Height of cargo area for dogs

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Awap, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Awap

    Awap Junior Member

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    Hi there, first post, not a Prius owner. Space for a dog in the cargo area has long been a top priority for me, along with high mpg, but it is extremely hard to combine those two things. In 2005 I considered Prius but went for a Toyota Matrix for this reason. Now, car shopping again, and very confused and conflicted!

    In early March 2019 I looked at a new Prius at one dealer, and measured these vertical heights in cargo area (estimated with tape measure):
    28-1/4" at front end (just behind rear seats)
    24" or so in the middle
    21-1/2" or so at rear end

    This was higher than expected, so I got very excited that this could work for my dog. I even put her in the car, and it looked OK. Her shoulder height is about 23".

    Next, got very excited (since I'm in CO) about the AWD-e models (newly introduced in 2019). After a week or two, finally tracked one of these down, and went to measure it. Wow, what a great car! BUT here are the measurements I took:
    25-1/2" at front end (just behind rear seats)
    22" or so at middle
    18-1/2" or so at rear end

    That was very disappointing, so I then asked to see a current (2019) regular Prius. I was shocked to see the cargo measurements are the same as the AWD-e.

    The only possible explanations are
    1) I am a complete idiot and somehow did all 3 measurements wrong on the first car (cannot see how this is possible)
    2) somehow, the first Prius I saw had part of the cargo flooring removed (seems impossible though, I've looked under them, it's just storage nooks / tire or repair kit etc.)
    3) or somehow the various regular Priuses can differ in cargo height (seems 99.999% impossible)
    4) so I have to conclude that the first Prius must have been a 2018 model. Doing a search i am seeing zero 2018 Priuses available in my area.
    (I, of course, somehow forgot to photograph the window sticker on the first car!)

    So I am extremely disappointed. WHY did they have to remodel the Prius just to break my heart over this?! Or is there some other explanation I didn't think of? Do you have a 2019 or 2018 Prius with the 28" cargo height that I measured initially?
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Funny enough, #3 (your 99.999% impossible) is actually correct. This is the 0.001% time.

    Models without the spare tire (and are 2WD) have the largest cargo area as the floor is dropped. Models with the spare tire (2WD) or models with AWD-e use that space for the spare tire or the rear electric motor so they have the floor raised.

    There's about a 3" difference in floor height between those two models (and about a 3 cu. ft. overall volume difference)
     
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  3. Awap

    Awap Junior Member

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    Tideland, thank you for that explanation. It does make sense, sort of, except that I understood all the regular (i.e., not AWD or Prime) 2019 Prius are physically the same except for nuances of the trim (LE, XLE etc.). I was shown one regular prius with a 28" cargo height and another with a 25" cargo height - how can that be? Spoke with the dealer today and he is 99% sure that the 28" example was a 2019 Prius (and it certainly wasn't AWD). So, how can it be that one car had a spare tire and another one didn't?
     
  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    upload_2019-3-22_17-17-25.png


    Because the spare tire is only on the LE trim (as shown in the specs above with the smaller cargo volume of 24.6 cu. ft.). The base L Eco does not have spare tire for weight saving purposes relating to MPG. The XLE and Limited versions don't have a spare tire for weight saving purposes because of higher equipment levels (and Toyota wanted to maintain that 52mpg combined number). The Limited (not shown) also lists the cargo volume at the larger 27.4 cu. ft.

    Confusing? Definitely for the regular buyer.

    For us, we understand why but it doesn't help because the "product advisors" don't always know all the nuances of the different models. There are some good ones out there that do but most don't.

    I guess I could also show this. I replaced the L Eco with the Limited trim but it's the same idea.

    upload_2019-3-22_17-20-56.png
     
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  5. Awap

    Awap Junior Member

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    Aha, thank you, I stand corrected and that makes a lot of sense now. So there are 3 choices for using that bit of design space: an AWD motor, a spare tire, or extra cargo space!

    First, this made things easy for me because it meant I am only interested in the XLE (non-AWD), the only widely available affordable model with the extra cargo space for the dog.

    But, the more I thought about this I realized the dog is safer on the back seat anyway, which changes the whole calculation. Now I'm reconsidering the AWD option.

    But also, this opens up a new can of worms because I never thought my new car decision would include "Do I really need a spare tire?"!! What an absurd position to put the consumer in. I am wondering if the LE (non-AWD) might be the safest option because it has a spare tire.

    So, the choice is between a couple weeks of definitely safer driving in wintertime, vs. 365 days of having a spare tire in case we are beyond cell phone range and suffer tire damage severe enough that the repair kit can't handle it.
     
  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    That’s correct.
    That’s depends. Only you will know. I’ve never used a spare tire in my life (luck?). The few times I’ve gotten a nail has been within city limits so I always just pumped up the tires and drove to the nearest tire centre or garage to get it patched up or replaced (depending on the damage). So for me, it wasn’t really a concern.

    But your situation may be different.
     
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  7. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Wow - you've certainly been lucky. I haven't had one on PRIUS, but last car had 3 flats in 4 years, and needed a spare for 2, previous car had a bolt through the sidewall as well as another flat tyre - both times a spare needed.

    But get out of the metropolitan areas here, and it can be a long way before a tyre service centre. Working out west, I had a flat in a Government car ½ way between Emerald and Longreach - 417km. There was a small service centre at Barcaldine, but I wasn't going to risk the chance they were still open (there were 3 of us in the car). I was glad I had a full time spare.
    upload_2019-3-25_10-56-14.png
    A couple of years before I was in my VOLVO 940, blew a tyre (destroyed) on a dirt road on a Saturday morning - I rang ahead to see where I could get a tyre - we were eventually heading to Brisbane - and it was about 650km before I found someone who had that size in stock!! Glad I had a full size spare again.
    upload_2019-3-25_11-3-16.png
     
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  8. Awap

    Awap Junior Member

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    Yikes, @alanclarkeau, those are vivid and cautionary tales you've shared, and any visible chunk of Australia traversed at that scale is impressive indeed.

    Well, I bought the LE-AWD, so now I will be among the many relying on a questionable risk calculation - in my case, traversing the Colorado mountain roads. I am strongly inclined to buy a temporary spare for the cargo on long trips, perhaps when summer begins I will look for one. Since the dog will be in back seat, I can toss it in the cargo, but probably safer to tie it down in some way. I brought this up with the dealer (who was trying to sell me heated seats etc.) and he said he had never heard of someone retrofitting a spare into a car that didn't come with one.

    I have had 2-3 flats I can recall. They were always nails, in town, usually in snowy weather when it is easier for a nail to be pointing randomly upward in the snow.
     
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  9. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I'm planning on driving around the country, or maybe only ½ way, and do the rest another time. I was considering it a couple of years ago when I bought Samantha, but with family issues with ageing parents have held that up.

    But if I did, I'd take a 2nd spare, probably a Corolla steel rim, and locate it securely in the back passenger floor, strapped to the seat. I'll be driving alone - I don't think I'd take my dog.
    upload_2019-3-28_16-53-30.png

    The main road network - arrow marks home:
    upload_2019-3-28_16-56-47.png

    Oh - and enjoy your PRIUS.
     
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