Here's why the Prime has 4 seats

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by fotomoto, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I came across this nugget of info at Inside EVs - Electric Vehicle News, Reviews, and Reports

    Jay Cole, the editor in chief, after speaking with Toyota added this to the comments section underneath the Prime announcement story:

    "Random thing on this to add after talking to some people specific to the efficiency goals. As the Prius Prime is close to a structure reinforcement benchmark at weight …

    ie) if they had a fifth seat, then the estimated cargo/passenger load would have tipped so that the structure would have had to be significantly altered

    …as such, even without the passenger, the car itself with 5 available seats would have gained ~200+ lbs of weight with the mods, regardless if someone was sitting in there or not.

    Specific to your quote sven, if Toyota made it a seat, they would have risked going under the 50 MPG extended range petrol number they look to hit (no numbers have yet been released, but it is expected/hinted at ~51-53). So instead of a seat, they just put the inverter/charger in the back. Not commenting at all on whether or not the trade-off was worth it or not, just saying that is why…it is, what it is."

     
    #1 fotomoto, Mar 26, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  2. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Thanks for digging. There's lots of decision factors easy to overlook with so much change.

    The interesting tidbit I came across was the upgrade from 2.2 to 3.3 kW for charge-rate. That equates to replenishing double the capacity in less double the time. (4.4 kWh = 1.5 hours, 8.8 kWh = 2.33 hours)

    That new charger is in the area where the 5th seat would be.
     
    #2 john1701a, Mar 26, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  3. civicdriver06

    civicdriver06 Active Member

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    I wonder why Toyota has so low numbers considering passenger/load capacity?
    When I read that the gen.4 Prius is supposed to have a 60% more rigid body,I thought load capacity would go up,but the exact opposite happened! !
    If I compare a normal VW Golf to a gen 4 Prius the the Golf has 540 kg of load capacity while the Prius only has 340 !
    Those are German specs,but in general not one single Toyota can keep up with VW,BMW or even Opel (GM) when it comes to load capacity!
    No matter if it's a hybrid or not .
    I hope Hyundai won't put Toyota to shame when they reveal their Plug-in .
    Officially they allready have,but no matter how hard I am looking for pictures or videos of the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid,I can't find any !
     
    #3 civicdriver06, Mar 26, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sounds like someone didn't do their homework when redesigning the prius chassis.
    agree tho, it is what it is. we'll see how sales do, not a lot of 4 seaters in the bread and butter car market.
     
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  5. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    Toyota has always won every challenge regarding hybrids...
    (up to now)
    It seems to me that this Prime was not intended to be a challenge anyway, since they prefer FCV and bashed Plug-ins.
    The tech evolution with this PiP looks as they want to lower its sales even more, crippling the rear seat.
    And we don't know the price yet.

    RIP PiP.
     
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  6. dipper

    dipper Active Member

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    I hope it flops, I want a major discounted one a year from now... like my rav4ev.
     
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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    hybrids are one thing, and plug ins another. it sure doesn't look like they're much interested. i'm just glad they made another one, i hope they don't quit.
     
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  8. Alesf76

    Alesf76 Member

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    540 ? Maybe with the rear seats down ....
     
  9. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

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    And I thought it was so one could conceive a child in a Prius.
    haha
     
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  10. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    "Touch & Go" instead ;)
     
  11. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

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    Load capacity has always been that way... I would guess it has to do with Toyota under-estimating theirs and Germans over-doing it, just like with luggage capacity where Golf is way over-rated when you actually measure the space.

    There are many pictures of Ioniq Plug-In, it is same as regular Ioniq look wise. It has 8.9kwh battery. They claim better performance than Prius in USA but same in Europe... I am thinking it will get less real life mileage but lets see.

    It is also Auris Hybrid competitor in Europe, similar size, rear space and cargo room, and price likely too... except they dont have touring model. I would expect Ioniq Plugin to be significantly cheaper in Europe than Prius since it competes with Auris in pricing so plugin cant be double the price.
     
  12. inferno

    inferno Senior Member

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    I think I heard the next gen plugin will resolve all issues. 130 mpgs, 60 mpg minimum, full trunk space two passenger (bench seat in back to fit 1 dog comfortably) .

    5th gen also breaking mpg barriers. 4 seater and 60 mpg.

    6th gen might be a bicycle.

    /badsarcasm
     
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  13. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Well it's a Volt/Fusion competitor and not a family car.
    So probably shares sales with those vehicles.
    I am betting Toyota knows CA PHEV HOV prospects and if that's a "go" sales will be good.

    We are all hoping Toyota could do for Plug_ins what they did for Hybrids...make it the best car anyways, and oh by the way, it's a 50 MPG hybrid in case you missed it due to the spacious interior.

    At the moment, maybe Chrysler will be first to make plug-in "invisible", hiding the batt in the minivan's stow and go seating compartment.
     
    #13 wjtracy, Mar 29, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
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  14. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    4 seater seems really odd. Biggest user of Gen 3 Prius in Australia seems to be TAXIs or Govt - each of which wouldn't be interested in 4 seaters. Maybe Toyota wants to leave that market behind. But then, families wouldn't be interested in 4 seaters either.

    It probably wouldn't worry me, I live alone, and 99.9% of the time, it's only me, with one or 2 passengers 0.05%, or 2 small dogs the other, 0.05% of the time.

    Except that resale could be a problem, trying to sell a 4 seater in a few years time.
     
  15. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    According to the piece in autoblog, the 3.3 kw charger would fit in other places, my guess is it would take a little cargo area, but not much. It was done for efficiency and cost. If they improved chasis strength for a potential 5th american passenger that cost would be passed along too.

    5 Things to Know About the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-In Hybrid - Automobile
    I have no idea if this is correct, but it sounds like they could do a mid cycle refresh with a 5th seat if this strange consumer requirement changes ;-)
     
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  16. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    If Jay says so but 50 MPG that's really 21.13 Km/liter, hard to see that as a target
     
  17. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Don't have a dog in this fight because I will likely never buy a 2016 Prius, but I still don't understand this obsession with 5 seats. The GEN II and GEN III LB hybrids do not hold 3 normal sized adult passengers in the back with anything consistent with of comfort. Know because I have tried it many times and the 5th would rather ride with someone else...just doing a quick breakfast run.
     
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  18. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    well ... it's all about the future little Prius Chatters.
     

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    #18 wjtracy, Mar 29, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
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  19. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    You have to remember the US is toyota's biggest market and most profitable market. Engineers know how to do both metric and english. They don't really compare, but the gen IV got a "magic number" in japan.

    Gen IV prius
    EPA 52 mpg combined
    Japan 40km/liter (94mpg)

    Gen III prius
    EPA 50 mpg
    Japan 32.6 km/liter (77mpg)
     
  20. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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