Driving a Prius is weird.

My mom bought a new Prius this summer in New Hampshire, where she has a summer home and lives for about a third of the year. She bought the car there because there is no sales tax. I’ll be driving it to her primary residence in Arizona in October. In preparation for that drive, I’ve driven it some here… and I have to say, it’s the weirdest car I’ve ever driven for a lot of reasons, most of which would be hard to describe.

It’s really quiet in a spooky way, too. Also, who decided that forward should be reverse and backward should be drive on the shifter knob thingie?

Today I went to back it out of a parking space and it wouldn’t go… it just sort of rolled slowly backward. I couldn’t make it do anything under power even though all the dash lights were on and so on. I finally had to hit the power button and basically reboot the car before it would let me drive it.

So have you driven a Prius and do you think they’re weird?

I own one now, but I got one as a rental before I bought it. I bet you didn’t have your foot on the brake pedal when you started it that time. When I rented it, I had trouble getting it going, but then didn’t think much about it - it was dark. Then I took my father and stepmother to lunch, and when I tried to start it on the way home failed. I finally read the directions. When I returned it, the lady who checked me in said everyone had problems.

I’m used to it now. It is odd when the engine turns off when waiting for a stoplight, and when you beep in reverse. And I think all Prius drivers play maximize your mileage, which probably makes us obnoxious gliding up to red lights.

But it is a great car to drive on a long trip.We made it from LA to the Bay Area on basically one tank of gas.

I had one as a rental a couple years ago. It did take some getting used to.

Nice work if you can get it.

Yeah tell me about it. I was going to Arizona anyway (20th HS reunion) and she needed the car shipped. She is paying me what it would have cost to have it shipped, and flying me home (frequent flyer miles ticket).

We have one in the vehicle fleet where I work. Can’t stand it. The “disconnect” between engine RPM and wheel speed leaves me with a “something’s broken” feeling, like a clutch is slipping or something.

Apart from the weird driveline, the car has AWFUL visibility to the rear. The rearview camera for backing up is dumb: I need to see what’s coming from either side when I back out of a parking spot, and the camera doesn’t show that, which means I have to actually turn around and look behind me, not at the stupid camera display in the dashboard.

My customers here at my carwash regularly seem to have difficulty putting the car into neutral. They keep flipping the transmission knob back and forth for several seconds until they get it right.

I rented one last year and drove it for a week. I did not like it at all. Start with the driving position. I know it’s getting popular for people to sit higher (from the SUV market, I guess), but I felt like I was driving a high chair. I love Toyotas, and have owned several over the last 25 years. My current car is a 2001 Camry with nearly 200,000 miles (bought brand new), and I have the seat adjusted as low as it will go because I’m more comfortable that way. I’ll most likely continue to buy Toyotas for the foreseeable future. However…

I could get used to the quiet part, so that wasn’t so bad. Also the shift…that takes getting used to, but wasn’t the worst, although there was no single “worst” part…but several things I didn’t like at all.

For instance, I hated the split rear windshield. I found the bar (spoiler? wing?) distracting. I despise digital dashboards. Whenever the numbers changed, my eyes kept focusing on that rather than the road, which IMO, can be dangerous. Or that can just be me. The iPad-style screen in the middle was confusing. It’s mildly interesting to know when you’re drawing power from the battery and when you’re not, but again IMO, it’s not necessary.

I also despise remote key entry (again, I accept I may be the only one on the planet with that mindset, but there you go), and IIRC, there was only one door lock (or maybe not, I don’t really remember). But the fob was huge, and I didn’t like that (was that just because it was a rental, like hotel keys – when they had keys and not cards – had anchors attached so you wouldn’t steal them?).

I love the idea of having cars for sale that get higher mileage than say an F-350 or Ramcharger, but I can’t see myself ever voluntarily buying a Prius.

I have one. It was strange at first.

Driving a Prius is a “zen driving” - you get into a zone where gas mileage is more important than acceleration (the can can accelerate as well as any little crappy car, but doing so gives it the gas mileage of a midsize car - which is what it is). You have to not be in a hurry, and yet you need to be aware of who is around you so you don’t piss them off with your “green driving.”

The “everything is silent at a stop sign” feature frightens people. “Did your car just die?”

And I agree that the rear viability is horrid.

But I do like it alot. Its roomy on the inside. I get good mileage in it (which is what I bought it for. I like having the hatch (my previous car was a Jetta). I like how quiet it is. Love the proximity key. And there is a spot for my purse that isn’t the passenger seat!

I’ve driven one as a loaner and didn’t like it at all. The narrow slot as a rear window was horrible, the turning radius sucked, and the response of everything was crappy-- like automatic transmission lag X4. I found it to be clunky and ugly. I was very glad to get back in my gas-guzzling Crown Vic.

Rented one and I did not like the rear view at all. A friend was looking at one and she disliked the rear view so much she did not even take a test drive.

Rented one for a week. A little weird, but I got used to the oddities pretty quick. It was much roomier inside than you’d expect from the outside. And as everybody has said, visibility to the rear is poor.

I don’t have any interest in owning either a Toyota product or a hybrid, so I’m not likely to buy one.

I have one and I don’t think it’s “weird,” just a little different. Actually, I was surprised how not different it was. There are sacrifices to be make for higher gas mileage, and I think the design dictates everything. So you get a little inconvenience. This to me is a small sacrifice worth making; I hate the American culture that we have to have ultra-luxury everything at all times because *we’re *worth it. To me, it’s more important to be responsible with use of resources.

I guess I’m the odd man out as I’m now driving my second Prius. I don’t find it weird at all. Put 190K on the first one and have 36K on this one.

I find the turning circle to be rather good at 34 feet. About the same as our Subaru Forester.

Maybe I’m just adaptable?

I once drove from Palo Alto to Long Beach on a tank and a half in my Tercel. Shot straight down the 5 starting with 3/4 tank, filled up once along the way, and made it to LB with gas left.

Juh? People get pissed at your “green driving”? How do you know when they’re pissed? Do they throw things at you, or stare angrily into your window at red lights?

I test drove one a few times before buying a car last year. I really wanted to like it, but in the end, I ended up feeling completely disconnected from the driving experience.

I don’t mind “driving green,” if that’s what it must be called, but I happen to enjoy driving, and there is a sense of being connected to the car and the road which the Prius totally destroys. It is like driving an Xbox 360.

And most of all: the steering wheel is TINY. I HATED that.

Maybe they’re just donating their recyclables.

Our neighbor next door has one and it is incredibly quiet. I guess they’ve replaced children as something that should be seen and not heard. Definately piqued my interest though as I’d love to have something green for short trips around town to the grocery, shopping, etc.

My sister has an '05 model. I haven’t driven it, but it’s an odd car. The biggest thing that seems off/dangerous to me is that to change anything (radio, AC, futz with the mileage thingie) you have to go to the central dash computer and push a bunch of buttons. So, say you’ve got the mileage screen up and you want to turn the air down. You have to go to the climate control screen, then adjust the AC via buttons. Is this also true in newer models? IMHO, it’s safer and more efficient to just turn a knob, which you can find without even taking your eyes off the road.

Oh, and yesterday she left the dome light on and killed the battery. The car was locked. The battery to jump the car is in the trunk. She couldn’t get into the trunk, because the car was locked. I’m not sure how she eventually solved that dilemma, I’ll have to ask her.

In the 2010 model, I can change the temp, and related features, with buttons and knobs. Some of the audio features require use of the touch screen.

I love the new Prius, and may buy a second one.

I did the same thing to my wife’s 05 Prius. Although the battery is in the trunk, there is a terminal to jump in the fuse box under the hood, which we had to use a few times since the battery was never the same after it discharged that one time.

I test-drove one over the weekend. It was interesting. The whine from the regenerative brakes was a little weird as was the fact that the dashboard isn’t behind the steering wheel. But the decision was between the Prius (50MPG) and the Honda Fit (30MPG) and in the end, the additional cost wasn’t worth the 20MPG gain. So I’ve now got a brand-new Fit.