Sunday, September 9, 2007

Test Drive

2007 Toyota Prius Slideshow:

Photos Courtesy of eVox Productions

Hello blog readers! This past weekend I decided to test-drive a 2007 Toyota Prius, a gasoline hybrid, just to get the feeling of what a hybrid car is like compared to a regular car.

The 2007 Toyota Prius is similar to the 2004 Prius except for some additional standard safety equipment.

The EPA fuel economy is 60 miles per gallon in the city and 51 on the highway. Available engine is a 76-horse power, 1.5 liter I-4. Available transmission is a 2-speed CVT w/OD.

Before the test drive, I went online to find some of the plus and minuses about the vehicle. I went to a
website that laid out a few points.

Some of the new and notable functions are:
*Electric-dominant hybrid powertrain
*Hatchback body style
*Enhanced regenerative breaking
*Available Touring Edition

The positives about the car are:
*Superior fuel economy
*Performance, considering its frugality
*Interior and cargo space

The negatives about the car are:
*Rear visibility
*Rear headroom
*Control operation

Taking these points into consideration, I went to test-drive the 2007 Prius at Precision Toyota at 700 W. Wetmore Rd. in Tucson, Ariz.

The first thing I noticed when I got into the car was how much room there was. You would expect a hybrid car to be tiny in order to be fuel efficient; but in fact, it was very spacious. The seats were also very comfortable. However, I am only 5’2” and I couldn’t adjust the seat for my height… That’s an important feature I think Toyota needs to add to the Prius.

The backseats were very spacious as well. They were comfortable, but I wouldn’t say they match up to the comfort of German cars, such as the Audi or Mercedes.

I also would have to agree with the review that there is little headroom in the backseats. Because I am not so tall I was able to fit perfectly, but for someone who is taller then I am they might have trouble squeezing into the backseat. The cargo volume totals 16.1 cubic feet and 5 people should be able to fit in the car.

The placement of the gauges on the dashboard is pretty neat. I had to operate the climate controls on an LCD screen located at the top center of all the controls. The car comes with an AM/FM radio/CD six-speaker sound system. The quality of the sound was definitely good. I am a base lover and the speakers could produce a lot of base sound so I liked that.

The car started different then a regular car. I had to press a power button in front of me. Then, as I started driving it, I could never really hear the car. When I went into reverse I heard some beeping sounds which told me I was going in reverse. The Prius was very quiet and calm inside.

As I started driving the car, I would say I have to agree with the negative review about the car’s rear visibility. I couldn’t see behind me very well. Also, because my seats had no height-adjustability, that only added to the problem.

I also noticed that when I would hit the brakes on the car it would jerk slightly. According to the website above, the Prius has anti-lock brakes and traction control. Maybe the way it is designed it wants a person to have more feel when they are stopping. Not sure.

I decided to try to park the car. There is no park position on the gearshift lever. Instead, I had to press a button with a “P” on it to get to the park position. Then you just press the power button again to shut it off.

It was an interesting ride and experience since that was the first hybrid car I had ever test-driven.

The Toyota Prius starts out at a pretty good price as well. $22,175 for the 4-door Sedan Base and $23,070 for the 4-door Sedan Touring.

Overall, I have to say my experience was great.. I would definitely buy a hybrid car someday.. I really want to test-drive the Porsche hybrid so I will try to see if I can find a place in Tucson to do that.

Also, if you come back later tomorrow I should have a slideshow posted so check back!!

For those interested in the 2007 Toyota Prius, here are some websites you can check out:

Toyota Prius review -

Auto Spectator's Prius summary - -

No comments: