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Consumer Reports review and ratings of Gen 5 Prius—with side-by-side comparison to Gen 4

Discussion in 'Gen 5 Prius Main Forum' started by Gokhan, Oct 2, 2023.

  1. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    The full report finally came out. Here is a very brief excerpt. Subscribe to Consumer Reports to read the very long full report.

    But although the new car is quicker and more engaging to drive—yet somehow still manages to get about the same fuel economy as before, which is no mean feat—the design-led loss of cabin space and focus on performance have taken away from some of the attributes that have made the Prius such a special vehicle. Between the firmer ride, noisier cabin, heavily compromised outward visibility, lower-slung cabin that makes for more difficult entry and exit, less comfortable rear seat, and reduced cargo room, the Prius has lost several points in its road-test score.

    In the words of one of our testers, “This car is trying to be too many things to too many of the wrong people.” Those who have poked fun at the Prius in the past are still unlikely to buy this new one, and previous Prius owners may find the reworked version too impractical.

    We enjoy the car’s newfound nimbleness thanks to tighter suspension tuning, which endows the car with more capable handling. We found it agile through corners out on the road and very secure when pushed to its limits around our track. But the ride has a noticeably firmer edge than before, due in part to our tested XLE’s standard 19-inch tires with short sidewalls. Still, it’s mostly civilized, and we don’t think this compromise should be a deal breaker. But buyers beware: Only the base LE comes with smaller 17-inch tires; the mid-trim XLE and top Limited are stuck with the 19s.

    The new lower-slung aerodynamic body looks super sleek, and very different from any other Prius before. But it exacts a price when it comes to entering and exiting the car, requiring a lot of ducking and “falling down” into the seats, then hoisting yourself back up on the way out. The high, vertically-oriented rear door handles are also awkward to grab.

    The driving position is rather odd: You sit very low, reminiscent of a sports car, the windshield has a dramatic rake, and visibility is hampered by extremely thick windshield pillars. Plus, the driver’s instrument screen is far away. On the bright side, its faraway location—like a compromise between a traditional instrument cluster and a head-up display on the windshield—allows you to keep your eyes focused forward toward the road ahead, rather than looking down at a screen. But the text on the display isn’t any larger even though it's farther away from you. Plus, it’s crowded with information, and many drivers felt like they had to look up and over the top of the panel, as well as over the large windshield wipers.

    The new Prius is tauter and feels more tied-down and responsive than any Prius before it. The steering has a natural, well-weighted heft, and it turns into corners nicely without excessive body roll if you push the pace. It feels agile, and its low center of gravity helps it take a confident and planted “set” through turns. It’s not a sports car, mind you, but the Prius can be a cooperative partner when piloting it on a demanding twisty road. The biggest demerit is that the steering lacks much in the way of driver feedback, telegraphing little in terms of the available tire grip or road texture.

    The Prius proved utterly secure in all handling tests around our track, exhibiting high limits and strong tire grip. Our testers reported that it was predictable, forgiving, and easy to drive through our tight, coned-off avoidance maneuver course, which simulates swerving quickly—with a left-right-left steering sequence—to avoid a vehicle or an obstacle on the road. Its speed of 53.5 mph is identical to the previous model, but still competitive with the Kia Niro (55 mph) and the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid (54 mph).

    The Prius’ driving position will likely take a bit of getting used to. The driver sits very low, more like a sports car than an efficiency-minded compact hatchback. That’s compounded by the dramatically-raked windshield, the base of which is very far away from the driver. Likely in an attempt to bridge the gap between a traditional driver’s instrument screen and a windshield head-up display, Toyota placed the instrument panel rather far away. On the bright side, its faraway location allows you to keep your eyes focused more forward than down, but the text on the display isn’t any larger than normal. Plus, many drivers felt like they had to peer up and over the top of the panel, as well as look over the large windshield wipers.

    The steering wheel position feels a bit lower than in most cars, because you look over the wheel to see the high-perched driver’s screen, rather than through the wheel, although we didn’t find it as low as in the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra EV twins. The setup worked fine for some drivers, while others said that the upper portion of the steering-wheel rim blocked information on the screen. The Prius driver will also have to deal with a considerable amount of center console intrusion with their right knee, and that area isn’t padded. The door- and center armrests are fairly well-positioned, but the center armrest isn’t padded in the least; it seems Toyota just spread a layer of material over plastic. The door armrest at least has some padding, but it’s not great, either. On the bright side, there’s plenty of headroom and the left footrest is good-sized and well-placed.
     
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  2. Blackat

    Blackat Member

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    Consumer Reports is a garbage publication
     
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  3. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    JEEEEZ really?
    Yea - thanks for the truncated version. Thought for a moment I was reading War & Peace again.
    a word to add to your vocabulary "brevity"
     
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  4. hyperphil

    hyperphil New Member

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    @Gokhan I'm new here, but every time I see you post it's either a complaint or something negative. Anyways, thanks for sharing
     
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  5. Preebee

    Preebee Senior Member

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    I would bet my net worth he created the most negative excerpt he could find.
     
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  6. phase

    phase Junior Member

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    How is the heating system versus the Previous prius? Any winter drivers who have driven both want to comment? I hate how long hybrids take to provide warm cabin heat in city driving
     
  7. Preebee

    Preebee Senior Member

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    The AC seems much more powerful in the G5 than G4. I back it way off.

    With the new massive windshield, you don't even need to use the heater. Just kidding...
     
  8. Mr.Vanvandenburg

    Mr.Vanvandenburg Active Member

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    It says there is plenty of headroom. They make it sound like you need a crane to drop yourself in and hoist yourself out, their wording. Is there a door mounted crane invented yet?
     
  9. otatrant

    otatrant Member

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    With the 1 year free trial of remote connect you can remote start your car for 20 minutes which works well for preheating.
     
  10. otatrant

    otatrant Member

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    Last night had to deal with getting 12V battery recharged. The sun was down and the temperature was in the mid 40s Fahrenheit. Once I got the car battery charged I went outside to get it reconnected to my phone and restore the settings. Cranked the heat up immediately. As soon as I raised the temperature as high as I could the engine kicked on. Heated up pretty fast. Plus the heated steering wheel and heated seats work immediately.
     
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  11. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    I haven’t sat in a gen 5 yet. However, lots of headroom doesn’t necessarily mean ‘easy to get into’. The Model S had tons of headroom. It was not easy for many people to get into.
    Ease of ingress has more to do with the slope of the A pillar. That may be the issue here.
     
  12. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    Consumer Reports says:

    All Prius trims—even the top-shelf Limited—come with just a single-zone automatic climate system. The climate system worked well, efficiently cooling the car during hot summer days. All trims also get heated exterior mirrors, and stepping up to the XLE, like our test car, brings heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, which isn’t bad for $33,909. Ventilated front seats are standard on the top-shelf Limited, which also has available heated rear seats.

    Prius HEV and Prius Prime PHEV use a heat pump, which is very efficient, but it could be slow in cold temperatures. There is a heater radiator, but since the ICE doesn't run very often, I am guessing in cold areas, heating may be slow. There is no resistance heating, which would significantly reduce the fuel efficiency.

    Incidentally, the federal government is giving out free heat pumps starting next summer—unless you live in Florida, since DeSantis refused to have them. Ironically, warm places like Florida are ideal for heat pumps.
     
  13. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    [QUOTE="Gokhan, post: 3411635, member: 45202" [/quote]
    .....snip.....the federal government is giving out free heat pumps starting next summer—unless you live in Florida, since DeSantis refused to have them. Ironically, warm places like Florida are ideal for heat pumps. [/QUOTE]

    link?
     
    #113 hill, Dec 10, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2023
  14. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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  15. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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  16. Mr.Vanvandenburg

    Mr.Vanvandenburg Active Member

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    During a five day power outage earlier this year I was happy to have a gas wall furnace and stove.
    The Prius hev has a heat pump?
     
  17. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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  18. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    Of course, it depends on the cost. As far as I remember, it is about $6,000 for regular-income people, which should cover the purchase and installation cost of a lower-priced heat pump. For low-income people, the credit is higher. In any case, the funds will be available for a limited period only until they are exhausted; so, it is a good idea to take the opportunity as soon as the rebates become available circa August 2024. Even though my packaged gas HVAC unit is only about seven years old, I will probably have it replaced with a packaged heat pump, as it should cost next to nothing if at all and I can actually use the heat without worrying about the bill, as heat pumps in warm climates are very energy-efficient.

    Here is the link, where you can find the detailed information about the available credits:

    Home energy rebates frequently asked questions | Department of Energy
     
  19. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Well ... besides the dynamic of, "maybe you can this ... or this" but what it actually says;
    not your falt - but it looks like hopes just got dashed
    .
     
    #119 hill, Dec 10, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2023
  20. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    No, but the states must make the rebates available in August 2024 by the latest—otherwise, they lose all the available funds.

    California is currently doing public hearings on it. Rebates will certainly be available by August.

    It is not a question of if. It is a question of when, and the answer to that is August 2024 by the latest.
     
    #120 Gokhan, Dec 10, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2023