Thinking to buy a prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by deng, May 30, 2012.

  1. deng

    deng Junior Member

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    I am thinking to buy a prius Gen III. I like the solar sun roof and the adaptive cruise control very much. However, it seems that these two things are not shared in any trims.
    Am I correct? If yes, is there anyway to make them together in the same car :-( ?

    Thanks
     
  2. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator
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    It is not possible to mix the two due to weight concerns. The solar roof adds 62lbs to the car. Combining that with 17" wheels, adaptive cruise, lane keep, etc. seems to push the car over the weight limit.

    Outside the US, it has been done on a platform with 15" wheels, so it's not "impossible", just not available in the US.

    Also consider that when you break down the cost of the options, that the Solar Roof + Remote AC package is $1500 additional. That would tip the MSRP of a fully loaded Prius Five with AT and SR to $36385 in the US.
     
  3. deng

    deng Junior Member

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    Oh, i see. Then which package is more useful?
    solar roof vs ACC?
    Is the solar roof efficient?
     
  4. Brett.

    Brett. Junior Member

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    I don't have either, and based on the fact that nobody in the US has body, I suspect it would be difficult for anybody to answer your question about which is more useful. That seems like a personal opinion.

    Do you prefer the comfort of a cool car when you enter it on a hot day?
    OR
    Do you prefer a vehicle that attempts to keep you out of harms way by helping you maintain correct lane position, and avoids other drivers abrupt braking by adjusting your speed accordingly.

    In my opinion, I have a basic Prius and the weight savings combined with the fact that I like to be in control of my vehicle leads me to believe your best bet would be to check out your local Toyota dealer and test drive the vehicles if possible to determine how useful you find the technology package.
     
  5. jabecker

    jabecker driver of Prii since 2005

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    I agree with Brett. It's a really personal decision.

    Faced with the same decision, I went with the 4 with the solar roof. For me, that makes more sense because my car is often parked outside in the summer and contrary to popular opinion we do get sun here in Portland. On the other hand, I rarely use cruise control, and up until now have had no problem staying in my lane. But your mileage may vary, as they say.

    As to whether the solar roof "work," it does keep the cabin cooler on sunny days. Note that it doesn't cool the cabin beyond the outside temperature. But it does keep it from becoming a blast furnace.
     
  6. deng

    deng Junior Member

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    Thank you so much for the information.
    Since I do not have a in-door garage and the sumer is pretty hot here, the solar roof will keep working the whole summer? Worried about the roof will soon become "tired" ( i mean broken) because it has to keep running all day long. Do you leave it running all the day?
     
  7. Fore

    Fore Don't look back!

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    Using window visor's will do the same thing, keeping constant outside air temp the same in the car. Unless you like looking at the clouds while you drive I don't see why the added weight and expense. Just my 2 cents worth no need to flame.
     
  8. deng

    deng Junior Member

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    My current car has windows visors. The problem is that you can not leave the windows open when the car is parked and no air flow either when engine is off.
     
  9. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    I'll respectfully disagree. The solar panel driven fan blows quite strongly and allows me to keep my car fully secure and safe from rain intrusion (in case the weather changes). If there's no chance of rain I can tilt the sunroof up to vent position and it ends up even more effective.

    I have no regrets about getting the solar roof option.
     
  10. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    Solar panels are designed to sit in the sun all day, all summer, all year, for at least 25 years. The car will be dead far before the solar panels. The fan is another long-lived component.

    Given that solar panels decrease in efficiency when they get hot, leaving it on all day (as opposed to turning it off for some period) will make it work better. I don't think that there is a battery in that circuit, so you might as well use the energy, otherwise it is gone forever [by which I mean it is heating up your car].
     
  11. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator
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    Having my 3rd Gen in the Arizona desert sun for 3 years now, I can comment on the Solar Roof long-term. It's fantastic in the spring and fall when temps aren't super hot, and would do well in just about any other "moderate" climate. In the heat of summer, the black cowling where the air enters the vehicle preheats the air a good 10°F or more before it makes its way through the vents. Thus, the car is still "hot", but not as hot as it would be if the fan wasn't blowing at all. A windshield "sun shield" is a must to make it really effective.

    That said, the sun gets too low to effectively operate the solar panel about 2 hours before sunset where I live (remember, the panel is flat, and doesn't tilt into the sun), however the solar gain and heat don't stop until the sun sets (or beyond). Thus, there's a 2+ hour period of time where the roof does nothing at all for the car, and getting into the car at 7pm would be the same as getting into a Prius Five without a roof at all.

    Remote AC? Not enough range to really be useful unless you trigger it in your driveway and wait a few minutes before entering the car. Walking to the car after shopping or work just doesn't give enough time to do anything but pre-cool the vents that were heated up by the solar ventilation system.

    Inversely, there are times when the DRCC would have been useful on longer road trips when the flow of traffic isn't conducive to fixed-speed cruise-control. That's the one feature I wish I could have mixed with the solar roof. LED headlights would have been nice, and lane keep was a take-it or leave-it type thing. Self parking (no longer available) was just a gimmick, IMHO.

    So, would I get it again? I love opening the roof when the outside temps permit in Spring and Fall and conserving A/C. I like going to lunch in a cooler car than my colleagues (temperature wise). The black on white (Blizzard Pearl) roof does look nice. I probably would purchase it again, and the $1500 premium is $300 less than it was when I bought the car in mid-2009.
     
  12. deng

    deng Junior Member

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    Thanks.
    I have another question regard the solar sunroof.
    With the solar sunroof, is it possible to install other roof racks, for example to hold the bikes?
     
  13. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    In other words, it works great spring, fall, and summer in Minnesota. :) I hadn't realized how accustomed that feature had become, hearing the fan running when I got in and the interior not blazing hot. I miss having a roof that opens too. But trading that for a plug was an easy decision.

    I carried 2 kayaks on top with mine...

    [​IMG]

    ...without any trouble.

    Of course, you can't open the roof while they're up there.
     
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  14. mmcdonal

    mmcdonal Active Member

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    I had thought about getting that option, but didn't ask around. In any event, I ended up getting the Blizzard Pearl, so the white color does some to offset the heat. Of course I park in downtown DC in direct sun all day, so I am not sure if the solar panel would have been so effective. I think you should go with your gut, and that sounds like a vote for the solar roof. :)
     
  15. jabecker

    jabecker driver of Prii since 2005

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    I leave mine "on" all of the time. Turning it on requires pushing a button. It operates only when the car is turned off and there's sunlight striking the solar panels at an angle that produces enough electricity to power the fan. It's not attached to either battery. It's self-contained. I also really like having the ability to open the sunroof. That's so nice on sunny days!
     
  16. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Moderator
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    That's mostly true - there is a small draw for the Solar ECU off of the 12V battery, IIRC. I'm like you, though, and just leave it on. If it's quite cold, it won't operate anyway (there is a minimum temperature which I don't recall at the moment).
     
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