ALERT: Prius V trims often misrepresented on sale cars

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by C.G. Love, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. C.G. Love

    C.G. Love New Member

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    Vehicle:
    2014 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I've found dozens of Prius V for sale for which the Trim level has been misrepresented, which I discover by entering the vin into Toyota's own vin check website... I am unable to include the link because I haven't posted enough, but here is spelled out...also see photo.

    toyota
    slash my-vehicle
    slash vehicle-specification

    If you bought used, please check your vin at the Toyota website above.

    The main problem is cars for sale by non-Toyota dealers (which tend to be cheaper). The biggest problem is with the Prius V Five--I assume they seem to think the V stands for trim Five--but have found with other trim levels also.

    I have found these problems on Cargurus and every other car sale search site.

    When I find the mistake, I inform the dealers, with screenshot of page, if possible, and with a warning: now that they know, its deceptive advertising and business practices to keep up, and if not removed in a day I will report to their state's Attorney General and/or FTC. (I reported all to Ebay today.) I have reported one so far, but most do change.

    I found a half dozen on Ebay this morning (without checking all), reported to seller if could get through, and all to EBay.

    I could not find this Toyota website on my own, but got a dealer in Florida provided when I asked, how do I know it's the real thing? If he had it, all dealers should know and use it, not doing so is negligence.

    When I put it in my url in my cellphone browser, it won't come up, only from the link the dealer sent me. If you can't get to work, pm me your vin and private email and I'll check and send screenshot.

    If you find a mismatch on a car you bought, I suggest you should go back to dealer and show, and insist on price reduction, and possibly your other expenses.

    (I had made a 4 day trip to buy such a vehicle from Sarasota Ford--before another dealer gave me this website. The dealer took back car, refunded 100% and covered some about 70% of travel expenses.)

    I won't be policing all these ads forever--hopefully one day soon I will find right car at right price--so please put word out to other potential buyers.
     

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  2. Sooner Al

    Sooner Al Active Member

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  3. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    No idea what has happened since, but many of the early v Fives show up as v Twos and Threes on the Toyota Owners site, despite what are clearly 100% OEM, not port-installed, Five attributes.
     
  4. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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  5. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Exactly. Easily confirmed and refuted.
     
  6. Synergistic

    Synergistic Junior Member

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    This issue suited me just fine. I got a good (slightly below KBB) price on what the dealer thought was a trim two. I knew it was a five with ATP, but obviously did not give them a heads up. I can definitely understand being upset to discover that you'd been fooled in the opposite direction.
     
  7. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Unfortunately errors in packages on used car ads is very common.

    Too often it is difficult for sellersselle do not know the ins and outs of the brands.

    I've seen this with other cars, it is not specific to Prius.
     
  8. Bluegrassman

    Bluegrassman Active Member

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    I have found most car dealers (even Toyota dealerships) guilty of listing lower level Prius as being a 4 or 5. It’s no accident. I’ve seen literally dozens of plain Prius 2’s and 3’s (Prius, Prius C and v’s) listed as being a 4 or 5 at Toyota dealerships all over my state and neighboring states.
     
  9. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    On the other hand, my DIL has a v she says is a three with wheel sizes and leather or softex that says it isn't a three.

    I have a three that has leather seats and DRLs that no three came with.

    Steelerships are salesfolk, they know little about cars and will tell you what you want to hear or they think you want to hear.
     
  10. Ronald Doles

    Ronald Doles Active Member

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    We have never owned a Toyota before and stopped at a Nissan dealer to look at a used Leaf. While we were there my wife noticed the 2015 Prius V on their used car lot and we asked to have it parked next to a Leaf so that we could compare them. Size wise, the V was bigger in every interior dimension. We often go to movies on Fridays with another couple and the deciding factor was how much easier it was to get in and out of the back seat of the V with the wider doors.

    Toyota's naming convention for trim levels could use some work. It is not straight forward and we didn't learn for months that our car was a Two. It did have everything that we wanted so the model was really unimportant at the time of the purchase.
     
  11. freshwindbrightsky

    freshwindbrightsky Junior Member

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    This is so helpful, thanks!
     
  12. freshwindbrightsky

    freshwindbrightsky Junior Member

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  13. MalachyNG

    MalachyNG Junior Member

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    Totally ran into this looking for used this winter. I actually showed up to 2 test drives for 16' Fours - different dealers, one of them a toyota - and they pulled the car around and it was was Two or Three. Another odd thing I noticed was almost every prius listing on Autolist or cars.com says it has remote starter...but they never do. It's probably some auto populated list of features gleamed from Toyota press releases for each model and Toyota lists "remote keyless entry" so the almighty algorithms just assume that's fancy PR talk for remote start.

    At least for 2019 they redid the trims to be like other models like camry and carola. LE/XLE/Limited
     
  14. sser

    sser New Member

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    Know this is an older thread (and my first comment!), but have run into this confusion with the 2014 Prius V that I bought about a month ago. It was listed as a trim 3 by the dealership, but checking the vin on the Toyota Vehicle Specification site lists it as two (and insurance wanted to, as well). Going by the model year brochure... who knows.

    My Prius V has:
    - SofTex seats (trim 5 standard)
    - Heated front seats* (trim 5 standard)
    *the switch is a small circle on the side of the seat with two settings vs controls near the dash)
    - No navigation (trim 2 standard)
    - Has Bluetooth and some display/ call features on steering wheel, though not the voice command ability
    - Maybe had extra sensors at one time? (when the mechanic was looking it over, an error popped up for a sensor that didn't look like was there/ not a noticeable feature from the console).

    Either way, I'm still super happy with it so far - had a good amount of miles, but seemed like a decent price and checked out overall with the mechanic. Was hoping to find heated SofTex seats and don't use the car's navigation anyway, so a good combo for me. Might not have minded the voice command calling, though!

    Any Prius veterans have an idea of what the trim might actually be? (feel like it's averaging a trim 3, haha)
    Thanks!
     
  15. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I would say its a two that had the seat covers changed along with heaters added. Could have been done by the dealer when new or later.
     
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  16. ltlurker

    ltlurker Member

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    it's not that hard to differentiate. look for moon roof and lights. both are not dealer options
     
  17. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    As you noted the heated seat control on the seat rather than the dash is an indicator it was dealer or later adds. Yes, if you had LED headlights with cleaners then that is a trim 5 indicator but the moonroof was an option on trim 3 and 5, so not having it is not a factor.

    17" wheels and tires are a trim 5 indicator.

    Bottom line, I would believe Toyota's vin data and call it a trim 2.
    084B725B-E95D-4D71-A233-A3CC52528609.jpeg A042A20D-8DD8-4CE3-9D3F-96CDE824F28C.jpeg
     
    #17 rjparker, Oct 2, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
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  18. NewHybridOwner

    NewHybridOwner Active Member

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    We bought what was described as a 2015 Prius Four with 33K miles, at a price that CarFax said was a good deal. The dealer's (not a Toyota dealer) Web page showed all the Prius Four features (which I had not memorized to be able to do a check list when we did the test drive), and we drove the car home. Then I went looking for the HomeLink buttons -- not there. Navigation? Not there. Turned out that it was a Prius Two. It was a weekend, so I couldn't get in touch with anyone, but I grabbed screenshots of the description on the dealer's Web page and demanded that they make things right. While they were still humming and hawing and referring my complaint further up the chain, I grabbed further screen shots over the next few days, which showed it now being described as a Prius Two but still with a list (shrinking day by day) of Prius Four features. Eventually the General Manager of the whole chain agreed to do an even exchange for a 2015 Prius Four (which they had to go and buy somewhere). We ended up with a Prius Four with a full service history and only 22K miles for the same original price. Only complaint is a couple of badly repaired gashes on the dash where someone may have removed an iPass/EZPass or something similar without due care.
     
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  19. sser

    sser New Member

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    Thank you for such a great, visual response! This all makes sense. I am not sure what type of headlight it is - sounds like looking at the light color (halogen if warm/ more yellow) will help, and will double-check tires, too. Looking like it is a trim 2 with seat upgrades, plus a few other bonuses.
     
  20. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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    The Toyota VIN lookup web page mentioned earlier in this thread will tell you what you have: Vehicle Specification | Toyota Owners
     
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