My long journey to a Prime-Advanced

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Pizza Driver, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. Pizza Driver

    Pizza Driver Active Member

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    I only purchased my Prius C (used, 16k miles) last spring. I was quite pleased with the car, getting mileage as high as 60 mpg a tank. Nevertheless, after seeing what a Gen4 was capable of, I started thinking about a 2016 Prius 2 Eco, particularly considering the advertised $1000 dealer discount and $2000 Toyota rebate that started in October. Right about that time, however, Toyota announced its pricing for the Prime. Starting at only $2-3,000 more than the Eco, and adding in the tax benefits, my gaze rapidly shifted to the Prime.

    That starting price however soon became lost amid the lure of the features of the higher trim levels. The Premium became attractive because of the 3 door SKS. Then it turned coooold, and that heated steering wheel on the Advanced looked very, very attractive. So, from a ~$22,000 car I ended up settling on a $34,000 car.

    But that is not the end of the journey, because there was an actual physical journey as well! Apparently there is an invisible fence that prevents Prime from being delivered more that 150 miles from either coast. So on Sunday I went to Maryland from western Ohio to visit several dealerships. The Prius C was certainly not meant for highway driving in mountainous terrain. It struggled and screamed going up 6% grades at 70 mph. And while cruise control is nice, I had to constantly turn in on and off as traffic conditions changed. But finally I made it to Maryland.

    First stop was Jim Coleman Toyota. Unfortunately, they were completely sold out, even though they had 10 Primes listed on their web site on Saturday. Then I called another dealer where I had set up a Sunday appointment, but they informed me the car I was interested in had been sold. So then I drove to a dealer Gaithersburg and they had a Advanced model. White/Moonstone/10 spoke alloy wheels. They valued my trade ($9,700, Prius C, 2014, 30k miles), named a price for the Prime ($34,500 after rebate I think?), and quoted me a very steep price for a Platinum service contract ($2,100 for 7 years or 100k miles). I told them I was going to another dealer in the morning and I would get back to them.

    Next morning I went to Younger Toyota in Haegerstown MD where I had an appointment with Brian Fearnow. They had a Titanium/Black/10 spoke alloy wheels for $35,411. When I asked about exchanging the wheels or providing a $1000 discount (the car also had an aero splitter I didn't want) they agreed. Their price was then $34,411 to which we added the $1000 Toyota rebate for a final price of $33,411. As far as the other stuff, they valued my trade at $10,000. At that point I said "let's do this." Finally, the finance person (Tony) priced a Platinum service contract, 5 years/125k miles, at $1,600. I was pleased with this offer and accepted it.

    They filled the gas tank, pumped up the tires, turned off the rear backing beep, connected my phone to the car, and detailed it. I was quite pleased with my experience there. Brian did a very good job and seems to know the Prime fairly well. Now it was time (1 pm) to go home (9 hour trip, 444 miles).

    Driving experience.

    My journey was basically all interstate at 70 mph. It was through mountainous terrain through Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania. Not until I got past Wheeling did the terrain start to flatten out. MPG for the entire trip came out to around 48 mpg. When I left the dealership the car had 4 miles EV range. By the time I got to eastern Ohio that had increased to 9 miles. Unfortunately, after my a short pit stop at a rest stop I forgot to put the car into HV mode until I got up to highway speed and I lost 2 miles. The acceleration and noise in EV mode, at least to this novice, was not different enough from HV mode for me to notice. Good, smooth acceleration in EV, very quite in HV.

    The car did well tackling 6% upgrades. It was not noticeably straining, unlike my Prius C. Another cool feature was that even under cruise control at 70 mph it would turn off the ICE on downgrades. My Prius C unconditionally turned on the ICE at anything past 46 mph.

    The radar cruise control was a GREAT feature. Made the driving experience much less busy. I will say, though that I wish the car would look further ahead to anticipate developing situations. I was on one down grade with heavy merging traffic up ahead and I could see we would need to slow down, but the car kept on its merry way until it suddenly had to brake rather hard. I had my foot hovering over the brake pedal the whole time wondering if the car was going to slow down. It finally did, but if it had just been me deciding, I would have let off the gas much sooner and would not have needed to brake at all. Passing slower moving vehicles, even in traffic is pretty good. If behind someone who is traveling 5 mph slower than your set speed, pull into the left lane and the car will accelerate back up to your speed and allow you to pass. Occasionally, however, I would feel like the car was getting out of control as it accelerated at points where I would not have. Again, I am anticipating things further out than the car is.

    The LDA/steering assist was not good the one time I tested it. I actually drifted off to the right and could here the road noise from the shoulder before the car steered back into my lane. I also didn't get any beeps until I actually started crossing into the left lane. There may be a sensitivity setting for this, but for now it is only beeping after you are already intruding into another lane.

    I was pleased to see the headlights provided some side lighting. My Prius C did not provide any lighting to the side, so making turns at night I would swing wide to make sure I missed any curbs. I think the Prime should allow me so see to the side enough where turning at night will not be such a gamble.

    The tablet display can be hard to see during the day. It would do better if it was angled toward the driver rather than facing straight back. It is too bright at night, though there may be a way to shift it to night time brightness.

    The back up camera had too much glare at night, though there may be a way to change this as well.

    Seating seemed fine for such a long trip. My butt did not get as sore as it sometimes does, though I would occasionally still shift position to redistribute my weight.

    I look forward to discovering more about this car. I have a road trip to Texas coming up next week. This week I am going to see how it does in-town as far as MPG. My Prius C had dropped all the way down to 50 mpg with the arrival of the cold weather last week. We'll see if the Prime does better. Right now I don't have a place to plug it in overnight, so it will be operating mostly in HV mode. Going through the manual is going to take some time, but should be interesting.
     
    JeffFromNE, EV-ish, Insirt and 8 others like this.
  2. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

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  3. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

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    Congrats you lucky dog. The trip and way it worked out was well worth it.
     
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  4. Prius Maximus

    Prius Maximus Senior Member

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    Thanks for the story, it's a good one.
     
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  5. MNdriver

    MNdriver Senior Member

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    Wow, I used to live in Hagerstown. Many years ago.

    I will also be getting the Advanced; the heated steering wheel, the app, the blind spot monitor, the heads-up display, rear cross-traffic alert..... All bells and whistles I'm willing to shell out extra for.
     
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  6. Pizza Driver

    Pizza Driver Active Member

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    I lived in Germantown for 2 years (worked in Gaithersburg) and would often go to Haegerstown for short visits on the weekends just to get away from DC and up into the mountains.

    I forgot to mention the blind spot monitoring. Great feature. I hope to quickly adjust to checking not just the mirror, but the yellow warning light as well. I was already starting to develop the habit of checking the monitor when preparing to pass last night. Hopefully, this will become second nature.

    A dislike I had: when moving into a new speed zone, like exiting off a highway, the new speed limit will show up in the HUD. That's fine as far as it goes, but my HV monitor disappears just as I need it to judge whether I am braking too hard to get the best regeneration. So I have to shift my gaze the MID.

    The HV monitor in the HUD does not indicate if the car has gone into EV mode. You need to check the MID for that. Also, it is too hard to tell if you have applied the accelerator enough to get out of regen and stop the car from its natural deceleration. They should have had a different color for when the car is in charge mode. (A common technique for getting better mileage is to get up to speed, let go the accelerator so the ICE turns off, then reapply the accelerator just enough so that no regen is occurring. That way the car can maintain its speed rather than being slowed down by the generator.)
     
    #6 Pizza Driver, Dec 13, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  7. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yeah, they aren't advanced and only "see" the next vehicle ahead but if there were enough cars on the road with ACC (and eventually there will be) then the rubber banding traffic issues will greatly decrease.

    I've been wanting to ask, Are you a pizza delivery driver?
     
  8. Pizza Driver

    Pizza Driver Active Member

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    yes
     
  9. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Screen brightness can be adjusted. I think if you press the MENU button on the right side of the screen, below the 4 bubbles, one of the two rectangular buttons should say "DISP" or "DISPLAY". The brightness and contrast for DAY and NIGHT can be set independently. (So you can dim the night mode without affecting the day mode). Of course make sure your headlights are on and you're in a dark place (parking garage, garage or at night) so that the screen actually dims before you adjust the night mode setting.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats p/d, all the best! pics if you can please.(y)
     
  11. techumper

    techumper Junior Member

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    congrats on the car! can't wait to get mine soon
     
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  12. PT Guy

    PT Guy Active Member

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    I can't believe this even entered the discussion. These service contracts are never part of a smart deal. If you really want one, will sleep better if you have this peace-of-mind insurance, buy it later on-line from whichever Toyota dealership offers the best price. We all know that the so-called Finance Manager isn't salaried. He's pure commission. If he doesn't sell something, he doesn't get a pay check. Not my problem. My simple answer to everything he offers is, "no extras." I have a deal already negotiated, and that's it. When I bought my Prime the stealership put a second sticker on every car on their lot for a long list of almost useless extras starting with pure nitrogen fill in the tires. For the bargain price of $895. I said, "I'm not paying for this." And I didn't. When the F&I guy (finance & insurance) started in on the demo sheet that showed the factory warranty and the extended warranty, I refused to take part. "Nothing extra." Check this, but I think there is at least a year to decide to buy the Toyota Financial Services Vehicle Service Agreement. There is no need to buy at the time of sale. If you really want it, check the on-line prices ahead of time and tell the F&I guy that his only chance to make a sale is to match the on-line price. He'll bite.
     
  13. JamesBurke

    JamesBurke Senior Member

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    WV mountains? You take I-68? or I-70 and the "WV mountains" were just crossing the Ohio at Wheeling? Just curious as to which hills gave the regen miles.
     
  14. Pizza Driver

    Pizza Driver Active Member

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    I-68 through Cumberland MD - Morgantown WV - Washington PA (highest elevation 2880 ft.)
     
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  15. Optimus PRIME

    Optimus PRIME Active Member

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    Yes, you can modify the 11.6 screen brightness by going to the Display options on the screen. You can also use the Brightness control on to the Left of your Steering Wheel. Look for a bunch of buttons there. I have the Prime Advance, but I am sure the other models are the same or similar. You can increase or reduce the brightness of the entire system (all 4 screens) using that.
     
  16. Pizza Driver

    Pizza Driver Active Member

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    I found a way to get the display to go into "night" mode tonight. I had thought it would just do it automatically based on lighting conditions like my Garmin GPS does. Instead, I hit the switch to dim the dashboard which also dimmed the display and changed the color scheme in a way similar to the way the Garmin does.

    Here's a pic. It looks better on my phone. :p The rain tonight made it sparkle under some very bright lighting so I had to take a picture.


    20161217_194413.jpg
     
  17. MNdriver

    MNdriver Senior Member

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    So beautiful!
     
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  18. Pizza Driver

    Pizza Driver Active Member

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    Yet another pic of my car. Cold, sunny day Kentucky.

    Tried out the LDA again. Set the sensitivity to "high" and had better results. The car did not leave the lane before the warning sounded. I let it steer itself for a while. It actually took the car around a mild bend. But it started ping-ponging back and forth to the point where the sway warning kicked in and advised me I should rest. "Hey, that was the car, not me!" I would not recommend LDA for self steering. Instead, it seems designed to help the driver steer back into the lane with greater ease and to stay in the lane with less effort. At least that was my impression after having it on for a 1,200 mile trip. I originally didn't think I would like it, but I think it serves it limited purpose well enough.

    20161220_125938.jpg
     
  19. Bluegrassman

    Bluegrassman Active Member

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    Pizza Driver what part of KY you in? I'm over in the far western part of the state near Paducah

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  20. Pizza Driver

    Pizza Driver Active Member

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    This picture was taken somewhere in western Kentucky during my trip from Ohio to Texas.
     
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