Poor decisions on Prime by Toyota

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Lee Jay, May 15, 2018.

  1. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I've been keeping a list of what I think were poor decisions Toyota made on the Prime. Note that I was trying to avoid things that are simply sub-par and need improvement (like voice recognition) and restrict my list to things they could have likely done without too much difficulty. These are in no particular order.

    • 16A charger instead of 32A. A short range means a need for a quick charge at times and a 32A charger is literally twice as fast - 2% per minute instead of 1%.
    • Not designing for plug-in from the start (enables battery under seat and flat cargo area with spare tire). They should have designed this car from the start to be the Prime, and adapted that to be the regular liftback Prius.
    • Can't shut off the cruise pop-ups. I consider this a bug, but it might be intentional.
    • Location of the seat heater controls. Seriously, why are these in the worst location imaginable?
    • The seat heater switches should be momentary. Leave one on and forget and you don't remember until it's boiling you!
    • The Softex seats should be ventilated. The leather seats on the Avalon are ventilated. I think the Softex seats need this badly.
    • Cruise minimum speed is 28, should be 20. I need this because of school zones. It's hard to remember not to accelerate to 40 in a 40 zone when you stop at a light while the school zone lights are flashing. Cruise would help.
    • Can't engage cruise from zero speed unless there's a car in front of you. If it can do this with a car, it should be able to do it without one.
    • Cruise accelerates normally until 25 and then acceleration slows to an unacceptable level. This is an obvious choice as you can see it reduce power at 25. When going to 35 it's not a problem. When it's a 55 or 65 zone, it takes forever to get up to speed.
    • Cruise stops too far behind a stopped vehicle. 16 feet is too far. I'd like 8-10 feet.
    • Can't set a maximum charge percentage for people who are at the top of a hill. You should be able to set a maximum charge of anything you want up to 100%.
    • Can't easily control charge rate at the beginning of, or during a charge. It's only in the settings. It should be on the charge timer/charge now screen too.
    • No ability to monitor tire pressures from the cab. Seriously? It has access to them, it should be able to display them. In fact it should display them on the energy screen.
    • No power output monitor. The bar is nice, but a little digital display of so-many kilowatts would be better.
    • Car cannot produce the full 76kW in EV mode. It has a 53kW motor and a 23kW motor, It should limit at 76kW like the motor ratings indicate and like the chief engineer said it would. I think it's an artificial limit.
    • Should be able to set battery cooling in charge to "always". Duh.
    • No ability to monitor rear camera while driving. I'd like to be able to put it on the MID or on the center display while moving forward to compensate when the rear window is covered in snow or ice.
    • No ability to put rear camera on MID. Should be a choice. The MID is higher and easier to see while looking at the other mirrors.
    • Should have LKA instead of LDA/SA. Or now, trace assist. Some people swear by LKA but I haven't tried it.
    • Can't easily monitor miles/kWh in real-time like you can MPG. I don't see why I have MPG on the trip display when my day or drive has been 100% EV.
    • Lost double glove boxes and other internal storage. One of the main reasons I bought my 2004 was all the storage. Getting rid of most of it was a horrible mistake. I had to compensate by buying a lot of new gear.
    • Internal lights should be LEDs. Seriously, incandescent lights everywhere? One of my biggest upgrades was the internal light LED kit. Should come with it.
    • Pedal mapping should be the same in Hv as it is in Ev. No reason for these to be different. In fact, you can actually get it into a mode where the engine is propelling the car and the pedal mapping is the EV version.
    • Should have an ability to extend EV range slightly if you are almost to your destination by dipping into hybrid portion of the battery. When you're half a mile from home and the engine starts just to stop before even the warmup cycle finishes, you could have saved it the trouble.
    • Climate prep should work whether the doors are locked or not. Don't know where this dumb requirement came from.
    • Climate prep should have a programmable duration in 5 minute increments from 5 to 30 minutes. Sometimes you need longer.
    • Should be able to pre-heat the battery like you can the cabin, while on mains power. Makes the battery discharge more efficiently. More range when it's cold.
    • The blind spot monitor should be able to be programmed to beep if you turn on your turn signal toward a car in the blind spot. I can't even believe this crazy oversight.
    • The HUD should be able to be set to show ECO Drive Guidance. The MID does, the HUD should as well.
    • The HUD should be slightly right and slightly up. It's just barely not in the right place.
    • The car at the top of the display should match the color of the actual car, or be programmable by the user. Simple change.
    • Nav system boot up is WAY too slow, probably because of the start screen. Reverse camera works immediately even though it's on the nav screen. This screen should become usable much faster.
    • Dash clock should sync with nav clock, and both to GPS. Probably a component or supplier problem, but it's frustrating to have to set two different and unrelated clocks.
    • A car like this should have at least a 300W 120V AC inverter built in. Even my friend's pickup does, but not the Prime?!?
    • The car should record the front facing camera and allow the user to view the video and export it to USB. It's there - use it!
    • Entering B-mode results in a surge of braking followed by a drop simulating a geared car. It should be smooth and steady instead.

    Well, there's my list.
     
    #1 Lee Jay, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agree with the ones i understand. not sure how much each would cost, and some are only a different decision.
     
  3. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    You know that the position of the HUD is adjustable? Are you saying it is not adjustable enough? I had to move mine slightly to the right and up when I got the car. I wonder what the front camera shows. What I need is one displaying how close the bottom front of the car is to the raised curb when parking.
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the lowered chassis is another issue.
     
  5. Diemaster

    Diemaster Active Member

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    i had to adjust my hud up too but it's only a up down and brightness adjustment. the way i sit, the right most digit has about 1/4 inch missing.

    i applaud you for the interior LED's, the cruse, and extended / limit charge EV topics. i live on a hill and more than once i run out of charge coming up the hill and the ICE comes on 500 feet from the house just to sit in the driveway warming up. LED's were the first thing i upgraded and LED reverse Lights.
     
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  6. 1x1

    1x1 Member

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    All valid points, but no complains from me. This is the best new car I've ever owned. A 50+ mpg, PHEV, comfortable - and one of the safest vehicles on the road today. And getting a $28,000+ vehicle for a total of $16,000 - one of the best deals, too.
     
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  7. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Me too - by miles. The thing is amazing!
     
  8. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Only up and down, and you can hit a point where part is cutoff by the frame around it.

    I've learned to sit slightly left of center to align with the HUD.
     
  9. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    I really would have appreciated ventilated softex seats - or even better, alcantra seats (but I understand that this is a super expensive option most non-sportscar buyers aren't going to pick)

    I agree that the car doesn't have enough information displayed regarding charging or EV operation. I assume that it's mostly due to the fact that the Prime is kind of a modified regular Prius, and is a bit of a compliance car.

    I really would have liked the ability to run the AC/heat while the car is charging. Maybe I'm doing it wrong - all the times I've tried it won't do both at the same time.

    I think there are some legal quandries regarding recording of the front facing camera - see the issues Chevrolet had with the Z06 Performance Data Recorder and its Valet Mode: Using new Corvette’s valet-recording tech could be a felony in some states | Ars Technica

    I would love a nose camera to show me how far the front of the car is from curbs though.

    The interior LED issue seems like something they should have addressed on the base Prius and extended to the Prime. I've been thinking of getting some custom LED interior lighting engineered for the enclosures though.

    I maintain that for the money, the Prime is an excellent car.
     
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  10. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Quick charging reduces battery life, and requires more intelligence to minimize that. A great many of your electrical desires are going to make a much heavier vehicle. "It fits in a pickup" is not a argument it should fit in a small car.

    Great! One of my complaints on both my Gen2 and v is that cruise control is not trying to get good MPG when accelerating. I am happy they addressed that.

    That would be an asset in MS.

    I can't find any hint if that is legal in the US, in the UK "It is legal to fit television equipment in a motor vehicle. However, if the screen of the television can be seen by the driver then it is only lawful to display information about the state of the vehicle, or about the location of the vehicle and the road which it is on, or information to assist the driver to see the road adjacent to the vehicle, or to assist the driver to reach his destination.

    It is unlawful for the driver to watch screens for entertainment purposes (e.g. TV programmes or DVDs) at any time while driving, including when stopped at traffic lights." So in the UK it would be legal.
     
  11. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I'm going to try to tie this commentary into this thread...trust me.
    But I really enjoyed a documentary about the design and release of the New Ford Mustang called "A Faster Horse". Whether you like Ford or have an affinity for Mustangs, what the documentary really brought to light was the real huge picture and numerous challenges in designing, then building a mass produced automobile.

    What you see is the real challenge in building and design. That every part is tied to every other part, and often what we as customers or outside entities might perceive as simple or "Why didn't they just do this?" things, become real challenges to change as the design of a new vehicle is created.
    It's not only design, but also parts availability, vendor supply issues, and the tangible ability to build the vehicle in quantity on an assembly line.

    That's not to say criticism of a vehicle isn't valid. That it doesn't lead to improvement and change. But I often think it's much easier for us as consumers to see the complaint, than it is for a manufacturer to make those "simple" changes once the vehicle is already in production or nearing production.

    In any case, "A Faster Horse" is a readily available documentary, I would recommend anyone who likes vehicles, the car industry and/or has any affinity for Mustangs watch it, very interesting.
     
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  12. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    Presumably, since it's a thing on our Model S, it's legal.

    I agree with you in a broad sense, since the rough estimate for bringing a car to market has been 10 years and a billion dollars, but some of this stuff is literally just software. Getting the vehicle to display some numbers (which I understand has a non-zero cost since there's probably regulations regarding how accurate the numbers are) should not be a particularly significant challenge for an enormous carmaker like Toyota.
     
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  13. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    A simple way to deal with that is to default to 16A and use one of my other suggesions, the ibe about making it easy to set charge rate at charge time.

    That is entirely untrue. All those suggestions would have little or no impact of the size or weight of the car. The 300W inverter I have fits in the palm of your hand and weighs about a pound, and I keep it in the center console. A 32A charger is almost exactly the same size as the 16A charger in the car. The 76kW output is already present in the car's components.
     
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  14. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    • Can't easily monitor miles/kWh in real-time like you can MPG. I don't see why I have MPG on the trip display when my day or drive has been 100% EV.
    Sure you can. Split screen mode. Page 200-203. Swap out the display on the MID. There are, I believe, four choices to display, and the miles/kW is one of them, and it is near instant. It also looks and works identical to the mpg version except for the "miles/kWh." Automatically switches to mpg display in hybrid mode and swaps to miles/kW in EV.

    Other things to add: The three different momentary mode selection displays on the mid show three different color cars when switching, and yet, strangely, only two different color backgrounds behind the big speed display. I can understand red for POWER, but where's green for ECO?

    Also kill the very top portion of the 11" display of the car entirely! I know what color my car is, and what it looks like. I want the map to take up as much real estate as possible. I can understand some area for cell phone status and strength, and that can be up there, but the rest of the top UI is useless as designed. Likewise, that map OPTIONS virtual button does not belong sticking way out to the right and in the way of what I want to have the thing display.

    • Should be able to pre-heat the battery like you can the cabin, while on mains power. Makes the battery discharge more efficiently. More range when it's cold.
    It already does this automatically, when under 32 degrees, and up to 3 days (or 31 days in Canada). Page 127.
     
    #14 DavidA, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
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  15. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    In his defense, (and I'm assuming that the screen displaying the instantaneous barplot is what you are referring to) the barplot isn't super easy to read with any precision - I think he just wants an actual miles/kWh number displayed (I'd like a Wh/mi so I can compare to our Model S).
     
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  16. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    Yes, I want an easy text readout too. There is a text miles/kWh readout available on the right MID, as a cumulative figure, using the ^ scroll on the right-most ring of the steering wheel, as one of the seven modes. It is resettable as A or B. I write that down as I do refills, or if/when I do refills, prior to the B reset.
     
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  17. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Active Member

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    Very well summarised! I totally agree with all you pointed out.

    I have 2 more points:

    1. GPS is almost useless compare to a smart phone. Please either improve the GPS or give us Apple/andorid play.

    2. Make the 11.6 inch touch screen more useful! It is only "useful" for AC and radio since I have no other choice. It is basic useless and most car related infor were sitll on the narrow/tiny screen.
     
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  18. ArtVanDelay23

    ArtVanDelay23 Member

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    As a former auto industry person, the poor decisions were mostly likely made on purpose. The prius prime is not a huge profit margin vehicle, Toyota most likely has data that states ignoring these issues results in 18% of potential Prime customers purchasing a Camry, Avalon, or 4Runner.
     
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  19. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    As I said, I specifically avoided things that simply need improvement. However, I disagree with both of your points above.
     
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  20. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I don't consider the stupid little bar-graph to be usable. To course. Should probably have been logarithmic, but I'd like a digital display too.

    upload_2018-5-16_7-18-43.png

    The trip display is the lower-right one here:

    upload_2018-5-16_7-19-56.png

    Mine essentially always says "199.9MPG", which is useless.
     
    #20 Lee Jay, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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