Another Prime road trip in progress

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by jb in NE, May 5, 2019.

  1. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    General thought on some of the car features:

    1. Dynamic cruise control is generally worthless. I want the car to do things better than I can, and I can control the car much better with regular cruise on. DCC has too many "surprises" and odd reactions. One exception - on a single lane (i.e. construction zone) with traffic ahead, DCC will help follow the traffic ahead, particularly trucks as they speed up and slow down.

    2. Nav system interface is weak, but the system is generally accurate (although at Pictured Rocks National seashore it could not find the local roads and tried to route me 50 miles out of the way. The screen display is poor (doesn't auto-zoom to any effective amount). I downloaded Google maps for remote areas and used Waze as a parallel NAV when I had cell service. Voice commands were totally worthless the whole trip.

    3. Great A/C system. Kept the car cool on sunny days, neglible impact on fuel economy.
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    That’s impressive that it’s >50mpg even at 73mph.

    I don’t think I got that at 70mph. But then again, the car was new so the engine hasn’t broken in yet.
     
  3. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    2019-05-06 21.01.11.jpg 2019-05-08 09.58.51.jpg 2019-05-09 17.31.22.jpg 2019-05-12 10.07.22.jpg 2019-05-15 22.52.50.jpg

    I charged where I could along the way (extension cord flopped over a balcony at AirBnB, relatives homes, bath-house at a state park. The 25 foot 12 gauge extension cord was plenty, but I should have brought a 3-6 foot shorty cord so I wouldn't have to use the long one to avoid hanging the charge block from the wall socket. It was pouring rain at one stop, so we put a bucket over the charging block to keep the rain off.
     
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  4. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    The car is very low. I went on a lot of back roads and through towns. Scraped plastic three times and at a Provincial Park in Canada a stick poked through the plastic undertray below the passenger door. I heard something hit the bottom of the car, and found the stick 85 km north when I stopped for breakfast.

    2019-05-14 10.03.29.jpg
     
  5. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Sounds like you want a level of an autonomy, rather than cruise with radar. That expectation is outside of what it's really intended. For ordinary highway cruising with the expectation that the car will detect & respond when someone passes then cuts you off, it is realistic. The system will indeed slow down accordingly. More would be great, but that isn't in the cards yet.
     
  6. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    It's a good car for camping, but I have to figure out how to eliminate the boot-up song from the dash display. That got annoying fast. I charged up enough on the road to get through the campgrounds on EV only. The hatch is handy, enough space in the back for my stuff and drying a wet tent fly. I changed the vehicle settings with Carista to be silent where it can be (no door lock chime, etc). Interior lights set to off, and when I needed a light I turned on a vanity light. I had changed all the interior lights to LED so no worries with 12V battery draining.

    2019-05-11 08.44.52.jpg 2019-05-13 20.35.07.jpg 2019-05-16 07.11.37.jpg
     
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  7. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    I actually want cruise with radar, but it works so poorly that I can't put up with the faults. I can drive much more smoothly by toggling the static cruise control, and I don't get unwanted response when not expected. I tried all three range settings and never got it to a tolerable level. So, it stayed off except for a few stretches of construction.

    The lane-keep assist is equally bad, and that has been disabled since I bought the car. I can stay in my lane just fine without that feature grabbing the wheel.

    Unless the car can perform these functions better than I can (and I have found that it cannot), I'll leave them off.

    Static cruise control works well and maintains speed better than I can with my foot. I toggle it on uphills when it is clear the car will rev the engine like crazy to maintain speed. I found that the sweet spot with the foot is about 3,000 rpm - the car will slow a bit but pretty much hold it's own except on steep hills.
     
    #47 jb in NE, May 19, 2019
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  8. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    This thoughtful reminder from my car - another worthless feature.

    2019-05-08 18.37.30.jpg
     
  9. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    I travel with a GoPro in the windshield. Power comes from the rear 12V via a few USB extensions. A small spring clip goes into the trim panel nicely and keeps the wires out of the way.

    2019-05-04 15.18.41.jpg
     
  10. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Energy management - I found that in the mountains no more than 50% battery charge is best to start. I could easily get 20% battery on a downhill. In upstate Pennsylvania, I had to shift to EV a few times to deplete the battery so I could absorb a subsequent downhill. For range purposes, I planned to enter Canada with a full tank of fuel and charged battery. The car will only charge the battery to 80% with ICE, but I was able to get to 97% with some downhills.
     
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  11. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    For example? I've driven with mine on quite a few trips and have no idea what you are eluding to. Even at 80 mph, no surprises ever. I have also been impressed with the use of radar when it detect upcoming collision potential, those cases when someone abruptly cuts or stops in front of you. So, I suspect you either have unusual circumstances or your system simply doesn't work as well (like when the dish gets obscured).
     
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  12. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Looks like you had a fun trip. Some comments on your review of the vehicle.
    I turned off the boot-up sound on my day 1. I don't remember where, but it is somewhere in the setting you can turn it off without any OBDII dongle or anything.

    You know you can set it as regular constant speed cruise control?
    Screenshot 2019-05-19 at 5.43.03 PM.png
    Yeah, I turned that pop-up off after my first long trip. That's also in the set-up.
     
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  13. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Coming up on a car ahead, just when pull out to pass, the throttle shuts since it thinks I'm too close at that point.

    Detecting cars in adjacent lanes and responding to their speed, particulary when the road is not straight.

    Car ahead slows and then pulls of on an exit, my car floors the throttle to resume speed.

    I don't want nor need unintended or unexpected vehicle responses like these.
     
  14. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Yes. That's how I drove it almost exclusively after the first day.
     
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  15. Bob Comer

    Bob Comer Active Member

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    I don't know what he's talking about either. This is my second car with DCC and there's absolutely no way I'd buy a car without it now. It works great in just about all my driving conditions. The only one it doesn't is housing area where the speed limit is 25. He probably has a way different driving style than I. The stress it relieves in not having to watch the speed at all and still stay clear of cars is priceless.

    I'm sorry, if they're unexpected, you're not watching close enough. I got used to all it's quirks a LONG time ago, there's always something I can do to keep the flow right. I wouldn't be without it.

    That sounds too harsh, sorry! But I wont delete it because it's just something a DCC owner has to do if he wants to use it properly. It's not an autopilot or even close.
     
    #55 Bob Comer, May 19, 2019
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  16. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    I had forgotten that. Went to the garage and found the setting and killed that thing forever. Main Menu - General Settings - Beginning/Ending sound. I note there is also a volume setting for that feature, if I ever want it back it will be very low.

    I'm not following you here. I don't care what a car in an adjacent lane is doing - it shouldn't affect what's going on in my lane unless I'm moving to that lane.

    Since I always watch carefully, I have found that turning DCC off gives me complete control over the car. With DCC on, I have to anticipate what the car will do poorly and react to that ahead of time. I don't want somebody else's foot jumping on my throttle.

    As I noted, driver assist features should work better than if I were doing it myself. DCC is not even close.

    I find the opposite to be true. The car reacts abruptly with too many false positives. When I test drove the car, I thought it would be a useful feature, but have found that is not the case for me.
     
    #56 jb in NE, May 19, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2019
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  17. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Other minor quirks I noted. I learned to keep the car ON when I stopped, or too many things would reset.

    1. Why does cruise control not remember your last setting? It turns OFF by default (same as in my wife's Subaru). My last VW, it stayed on the previous setting (ON or OFF) and only forgot the set speed. That's a more useful setup in my opinion.
    2. The miles since start would reset - minor annoyance.
    3. Lose power to the OBD so I would have to restart Hybrid Assistant app I keep running.
    4. I had to listen to the startup tune (which I have since turned off).
    5. Lose power to my GoPro.
    6. Starts back up in EV mode by default. I would prefer an option here to continue in your previous mode without having to push buttons. On two occasions, I used up the battery I was saving for later when I didn't note that it had reverted to EV mode when I intended to drive in HV mode.

    Fortunately, without the engine running, nobody can tell the car is ON, so it was reasonably stealthy when left ON. For the first leg of the trip (when my wife was with me) we took turns using the rest room at rest stops.
     
  18. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    For driving in the mountains, it would be nice to have either steering wheel controls or paddles to toggle EV mode and B mode. For long downhills, I would switch to EV and then to B, but this involves taking hands off the wheel (usually on a twisty section of road) and looking down to see what button to push among the three on the right. Then you have to reverse the process at the end of the hill.

    My wife's Subaru has paddles on the wheel for downshifting, and if I recall the Volt may have something similar for changing the level of regenerative braking.
     
  19. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    One of the reasons I chose this car over the Volt or Clarity PHEV was range. The Prime has much longer range without refueling. With a full tank and full battery, 600 miles is pretty easy. I went all the way through my Canadian loop on 10.5 gallons of fuel and 90% of the battery - 540 miles. I wasted 40% of the battery on the highway when I didn't realize the car had shifted to EV mode after a restart - I had intended that to be my reserve for the end when I knew I would be in a town.
     
  20. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Seat and driving position were comfortable the whole trip. The center console armrest (microscopically thin padding with softex on top) is pretty hard. I may work up a small pad for that. The non-extendable sun visors didn't cause a problem, and I drove into the sun quite a bit. Perhaps because I'm tall and keep the seat pretty far back, so the front of the roof blocks the sun as well.
     
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