"solar roof package"

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by southjerseycraig, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. southjerseycraig

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    I see on the Toyota Prius cite that a solar roof package is "available" on the 2015 Prius III model. Some questions:

    1. Is this just a ventilation system, or is it an honest-to-goodness sun roof?

    2 If this is a sun roof, is it available on any Priuses from previous years? If you know which ones, that would be a big help although I know I'm asking a lot, but I hope you folks can help.
     
  2. matt b.

    matt b. Member

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    it would be a misrepresentation from Toyota to say something that isn't true. I have the gen 4 package and it is what it says it is. call and go in to the dealership or even investigate online
    I hope this helps..p.s. love mine..
     
  3. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    Unclear on the question. I would assume this is the same as previous years, which uses solar cells embedded in the roof to power the ventilation system while parked. My co-worker has it on his 2013, and it works well for keeping the interior temps down in Phoenix summer.

    Given the amount of area available, I doubt you'll see a solar roof that can do much more than that. You'd do well to get 100W during peak sun hours out of something that would fit on the roof. That's not going to run the AC (1000s of Watts) or put a meaningful amount of charge into the battery. On the other hand keeping the cabin temperature closer to ambient will reduce the subsequent AC load required, which should improve mpgs after startup in summer.

    Using it for this purpose seems to make a lot of sense, as the solar naturally makes the most power when the sun is heating the car up the most.

    Rob
     
    #3 miscrms, Dec 16, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  4. irrational

    irrational Member

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    Yes, it's the same option as was available on previous Gen III Prii.

    If equipped, the Prius will feature a solar panel on the roof of the vehicle used to power a small fan. The fan will help keep the interior of the vehicle closer to ambient temperature when parked.

    IMHO, it's not worth it. But, some people who have the package enjoy it.
     
  5. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    I take it you're more interested in it as a regular sunroof and for that it will work just fine. The solar-powered fan usefulness is subjective and I'm sure it has some value. I live in AZ and my A/C seems to cool our 2014 Four quite quickly without the solar fan, but then I'm retired, so the car doesn't sit in the sun at work every day. However, I don't see a lot of models with the sunroof here and I'm not sure how well it moves 115 degree air through the cabin when running. The package it comes with includes the Remote Air Conditioning System which will run the A/C for 3 minutes when activated. Cost of the package in the $1,500 range on a 2015. I do not know if there is a mileage hit because it does increase the weight of the car and affects the airflow when open.
     
  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    1. It's both. It includes a power tilt/slide moonroof with one-touch open. At the rear section of the roof, is the solar panel. It runs the "Solar Power Ventilation System" which (when active), runs the fans while the car is parked to vent out the hot air and suck in cooler, ambient air (so it'll only be a few degrees warmer than it is outside rather than baking hot). There's also a Remote A/C System that's packaged with this solar panel. It adds an "A/C" button to your remote fob so that, in conjunction with the SPVS, can further cool the cabin by running the A/C up to 3 minutes (or til the hybrid battery runs out, since the A/C is electric and does not require the engine to run).
    2. Only the current generation (2010 to now) were available with the solar panel moonroof (The Prius c, the smaller Prius has an optional moonroof as well. It runs from 2012 to current)
     
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  7. Blizzard_Persona

    Blizzard_Persona Senior Member

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    The blacked out solar roof looks awesome as well, especially on a blizzard pearl painted prius.

    I was tossed up between the three lift back with solar package, or the persona as pricing is fairly close, but ended up with the persona as I couldn't find a blizzard pearl sunroof package with dark interior like I wanted. $1500 is quite spendy, but I'm sure it's nice getting in a cooled car when warm out or cracking that tilt roof on a nice day.

    Personally I'll prob tint my persona out real dark next month or so and might even viny wrap the roof to get that look. The tint will help with the sun and the heat issue... And will prob only cost $200-$300....
     
  8. southjerseycraig

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    Thanks to everyone for responding to my cryptic questions. The reason I asked is that my girlfriend is considering trading in her Infiniti (which has 80,000 miles and is starting to need expensive maintenance often) for a new or used Prius. She likes the sunroof on the Infiniti, and so I was curious about how available this is on a Prius. I saw something called a "solar roof package" is available on the 2015 Prius 3, but when I hit on the footnote, all it referred to was the solar fan. So I wanted help here, and thanks to everyone who provided it.

    I'm glad to read more comments, and I have an additional question. My hunch is that the cost of having the sunroof is greater than on first glance. I assume there is more room for bargaining on the base model (the 2) than on something like the 3, because my guess is that the inventory (both new and used) of of 2's is greater than 3's. Or is that premise dead wrong?
     
  9. Blizzard_Persona

    Blizzard_Persona Senior Member

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    That premise is indeed wrong. Reason being is that there is more markup the higher in the line up you go which equates to better deals and more room for bargaining for you on the 3 over the 2. Believe me I priced them all out.

    The best deal I found was on a leftover 2014 prius lift back 5, I'm talking thousands off of sticker and within a few hundred of what I paid for my persona. But you will still pay less for a two just because the starting price is a lot lower.... Hope this helps... Above is my experience with new prius'.. On the used side I guess check market values, all the books and go in realizing that the dealer prob paid "poor" value aka auction price when they bought it..

    Still went with the persona though...
     
    #9 Blizzard_Persona, Dec 17, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
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  10. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    The best description I've found on the solar venting system is it's the equivalent of leaving all the windows cracked about an inch while parked. But....... without the security or dirt pollution hassles. It was a $4,000 option on my 2010 (bundled with the JBL and crappy NAV). If it's only $1500 now on a 2015, I'd get it in a heartbeat.
     
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  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yeah but don't forget that the Three already includes navigation (and the prices have gone up since 2010) and JBL has been dropped for the Three. The Four's SR package includes the HUD now.
     
  12. southjerseycraig

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    many thanks! Didn't realize the mark-up was higher as the car becomes more luxurious.
     
  13. southjerseycraig

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    Doug, could you explain why the NAV is "crappy." Would one be better off with an aftermarket nav, like the Garmin?
     
  14. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    Using rough calculations, there's roughly enough real estate on the roof to accommodate a 200 watt solar panel. I believe a full charge cycle in the regular Prius is 40% of the 1.4 kWh rating, therefore the energy needed for a full charge would be approximately 560 Wh, which a 200 watt panel should theoretically charge in 2.5 hours under ideal conditions.

    I'm no engineer, therefore I welcome anyone with greater knowledge to weigh in in this.
     
  15. Phil Wheeler

    Phil Wheeler Junior Member

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    I have a 2014 Prius 4 with the nav and JBL (really like the JBL!) and without the sunroof (never used them in the last three cars, so ... ). I've only used the Prius nav one time, driving the car home from the dealer, so I can't really assess its performance. My big problem is that when the sun shines on it the screen is unreadable! Makes no nevermind to me, because I have a 5" Garmin mounted to the left of the steering wheel (cost under $200 at COSTCO and has lifetime traffic and map updates -- and works great!). And that screen I can adjust to adapt to any sun issues.

    I should add:
    • I went with the 4 vs. the 3 because I wanted the driver position flexibility provided by the power seat. I'm really liking the softex seats, too.
    • My Prius 4 was purchased on Aug 30, a few days before the 2015 models were released. Price was a tad under $25K; sunroof option was available but at about $3000 more, as I recall -- not worth it to me.
    • So far I'm enjoying the Prius 4: Best car I've ever owned for the driving I do.
    Phil
     
    #15 Phil Wheeler, Dec 18, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  16. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I agree. I mounted a Garmin Nuvi over the steering wheel (where a normal dash panel should be), and I find it about an order of magnitude better than the factory nav unit. I should add that Google Maps Navigation on my smartphone is another order of magnitude better than the Garmin Nuvi.

    One of the first things I noticed was the glare on the nav screen in my Prius. I remedied that with sun-shade made from a sheet of black plastic (report-cover folder) cut and folded to fit perfectly over the screen. Both projects have been detailed in other threads:

    What did you do to ur Gen III Prius today???? | Page 221 | PriusChat

    Unused Dash Space | PriusChat
     
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  17. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    There's more info in this thread too:
    Observations During Trip To Glacier NP | PriusChat

    In short, I would never buy a particular Prius model just for the nav unit. However, it came with the model Four I wanted, so I use it. As you'll see if you read the linked thread, I used it over a 7,400 mile trip from Phoenix to Glacier NP to Green Bay and back. It works best if you plan ahead to enter destinations (but then so does the Garmin) or if you stop to search for things. It's terrible to use while moving because so many features are locked out and while the voice commands work, maybe POIs are not found even though they are in the database and found when stopped. The integrated audio is great. If I want to search on the fly, I use the Garmin and then enter addresses in the Prius to do the actual navigation. I'll add that in the 10-15 years I've been using a Garmin (I'm on my 2nd) on many cross-country trips (up to 90 days and 18,700 miles), I've never had to use Google Maps on my phone because the Garmin couldn't find something. I get screen glare with the Garmin too, but the glare on the Prius is easily dealt with using a thin piece of cardboard (or plastic) to stick in the thin slot above the CD player. They also make screens that fit in the CD slot, but that limits use of the CD player.
     
  18. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    In Canada you don't get a lot of models. I chose the "Technology Package" which includes the solar panel/sunroof combo, GPS (the big screen one), and a bunch of other things. I like the nav -screen- because I can mess with the cars settings from there. The -nav- part is only slightly better than useless.

    First, Toyota is so up-tight they don't let you set the nav. while moving. To set a destination while moving on the highway my passenger had to scroll the map and "point" to the destination. A little silly! I'm responsible enough to know -I-, as the driver, don't mess with it while operating the vehicle. I DON'T need Toyota to tell me that!

    Second, to get a map data update I would have to spend about as much as a Garmin 5" screen NUVI costs, which comes with "lifetime maps" and "lifetime traffic".

    And lastly, the screen IS unreadable in full sun, as mentioned above. It IS a very nice size screen and it IS "integrated" into the car, both positives, but they are negated by its functionality.

    But the classic example of how useless it really is for -navigation- is that when I need navigation, I take along a Garmin. My passenger can mess with it while in motion, in his/her lap out of the sun, and replace it in its holder.

    Enough said!
     
  19. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    That's why there's a group of buyers that would only take the "base" model since usually that's what the vehicle is built to and anything else is extra profit for the dealer and manufacturer.

    Case in point: A base 2005 Yaris has a dealer profit of (i.e. MSRP - Wholesale price) of Cdn$703. On the other extreme end is a 2005 Toyota Sequoia Limited V8 has a dealer profit of $6,969 so there's definitely more wiggle room there for the dealer to offer a discount.

    Something more relevant:

    2005 Prius base: $1,870 difference
    2005 Prius w/ Nav: $2,974 difference

    I have both the 7" Toyota (Denso) DVD-based unit and a 2006 MY TomTom One New Edition. I recently updated both (our '05 doesn't have nav). The TomTom's update (which included 6 updates since 2013 Apr to Dec 2014) cost me $75. The Toyota disc cost $200 (updated with 2013 maps so my TomTom is more up-to-date with new roads that aren't in my Prius).

    The TomTom is easy to use (as easy as Garmin or Google Maps), has no restrictions (unless you enable it) and is portable so your passenger can enter it while on the move. However, it's a hassle to mount it to the window all the time and it has a short battery life (~1 hour usage with a Li-Polymer battery, 6-7 day standby) so it's pretty much always plugged into the 12V outlet (it's the same when new).

    The Toyota nav has loud spoken instructions with Text-to-Speech (my TomTom is just one year too old so it doesn't speak the street names), has XMNav Traffic information, a much larger screen (7" vs. 3.5"... although my TomTom can be mounted on the windshield at eye level so there's less eye movement to view the screen) and it's integrated so it's always there. It also locks onto the satellites much quicker.


    So there are pros and cons.
     
  20. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    Tideland, I don't want to drag this out, but I'm under the impression that there are basically 3 prices involved; MSRP, Dealer Cost and Kickback. Because of the Kickback, the dealer can sell a car below its cost and still make a profit on the sale. How often and how much below cost they can do and still stay in business is the unknown number to us mere mortals. My experience says the difference between MSRP and Dealer Cost has been reduced and the Kickback raised over the years to con us into thinking we're getting better deals than we really are. It's all a game that shouldn't have to be played and one of these days manufacturers and dealers are going to figure this out and maybe our impressions of dealers will actually get better. The other thing to consider, particularly in the case of the Prius (and maybe all of Toyota and others as well), is that Prius actually offers few options. Instead they offer models with different levels of trim making us actually pay more if we want a particular option, like the heated power driver's seat, because we have to upgrade to a model that costs more because of all the other options included as "standard". Back in the day, one could order a "base" car and then add only the options wanted. Some options were offered as part of a reduced-cost package, but one could still order just some of the options in the package to save more money. Since buyers now tend to order similar packages, it's simply become easier for manufacturers to limit individuality. Assembly lines move quicker, quality control increases to some degree because there is less chance to "get it wrong" and the profits increase because of the high margins on the included options. Like Las Vegas, the game is rigged in the favor of the dealer and with cars lasting longer, the salespeople don't really care because chances are they will have moved on before I'm in the market for another new car. There's nothing I'd rather do less than buy a new car, except maybe buy a used car. The guy who just sold me a dishwasher cares more about my satisfaction than the guy who sold us our Prius. Why? Because one knows he might see me again shortly for a new fridge, range, microwave, etc., whereas the other knows he probably won't see me for 5-10 years or more. Put a darned price on the car and sell it to everyone for the same price. Make a fair profit and quit trying screw everyone that walks in the lot. Sorry for the rant. :)
     
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