Performance more than adequate, great reliability, am I missing something?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by eustachio, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. eustachio

    eustachio Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    48
    44
    0
    Location:
    CA
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Hi all,

    Newbie here, considering purchasing my very first hybrid and Prius.

    I wanted to clarify something. Nearly every review I read on the Gen 4 Prius, in spite of praising improved handling, still describes it as dull and unbearably slow.

    I've taken 3 test drives in a Prius, and have also driven a hybrid Rav4/Camry. For perspective, in the past I have owned high performance motorcycles, and have had a Chevy Impala, Ford Fusion ecoboost, Dodge Charger as daily drivers, along with several diesels.

    When I look at the hybrid options (pure EVs are off the table for now as I regularly do long distance and am not ready for range anxiety yet), for now, the Prius and Volt are logical contenders.

    I've ruled out the Volt as long term reliability is key for me, and the Prius is proven many times over (consumer reports for example).

    I expected the Prius to have anemic performance, and to be honest, my first impressions of the CVT were bewildering. But after a few test drives, including back to back with the Camry hybrid, the Prius felt more than adequate. Sure, I've driven cars with much more torque and hp, but the opportunities to use that are few and far between. With the Prius, out of curiosity, I put it in power mode for an hour, and at every traffic signal, floored the accelerator. I was first off the line every time, and wafted up to the legal limit quicker than anything around me. Even with that test, mpg was in the 50s!

    Also, handling seemed perfectly good, it's not a sports car, but from someone who likes motorsports, I'd happily drive one.

    So what's going on with these reviews? Why all the apparent loathing heaped on the Prius?
     
    goldfinger, breakfast, Hoddie and 4 others like this.
  2. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    11,698
    11,291
    0
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Welcome.
    The reviewers sometimes have a bias against Hybrids, especially the leader.
     
    breakfast, eustachio, Tyfly and 4 others like this.
  3. IAPrius

    IAPrius Active Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2016
    120
    140
    1
    Location:
    West Des Moines, IA
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    People in reviews want sporty fast handling. It’s kind of dumb - there’s a reason Camrys and Accords sell so well, people just want flat out good basic cars. The Prius is the most practical car that has ever existed, its a great car for the average person.
     
  4. Deogratias

    Deogratias Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    36
    40
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I think the Gen 4 feels like it has above-average power as compared to similarly-sized competitors. The stats are purely average for the class of vehicle on paper, but the torque is much more usable because you get electric assistance off the line and even at zero RPM.

    Reviewers just like to diss the prius.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    97,009
    44,007
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    the nature of auto writers. they'd lose their audience if they said what you said, and maybe their jobs.
     
    eustachio and RCO like this.
  6. IAPrius

    IAPrius Active Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2016
    120
    140
    1
    Location:
    West Des Moines, IA
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I agree. My girlfriend has a Hyundai Elantra which I am a fan of, but the Prius feels like it has more power even though it doesn’t.
     
    eustachio and RCO like this.
  7. jtg61

    jtg61 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    45
    42
    0
    Location:
    Ocala FL
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Highly recommend watching the YouTube video breakdown of the Prius Gen 4 P610 transaxle on the WeberAuto channel. The engineering that has gone into it is mind blowing. You'll be a believer after watching it.
     
    breakfast, eustachio and Prius Pete like this.
  8. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    12,389
    6,774
    2
    Location:
    Greenwood MS USA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    "All the power any adult could need, but not all the power a boy could want."

    An electric motor produces maximum torque at 0 RPM, so off the line torque is good compared to much more powerful cars who achieve maximum torque well up the power band. While the eCVT denies you that downshift bump of torque, it very close to instantly finds the maximum torque available and stays there. By about 60 MPH, you have less power to work with than most modern cars. (No car I owned before 2000 had more power than the Prius, but I have always preferred economical driving)

    I once owned and loved a 44 HP RD400 Yamaha, described as the most wheelie prone street motorcycle ever made. A very peaky torque curve mated to a 6 speed transmission meant that if you stayed in the right gear, you could still pull up the front tire into the high 70s. If you chose the wrong gear, it was slow and mild. The Prius also has very little HP to work with, but it is always in the right gear.

    Yamaha RD400 - Wikipedia

    Now magazine editors.
    They never have to pay any operation or maintenance costs of any automobile they drive, so reliability and frugality mean nothing to them. They are often completely confused why owners are loyal to cars that do not break.

    Cars that perform in a new or interesting way get lots of attention, they are not bored with it yet. Of all the ways Gen4 is better than Gen 3, all you hear from the automotive press is the handling. (when discussing the Gen 4 vs the Prime, they quickly start discussing the tail lights, as all the other differences have to do with the cost of transportation, a subject they have no experience with)
     
    breakfast, jtg61, eustachio and 4 others like this.
  9. robsnyder20

    robsnyder20 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    358
    290
    0
    Location:
    SW Florida USA
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I came from a 5 Speed toyota matrix and find that the power is more than adequate, plus I enjoy my 1 speed automatic! Even driving the prius more spirited and with a heavy foot, delivers exceptional MPG compared to a non hybrid. I think if you are coming from a V6 or V8, its going to be slow off the line or passing, but coming from a normal econo car, you'll find plenty of power.
     
  10. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    6,931
    7,474
    0
    Location:
    near Brisbane, Australia
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I was in your situation 18 mths ago - and ended up with a 2016 last June. Love it. Yes, it's not as sporty as my 2litre Diesel Focus was, but it's got as much grunt as I need.

    Journalists compare them with V8 muscle cars, or big bulky SUVs or trucks. They also complain about the eCVT sounding odd - well I think they sound no more odd than some of the twin-clutch atrocities being sold, and far less annoying than the belt-drive type.

    It's also well equipped - RADAR Cruise, Auto Emergency Braking, Auto headlights/wipers - and more, depending on the specification. Only and average quality entertainment system (apparently without Android/Apple thingy whatever they are). Seats could be better too, though I've got them sorted out mainly, but visibility is better than many other cars I'd tested.
     
    jtg61, eustachio and RCO like this.
  11. RCO

    RCO Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    3,709
    5,177
    0
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Ok here's my pennyworth:

    1. They don't understand the technology and are not interested
    2. They can't understand why the engine revs don't correlate to the acceleration/speed
    3. They get to drive sports cars, so everything worse than their favourite is a lemon
    4. It's a Prius, so it's econmical, so it MUST be slow
    5. They can't be bothered, so they'll paraphrase what every other hack has written already. Easy!
     
    breakfast, 3PriusMike, jtg61 and 5 others like this.
  12. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    11,698
    11,291
    0
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    6. PROFIT !!
     
    kithmo and RCO like this.
  13. eustachio

    eustachio Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    48
    44
    0
    Location:
    CA
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Thanks everyone for your perspectives on this.

    Having owned some high performance vehicles, I can see how jumping into a hybrid with CVT may be disorientating at first.

    From my perspective, over the years I've enjoyed high performance less and less, as there is nowhere you can use that performance legally on the road, apart from shredding tires away from stop lights or getting up to speed to merge onto a freeway. A few seconds of fun, but with the downside of pitiful mpg and the associated impact on the environment.

    Once I got used to the Prius' driving characteristics, and experimented with acceleration, keeping up with traffic, freeway merging and passing, I realised not only was there nothing lacking, but if I wanted to, I could easily drive with a lead foot and be at the front of the pack within legal limits.

    As an ownership proposition, the Prius makes huge sense. The Volt gets good reviews, but the only way I would consider owning one would be on a short term lease. I've had my fill with reliability issues, and Toyota nails it in this department. Also the Volt is too small for us as we have 2 kids, and sometimes need room for a 5th passenger.

    A side note, on diesels, in Europe where I'm from originally, there's a big backlash against diesel due to particulate levels and NOx emissions. Also, modern diesel engines are notoriously complex, and when things fail, they are expensive to fix.

    On looks, obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I am a fan of Japanese culture, and the aesthetic of the Prius is very different to what we are used to, but I absolutely love it. You have to remove your cultural blinkers and see it with fresh eyes!

    Not sure if this has done the rounds, but I found this video interesting, you really get to see the relative performance and handling of the Prius- it's quite impressive!

     
  14. MichelleStone

    MichelleStone Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2016
    549
    817
    0
    Location:
    Mariposa, CA
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    My 2016 Prius is faster off the line than the Chevy Malibu I traded in. It isn't any slower in getting up to 80 MPH on those Nevada/Utah freeways either. Additionally, I can more comfortably sit in the cockpit for much longer periods. When I bought the car, I thought: "It's all right. It is what it is." Now I'm loving this car.
     
    breakfast, jtg61, RCO and 1 other person like this.
  15. soldierguy

    soldierguy Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    103
    237
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    It's easy to understand why it gets so-so reviews....and I'll probably get yelled at for what I'm about to say. But it all boils down to feel, not numbers.

    Steering: In a good driver's car (one that feels good to drive), the steering is perfectly weighted, and gives good feedback about what's going on at the road surface. You can tell, just by the feel through the wheel, when your tires are on the edge of losing traction. The Prius has no steering feel.

    Suspension....here's where the Prius is decent, but still not great. The suspension should be firm, yet comfortable. Never harsh. It should allow the front and rear wheels to reach maximum grip at about the same time, rather than plowing headlong into massive understeer. Electronic traction aids should intervene smoothly, and not too early. The Prius' handling balance is biased towards lots of understeer, and the electronics are not smooth when they kick in...and they kick in very early, long before you're in real trouble.

    Brakes...here's where the Prius (and most other hybrids) feel absolutely, ridiculously terrible. Brakes should be smooth, strong, progressive, and easy to modulate. By feel alone, you should be able to make tiny adjustments in braking power, or get exactly the right amount of braking power, almost without thinking. The Prius brakes are abysmal in that respect. Grabby, and nearly impossible to modulate smoothly. Oh and if you need to hit the brakes quickly but don't want full braking power? Forgetaboutit. The electronic nannies in the Prius assume that I'm a 90 year old who is incapable of pressing hard on the brake pedal when I want max braking, so a quick & firm tap on the brakes can lead to the electronics deciding that I must want MAX BRAKING RIGHT NOW, sending me into a full-on ABS panic stop, when all I wanted was to scrub off a few mph quickly. I get it...electronics, it's tough to blend regen and conventional brakes, etc. The brake feel in hybrids is lousy.

    Engine: The sound of an engine should inspire. It should be quiet and unobtrusive in normal driving, but make one's spine tingle when the revs soar. It should have lots of torque down low, and have an exhilarating rush of power as revs rise. The Prius: it drones and doesn't inspire anything except a desire to slow down.

    Transmission: It should allow the driver to have full control if he/she desires. Prius: technically fascinating, but no driver control.

    The Prius is great for what it is: an economical way to get from point A to point B. That's why I bought one, and I'm glad that it is very competent at what it does...it gets me through a long commute every day without beating me up, and it does it cheaply. But it isn't a driver's car. It doesn't inspire passionate drives done just for fun. That's what the car magazines want out of every car.

    The Prius will not ever get good reviews from a car magazine that makes its money of off people who are passionate about the driving experience.

    Go test drive a BMW 3, 4, or 5 series. The steering feel is a little weaksauce, but within 20-30 minutes you'll understand what car reviewers use as the gold standard, and you'll understand why the Prius gets so-so reviews.
     
    CoastRider, jtg61, RCO and 1 other person like this.
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    97,009
    44,007
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    you sound like the auto writers described above.:p
     
    kithmo, 3PriusMike, RCO and 3 others like this.
  17. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    7,347
    6,068
    0
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I can answer that.

    I have 125,000 miles in a G3, but it's a work car.....and so that means that for me there's no fanboy issues, or 20,000 reasons to have to justify my love or hate for the car.
    So.....if you want a car that has acceptable looks...acceptable performance....and above average reliability then there's only one car that I can think of that would be a better buy than a G4, and that's a Prime - only because you can get a Prime for the same cost or a little bit cheaper than a G4.

    However (comma!!!!!) this is just considering the Prius as a transportation appliance....again, FOR ME, and ignoring all of the soulless aspects of rolling a G3 day in and day out.
    I've ticked them off, one by one, many times, and for the purposes of your question MY dissatisfaction with the G3's handling has been more than expiated by it's rock-solid reliability.
    So.....I don't have any stick time in a G4, and I understand from the people who decide such things that it's handling and road manners have gone from 'generic vanilla' to maybe one of the major brands......of vanilla....albeit in one of the lesser attractive packages in your grocery store's freezer aisle.
    THAT however, is a different story!



    If you have to ask why automotive enthusiasts view Priuses with such distain I'd say that it's equal parts inertia, street cred, and Prius drivers themselves........or as they say on Bourbon St. about jazz:
    If you 'get it' then no explanation is necessary, otherwise?
    You just ain't GONNA 'get it.'

    Good Luck!
    There's a saying in the M/C community.
    You have to ride YOUR ride.

    If Priuses speak to you, then I'd say that you should be driving Priuses.........and not really giving a toss about what other people say, write, or feel about YOUR ride. ;)
     
  18. eustachio

    eustachio Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    48
    44
    0
    Location:
    CA
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I don't disagree with your points about a 'driver's car', although I do think engine sound is moot in the age of electric cars that have sub 3 second 0-60 times.

    Also, a lot of the attributes you describe become largely irrelevant on long freeway or stop/start urban drives.

    My last few cars that had great driving characteristics and plenty of power felt utterly wasted on my average day to day drive, all the while burning through more than double the fuel of the Prius. A few seconds of acceleration here or there, occasional curves to enjoy, but mostly the mundane drive to/from work or on a freeway for a road trip.

    I never thought I'd see the logic of the Prius, I used to scoff at them myself, but increasingly I find myself thinking how ridiculous many of the high performance cars I see on the daily grind are. Cars like the Prius make increasing sense, especially given bulletproof reliability, very cheap maintenance and passable handling with the Gen 4.

    It saddens me that these mags/websites can't see beyond the narrow confines of their very rarefied perspective. It makes me want to avoid them in future- as I don't respect their opinion.

    Last thing, I know BMW make great driver's cars.
    But I also know they are not rated highly for reliability. And where I come from, people make jokes about BMW drivers, not Prius drivers :)
     
    breakfast, RCO, heiwa and 1 other person like this.
  19. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    11,698
    11,291
    0
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    What about people like @bwilson4web that own both?:eek:
    He has an i3-REx and a Prius Prime.
     
  20. CoastRider

    CoastRider Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    305
    397
    0
    Location:
    Off into the sunset...
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Oh man, you mean to tell me I've been missing all that fun for the past year and a half??? I gotta try that! It's time to unleash the fury... No more driving like an old dude! :D

    If Priuses speak to you, then I'd say that you should be driving Priuses.........and not really giving a toss about what other people say, write, or feel about YOUR ride
    .

    I'm still waiting for my Prius to "speak" to me. But she's a quiet type of gal. Well, I'm going to blow her britches off today, and see what she's got!! :eek: :ROFLMAO:
     

    Attached Files:

    #20 CoastRider, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    RCO likes this.
Loading...