven an HCH? I wonder about the comparison...
I test-drove an HCH a couple years ago (I think it was an automatic -- I can't remember). It seemed to have smoother operation and the option of engine shutdown during extended stops. My best comparison is the Insight 5-speed. I had the chance to drive one around a small town last year. The manual seems to give the driver more control over FE goals in different driving situations.

A complicated hybrid system can probably sort-out exactly what to do for both emissions and FE, which is much better than I can do. Perhaps I need more time to practice in the Prius. Maybe I was too harsh on it -- it is a good car that offers great FE and some fun extras. Trying to figure out what it wanted, and having an understanding of the how and why, was difficult.

Perhaps I should test drive an HCH again to get a comparison.

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