2013 Prius limited test drive - Insight G1 comparison
Last weekend the local Toyota dealer loaned us (volunteer fire department) a pair of 2013 Prius sedans for training purposes.
Some of our goals with vehicle extrication training this year were familiarization with hybrid vehicles/technologies, improved
occupant safety systems and alternate 12V battery locations. I drove one of the loaner cars about 50 miles roundtrip and
owning a 2006 MT Insight, it was interesting to see how a new car compares. I have never owned a new car.
The Prius is and feels, drives and handles like a bigger and heavier can than the Insight. It is so quiet it is almost spooky.
The transition from EV to IC propulsion around 30 mph is seamless, as is the initiation and cessation of assist and regen.
I did not have the time/road/traffic conditions to try EV mode cruising.
The "offset" location of the Prius digital dash was awkward, but I can see how one could get used to it.
There is a bit of a learning curve in "starting" a Prius and then getting it to move. Once you figure it out, it works well. There
were not any hills steep enough to warrant trying the B (engine braking) mode.
I feel the Insight dash displays for Assist, Regen and FCD are more intuitive, but that could be because I am more used to
them and my OBDIIC&C gauge in knowing what my IMA system is doing at any given time.
I tried both Eco and EV modes, but with local hills the car would not maintain EV mode for very long, so most of the two trips
were with Eco mode engaged and trying to drive the Prius in a similar style as the Insight. Roundtrip fuel economy was 52 mpg
and taking a look on Fuelly, I see that is in the upper 25% or so of those reporting with a 2013 Prius. More experience with the
car likely would yield better numbers. For comparison, on similar trips with my Insight I routinely get about 65-67 mpg (and over
72 mpg in warmer weather).
At $33K, it is a very nice car with decent fuel economy, but at about 3x less $$, I think my Insight was a much better bargain.
Silver 2006 MT #531, 202K miles : Genesis One GCO1 Charger, OBDIIC&C, MIMA 070 PnP, GAZ rear shocks, KLR3CYL rear springs and belly pan
Silver 2005 MT #107, 187K miles : OBDIIC&C, KLR3CYL belly pan. Still fixing small things.
Silver 2001 MT #683, 256K miles : Beater/test bed. Might sell it later.