About to buy a 2017 Prius Three. What should we expect as 2004 Prius owners (for 15 years)

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by DC_2004_Prius, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. DC_2004_Prius

    DC_2004_Prius Junior Member

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    2004 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    We are very close to buying a 2017 Prius Three.

    Our 2004 2nd Gen has 206k miles and we've loved it - tolerated it's few warts and deficiencies - but it's still a great, smooth efficient (if not fast) car. Just got 50mpg for 250 mile drive yesterday.

    For those who've owned the 2nd gen - and now the newer 4th gen - What are the main things we'll discover, enjoy, notice, about the 2017 having lived with this 2004 for so long - what will be the same, different, better, worse?

    Are there some things we'll have to give up that we like - as we move to the modern tech/safety features/improvements of a 2017 three touring?

    seat and cabin space? You sit a little lower? less or more cabin space? do rear seats fully fold down
    glove boxes (hear we lose 1 or 2?)
    handling?
    acceleration? 0-30 40-60 etc? (I actually think our 2nd Gen is plenty peppy when stomped on)
    mpg?
    braking?
    oil change interval?
    Eco/power mode (don't have this)?
    17" wheels tires vs. 15" or our 2nd gen?

    Are all the fancy sensors and systems things that will just begin to fail in year 10 or 15 if we keep it that long - as we have our 2004?

    Thanks for any thoughts/advice.
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Pro:
    • Much better mpg and also easier to achieve higher mpg (if you're seeing 50mpg on the Gen 2, you can easily see 55mpg and with careful driving, 60 in favourable temperatures)
    • Much more comfortable ride with the 4-wheel independent suspension (vs. the Gen 2's rear semi-independent torsion beam)
    • It also handles corners better with the new chassis design and suspension geometry (esp. with the wider tires on the Touring model)
    • It's quieter with more sound insulation and max torque arrives at a lower rpm so the engine doesn't have to rev as much
    • More comfortable front seats
    • Just as good or better visibility all around
    • Better headlights (The LEDs are miles... no lightyears away compared to the multi-reflector halogens or HIDs on the Gen 2)
    • Honestly, nicer sounding doors
    • Better stock radio quality
    • Way more tech (bluetooth audio and phone, backup camera, radar cruise etc)

    Cons:
    • Loss of in-cabin storage spaces (no in-dash slot, no hidden drawer, loss of upper glovebox, smaller lower glovebox, no cargo underfloor bin)
    • Rear legroom is smaller
    • Rear seat cushion seems a bit thin
    • Reverse beep cannot be entirely defeated (it's just a single beep) and you have to take it to the dealer to get it changed
    • The battery SOC is no longer multi-coloured - it's just blue regardless of the number of bars.

    You sit lower for sure and that's just the design of the dashboard, steering wheel and pedal placement. The seats are more comfortable. The Gen 2 seats were narrow and you sit perched up.

    Acceleration is about the same but it'll feel peppier at lower speeds (0-30mph)

    I think the Three has the Li-Ion battery. Don't freak out about the fluctuation of the battery SOC. It does go to one bar and full more often than the Gen 2 with NiMH (if you saw 1 purple bar in the Gen 2, you usually start worrying but not so in the Gen 4 with the Li-Ion battery)

    OCI should be every 10,000 miles (but I think service is still 6 months/5,000 miles)


    Eco/Normal/Power just changes the accelerator pedal sensitivity. They all give full power when you stomp on the pedal. Note that Eco mode will also automatically select Eco Heat/Cool (basically the Eco mode for the climate control). You can control whether you want the Eco Heat/Cool to be on with any of the modes.

    Also, PWR Mode supposedly can detect spirited driving and will then change the engine off intervals to allow for quicker response times when you step on the accelerator.

    Depending on which 2017 Prius Three Touring you got, you may or may not get BSM/RCTA and Intelligent Clearance Sonar (12 sonar sensors around the car). That became a "no-cost option package" midway through 2017.
     
  3. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I've never owned a Gen 2 - I decided I couldn't live with it - in comparison to the FORD FOCUS Diesel which I bought instead - the Gen 2 was frumpy, handled poorly in comparison and just not a real nice drive.

    Gen 3 - better than Gen 2, but still too compromised - I bought a FOCUS Diesel instead.

    Gen 4 - yes, much better, maybe not as good as the Focus or Peugeot I was looking at - but much, much better car to drive. Rear seats fold down flat, but there's a step up, depending on which spare-tyre arrangement you have as to how big the step is. The boot is bigger as far as "acreage" but not quite as high as the old models. In most cases, you want floor area rather than height - school bags, shopping, boxes, bags of potting mix etc.

    Economy - FUELLY shows consistently better averages for Gen 4 over Gen2/3 - I've changed this to USA MPG. I'd guess you should get similar percentage improvement - though 17" isn't quite as good as 15" - but grip better:
    upload_2019-9-25_10-6-12.png upload_2019-9-25_10-6-46.png
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Geez Alan, for a moment there I thought you'd decided to list every car you'd ever owned on fuelly. :ROFLMAO:

    Maybe the 2019's are just an outlier, to small a sample? Or maybe something tweaked??

    And what the heck do you mean by "frumpy"?? :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

    I'll concede gen 4 delivers better mileage, I gnash my teeth a lot about that... :cautious:
     
  5. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    No this is the entire cohort on FUELLY - and the figures are the average:

    upload_2019-9-25_12-32-21.png

    Some samples:
    2019:
    upload_2019-9-25_12-33-56.png
    2016
    upload_2019-9-25_12-34-30.png

    2005

    upload_2019-9-25_12-35-18.png
     
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  6. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    The pros and cons lists above are already fairly complete. I'll just add and in some cases contradict.

    The headlights being better is an understatement. These are the best headlights I've ever had on any car. They are the brightest and have the sharpest cutoff of any car and put the headlights of my Model S P85D's to shame.

    There is much more road noise than our 2009 Gen 2 with 314K miles on it but I do have the 17" wheels of the Limited which have larger contact patches than the 16" wheels of our 2009 Touring. That said, I think I vaguely remember dumping the stock tires of our gen 2 almost immediately for similar reasons so this may not be a fair comparison.

    Engine noise is far less and makes more power at lower RPMS even if it doesn't make more peak power.

    My wife swears our 2019 Limited is slower off the line compared with our gen 2. I think I agree with her but it's hard for me to tell the difference between our two Prii when my daily driver sprints to 60 in 2.8 seconds. But I'm starting to feel that this is the case and that the 0-15 is slower than our gen 2 and that the 15-60 is faster than our gen 2.

    I didn't see your braking question answered. Gen 4's brakes are vastly superior to the Gen 2 and stop from 60 mph 15 feet sooner.

    I didn't see the system mentioned. Although I guess I can't make that comparison since it's between the ugpraded JBL on our 2009 Touring vs the 10 speaker JBL on the Limited which is VASTLY superior to the our 2009. That's assuming you can actually get good sound to it in the first place. If you have a too many songs on your USB drive, it will take forever to index or just never finish. Android via bluetooth sucks as only the SBC codec of A2DP is supported and is limited to 128kb for whatever reason. Too bad that there's no apt-x, apt-x hd, or any of the other high quality high bitrate codecs supported except for AAC. If you've got any iPhone, then you're fine as the profile supports AAC direct so you're AAC iTunes library will survive completely lossless through the BT connection.
     
  7. DC_2004_Prius

    DC_2004_Prius Junior Member

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    Thanks for all the replies - appreciate the info/advice.

    Finally got to drive it - and wow - felt great and very sporty (though i do drive a pickup and a large suv usually) it is very peppy in the 40-75 mph range - and the tight handling is a very noticeable upgrade in cornering and it felt like you can fit it into a slot on the freeway - with it's acceleration, steering, and braking. loved the EV mode, ipod connected right up, radar cruise control was neat. (need to figure out how to decrease the following distance).

    alas, i think this one was produced in late 2016 so doesn't have the intelligent clearance sonar.

    tell me about the pedestrian detect or auto-braking - is there any way to test these? i got close to cars stopping at lights a couple times - when i didn't have it in cruise - and was hoping it'd stop me - but it didn't and i braked. i guess it is more of a crash avoidance braking and would be at the very last minute? Can set up a large paper obstacle draw a car on it and test that it will stop me?

    anybody have theirs stop for them?

    anybody have success with the lane assist - what settings work for you?

    Thanks agin for the input!
     
  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Same here, looking at used Gen4's.

    I've used a very large flat screen TV box in an empty parking lot as the "crash test dummy" when we got our first vehicle with these features. The dummy survived! (y) :p

    I've found many used 2018 Prius Two's also came with a "free" safety package which includes the sonar, auto-parking and more.

    Although I like many of the other features in the 2016-17 Three/Four/Touring models, the 2018 Two with safety package is a better value for my purposes and sometimes are priced around $3-6k cheaper in my local market than the (older) Threes and Fours; that's 1-2 more years on the warranty plus the Two has a spare. The older tech NiMh battery is both a pro & con but I consider it more a pro at this time since it's well known tech.

    FWIW

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  9. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    I couldn't find any used Gen IV's with low miles cheaper than a brand new one given that dealers are discounting the last of the 2019s by at least $7K off MSRP.
     
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  10. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

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    One big basic difference that makes the Gen 4 easier to drive is the steering. It's lighter and geared different so there's less turning of the steering wheel to get the same amount of steer.
     
  11. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I think it's also - the much improved TNGA suspension has better body control.
     
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