Considering a Prius....need some advice

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Mikmac09, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. Mikmac09

    Mikmac09 New Member

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    have been considering a Prius for some time, but never got one due to my uncertainty if its right for me or not. So I thought I would come on here and seek some expert advice. My situation: I currently have a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport that gets horrible gas mileage. I never offroad so that doesn't mean anything to me. It's my only vehicle and I drive it everywhere. The best mpg I ever got out of the Jeep was 15 mpg and it is completely stock - no llft or big tires. My commute is very short - only 2 miles one way to work in the city. I usually also drive once or twice a week to the stores or mall across town which is another 5-10 miles away or so. I live in central PA where it gets cold and snowy in the winter which is the main reason I bought the Jeep, but so far, it seems like overkill for me. There are also some steep hills and in my city, however my commute to work is pretty flat. Would a Prius benefit me at all? My main concern is...Could I get to and from work in my short 2 mile commute in city streets purely on electrical power? If I put on some good winter tires, will It go through snow and ice? Jeeps hold tremendous resale value, and mine is paid off, so trading for a regular Prius might not break the bank all that much if making the switch is beneficial. I am also considering the Prius plug in (but they are harder to find and more expensive), and the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. Thanks for any advice!
     
    #1 Mikmac09, Oct 23, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  2. Fore

    Fore Don't look back!

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    The only advice I can give you is don't by new, these vehicles depreciate rapidly. For your short commute find a good used PIP and you might recoup your costs if you have to get a loan.
     
  3. luckyboy

    luckyboy Member

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    If you live in snow I would honestly stick with a Subaru, the crosstek hybrid is very mild and barely better than the normal version in terms of MPG but most newer subarus would probably get double the MPG as your jeep. Also keep in mind in short cold trips the prius is typically in "warm up" mode so you'll be seeing more like 35-40mpg instead of the high 40s-50mpg it gets when warmed up. With that short of a commute the AWD is worth the piece of mind IMO though I've heard the prius does alright in casual snow.
     
  4. kutztown46

    kutztown46 Junior Member

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    Hello, fellow Keystone Stater. I drove a Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid before we bought our Prius. In terms of MPG, it is not nearly as good as a Prius, but the Crosstrek was a pleasure to drive. And the Subaru will be great in snow.

    How many miles a year do you drive? And if I may ask, where in central Pa.?
     
  5. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    We have a subie and it's not immune to the cold start/short trip MPG hit so it wouldn't have good numbers either. The OP is a prime candidate for a plug-in hybrid with a set of snow tires for winter. (y)
     
  6. TC400

    TC400 Active Member

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    i live in PA too. Winter tires are a must. I doubt you will make it to work entirely in EV mode unless you get a Plug in Prius. But if you buy the engine block heater that'll help keep your mpg up in the winter time. I have a 12 c and with all of the PA winters and hills i still manage a fantastic 47.3 MPG in the lifetime of my car.
     
  7. zak.kapoor

    zak.kapoor Junior Member

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    My round trip commute every day is 54 miles. On days when I drop off and pick up my kids, I drive another 10 miles. I used to drive a 4Runner that was an excellent car but the gas mileage was barely 18 MPG. With the Gen II Prius I get 47 MPG. I live on a hill and the last part my commute is a short but steep uphill drive. Prius can handle it fine. I have driven the Prius to Mount Hood Meadows ski resort without any special studded tires (with chains, when required). I have never had any problems. The odometer is currently at 99.5K miles and I can still see myself driving this car a few years down the road. Prius has been one of the most reliable cars I have driven.

    There is one problem with the Gen II Prius. In icy conditions, if the wheels start slipping, the car can completely stop in the middle of the road. This has happened to me a couple of times in the last 8 years. I have heard that the Gen III Prius does not have this problem.

    For me Prius is an ideal car and I will seriously consider a PIP when I am ready to upgrade. I am looking forward to see how 2017 PIP specs compare with other plug-in cars. I am not so sure if Prius is the best option for you. Subaru Outback or Honda CRV might be good options. With these cars you can significantly improve your gas mileage and still have AWD if you need to drive in snow / ice.

    If you decide to go with the Prius, you might want to wait for the 2016 model. It is supposed to be a major redesign. Lot of threads in this forum have been speculating about the new design.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you'll save the most money keeping your jeep. even if gas goes to 5 bucks a gallon, you'll lose money overall by trading to another vehicle. you just don't drive enough.
     
  9. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Your meager overall driving mileage obviously suggests you don't NEED a Prius.

    But the question then morphs quickly into do you want a Prius?

    In my opinion, which I know many disagree with, but in my opinion The Prius is simply NOT a great winter conditions vehicle. While it IS possible to drive and make work with snow tires, by the very nature of it's design, I simply think it is not the best vehicle to choose for a lot of snow and ice driving. It's the worst vehicle in snow and on ice, that I've ever owned.

    Others that live in the Snow Belt will disagree with me and share anecdotes about the time they rescued the lost orphans in the blizzard after driving The Prius over the snowed in Mountain Pass. But my experience is that the HSD and the electric motor start, coupled with an agressive traction control system, simply makes The Prius less than optimal in harsh winter conditions. If those are conditions you drive a LOT in? I simply would not recommend it.

    Hybrids/Electrics are about a lot of things to those that buy them and choose to operate and own them. But a primary benefit to each owner is efficiency and either 0 gas usage with electrics or far less gas usage with a hybrid. Your low mileage life style means that benefit would be reduced by default.

    All that personal opinion aside, Is it right for you? If you want one? Yes. Just know you'd be trading in a vehicle that is probably optimal for harsh winter conditions for one that I think is questionable at best. Also know that while your gas mileage would improve astronomically in comparison to a Jeep Wrangler, your limited driving as a whole would somewhat temper that benefit.

    If it was me? Honestly? I'd keep thinking about through the winter. Use your Jeep through the winter months, keep researching, let the next Generation Prius be released, then if your still interested in making a change, make it this coming Spring. The release of the Gen 4 Prius creates another option, may result in more used Prius being traded in, and you can look at and consider any number of other options for a vehicle in the meantime.

    I don't know whether you are thinking about used or new, but reportedly the Gen 4 Prius has a more efficient heat reclamation system which would result in quicker engine warm up in cold environments, as well as I hear quicker warming of the personal driving space.

    Anyway, you are NOT in an emergency situation as far as purchase. I'd take advantage of the truth that you can wait and continue to consider.
     
  10. Fore

    Fore Don't look back!

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    I'm in total agreement with this statement. If you hold on to the Prius which your forced to do because they depreciate so fast you loose in the long run. For example: About 4yrs ago I traded in my 2005 Tacoma Prerunner for around 18k, it was a swap for me buying this used Prius for the same price. Well guess what my 2005 Tacoma is still worth 18k and my 2010 Prius is now only worth 11k. What a rip off, IMHO I would have never thought the Prius would depreciate like that. Good luck to you tho, I'm stuck with mine can't afford anything else on a trade in.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    unfortunately, our pri depreciation is based on gas prices. same thing happens to the suv's when price goes up. not sure if trucks are as affected due to potential commercial use.
     
  12. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

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    Although I'm a huge fan of the Prius, I would also keep what you have, in your situation. Although I'm a pretty devout environmentalist, for the distances you drive, a vehicle's fuel consumption would make much less of a difference than the extra hassle, expense and raw materials (if you purchase new) of a vehicle swap.

    The only variant of the Prius that may benefit you is the plug-in. The regular Prius delivers unimpressive fuel economy until it is up to operating temperature (about 10-15 minutes of driving). For a daily 2-mile commute, a conventional Prius may not average more than 20 mpg. They're really best suited for longer drives.

    I would keep the JK! (Unless you hate it for other reasons) A vehicle that averages 15 mpg for 2-mile trips really isn't that bad.
     
  13. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    "Central PA" covers a lot of territory. There's a big difference between Harrisburg and State College. If you are only driving a couple miles the Prius will get ~25mpg and will never get warm. The longer the drive the better the fuel economy. Your Jeep isn't getting warm either but the economy hit may not be as noticeable if it was designed to get 15mpg all the time.

    I don't like mountain driving in the winter and have made a few trips that I probably shouldn't have. Getting stuck on a mountain isn't just a Prius problem it can happen to anything.

    The Prius should need less maintenance but since you don't drive the Jeep much you probably aren't spending much anyway. Figure you can cut your fuel bill in half. That's how much a Prius is going to save.

    You are a candidate for an EV. Unless you can get an even trade I don;t see how getting rid of the Jeep makes economic sense. It's a different story when the Jeep needs to be replaced.
     
  14. elian

    elian New Member

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    Hi there, I'm from Central PA too .. I had a used Gen II 2007 Prius using Bridgestone Ecopia tires - I was able to average 45-49MPG in summer and about 34MPG with heater, multiple below zero days in winter. The tank was smaller, so I filled up more often but the fill ups didn't cost that much. Traction in winter was never a problem on city roads that were treated, I lived in the suburbs and didn't really need snow tires..just all season radials since they measure snow in inches here, not feet like in some of the colder places. The gen II prius couldn't disable traction control so I wouldn't take it up steep, unplowed hills..and they only have 5" of ground clearance so that would be a change from your Jeep.

    With all of those things I still loved my prius and still think it was fun to drive and the best sedan for MPG. I had both a Prius and an HHR, I would take the Chevy on the snowy days because it already had way more mileage on it but the few times I got caught out in the snow with the Prius it was a pleasure to drive.

    I eventually got tired of having two cars, paying twice for everything and juggling them around - after the umptenth recall on the HHR and realizing that even though my gen II only had 60K mi on it (wthen I bought it had 49Kmi/7 years old) the battery pack was approaching 10 years (and the vent fan was running more) I decided to trade both of them in on the C-MAX hybrid. Got good trade in value on the Prius. I got the CMAX Hybrid SEL with technology package and panoramic roof - it's a great car (get the SEL, not the SE as SE's have 12 volt battery issues). I test drove the Prius v but it had no power, it's like they took the original prius drivetrain and added 2,000lbs to it. There was an Eco/Power button that supposedly adjusted the shift points but the CMAX had a lot more power and a much nicer ride. I average between 40-42MPG with the C-MAX and it meets my needs by combining the HHR and Prius into one car - I still miss the MPG I used to get in the Prius though, no other hybrid car can touch it.

    If I were to get another Prius I would definately look for a used, low mileage Gen III at this point. Someone bought my Gen II the second day it was on the dealer's lot, and I'm sure there are plenty of them still going strong but I don't know if I'd trust the battery life in an original pack any more and they've made a lot of improvements in the newer model sedans.

    If you only drive 2 miles a day you might not need a new car, but if you want to travel a lot it's a nice car.
     
    #14 elian, Oct 26, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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