Toyota Prius Confuses, Confounds, Calls Your Wife A Whore

If you buy a Toyota Prius, your wife’s name and phone number will instantly find itself on many online escort websites. This we know. But it sucks for money in ways your wife doesn’t. In fact, the car’s so confusing that Consumer Affairs couldn’t even figure out how to turn one on:

    At first glance, the Toyota appears a lot like any other little car but there is one big difference: With the Prius, it helps to read the owner’s manual before attempting to start the thing.

    None of the computer-savvy members of the ConsumerAffairs.Com staff were able to start the car without consulting the owner’s manual or asking for help.

And while Mark already informed us that the gas mileage certainly wasn’t the 60mpg that Toyota claimed, Consumer Affairs backs it all up, pointing out that they only got 3/4ths of the mileage claimed in the brochure.

So it might be wise to wait to drop your 30k, even if you’re not worried about a salesman writing your wife’s name on a bathroom stall.

Test Drive: 2006 Toyota Prius

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. TedSez says:


    Maybe the early adopters, tech geeks, tree huggers and all-around cool kids who love the Prius are happy that ordinary folks and their grandmas can’t figure the thing out.

    Difficulty-of-use: Not a bug, but a feature.

  2. Kaz says:

    Uhm… okay, so why did they think a computer-savvy person would know how to start the Prius? I guess for the same reason everyone thinks computer savvy people can help them with anything that uses electricity or a battery.

    I would venture to say that if you bought a Prius, you’d start it exactly the way the saleperson that sat with you and showed you how to use all the features of the car started it.

    I was going to comment on the Prius-bashing in the article, but then I remembered that pointing out the fact that the Prius does not get the advertised mileage is actually EPA bashing, not Prius bashing. I wish the EPA would stop lying to us about the Prius’ mileage and forcing Toyota to advertise this incorrect number.

  3. Lyn Never says:

    The Prius has an enormous power button on the dash with the power symbol and the word “Power” on it. That is, apparently, why only computer-savvy people could use it, because nobody else knows what a power button is. All those people are at home waiting for their coffee makers to turn themselves on, though, so they don’t need cars anyway.

    To be fair, if you don’t want to push the button twice, you need to put your foot on the brake.

    I think the EPA is probably inaccurate on a lot of cars, not just the Prius. But the Prius actually tells you its gas mileage, and most other cars don’t. I’m getting about 42MPG these days with the air on full blast in the Texas heat, with very low emissions, and a remarkably comfy ride, so I’m not going to complain.

  4. Chris says:

    I thought I recently read that the EPA is finally going to change the formula for MPG, which will dramatically “decrease” the mileage for hybrids overnight.

    But even “average” MPG (the EPA number) doesn’t tell the entire story. There’s a group of jokers out there who got 110 mpg on a full tank with a Prius, by driving it optimally.

  5. Chris says:
  6. Hitchcock says:

    The MPG claims are not made by Toyota, they are the numbers the EPA provides based on their own testing. The problem is that the method they use to calculate MPG was designed a long time before Hybrids came along, and is inaccuate for calculating hybrid MPG.

  7. Aph says:

    big deal. I think hitch it on track here in saying that whats really
    important here is the MPG differences. Thats actually gonna cost people
    more than just 20 minutes browsing a manual they should fucking
    ‘browse’ anyway.

  8. AndyfromIL says:

    heard today that Toyota is finally gonna produce some plugin hybrids, bout time

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2006-07-18-toyota-plug

    prius geeks have been begging for years for this.

    The quirks of the prius remind me of my Volkswagen, many strange things you don’t find anywhere else; sludge, obscene maint. costs, control arms, coil-packs, synthetic oil change requirements(costs $30+ to do at home), quite-regular repair trips to the dealer, the necessity of internet forums to figure out the engine codes and quirks, etc. But it keeps the riff-raff out of the club and only serious VW-ers remain. Sort of makes the whole thing more exclusive, like the Prius.

  9. Public Sector says:

    I work for a city government that has recently purchased Priuses (Prii?) for agency vehicles. It’s true that it doesn’t turn on like a “normal” car; insted of turning a key you push a big button that says “Power.”

  10. Ben Popken says:

    Lisa writes:

    “I got a 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid (loves it!) last year, and that doesn’t hit the published mileage estimate (which is 47/48 mpg, I think) either. I did find that this partly had to do with my driving. When I first got the car, I was getting 39 mpg routinely (averaged over an entire tank) and now I usually get 43 mpg, except when I’m running the A/C. This may explain some of the great disparity between
    the actual mileage in that Consumer Affairs story and the published mileage estimates. My question is, do any cars (not just hybrids)
    really ever hit their mileage estimates? I didn’t think they did. “

  11. thrillhouse says:

    So its been published that the EPA estimates (20 year old standards) do not take into account:
    Air conditioning
    stop and go driving
    higher speed limits

    Consumer Reports found many vehicles to be off by as much as 40%. Some were hybrids (honda civic specifically), some were not (Chrysler 300 V8). But nobody is forcing Toyota (or anyone else for that matter) to knowingly advertise these falsehoods. And thats exactly what they are doing.

    The EPA is set to overhaul the standards by 2008, which is just crazy.

  12. Kaz says:

    Well, if their only option is to show EPA mileage or not mileage, what do you expect them to do? Advertise “We get pretty good mileage. How good? Uh.. we can’t tell you.”

  13. thrillhouse says:

    do you think for a second that car manufacturers don’t conduct thier own tests and estimate milage? Who the hell said that showing the EPA number were the only option. Unfortunately it is more about advertising than honesty.

    Thats ok, go on thinking that Toyota is an honest company, and that they reall, really like you.

    The fact is that no one wants to admit these shortcomings right now, because thats the only thing moving these cars out the door. But at your expense.

  14. Kaz says:

    Actually, I believe they aren’t allowed to advertise any mileage information other than the EPA’s estimates. At least, they are required by law to put the EPA numbers on the sticker.

    I don’t believe I ever said Toyota, or any company, was an honest company.

    We are actually quite happy with the two Hybrids we own. *shrug* maybe that’s just us.

  15. angela says:

    Kaz:

    Our issue is no longer about the mileage. Our lawyer said that not only
    Fraud was committed by Mr.Gentile but we have proof that Mr.Gentile has
    called my cell phone more than once and they were not friendly. Mr.
    Gentile will be served in the lawsuit. He will be arrested for phone
    harassment and disorderly conduct when he is served.