The PriusChat Gen4 Prius Information Thread

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by TonyPSchaefer, Sep 12, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    14,810
    2,461
    65
    Location:
    Far-North Chicagoland
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Months prior to the Las Vegas reveal, there were rumors and speculations. Now that the car has been revealed, there are even more speculations and questions. Perhaps this was Toyota's intent when they willingly withheld details from the reveal. However, the entire PriusChat staff was there. We got to see and touch and photograph the car. We saw multiple packages with the eyes of educated Prius owners who can spot the subtle differences and understand the implications.

    Since the reveal, people here on PriusChat have asked questions in multiple threads. The answers are scattered. In one thread, for example, the question of whether there's a spare tire is asked on three consecutive pages even though it's answered on two of them. And that's where this thread comes in.

    This thread is locked and sticky. Only the PriusChat staff will be able to edit it. We will write, in our own words, however we think we can best express ourselves, answers to the questions being asked on the forums. When possible, we will link to the photos illustrating something. We will identify what we saw and know as fact but will also identify those things which are currently speculation. Everything in this thread should be interpreted as hearsay until Toyota officially provides actual data, EPA ratings, packaging options, pricing, etc. In other words, we're going to try and brain-dump everything we know. Our hope is that we can provide a one-stop repository of unofficial information.
     
  2. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    14,810
    2,461
    65
    Location:
    Far-North Chicagoland
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    A rundown of the interior as I experienced it.

    Like its predecessors, the Gen4 provides seating for 5 passengers. However, it should be noted that these five passengers should be two adults and three children. If taking some coworkers to lunch (they are making you drive so they can check out your cool new car) then limit yourself to only three coworkers to ensure everyone has enough elbow room.

    The front seat headrests fully removed. We were trying to see if we could fold them all the way back and flat like in the Gen2 so we removed the passenger headrest. So that's a factual yes: it removes. The back seat headrests do not remove. They do adjust up and down but do not fully remove. Once fully extended, it is possible to fold them forward, which makes it easier to fold them all the way forward and flat without hitting the front seat. While on the topic of headrests, I can assure you that any adult sitting in the middle of the back seat will get whiplash in the event of a rear-end collision. The headrest is tiny at most. Only let little kids sit there.

    For families, there are child seat latches at all back seat locations. This allows for options when deciding where to locate the child seat.

    The inside width of the Gen4 is 54”, which felt pretty similar to the Gen3 Prius. There were surprises, however, when it came to the seat-to-ceiling distances. Experienced Prius owners noted additional headroom in the Gen4 compared to their current cars. In the front seat, there is a full three feet (36 inches) from the seat to the ceiling. In the back, there are 32. It has been noted that the high-point of the roof was moved toward the front of the car (like the Gen2) but the four inch difference is too much for this to be the only reason. It’s possible the location of the battery under the seat was the cause.

    Existing Prius owners who use their cargo area often will notice differences. Not all them welcomed. Toyota has removed the under-cargo tray. Depending on the vehicle package, in its place is either Styrofoam sound deadening or a spare tire. Want Lithium? No spare for you; just a repair kit. So in some regards, yay for the spare time, but at the same time I really like the tray in my Gen2 (which rests above the spare). Also missing from the Gen4 is the little storage cubby on the side of the cargo area. I can’t help but to wonder if Toyota found out very few owners actually used those storage locations and therefore decided no one would miss them. But it was their out-of-the way, inconspicuous locations that made them so valuable.

    Additions to the cargo area include new tie-down points. There are four folding hoops that can be used to tie down a net, for example. A clever addition is the two sack hooks; there is one on either side. They hinge flush when not needed but easily pivot into a hook. They aren’t the largest hooks you’ve ever seen. Perhaps each one could hold up a single plastic grocery bag.

    The basic shape of the cargo area remains primarily the same: widest at the back and narrowest right behind the back seats. At its widest point, the floor is 55 inches wide; right behind the seats, 33 inches. Measuring the hatch opening itself becomes a tricky endeavor given its trapezoidal shape: widest between the tail lights at 41 inches and narrowest at the roofline at about 35 inches. The height of the hatch opening is 27 inches.

    There was an interesting discovery made when comparing two of the cars available for review: the cargo floor on one of them was flush with the folded back seats. The other was noticeably lower. To the tune of 3 – 4 inches (forgot to measure it). When asked, a source from Toyota indicated that this is from the battery location and composition. The Lithium Ion battery is smaller than the Nickel Metal Hydride which accounts for the lower floor. Apparently, there were lengthy discussions as to whether owners would prefer a few more inches of height, which provides an increased cubic storage or a flush floor. They went with cubic storage.

    It should be noted, however, that the Lithium pack was photographed under the rear seat which begs the question of why there’ so much Styrofoam there and no storage shelf. There’s no spare tire on the Lithium package. Is there really that much Styrofoam? The question has come up whether the Nickel-Metal battery is under the cargo floor. Personally, I doubt it. I believe that both batteries are located under the back seat. Why? Because in addition to battery composition, having two separate locations requires double the engineering, double the manufacturing headaches, double the ventilation tubing, etc. Locating them both under the back seats is easier from every conceivable angle. Therefore, a possible reason for the cargo floor to be higher (flush) with the NiMh battery is because of the donut spare. Without the donut spare, they lowered the floor.

    So why doesn't the Lithium version have the spare? Weight. In my opinion, it's that easy. I suspect the Lithium version will be the hyper-milage version and might - dare I say - push the 60mpg target. To hit that mark, you throw out everything but the bare necessities. That's just my speculation.

    If you need to carry large items, the back seats maintain the same 60/40 split as its predecessors. The 60% section is on the right side of the vehicle and the 40% section is on the left, behind the driver. When the back seats are folded forward, they lay respectably flat, compared to my Gen2.

    Speaking of my Gen2, I love the rear-folding front seats. By sliding them all the way forward, removing the headrest, and leaning them all the way back, they can tuck in front of the rear seat. I say “them” because even the driver’s seat folds flat backwards. That’s more curious than practical. Then Gen4, however, has lost this ability. Even in the forward-most position, the front seat overlaps the folded back seat. The Gen 2 provides a full eight linear feet(!) from the closed hatch to the glove box. Flexible items could arch into the front passenger foot well for a total of ten linear feet. Without the folding from seat, the Gen4 can only muster 78 ½ inches. Though this is still over six linear feet, it’s not eight.

    Moving into the driver’s seat, we notice that Toyota has maintained the sunroof-to-sunglasses ratio. The vehicle with the sunroof did not have a ceiling storage area for sunglasses whereas the vehicle without the sunroof has sunglasses storage. The controls for the sunroof mimic those found in the Prius v.

    Unfortunately, the vehicles for display were not fully powered and had some features disabled. These caused the car to continuously display warning messages. This hindered the ability to flip through all infotainment screens. That will have to be covered at a later date. However, when a phone was plugged into the USB port, the phone’s screen prompted for the download of Toyota’s Entune app. Once downloaded, it was embarrassingly easy to play music off the phone. Easy because music immediately started playing. Embarrassing because we all have that one song we’d never play in public and somehow it’s always the song that starts up when you’re in a room full of car journalists.

    We didn’t attempt Bluetooth streaming. In addition to the USB, there is also a 3.5mm plug for auxiliary audio input. What I was able to see of the music portion of the infotainment system seemed to show all the typical music options: AM/FM/Satellite/AUX.

    A nice touch is the wireless charging pad. It is conveniently located front and center, directly under the shifter. Wireless charging used to be one of those things I considered frivolous until I realized that with Bluetooth streaming, it is possible to drain your phone’s battery. Plugging and unplugging the USB every time can be a hassle but wireless charging fizes all that. Don’t worry about the size of your phablet; someone set their very large phone (fully cased) in the charging tray and there was still some wiggle room.

    In the no-tech area, current Prius owners will mourn the loss of the split glove box. The glove box only opens down in the Gen4. It’s not as though they combined the upper and lower into a single, large glove box. Rather, Toyota will need to limit the page count of the Prius manual to ensure it fits into what little space is provided. It's relatively tiny. Perhaps they are subtly promoting electronic distribution of their technical documentation by providing only enough storage space for a thumb drive.

    With the loss of so many little storage places, I was pleased to see that there are still pouches on the backs of the front seats. I didn’t really expect them to disappear, but by the time I decided to look, I wouldn’t have been surprised. I checked under the front seats and didn’t see anything obscuring the placement of things under there. In terms of cup holders, there are four cup holders; two in front, two in back (if you fold down the center armrest. There are four bottle holders, one in each door.
     
    #2 TonyPSchaefer, Sep 12, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  3. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    5,338
    908
    251
    Location:
    Surprise, AZ (Phoenix)
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    An area I focused on was the back seat. We both road-tripped our Prius (plural) with kids, and did 'round town running around. Starting w/ the 2nd gen, we had up to 3 kids in the back - one in some form of a carseat or booster.

    Seatbelts
    As my youngest became school age, she switched to a booster which used the vehicle seat belt, maybe with a belt-positioning strap. As many parents of preschool or elementary-aged children have found, it takes some dexterity to master buckling one's own seatbelt. This has been further challenged in the 2nd and 3rd-gen Prius thanks to the floating buckle receptacles meant to allow the seats to fold flat. I'm happy to say that the 4th generation Prius has resolved the buckle challenged! The receivers are now flush with the seat pad so that they're still out of the way for seat folding, but are now secure so that they do not move around while little kids are trying desperately to stretch their belt while inserting the buckle.

    Anyone who picks their kids up from school in a pick-up line will welcome the ability for their little ones to quickly get buckled so you can clear the way for the next parent!

    [​IMG]

    Rear Seat Cushion Gap
    On the same note - the seat cushion gap that plagued the previous 3 generations has now been moved higher up so that small objects, whether it be cell phones, toys, suckers, crayons, goldfish crackers, makeup, etc. can't fall in between (yes, I've pulled EVERY one of those types of things out from under my back seats at one point or another).

    [​IMG]

    Middle Seatbelt
    Starting with the 4th-gen Prius, it now appears that the middle-row seat belt is detachable and retractable. This was something I discovered later when looking through numerous pictures. If you regularly only carry 2 passengers, this can save confusion of your outboard passenger grabbing the middle belt, and searching for a place to buckle it. When needed, the lower portion of the belt would insert into a special receiver next to the right outboard passenger seat belt buckle receiver.

    Rick-HTMLSpinnr-RAJ_0044-priuschat.jpg

    LATCH
    In all photos above, you'll spot little gray buttons. These are the location markers for LATCH style anchors for child car seats that use them. While they appear to be designed for outboard use, the presence of 3 tethers behind the seats indicates that you "could" put a car seat in the center position as well. I wouldn't advise 3 car seats w/o using the seatbelt as the anchor for the middle seat as sharing 2 car seats on a LATCH loop may be a safety risk (I imagine Toyota's owner's manuals would state the same thing).

    12V Outlet
    New to 4th gen is a 12V power outlet for rear passengers. Many kids with smart devices on the road will welcome the ability to keep them charged. I will say, however, that compact chargers should be considered since anything that sticks out significantly would easily be kicked and broken by the middle passenger.

    [​IMG]

    I'll draw this comparison - the VW Golf has similar traits in their back seats on the MK7 generation, and wouldn't be surprised if Toyota modeled VW somewhat. Aside from bolstering, pass-through, and 12V outlet placement, the back seat designs are strikingly similar.
     
    TonyPSchaefer and Tideland Prius like this.
  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,254
    11,775
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Here are my thoughts on the 4th generation Prius. Most of what I'll say was in the live broadcast but of course I'll add anything that I've missed or any differences I've noted from the European model in this post.


    Exterior
    The red car that was shown in U.S. media at Las Vegas was a "Touring" model (the only indication of any package or trim level that we've been given). It featured 215/45R17 Ecopia tires mounted on 17" rims that are black (the spokes are black) with silver plastic inserts. The red paint is called "Hypersonic Red". Europe and Japan call it "Emotional Red".

    Starting at the front is a near full set of LED lighting. The new slim single projector headlights are LEDs. For low beam, Toyota appears to use a shade method to get the desired cut off and light beam projection. To activate high beam, Toyota simply moves the shade out of the way. I'm not a fan of dual-filament halogens (low/high beam) like the Gen 2 as you get the full lighting array of low and high beam in areas of zero streetlamps. I hope the shade method allows for a brighter and wider light. On the Touring models, Toyota includes LED foglamps and LED clearance lights (3 lights stacked one on top of the other). Based on the Frankfurt Auto Show, it looks like these lights come on when the car is shut off (e.g. during the day). Otherwise, they don't seem to serve any purpose other than providing "parking light" type illumination. Touring models also appear to have an additional LED tube around the headlight, in roughly a "C" shape. I noticed that the silver and black cars in Las Vegas (those with 15" rims) do not have this tube. Speaking of 15" rims, there appears to be slight differences between the wheel covers of the silver and black car. The design is the same on both but the black car's wheel covers have additional blacked out portions of the wheel cover to give it the same effect as the Touring model with its black/silver rims.

    The top of the Toyota emblem on the 4G is 24" off the ground and makes for a really low nose. The hood doesn't slope as steeply as one would expect. I'm curious to see what's under the hood as there isn't much space to house a vertically standing engine (the current 1.8 litre inline 4) and hybrid system components. Of note, the front axle isn't directly under the base of the A-pillar so it's possible the engine sits over the front axle (front midship design) or at least some component does. The Gen 2 & 3 have everything ahead of the front axle, making for a nose heavy car (and probably the reason why the front tires have to be 2 PSI higher than the rear).

    Two vortex generators at the base of the A-pillar finally make their appearance and are designed to induced controlled vortices along the sides of the car. This allows the engineers to balance the forces on either side of the car at higher speed, resulting in greater high speed stability. @talonts mentioned in the What Drives Us Show #155 - The Secret Info that these vortices will dissipate through the concave part of the Prius in the rear panel.

    On top, the Prius loses its "Pagoda" style roof where the roof is raised at the edges and the air is channelled down the centre of the roof. I asked Toyoshima-san, Chief Engineer, about the roof as I stood next to the silver car. He told me that the roof design was changed to improve roof crushability scores. In other words, it was to improve the strength of the roof in case the car flips or otherwise has an impact with the roof of the car. In case you were wondering about the loss of aerodynamic efficiency, we asked the same question when the Gen 3 was introduced. We asked about the impact of having a solar panel moonroof over a car with the normal roof and were told the impact was minimal.

    Around the back, the rear shoulder of the car is broad and joins seamlessly to a wider rear spoiler. Gen 2 and 3 Prius have the body and the rear spoiler as two separate entities. The brake lights and licence plate lights are LEDs, as are the taillights that Toyota prominently displays in all marketing products. The rear plastic fairing at the bottom of the rear bumper is different between the red car and the silver and black car. The silver and black cars have a plain plastic piece while the red one has some creases. I assume they’re just for design. The Frankfurt display car had a plain plastic piece.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.