2017 Gen 4, Prius 4 - are these still issues for a new owner?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by joe77, May 9, 2019.

  1. joe77

    joe77 New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Looking for a new car - which will be my only car, but my main goal is the "fun" factor in driving. I've been Mom's Taxi for long enough, I work from home - so I'm only out a few times a week & we have a Crosstrek if we need Utility. I don't need something super fast, as long as I can merge with effectiveness & stay a standard 70 - 80 on highways here. At this point I've narrowed the search down to a 2017 Impreza Limited & a 2017 Prius Four Touring

    So .... I've been reading on PriusChat, a few other threads, and this Reddit some ... while the savings in gas is a definite plus in the Prius, a lot of the tech (such as the heads up display) has me wow'd. However, I like to do my research and some of the issues I'm reading are leaving me concerned .... but they are from 2012 / 2013. So, are these still issues:

    (1) Low clearance? Do I have to watch parking lots, certain driveways? What about going down the interstate or regular city roads (without speed bumps which are normally noted) ... do you tend to bottom out on regular roads?

    (2) High maintenance costs? I turned down a Mini for not having good reliability and high maintenance - so this got my attention

    (3) Snow issues .... we don't get a lot of snow here - but I read that if you get stuck, you have to get towed .... there is no amount of rocking or such to get yourself out?

    (4) Huge blindspots - still ..... (yes I know it has a back-up camera)

    (5) Headlights go out often

    Any other negatives / issues this first time potential hybrid/Prius owner should look at?

    Those that have owned your Prius for a long time .... is it still FUN to drive? I have bought 2 cars in the last 20 years - so I don't intend to just turn this one back in after a couple of years.

    Thanks!
     
  2. sclevine

    sclevine Member

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    I have a 2017 prius 4 with almost 85,000 miles. Not a Touring, just a Four.

    In just under 2.5 years. I drive a lot! See my thoughts below each of your questions:

    (1) Low clearance? Do I have to watch parking lots, certain driveways? What about going down the interstate or regular city roads (without speed bumps which are normally noted) ... do you tend to bottom out on regular roads?
    --- have not had any bottoming out problems.

    (2) High maintenance costs? I turned down a Mini for not having good reliability and high maintenance - so this got my attention
    --- 85,000 miles in and have not had to do anything besides changing oil, and occasional filters. Got new tires at 70k. There was also a break service at 50,000. So far the maintenance costs have been much lower than I expected.

    (3) Snow issues .... we don't get a lot of snow here - but I read that if you get stuck, you have to get towed .... there is no amount of rocking or such to get yourself out?
    --- it is a fair performer in the snow. I've driven better and I've driven worse. I've been through a couple of good storms with my Prius and not gotten stuck. Uphills at slow speed concern me and obviously downhills but caution wins the day in those situations. 4 wheel drive and snow tires are ideal, but I don't have them. I think getting stuck in the snow is as much about your driving experience than the car performance.

    (4) Huge blindspots - still ..... (yes I know it has a back-up camera)
    --- Side blindspots are not a problem at all - I learned long ago with prior cars to position side mirrors to show a bit further to the outside which helps a lot and my Four also has an indicator that lights up on the side mirror when there is a car next to me. Not sure if Touring has this. So a glance at the side mirror tells me if something is in the blind spot. What I do find annoying is that the panels in the front left and right corners that go from roof to dash are fairly wide and so sometimes I feel like my vision of pedestrians is blocked when I am making a turn in city streets. I assume this is due to airbags.

    (5) Headlights go out often
    --- Never had my headlights go out

    Any other negatives / issues this first time potential hybrid/Prius owner should look at?
    --- I've been super happy with mine. Only complaint is that the MPG's are significantly less in the winter. I probably averaged 62 MPG from May to Oct last year and 52 MPG from Oct to April.

    Those that have owned your Prius for a long time .... is it still FUN to drive? I have bought 2 cars in the last 20 years - so I don't intend to just turn this one back in after a couple of years.
    --- Yes still very fun to drive. I'm usually in Eco mode but it is great to occasionally go into Power mode and accelerate as fast as any other cars around me. Even in Eco mode, the acceleration is very responsive.
     
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  3. scona

    scona Active Member

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    You really need to have a good test drive with one which will answer many of your questions. "Fun" to drive is subjective. Someone who owns a Porche would not think so, a van owner would love driving them. They handle up to 6" of snow just fine in my experience, clearance being the issue with larger depths. By driving one you can analyze the rear visibility for yourself, see if it is adequate for you. I am driving my second Prius vehicle and have experienced no headlight issues. Good luck with your purchase...
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    the only fun thing about a prius is when the engine is off and trying to run up your mpg's thru hypermiling.

    clearance still low, maintenance costs are low until you're out of warranty and something expensive breaks. but that would be repair costs, not maintenance.
    snow tires are a great help, but if you don't get much snow, and don't have to absolutely drive in a blizzard, it's fine.
    blind spots are still bad, maybe somewhat improved.
     
  5. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    1. The Prius generally has pretty low clearance but not too bad, IMHO.
    2. The Prius maintenance costs, if properly maintained are low.
    3. It the snow is not too deep the Prius should be OK. Otherwise drive the CrossTrek. ;)
    4. Yes, there are blind spots. Some 2017 (the later ones) came with the Blindspot Monitor as standard equipment.
    5. You are thinking about the Gen 2 Prius Halogen bulbs. The Gen 4 use LEDs.

    The 4 Touring does not have a spare tire. The 3 Touring has one. The Touring Models have low profile 17 inch wheels instead of the standard 15 inch ones. Some people find the ride of the Touring wheels to be harsher.
     
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  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    If I'm not mistaken, for 2019 in the States, there's one level still having a spare. Same story in Canada btw.
     
  7. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Up until 2018 Trim 2 , 3, & 3 Touring (not 2 Eco) had spare tires,
    For 2019, the LE is the only trim with the spare tire.
    Remember, for 2019 there is an LE-AWD-e (no spare) and an XLE-AWD-e that have an all wheel drive mode designed to mean fewer chances to get stuck, while minimizing the impact on economy.
     
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  8. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    (1) Low clearance? Do I have to watch parking lots, certain driveways? What about going down the interstate or regular city roads (without speed bumps which are normally noted) ... do you tend to bottom out on regular roads?

    No - never hit anything I hadn't carelessly got too close to, speed bumps are fine. But - like all modern cars, I take it slowly across driveways, but it's better than a lot.

    (2) High maintenance costs? I turned down a Mini for not having good reliability and high maintenance - so this got my attention

    No - regarded as up with the most reliable (and nothing like Mini!!!!) - service costs here are cheap. And, a lot of service doesn't need doing. Compared with a Subaru where you'll have a very expensive CVT service at 60/80k miles - PRIUS transmission is sealed for life - and generally will last the life of the car. Brakes similarly - likely to last the life of the car. Battery - yes, after maybe 10 -12 yrs, might need one, but they're fairly cheap these days (much cheaper than a few brake jobs, gearbox repairs combined) and fuel savings are substantial - up to "only ½" what you would pay for an alternative


    (3) Snow issues .... we don't get a lot of snow here - but I read that if you get stuck, you have to get towed .... there is no amount of rocking or such to get yourself out?

    Sorry - I've never seen snow, let alone driven in it

    (4) Huge blindspots - still ..... (yes I know it has a back-up camera)

    Actually quite good better than my last car (small FIESTA Sedan) and my wife's Hatchback FORD FOCUS. But bear in mind that blindspots are person dependent - your seating position will place you in a different place to my seating position - I set it high (and drive from the RH side of the car). You need to test drive it and see.

    (5) Headlights go out often

    Never, haven't read about one - the old question was in relation to HID bulbs on old models - Gen 4 have LED headlights which are excellent - and should last the life of the car

    OTHER - check that you find the driver's seat comfortable - some people did complain that it didn't suit them, though most of us find them fine. Personally, I hate the foot-park-brake thingy - the craziest thing in the car. And some versions don't have a spare wheel if that concerns you.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Alan, Toyota recommends regular full brake inspection, not just in conjunction with pad replacement. In the States it's tri-yearly (or a mileage element), and Canada is similar but by-yearly. This is in place of the "visual" inspection that's usually proscribed.

    That said, it's not out of line with what other manufacturers recommend.
     
  10. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I was thinking more of regular replacements of bits. Changing fluid which is specified in some countries - like Australia, but skipped in others I assumed was routine servicing.

    Other cars I've had to do with often need full pad & rotor replacement every 60,000km or more often for aggressive drivers. And in some cases are exorbitant (I recently heard of a VOLVO XC90, at 30,000km having to spend $1800 for front/rear pads&rotors - at a dealer).
     
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  11. tucatz

    tucatz Active Member

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    Yes on 1) and 3) - the car has low ground clearance. It's not a truck or SUV. I have bottomed out all 3 of my prius' and pulled off panels under the cars. But I personally take my cars on journeys off highway, up logging roads, along rivers, etc. As far as 2) 4) 5)... into infinity I say No. It is a superbly designed vehicle, extremely reliable, very large clear windows, brakes should outlast the engine, very low maintenance costs
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    The brake pads may outlast the car (though I doubt that), but the caliper glide pins may seize up if you don't do regular maintenance. Don't conflate pad wear with brake maintenance, regular pulling off of the calipers for inspection/cleaning/relube (calipers, pads/shims and rotors) is recommended by Toyota USA at 30K miles or 3 years, whichever comes first. Good to stick to that.
     
  13. ice9

    ice9 Member

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    (5) Headlights go out often

    I had this problem with my old 2008 Pruis. The HID bulbs could become intermittent early in the life of the vehicle, then eventually fail. Apparently the problem was in the OEM bulb - after replacing it, the problem never returned.
     
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  14. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    That's ancient news - with HID Headlights. The LED lights on Gen 4 are likely to last the life of the car.
     
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  15. tucatz

    tucatz Active Member

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    Watch out for the One Eyed Monster
     
  16. ice9

    ice9 Member

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    Yes, the HID issue is moot for the Gen 4 Prius. It probably isn't a problem for earlier models either (for those interested in purchasing a used Prius). By now, I doubt any of the earlier models have OEM HID bulbs.
     
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