PHEV Help: Prius Prime, Honda Clarity, or Volt

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by rbrak29, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. rbrak29

    rbrak29 Junior Member

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    I need some guidance in making a PHEV decision. First some background. My wife and I are retired less than a year, kids a grown and gone. Live in the upper Midwest..cold winters, summers getting warmer. Need something with respectable EV range to allow for EV range drop-off in the winter months. Will want all the tech and safety goodies: adaptive cruise, lane keep, blind spot, auto-braking, etc. We have driven the Prime, Clarity, and the Volt (and the Tesla Model S). The Prime is nice with the same Toyota quality and reliability, but I fear the EV range will just make it a regular Prius in the winter. The mid 50 mpg is outstanding however. The Clarity is also nice, again the same Honda quality and reliability, and good EV range (48 miles), but I feel it’s just too big for two people. The looks of the Prime and Clarity do not bother me too much, but what is with that suede dash in the Honda! Finally the Volt. The EV range is the best of the three (53 miles). The ride and the interior noise is on par with the others. Edge goes to the Clarity for ride and noise. The biggest complaint about the Volt is the interior quality and rate of depreciation. I have read the Volt has twice the depreciation rate of the others. I could lease, but I have never leased. Price is a wash when the tax rebate is taken into consideration. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and the Tesla Model S…very nice, fast, and crazy expensive. I could wait for the Model 3, but my wife will not have it ;)
     
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  2. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Bob will most likely suggest a used i3.
    ;)
    If you need lots of SUV type storage, the pickings are Slim. Only the Mitsubishi Outlander comes to mind, and it's charge sustained mode isn't necessarily the best.
    If not, but you still need five seats, the clarity might work best. It really turns on how much electric you think you will do, versus how much time you'll be running as a gasser.
    .
     
    #2 hill, Apr 25, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
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  3. priuscatprimeguy

    priuscatprimeguy Senior Member

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    the lowest EV range during the winter of 2017-18 was 12 miles, given it was 0 F for a good portion of the winter of 2017-18 mostly my range was 20 miles EV from February to April 2018
     
  4. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Are you considering this to be your last vehicle purchase?
     
  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Will this be the only car in the household?

    As you note, the Clarity is big, but it is the only one that could truly seat five adults. Which could be nice when the kids visit, and if grandkids are around. It also has the trunk space comparable to a similar ICE car, and has fold down seats. Being hatchbacks, it can be easier packing stuff into the Prime and Volt, and they could hold more than the Clarity.

    The Prime is the most efficient of the three. It also has an advanced heat pump for cooling and heating, that will work down to a lower outside temperature before turning on the engine for cabin heating. The battery is only air cooled, and its heater is a simple one that is just meant to keep the pack from freezing. The Clarity and Volt have liquid thermal management for the battery that can heat the battery up for efficient charging during the winter, and preconditioning it before driving off. Of course that means more electric used during the charge, but it should mean a lower rate of range loss to the cold over the Prime.

    The advanced safety features might mean getting a higher trim for the Volt and Clarity. They are standard on the Prime. That could mean a greater price difference, but you could probably find a deal on a Volt. Not likely on the Clarity because it is a new and a Honda. I did see a base trim 2017 Prime for $5000 off in NJ if you are willing to travel.

    It is hard to predict what the depreciation for the Clarity and Prime will be since they are quite new, but all plug ins have had some steep depreciation, Tesla aside. It is because of the various incentives available for buying new, and the steady rate of improving battery performance and cost. The gen1 Volt was one of the most reliable cars GM has made, and it appears to be the same for the current one.
     
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  6. rbrak29

    rbrak29 Junior Member

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    No, just waiting for the EV market in the US to mature, if that is possible.
     
  7. rbrak29

    rbrak29 Junior Member

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    No, I have a 2016 Silverado to haul my electrified recumbent trikes and my travel trailer.

    Good to know about the Prime’s battery TMS. I hope it’s not like the 2018 Nissan Leaf situation. Throttles the changing rate after back to back fast charges.
     
  8. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    The Prime doesn't have DCFC so it won't be an issue :) .

    The Prime has the most efficient HVAC system so the draw will be less. You can also pre-heat/cool the cabin prior to getting in on all 3 vehicles, so that'll help reduce the load on the battery while driving.

    The Prime does have the safety systems as standard equipment which means you don't have to move up the trim levels if you don't want to. I'd say the Volt seems to be the perfect size with good range. (But you'll have to add the Driver Assistance package to get adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking).

    You could lease and if you like it, buy it at the end of the lease. If not, return it and see what EVs are available then.
     
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  9. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I have lots of real-world detail to share from my first winter with the Prime in Minnesota...







    That's a sampling. There are several others.
     
  10. Oniki

    Oniki Active Member

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    I think you will find that once you add on your "goodies" to each model the costs diverge.
    List your preferences by priority and give them a weight.
    Tell us your price range
    Tell us your minimum, preferred, and optimal winter EV range

    Lastly, I saved a few thousand dollars by buying my car from a state with a hefty Toyota discount and shipping it to my state. I plan to sell it when my Tesla Model 3 arrives. Don't take that as criticism of the Prime -- it is a fine car. It is just not the car I want.
     
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  11. Darken

    Darken Active Member

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    First I think it's great to see some of the objective replies on here, I mean you did ask this question on a Prius site so it stands to reason there would be bias. ;)

    Personally as I think you have already found out each vehicle has its own merits. I personally liked the Volt the best of the three when I did my test drives but in the end felt the Prime had the most to offer me. (And had the best overall price after discounts) The most important factors for me were reliability and total range as some of my trips can go quite long and in those department the Prime is your best choice. I can tell you from my experience the EV range for the Prime in the winter was mid to upper 20's and now in the spring has been in the mid 30's. I do like to hypermile so your mileage may vary.

    If its just EV range your after then I would lean toward the Volt myself (If the model 3 was truly out) as not only did it have the best EV range in my testing, but also had the best overall driving experience as well.

    Best of luck with your choice.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't see anything definitive in your o/p to her us help you. do you want us to just pick one for you?(n)
     
  13. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    OK given that, it sounds like a gently used 17-18 Gen 2 volt premier trim with ACC might work best for you and avoids the big depreciation hit. In essence from a drivers point of view, it's a BEV with range extender. Sell before the warranty runs out ;) and shop for that BEV you ultimately want as there will be a lot more choices then.

    If you were shopping long term, I'd say go with Prime.

    GOOD LUCK!
     
  14. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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  15. PianoBench

    PianoBench Member

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    I personally do not like the Honda Clarity styling and the poor ICE performance. Other than that the Clarity has the best interior quality and sound insulation.

    I choose a Prime for its styling, good ICE performance, and overall efficiency. But you came to Prius Chat to learn about the Prime’s flaws.

    My personal opinion is that Toyota made a poor decision choice to use a touch screen based air conditioning system. When you go into reverse, you cannot adjust the air conditioning as the 11 inch touch screen will lock into the reverse camera view.

    Having to search for the buttons for the air conditioning makes driving a bit more stressful. It especially becomes stressful when you drive people with low paitence and a hot temper.
     
    #15 PianoBench, Apr 25, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  16. Oniki

    Oniki Active Member

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    How much time do you spend in reverse every day, and what prevents you from choosing AC before you engage reverse ?
     
  17. PianoBench

    PianoBench Member

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    I notice this in busy 45 degree street parking. Some people do not yield to people who backup. And if you do not leave your reverse light on, youll miss your chance.

    Its not a deal breaker but I notice and prefer buttons.
     
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  18. Oniki

    Oniki Active Member

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    Huh. If I thought the car had a horrendous attribute I would definitely not buy that car.
    But then I would label horrendous something like the car running puppies over when left unattended.
     
  19. PCPrime

    PCPrime Member

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    upload_2018-4-25_22-20-1.png
    and how often do people need to adjust the a/c? and how difficult it is to increase or decrease the temperature?
     
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  20. Oniki

    Oniki Active Member

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    Well ... for at least one person, horrendously difficult.
     
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