My thoughts on GenIII vs. GenII

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by F8L, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I know some of you were interested in hearing my thoughts regarding the GenIII vs. the GenII so here they are.

    As a long time GenII owner I have gone through the various stages of OEM satisfaction then modding then finally dissatisfaction. The GenII was a great little car; in fact it has been my favorite car thus far. I spent 158,000 miles behind it's wheel and rarely did I find reason to be unhappy. As time went by and the rattles increased I grew a bit weary and the prospect of a new car excited me. The GenIII offered better styling, more power, better MPG, a little more room, better tech features etc. so I bite the bullet and bought one.

    After 600+ miles of driving the GenIII I can sum up the differences in a few bullet points.

    GenII Pros:

    • Fairly easy to get great MPG and really easy to hypermile
    • Small and nimble when suspension mods are added
    • It's THE icon for hybrid technology
    GenII Cons:

    • Feels antiquated compared to the GenIII
    • Styling is a bit outdated and some think it's pretty ugly
    • A little lower MPG than the GenIII
    • Less technology and no solar roof option
    • Bladder-based fuel tank and lower total tank miles
    GenIII Pros:

    • Better MPG and Power than the GenII
    • Better styling
    • Better technology options
    • Feels more solid and more refined
    • Regular fuel tank and more total tank miles
    GenIII Cons:

    • Feels more tank-like and less nimble than the GenII
    • Harder to hypermile
    • Less accurate fuel use calculator (I'll be testing the 2012 to verify accuracy compared to older models)
    I'll add more to this as I drive it a bit more but those are my initial thoughts.

    So far I'm averaging a bit less or equal to what I get in my GenII mpg wise. This is a little frustrating especially when driving freeway mostly where the GenIII is supposed to shine. At this time I'm wondering if it is the tires and their need to break in or just their general crappiness. The car tramlines pretty bad, especially on cement freeways. I drove Mike's (The Critic) car down to LA to pick my car up and his was rock solid and very smooth even with his tires at approx. 35psi. My car with 39psi was pretty twitchy and with 46psi it got even worse. I'm really not happy with that. Mike explained that his car also came with the Yokohama Avid S33D and he experienced the same issue but after switching to the Primacy MXV4 the issue was mostly solved. I cannot afford new tires so I'll just have to live with this for awhile I guess.

    In summary I am very happy with the GenIII and if money were not an issue and I had to choose between the two cars I would choose the GenIII period!
     
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  2. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    What do you mean by "tramlines?"

    I've never been 100% happy with the front end alignment of mine, and figured I'd fix it when the tires were ready for replacement. But my previous car was a BMW 328, and I only needed to touch the steering wheel of that car when I wanted to turn. Of course I kept a hand on the wheel, but the Bimmer ran straight as an arrow and never needed steering correction to stay in the lane.
     
  3. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Tramlining is when tires follow the groves in pavement.

    Tom
     
  4. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I mean:

    This is why it is especially prominent on grooved cement roads. :(

    My GenII used to do it quite a bit until I swapped tires and suspension pieces. My old 1990 454SS pickup with 315/40/17 tires did too. lol
     
  5. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I concur with your findings on the tramlining. I think when you can afford new tires, getting better tires will make a big difference. It's been awhile since I was on grooved concrete here with the Energy Saver's, so I can't recall if it was better. Then again, we don't have many grooved concrete roads here. I wasn't too fond of those same tires that you got on yours, either.

    My vote is that it's just the tires general crappiness lol
     
  6. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    I wasn't sure if it was just my imagination, but my car drives smoother now at 40k miles than when I first got it. No idea why though.
     
  7. NineScorpions

    NineScorpions Economy, Meet Style!!

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    if you look on Fuelly...the difference between the 09 average and the 10 average is only 1.7mpg. Of course there are not a huge number owners there...but is it so that the GenIII should be 5mpg up on the GenII?
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    does the gen III really get better mileage, or does it do the hypermiling for you and perceived or tested mpg's are better?
     
  9. AZGeek

    AZGeek Semi-informed Member

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    Hey, if the grooves lined up in the right direction, couldn't that be low-tech for a (semi-) Advanced Parking Guidance System? ;)
     
  10. dustoff003

    dustoff003 Blizzard Brigade #003

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    More like poor mans LKA Lane Keep Assist.


    Posted from my iPhone via the Tapatalk app.
     
  11. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Sort of. It's been said here that the Gen III is more receptive to normal driving in terms of mpg so that the gain you get from hypermiling is more difficult. Could be due to the way the hybrid computer is programmed.
     
  12. AnOldHouse

    AnOldHouse Member

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    Thanks for all the info. Good to know. The decision to upgrade has been forced upon me and I now await my third Prius!
     
  13. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    It may just be my imagination or the tires just needed to be broke in because they car wanders a lot less now. :confused:

    It should get better mpg but since I was fairly good at getting better than EPA in my GenII I may just need to learn to drive the GenIII as proficiently. It could be that the GenIII gets better mpg and is harder to hyper mile. :) For me that means that I may not get much better mpg in the new car but the average driver that doesn't hypermile will more easily get better mpg in a GenIII than a GenII.

    I'm sorry to hear you were forced into a new one but I'm sure you'll love it. It may take a bit to get used to the sluggish feeling of the GenIII. For some reason my GenII feels much more peppy and agile.
     
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  14. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    Interesting, but we're having too much fun remodeling the house to buy a new car. Anyway, I can't replace my 2006 Prius (with only 53K miles) until my wife replaces her 2003 Accord.

    At least I learned a new word today - tramlining. My 2006 Prius goes straight as an arrow, I could go quite a ways without having to touch the steering wheel.
     
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  15. HaveNoCents

    HaveNoCents Conservative Tree Hugger

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    Tramlining sure does sound like a method of torture. Let's tramline the SOB and then we will see how tough he is!




    iPad ?
     
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  16. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Your car is still a baby despite its age. :)

    My 2005 is the same and the 2012 is getting better now. Maybe it was that the tires were still too new. I'll see how the rest of the week goes but if this crazy wind keeps up I won't be able to tell if I'm tramlining or just being blown off the road. :eek:
     
  17. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    The Prius does a great job at catching all those cross-winds! I was driving home from Atlantic City one time with a friend, and he was getting car sick. He thought I was intentionally swerving the car to mess with him (which is totally something I would do), but it was the 20+ MPH crosswind coupled with gusts up to 40 MPH. Even I was getting tired of it after awhile.

    Please, keep the winds on your side of the country. We don't want them over on this coast :)
     
  18. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Thanks for the comparo F8L!

    Hmm, I have the Avids and don't recall it being that twitchy. Then again, I don't run it at 46psi. I run it at 40/38. Also, I did a road trip when it was new so I wore in the parts fairly quickly (within a half month after purchase, I was past the break-in period) so I may not have noticed it.

    I do find the Gen 2 peppier than the Gen 3 in ECO mode. The Gen 3 in normal mode seems ok and definitely much more entertaining in PWR mode.
     
  19. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Jon, maybe I just need to put it in power mode and stop freaking out when the Eco meter enters the power section. lol
     
  20. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    It is better because the weather is cold right now, and your tires are probably about 40-42 psi and not 46 psi.

    Also, try driving in a downpour on a grooved road with those tires...let's just say after a lot of cursing and some close calls, I tossed them. :eek:
     
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