All about my Prius Four with ATP/PCP

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Puruisi, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. Puruisi

    Puruisi Junior Member

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    Thought I would post my personal thoughts on my Prius Four with ATP/PCP. Hope this might be useful for someone. I've had it a week, but already been on a 17 hour road trip and several days of normal commuting.

    For basis of comparison, my other cars are/have been a 2016 BMW X1, 2014 Mercedes CLA250, and 2012 Toyota Prius C. Honestly, the Prius drives supremely well and I think the steering wheel feels as nice as the BMW/Mercedes! (I have Softex, though.) I'm glad I chose this instead of the Touring: the ride is great, my tires will be cheaper to replace, my turning radius is better, and I got some extra options with the Four (except for the LED accent light and foglights, of course).

    Exterior/Interior Observations

    Mine is black exterior, black interior. Kept the white console area because it brightens things up and I love it.

    I did not opt for the black carpet mats and instead ordered the all-weather OEM mats. They look awesome. If you get them, for the rear seats, make sure you get the left/right sides correct because they're quite similar except once side has a slight cut-out for the battery ventilation area (important!).

    Surprised there were no blue accents on the vents (or anywhere else) in the interior. Every other model I had looked at had some kind of weird coloring. I have a nice, normal silver accents. Love it!

    The Softex seats, I'm undecided on their comfort. Granted I did go on a super long road trip with it, starting off. I would get some pretty uncomfortable feeling in my right leg/thigh after 2 hours. Can't say I've experienced this in other cars, especially when I wasn't using my foot often to brake/gas since the radar cruise control was helping with that. But I had a really long weekend so I'll forgive the Prius for now. It's not often I go on long roadtrips, and I've read great things about the seats in other reviews.

    Experiencing rattle from driver-side door (especially with any music with noticeable bass). Already saw a thread on this topic with several others reporting same thing. Mine seems to come and go. Will keep an eye on it for solutions.

    The trunk opens super high. I park in a commercial garage, and the hatch comes within a quarter-inch of scraping the ceiling above me. Granted it’s a low ceiling, but the 2016 BMW X1 hatch opens much lower (and can also be programmed to open at a lower degree) which isn’t as nerve-wracking.

    Tweaks

    I’ve already used Carista to tweak settings to my liking.

    Super happy with the blinker setting which I changed to “4 clicks” when tapping the stalk. In my other cars, it has been 3 clicks which i found adequate. But I drive the Prius more conservatively, so 4 clicks is absolutely perfect for my style. And I adjusted the blinker volume to be higher, because nothing wrong with that.

    Also I turned on the feature to allow the windows/sunroof to open while pressing unlock on the keyfob. However I don’t find this very reliable. Sometimes it works, sometimes it takes two or three attempts :(

    Blind Spot Monitoring and Side Mirrors

    Love the “clicking” sound the Blind Spot Monitoring system makes when the car is first booted up (it runs a self-check). At least, I think that’s what makes the clicking sound. I will miss this sound in any other car I drive.

    However I am supremely disappointed that the BSM system doesn’t make a noise/ding when you enable your blinker and a car is beside you. It only flashes at you on the mirror. I’ve spent lots of time in the newer Mazda 3 and CX-5 as rental cars. They make a ding (which can be programmed on or off). Would love this to be an option.

    Very disappointed the mirrors don’t tilt down when reversing. It’s a relatively simple programming trick for the engineers and doesn’t involve any hardware to enable.

    HUD/Instrumentation

    I have a HUD in the 2016 BMW X1 which I really, really love and use. So I thought it would be a “must” in the Prius and was a leading factor in choosing the Four over the Four Touring.

    At this point, I can safely say the HUD is nothing to be excited about. I rarely look at it even though I'm keeping it turned on. The standard instrumentation and speedometer is already at eye-level and is much more attractive/informative than the HUD. So 19 out of 20 times, my eyes gravitate to the standard instrumentation. In the BMW I’m the opposite. Because the BMW instrumentation is in the traditional behind-steering-wheel location, I find the HUD more convenient.

    Also you should realize the wow factor with a HUD (In any car, basically) is going to be limited to the driver. My passenger could not see it at all, even when leaning EXTREMELY far over.

    And I wonder how much energy the battery expends to run the HUD. If it's supremely minimal then I guess it's OK. Anything more than that, i would like to know because I may just turn it off rather than keep it on.

    The only saving grace for the HUD, in my opinion, is that it has the eco meter (for acceleration) and battery monitoring. That allows me to free up the other screens in the car for other functions, I suppose. However since the HUD is nicely packaged in with the Four, I still think it’s worth having. But if it were a completely separate standalone option, I don’t think I’d spend more then $300 on it.

    But I must say I am extremely impressed with the overall instrumentation/screens. There is so much customization, and I really don’t think the salespeople know enough about that (not a surprise). I really do wish there was a way to display the Distance to Empty figure alongside the Average MPG per trip. (Right now you have to cycle through using the Trip button, because they cannot be displayed simultaneously).

    I also wish the “After Start” MPG/time/miles driven calculations did not reset every time the car is turned off. It may sound counter-intuitive, but BMW and Mercedes only reset these calculations if the car is turned off for FOUR HOURS or more. So when I have a lot of quick trips in the Prius, I forget to look at the calculations with each pit stop (or when fueling up on the way somewhere), and this information becomes lost because it’s not compounded over short periods of time.

    Cruise Control

    Have used the full-speed radar cruise control extensively. It's awesome; I would not consider buying another car without it. However even at the "closest" distance setting, you could easily parallel park a Chevrolet Suburban between me and the preceding vehicle while at a stoplight. This does not bode well.

    While on the highway, even at the closest distance setting there is still too much room and I get a lot of people cutting-in. I live in a super congested area. Actually it probably doesn't even seem like cutting-in to the other drivers; I'm sure they think I am just nicely leaving them plenty of room. Wish there was a shorter distance setting. Honestly with all the people who are able to cut-in (and cause the Prius to slow down more to adjust!) it's just making my trip take longer and therefore less efficient use of energy. Not the Prius methodology! Also dislike that the distance setting resets to the longest setting each time the car is turned off/on, so I have to cycle my way to the shortest setting each time.

    Curious: when setting the cruise control, the car always drives at least 1mph under the setting. Example, if I set it to 70, then the car is going to go 69 and show this on the speedometer. I've never experienced a car with this behavior before, even on other cars with digital speedometers.

    Intelligent Parking Assist/Intelligent Clearance Sonar

    The Prius is hit-or-miss with parallel parking assist compared to the 2016 BMW X1. On a positive note, I can get the Prius to activate and find a spot MUCH easier than the BMW. However, the Prius is lot more awkward in the way it parallel parks. Mostly I could have done a much quicker, better job than the Prius, because it sometimes requires A LOT of reversing and going forward even in a non-complicated. In the exact same parking spot, the BMW did a nearly perfect job in a more timely efficient manner than I could have.

    Back-up assist is extremely finicky. I don’t like that you must be at a complete stop before it will search for a spot. That already makes the procedure take a little too long versus just doing it myself. It also doesn’t seem to know which side of the parking lot I intend to back into. But truly, the vast majority of time I get the “unavailable” message even after edging up and down the empty spot in parking lot, so I still don’t understand the trick to using it.

    Regarding the ICS, I was under the impression it would help me “clear” curbs and prevent scraping when pulling into a parking spot with curbs. This does not seem to be true. The car provides absolutely no help with avoiding curbs. The system just feels a little more of an after-thoguht and less helpful than the BMW/Mercedes systems I've used.

    Drive Mode

    I don’t think the Drive Mode setting (eco/normal/power) is clear enough. I know I can tell by the coloration behind the speedometer (dark blue for eco, light blue for normal, and red for power… I think…) but even knowing this, I find myself wondering which mode I’m in. The previous generation Prius made it much more clear. Someone pointed out there is indeed an icon indicating if you're in Eco or Power mode, besides the coloration of the speedometer. So this case is now closed in my book :)

    I do like that the drive-mode setting seems to affect the full-speed radar cruise control’s acceleration rate. Very nifty.

    Entune/Audio

    I hated Entune on my 2012 Prius C. Although this system is mostly cut from the same cloth, I am finding it very usable and quick enough. It’s no Mercedes or BMW system, and even the Mazda system is much better. But I have the feeling my system is going to be obsolete pretty soon if Toyota has any intention of keeping up with competitors. One feature which still mystifies me is the My Traffic Route setting which is supposed to monitor your pre-programmed often-traveled routes, I suppose? No idea how to actually use it. (Read the manual, I know…)

    Experiencing a problem with voice commands. It can hear me just fine, but when it's responding to me for the next command, it cuts itself off after 2 seconds in the middle of word/sentence. It's not like I'm pressing the voice button to interrupt it, either. Don't know what's up with that.

    Oh, my JBL speakers are extremely good. No complaints at all. Happy I upgraded.

    Lighting

    Only used the auto-brights a few times. I do like that the "on" setting is remembered even after the car is turned off and on. The BMW makes me remember to activate them each trip.

    And the headlights are totally adequate, even quite good. I do not miss foglights whatsoever. Plus, since my exterior is black, you can barely notice where the foglights should have gone.
     
    #1 Puruisi, Jun 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  2. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the excellent write up.
     
  3. krmcg

    krmcg Lowered Blizzard Pearl Beauty

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    Nice summation, thanks.
     
  4. PriUncut

    PriUncut Active Member

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    Big thumbs up! I agree... the steering (and handling) feel like a luxury car and it drives supremely well to me as well.

    I've noticed the same thing. I'm always setting it about 5 mph higher than I actually want to go. That way, it seems to keep up better with the erratic traffic flow in my part of Southern California... where people drive crazy - on your bumper faster than the post speed limit!

    Nice write up... I've had mine little longer and have yet to explore some of the features you described. I need to have something to look forward to!

    Congratulations on your new ride!
     
    #4 PriUncut, Jun 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
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  5. Coast Cruiser

    Coast Cruiser Senior Member

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    Thanks for the nice report. Regarding the mats, I too have the 4-piece OEM All Weather rubber. There is no "cut out" on either of my rear mats for the battery vent. (Which is fine, as the right one doesn't come anywhere near high enough to block the vent.) Just curious why your mats are different? Wonder if they gave me the wrong ones...

    After reading your very thorough comments about the Technology Package, I'm glad I didn't spend the extra $1,500-$2,000 for those features. I'd probably end up shutting them off.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    wow! great review! i get that thing in my right shoulder too! hoped the gen 4 seats would cure it.
    i love the adjustable blinker volume, mine wood bee on high.:p
    love the idea of mirrors that tilt down in reverse, what's wrong toyota?
     
    #6 bisco, Jun 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  7. wrprice

    wrprice Active Member

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    Unlike parallel parking assist, which will search for a spot as you crawl along the line of cars, to initiate back-in assist you need to be stopped. Place the car perpendicular to the space you want, so that your front and rear overlap the bumpers of the two cars adjacent to your target spot. You need to be about 3 ft away from the vehicles so that the sonar sensors can see them. Turn on your turn signal to the side where the open space is aligned, and press the parking assist button twice.
     
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  8. booke02

    booke02 Active Member

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    Excellent write up - thanks for your time and effort
     
  9. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    That's a bit downmarket - Ford's Focus and VW Golf search for the spot for you, then put you straight in. At least you get it, though in USA, TOYOTA Australia didn't bother offering it on 2016 Prius (dropped a lot of features off the top model, except the price).

    Park.JPG
     
  10. pakitt

    pakitt Senior Member

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    Excellent summary, thanks. I will get mine Tuesday next week, will post my notes as soon as reasonably possible.

    I am having doubts about some electronic features myself based on what I read here and a friend who tested one for 3 days.
    In particular:
    • when I read about how much distance it leaves even at shortest settings (maybe that is subjective, and we are too used to be too close to cars than what physics tell us would be safe, but...); I am surprised you have to set it up each time you turn on radar CC...
    • I am surprised yours stops short of 1mph when you set e.g. 70mph and goes 69mph. On my test drive it was spot on.
    • I don't know experiences in the USA, but in EU we have the traffic sign recognition, and it seems to be really a true hit or miss "gimmick" - my friend complained a lot in his 3 day drive, that it would not recognize signs (in nice weather, light and windshield dirt conditions) and would not remove a speed limit when clear there was a lower one repeated more than once (i.e. last sign is a 40, a 60 comes, nothing happens, another 60 comes up, nothing happens).
    • HUD - my experience on the Gen3 for 6 years and my short test drive with the Gen4 have shown that it is great at keeping my eyes on the road. So much so that I find it already distracting to look in the middle of the console. Which is *WAY* better than dials behind the wheel. Which is the worst in therms of ergonomics. Your eyes need to refocus and you practically have to move your head down. With the HUD you can use peripheral vision to either look for the speed (all you really need to know when driving) and you don't need to refocus. Maybe because I am short sighted, even with glasses, nearer things require adjust and I have issues with it. The only thing I know though is that I have driven for work rentals with traditional cockpits, I felt so bad and distracted by simply checking speed.
    • regarding the drive modes, there is an icon on the top saying in which mode you are (not just the display color) - when nothing is displayed you are in "normal" mode.
     
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  11. Puruisi

    Puruisi Junior Member

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    Wow, you are so correct! I don't know how I missed that. Will amend my earlier statement.
     
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  12. wrprice

    wrprice Active Member

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    (never mind)
     
    #12 wrprice, Jun 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  13. vince22

    vince22 Active Member

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    DSC_8507.JPG
    here's my all weather floor mats cut out area installed where hybrid battery ventilation window exposed.
     
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  14. KimPrius3

    KimPrius3 Member

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    I've only test drove a Prius 3 with the ATP and when in cruise control the car in front slowed and so did the Prius to the point of stopping at a red light. My question is would the Prius have started moving again once the car in front moved on to a safe distance? I did not test this because the light turned green and cars began to move, so I pressed on the accelerator. Love your post, most helpful. (y)
     
  15. Jim in NC

    Jim in NC Active Member

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    No, it won't start moving again on its own. In fact when that happens, you'll get a message on the screen that you resume by pressing UP on the cruise stalk or using the accelerator.
     
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  16. KimPrius3

    KimPrius3 Member

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    Okay, thanks Jim. Sounds simple enough.
     
  17. Timmins13

    Timmins13 New Member

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    Thanks for the write-up, which I agree completely with. I also have a Prius 4 with ATP/PCP. The only item I would add is that I find the rear cross-traffic detection to be a helpful safety feature.
     
  18. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Great write-up! Let's see if I can help with some of your questions.

    The blue accents are only available on the Touring models (Three Touring and Four Touring). They come along with the blue-stitching on the SofTex seats.

    You can use your accelerator to inch forward at the stoplight to close the gap. The car is always in "braking" mode in the sense that the less you press on the accelerator, the more the car will brake. Also, once you're at your desired position behind the car in front, just slowly lift off the accelerator and the car will come to a stop (slowly lift... because if you just lift off rapidly, the car will grab the brake pads and it'll be a jerky stop).

    You can save up to 5 routes you normally take with My Traffic Routes. You have to save a "start point" and "destination" for each of the 5 saved routes.

    Weird because the 3rd Gen Prius with only one sonar sensor on each side of the front bumper will detect the parking stall and then prompt you to turn the wheel and then prompt you to stop once you're at the desired angle/position to back into the stall. It also works without adjacent cars. I find that the back-in mode for the Gen 4's IPA is a step backwards (you have to stop in front of the stall and you have to have adjacent parked cars). The parallel park mode for the Gen 4's IPA is an advancement, however.

    Whohoo!! (y) Dark grey?

    It's operating the same way as the Gen 3.
     
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  19. Puruisi

    Puruisi Junior Member

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    Well yes, and this is literally all that the manual has written about My Traffic Routes. After I program it, then what? How does it work? I have my commute programmed in (12 miles through a busy downtown including interstate, etc)..... And nothing has happened since. Is it supposed to alert me to traffic on that route even if I'm not actively using navigation? If so, it hasn't done that yet.

    It will start moving again (automatically) if you've only been stopped a few seconds. Like maybe less than 3 seconds.
    After that, the pop-up display will tell you to use the cruise stalk or the accelerator to resume.
     
    #19 Puruisi, Jun 19, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2016
  20. Puruisi

    Puruisi Junior Member

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    OK, after another full week of using the full-speed cruise control, I can now readily admit it's not a perfect system.

    I find sometimes I can activate it while sitting at a stoplight behind a car, and other times it doesn't want to activate. Sometimes I can activate it while going at a slow speed, sometimes I cannot. The only time I can definitely get it to activate is if I'm going at a higher speed (say 25mph+). So this inconsistency I don't understand.

    Also, I know the system warns me that I should only use the radar cruise control on expressways. However I have a lot of stop-and-go traffic through city routes which I've successfully used the cruise control. BUT, I've had what I am classifying as complete failures of the cruise control to notice a stopped car in front of me.

    Here's an example that has happened to me several times: I'm using radar to follow a car on a highway (45 mph speed limit, multiple lanes, some traffic lights). That car I'm following winds up going way quicker and pulls very far ahead behind sight. Then I approach a traffic light - it's red and all the cars are stopped. The Prius, coming up upon the stopped cars, sometimes does NOT notice and keeps barreling towards traffic without slowing down at all. To the point where I had to slam on the brakes. Hard. This has happened to me more than once, and I don't know why sometimes it will see traffic in front and slow to a stop accordingly, yet other times it glitches out completely. (And no, I wasn't accidentally switched into normal cruise mode.). I was watching the pop-up display which will tell you if it has detected a car in front - these times it did not ever detect a car despite their presence.

    I'm still using the system a lot, but I am hyper-alert due to these several scares.
     
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