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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Please help! Camry vs. Prius

    Hello all;

    I am a mother of two (five and two years old). I have been driving an Odyssey for years now and am ready to go green. I have narrowed my options to the Camry vs. Prius. I LOVE the look and drive of the prius but don't love the safety ratings (four stars). The Camry is a second choice, the only thing I like better about the car is the safety rating (five stars).

    Is there anyone out there with little kids and can write about their decision to buy Prius.

    My heart wants a Prius, but my head says to go with the safer Camry...

    Thank you,
    Tracy

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2006
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    Tracy, you'll be well served wether you choose the Prius or the Camry. They're excellent vehicles.

    Here's my feedback concerning my experiences:
    I have a 2006 Civic Hybrid (bought in may 2006) and a 2007 Prius (bought last November). When I was looking for a second hybrid vehicle two cars were on my list, the Prius and the Camry. When I looked at the Camry, it excelled in interior space but it was no better than my 2006 Civic Hybrid for trunk space. It was a very finely assembled vehicle but it did not improve on the cargo carrying attributes of my HCH.
    The Prius on the other hand was the ultimate choice because it is as cleaner (if not marginally more so) than the Civic and it offered the hatchback versatility I was looking for (you know, those runs to Home depot). By going with the Prius I did not lose on mileage and it was a little cheaper the Camry anyway.

    In terms of safety, the four star safety rating you mentioned applies to the lower models that do not offer side curtain airbags like the Civic Hybrid and the Camry do which may offer negligible benefits for small kids traveling in the rear seats. (please anyone, correct me if I am wrong).
    My opinion is that the Prius is still a very safe automobile (safer than average) with a good statistical safety record, and you would not make a bad choice if you were to buy it.

    Cheers;

    MSantos

  4. #3
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Tracy,
    As the husband who drives a Prius, just traded in my Maxima(similar interior size to a camry) and has a wife that drives an Odyssey I was surprised to find out the safety rating in the Prius is a 4. My wife was very relieved that the 2007 Prius has standard side air bags just like her Odyssey. I can't sell you on the safety concern, that's a personal decision. My wife loves, absolutely loves the space in her odyssey. The interior space in my Prius is just the same as my Maxima and better for me personally because I can put my small collection of tools/umbrella in the hideaway under the rear storage area leaving the back space completely open for cargo. The Prius gets better gas mileage so if you are looking for 10 mpg more then the Prius is the car for you. If not, the camryh is a great car too but ultimately it boils down to your happiness with safety concerns. I think Toyota is going to release a Sienna hybrid sometime soon if you want to wait it out. That's my wife's next vehicle.

  5. #4
    Guest

    Prius with Airbags Gets Top Insurance Rating

    Tracy,
    As MSantos pointed out above, the Prius's lower safety rating is because side curtain airbags aren't standard, and the NHTSA only tested the vehicle without them. But if you select a package that includes them (and also be sure to get vehicle stability control), you will be getting a car with the best safety rating available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

    So you can still feel good about your kids' safety and get the Prius you want. I did, and my 16-year-old is driving it now. No mishaps yet (knock on wood).

  6. #5
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Maria,
    The side air bags are standard for the Prius in the 2007 models.

  7. #6
    Guest

    ooooops!

    My bad, TXatheist—I haven't looked at new cars in a couple years. But I do stick by the fact that the 4-star tests were done on earlier Prius models without side airbags. I haven't found a test done on 2007 models, have you?

    You're probably right to assume Tracy's looking into a brand-new car because she is also considering a hybrid Camry, but there are plenty of used Priuses (Prii?) for sale, and it can't hurt to be aware that the NHTSA tests refer to the 2006 base model.

    So you can feel good about the theoretical safety of your 2007 Prius, too.

  8. #7
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Thank you!

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts...I guess I am feeling pressured due to the cut - off for the tax incentives.

    Toyota is offering 0% financing for 24 months on the Prius right now, so that may sway me in that direction.

    I did drive the camry and it was a pretty nice ride, felt luxurious. I don't know that I need that....

    Feel free to keep posting messages... I still haven't decided!

    Thank you,
    Tracy

  9. #8
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Btw...

    The car that was tested in the safety ratings included:

    Tested vehicle specifications:
    2006 Toyota Prius 4-door
    Class: Small car
    Weight: 2,972 lbs.
    Side airbags: front and rear head curtain airbags and front seat-mounted torso airbags
    Wheelbase: 106 in.
    Length: 175 in.
    Width: 68 in.
    Engine: 1.5 L 4-cylinder (gasoline) and electric motor
    EPA ratings: 60 mpg city | 51 mpg highway

  10. #9
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2007
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    It's kind of funny. My wife worries about that crash test stuff and the number of accidents I've been in with 23 years of driving? Zero. A few dings but no accident anything other than a scratch or small dent. I guess better safe than sorry but my concern isn't an accident but a outright disaster like a semi crashing into me. All the side air bags in the world in a car versus 20 tons of vehicle doesn't really help much.

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    0

    Bought a Prius

    Hello all;

    Thanks for all of your comments. We ended up buying a Prius. The style of the prius and the 2.9% financing sold us.

    Those who are wondering, I don't look back on my minivan. The Odyssey was a great minivan, but it was big and even with two kids I rarely used the all of the space. I know that the Prius is going to serve all of our needs and get great gas mileage! (So far I am averaging 43.8mpg)

    Thanks again,
    Tracy

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