Prius v for family of 4 as 2nd car.

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by moss, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. moss

    moss Junior Member

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    I've narrowed my car search to 4 cars. I'm keeping my budget around $10-$11k cash so for that price I may be able to afford something like the following - -
    2014 Fusion (non-hybrid), 2012 Camry (non-hybrid), 2012 Prius v (possibly between 75k to 110k miles), 2010 Outback. Our other car is a 2010 Honda Insight with 120k miles on it. The car would mostly be used for highway/interstate miles since we live in a rural area.

    I was set on a Mazda5 but then sadly read the safety results from IIHS. I figure the Prius v offers similar style.

    How is the Prius v for highway mileage? I've looked on fuelly but it's hard to tell because most do a mix of hwy with city. The Fusion & Camry can get around 34-36 EPA highway which isn't much below the Prius v rated at 39 from the EPA.

    Has anyone on here done a spreadsheet of the mpg at different highway speeds? Someone on the Insight central forum did that & it was pretty interesting.

    Any concerns with the 2012 model year?

    Is it a good family car? My kids are only 2 year-old, & 9 weeks old so it's hard to plan for how big of a car we'll need down the road. I keep going back and forth between a sedan or something with more cargo space. I looked at the regular Prius in person at a dealership & the trunk looked about the same size as the Insight so that's why I'm leaning more towards the Prius v.
     
    #1 moss, Aug 2, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    IIRC, the Prius v is rated at 44/40/42 mpg. (city/hwy/combined). It's a good family vehicle because of the cargo space, the flexibility of the rear seat (can slide fore/aft) for cargo or passenger room (or if you want the kids closer to the front seats). The seats can recline - as the kids get older, they'll like that feature. A panoramic roof (only on the Prius v Five) is a kid-friendly feature (it doesn't open but it allows light in. There is a sunshade if you're concerned about UV, especially if they're babies/toddlers but again, as they get older....)

    The only thing about the Prius v is that it failed the small overlap test and you have to get the 2015 or newer to get acceptable ratings (Toyota reinforced the driver's side to get a better rating).

    Also note that passive safety is good, active safety like Pre-Collision System is only available on the Prius v Five w/ the Advanced Technology Package (back then, PCS was unheard of in this class of vehicle).

    If you can, find a Prius v with LED headlights. Those are rated high under the IIHS new headlight tests. The halogens are adequate of course (just like most cars with halogen headlights).

    The Camry and Fusion are bigger cars but not as space efficient as the Prius v (i.e. you pay more for additional length of vehicle than you receive in additional passenger space). A Fusion and Camry will be quieter on the highway than a Prius v. (Midsize sedans in general are quieter since they are a more expensive class of vehicle).
     
  3. Sooner Al

    Sooner Al Active Member

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    FWIW around town (all city driving) I get 45+ MPG (hand calculated). On the interstates I get 39-40 MPG.
     
  4. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    Our 2012 v Five has moved kids to and from college along with all their gear, with room to spare. In that role, it replaced a Dodge Grand Caravan which got one-third the highway mileage.

    "YEaMMV" Your Experience and Mileage May Vary
     
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  5. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    I get between 41.5 and 43 MPG on regular at up to 73 MPH on long trips with some short mountains thrown in but both up and down. Driver plus one passenger and luggage for 2 weeks.

    3 Prius family, one hatchback with about 160k on it and no plans to get rid of it. 2 v wagons. Mine at 47k and DIL's at 70k.

    No regrets. Took it out in a monsoon today.

    If you want a summary of what people like and don't like about the v, then this page may help you. It is as honest as I can make it.
     
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  6. moss

    moss Junior Member

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    Thanks for all the replies so far!
    How widespread is the excessive oil consumption problem in the Prius v? I read it's affecting 2012-2014 higher mileage Prius v cars (above 100k miles) which is concerning because I'd be looking at buying used.
     
  7. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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    The reason our 2012 Prius v Five/ATP is at only 35,000 miles after six years of ownership (bought it new) is that it is not at all pleasant at highway (e.g. 70 mph) speeds. It's CVT transmission makes the engine rev and roar on uphill grades with the speed slowing on uphill grades when on cruise control obviously pissing off other drivers. It's very noisy for me but by not for my wife since she can turn down the volume on her hearing aids.

    It's a decent enough "in-town" car when speeds on surface streets are no more than 45 mph. After ditching the original LRR Toyo tires which had horrible dry and wet road traction and keeping the replacement "regular" all season tires at pressures just above what's shown on the door jam label, it's averaging about 34 mpg in mostly in-town driving.

    Of the vehicles you mentioned, I'd go for the 2012 non-hybrid Camry.
     
  8. PriusV17

    PriusV17 Member

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    Maybe see if you or a mechanic can examine the engine chamber using a borescope through the spark plug holes and look for excessive carbon deposits? Borescopes are available on Amazon.
     
  9. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Not easy to get a sparkplug out for an inspection, even if the inspection would do any good. You have to take the windshield wiper assembly off for clearance.
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Easiest way to check is to monitor the dip stick ;).

    Do it frequently enough and you avoid it really consuming oil:).

    Not the worst problem to have woth a car(y).
     
  11. RAM v

    RAM v Junior Member

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    I tend to avoid 70 mph on the highway as I prefer the ~50 mpg I get at 55-60 (over the 40-45 mpg at 70). I've never had a problem with my 'v' holding speed OK with the cruise on, although it certainly does rev up on his.
     
  12. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Of course accelerating going up a hill at any speed the v revs up. But I regularly take mine as my first option (other car is a V6) on a 50 mile at 70 MPH to the family trip and back, frequently have 4 in the car, have taken it with 4 to the beach with lots of stuff, and to the mountains. Probably have made 4 or 5 trips of 250 miles each way in a day up 95 and never really noticed any reving. I do use cruise control when I can, doesn't seem to affect the operation of the car. I should also say my ears are old with many miles on them.

    I'm only at 47k miles and the car has had oil changes twice as frequently as the owners manual calls for (just my personal preference). Other maintenance was by the book (you know, the one that teaches the dealers to extract money).

    My prior cars (ones I sold to buy the v) were a CRV 4-cyl and a Porsche 6-cyl.
     
  13. moss

    moss Junior Member

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    Sounds like my Honda Insight. :)

    I could probably handle frequently checking oil & adding it as needed. What concerns me is that I read that Toyota may recommend increasing the oil change frequency. Wouldn't the extra oil needed & services negate the savings in fuel economy? Plus I wonder if any damage occurs to the engine with all the oil consumption. And what if I forget to check the oil sometime & it gets down to empty?

    I hate car shopping. Dig deep enough & you'll find a reliability problems with any car. Prius v is such a good combo of cargo space & fuel economy that I want it to work.
     
  14. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    If you keep an eye on the dip stick frequently, you can gauge how often you need to do that 2 minute activity ;).

    While every car as it ages has issues, monitoring the oil level seems pretty easy of an issue to me. Coming from a family that has owned GM and Dodge / Jeeps, the ones that plague these Prii are nothing:cool:.

    Do the simple things well and the Prius will deliver good service life for you:).

    Search around here long enough and you’ll find out some of the hidden challenges which put you ahead of the curve to beat others in service life(y).
     
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