PriusChat's 2012 Prius v In-Depth Review and First Drive

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Danny, May 23, 2011.

  1. marzprius

    marzprius Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    92
    12
    0
    Location:
    Northcoast
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Gen III has a clear instant mpg bar graph display just to the right of the speedo # .
     
  2. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    6,972
    1,836
    1,174
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Sorry, I should have been more clear. There is now an instant MPG readout in numerical form. The 3G Prius only has the 0-100 bar, which I will actually miss. Another note - the instant MPG readout only goes up to 99.9 if I remember correctly.

    It is so difficult to glide in the 3rd Generation Prius, and likewise in the Prius v, so a light showing when the ICE is off is much more useful. The only decent way to glide in the 3G Prius is to put the car in neutral.
     
  3. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    14,487
    2,971
    0
    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I LOVE the new dash display with the use of more colors. It is so much easier to read the information.
     
  4. Russell Frost

    Russell Frost the whatdrives.us guy

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    136
    103
    0
    Location:
    roaming about this fine nation
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    If you're going to invoke my name

    Danny wrote,

    Another new Prius, another new instrument cluster. What Toyota calls the "Combination Meter" has been moved to the center of the dash, which elicits different responses. I personally like it, but my co-driver for the day, What Drives Us' Russell Frost couldn't stand it. ​

    That's not exactly what I said. What I said, repeatedly, was that I didn't like it but I wasn't sure if that was merely being used to driver centered positioning in my two Prii or that I just didn't like the center positioning.

    I tend to think that I prefer it to be in front of the person most concerned with the information being presented there. At first glance, which is really all these "First Drive" events provide, it seemed awkward. Either way, I could deal with it. And the new display sort of makes up for it to an extent.

    One other thing, and it doesn't involve something I said (luckily).

    Danny wrote,

    The GreenEdge Technology system from JBL includes a new amplifier that puts out 600 equivalent watts of power, but only uses 120 watts. It weighs one-third less than the current Prius system, and reduces power consumption by 50%.​

    I don't believe that's actually correct though I understand why you would post it. As I tried to detail in my review of the v (review whoring link), JBL is playing a somewhat disingenuous game here with numbers. The system is rated at "600 equivalent watts". That's five - 120 "equivalent" watt channels. As an aside, please note, there are eight speakers which means the bass speakers are tied into and sharing one channel. Anyway, your mistake is substituting 120 watts (the per channel equivalent rating) for the total output. JBL or Toyota never says this. What neither JBL or Toyota actually say is what the real wattage rating of the amp is*. I've sent them an email asking to clarify the issue, so far, no response. My guess from seeing the components in a JBL presentation case at the First Drive is what they have done is actually much simpler. I suspect, and I'm willing to bet this is the case or very close to it, design speakers that are much more efficient than previous Prius sound systems thus allowing them to utilize an amp that is much smaller and still achieve SPL's the same or higher. This is an old, old trick and Bose has done this for years. Bose is also famous for avoiding standard speaker conventions and designing speaking with a lower impedance so that the "effective" power of the amp is increased. Lower wattage, more SPL. Same story.

    And there's nothing inherently wrong with this depending on how exactly the whole thing is put together. Lighter, more responsive speakers do require less power and scaling back the amp saves electricity and generates less heat. The potential downside is that lower impedance speakers often shred amps more quickly. Using speakers with lighter cones and voice coils and smaller magnets means you get more sound with less power. It also means they can handle less power and may possibly wear out sooner. There's a reason for those "standard speaker conventions" I mentioned above. I'm also not a big fan of "digital" amps as I think they color and compress the sound from the system and tend to be built less robustly than other designs.

    Taking all that into consideration, as I said in my review, I do think the sound of the system is very good (with some idiosyncrasies noted). And if it turns out that this GreenEdge delivers on the promises it makes and holds up over time then it justifies itself.

    Of course, I still loathe marketing it using a phrase such as "equivalent watts". It's horrible but I understand why they use. I just don't like it.


    *From carefully looking at all the JBL materials in the press kit if I had to guess my guess would that this is a 20-30 watt per channel amp, maybe smaller depending on the actual impedance of the speakers.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Russell Frost

    Russell Frost the whatdrives.us guy

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    136
    103
    0
    Location:
    roaming about this fine nation
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    How about a little balance

    By the way, dude, great review. Your attention to detail is impressive and you added in a couple of quotes that I had thought about including but did not. Nice job.

    Now if you only had a series of videos demonstrating everything you wrote about...
     
  6. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    14,487
    2,971
    0
    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    GreenEdge seems to be good stuff. Both Mercedes-Benz and BMW sound system also have this technology.
     
  7. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    2,287
    457
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Did the change from the horizontal HSI to vertical make it easier to see the no-regen-no-gas state? I find on my 2010 that the combination of monochrome and the slight diagonal on the regen/EV separator makes it harder to see when you're at the right point.
     
  8. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    14,487
    2,971
    0
    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I was doing some comparison with Jetta SportWagen TDI auto and found these interesting stats:

    • Fuel Economy: 44/42/40 MPG vs. 29/33/39 MPG (auto). Prius v gets 9 more combined MPG.
    • Fuel: You can use regular gas with Prius v (premium is not required) vs. Diesel. Diesel is 30 cents more expensive than regular gas around here.
    • Engine Oil: 4.0 quart vs. 5.8 quart. Prius v has the same 1.8 liter gas engine so it should have the same 10k miles interval. It seems the Jetta TDI's OCI is also 10k miles.
    • Weight: 3,274 lbs vs. 3,285. Prius v (hybrid) is actually lighter than Jetta SportWagon TDI (single engine)!
    • Ground Clearance: 5.7 inch vs. 5.4 inch. Prius v has more clearance, great for snow.
    • EPA Passenger Volume: 97.2 vs 91.7 cu.ft. Prius v has more passenger space.
    • EPA Cargo Volume: 34.3/40.2/67.3 vs. 32.8/66.9 cu.ft. Prius v has more cargo volume with the seat up/slided forward or folded down. Jetta SportWagen's rear seat can't slide.
     
    4 people like this.
  9. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    3,354
    298
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    1 person likes this.
  10. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    14,487
    2,971
    0
    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    GreenEdge amp appears to be more efficient than the best aftermarket Alpine PDX amp and JL Audio HD series. I hope it sounds as good as those.

    Majority of the energy saving should be in the amp.
     
  11. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    15,140
    610
    0
    Location:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Nissan LEAF
    Model:
    Persona

    hmmm, you think so? i personally think that the instrumentation on Gen 3 is simply better giving us the perception that glide is not available.

    if you just consider how the car drives, i think the better conclusion is that the Gen 2 simply did not report info as accurately
     
  12. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    14,487
    2,971
    0
    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I just realized that Prius v actually has higher city EPA MPG than CT200h.

    44/42/40 (City/Combined/Highway) for Prius v. 43/42/40 for the CT200h.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    6,972
    1,836
    1,174
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I personally can't feel it in the pedal. I had a better relationship with the pedal in my 2006 :)
     
  14. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    15,140
    610
    0
    Location:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Nissan LEAF
    Model:
    Persona
    that is true. on my 06 i could tell when engine was off at lower speeds, but does that mean that stealth is tougher in the 2010 or was one of the selling points for the 2010 was smoother and quieter engine and transitions?
     
  15. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,318
    11,837
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Not that I know but expect a similar setup up with a base model with two or three packages (w/ JBL upgrade, with LED upgrade and the AT package are my guesses).

    With the premium expected, I hope it doesn't top $40k. $30-$38k would be nice but even at $38k, you can get a really nice Sienna for that coin (SE V6 8-Pass for $36,600 or an XLE FWD 7-Pass for $38,700)
     
  16. fredthepostman

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    422
    7
    0
    Location:
    boothwyn pa
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    How much do I have to spend to get the moon roof ? I understand that the fewer packages offered, the cheaper Toyota can offer a car. Is there any chance Toyota would offer the moon roof without having to purchase the "Kitchen Sink" ?
     
  17. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,318
    11,837
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Maybe later on in its life but to start, nope.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. fredthepostman

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    422
    7
    0
    Location:
    boothwyn pa
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    My plan is to purchase the car at some point next summer. My chances don't sound good but like you said, "Maybe".
     
  19. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    3,054
    298
    19
    Location:
    Northwest VT
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Re: If you're going to invoke my name

    Looks like they are still working on things, improving some and AGAIN making others worse.

    I agree, the speedo should be IN FRONT of the driver and it SHOULD be ABOVE the steering wheel, as in the Prius Gen II and III. I HATED having to look through my hands and the steering wheel while driving my Dad's Acura TL last week. BAD ergonomics. One should NOT have to look to the side to see their speed. Gear position? OK Fuel gauge? OK, you rarely need to look at those anyway.. Nothing the driver NEEDS to look at should be other than DIRECTLY in front of him/her. The REAL reason to do it this way is so there are fewer things the manufacturer has to change for right and left hand drive cars. It is BAD for ergonomics and safety.

    They moved the shifter back to the dash HOORAY!!! And they dropped the arch. HOORAY!!! Now cut it off in front, ala the Gen II so it isn't in the way of my right leg. Is there still a "can't reach it while driving" storage area under it forward of the seat cushion front? From the other pictures, I gather not, it is a bin. Again, go back to the Gen II with the nice hidden drawer. So hidden in fact, that my sister didn't even know it was there until I told her last week. She has had her Tideland for almost 6 years.

    Now put the climate controls back on the MFD.: 2 big, clear, easy to see button pushes and done, eyes still on the road. And RAISE the MFD back up. The lower it is the farther your eyes are from the road.

    One can only hope the PHEV Prius will have the shifter/console and 'some things back on the MFD' changes. That would make it a more tolerable 'deprovement' from my Gen II compared to the Gen III. It would move the PHEV Prius up on the 'to consider when my 2004 needs to be replaced' list alongside the Leaf.

    WHY does Toyota force you to buy the most expensive model to get 3 door SmartKey?? ARRGGG Same thing with the LED head lights and auto-dimming mirror. There is NO REASON these shouldn't be AT LEAST offered as 'options' on 'lower' models for those that don't want faux leather, bigger wheels and/or navigation.
     
  20. Gurple42

    Gurple42 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    354
    41
    3
    Location:
    Santa Monica, Ca.
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Just got my latest edition of "Autoweek". The just got a new Prius v for a one year test. I'll be interested in their experience with the car.:p
     
Loading...