Questions re Prius Prime vs Gen II Prius

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by camner, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. camner

    camner Junior Member

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    I'm finally considering replacing my trusty workhorse 2007 Prius, primarily to get some of the safety features not available back in the dark ages...But I have a few questions for those of you with experience with both vehicles.

    1. How does the ride compare?
    2. How does ingress/egress compare? As I get older I'm developing a bad back that acts up more often and I find when my back hurts getting in and out of the Gen II is (very!) unpleasant...is the Prime going to be easier or harder?
    3. Seat height position: the Gen II is relatively low in terms distance of the seat from floor. I'm long-legged (though only 5'10") and my knees barely fit beneath the seat. Is the Prime better or worse in this regard?
    4. Do any of the Prime trim lines come with power seats? Seat memory? Lumbar support?
    5. Any thing else I should consider as I think about moving into the 3rd decade of the 21st century with Prius?
     
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  2. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Night and day. Gen 2 had a beam rear axle, Gen 4 has independent rear and the driving dynamics are significantly improved.

    Top 2 trims have power and lumbar support, but no memory.

    The Gen 4/Prime has a much better ride, handles better, better fuel economy and more comfortable. In exchange, you lose the spare tire and rear wiper, and some interior space in hatch area.

    Most users find that the vast majority of their city driving can be done on EV from power from your house. For me, it is 90+ percent. 2 cents per mile on electric, 5 cents per mile on gas, here in Nebraska.
     
    #2 jb in NE, Jul 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the ride should be much better.

    prime is a bit lower, and there have been some complaints

    see above

    power seat is available

    loss of storage spaces and spare

    great car though, take one for a long test drive. there's a stop sale right now for a brake recall, but that should be cleared up soon

    all the best!(y)
     
  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    1. No comparison. The Prime rides much, much better. It’s smoother and the rear independent suspension keeps most bumps to just “heard but not felt” category. Also, the suspension design provides more assured handling
    2. Could be harder. See point 3.
    3. It’s lower. I thought the Gen 2 seat was mounted high for a car. There is height adjustment so you can raise the seat if you wish but I would definitely check
    4. Yes. The XLE and Limited trims come with a 10-way power driver’s seat (fore/aft, recline, seat bottom height, seat bottom tilt, lumbar support). No memory link
    5. Consider screen size and ease of use for you as well as loss of interior storage space and cargo height.
     
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  5. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Less than a inch difference. The seat height is adjustable and may compensate.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed, all the more reason for a test drive
     
  7. Blauer Glimmer

    Blauer Glimmer Active Member

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    1. Much smoother ride. Feels luxurious compared to my 2009.
    2. Getting in and out feels about the same, but positioning the seat appropriately helps.
    3. Driver leg room is much improved.
    4. Power seats & lumbar support in my trim level, in addition to a better designed seat overall has made sitting for long periods quite comfortable. Seat memory would have been the icing on the cake.
    5. Although I have no regrets, there are a few things I miss about my ‘09:
      • The large double glove compartment
      • All the little storage areas in the interior
      • Cargo space
      • Steering wheel temperature controls
     
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  8. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    In addition to the above comments, I’ll add that it is somewhat quieter, especially when the engine guns up (if you ever need to use the engine!).

    There is also a little bit less legroom in the rear seat, although not a really big difference.

    I definitely second (third or fourth…) that the ride is considerably smoother on the Prime. I think it’s not only a better suspension design, but also the extra inertia of the battery in the rear dampens movement.

    As a general matter, the engine, which is a lot more efficient when it does run, runs considerably less often and again, quieter. On the Gen-2, the engine has to turn on above ~43MPH, whereas that obligatory point is about double that on the ‘Prime (84MPH).

    I almost always drive it on EV in town, but when I do need to drive in HV (Eco mode), in stop-and-go traffic, the engine is off probably around 80% of the time.

    I’ve also seen in HV Eco, when I can drive a fairly even 60MPH, I get around 75MPG. However, that drops off rapidly at higher speeds, to around 50MPG at 75-80MPH. (But heck, even 50MPG ain’t all that bad — around double what a typical SUV gets — even a not-so-large SUV.)
     
    #8 mr88cet, Jul 28, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  9. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I can't argue with any of the above. It's orders of magnitude more comfortable. As in painless 750+ mile days for me.

    With your bad back you'll need to take it for a spin and see how it feels. The higher trims with electric seats are almost infinitely configurable. And the steering wheel is telescoping. It should fit just about anyone. My main annoyance with comfort is that some bonehead in the design department thought it was a good idea to have the driver's door armrest a couple inches lower than the center console armrest as well as farther from the centerline of the seat, which makes it out of reach as an actual armrest unless you put the seat all the way down. I tried that and felt like a little kid in need of a booster seat. (I'm 5'9".) So I made a 4" high extension to raise mine to a useful height.

    So take on for a test drive. I'm sure that if you can get in and out of it comfortably that you'll love it.
     
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  10. Marine Ray

    Marine Ray Active Member

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    We're all not getting any younger. The standard safety features on the new Prime have saved my bacon a few times.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  11. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Just for whatever it’s worth (specifically, “probably not much“)...

    I have a colleague who has a Chevrolet Bolt (238 Mile pure EV). It has its ups and downs (quite a few ups!). Specifically with regard to seating though, I noticed a couple things:

    On the downside, its seats are famously narrow, and generally regarded as so-so-comfortable by most reviewers.

    On the upside though, I found it was *really easy* to get into and out of, and had quite good forward visibility.
     
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Had a Sonic, and i found it to be more comfortable for the driver than the Camry.
    I think that's because it was designed for a more up right seating position, which I prefer, and Toyotas designed on the assumption the driver will want a little more incline, or just shorter people. When the seat in the Toyotas was set to how I had it in the GMs, my hairis brushing the headliner; plenty of headroom in the Sonic with how I like to sit.
     
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  13. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    I’m not immediately sure either way regarding shorter people, but yes, “highly likely” regarding the Bolt being designed for a more-upright driving stance. It’s definitely a little more of a crossover-like design.

    Still, I tend to drive with a pretty upright stance in our Prii. That’s partly because, in our Gen-2, I found the steering wheel “too far away” from me (perhaps a little odd since my arms are longer than average).

    It’s worth pointing out that you have more control over that in the P.Prime than in the Gen-2, because its steering wheel is telescopic: you can adjust how close it sits to you. Can’t do that in a Gen-2!
     
    #13 mr88cet, Jul 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  14. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Another small-but-well-worth-noting difference:

    The sun visors themselves in the Gen-4s, including the P.Prime, are very similar with the Gen-2’s, but they’re mounted at a point farther away from the driver’s seat.

    The upside is that they’re easier to flip over to the side; I sometimes have to “duck” a little when I do that on our Gen-2.

    The downside is ... famous: They don’t cover enough territory when turned to the side. They should have been made extensible to cover the scenario where the sun is low and toward the back edge of the driver’s-side window.

    On the 2020 P.Prime, I gather they attempted to address this by adding a narrow, horizontal, slide-out tab to themed of the visor. I suspect that won’t help much, because the chances are pretty tiny that the Sun will be behind such a narrow tab! They should have made the entire visor able to slide out.

    My wife’s idea was to slide a paper card between the window and it’s gasket to block the sun in those cases. That seems to work pretty well!
     
    #14 mr88cet, Jul 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  15. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Same experience here, in both regards! I’ll let you know if I figure out a way to stop aging...

    With regard to the safety features in particular:

    4-5 times per month: Lane-departure alert has caught me wandering very close to, or rarely-but-occasionally out of, my lane. The steering-assist feature doesn’t help much (a little help sometimes), but lane-departure-warning works great!

    2 or 3 times total since we got it 5/2017: “BSM” (blind-spot monitor) has stopped me from backing — lightly bumping — into things in the garage or a parking space in general.

    Once since we got it: I looked down to switch the radio station (or something) and it caught the car in front of me stopping suddenly. I had time to hit the brakes myself, but I’m pretty sure “PCS” also hit the brakes, and may indeed have saved my bacon that day!

    In the latter case, I partly blame the 11.4” being mounted low for taking my eyes too far off the road (although the AC/radio/etc. controls on the regular Gen-4 are in way down there too). I’m not a huge fan of the Tesla Model 3’s screen (my wife despises it), but I do like the fact that it’s mounted high so as not to take your eyes too far off the road!
     
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  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    A telescopic steering wheel would made finding a more comfortable position in the gen2 easier. The Sonic had one, so I assume the Bolt does too. I actually can't recall which cars I've had in the past that didn't have one. I'm guessing any predated the Prius gen2.
     
  17. camner

    camner Junior Member

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    Thanks to all for your great replies.

    I headed over to my local Toyota dealer, and discovered two things:

    1. The 2019 Prime has been removed from sale in Washington, though it is still available in nearby Oregon. They don't know what's going to happen with the 2020, as it hasn't been announced yet.

    2. Getting in and out of the 2019 Prius (non-Prime...I was tempted to say "composite," but figured that might be a bit obscure) was harder for me than in my Gen II, no matter where I put the power seat. I also tried a couple of other Toyotas (Corolla, RAV4), and found them more difficult than before their respective redesigns. They are lower to the ground, and the position of the front door hinge in relation to the seat is such that it is almost impossible to avoid some contortions to get my head & legs in, at least when I have a back that's acting up and have to sit my butt on the seat first. That's only necessary a few months of the year, but when I'm hurting like that, I don't think the current Prius line will cut it for me, much to my regret.

    Thanks again to everyone.
     
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  18. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    No Primes for sale in Washington? I'd get a second opinion or else get it out of state and then come back and show them the sale they missed.

    Getting in and out: My back is fine, so it's hard to compare. But I prefer to back in by sitting down first and the using my right leg to spin me around while bringing my left foot up and over the sill. I'm sure itwould still hurt, but perhaps no more than sitting down in a regular chair.

    Bottom line: I'd never want to talk you into something you wouldn't like, so go with what fits you best and enjoy. (y)
     
  19. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    If the car is not comfortable for you to get in/out of or sit in, then it's wise to walk away. No matter the features or other qualities of the car, if you aren't comfortable with it you will soon sell or trade it.

    For a more upright seating position, you might consider the Subaru Forester.
     
  20. Blauer Glimmer

    Blauer Glimmer Active Member

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    Don't know how the seats are, but if you want a PHEV, you might check out the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.
     
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