Should I buy or avoid the 2017 year Prius Prime?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by rschlegel, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. rschlegel

    rschlegel Junior Member

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    I own a 2004 Prius and it has generally served me well. However, I want to trade it in for a newer, used Prius Prime, perhaps a 2017 or 2018 year. Are there any technical issues with the first year of the 4th generation 2017 model, making it wise to buy the 2018 or 2019 year? Also, which trim level should I buy?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    great car, no issues that other than what is normal for toyota. i would go for any year prime.

    odd things like recurrent rebooting of the big screen, or shattered windshields seem to plague all years if i'm not mistaken, but they are fairly rare i think. you might want to look through some of the prime thread titles
     
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  3. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    I have a 2017, and am unaware of any technical issues that were corrected in 2018.
     
  4. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    We have 2 of the 2017 Advanced model Prime. Each has worked flawlessly for over those 3 years of ownership. Mine is the blue one. Her's the red.


    20191003_170602.jpg
     
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  5. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    I like your wife's taste in colors. ;)
     
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  6. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    My recommendation would be to buy the Advanced trim. I suspect the difference in price in the trim models is less pronounced in a three year old used car than in a new one.
     
  7. MTN

    MTN Member

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    In my opinion, you should avoid a USED Prime and anything higher than the base trim. The extra money spent on a higher trim, could go towards a brand new 2020 Prime. You'll get 25k miles of 'free' service (Toyota Care is included in your purchase price - nothing is ever free) and a better resale value as you will have a 3 year newer car, bought with near 0 miles. Etc, etc.
    I posted this in another thread:

    Do some math on your purchase, also. I think you can get a 2020 for not much more. (unless that 2017 is high mileage)
    $4502 Federal Tax credit. Local/State rebates possible and maybe your electric utility, too. Combine with Toyota cash/rebate, any dealer discount you negotiate, and potentially $750 Uber driver incentive (you don't need to actually drive for Uber, just provide an active status - wife got the discount and never did a single Uber drive).

    Buying a used Prime won't get you all of these incentives and the used price is not discounted to reflect that the original owner likely received a huge discount. This is one of the very rare times when it makes more financial sense to buy new. Very. Rare.
     
  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    This is something to look into, but for it to work,the OP will have to look into buying out of state. NC is part of the Southeast region, which hasn't been Prime friendly; most new buys have to be have be special ordered. With the Toyota incentives in the Northeast, many have come here to buy new.
     
  9. PT Guy

    PT Guy Senior Member

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    Our 2017 Prime has been flawless.

    I half disagree with MTN. 10,000 mile maintenance on the Prime is simple and as cheap as it comes, so the trip to the dealership the first two years isn't that high a value. The federal tax credit is good, but it's not refundable. If your total federal income tax in the year you buy the new electric car is less that the credit amount, you don't get the remainder back. Say your total tax for this year is...pick a number...$3000. Then you get the $3k back and the remaining $1502 is lost. Local tax benefits vary and may be more or less valuable.

    So...buy the Prime you like and can afford.
     
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  10. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Why used PRIME? From NC, if you travel bit north you can have 2020 PRIME LE or XLE for less than $20K or Limited for a few grand more after full tax credit. NY/NJ region currently has a $4000 rebate going. That being said, I did not have any mechanical problems with the 2017 PRIME LE. Only minor cosmetic flaws and inconvenient features (or lack thereof) which were mostly addressed in the 2020 models. It was a great car, but not as good as the 2020 model with 5 seats and other minor improvements.
     
    #10 Salamander_King, Aug 4, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  11. MTN

    MTN Member

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    AGI needs to be $39,100 to have a federal tax liability of $4,501 - using 2019 tax tables.

    I could see someone who is retired with mainly SS or other tax exempt income, applying to your scenario. However for the average working person, THEY SHOULD NOT PURCHASE A NEW CAR with less than $39k AGI. IMO, this makes your argument moot / Catch-22. If you have the "need" for a new Prius Prime (similar PHEV), you should make enough money to capture the entire tax credit.

    Our purchase in 10/2019 had the following:
    $4502 Federal Tax Credit*
    $3219 dealer discount
    $1500 Toyota rebate/discount
    $1500 CA rebate*
    $1000 electric utility rebate*
    $750 Uber driver incentive
    $500 USA Triathlon discount
    $12,971 Total (*after purchase rebates, can take months to receive)

    How old / how many miles does a Prime need to be in order to be almost $13k off MSRP?
    Sure not everyone will do the extra work for the $750 Uber and the $500 USAT is pretty much gone now; and you can argue that dealers aren't giving $3200 discounts now. ...but we only had a $1500 Toyota regional offer. As pointed out, the NE is up to $4k!
    For the majority of consumers, purchasing a new Prime makes financial sense. Very rare vehicle purchase situation.
     
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  12. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    I bet you clip coupons. :)
     
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  13. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    Incidentally, my local Toyota dealer sent me an email last week stating the trade-in price for my 17 Prime Advanced, 13.2K miles and very good condition would be $22,263 to $24,513. In our state, when you trade for another car, you only pay sales tax on the difference in prices. That would be about a $2100. savings if trading for a more expensive car.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    imo, a 35k prime that sells around here for 29k less 6k in tax rebates, is only worth 15k. but geography is everything
     
  15. PT Guy

    PT Guy Senior Member

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    You're looking at line 8b, adjusted gross income (2019 form 1040). Look at line 11b, taxable income, which is the remainder after deductions are taken from AGI. I get a gross income of around $65,700 for a couple filing jointly to be able to use the full Prime tax credit.

    You and Washingtonian make good points, all worth figuring before choosing between used and new. Other good points are that the interest rate on a new car will likely be lower than the rate on a used car. The new car insurance may be higher.* All points to check. (I've generally been pleased with my Safeco insurance, but I was bummed when I saw that the cost of the collision coverage did not decline as the vehicle aged and the market value went down so the potential cost for them to total it went down.)
     
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  16. MTN

    MTN Member

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    Right - good catch.
    Sweet spot also qualifies you for this CA grant program: Eligibility - Clean Vehicle Assistance Program which can get someone $4500 it sounds like (in addition to all of the above rebates/credits!)
     
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Active Member

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    Wow, great work maximizing discounts. :) I wish that level of discounts were available in Canada... here in Ontario all we have is the federal $2500 rebate (the provincial rebates were canceled in 2018, Prime was eligible for $5k :mad:), and whatever that can be negotiated at the dealer, plus they give lousy finance rates on the Prime. (n) BC and Quebec still have provincial rebates in addition to the federal.

    At least we were able to take advantage of the generous $12,500 Provincial rebate on the Leaf at the time in 2016 (went up to $14k after that). :cool: But I digress...
     
  18. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Yes, same here: Our 2017 has had no issues. Remember that, although 2017 was the first year for the Prius Prime, most of its parts are from the regular Prius, which has been around quite a while and (mostly!) a consistently-reliable car.
     
    #18 mr88cet, Aug 5, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
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  19. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I think he made a great color choice(y).
     
  20. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    That was 3rd on my list.;)
     
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