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Observations of a new XLE AWD owner

Discussion in 'Gen 5 Prius Main Forum' started by planetarian, Jul 12, 2023.

  1. planetarian

    planetarian Member

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    I'm about 1500 miles into a shiny new fully-loaded '23 Prius XLE AWD. I've owned a 2014 model in the past, and spent the past three years putting up with a dreadful '08 Fusion as I watched the car market implode on itself, before finally getting the chance to upgrade.

    What started out as a simple list of notes/observations/gripes about the new Prius which I could show to friends who were interested and/or on the market for a new car, ballooned into a whole document that more or less constitutes something you could maybe call a "review". Since it ended up becoming way more comprehensive than I ever intended, I figured I'd post it here for any prospective buyers who might be curious about some of the things that all those YouTube reviews from that one sunny day in California may not have mentioned.

    This is a living document, so I'm adding/editing things as I make new discoveries and gradually get more used to driving it. It's split into sections covering different aspects of the vehicle, and hopefully is structured in a sane-enough fashion to be easy to grok. If there's anything that isn't covered that might be useful to know about, drop a comment and I'll check it out. Hope this ends up being helpful for someone.

    2023 Prius XLE AWD review/notes (github.com)
     
    mountaineer, Gokhan, daisy555 and 3 others like this.
  2. planetarian

    planetarian Member

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    EDIT: oh, seems it's okay for owners to post their own reviews independently, disregard this =x
     
    #2 planetarian, Jul 12, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2023
  3. GeoJ

    GeoJ Member

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    That's a very nice list and review! No mention of no rear wiper - doesn't bother me, too much, although in the rain yesterday I did notice when I got in that there was virtually no visibility out the back. I love this car, for me the Prime. On the interior, I would have liked a bit more storage places in addition to the "hidden" one. Still wondering about what to do for a spare, or just not have one. I'm only about two weeks with this car and have not reached conclusions on all the save driving and advanced tech driving stuff. I did turn off the driver attention monitor, found it annoying and of no use. I agree with your comment on the complexity of the acronyms, maybe it is a nice memory test. I've not calculated gas efficiency having mostly driven in EV mode but impression is it is much better than what you report, although that is not in a mountain area. If this car lives up to Prius reputation for reliability, it will be a winner.
     
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  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    We are pretty laid back here about post location.:)
     
  5. planetarian

    planetarian Member

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    I can't say I've really missed the rear wiper, though the rear visibility is limited enough already and I drive on mostly empty roads, so it may not be as big a deal for me as someone in a more populated area who really needs maximum rear vis at all times.

    How did you turn off the attention monitor? I haven't figured out how to do that yet, and would love to get rid of it, it's so annoying. Though I wonder if the same process would apply to both the Prime's visual attention monitor and the AWD's steering detection.

    I do miss the lower forward storage bin from the 2014 model -- actually, the entire 'swept' central console unit from that model, really. I used to keep a power inverter in that cubby, which was super handy. No room for one in this model.

    Allegedly the Prius v spare tire is a perfect fit in the rear of the 2023 with zero modification needed (except to the styrofoam storage bins maybe), but this may not apply to the Prime.

    I've set my mileage monitor to use Tank instead of Trip and I started monitoring mileage a bit more closely, though I acknowledge that 1500 miles is probably too early to form any real conclusions. On the current fresh tank, after about three trips down the route to where I work (about a 15 minute drive), doing my absolute best to max out my Eco Score and drive like the kind of Prius driver everyone hates, the tank is seemingly settling at around 45-46 mpg (out of a rated 49). It said 38.6 before I refueled a day or so ago, which was from just driving the car the way I'd drive any other car. Hopefully it improves as the car breaks in over time.
     
  6. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    The 40-ish mpg the OP posts on review link is easily expected in a hilly area. Other than that, Ops height at 6'-1" would be concerning for our purchase noting a min of between 1"-2" of remaining headroom. At 6'-4½ ... it'd require reclining the driver's seat & sometimes bumping the head getting in.
    :(
    .
     
  7. planetarian

    planetarian Member

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    I'd say it'd be worth finding one at a dealership and seeing how well it sits. Maybe one without the glass roof, since apparently having the glass roof reduces headroom slightly?
     
  8. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    That's an idea ..... also, your purchase .... were you on a wait list or just a dealership walk in w/ no reservation? Purchase at MSRP above/below?
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    That a good work around, for the edit-limit imposed on PriusChat.

    see no mention of heat/vent controls; guessing you let the auto function do most of the adjustment? I like to set vent mode often, and find to do this the eyes-off-the-road time borders on dangerous. This is with third gen. Any improvement with 5th gen?


    I think in Canada you’re forced to have sunroof; frustrating, I don’t want one, it reduces head room, adds weight, maintenance complexity. Sunroof gaskets on 3rd gen were notorious failure prone.

    does the LE (available on US) skip sunroof? Maybe Prime too?

    yup, no sunroof on Prime (see attached local sighting).
     

    Attached Files:

    #9 Mendel Leisk, Jul 12, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2023
  10. planetarian

    planetarian Member

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    I was hunting for a Limited AWD for a while. I mostly used toyota's inventory tracker, keeping an eye on the allocations of dealers within ~150 miles of me (I live in rural kentucky so that's not much), and being generally frustrated by dealerships that pre-sold cars without marking them as such.

    I found a dealer in tennessee that had an LTD matching my preferences, and called them up, but it too had already been pre-sold without being marked as such. They were due for another allocation, though, and said they'd see what they could get me. Turns out, they were able to get basically the exact same spec'd model but in XLE instead of LTD.

    I paid the $500 pre-sale fee and they reserved it for me. It was just entering the build phase, so I spent the next two months eyeballing toyota-tracker.com until it finally got delivered, then I drove down to TN and finalized the sale.

    My purchase from Cookeville TN came with a $3k market adjustment, which I definitely wasn't happy about, but it's still less than most of the other dealers in the area, and I was just so sick of driving and constantly repairing the old junker Fusion that I was willing to just deal with it. The dealership didn't try to push any extras/addons on me, though, which came as a pleasant surprise. They also made a mistake on the initial quote, miscalculating the taxes (perhaps because I'm out-of-state), and rather than just surprise me with a higher figure, they reduced the interest rate to keep the payments the same.
     
    #10 planetarian, Jul 12, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2023
  11. planetarian

    planetarian Member

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    So far I've just been leaving it on Auto at 70F. It's been around 75-85F here lately, and this has worked out so far to keep me cool. I did the same with my gen3. Honestly, vent mode is something I've always been somewhat uncertain of the actual impacts of, as I never seemed to notice much difference between the modes on any of my cars, so I more or less just leave it alone now.

    I will note that the gen5 doesn't have the dust/pollen filter button that the gen3 had. I used that feature somewhat often, when behind vehicles with poor exhaust or in areas where a skunk has announced its presence or whatever. The gen5 doesn't have this feature, as far as I can tell -- that said, I haven't really noticed any outside odors in the gen5 either, so maybe it's simply been made redundant now.

    I do like the design/layout of the AC controls on the gen5, however given that I usually just leave it on Auto, I doubt I'll get the physical layout committed to memory enough to muscle-memory my way around it any time soon.

    >does the LE (available on US) skip sunroof?
    For the US models, the glass roof is unavailable on the LE/SE, optional on the XLE/XSE, and standard on the LTD/XSE Premium, with the solar roof being an option for the XSE premium.
     
    #11 planetarian, Jul 12, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2023
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  12. GeoJ

    GeoJ Member

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  13. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    Do we now have a trim inflation where the mid-trim XLE is called fully loaded and the top-level-trim Limited is called extra-loaded or such? LOL ;)
     
    #13 Gokhan, Jul 12, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2023
  14. planetarian

    planetarian Member

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    In general, my interpretation of "fully-loaded" in the context of a particular trim is "with all available [notable] options". So it's less about being top trim, but rather simply being the top-end of the particular trim in question. In this case, I consider it a "fully-loaded" XLE if it has the glass roof, digital key, and 12.3" infotainment display. Essentially the only things I'm missing from the Limited are the digital rear-view mirror, panoramic monitor / parking assist, and heated rear seats / cooled front seats.
     
    #14 planetarian, Jul 12, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2023
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  15. planetarian

    planetarian Member

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    Interesting; my XLE didn't come with anything labeled as a "Quick Reference Guide". There's the main manual, the multimedia owner's manual, and a pair of manuals about the warranty service and maintenance.

    I've been through the multi-info display settings several times and haven't seen anything for how to configure this. The most I found in the manual was repeated descriptions of how the driver detection system works and what it will do if it fails to detect you, but never any mention of being able to disable/configure it.

    Edit: I found the prius Quick Reference Guide (document OM23W1QRG) from one of the toyota tech info sites, but as far as I can tell, it only describes the basics of how to get to the menu, and refers you to the manual for further details.

    Edit 2: I found the QRG for the Prius Prime, and it definitely has some differences. It does indeed have an entire section on the Driver Monitor, and shows how to access settings for it, however, the driver monitoring system on the Prime is different from that on the regular prius -- the Prime uses the cameras/sensors situated just above the steering wheel to detect where the driver is looking, while the regular prius just uses the steering wheel torque sensors to detect if the driver is gripping the wheel enough to resist the force it applies. The "Driver Monitor Settings" mentioned in the Prime manual don't seem to exist on the regular model.
     
    #15 planetarian, Jul 12, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2023
  16. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    I see...

    However, those DRVM, PVM, and IPA are the coolest added features found on Gen 5.

    By the way, there is no hyphen after the -ly suffix in general. ;)
     
  17. planetarian

    planetarian Member

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    DRVM is neat, but it's also a component of a problematic trend in the automotive industry of accepting poor rear visibility simply because we possess the tech to work around it. That said, I already own an aftermarket DRVM, which doubles as front+rear dashcam, that I'll be installing. Since the stock DRVM on the Limited lacks dashcam functionality, and Toyota's offerings here are somewhat, shall we say, quaint... I don't really factor it into the value proposition.

    PVM is neat, but I can live without it, and by the accounts I've seen, the auto parking system is neat but not really of particular value.

    All of this is, of course, beside the point when the whole issue was lack of availability of the models which include these options (y) PVM+auto-park wasn't really worth having to wait around for who-knows-how-long until one actually came in stock.

    You may consider fully-loaded to be a stylistic choice :p
     
    #17 planetarian, Jul 13, 2023
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2023
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  18. samsprius1

    samsprius1 HEV Fanatic

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    Great Review a lot of the same thoughts I have with 700 miles under my belt!! I can see cars almost a mile with the digital mirror on my limited trim, it was option I necessarily wouldn’t have bought, but now I recommend
     
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  19. daisy555

    daisy555 Senior Member

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  20. DecorahDave

    DecorahDave Member

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    Wonderful reading - very thoughtful. Love my 2023 XLE with 200 miles on it. 5th Prius is 2 years - 2011, 2018, 2021, 2023LE now 2023 XLE. Neophyte. Having trouble getting all setup with the adjustable stuff. The LE has about 2000 miles on it - now wifes - after fixing the $12,000 damage sone by a Buck deer who thought he didn't want to share the road with me. Could have been worse - just got his antlers caught in my driver's side mirror. My body guy is fantastic: 2023 Prius Pictures
    Keep up the great work and communicate it.