Prius/Camry quandary

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Goughy, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Goughy

    Goughy Junior Member

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    We are in the process of trading our 2005 Prius in for either a new Prius or a Camry Hybrid LE.

    Here is the problem:

    We must have a vehicle with a spare tire. This limits our choice pretty much to the Prius 3 or the Camry. So far so good.

    However, we would also very much like to have Homelink, powered driver seat to facilitate easy change of driver and BSM/RTCA.

    The current crop of 2018 Camry LE don't appear to have BSM/RTCA although it is listed as an option. I guess they are trying to differentiate between it and the SE/XLE.

    We would prefer the smaller size of the Prius since a lot of our driving is in urban SoCal but the added comfort of the Camry would be nice for cross-country trips. We also have a 2015 4Runner which could pinch hit on long trips at the expense of mpg.

    Currently, we are looking at a base 2017 Prius 3 for around $25,500 out the door or a base Camry Hybrid LE for around $30,500. The Prius price includes the $2000 rebate which ends on 10/31 and a fairly generous dealer discount.

    What to do?

    1) Go for the 2017 Prius 3 and suck up the inconvenient lack of Homelink and powered driver seat.

    2) Wait for the 2018 Prius and see if the options change to better satisfy our requirements (for example, a Prius 4 with a spare or a 3 with Homelink and/or powered seat. It would be annoying to buy the 2017 and then find that we could get closer to what we want with a 2018.

    3) Wait a few months for the Camry LE optional BSM/RTCA to become available (or added in like the 2017.5 Prius)

    If only Toyota had included a spare in the Prius 4 it would have been a no-brainer.

    We're going to look at the options at the dealer this afternoon. I'm hoping it becomes clearer, but I doubt it will.

    Any opinions?
     
  2. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    I had the same "dilemma" years ago when I purchased Pearl. I went for the best mileage (Prius). Easy choice.
     
  3. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    $5,000 buys a LOT of gas for the 4Runner.
     
  4. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    Keep in mind that the included spare tire is only somewhat useful on long trips as it has limited range and speed. It basically allows you to get to the nearest town where you will possibly have to buy a replacement tire to continue the trip, depending on the damage. Donut spares also affect handling and braking, which is one reason why they recommend not going more than about 50mph. What some people do instead is purchase a used full-size wheel and have an inexpensive full size tire installed on it, same size and speed rating as the other tires, which can be purchased on-sale at your leisure. Which they then carry in the back on trips. Needs to be tied down for safety, and of course it uses up some of the cargo space. But for one or two people and limited luggage that can work. For a family of four and dog maybe not. For in town, the spare is left at home, with the assumption that if you have a flat in town you will have a way to get the spare brought to wherever your car is (spouse, Uber, etc).

    However some have pointed out that if you go this route you will want to replace the spare tire every five years or so as they will degrade even if not used. Or another option is to purchase a fifth OEM wheel and tire, and put it in rotation with the others. This ensures even treadwear, and also avoids the spare getting old, and other than the cost of the wheel, your tire costs shouldn't be that much more since you should get approx. 20% more treadlife since each tire will only be running four-fifths of the miles.

    People are also reporting good results with plug-type patch kits, which are quick and easy to use. Although they won't work in all situations, they are far better than the goop stuff that car makers provide.

    This might solve itself anyway as I can't imagine even low-end Camry's not having BSM/RTCA for very long.
     
    #4 Since2002, Oct 24, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I would probably not worry about the spare and purchase a rim/tire separate to carry along on longer trips (you do get a larger cargo space on the models without a spare tire).

    The other option is to buy a Four and then purchase the underfloor foam separately (it won't be cheap) to fit a temporary spare tire like a Three. I believe @kithmo did that on his UK-spec car.
     
  6. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    I fail to envision anywhere in SoCal where having a spare is needed. How often do you blow out tires???
     
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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    iirc, you can remove the foam in the pack 4 and add a spare.

    as far as choosing between the two cars, we have prius for local and hycam for long distance. it is the best of both worlds. ditch the 4 runner eventually?
     
  8. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Who says they stay in Southern California? The Toyotas have enough range to leave the state unlike a Leaf, for instance. :D
     
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  9. robsnyder20

    robsnyder20 Active Member

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    There are a few wrecked prius's already, perhaps you could go that route and get a spare tire and foam from a wrecked prius as well.
     
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  10. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

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    FWIW I believe a manual seat is a quicker adjustment, even perhaps easier, than an electric seat to facilitate different drivers.

    Home link on drivers mirror versus garage door remote transmitter placed in the door side pocket...lots of storage spaces to place the remote in a Prius.

    BSM = Body side molding? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. May limit some (some) types door dings
    RTCA = ? Radar cruise control? I am not a fan and prefer to control my car.

    Not sure why a Prius 4 could not be updated to carry a spare...other co-members may have the insight.

    Camry is a nice car, maybe even better, maybe even more horsepower than a Prius.
    Prius is a nice car, maybe more economical than a Camry, plus there seems to be more enthusiasts of a Prius....so a fun factor.
    Do insurance rates make a material difference.
    Does resale value at 5 years make a difference.

    That's my two sense to help with a decision.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    BSM =Blind Spot Monitor
    RCTA = Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (OP had a typo which I didn't notice and copy pasted it into my message also)

    You prefer to control your car so I guess you don't use regular cruise control either?
     
  12. CooCooCaChoo

    CooCooCaChoo Active Member

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    You should wait for Toyota's 0/0 offer. 0 Down and 0 APR will beat those finance offers. In the meantime you can do your research and take test drives to see which you would like most.
     
  13. Goughy

    Goughy Junior Member

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    Thanks everyone.
    I had a flat in the 2005 Prius in the carpool lane of the 405 in Inglewood during evening rush hour. Not a great situation. Pulled over to the shoulder to wait for assistance while cars passed at 70+ mph in the gathering gloom. Would not have been a smart idea to try to change the wheel myself! We had a couple of flats in our old RX300 (in 12 years of ownership) and one in a 1992 Camry. All in the LA area and a couple discovered in our driveway so I guess help was readily available in all cases. We've just moved back to SoCal from six years in southern Utah where a flat, out in the wilds, with poor cell coverage, would have been more serious. Fortunately it never happened, nor did it ever happen in countless journeys on I15 between LA and St George, so maybe we're being over-cautious.
    Yes that might be a longer term solution. The 4Runner is a leftover from our time in Utah and we'd like to keep it for more rugged trips. Neither the Prius nor the Camry seem suited for anything other than a paved surface!
    Yeah, sorry. For some reason I was thinking 'Rear traffic collision avoidance". Toyota do seem to be fond of similar and sometimes unintuitive abbreviations.

    Anyway, after a visit to the dealer where we drove a Prius 3, and a 2018 Camry Hybrid XLE and sat in a non-hybrid 2018 Camry LE (they had no hybrid LEs on the lot, or so they said), the picture does not become a lot clearer.

    I am leaning towards the Prius. The Camry, while more comfortable and more powerful, did not really seem to warrant the extra dosh and is probably more car than we need. My wife likened it to a "limo" and after driving a 2005 Prius, I can see her point.

    If we do buy a Prius we still need to decide on a 3 or a 4 or wait for the 2018 changes.

    Thanks again for your input. It is telling that the Prius has a great support community here on this forum - I doubt the Camry will ever stir up such enthusiasm.
     
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  14. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    I am CURSED with attracting nails/screws/bolts into every single company car I have been issued; at least once per vehicle, if not twice. Consequently, I have become a master flat tire changer and actually carry a click torque wrench. I am probably one of the few people who actually like TPMS: alerted me of a low tire situation, allowing me to quickly and safely pull over and check, before causing irreparable tire damage.

    14min has been my fastest change time:
    remove contents of trunk to access spare and scissor jack,
    loosen lug nuts on flat/flattening tire,
    raise flat tire,
    remove lug nuts,
    remove wheel,
    put doughnut tire on,
    replace lug nuts and tighten to specified torque,
    lower doughnut wheel,
    put flat tire, scissor jack, lug wrench, and torque wrench away
    close trunk,
    drive away​
     
  15. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    OP, have you considered the Ford Fusion Hybrid? If you have absolutely ruled it out, then disregard this post.

    If you are open to it, you too may be impressed with the Ford Fusion Hybrid. I was impressed that this was a Ford; they have come a long way. The fit and finish pales, compared to German, Japanese, and Korean cars, but the vehicle none the less is still good. The upside w/ a Fusion Hybrid, is Ford licensed the hybrid technology from Toyota; at least in their early Hybrid models, don't know if Ford is still licensing Toyota Hybrid technology.
     
  16. Goughy

    Goughy Junior Member

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    I haven't looked at it lately. Did consider it a couple of years ago but didn't change cars then anyway. I'll take another look.

    I've also considered the Hyundai Iconic which gets some good reviews (e.g. Alex on Autos) and others not so glowing (e.g. Consumer Reports -yes I know :rolleyes: ) but I've had a good experience with Toyota & Lexus over the years and will need some convincing to change.
     
  17. jrt6

    jrt6 Junior Member

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    Thats what I did with mine. Discount Tire was able to find me a spare from a Yaris (or Corolla i think) and it bolts right up.
     
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  18. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Ford licensed *some* of Toyota’s Hybrid technology not the whole system.
     
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  19. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    You can also get all those safety features and spare in the later 2017 Trim Two Prius for less money than the Trim Three.

    Disclaimer: I have an earlier 2017 that does not have BSM and RCTA.
     
    #19 Prodigyplace, Oct 25, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
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  20. Lucifer

    Lucifer Senior Member

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    Get the Prius! Take off the oem tires and put on Michelin defenders, don’t worry about a flat.
     
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