Intro post, and shopping for a Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Smaug1, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Smaug1

    Smaug1 Member

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    Hi All. I'm thinking of getting a Prius, so I thought I'd join up here.

    My mom has a 2016 and my wife has a 2014. I'm currently driving a 2012 Accord EX stickshift and a Honda CBR500R motorcycle.

    I'm wondering what all you guys cross-shopped the Prius again and why you decided to go with a Prius.

    For my part, I started looking at Hondas, as I generally prefer them. A bit more sporty and comparable in efficiency. (but noisier cabins) Theirs seem to all be sedans, which I'm sick of. I miss the hatchback from my previous cars. (Civics, mostly)

    I shopped the Civic hatchback, which has a turbo engine this year and makes class-leading power and torque, with comparable fuel economy to the Corolla hatchback. But they're a lot less efficient than Prius, and I'd like a good jump from my Accord. Probably for my driving, it would be mid-upper 30s (Civic) vs. low 50s. (Prius) My motorcycle gets 75 mpg in mixed driving, but I have to haul around my 6 year old daughter all the time, so I don't get to use that as often as I'd like.

    I looked at the Kia hybrid cross-over, but the styling is blah and I doubt that overall long-term quality is on par with Toyota or Honda.

    I hope to learn more here.

    Long-term, I'm going to look into some performance mods, like maybe getting a stronger battery pack, but we'll see how she goes.

    Oh, how about the windows in Prius'? Are they tinted some how, so that solar heating isn't competing with the A/C and sapping power? I don't remember them being tinted on my mom's, but maybe they have some non-tint way to deal with solar heating...?
     
  2. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Welcome to PriusChat.
    Starting from the bottom - they're factory tinted here, but not sure about USA. I added aftermarket tint and that improved comfort significantly. Make sure they enable global-open on the windows when you buy it - that way you can drop them down and cool it from 20 metres away.

    Performance mods - probably aren't any really, other than wheels etc. The battery pack is basically what you get - and it won't improve performance even if you did manage to get a bigger one in. And the engine (ICE) is well balanced with the overall design. You have to remember that the ICE and 2 Motor/Generators both drive through the epicyclic gear-train - there is no gearbox as such.

    Probably good to have a look at glance at this:


    This video by TOYOTA (I think) is an overview - but for a previous model - the concepts are the same though:


    Kia - I think today they're at least on a par with TOYOTA - JD Power rates them better.

    Mileage - you can see mine below. About ½ or less than what a Corolla is.

    And it's a better drive than Corolla - unless you've got the new Corolla already.

    You didn't ask - some don't like the seats - check before you buy.
     
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  3. Smaug1

    Smaug1 Member

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    Thanks Samantha!

    I bought it last night, a 2018 Two with all the options. I walked in on the last hour of the last day of the month, ready to haggle. :rolleyes: They were not able to beat me up much on the trade-in, hehehe.

    I had read the seat thread. The width and bolsters are perfect for me, but it has pretty much no lumbar support. I'm going to miss that on long trips compared to my Accord, which had electrically-adjustable lumbar support. (and I kept it all the way supportive all the time) For those who like some lumbar support, they make inexpensive cushions ones you can just slip in place on top of the seat.

    I'll miss the power @ expressway speed at times too, as the electric doesn't seem to do much at those revs. The Accord was a BEAST above 4,000 RPM; all I had to do was downshift to 3rd and it was surprisingly quick.

    On the other hand, the cabin road noise is REALLY quiet, compared to the Accord. It was never Honda's strong suit. I'm going to enjoy not having to play music as loud on the expressway. Attached is a pic of the outgoing Accord and incoming Prius.

    As for the performance mod, I think that the lithium battery from the Eco is probably a drop-in replacement for the NiMH. The electronic management of how it is charged and discharged might be different; I'll have to look into that. But even if it doesn't give a direct performance advantage, they weigh half as much, so that would be something. 20180731_222117_HDR~2.jpg 20180731_222247_HDR~2.jpg
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    look thru the modding thread to see what is realistic, it is not a civic.

    i didn't cross shop 14 years ago. was driving a taurus and had heard about the prius hybrid. the technology inspired me, and when one became available, i jumped on it and haven't looked back.

    all the best with your decision!(y)
     
  5. Kramah313

    Kramah313 Active Member

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    Congrats! I am not mechanically inclined, and maybe you are, so modding might seem relatively easy and fun for you. However, the battery swap you mentioned might be a bigger deal than it seems. I think you are right about everything you said on the Li-ion battery with management and weight - I would expect the gains to be on the order of 1-2 mpg so probably not worth the effort unless you just want the challenge. To get an idea - look at the difference in mpg between the two and two eco, which has a Li-ion battery, and keep in mind that in addition to the difference in batteries the eco has other weight saving measures in place throughout (no spare tire, etc).

    I would at least drive it for a while and see how much you think it needs a boost.
     
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  6. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    I doubt you would want to do a battery pack swap for a number of reasons.

    One of our members here, @sfv41901 runs Hybrid Pit in California, modding & servicing many Prii. He will be able to give some guidance. Check out http://www.hybridpit.com.
     
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  7. priusman09

    priusman09 I used to be a TDI

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    I think you’ll love the Prius for different reasons than you loved your Accord. We’ve had Honda’s, Toyota’s and VW’s for many years. I transitioned to my first Prius in 09 because my last Passat was very problematic. I spent about a year on this site; seeing what issues Prius owners had with their cars as well as other hybrid cars. I skipped the early Honda hybrids because of battery issues. Toyota really has the most years and success under its belt with hybrids. (First Prius in Japan 1997- so 20+ years experience). And as such, Prius had very few issues so I made the jump. Now after 200,000 virtually trouble free miles later- I’m into my second Prius (‘17 Prime). It’s been a great car that has exceeded my expectations substantially. As for modifications- I haven’t done any, and am pleased with my car’s looks and function. Some go out and put on large wheels and tires- and I just warn you that can really suck down the gas mileage (low rolling resistance tires make a huge difference) Some are happy to just pull off the plastic wheel covers to expose the black aluminum wheels underneath. When running in hybrid mode (on my Prime) I easy exceed the EPA figures often getting 63+ mpg or more. I appreciate the quiet, the ride, the hatch versatility, the comfort, the amazing reliability and economy! So welcome to the group and hope you love yours as much as I have my last 2 Prius!
     
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  8. MichelleStone

    MichelleStone Senior Member

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    Welcome to the group! This was the first car I've purchased with a Japan heritage. The wasbund always insisted on Detroit iron. This was MY choice. I too decided to get all the options. I wanted all the safety features AND the HUD. I am so pleased I did. Although it isn't the most comfortable car I've had (my Olds Cutlass Sierra takes that win) it IS the nicest car I've ever owned. I love the tech. I love the quiet. I am amazed at my gas mileage (59.4 MPG over 14,000 miles). And not to be left out, the stereo is very nice. That wasn't a big thing for me but I am so glad I have the upgrade.
     
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  9. Smaug1

    Smaug1 Member

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    priusman09: Strange that they'd put wheel covers over aluminum wheels, rather than just finish the wheels attractively...

    By the way, where in Wisconsin are you? Maybe we could meet up for lunch one day and validate one another's automotive choices. :cool:

    Thanks for all the feedback so far, guys and gals.

    A bit of background: I'm an electronic/electrical engineer by. I'm less scared of electronics than I am in general of ICEs.

    I read one story in one ham radio magazine where the owner used his Prius as a home generator. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense:

    + Prius engines are much more efficient and quieter than cheap generator engines.
    + The gas will always be fresh;
    + No need for fuel stabilizers or maintenance on a separate piece of machinery
    - One needs to be comfortable with tapping into the traction battery connections to hook up the inverter, and the inverter has to be rated for the right voltage.

    Another guy built a trailer with solar panels on the top and a huge battery bank underneath, and had his Prius tapped to use and charge those extra batteries, probably by parallel wiring them to the traction battery and having switchable power. That's mad scientist level right there! I'll have to go take a look at the link above for the hybrid modder.

    For the LiIon battery swap, I'd be more after a small performance gain coming from the weight savings, but would not say no to 1-2 mpg fuel economy gain either. I'll keep that idea on the back burner at least until the car's out of warranty, and maybe until the first battery is worn out.
     
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  10. Smaug1

    Smaug1 Member

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    I didn't get all the options; I didn't get the Entune Deluxe or the sat nav or pleather. Those would have added $5k to the price, which I wasn't ready for. Still, I can't say I'm not just a bit jealous, hehehe.
     
  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Well I was gonna suggest the Insight but I see you already purchased the Prius Two. Congrats!! Now you can update your profile to a Prius :)

    Yes all Toyotas have UV-cut glass and "High Solar Energy Absorbing Glass" or HSEA glass. The Gen 4 Prius has one of the most aggressive ones. You'll notice the green tint is quite a bit darker than other Toyotas (or other vehicles without privacy glass).
     
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  12. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    I thought the special glass was two eco and above. I remember Toyota mentioning it as an Eco feature. Some of us drive lower trim levels. ;)
     
  13. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Congratulations - enjoy!!

    There is a lumbar support adjustment (this is RHD - your's will be on the other side:
    upload_2018-8-2_12-10-21.png

    I don't think there is any advantage of Li-ION over NiMH other than weight - they've got more-or-less the same capacities. The NiMH is tried and proven - the Li-ION less so. Yes, they could have different rates of charge and discharge, but so little it's near impossible to calculate a difference.

    Plus - I suspect you'd void your warranty.
     
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  14. Kramah313

    Kramah313 Active Member

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    I read, I think on this forum at one point, that the plastic wheel covers give a small mpg boost because of how they direct the airflow around the wheels.

    They squeeze every drop out of these cars they reasonably can.
     
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  15. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Oh you're talking about the Two Eco? Yeah we've never been able to confirm that. All others (Two, Three, Four) have the same windshield.
     
  16. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    No lumbar support adjustment on trim two.
     
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  17. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Another regional oddity. It's on all models here.
     
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  18. RCO

    RCO Senior Member

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    What a wonderful word that is to me! :ROFLMAO: Could @Tideland Prius add it to the list please?
     
    #18 RCO, Aug 2, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  19. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Are you one? :eek:
     
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  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    That would be, ex-husband I presume?
     
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