Prius vs tesla..looking for input

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by redkamel, Dec 14, 2020.

  1. redkamel

    redkamel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    5
    5
    0
    Location:
    CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    I
    I currently drive a 2010 Prius. I am looking at a new car. I am interested in the prime, but mostly worried about storage space. The long story is below.

    I originally got a Prius as temporary car. But, it was so cheap and reliable I have kept it for a decade. I used to hate its appearance and boring driving dynamics, and its slow acceleration was a joke. But, over the years we bonded, and the car I loved to hate is now became my buddy through thick and thin, who can do anything (except be flashy/fast).

    Now, it is reaching nearly 100k. Its 10 years old. The exteriors been through a 2 break ins, a hail store, 2 fender benders, and 5 years of rough city living. The interior has been through three girlfriends and their messy eating in the car habits. Now, I am married to a tidy lady, with a dog, and have a baby on the way and I live in the burbs where the worst thing to happen to my car is a bird poop.

    I am looking to get a new car. The Prius Prime is really catching my eye because its cheap, reliable, has a cool double bubble trunk, and is the most efficient vehicle. I know I am a true Prius driver because that efficiency is really getting my hybrid synergy drive going. Unfortunately, I am concerned the tech/screen system is not that great, and that the trunk won't be sufficient to hold a stroller, baby stuff, a work bag, a bug out bag, and all the stuff I currently hold in my car (with room to spare). Plus, I like my car to be neat and tidy. A full trunk is not how I live. My current prius fits nearly everything (except baby stuff) under the trunk mat with room to spare.

    Enter the Tesla Model Y. I can swing the monthly payment, but not sure if its needed. Its less reliable, and has less range. Repairs, tires etc will be more expensive. But...its so much nicer to drive. I can fit everything in the frunk and under the rear deck and leave the trunk empty. Its super safe. The screen is more responsive. I dont need to carry a key. etc etc. Alas, it makes me feel like a yuppie, and it lacks the Toyota reliability.

    The Prius is cheaper, and will likely be with me 10+ years (I am only trading in my current one because life in the city had beat it to bits; I have mismatched windows and tint, body damage and its been repainted twice). The Tesla is much nicer and roomier.

    I drive about 20mi to work each day, and drive more on my days off for errands etc. So the EV range on the Prime is great, and so is the BEV Tesla range. I rarely road trip.

    Anyone have any advice? or own both? How is the Prime trunk? I know it is much smaller, but can still fit a lot. Whats it like day to day? Any opinions on the head unit?
     
    stomish likes this.
  2. pghyndman

    pghyndman Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    425
    413
    0
    Location:
    CT shoreline
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    Well... being a thrifty Scotsman, I feel compelled to remind you that the Prime still enjoys a $4502 Federal Tax credit, whereas the Tesla incentives are long gone. Sure, the Tesla will have more zip and perhaps you find it to be more stylish, but how much extra is that worth to you? FWIW, we own two other cars, a Mercedes convertible and a coupe, but do most of our driving in a Prime, and LOVE it!
     
    stomish and Ingapone like this.
  3. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    17,774
    8,673
    0
    Location:
    eastern Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    My personal preference would be a BEV over a PHEV. Why deal with an engine if you don't have too? But I'm not too keen on a Tesla. Have you considered other BEV's, like the Niro EV, and the Mach E comes out next year.

    The Prime actually has less interior volume than the 2010 Prius; cabin and cargo. What is important for you is that the raised floor means less space under the cargo cover.
     
  4. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2017
    655
    577
    0
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    I have enjoyed my Prime, particularly since I drive it as a BEV about 90% of the time. I also occasionally need to carry something that won't fit in it and sometimes it is useful to have 4WD. So I have an older 4Runner as a backup vehicle. I am considering replacing them both next year with either a Tesla Model Y or a RAV4 Prime. The top end RAV4 Prime has a MSRP of $42,600, but comes with the $7500 Federal tax credit. Toyota isn't making many of them and I have read that they will try to add about $1K to the price if they can get away with it.
     
  5. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    1,652
    758
    0
    Location:
    Paramount CA
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    This is no-brainer. Do you want to a very cheap car that goes on both gasoline and electricity or a very expensive car that goes on only electricity? You didn't need to ask people's opinion about this because if you know your needs, the choice must be clear.

    If the needs are unknown, they are both great cars, but Tesla is a lot faster and has better self-driving capabilities thanks to Autopilot over 2021 Prius Prime's TSS 2.0, albeit the latter still being far more capable than the 2020 and earlier models with TSS 1.0.

    Tesla does have downsides though, such as the lack of a blind-spot monitor (a must-have feature only available in the Prius Prime Limited trim) and other such annoying omissions for a super-expensive car.
     
    MichinZen likes this.
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    4,654
    4,626
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    How many people do you know that are thrilled about their 10 year old Teslas?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm certain you'd find some high points with a Tesla, but if you want another 10 years of subdued bliss get another Toyota.

    Sounds like you figured out where you are in life, might as well act appropriately with the knowledge. Plenty of guys don't even get that close.
     
    Ingapone, dig4dirt, srivenkat and 3 others like this.
  7. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    1,049
    741
    0
    Location:
    Monument, CO
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    My first impression is that you'd be too cramped in the Prime, go for the Model Y. YouTube reviews I've seen indicate it's the perfect Tesla combining practicality and price compared to the rest of the Tesla lineup. I don't know why you're hesitant about reliability and costs. The only dings I've read about Tesla are the sometimes poor fit and finish of the assembly. Plus, the landscape-oriented control screen seems so much more attractive and usable than a portrait-oriented one. You would need to figure out a home charging solution with either car you're considering and your driving habits indicate a BEV would not cramp your style for driving range needed. You don't say where in CA you are, but you'll have more than enough company driving a Tesla there than other parts of the country. Finally, the Prime with its minuscule EV range, is more like a gasoline car than an EV, so you'll still have to worry about all the maintenance issues associated with gasoline engines (oil, filters, coolant, spark plugs, exhaust, O2 sensors, the list goes on). Might as well move all the way into the future with a pure BEV. One last thought: if you follow this forum much, you'll be amazed at how confused Prime owners are with the cars. They have so many operating modes and things to be aware of, like the gas engine starting up on its own at the most inopportune times while driving. Again, it's like you have to embrace the BEV culture while still being aware of the gasoline powered world at the same time.
     
    #7 FuelMiser, Dec 15, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  8. powercat

    powercat Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2020
    22
    18
    0
    Location:
    cazenovia,ny
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    XLE
    Redkammel-I am a new prius prime owner with about 5k miles on it now-great car in my opinion and only a little over $20k after discounts,and state&fed credits.So far my avg mileage over 5k is about 105mpg -mostly short 5-30mi trips.Did a few 200 mi trips and averaged about 85mpg.Also have driven friends model3 performance awd tesla.It was fun and very fast! However it cost almost 3 times as much as prime and it doesnt encourage safe driving-its just too quick!Also fit/finish no where near as good as prime so I would be concerned with long term rusting in northeast (my area not yours) if you put price difference away in long term cd etc for your new baby it would probably cover a couple years of college in future.I really dont see $60-$70k vehicles as being practical in any sense.Spacewise I am fine with prime (also have a crv&ridgeline) pretty much as good as other vehicles for average loads not max loads.I really like option og running on gas if needed in case charging is not available or convienient and depending on your kwh cost a prime running on gas can be cheaper than charging a bev. Good luck on your choice
     
  9. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    2,415
    1,679
    0
    Location:
    Rocklin, CA
    Vehicle:
    Other Electric Vehicle
    Model:
    ----USA----
    In addition to BEVs mentioned above, if you don't need a new vehicle right away and VW is not on your verboten list, take a look at the ID.4 which is reported to arrive early next year. It is listed at 30.3 ft³ of cargo volume and from the photos looks quite usable.
     
  10. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    5,464
    3,523
    1
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Other Electric Vehicle
    Model:
    N/A
    It really comes down to what price you are willing to pay.
    As you said, the Model Y is more expensive than the Prime. You mentioned you could make the monthly payments, but are you comfortable with that?

    Next, charging and driving patterns. What trip lengths, and where to? If all your driving is witching 275 miles and you can charge at home, a BEV works better than a gas car. If there are chargers at your destination and/or along your route, the BEVs again work great.

    Others have already mentioned it, but I will again... Have you considered other options?
    The RAV4 Prime, if you can find one, may work great for you.
    Have you looked at the Model 3? It has a surprising amount of room.

    I have owned the second gen Prius as well as the Model 3 & Model Y.
    I have absolutely loved my experience owning Tesla cars. Efficiency is highest on my list when it comes to cars, which is why I made that switch (just so you know where I am coming from).
     
  11. Moving Right Along

    Moving Right Along Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    611
    496
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The Prius Prime and Tesla Model Y are very different cars in very different market segments. It seems from the opening post that you’d like to have the extra room and better driving experience of a Tesla, so let’s just say right now a Model Y is your “dream car.” Your experience with a Prius is typical and if you get a Prime, you know what you’ll be getting: a slow, reliable, fuel efficient car. It will work well for years but won’t be flashy, sporty, or fast.

    So the real question is can you justify paying twice the price of a Prius Prime to get a Model Y? From a financial perspective, a car is a depreciating asset and spending more than you have to means you are losing money. Also, there is a high likelihood a Model Y will require more service, which means less time with the car. So buying a Model Y would be a luxury. And from that standpoint, if you can afford the extra $25k plus time to own one and it’s worth it to you, then go for it. But if you can’t afford it, or it’s not worth that extra $25k plus time, then choose the Prius Prime.
     
    ThatOddMan likes this.
  12. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    5,430
    3,663
    0
    Location:
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Hindsight being 20/20 and all, if I were in the OP's position again, I'd go for the $25k vehicle over the $50k vehicle and put that extra $25k into TSLA.

    My purely anecdotal observations of automotive forums over the years, the Tesla sites are a dumpster fire in comparison to the Prius (here and others) and don't appear to be getting better but worse as more mainstream buyers who are less forgiving join the ranks. Tesla still has a lot of growing pains but it's growing so that's a good thing!
     
    #12 fotomoto, Dec 15, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
    stomish likes this.
  13. dbat23

    dbat23 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    47
    35
    0
    Location:
    WI
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    I wrestled with the same issue recently. I was enamored with purchasing a Tesla Model 3, and was ready to pull the trigger. But the more i read and watched Youtube videos about poor paint jobs, poor workmanship, poorly planned non-existent drip channel on trunk area, and a number of other faults, it became apparent to me that Tesla, while exciting, fast, high tech, it worried me that I would be chasing down troubles that would detract from my purchase experience. So I decided on the 2020 Prius Prime (my 3rd Prius), and haven't looked back. For my driving, now mostly in city, I use EV mode 95% of time. And if I want to take it on a trip, I can go 640 miles or more without refilling gas. I even drove it back from Easton MD to my home state of WI, starting off with a full tank, and refilling once.
     
    stomish and Ingapone like this.
  14. triggerhappy007

    triggerhappy007 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2018
    457
    310
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Electric Vehicle
    Model:
    Base
    Here's my point of view from owning a 17 Prius Prime Premium and then moving on to 2 BEV's, both LEAFs. I have a 110 mile commute so I bought the Prime so I wouldn't have to fuel up so much or spend too much on gas. I didn't like that it had only 2 rear seats at the time. The Prime's acceleration is slower, but handles better compared to my LEAF. The Prime's cargo area is shorter and has less capacity. When I had a stroller there, a part of it would pop the cargo cover up. It's listed at almost 20 cubic feet, but I don't really think it holds that much, I feel like it holds less than a 16 cubic foot trunk in a sedan I had. If you haul a stroller and a tall bag, your rear view will be obstructed. I didn't like the Prime had so many controls on the touch screen and didn't have a volume knob. The navigation was not user friendly.

    I wanted a BEV because I didn't want to stop by gas stations once a week. I didn't want to get oil changes 4 times a year. I have tier pricing on my electricity so it only costs me $1.50 to drive 110 miles. I just upgraded from my 19 LEAF SL with a smaller battery to a 2020 LEAF SV Plus with the bigger battery. It has a the Tech package and All Weather package for $20,000 plus taxes after a $6800 dealer discount, $6000 Nissan rebate, $2000 SV Tech rebate, $7500 tax credit, and $2500 state mail in rebate. Here are the things I like about the LEAF. It has much better adaptive cruise control and lane centering than the Prime. It has a heated steering wheel and 360 degree camera. It has Android Auto and Apple Carplay. You can hold more cargo and it won't obstruct your view. It has a safety feature to remind you if you leave a child in the back seat. It has been a reliable vehicle except for the 12V battery that had to be replaced on my 19 LEAF.

    I test drove a Tesla Model 3 and while I liked its performance and greater range, I didn't want to spend double the amount compared to my LEAF Plus. I also didn't like how almost everything is controlled via touchscreen. I would recommend you test driving a Nissan LEAF before buying a Tesla. I know it's not luxurious, but it's a great commuter. We have a Pacifica Hybrid to use for trips. There are lease deals on the smaller battery LEAF around $100/m in CA, CO, and TX.
     
    #14 triggerhappy007, Dec 15, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
    fotomoto likes this.
  15. bluespruce

    bluespruce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2020
    79
    72
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    I just bought a Prius Prime but the new 2021 Mustang Mach-E looks like it is going to be a hit. So many new cars coming out its tough to choose.
     
  16. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    10,085
    8,004
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    For me, Prius Prime and Tesla (let's say even the lowest priced M3) are totally different cars that can not be compared. It is like comparing an efficient and reliable daily drive car at sub $20K to an entry-level luxury car at above $40K. Since I have no interest in spending $40K for my daily drive, M3 is out of my choice. This is without taking into consideration the incovinience of BEV charging and higher cost of electricity compared to the convenience of PHEV refueling at any gas station and lower cost of gas. When I take that into consideration, even if the two cars are the same price, PHEV wins my choice for now.

    Ultimately, it really boils down to how much you want to spend on a car and what you want/need out of the car.
     
    pghyndman likes this.
  17. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    823
    435
    0
    Location:
    Near Silicon Valley
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Directed to the OP: I drive the 2017 Prime Advanced daily after 17 years of driving a 2002 Gen 1. My experience with the Tesla is limited to a test drive and driving next to them every day on the road. I've ridden as passenger in several BEVs.

    TLDR: Get the Prius.

    As you have probably learned, the Prius design has enough power to merge without problems on most every highway / road. The Prius Prime acceleration 0-60 is still around 10 seconds.

    The luggage space is about the same as the 2010. 22 cu ft vs 20 in the 2021.

    The cost of travel will depend a lot on where you get your electricity. Pacific Gas and Electric has an "EV Time Of Use (TOU) rate that lowers the off hour rates to something sensible. At 17 cents a kWh you get a complete charge for under a buck and a half in two hours. That's roughly $2.70 for 50 miles. Gas here is running $3.25 a gallon this week.

    It's worth noting that the Tesla Model 3 is rated at 3.85 miles per kWh and the Prius Prime goes a little further at 4.0 miles per kWh. So don't expect to save money driving a tesla unless you have a free source of power.

    Environment... It's funny, but due to different sources of electricity in different areas the Prius Prime in the Silicon Valley area is 30% less polluting than a Tesla in central Ohio. That's including the use of gasoline too. :) A tesla is marginally cleaner in when both are used in the same place. ( a fun tool to play with for emissions and mileage Beyond Tailpipe Emissions: Results )

    Now for the subjective stuff. I'm used to the quirks of the Prius power curve. If I need to change lanes at a stop light all I have to to is hit the gas pedal and out run the car next to me by a few car lengths in the first few seconds. If the guy next to me is faster I tap the brakes and slip in behind him. One strategy or the other works every time. Horsepower is not an issue for me.

    Before the pandemic I was driving 1000 to 2000 miles a month. I like the feel of the electric drive mode so I charge it whenever I park at home. During the pandemic I'm using it for for all my errands and put a couple hundred miles a month on it. I've not added gas to the tank since February. I think that's kind of cool. I have 640 miles of range on tap if needed but most of my driving falls within that 25 - 30 miles per day.

    I find the car to be quite comfortable. I spend lots of hours behind the wheel. I like the large screen. It helps with old eyes. I prefer dedicated physical dials so I know where they are without looking, but that's not real common anymore.

    The visibility in the newer Prii is not as good as it was in my 2002 model but the BSM (Blind Spot Monitoring) and rear view camera more than makes up for it.

    With the rear seats up I find that my normal travel kit fits well under the rear deck cover. With them down I've carried lumber, a 7 foot book case, air compressor and much more.

    Subjectively, I'd stick with the Prius. Many of the things that made the model 3 so popular (free charging, rebates, promised features) have either been dropped or made more expensive.
     
    dig4dirt likes this.
  18. Imagine

    Imagine Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2019
    6
    7
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    We have a Prime (2019). The next car will most likely be a Model 3. Nothing wrong with the Prime, but you definitely get what you pay for. It's a cheap feeling car whereas Teslas are more luxury-esque (their reputation for build quality issues is concerning though). The Prime's EV mode is a serious tease for what the car could be if reimagined with a larger battery. After 30 miles or so (on a good day,) the engine will kick in, reminding you with each strained gasp why you’d might consider a full EV as your next car. Yes, for the most part the Prius Prime offers a very smooth driving experience, but that moment where it switches over from EV mode to Hybrid is jarring every single time (especially at highway speeds). For such a relatively new car, the infotainment interface is embarrassing...straight out of the early 2000's. The newer ones have CarPlay, so I imagine it's probably a better experience now. Meanwhile, Teslas seem to continuously improve in that department with software updates over time. That being said, the difference in price between a Prius Prime and a Model Y is huge. While the Tesla has cooler tech, I'm not sure that makes it significantly safer than the Prime. Toyota's standard safety features are pretty good imo. The implementation is kind of uninspired and annoying at times, but it all works reasonably well. On the flip side, I’m not sure we can say Tesla is inferior in terms of reliability…at least not yet. Most of the complaints people have with Teslas seem to be fit and finish related. If you are just looking for something faster than a Prime and with more space, there are probably much more economical options than a Model Y. I’m pretty sure the Prime will hold all your stuff just fine, but if you are that worried about cargo space, maybe consider getting something like a RAV4.
     
  19. redkamel

    redkamel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    5
    5
    0
    Location:
    CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    I
    Lots of good advice here, and I thank you.

    I have looked at other BEVs. Most lack range, or are a ICE manufacturers first foray into BEV (read: poorly thought out). I was interested in the leaf, but my coworker says he dislikes his and prefers a Tesla (he also has the gen 1). I should check out the newer ones. I've also looked at other PHEVs..I am not really interested in competing for a rav4, or most of the other vehicles. If I have to deal with an ICE and a dealership, I am either getting a Prius or a sports car...everything else isn't really worth it.

    Teslas do have reported finish problems. I live in Southern CA, and have taken to inspecting Teslas parked on the street, like an undercover cop. I haven't seen any issues. Service where I live is probably equivalent to the Bay Area. I already have charging at my house, and all my road trips are either electric car compatible or I rent a SUV (I don't need a 4wd gas guzzler for 1-2 ski trips a year where it gonna get trashed anyhow). My wife has a PHEV now, almost alway runs in Electric. We rarely have charging issues.

    I have several needs I didnt really mention, like a hatchback (for my dog) etc etc.

    I know several people who own Tesla's. Zero problems, and they all love them. Including ones 4-5 year old.

    I guess my main issue is I want an electric Toyota Prius. The Prime is the closest but doesnt haven't enough room or some of the niceties. The price isn't really an issue more than anything else is.

    My main concern is really space for all my stuff. My local dealership is also super lazy and won't even let me test drive it/check it out. "None of them are charged. And since you already own a Prius, you know how it drives"

    I'll take all the advice here under consideration...I am still pretty split but leaning toward the Tesla..I really want to make the Prius work (I've also considered the current gen non Prime, but I dont like how it looks too much).

    Maybe I'll rent a Prime for a day.
     
  20. pjm877

    pjm877 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    340
    83
    0
    Location:
    austin, tx
    Vehicle:
    2021 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Limited
    Teslas are nice full Ev are nice... but I have a 1200 mile trip Friday... and want to complete it in 23 hours ... not three days ...

    Full EV's will become practical when the batteries have a 500 mile range and can quick charge to 80% + in 5 to 10 min. Or you can change out the battery module with a fully charged at a EV Battery change station... Yes, I know all the MFG's will have to standardize on a exchangeable battery module. I thought about this process in the 90's...

    I have a Prius Prime Limited 2021 (made 092020) I will be driving it Friday for xmas vacation
     
Loading...