Prius Prime harsh ride quality?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by xacto1, Dec 6, 2021.

  1. xacto1

    xacto1 New Member

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    I test drove a used 2019 Prius Prime (Plus trim) yesterday, and was shocked by how stiff and bumpy the ride was. The whole car seemed to rattle over every little bump, and the road noise was quite loud as well. It seems from browsing this forum that the majority of Prius Prime owners feel that the car actually delivers quite a smooth, comfortable, and quiet ride. Thus, I'm just wondering if I test-drove a dud, or if my expectations are just unrealistically high when it comes to ride comfort and cabin noise?

    As some background, my currently daily driver is a 2005 Lexus RX330. Even though this car is old and slowly becoming bumpier and louder as time goes on, it still offers a FAR more comfortable, plush, and quiet ride compared to the Prius Prime I test drove.

    I also recently test drove a Tesla Model 3, and despite this car having a reputation for a harsh ride, I still found it to be significantly more comfortable and quiet than the Prius Prime.

    I'm really bummed out, since I was so excited to buy a Prius Prime, up until the test drive. It seems amazing on paper and I love the idea of using electric for my daily drive, while still having incredible gas range when going on long road trips. However, I wouldn't be able to live with the jarring / bumpy ride every day, no matter how good the rest of the car is.

    I'm just wondering if I test drove a dud Prius Prime, and should test drive another one (maybe a 2022 Prius Prime Limited trim that my dealer will be getting next week), or if my expectations for the ride quality of a Prius Prime are just too high, and I should be looking for another car entirely, like a Lexus?

    Thanks for your consideration.
     
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  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Not having reference points of Lexus or Tesla in my experience, I may not be able to compere but I know PP is not the quietest car I have driven before. As far as comfort goes, again our 7 years old Pathfinder Hybrid is far more comfortable to drive. That being said, PP is better than my previous HCH and Gen3 in overall ride quality. But the tires contribute a large portion of noise and comfort on any car. I would suggest you try test driving a brand new 2022 PP and see if that is any better. If so, then yeah, the used PP you drove could be a dud (or maybe just had very bad tires).
     
    #2 Salamander_King, Dec 6, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
  3. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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    Ride comfort is completely subjective. Go drive a different one, or a new one, as a comparison.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    definitely going to feel rough compared to many cars. if this would be your first prius, you'll have to resign yourself to it.
    for those that came from previous generations, it's much improved, believe it or not. :p

    the only thing you can check is the tires and pressures. maybe they have the wrong tires or the pressures are too high.
     
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  5. xacto1

    xacto1 New Member

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    Ok thanks for the replies all! It sounds like possibly I just drove a particularly uncomfortable Prime, and perhaps my expectations are too high as well. I’ll test drive the 2022 Limited trim when my dealer gets in in 1-2 weeks and report back.
     
  6. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    Recommend you drive another Prime, as others have suggested.
     
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Cars make use of sound insulation to quiet the cabin. You'll find more of it in a luxury car on average. It can add a bit of weight, and is an easy thing to cut for weight reduction. The Prius very likely has a lot less of that insulation than the Lexus.

    A used car can have non-OEM tires on it. Which can be noisier and rougher, or the tire pressure is set higher. That can have the same results, but it does help with efficiency.

    If you try another Prius, take a tire gauge with you to check pressures.
     
  8. Merkey

    Merkey Active Member

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    I rented a new PP for a weekend trip. Ride was very harsh. It turns out the dealer never adjusted the shipping tire pressure. It was at 50 psi.
     
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  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    In the case of a used car, the previous owner may have the pressures high for better fuel economy.
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Our other vehicle is a 2017 RX450h:).

    I just drove that down to Southern California and back which was about 1200 miles. That is a much quieter and comfortable ride than our 2019 Prime I drive everyday ;).

    Hard to compare a RX to a base model Prime without finding what you found in my experience(y).
     
  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    A 2005 RX330 has soft suspension for cruising (drove an ‘06 around a mini autocross at a test drive event),. The Prime’s suspension is better than the old Prii but it’s not the smoothest. I find it comfortable enough (and nowadays, most cars are being tuned for a firmer ride, even cars like the Camry and Avalon. I wouldn’t be surprised if the current RX is firmer than the old ones, while still maintaining that Lexus ride quality).

    That said, a “harsh” ride is unbecoming of the Prime and my first guess is that the tire pressure is incorrectly set. I would try another one (or a new Prime) to see if you get different results.
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    Yeah, as a lot of responders have said, could be the test-drive car had grossly over-inflated tires.
     
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  13. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    I suspect ( since I'm not from your area ) there are a lot of prius there and a lot of motorheads too, (unless I'm misinformed). So given, neither you nor I have specific details concerning the car, it's hard to know what or why you got a bad feeling during your time in the Prime. Although, I'd think it might be possible the Prime had some suspension work done on it. Tanabe makes custom suspension exact fit parts that are undetectable to the casual viewer. https://www.tanabe-usa.com/
     
  14. Froglegs

    Froglegs Junior Member

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    I concur with the over-inflated tire theory. My previous vehicle was a 2018 Mercedes E400 with air suspension, and believe it or not, my PP compares favorably for comfort. Handling? No. Not even close. But very comfortable.
     
  15. pghyndman

    pghyndman Active Member

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    Absolutely! Our Prime sees a lot more use than our other vehicles and, while not as nimble, it is reasonably comfortable (third Prime in as many years... love 'em)!

    IMG_4768b.jpg
     
  16. xacto1

    xacto1 New Member

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    Just wanted to post an update on my Prius Prime purchasing journey since I stated I would a few weeks ago.

    Well, it turns out none of the dealers in my area have had any new Prius Primes to test drive since I started this thread about a month ago. Any vehicles listed as “available” on the website turn out to already have been reserved. My local dealerships also wouldn’t let me put down a deposit to reserve a vehicle for a test drive, since they only wanted “serious buyers” to put down a reservation. Well how can I know if I want to buy the vehicle if I can’t test drive it???

    In any case, this has been a rather painful and frustrating experience dealing with my local Toyota dealers. So I ended up just buying a Lexus ES 300h (hybrid) that was immediately available, and couldn’t be happier. Super comfortable, quiet, luxurious. It doesn’t have the plug-in capability of the Prius Prime that I was looking forward to, but with about 40mpg in real world driving, I haven’t had to go to the pump too much anyway.
     
  17. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Congrats! That's a great car. I test drove the ES350 (they didn't have the ESh because they were all pre-sold back when it was launched in Jan 2019). Love the current generation.
     
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