New driver in CA: Prius Prime LE or Prius LE

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Lili Eridani, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. Lili Eridani

    Lili Eridani New Member

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    Hi all,

    I am a new driver at almost 40 years old, just moved here to California.

    I am debating which car would be safer for a new driver like me. The Prius LE or the Prius Prime LE. I like the Prime because it's a good deal with the tax rebates, but I've noticed it doesn't have the blind spot monitor.
    Is this a big deal?

    Thank you all for your advice!!
    Lili
     
  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Welcome to Prius Chat(y).

    Go for the Prime for many reasons:).

    One being the better gas mileage as well as the rebates ;).

    Welcome to the Bay Area(y).
     
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  3. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    prime all the way if you have a place to plug in
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Welcome to PC. When I was a new driver ~40 years ago, no car had the blind spot monitor, but I did fine. PRIME is a better value, especially in your state. Being a new driver is a good thing either on Prius or Prius Prime. Clean slate, you can learn to drive the car you buy the way you like to drive. Good luck.
     
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  6. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    BSM is nice, but you should not rely too much on such driver aids. I wouldn't call it a must have. Depending on needs in a car, the smaller cargo space of the Prime may be more of an obstacle. Though what it does have isn't tiny, just less than the standard Prius.

    Between the two, I'd only skip on the Prime if I couldn't charge it regularly.
     
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  7. mrchowmein

    mrchowmein Junior Member

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    I have BSM, its not the greatest implementation out there. It doesnt beep at you when you try to change lanes when there is a car next to you. But the Prius and Prime will beep at you for everything else... The range of the BMS system is also very short compared to other cars on the market. A lot of cars will warn you when a car is going to enter your blind spot vs the toyota system warns you only if they are already in your blind spot.

    At the end of the day, BSM is not a deal breaker since for you to use it effectively, you will have look at your mirrors or out the windows anyways. I prefer the ones that beep so i can turn on my signal and respond to the beep first before i take my eyes off the road to look for a car on the side of me.

    I would still get the Prime over the regular Prius. You get better MPG in real world situations. There are tax and carpool lane incentives. if you can get it when its on sale, with all the incentives, you can easily get the Prime over $10k off the MSRP. So even if you wanted BMS, you can get a Prime Limited nearly if not less than the price of a Prius LE.
     
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  8. Lili Eridani

    Lili Eridani New Member

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    Thank you all for these wonderful informed replies!

    I've learned to drive on mazda with a really sensitive BSM so I thought this was similar for toyota, but I see it may not be. If it's not that helpful I rather get the prime since it has the 4.5k federal credit

    I also saw that the Prius has Standard Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA) Camera & Radar while Prime only has the standard camera.
    What do prius users think of the IPA and radar? does this help new drivers?
     
  9. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    I wish I had BSM on my car. Probably would have saved me from an accident I had a couple of years ago.

    To the OP, if you get the Prime and own your home, you should consider getting solar too and go on the EV-A rate plan. PG&E electricity is so expensive that buying gasoline is cheaper than charging the car.
     
    #9 MikeDee, Apr 14, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  10. mrchowmein

    mrchowmein Junior Member

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    Actually, with the current gas prices, it is cheaper to charge even if you're paying PG&E. My PG&E rate is $0.23kw. Current bay area gas prices are avg $3.94
    From my calculations, the difference in cost is only $0.01 per mile when compared to charging vs just using gas.
    So getting solar is not really worth it just purely for the Prime alone.

    Take a look at this: Gas or Electric: Which one is cheaper for the Prius Prime! | PriusChat
     
  11. Lili Eridani

    Lili Eridani New Member

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    do you guys know if I can fit a medium adult bike in the trunk of the prius or prime?
     
  12. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    This is what I wrote on 8/1/18:

    "When I got my Prime, I didn't do my homework and found that charging the Prime kicked me up to the next tier which was about $.35/kwh. I stopped charging for a while as doing so was much more costly than gasoline. After a few months, I got solar power, which I probably should have done some years ago but was putting off because I wasn't sure I was going to live in the same home for the next X number of years. Now I pretty much charge whenever I want to and have a L2 charger which helps with that. "

    Beware that charging the Prime may kick you up into the next rate tier. I have not kept up with PG&E rates so YMMV.

    Update: just looked at PG&E E-1 rates. Tier 2 is $.28/kwh and Tier 3 is $.49! You're in a world of hurt if you're in Tier 3.
     
    #12 MikeDee, Apr 14, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  13. mrchowmein

    mrchowmein Junior Member

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    You're right, one needs to check their own plan and rate. I have 500kw at the base rate before I move up into another tier. So for me, if I charged once a day, im still using less than 250kw per month.
     
  14. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    I need A/C where I live so have a high power bill. I use this app called PG&E Toolkit. It takes your PG&E data and does an analysis using various rate plans. It showed me that I was better off on EV-A than ETOU-A, which my solar company recommended. It also shows a bar graph of how much power you use per day, etc.
     
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  15. Lili Eridani

    Lili Eridani New Member

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    I don't have a charger at home, only at work. My workplace campus is really large, so my plan was to charge it near the entrance and carry my bike in the trunk and bike to my office. But I am not sure if my medium bike would fit in the trunk...

    Maybe the bike would fit in the prius
     
  16. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Junior Member

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    In addition to following those mirror adjustments, buy a set of spot mirrors. Less than $5 in the automotive section of any store. Pull up next to parked cars in a mall parking lot, to adjust your side mirrors to cover your blind spots.

    Unfortunately; you PG&E folks need to do some math to figure out if you should shell out the extra cash for a Prime. If you can charge-up at work for free, could be another option.
     
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  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Some BSM systems also include cross traffic alert. Saw that in action on a Rav4 we were test driving. It was parked between two other SUVs, and it started beeping when put into reverse for a car going a little too fast in the parking lot. Properly adjusted side mirrors wouldn't help with that.
     
  18. mrchowmein

    mrchowmein Junior Member

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    Yea i would say the cross traffic alert part of the BSM system on the Prime is better implemented than the blind spot detection while driving. It's very useful if you park in parking lots or in areas with a lot of pedestrians.
     
  19. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    I put my bike in the Prime all the time. Take the front wheel off and put it head in. I also have a platform bike rack that mounts to a hitch. Much easier than putting the bike inside.
     
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  20. chickenhawk

    chickenhawk Member

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    I have this for my Gen 3, sorry for getting off OP topic:cautious: but I would pick the Prime over regular. It looks so much better and you will get better mileage. Depending on your driving range, you may never have to fill gas again:)

    [​IMG]
     
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