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  1. #1

    Prius good for family?

    I am currently trying to decide between the Prius or the HCH when I get back from Iraq. I will be doing the majority of the driving in the household as I will be finishing up college, running errands, etc. My wife will just be commuting from home to work for the most part. Since I am doing the most commuting and my schedule is the most flexible I will be picking the kids up from school. We have 3: 8yr old, 5 yr old and a 3mo old.

    Do Prius owners who have families find it a good car for strollers, car seats, etc.? How about room for everyone in the back? What about extended trips (say around 8 hours)?

    Any help is appreciated in advance.

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  3. #2

    Prius good for family?

    I have an '05 HCH, and my family (wife, 9 year old daughter and 6 year old son) have made several trips between Orange County, CA and Tucson, AZ (about 6-7 hours drive time). We had enough room for us and the crud we packed along.

    Not sure eaxctly how the new '06 HCH compares in terms of trunk space etc.

    Also not sure how the Prius compares, but I'm guessing it's similar. Although I think the Prius is ugly (just my personal opinion), you can fold down the rear seats which my neighbor finds useful for hauling around misc. items when he's not with his family. I don't have this option in my HCH, and I'm not sure you can fold down the rear seats in the '06 HCH either.

  4. #3

    Prius good for family?

    At least on paper, the Prius is better for a family vehicle.

    Space - The car itself is roomier, and you can fold down the backseats to haul large items. The HCH cannot do this. The HCH has more backseat head room, but if there are kids in the backseat then it doesn't really affect them. The backseat of the Prius also has a fold-down armrest, if the kids should be separated, which is unavailable in the HCH.

    Safety - The HCH has side and curtain airbags standard, and the Prius has these as an option. The Prius also has traction and stability control, not available on the HCH. Both also come standard now with pretensioners for the seat belts and dual stage airbags.

    Engine - From what I've read, the power on the Prius seems greater than the HCH, but not that either of these are power cars.

    Design - well, that's a coin flip. i'm not a huge fan of the prius' design (i like it's uniqueness - i'm also a fan of the beetle), but the civic didn't wow me like i had hoped. my initial reaction was that it looked too similar to a saturn, though after seeing it in person the differences are there.

  5. #4

    Prius good for family?

    Ray, sounds like you need to bite the bullet and get the Ford Escape Hybrid. Those kids are not getting any smaller. Putting a kid in the back seat is very hard on your back, my wife is still paying for that. You can fit 5 people and a lot of gear in and on top of the FEH. The seats also fold down separatly.

    Ford is giving discounts on it and it will be a little easier to get than the Prius. Mileage is better than you think.


  6. #5

    Prius good for family?

    an SUV is not a safe vehicle. it is also more expensive than the Prius. if you're looking for a family vehicle, a hybrid may not be the way to go. the options are limited to a compact sedan, a midsize sedan, some SUVs and a coupe. though SUVs are larger vehicles capable of holding many things and people, their illusion of safety is completely false.

    however, if you want a compromise between a hybrid and a family vehicle, I think prius is your best bet. it can hold the most of any of the cars and gets mileage in the 40s and upward (equivalent to an 06 HCH).

  7. #6

    Prius good for family?

    I've been driving and '05 Prius since January 30, 05 with a 6 and 8 year old. Since my wife and I are the ones who live far away from the rest of the family, we are the ones who travel the most--3 hour drive each way, usually stay over the weekend. We've been taking the Prius all the time and don't have any problems. The hatch back feature gives you more room than a "conventional" car, so you can stack things higher than you would be able to in a trunk.

    I have been doing informal surveys of rear seat leg room around the parking lots where I work and I have noticed that most cars have plenty of front passenger leg room, but it is the rear leg room that separates the family-size vehicles from the economy ones.

    I would be willing to bet that the Prius has more rear seat leg room than the Honda Accord, HCH, BMW 3 series and possibly 5 Series, several Volvo models, Ford Escort and many similar-sized cars.

    I would recommend getting the Prius now to save as much as possible on gas, and by the time your kids are bigger, and IF you need more room, there will probably be a mini-van available with great gas mileage.

    Remember: it is cheaper to buy efficiency now, than it will be to buy the gasoline later.

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