Prius v. diesel Verso - Avant
This is a different topic from the current Prius thread, so rather than hijack that let's start a new one.

Just back from our annual blissful holiday in South Africa, where we stayed a weekend with friends who have a new Prius. We thought we'd try one: I do recommend Octagon Toyota in Bracknell, Berks, who let you out on your own with a demonstrator for an hour or so. SWMBO and I tried a Prius followed by a 140 bhp diesel Verso, which is about the same price(list about £18k). Either could potentially suit us as an eventual successor to the B-class.

Prius -

Surprisingly lively, although the petrol engine is quite noisy under hard acceleration. Would be very economical if most of your mileage is in traffic, with the electric motor to the fore: at motorway speeds the petrol engine is working hard and would be pushed to achieve 40 mpg.

Quite comfortable and lots of room in the back. Shallow boot but a big space under the floor. Silly spoiler and steeply-raked rear window makes rear vision difficult.

Nasty foot-operated parking brake.


Verso -

More lively than the Prius: automatic available only with the petrol version. Diesel engine quite subdued, much quieter than the B-class (faint praise!). 6-speed gearbox (excellent dash-mounted gearlever) so very good on motorways.

Comfortable - 7 seats whether you want them or not. They all fold flat but just backrest on to cushion, so the floor is high.

There is a 180 bhp version which is a lot more expensive, largely because the TVs in the headrests are standard. I was told that the extra performance is mainly at the top end - I certainly didn't feel that the 140 was underpowered.

Both very impressive and much more enjoyable to drive than older Toyotas - as indeed is elder daughter's 1.3 Yaris. Definitely worth putting on your shortlist: the Prius if you drive mainly in traffic, the Verso if like me you do a lot of long runs.

Hope that was helpful !
Prius v. diesel Verso - Collos25
The Prius is an enviromental nightmare the recent article about the battery factory in Canada was most alarming reducing the land for miles around to a moonscape plus there is no way of recycling them when they come to the end of their life.They were built to get round the Calafornia emission regs so they could carry on selling the gas guzzlers and the fact most new diesels are far more economical and therefore make absolutley no sense in owning one like the excellent article in DT saturday about wind turbines all smoke and mirrors.
Prius v. diesel Verso - cardriver
Disagree with the thread above.

The team in charge of the Prius were challenged years ago by the Toyota board with producing a very fuel efficient small car for the future with low running emmissions. The car had to have the comfort of a large car though etc etc.
The team then decided on a Hybrid and presented their findings to the board and the rest is history as it were,

At no point did Toyota set out to produce a car to get round Calafornia emission regs as an objective.
They chose not to use diesel becuase of the additional emmissions they produce. As you know even now diesel is banned in a number of US states - although this may change in the future.

The Prius never nearly came off because of the problems with the batteries in production. A partnership with Panasonic fixed this. This went against the grain with Toyota becuase they like to be fully self sufficient (e.g wanted to get into Luxury car market so created Lexus although they had the spare cash to buy BMW and MB together if they wanted).
Prius v. diesel Verso - cardriver
In support of the above:-
The car that became the Prius began life in 1993, when Eiji Toyoda, Toyota's chairman and the patriarch of its ruling family, expressed concern about the future of the automobile. Yoshiro Kimbara, then executive vice president in charge of R&D, heard the rumblings and embarked on a project known as G21 (for global 21st century) to develop a new small car that could be sold worldwide. He set two goals: to develop new production methods and to wring better fuel economy from the traditional internal combustion engine. His target was 47.5 miles per gallon, a little more than 50% better than what the Corolla, Toyota's popular small car, was getting at the time.

Full story at:-
money.cnn.com/2006/02/17/news/companies/mostadmire...m

I know people are very quick to criticise the Prius (and I am not particularly a fan) but if you read the above it will give some explanation of where Toyota's thinking is with the Prius. It's easy to be clever after 13 years of development on Toyota's part but maybe after reading some of the cynicism may go a little.


 

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