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Choose 2012 Prius Five or 2012 Elantra Limited?

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by WE0H, Jun 20, 2011.

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  1. WE0H

    WE0H ^^My garage queen^^

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    I need some advice. I have driven rental Prii for over 10k miles the past 3 years. I like them but the cheep interior in the rental Prius II is all that I have experienced. Same with the low end audio systems. Is the Five that much better that it will be a no brainer decision to own one come June 2012, when I get to pick out what new car my wife is buying for me? I am retired so she is bringin home the bacon now :)

    I sat in a 2011 Elantra Limited the other day. The 2012 will be the same with very little changes. Awesome leather seats, quality feel to everything but the visors, which seemed like cheep plastic. Awesome audio system. Stellar looks just like a Prius Five has :p The people on the Elantra forums tell me that I will easily get 47 mpg on the highway with it. I am renting two 2011 Elantra GLS's in a few weeks to get some time to see what I can do for fuel economy or not. Also those test drives should tell me if I like the car's handling and ergonomics. Those two will get driven at least 3k miles cross country Interstate and city driving. I know what I can do in a Prius. 43 mpg worst case hauling butt down the Interstate or 50+ mpg running the speed limit driving normal. In town the Prius gets Wahoo mileage with careful driving, but we all know that here ;)

    Prius Five has no sunroof option. The wife says the sunroof is mandatory even though it is not her car to drive. She is paying for it. We do not drive each others cars, no exceptions. I would not buy anything but a Five in a Prius, no exceptions. Elantra Limited has the sunroof. Both cars have real close cargo capacity & passenger room. Both cars have nice 17" alloy wheels. Elantra has heated front & rear seats. Elantra has mirror turn signals:eek: The Elantra supposedly can get 29 mpg city. My driving is summer only and 7k miles max with country road driving as I live in the boonies. A good example of my driving is my current summer car is a 2006 with 10,500 miles on it. That's a bit over 2k miles per summer.

    I am thinking of the total cost of ownership. The Elantra Limited is about $8,800 less than a Prius Five with options (no advanced tech) to make it about $32k. Elantra Limited options out at about $24k. That's with a 7" Nav display & rear camera. Bluetooth and aux audio/USB port is standard on Elantra.

    So, see my dilemma? $24k loaded Elantra Limited or $32k Prius Five with no advanced tech option. I have no interest in lane keep assist or radar cruise or parking assist. I would never park my summer car in a parking lot or parallel park it. My summer car is my car for driving for pleasure (hence the real low mileage on my current summer car), not a grocery getter or shopping car. I have my SUV for any trips to town for shopping or other places where some idiot may bump it.

    I want some good advice. I will be buying one or the other, new. I do not buy used cars. The car will get financed. There will be at least $10k in trade in credit to lower the out the door cost. I hope I listed enough info to help others help me out of this dilemma :confused:

    One final note, both cars come in Pearl White :rockon:

    Thanks much,
    Mike


    The verdict is in :)

    These are MY observations, yours may be different. Your mileage will vary as to how heavy your right foot is :car: My ears may be shot and yours are perfect. This is just my opinion and take it with a very tiny grain of salt :p This is comparing a 2010 Prius II to a 2011 Elantra GLS. If you don't like my findings, go rent both cars and do it yourself :twitch:

    Elantra gets 32-33 mpg in town, 43-48 mph highway, all with the A/C on and driving at or slightly above speed limits, includes some right foot to the floor passing :) This is loaded with 3 people, luggage for two weeks, and some other stuff in the car. The Prius loaded similar and driven by me, will get 43-50 mpg. No special skills needed, just driving normal across the country.

    Elantra can carry just as much cargo as a Prius but it has a much softer suspension and suffers on bumps with a rear steer effect. The Prius does the same but not so much so. Might be the Mr Donut tires. I have not driven a Five or a Limited which have much better tires. Tires are inflated to 45 psi on all 4 corners.

    Elantra has a very high quality interior. Absolutely zero squeaks or rattles, even on gravel roads :) Plastic doesn't show scuffs or rub marks. Prius has a lower quality interior. HVAC display lens is super soft and will scratch. Other plastic shows rub marks easily. Some squeak & rattle, some don't. Elantra seats have nice side support and strong looking fabric. Prius seats have a flatter softer feel and fabric quality seems high. Both cars give a very comfortable ride with zero back problems. Elantra has a single glove box, Prius has a awesome duel glove box. Elantra has 4 cup holders up front, Prius has 4 cup holders up front. Both cars have tons of pockets and other areas to store gadgets :)

    Elantra has a killer base audio system that sounds incredible. It will rattle the mirrors :) Audio is not muddy at all, crisp highs, wicked clear midrange, strong base. Prius has a decent base audio system but it just is nowhere as good as the Elantra. I can't say anything about the JBL system as I have not seen one yet. The Elantra Nav audio system is stellar :)

    Both cars handle as they should for the class of car they are; transportation and looking cool going down the road. Looks are up to personal tastes. I like both of them. Both cars come in Pearl White :thumb:

    Elantra interior lighting at night is super cool blue. Everything is backlit. No overhead LED. Prius night lighting is cool with that overhead LED. Elantra dimmer goes from super bright to dim. Prius dimmer goes from super bright to off :eek: Prius headlamps are projector and super bright. Elantra headlamps are old school regular bulbs. They have good reflectors but not as bright or focused as the Prius. I have not seen the Five or Limited headlamps in action yet.

    Both cars have killer strong brakes. Prius regen's and Elantra wears brake pads.

    Elantra runs a bit quicker down the quarter mile than the Prius. Both cars have ample passing power. Elantra 6 speed tranny functions flawless. Prius is always in the powerband when using the ICE (gas engine). Both cars are glass smooth to drive in town or highway.

    Elantra Limited is about $24k with Nav. Prius Five is about $32k with Nav. Note the options, no radar cruise or AT package available in the Elantra Limited. Both cars would have Navigation & rear camera optioned as listed.

    Elantra GLS with auto tranny MY12 is $18,205 and a Prius Two MY11 is $24,280. These are base models as a rental company would offer to rent.

    My personal ownership of a summer car is about 5-6 years. I buy something else after that time as I tend to like newer technology cars. The Prius or the Elantra would be my summer only car. I drive a Saturn Vue AWD in the winter, and for Costco trips :p

    I think that is about it. Which one would I like to own? Honestly, I really like both cars. I have a bit over 10k miles in the Gen III Prius and 2400 miles in the Elantra GLS. Both cars were rentals and driven around the Great Lakes States. It all comes down to how much a person wants to spend, and how many miles per year a person drives. Think total cost of ownership over the period you would own a vehicle of this class.

    I hope others will come up with comparison's of other cars. I have no interest in other vehicles at this time, so I only compared these two vehicles. Read further to see the comments from others and my day by day observations.

    I hope you enjoyed this thread as much as I enjoyed traveling and taking notes to post here. Thank you Prius Chat for allowing me to post this on your forum :tea:

    Mike :)
  2. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I'd imagine you'd be happier witht the Elantra, rental experience pending. If you're driving for pleasure and it's mostly country roads, etc, you should do pretty well with MPG on either vehicle. Considering the low mileage, it's going to take a lot to recoup that initial cost difference down through the TCO. I enjoy my Prius and the quietness of the car, etc. However, if I drove mostly open roads and/or highway, I probably would have gone with something different. I drive mostly around "town" and nothing came close to what the Prius offered 2 years ago when I got it.
  3. Thai

    Thai Prius Neophyte

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    I think that the quote answers it all! :p I am seriously liking the Elantra!! Tough call...but i would get the Elantra Ltd...a great buy!
  4. Thai

    Thai Prius Neophyte

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    Now, i know that you are eyeing these two cars only...but have you considered Acura TSX SportWagon?? From reading the forum, you can get 32-34 mpg on the highway. The difference is that you get a lot more luxury and features in the Acura for about the same price of a Prius V...such as top-of-the-line amazing ELS audio system, top notch HID headlights, NAVI with internal music storage, memory seat, quiet ride, high quality interior (for the price), longer warranty, and (shockingly!) low service cost. My wife's TSX oil changes are about $35. And with the SportWagon, you get practicality too! :rockon:

    Sorry, i am just trying to live vicariously thru you! :D

    Oh yeah, since the TSX SW weighs more, you get additional safety benefits!

    Here is a random pic of a pearly white TSX SW:
    [​IMG]
  5. WE0H

    WE0H ^^My garage queen^^

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    I really appreciate advice & comments good or bad :) I don't like the looks of Acura or Honda products though. No wagon's either :eek: yuk :p

    Mike ;)
  6. WE0H

    WE0H ^^My garage queen^^

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    More info:
    Both cars have the proximity FOB & the button on the door handle to get it or lock. I absolutely love how the Prius shuts off when it comes to a stop. Elantra keeps running :( Hyundai is implementing the shut off at stops on all their vehicles in 2015, I believe. Don't know what they are gonna do for starter systems to keep them from wearing out. Hyundai bumper to bumper warranty is longer than Toyota 3/36k.

    The rental driving will tell me a lot. Wish the days would hurry up :confused: June 26th is when I pick up the first Elantra to drive for a week. The next one is going on a two week trip.

    Mike
  7. Gurple42

    Gurple42 New Member

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    From an economic point of view it is a no brainer, get the Hyundai, you don't really drive enough to take advantage of the benefits a hybrid offers.:)
  8. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    You won't go wrong with either car, get the one that floats your boat the best.

    Congratulations of having the good sense to rent both and live with them for awhile.:cool:

    The 47 mpg on the highway claim for the Elantra does sound a bit optimistic unless you really drive for economy.
  9. Thai

    Thai Prius Neophyte

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    If it is just you and your wife and you don't drive much, then why not get something sportier?
  10. WE0H

    WE0H ^^My garage queen^^

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    Her summer car is a Sky Redline. Mine currently is a Ion Redline Competition. Both eat 92 octane like there is no tomorrow :( They are fun to drive, no doubt, but I am now thinking sensible, and good MPG is smart, with high gas prices. The wife doesn't care, so she is on her own what she drives. I just change the oil and keep my mouth shut :p My SUV only goes to Costco and for hauling the family to the relatives on those occasions. Otherwise I am sitting at home or occasionally heading out in my summer car for a little fun driving time ;) I have had my fare share of cool sports cars. Now I am interesting in high tech and something that looks nice. Both the Prius & Elantra are that. If money were not an objective, I'd have both sitting in my garage looking pretty :)

    Mike
  11. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Five or six years ago, I might have steered you away from the "Rhymes with Sunday" company...however (comma!) with the info you've provided.......the Elantra is the clear winner....hands down. Provided of course that you have enough stick time in that car to be assured that you're satisfied with how it drives, handles, etc.
    The Prius would probably hold a higher percentage of its street value, since Toyota has (for now) a higher perception of build quality, but you'll have to fork out an extra 9K to get into this car, and you're at the top of the market for G3s. Limited availability. MSRP ++. Hyundai dealers might be more willing to....deal.
    Good Luck!
    They're both pretty good cars...and AFAIK both will run just fine on Regular Unleaded! :D
  12. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    At those miles per year ... I'd just get the Sonata and be far more comfortable and have a far better ride. Not a lot of difference in mpg, and probably right between the two you're considering in price for a mega-loaded Sonata.

    Otherwise ... I'd get the Elantra BY FAR. The only reason to own and drive a Prius is MPG as far as I'm concerned. I drive 20-25K per year and love the Prius, but if I drove 2K per year, I sure wouldn't own one. I love the Prius for what it is, but I'm in no way a no-conditions fan-boi like a few here are.

    As I've said many times .... the Prius falls far short of any kind of luxury ... no matter what you spend on it. Although the Hyundais aren't luxury cars either, at least the entire interior is cohesive in terms of plushness and luxury 'feel'. The Prius interior is still made of melted milk cartoons and 64 ounce soda bottles, with some soft stuff thrown in here and there at the high levels .... and it shows it. I still don't get why Toyota had to go so stupid in their interior materials just to give the illusion of being green.

    REV
  13. DaYooper

    DaYooper New Member

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    For as few miles you plan to drive I would get a convertible if your primary goal is summer cruising. Not sure why you would be looking economical when you are driving so few miles. What about a Miata or Mustang?
  14. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Okay, I think you're wise to rent...to get a longer term "feel" for which vehicle you like better...renting both..should leave you knowing which you like better..and that will be up to you.

    But, I don't understand. Your title says, Prius 5 or Elantra Limited...and then you go on to say the wife is paying...but a sunroof is MANDATORY...and you realize a Prius 5 has no sunroof...

    Doesn't that kind of make the decision for you? If those are your two choices? To get a factory sunroof, you'd have to choose the Prius IV or III...and then you'd have to juggle what you could upgrade aftermarket...

    Anyway, rent...and make the choice. My general feeling is if the benefits of owning a hybrid AREN'T a slam dunk reason to you for owning a hybrid? Then go with the better appointed ICE vehicle...most Prius owners, I think own Prius for diverse reasons, but ultimately it's because they want a Hybrid....not because they want sunroofs, leather interior or better "feel"...even though those are things they may or may not want as well...

    Good Luck...
  15. jevvim

    jevvim Junior Hokie

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    If you want a Prius Five with a sunroof, have you looked at the Lexus CT200h? The Premium line models include a sunroof and start at $30,900 in "Starfire Pearl" white.
  16. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    With so little miles being driven the MPG factor just isn't a factor. :)

    The Prius w/advanced technology package is a great option but if budget is a concern then the Elantra or Sonata are a better buy unless you need cargo room. :)
  17. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    FWIW, Best & worst cars review, fuel-efficient vehicles shows what the Elantra and Prius got in their mileage testing. The Prius numbers are from a 3rd gen and I've confirmed the Elantra numbers are from a 2011 Elantra. The Elantra didn't even make it in Most fuel-efficient cars because of it's 29 mpg (Consumer Reports) overall mileage.

    29 mpg city for the Elantra is just an EPA estimate.

    Since you mention an EPA number and likely have some expectation based on it, please read http://priuschat.com/forums/other-c...uth-about-epa-city-highway-mpg-estimates.html.


    Regarding cost of ownership, there's more than than just the upfront costs. Usually TCO studies include cost of financing and resale value. You could check New Car Prices, Used Cars for Sale, Car Reviews, and Quotes at IntelliChoice.com.

    Besides perception, part of what influences resale value is how large the incentives are the automaker puts on their car. Resale values are usually compared to MSRP when new, but if a car always sold way below MSRP or below invoice, that's going to hurt resale value. The lack of incentives (or large ones) on many German cars and lack of holdback (Dealer Holdback - Edmunds.com) on some German brands is what helps keep their resale values seemingly high.
  18. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I'm confused too. I can't figure why the wife is saying a sunroof is MANDATORY even though she's not driving it AND correct, sunroof's not an option on the Five. To get a factory sunroof, one needs to get a Three or Four.

    I can't figure out why the Five is so appealing to the OP, but then again, we all have different priorities. If I were in the market, I'd probably buy a Two or Three. If the OP wants factory leather, then he needs to go Four or Five.
  19. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Maybe for the 17" wheels and the look they provide? The Elantra Limited has 17" wheels standard.

    [​IMG]
  20. SlowTurd

    SlowTurd I LIKE PRIUS'S

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