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#90235 - 04/13/05 05:10 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
Ajax Offline

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6265
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Talk about room! I remember the 1948 Chevy we had. If I was sitting on the back seat, and wanted to hang over the back of the front seat to say something to my dad, I had to stand up (which I could do in this thing), and take 3 steps forward to reach the back of the front seat. And, when I was sitting on the back seat, my feet didn't even come close to hitting the floor, and it wasn't because I was 5 years old, either.

Of course, the cars today, are really superior to cars of that era. But, there are two things the old cars had that I REALLY miss. Well, there are probably more than two, but two come immediately to mind. Interestingly, both have to do with climate control. One is the wing window, or "no draft" as we Michiganders called them. Very convenient, and you could defrost your windshield in seconds.

The second is the vents that were built into the interior side walls down near the legs. I assume the intake was in the wheel wells but I don't know that. There was a small handle, just under the dash board, on each side of the car, that operated a cable that opened and closed the vent door. It was variable so you could open it just enough to let in the right amount of air. And lemme tell you, when you opened it all the way, it was a hurricane. It really helped keep the non air-conditioned car comfortable on hot days, and it didn't use any gas to operate.

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

#90236 - 04/13/05 05:15 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8345
Loc: Tacoma
Whew, Peter, glad to hear you're not putting the dog in the roof box

I think Toyota is scheduled to roll-out a hybrid Highlander that fits your criteria. But bring money. Lots of it.

And yeah, Zarak, there is no way to "get it" about kids or their crap until you have one. Strollers, car seats, high chairs, etc. I remember being elated when my kids could finally haul some of their own stuff just to the car and back. I have the same Traveling Dog problem Peter mentioned. Me, Mrs. Tuttle, the two kids and Tillie the Wonder Dog somehow do not fit into a five passenger sedan.

I thought maybe a RAV4 would be the ticket, but it's just too small AND it doesn't get marvelous enough mileage to make up for it. Plus, of course, it's ugly as sin.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#90237 - 04/13/05 05:20 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
curtis Offline

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 1501
Loc: Manhattan Beach, CA
The battery in the Prius is warranted for 8 years, and has been tested upwards of 180,000 miles.

Here is a Road & Track Technical Correspondence letter from last year March:
In reply to:

Bob, your straightforward question turned out to have a surprisingly complex answer. Toyota warranties the Prius battery pack for eight years, “but the expectation is it will last much longer than that.” How much longer no one is willing to speculate, so we’ll guestimate a 10-year lifespan from the nickel/metal-hydride unit.

Even more confusing to our Casio 10-key calculator is that the Prius battery pack is priced at $4000 by Toyota public relations, $3420 by our local dealer and is expected to cost only $1000 in eight years (Toyota’s estimate) due to greater economies of scale as more vehicles require battery replacement. While that may sound too good to be true, Toyota is insistent on this point. They also expect the batteries to get lighter and more efficient. What’s more, it’s forecast that reconditioned battery packs will be part of the picture. (You’d likely replace your conventional 10-year-old car’s engine with a rebuilt one, right?)

So, which is more financially sound, gasoline or battery power? At $1000 for the battery and a lifespan of eight years or longer, the battery clearly wins any contest of the calculators. At a worst case of $3500 for a new battery pack, installed, along with $1.65 per gallon of gasoline, we find the battery pack is worth 2121 gallons of gasoline. Our Road Test Summary rates the (first-generation) Prius at 40.3 mpg, which would yield 85,476 miles of driving. That would be a bit over 4 cents a mile for the battery, and a financial dead heat given 10,684 miles per year of driving in eight years. Adding even a little to battery life or subtracting from its cost makes the battery a winner; and that’s not to mention any change in the price of gasoline, which is only going to go up.

Installation costs are not an issue; the battery pack is easily accessible by removing the back seat, à la VW Beetles and Piper Cherokees.

A quick google brings up some reading about the battery and costs....all positive, and nothing that I think I would worry about if I went that route.

#90238 - 04/13/05 05:22 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
PaulM Offline

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 278
Loc: St. Albert, Alberta
Like you, some days I still can't believe what we now pack. Seven years ago I was kidless and a Jetta was plenty. Now I have 3 kids and a dog. Being young kids we need to travel with a stroller, kid carying backpack, booster seats or highchairs for eating, diapers or porta potty and the list seems to go on. We also like to go camping and fish'in so need fishing rods, sleeping bags, stove, water jug and the list goes on and on.

But even if we weren't into the camping thing, I think there are two things that have changed since our parents were hauling us around in sedans and the like. They had motherjesus big station wagons or sedans back then with lots of cargo and passenger space. Heck, I remember the Ford Country Squire station wagon (fake wood siding included) with jump seat for 4 people in the back and the land-yacht of a 4 door hardtop Chev Impala my parents owned. We could damn near get a Queen sized bed in the trunk. But then the oil crisis of the 70' came along and the vehicles shrunk. The other difference is the change in affluence and associated expectations of our generation versus the last one or two. We seem to "need" to bring more "essentials" than our parents did. It's unfortunate but as the wealth of our societies increase, so does the stuff we have to cart around. the materiale are more

#90239 - 04/13/05 10:14 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17861
Loc: NoVA
Volvo XC70. Bingo...
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

#90240 - 04/13/05 10:17 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17861
Loc: NoVA
Also kind of fun to note that Priuses are appreciating in value right now. People are selling them for $1000-3000 more than they paid, because the buyers don't want to wait the few months it takes to get the things. Go fig...
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

#90241 - 04/13/05 10:26 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
Zarak Offline

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1849
Loc: PA
We did have a dog growing up, but she normally did not join us on trips. I have a dog now and he normally does, but without kids there is still plenty of room. Maybe I'll just try to not feel the need to bring so much stuff someday, but who knows...we'll see when I get there. Even if I don't think we need lots of stuff, the wife might have different ideas. Although if that's the case, the big car can be hers

Actually, it will probably have to be anyway unless she learns to drive stick. My car is stick and I plan on keeping it that way, which means that the long trip car becomes her car so we can both take turns driving. Of course, the past couple of days is the first time I have wished I didn't have stick. I developed turf toe, apparently from playing tennis on Sunday, and it hurts every time I put my foot on the clutch to shift (or even to walk, for that matter).

#90242 - 04/14/05 07:39 AM Re: OT: Car Buying
craigsub Offline

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 1335
According to RL Polk, Prius'es are bringing an average of $422 over MSRP and Escape Hybrids are fetching $610 over ... I have a 70 year old curmudgeon uncle who loves Toyota ... and traded a Corolla in that he was getting 33.9 MPG overall, and is now Getting 47.8 MPG in his Prius.

He actually calculated that, based on his driving 12,000 miles per year, that he was using 354 gallons of gas anually, and will now use 251 gallons, saving $227 per year. He is griping that he could have replaced his Corolla with another loaded one for about $6000 less than the prius ... and the interest on the $6000 would total $240 per year.

It was pretty funny ... HE is a GROUCH
Audio - Because it's way cheaper than any other vice I know

#90243 - 04/14/05 12:02 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
spiffnme Offline

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5219
Loc: Los Angeles
I hate to get political and stuff, but our country really needs to ween itself off foreign oil. Better gas mileage is step in the right direction. So maybe he isn't going to save a ton of money by getting the Prius, but he's certainly doing the country (not to mention the planet) a big favor.

I love my Audi, but my next car will be small and very efficient.
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

#90244 - 04/14/05 01:04 PM Re: OT: Car Buying
Zarak Offline

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1849
Loc: PA
I just can't get myself upset about higher gas prices. I look at what other countries around the world are paying for gas and we are still pretty low.

Maybe if our gas prices get high enough, we'll finally get some decent public transportation and people that are willing to use it.

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