Posted on February 10th, 2012 No comments
Posted on May 23rd, 2011 No comments
From my friend and What Drives Us co-host, Danny Cooper. It’s a great review and interesting since we basically spent the entire together examining and driving various V models.
Posted on February 8th, 2010 No comments
In this thread.
From a WaPo story on Toyota. It goes over how at least one insurance may have warned NHTSA about accelerator problems as early as 2007 but read on braver visitor, the punchline awaits…
“When we see something that might be helpful, we pass it along,” said Dick Luedke, a State Farm spokesman.
Luedke declined to go into detail about the alerts, except to characterize them as “numerous” and not “everyday” occurrences. He directed further questions to NHTSA.
NHTSA spokeswoman Karen Aldana said the agency received a claim letter from State Farm in September 2007 regarding a Camry crash. (emp. mine)
“Our investigative staff reviewed the report and added the information to our complaint database,” she said in a statement.
Aldana offered no comment on the other alerts from State Farm on Toyotas.
Now that is some excellent reporting. Almost content free. How many people had crashes? Had bad were they? Could they could connected to a common fault? Everyone is talking in this story but as the song goes, “They ain’t sayin anything”.
This could be huge, important information that could be devastating to Toyota and their customers. It could be trivial. We don’t know. We can’t evaluate it for ourselves because the critical details aren’t there.
Oh, and yes, NHTSA is a big issue here and one reason why, I would opine, that Toyota isn’t saying a lot.
Posted on January 12th, 2010 No comments
Normally, I’m the guy whose words tend towards the, shall we say, harsher end. So it’s especially nice to see someone else critical of something. Danny Cooper’s take on the new Honda 2011 CR-Z hybrid is refreshingly subtitled “-Another Honda Fail?” Go read his first glimpse review of the CR-Z.
After reading through the Priuschat news post on the new Honda I have to agree with what he wrote. If those are indeed the performance specs of the car this is another potentially huge fail for Honda. And I have to add here, I don’t get it. Honda is a great company and they make excellent products. They were first to market with a ground breaking hybrid but apparently they’re stuck with IMA and can’t seem to get better performance from it outside of the original Insight (which was a great hybrid).
I don’t know. The CR-Z certainly has the buzz. The legendary CR-X descendent has been eagerly anticipated by a lot of people but it appears that their waiting may have been in vain. That’s a shame.
Posted on January 10th, 2010 No comments
One way to find out what will not be happening in the consumer trends for just about anything is to listen or read “industry analysts”. I tend read a lot of this stuff and I’m astonished at how often these people can be staggeringly wrong and go on to make fourteen new predictions the next week as though they’ve never stumbled.
Here’s a piece from the Detroit Free Press on why EV’s will continue to be a very small niche product until at least 2020 according to the Boston Consulting Group. BCG is a gun for hire, management consulting company. The obvious question here is, who’s paying for this study?
Curiously enough, there was an interesting link in the Free Press story by Justin Hyde, this blog post from, of all places, gm-volt.com, says that the Mini-E chokes in the cold, badly. I’m somewhat surprised to hear this but this is exactly companies test prototypes before going to production.
According to the writer of the gm-volt.com blog post, who is testing of the Mini-E’s, not only are the batteries battered by the cold but the driving performance in snow and ice renders the car almost unusable. The writer admits he hasn’t followed BMW’s recommendation to change the all-season tires to snow tires however.
Posted on July 12th, 2009 No comments
Here’s the gear that makes Prius Drive Thru Possible. Click on the links to read the reviews.
Heil Sound microphones
HDR Soft Photomatix Pro software
Keen HybridLife footware
VholdR ContourHD video camera
Johnson Window Film
Third Generation 2010 Toyota Prius
Apple MacBook Pro
Canon HFS100 camcorder
Nikon D700 digital SLR and Nikkor Lenses
G-Tech G-Safe 1TB Mini Raid
Apple iPod with video 5th Generation, 80 gig
Posted on July 12th, 2009 No comments
Welcome to the main page for Prius Drive Thru.
At the top of this page will be a series of links that connect to various details of the trip, the gear we’re using, reviews and more. Beneath that you’ll see a brief summary of the each day on the road.
The journey begins July 14th. Check back then.
You can also updates as they happen throughout the day on Facebook:
And from our Twitter feed:
Priuschat.com has discussion threads about Prius Drive Thru, check them out here.
Posted on July 10th, 2009 1 comment
Prius Drive Thru
Sponsored by Toyota
A priusownersgroup.com Road Trip (Hey! That’s us here!)
With the vital support of the following technology providers;
Prius Drive Thru is the classic American road trip seen through the digital eyes of the 21st century. A month long, 8,000-mile journey around the United States in the new, third generation, 2010 Prius. Stopping in twenty-two cities and passing through twenty-one states Prius Drive Thru will visit or pass through more than dozen National Parks, Monuments and Forests taking in some of the most dramatic scenery American has to offer.
Thirty days on the road is a long time and to keep the Prius Drive Thru team company during the drive will be hundreds of thousands of viewers (maybe millions?) on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp. iTunes and the most popular Prius fan sites on the planet. Viewers will get live updates throughout the day through a number of social media channels as well as HD video and high-resolution still photography.
Prius Drive Thru isn’t just about the online review or the 140 characters or less pithy remark, along the way they’ll be compiling in-depth performance data on the vehicle and sharing that publicly as well as creating a database of knowledge that anyone driving to any one (or more) of these locations can use for their vacations.
The Prius Drive Thru team recently celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary by renewing their vows in front of Mayor J. Richard Gray, Mayor of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, their home. Russell Frost is a professional photographer. Kimberly Frost is a retired Federal employee. They both love car trips and have already spent thousands of miles together on the road.
It’s not a reality show, it’s real. Prius Drive Thru will provide real data on the new Toyota Prius and genuine experiences that will be valuable to anyone who wants to pack up the car and take a few days off somewhere in America. Prius Drive Thru begins July 14th in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and will conclude on August 12th when the Frost’s return home.
Official Prius Drive Thru Facebook page:
Official Prius Drive Thru Twitter feed:
You can also follow the trip at:
July 14th Toledo, Ohio
July 15th Racine, Wisconsin
July 16th, 17th, 18th Madison,Wisconsin (Green Drive Expo)
July 19th Sioux Falls, South Dakota
July 20th Rapid City South Dakota (Mount Rushmore)
July 21st, 22nd Yellowstone National Park
July 23rd Burns, Oregon
July 24th Crater Lake National Monument
July 25th Fort Bragg, California
July 26th Napa, California
July 27th, 28th San Francisco, California
July 29th Yosemite National Park
July 30th Torrance, California (Toyota US headquarters)
July 31st, August 1st Rancho Bernardo, California
August 2nd, 3rd San Diego, California
August 4th Sedona, Arizona
August 5th Santa Fe, New Mexico
August 6th White Sands National Monument
August 7th Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
August 8th Little Rock, Arkansas
August 9th Nashville, Tennessee
August 10th Asheville, North Carolina
August 11th Staunton, Virginia (Blue Ridge National Forest)
August 12th Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Posted on June 16th, 2009 No comments
Check out these choice quotes from John Helig of the Auto Page in his review of the Ford Fusion. Apparently, the coolest thing about the Fusion is, it doesn’t look like the Prius. Mission accomplished Ford!
Toyota’s Prius is, arguably, the most successful hybrid. But it, too, looks slightly strange. You know one when you see one, and the owners all have these smug looks on their faces as if to say “I’m special. Look what I’m doing for the environment.” The fact that one-passenger Priuses can go in HOV-2 lanes doesn’t hurt either.
“Arguably”? It is. There’s really no question on this. The sales figures are pretty simple here. As Jim Rome says, “scoreboard”.
And the whole, tired South Park dig, just tired.
The Prius is good for 35-40 mpg in normal driving, but the rear seat is still compact-car size, which isn’t fun for senior citizens.
One has to wonder if Helig has ever driven or been in a Prius. The Prius isn’t a “compact” car by any rational standards and the back seat certainly isn’t small for most senior citizens, at least senior citizens under seven feet tall and 600 pounds.
But there are those of us who aren’t looking for sainthood and expecting “normal car” drivers to bow down to us as we pass. While we appreciate the virtues of hybrids, we don’t necessarily like the sacrifices we’re asked to make.
Yeah, I was thinking about this yesterday as I was driving down the road, sunroof open, relaxing in my leather seats, blasting the stereo. Wow, the sacrifices I have to make just to make a cheap grab for sainthood. Well, enough of that woolgathering. Now it’s time to practice my intimidating smug face.
In the end, I think it’s funny that the first three paragraphs of a review on the Ford Fusion are a diatribe aimed at the most popular hybrid in the world and on its owners. Good luck with that appraoch Mr. Helig. I’ll GM’s PR department has a position just waiting for you with mad skillz like that.
Posted on June 14th, 2009 No comments
I am selling my Kenwood stealth subwoofer from my old Prius featuring in this installation and review feature.
I’m asking $100 plus shipping charges.
If you want to know all the specs, click this link and scroll to the bottom. This was used in my 2005 Prius since May of 2005. It is in excellent condition and should provide years more of thump from the trunk.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
Posted on June 4th, 2009 No comments
Jason Harper of Bloomberg whines through this review of the Ford Fusion, mostly because, apparently, it’s too “green” for him.
There was a time when it thought cool to light your Cuban cigar with hundred bills. That too has faded Jason.
Don’t worry, you’ll catch up.
Posted on June 3rd, 2009 No comments
So now we have a plug-in hybrid Hummer.
And honestly, was there anything we needed less?
Sure, the guy from Raser, the company that did the conversion prattles on about how tough it is to carry a sheet of plywood in a Prius (I’ve carried half sheets in mine but oh well) but honestly, who wants a hybrid Hummer? A truly efficient pickup, maybe. An overpriced, cheaply built wanna G.I.Joe car, so appropriately emblematic of California’s failed governator, not so much.
In an economy where the $2K price difference between the two MPG leaders is being touted as significant (I don’t think it is) who is that thinks a $56K plug-in Hummer is going to be a solution? And even if we acknowledge the accomplishment and call this plug-in Hummer a solution, is it a solution in search of problem?