Another "what should I...?" thread

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by naptown317, Oct 10, 2018 at 1:29 PM.

  1. naptown317

    naptown317 New Member

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    Hey everyone! Total newb here. I've been doing a lot of reading and have learned so much here already. But I do have some pretty specific questions I'd love to ask that I haven't run into during my research. Wall of text for context....

    Background: I was offered a great job that I am super excited about in a town about 50 miles away. I love driving, and I love where I live so I don't want to move. I was kidding around last week and said, "Maybe I'll buy a Prius hahahaa!" I almost had a stroke when my dad replied, "That's actually a good idea."

    Reason for near stroke: my dad is this super legendary mechanic, he's in the ASE Hall of Fame, only likes GM products. We all thought the world was ending when he let my mom get a PT Cruiser 14 years ago. He even called the Prius a tank the other day....not saying it isn't, just REALLY strange to hear my dad say these things. Like I'm not even sure what's real anymore.

    Anyway, a Prius would be solely a commuter vehicle for me. I'm keeping my beloved 2004 Impala SS as my fun car, I just spent $4500 putting a new engine in that bad boy with 215k miles on it. (Typing that out, I know that makes me sound like a crazy person. But it really is a blast to drive and I obviously have deep emotional attachment to the Impala.)

    Here's what I'm wondering:

    1. What will the transition be like from what is essentially a sports car to this little hybrid guy? I had a Rabbit when I first started driving, but I've been racing around in a supercharged premium-gasoline beast for 13 years. I also drove marked government vehicles during that time and had to drive like a little old lady, so I am capable of going slow.

    2. Will I fit in a Prius? I'm 5'10" and a bigger girl. My torso is also disproportionately long: my inseam is 27 and my head is always close the ceiling of every car I get into (besides pickups, etc.).

    3. Big mechanical stuff: Does the battery automatically need replaced at some point or is it like the engine in my car, where it just happened to go out? I don't remember anyone in my family ever replacing an engine or transmission, but it does seem to happen to me. Do Prii batteries go bad as a rule, is it like a 50/50 chance, or should I plan on it (and when)? And how's this Corolla engine in the Prius? Is it a good, solid engine with a history?

    4. If the battery does go out, can I still drive the car in the immediate term? I don't want to be stuck at night in the boonies on my way to or from work....am I able to drive it like a regular car and get it to a dealer the next day or something?

    5. Anything obvious I should look for when I start shopping around as far as red flags? I think I'm going to look at 2013 and newer models from my research. I'll have a good down payment and plan on paying it off quickly before my student loans come due....grad school, so they're gonna sting.

    6. Is there anything else you would steer me toward or away from when it comes to Prius shopping/research? Or tips in general? This is such a weird place for me to be, I honestly thought I'd end up in like a Chevy SS (if I could find one) or another Impala when they make one that looks decent again. A Prius was never on my radar, but it's the clear choice with a 110-mile round-trip commute 5 days a week. Regular gas, right?

    From what I've read, these are relatively low-maintenance vehicles and that makes the Prius very appealing. That being said, I'm not averse to issues cropping up. I always have the best worst-car-ever stories, excluding the Impala amazingly. Any problems with 2013 and newer Prii that are pretty common and I should know about?

    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and I am so grateful for your advice!!
     
    Burna J likes this.
  2. Skibob

    Skibob Member

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    Greetings. I can’t tell you much about a 2013 as I don’t have one. I would suggest you find one at a car dealer and sit in it, perhaps take a test drive. That would be the best way to see how you fit in the car.
     
  3. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Active Member

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    Just two thoughts:
    It appears that a LOT of used Prii are on the market because of high mileage and impending major repair needs........because people just don't let go of them on a whim.....usually.
    AND.....
    If you can't convince yourself to stick to the speed limit and not race away from stops, much of the advantage from a hybrid disappears.

    A LOT of people in a similar situation do really good with a hybrid. A scant few don't.

    We are on our second Prius (C) and our second Ford Fusion hybrid and I love them both......for different reasons.
    The Fusion is our "highway" car.

    I don't think that I would be happy being in a Prius for two hours a day but that is a personal decision.
    Good luck.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    1) big transition, but not something you can't overcome if you have the desire. as mentioned above, a test drive is in order

    2) see above, but i think yes

    3) battery is like the engine, but has an 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty in your state. generally, 3k to replace, but you can find them for 2k and install yourself

    4) no, the hybrid battery starts the engine, not the 12 volt, and no 'starter motor', but you generally have some warning and time to think about your next step. you're more likely to get stranded by a low 12 volt, which is needed to boot up the computers and close relays.

    5) gen 3 (2010-2015) is a solid car except for the egr circuit and intake manifold, which tend to clog with oil from blow by., causing head gasket failure. it is recommended here that they be cleaned before 100,000 miles, and if capable, an oil catch can be installed.
    there might have been a design change on the 15's, i'm not sure.

    also recommended is tranny oil changes, but toyota calls it 'lifetime'.

    6) finally, consider gen 4. (2016 and newer) they are reasonably priced, and you'll get the difference back when you trade/sell.

    all the best!(y)
     
    Skibob likes this.
  5. Usle

    Usle Junior Member

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    Go right to a prime advanced, brand new, well, go test drive one, in electric from 0-30 it's good, and it's suspension is surprising good for whipping it around, the seat goes very low and quite far back, long legs won't be a problem, again, go try one, I've got 17,000 miles with one New England winter and I'm averaging 94.2 mpg overall, and surprisingly, opening the hatch will show you how much you can carry, quite a bit.
     
  6. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Active Member

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    Sure.
    Getting something brand new is usually the best as far as features and reliability goes, but not everybody can afford the price.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    For more headroom, avoid the sunroof models (I'd avoid them anyway). To better compare headroom, say sunroof vs non-sunroof, sit in the front passenger seat, which is not height adjustable.

    Our 2010's been champion, but I've done the aforementioned EGR and intake manifold cleaning, and have an Oil Catch Can installed, for about a year now. Watch @NutzAboutBolts videos for more info, pinned at top of 3rd gen maintenance forum. Have your dad watch them too...

    I'm reluctant to go to fourth gen, for various reasons:

    1. At least in the 'States, half the levels are missing a temp spare tire.
    2. Storage has been significantly reduced, cargo cover cheapened on about half the levels.
    3. The exterior look borders on absurd.
    4. The dash is monopolized by a gargantuan touch screen, and more and more essential controls are being shuffled into it. It's also an "interesting" mix of gloss white and black.

    On the flipside:

    1. It does at least 5~10 percent better for mpg.
    2. The EGR has had some redesign, hopefully more dependable.
    3. They went from solid beam to independent rear suspension. Personally I don't miss it, but for some it matters?

    With the Prime (latest gen, with plug-in capability, bigger battery), you have all of the above (including spare tire delete) and to accomodate the bigger battery they raised the hatch floor maybe 4". And it's only a four seater. It also loses rear wiper, which was kinda useless to begin with, so meh.

    Prius Eco also loses rear wiper, has temp spare, and somehow ekes a bit more mpg. Kind of a frustrating package.
     
    #7 Mendel Leisk, Oct 12, 2018 at 10:42 AM
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018 at 10:56 AM
  8. Skibob

    Skibob Member

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    No spare tire at all you say? My commuter cars all had to have a spare. Heck my space saver spare in my Honda was replaced with a full sized one. Less trunk space but a commuter car isn’t about trunk space, it’s about getting to work. Good stereo is a must.
     
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