buying Prius for wife, confused on what to get

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by rjacobs, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. rjacobs

    rjacobs New Member

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    We have decided to buy my wife a Prius. My wife is a new driver(long story) and for her driving(mostly around our small town) and our longer distance errand running around the DFW metroplex, I feel a Prius will suit well. Ive never owned a hybrid, but have owned 2 diesels: Jetta TDI that got bought back from the emissions lawsuit and a Chevy Cruze that we just traded off as it went out of warranty(did not want to deal with low production number diesel car out of warranty)... After reading a ton about Prius's I dont feel I have to much of a concern being out of warranty.

    Anyway, on to the crux of the matter.

    We have an appointment to drive a 2020 LE with 22k miles from Avis used cars. Their cars are priced about 2500-3k under market and the buying process seems easy. Im not terribly concerned about it being a former rental car provided the cosmetics arent bad. I spoke to a local guy(Matt with Texas Hybrid Batteries) and he said as long as no warning lights or messages on the dash and cosmetically it checks out he wouldnt be to concerned with a low miles rental. I picked the LE vs. L Eco because it has basically all the safety stuff on it and it seems you have to go to the LE to get the blind spot monitoring, which is important for me for my wife to have, otherwise an L Eco feature set would be just fine.

    NOW on to slightly older cars and where my confusion comes in. Obviously only interested in Gen 4's. Definitely want blind spot monitoring. So it looks like I am pretty safe on 2018(2017.5) 2's and up trim levels to get blind spot monitoring... So in a 16 or 17, where am I safe that I KNOW it will have it? 3's or do I have to step up to a 4? I ask because, even in a market like DFW, where there are TONS of cars overall for sale, Prius are still a much smaller "demographic" so to speak and the metroplex is pretty large(I am also willing to go to Austin or Houston to buy a car), but I need to know FOR SURE a car will have what I want before I drive several hours possibly to look/buy. The feature set on a 2, overall, is fine for us, but the blind spot monitoring is a must have. So lets say I want to look at 2016's and BSM is a MUST HAVE... what trim level does that put me at to guarantee? Then a 2018 2, appears to guarantee me BSM.

    Any other "must haves" that push me up a trim level in any of the years? I dont think battery chemistry causes me any heartburn either way...

    Ive tried to read a ton and still came away slightly confused. Thanks...
     
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  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    For 2016/2017, it's Four and Four Touring (2017 before the mid-year 2017.5 as you've noted)
     
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  3. rjacobs

    rjacobs New Member

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    Thanks... Gives me somewhere to expand my search to.

    We drove a 2019 XLE today and it was very nice except it had a lot of exterior cosmetic issues considering it only had 9800 miles on it. So we passed. Im still thinking the 2020 LE from Avis is going to be it unless the car is a huge POS cosmetically when we drive it.
     
  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    2020 LE is when Toyota added CarPlay (no AndroidAuto.. that is 2021).

    Also note, only LE models get CarPlay (and AndroidAuto where applicable).
     
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  5. sclevine

    sclevine Member

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    My 2017 Four has all the safety features. These cars are great, and I'm 151,000 miles in with no issues, so I wouldn't be concerned with getting an older 2016-2017 (with trim level with safety feature) with some miles on it, so long as the history is clean.

    My last car was a Jetta TDI, and selling back to VW in 2016 is what partially funded buying my Prius new at that time!
     
  6. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Rent one for a week first......
     
  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I worry that you intend it for 'short distances' During warm up, the Prius is not extremely more efficient than a normal car. If she is not driving over a 1/2 mile, I would not get a hybrid. By 5 miles, it is all warmed up and she will get EPA mileage. Short distances also do not give either battery time to charge.

    She will be most impressed if she travels dozens of miles at 35 to 45 MPH at constant speed. If her driving does not resemble this, it will be less impressive. (Short distances favor Plug in Hybrids. High speeds favor Diesels.)

    Just my opinion.
     
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  8. robsnyder20

    robsnyder20 Active Member

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    I would concur with Jimbo, if she is making errands that are 2-3 miles, you can expect 30-40 MPG during warm up or stop and go traffic. Prius definitely shines with longer drives or lots of stop and go with longer drives over a normal car. Not saying its not an awesome car in ways, but if you are flying down the interstate at 80 MPH or just driving the car less than 5k a year, I am not sure a prius is worth the additional expense over a corolla. Just also my 2 cents. As far as buying used, I have never been crazy about rentals myself because they were used by lots of other people who were driving it...perhaps somewhat carelessly but I doubt there was really too much harm done while rented out. Maybe take it to a local garage and have them look at the bottom of the car, because the clearance is VERY low in this particular car.
     
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  9. rjacobs

    rjacobs New Member

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    Well "around our small town" is not really small, but we live out in the country a bit. I think its 5 miles into town. We will also use it running around the metroplex here in DFW. Even high 30's to low 40's will be great. And my wife honestly could care less about mileage as its not something even on her radar.
     
  10. MIkeDr

    MIkeDr Member

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    Fwiw, the Prius and Corolla were around the same monthly cost for a lease when we got our Prius. Preferred the Prius to the Corolla, so went with that.

    we’re on track for driving 3k miles per year. Pumping gas every other month!
     
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  11. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    You are making this MUCH more difficult than it needs to be.
    What YOU want means little to nothing.
    You should get what SHE wants......or you likely will never hear the end of it. :whistle:

    Then, given the situation and purpose, I don't think that a hybrid is right for y'all because it sounds like cost is an important consideration.
    The ONLY way I would recommend a used hybrid to anybody is one that is 4 years old or less, with less than 30K miles or so.
    Looking at older ones because of cost can get you into a bigger mess than with an older conventional car.

    If that will put a strain on your budget, start looking at Corolla's.
     
  12. rjacobs

    rjacobs New Member

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    not sure how you got any of that out of any of my posts.

    My wife doesnt know bupkis when it comes to cars. "it looks nice" "its comfortable" "i like the color"... thats the extent. She doesnt understand the intricacies of safety packages, etc... BUT I do. So she likes the Prius so then its up to me to figure the rest out and make sure I get her a safe car with all the safety features and BSM being one that is high on my list.

    And im pretty sure seeing as how I stated I was only looking at Gen 4's puts me in your "4 years old or less" bucket. Im not as concerned about mileage as I am overall condition, but I am not looking at any car over 50k miles. One car we are going to look at is a '17 four touring with 46k miles on it, but its a 1 owner sold originally by the current selling dealer and always serviced by them. Its on the higher mileage of what I am interested in, but the rest of the facts about the car make me pretty interested in it vs. a car with 30k miles bought at auction with multiple owners and zero service history.

    And I never once stated I had a budget at all, just talking overall price and where the cars Avis sells are priced.
     
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  13. PaulDM

    PaulDM Active Member

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    Speaking from the uk. My 2016 gen4 was bullied proof. My 2019 gen4 gives slightly higher mpg. Either of those in any trim level will suit they eat up the mileage with very little tech issues. Have not called motor assistance for any of my 4 Prius driven since 2005. And driven 300k miles across those 4 models.
     
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  14. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Often people don't really say what they mean.
    Sometimes they do.

    My "wife" point was: Let HER make the final decision. Do NOT buy anything without her stamp of approval.
    Unless you operate as "king of the roost" on other matters too.

    If the price is within your budget, a low mileage recent model Prius can be a good buy.

    Good hunting.
     
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  15. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    NEVER drive long distances to buy a commodity car. Salesmen lie for a living and they are pros at it. Buy and test drive locally. Realize the used car market is high right now and a new car can be had for close to the price of low mile versions, largely due to manufacturer incentives.
     
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  16. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    A car with a driver that likes it, is a car that will be better treated, last longer, be cheaper to own.

    A Prius makes it's owner make compromises, as does every car in some way. If the driver is uninterested in the advantages a Prius offers, it will never be worth the compromises it does not do well.

    If she just values reliability, a Corolla will ask fewer comprises and be more loved. so question one, what does she value, what will encourage her to treat her car well?
     
  17. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Once she realizes everybody else in Texas is driving a truck or suv, it will be trade time. Consider a 2019 or newer Rav4 hybrid.
    DED7C556-B90E-457A-BF08-60B6F065145F.jpeg
     
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  18. PaulDM

    PaulDM Active Member

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    Def both gen4 Prius require less “compromise” than previous models. the hybrid Corolla has less battery modules so is more reliant on the petrol engine and lighter weight in the HB for performance figures.
     
  19. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Maybe not.
    Some people don't give a TLRA about what "everybody else" is doing.

    Those are the same people who recently lost power to a large part of the State just because of a little winter storm.
    I don't have much faith in their judgement.
    :eek:
     
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  20. rjacobs

    rjacobs New Member

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    DFW is "local" for us and we live a bit out so no matter what its 50 miles for us to drive to look at a car... The only car not in DFW we are contemplating looking at is down in College Station, but its kind of a "if none of these look good to us" kind of things. And, at least in DFW, there are no deals to be had on new Prius's...unless you consider 250 bucks off a "good deal".

    Last year we bought a used chevy colorado for pretty cheap for her to drive... she wouldnt drive it even though she liked it and wanted it. It was to big for her. So I just sold it. So no trucks for her.

    We also have an Explorer ST I just bought, so we got the SUV covered. Oh, she wont drive it either because its "to big"... size is all relative.
     
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