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    WolfB New Member

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    We just bought a Prius v Level 3 for my wife. She put about 110,000 miles on a Gen II 2006 with NAV and Bluetooth etcetera (everything but leather). There's a lot she likes about the Prius v, but some things that she really dislikes relative to the Gen II.

    With updates after a cross country trip - NY Metro to San Francisco
    And more updates now that I've driven the car a few miles myself

    What she dislikes on the Prius v relative to the Gen II
    Navigation System
    * Size and location of the NAV screen is distracting - too low on the dash.
    * NAV screen produces a lot of glare. My wife's comment - I wish the screen location could be adjusted. IN MY OPINION, this is by far the biggest drawback. It makes the NAV virtually unusable during daylight.
    * The system has to sync with the satellite before one can enter a destination address (30 seconds?). This is annoying for someone used to the NAV on the Gen II where an address could be typed in much earlier (virtually no lag).
    * After completing a phone call, one has to press the APP button to get the NAV back (dramatically worse than the NAV on the 2006 where the NAV came right back. The 2006 NAV was DVD driven rather than satellite driven)
    * No route planner (route overview, reorder your route, delete single addresses)
    * Not possible to suspend guidance
    * The graphics are lousy (the $110 Garmin we bought for our 1997 Tacoma has better graphics)
    These are all features which the NAV in her 2006 had. She spoke to Toyota who said that the route planner is available on the Prius v Five. Not all prospective Prius v buyers would use the features as actively as she does, but we spent more on the Prius v than her 2006 Prius and got less!

    Other
    * Rearview mirror doesn't include the programmable garage door opener (HomeLink) that her 2006 had
    * Display is so busy its distracting. She found a flat spot on the dash and laid some CDs there to block a portion of the display to reduce the distraction.
    * CD eject button is directly next to the PARK button. As she was trying to eject a CD, traveling at highway speed, she accidentally hit the PARK button. Fortunately the safety engineering is better than the cabin layout engineering - hitting PARK while you drive sends the transmission to NEUTRAL. She couldn't reengage the transmission until she coasted to the side of the road and restarted the car. On a crowded highway this could have turned dangerous.
    * The compartment under the rear cargo area is smaller
    * Mirrors on the v are the same size as the Gen II although the vehicle is bigger.
    * Rear headrests on the v are substantially larger which obscures the viewout the rear.
    * Center console is difficult to open for the driver because the latch isn't in an easy to reach place.
    * 1 spot to plug in a cell phone charger verses 2 on Gen II (there's another one in the rear on the Prius v, but I haven't figured out a practical use for it). When I or one of her friends travels with her, we often used both plugs. I think relatively inexpensive splitters are available which would provide the capability we're looking for.
    * No light in the rear cargo area. UPDATE - We were wrong. We found the light on the left
    * Fuel usage reporting is very different. Not nearly as simple. For example, mileage is measured in 1 minute increments rather than 5 minute increments.

    What she likes on the Prius v relative to the Gen II
    * Adjustability of driver's seat
    * Venting system (easier to direct airflow to rear passengers)
    * Cup holder on front passenger side
    * Vertical rear window
    * Additional cargo space
    * Easier to flatten the rear seats.
    * Less road noise evident in the cabin
    * Likes the climate control - feels its intuitive
    * Vehicle looks good

    She's gotten used to the speedometer being in the middle of the dash but questions why the console is so busy.

    My observations
    * She's getting the same MPG on the v as the Gen II although the v is a substantially bigger car
    * I like how wide the rear passenger doors open.
    * Entune - one word - why? It does absolutely nothing that I can't and wouldn't do on my smartphone.
    * She is really frustrated with the NAV and the rear hatch not opening without touching the key fob.
    * Now that I've actually gotten to drive the vehicle myself, I consider the biggest problem with the Prius v to be the location of the navigation system. It is UNUSABLE in its location. The driver has to take his /her eyes entirely off the road and during daylight the glare from the sun makes it unuseable. What happened Toyota? The layout of the Gen II was substaintially better for the driver.
    Last edited by WolfB, Jul 1, 2012. Reason: update
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    lolstebbo Junior Member

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    It is possible to suspend guidance in the Display Audio system.
    - When in the Map app, press the "Options" button. The second button from the top on the list will suspend guidance.
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    WolfB New Member

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    Thanks. I'll double check, but I think that is "stop guidance" rather than "suspend guidance" and you basically need to go through the entire navigation menu again to restart guidance.

    Although I didn't do a scientific analysis, I'm now 99.9% sure I'm right that guidance can't be suspended, only restarted. A significant drawback!

    Both my wife and I use the "suspend guidance" functionality frequently. For example, we often know how to get in the vacinity of a location and only want guidance for the last 5 miles or so - that's when we turn guidance back on.
    Last edited by WolfB, Jul 1, 2012. Reason: update
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    Wanderer Hybrid neophyte

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    And the busy console ( I agree) can also be set to be toned down (things turned off). I hated that at first but now don't really see it anymore. I look at what I'm interested in and ignore the rest.

    What trim level was the gen 2 (if more than one available I don't know anything about a gen 2)?
    W
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    WolfB New Member

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    Our 2006 Gen 2 has NAV, Bluetooth, backup camera etcetera. I'll research the trim level and update this thread, but my recollection is that it was loaded except for leather. Cost was about $26,500 (my recollection)

    I researched the trim level - it looks like our 2006 Prius has Package #7 (second fromthe top)
    Last edited by WolfB, Jul 1, 2012. Reason: update
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    Vamc555 Junior Member

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    I have a prius v five non-ATP and i have a light in the rear cargo area. Its on the left side wall.
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    WolfB New Member

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    So, in order to get a light in the rear cargo area, you need to buy the Five? Who at Toyota got a bonus for coming up with that cost saving measure?

    UPDATE - I was wrong. I found the light in the cargo area. I guess now I'll be responsible to pay the bonus ;-)
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    samyul Junior Member

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    I have a v3, and I have the same thing. The light is on the left side. It's not very bright, but it's there.
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    WolfB New Member

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    I've updated my original post to correct some points and expand on others. I'll update this thread periodically.
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    WolfB New Member

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    My wife just completed a cross country trip from the NY Metro area to San Franciso. I've updated my original post to reflect her latest thinking.

    Short version - the Prius v looks great but she's extremely disappointed with the navigation system in particular and frustrated that the level 3 doesn't allow keyless entry to the rear hatch the way her 2006 did (where you can keep the smart key in your pocket while opening the door). More details on the original post
    Last edited by WolfB, Jun 19, 2012
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    rjparker Member

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    I will agree Toyota's Nav guys blew it big time especially when my 5 year old cheap Garmin blows it away. It is good with voice guidance once you set it up, preferably with "Favorites" so that you can start it with voice commands. I am hoping updates to the firmware will improve things.

    The homelink mirror for gates and doors can be added, it's just expensive unless you do it yourself.
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    WolfB New Member

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    Thanks for your perspective on the NAV. In 2012 Toyota shouldn't try to use the NAV it differentiate between trim levels particularly when the most expensive Garmin or Tom Tom you can buy is probably less than $300. And Toyota shouldn't be using different levels of enablement of the smart key system to differentiate models either - smart key should be YES or NO, not trim level 3 opens some doors, trim level 5 opens all the doors.

    And thanks for the information on homelink. I'm not sure I'm handy enough to tackle replacing the mirror, but may look into it.
    Last edited by WolfB, Jun 20, 2012
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    n0na Junior Member

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    Yes, unlocking the rear hatch is a pain in the butt, but a couple of things can make it more tolerable. You can "customize" the car via the nav screen so that touching the driver's door handle to unlock it will also unlock all other doors including the hatch. Also, you can customize the keyfob so that you only have to press the unlock button once to open all doors including the hatch, rather than one press to unlock the driver's door and a second press the unlock the rest of the doors. (To do that, press both unlock and lock buttons on the key fob at the same time for a few seconds until the car beeps.) It would have probably cost Toyota an extra $5 to $10 for parts and installation to to put an SKS receiver and door lock on the hatch, but they didn't want to spend the money, so we suffer.
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    rjparker Member

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    One way to unlock the hatch is to setup the configuration where all doors and the hatch open together How to unlock all the doors automatically | PriusChat

    There are many Homelink mirrors on ebay. A company called Gentex made them for virtually all cars. Some are older technology so I bought a newer unit. It has the slimmer set of buttons on the bottom. Search ebay for Homelink Mirror.

    This one is for a 2011 Prius, no return 2010-2011 TOYOTA PRIUS REAR VIEW MIRROR, AUTO DIM, HOMELINK, OEM | eBay Note the black screw that removes it from the windshield wedge in the second pic. That's what you need. Some ebay mirrors (like Hyundai OEM) use a different windshield button. You don't want to change the wedge shaped button that's already on the v.

    This one claims to be new and fit a Prius v. 2012 Toyota Prius V Auto Dimming Mirror with Homelink 00016-47600 | eBay It looks the same as the above. More money but with return capability. Note the wire cover shown on this one. Without this little part, the power wires are exposed. I would check with the seller (apparently a Florida Toyota dealer) and make sure a cable and cover were included.

    All these mirrors really need is 12v and Ground and they work. Some mirrors add a compass, or compass and temp, or even a backup camera. The Prius v already has a compass in the Nav, temp in the AC and a backup camera. The temp and camera models require more wiring and much more expertise.

    Also you can get wiring and extra needed connectors. Gentex Donnelly Autodim w / w/o Compass Mirror Harness | eBay. Before I bought this I would talk to DDAVE57 and make sure the plug in connector will work with the mirror I want or have bought. The v's wire cover is fairly long so I'd check that or buy that part from a dealer (fairly cheap part). Finally, some ebay mirrors (or local salvage yard versions) come with the original cable which could be spliced to length as needed.

    At this point almost anyone can do it, certainly anyone or any shop that can change a radio. The hardest part is pulling the panels for most people. Pulling panels 101 coming up next. As indicated, several of us v owners have already updated the mirror. In Kenneth Fuller's profile album he shows pics of pulling a v's maplight for a homelink mirror upgrade. Map Light Console Removal | PriusChat

    He also describes the process in this link. Help with Gentex Wiring | PriusChat.

    In a Prius v the power and ground are available at the maplight which is right where you need it. Some people (including me) simply wire to non-switched 12v and ground and call it good. It is on all the time unless manually switched off at the mirror. The factory and lots of other people (including the Priuschat post above) ALSO run a switched 12v to the mirror so that it automatically turns off with the car. But to do so on a v requires running a wire through the headliner and down the pillar to a fuse or cigarette lighter connection. Not a big deal for most but the mirror CAN be on constantly as it normally pulls only 13ma or the power required to run the green LED. That's how mine is setup since I did not want to run a wire down the pillar. If it's switched off at the mirror it draws zero power.

    Finally, a wiring diagram with notes on the maplight itself which allows someone to tap into power.
    [IMG]
    Last edited by Paradox, Sep 12, 2013. Reason: v not V for Prius v
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    JimN Let the games begin!

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    The 2006-2009 Gen 2 had a lot of features for the price. The Gen 3 was "de-featured" but other things were also added. Nobody sells options a-la-cart. Crap is bundled with stuff people want so it gets sold. My 2010 has 1 minute & 5 minute average FE screens. I don't use either. Headrests are there to protect the neck in a collision. Would you rather have medical issues later? CDs are so 20th century why not use a USB drive?

    I'm surprised that DRIVE won't engage from NEUTRAL.

    If the 12v aux power outlet is on the deck it is most likely for a cooler/warmer.

    All nav units are satellite driven. Maps are stored on DVD, a mechanical hard drive, or flash memory. Maybe the software is slower. I hate having to change regions on Toyota's unit especially since I live close to a border. Garmin's flash based unit has its drawbacks. I received a notice for a map update just before my trip to Virginia so I updated the maps. In Delaware I noticed the icon only generally followed the road. In Virginia it couldn't find an address. I'm thinking, "Oh crap. I'm going to have to call Garmin when I get home." I then notice the update was for Canada & Border States. Yup, the continent ends at the NJ/DE border. I solve the problem by reinstalling the portion of the continental US I'm most likely going to drive through but now have to remember to check the unit to ensure I have maps for extended trips. Toyota's unit worked fine on the trip.

    You wanted a larger car with more space. It sounds like more research should have happened before the sale.
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    rjparker Member

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    I think the issue is the new Nav in a Prius v Wagon has very poor engineering, human factors and legibility. It's not the speed or the updates. It fast enough and has recent maps. For the size of the screen you can't read the lettering and the logic behind the system is pre-beta. I am sure it will get better. There are two different NAV in the Prius v line, the "standard" version and the ATP package. The Prius v Five model is the only one with ATP which is essentially the older NAV which, by all reports, is still pretty good. We are talking about the brand new "standard" version.
    Last edited by Paradox, Sep 12, 2013. Reason: v not V for Prius v
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    WolfB New Member

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    nOna - Thanks for the information on customizing the door opening process. I may give this a shot, but it doesn't address what my wife is looking for - the ability to walk directly to the back hatch and open it without having to touch the keyfob. Having said that, I just had to replace the back hatch release on my 2008 which has this functionality. It set me back $350!

    rjparker - now that you've provided all this detailed information, you've got me in a postion where I pretty much have to try this. And I thought I was going to relax on vacation :)

    JimN - Thanks, good points. Re CDs my wife does a lot of long distance driving and buys CD based audio books at tag sales. I agree we should have done more research, this ended up being an impulse buy. Having said that, some of the issues only become apparent after an extended period of driving.
    Last edited by WolfB, Jul 1, 2012. Reason: update
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    WolfB New Member

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    Original post and some follow up posts have been updated to reflect new information and observations. The location of the NAV makes it unusable - distracting for the driver and the glare from the sun during the day makes the screen unreadable. The cabin layout of the Gen II is substantially better from a driver's perspective.
    Last edited by WolfB, Aug 2, 2012
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    WolfB New Member

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    More thoughts after more time driving the v. The Gen II had an innovative "heads up" display thanks to the innovative placement of the speedometer/tachometer and the placement of the information screen. The result - driver's eyes stayed up and looking ahead. The v is just the opposite - primarily because of placement, the NAV is a genuine "heads down" display. The placement of the NAV can only be described as terrible.
    Last edited by WolfB, Aug 2, 2012. Reason: update
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    sURFNmADNESS Prii Family

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    My wife has an 06 Prius also.

    I to don't get why the homelink mirror is not standard on all models. If not the mirror, why not simply use one of the spare button areas on the dash for the transmitter Toyota?

    Other disappointments for me are the following.

    .....was unable to get the sunroof option on anything but the v Five. I kind of thought this was actually backwards in a way. The last thing most leather seat users want is hot seats from the sun.
    .....7 seater available everywhere but USA. Really????
    .....Nav system I would have expected in a cutting edge car in 1992. Graphics are that of late 80's gps units. No lane assist, no suspend, no red light camera database and no way to customize the voice. Almost any sub $200 GPS on the market today can do all these and more. Many even come with lifetime updates. Toyota/Denso charges how much for an update???? LOL
    .....The cubby on the drivers side....worthless. Attention Toyota engineering, take a look at your little drawer on the TCH. That was perfect for cash wash punch cards or spare change for parking meters. This little slot is not even large enough to hold the garage door opener which Toyota failed to put up on my rear view mirror. I actually found the door opener clips down below in the middle in front of the phone slot nicely to keep it out of the way.
    .....DRL not available again in USA. Even the cheapest LE version of the Camry in the USA has it. Why not the cutting edge Prius line?


    Even with these disappointments though, the car is fantastic. I replaced my 07 TCH which had 1/3rd the cargo space and got 10 mpg less on the same wheelbase. (yes, the new v is actually 109in too!) It actually seems to be more open inside than the TCH was. It is even quieter which was already very quiet in the TCH.
    Last edited by Paradox, Sep 12, 2013. Reason: v not V for Prius v

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