Three vs. Touring

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by KieferSkunk, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. KieferSkunk

    KieferSkunk Technogeek

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    Hey everyone. I'm looking at buying a new 2016 Prius, and I'm pretty sure at this point I'm going to go with a Three or Three Touring. Two is too limited, and Four is too "luxury" for my tastes. I've gotten a chance to test-drive a Three with the Advanced Tech Package, and a Four Touring. I took the former on a 2-hour test-drive yesterday.

    I'm a little torn. The dealer claims that the Touring has a better ride and better handling with the larger wheels, and supposedly also has more comfortable seats. I've also seen a couple people online say the same thing. I couldn't really notice a huge difference between the Touring and non-Touring myself - they both had very comfortable rides compared to my 2007.

    On the other hand, the Touring has the faux-leather seats that I actually don't like as much as the cloth, and it comes with all the ATP features except the HUD (which is actually the only thing in the ATP that I'd want), costing about $2000 more than its non-Touring counterpart without the ATP. And I don't really care at all about a sunroof - in fact, I think I'd prefer a car without it.

    So my question to you folks is, if you've compared the Touring and non-Touring, and/or you've bought a previous-gen Touring model, what's your opinion between the two? Does the Touring actually have any real advantages that I'd find useful?

    To help with that, this will be my commuter vehicle. I drive about 35 miles each way to/from work 5 days a week on mostly 50-MPH highways (to avoid the worst of Seattle traffic). Navigation is a must, but I understand it's also standard on both Threes. I don't care too much about the ATP features - the ones I'd really be interested in are only available on the Four anyway (parking assist, dynamic cruise control, etc.).

    So basically, comfortable ride and high efficiency are the things that matter most to me. I'd imagine the different tires and the extra spoiler/bumper treatment on the Touring would have an impact on those.

    If there isn't a big difference between the two (or especially if the Touring is somehow worse), the Three non-Touring sounds like a clear winner. Just wanted to get your opinions. :)
     
  2. Vike

    Vike Active Member

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    We had the same concerns. I enjoy extra lighting up front if I can get it, but the Touring's foglights don't really offer that - they're mainly decorative. The HUD is quite useful given the relocation of the main displays to the right relative to their positions on the Gen2 (our current car).

    I did not find Softex seats more comfortable around town, which will be our main use, and whatever advantages they might have on road trips are likely negligible (I've done 12-hour drives in our Gen2's fabric seats and been quite comfortable). We live in a sunny clime, and without the Four's seat-cooling system, we were more concerned with seats getting a bit toasty on those occasions when we have to park out of the shade. While Toyota happily brags about how much cooler Softex seats stay in sunlight compared to leather, they studiously avoid comparison with cloth, which I figured told me what I needed to know on that subject. I'd expect the Softex to be more durable, but with no kids or dogs in the household and the fact that our current untreated fabric interior still looks factory-new after a decade, I'm sure the cloth interior will hold up just fine for us.

    The Touring will NOT ride better - the lower profile tires and "handling tuned" suspension would if anything make the ride firmer, but I honestly didn't notice a big difference in ride or handling based on test drives a few days apart - perhaps it would be noticeable if you paid very close attention and A/B'ed it. At that point, though, I think it's pretty clear that the difference is at best subtle. The 17" wheels will raise replacement costs for wheels and tires, so that's just a negative for me, as I have no interest in their supposed cosmetic appeal. We've also had observations from some members about low-profile tires requiring somewhat more attention to maintain tire pressure.

    I am similarly indifferent to the moonroof (it's too hot or cold or dusty here most days to fully open it), but in its defense I'll note that it doesn't appear to affect front or back headroom (the slightly lower headliner that accommodates the retracted shade does not extend back far enough to compromise rear seat headroom), and I expect it will be nice to have a skylight for natural daylight and perhaps even sometimes a roof vent.

    Taking all that into account, we went with the Three w/ATP instead of the Touring. In addition to the HUD (which we did like), we also figured cars without TSS-P features will seem old-fashioned and maybe even a little unsafe in 5-6 years, so we thought the ATP was important to add if we didn't get the Touring.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. KieferSkunk

    KieferSkunk Technogeek

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    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I liked the HUD as well, but I didn't think it made that huge a difference, personally. The dash being over to the right a little doesn't bother me - I can still see the most essential info without having to move my eyes too much.

    That was my impression as well. I like how the SofTex seats look, but I thought the cloth seats were more comfortable, personally. Also, my wife commented that she thought the SofTex seats actually smelled bad - they ruined the "new car smell" in the Touring, and she didn't notice the same scent in the non. She was concerned about any off-gassing the synthetic material may have been doing.

    It does, thanks!

    I originally looked at the neat tech features they added in the 2010 Prius (including the dynamic cruise control, lane assist, etc.), and if I'd thought they would be useful to me at the time, I might have upgraded from my '07 to one of those then. We drove a 2011 Prius out in Utah for a little less than a week on a trip - it didn't have the tech stuff or the nav, but we actually enjoyed the car just fine without those features. So I ended up sticking with my '07. I do get the impression I still wouldn't really miss those features in this car, given that I've been doing just fine without them my whole driving career so far.

    Yeah, it really does sound like the Touring just isn't for me. My father-in-law is looking at getting one as well, and he's pretty well set on a Touring but hasn't actually tried the non-Touring yet. (He has my old '05 Prius, actually.) I'm going to try to convince him to avoid the Touring model because I'm pretty sure a smooth ride and low cost-of-ownership are even more important to him than they are to me.
     
  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    The HUD will also display navigation instructions. Since you say navigation is a must, the HUD will add that extra layer of convenience by displaying the nav instructions in front of you, beside the speedo. Non-HUD units can use the 2nd 4.5" TFT to display the nav info if owners wish.

    DRCC is now full speed range so it'll work down to 0mph. You just hit "RESUME" or tap on the accelerator when the car in front of you starts moving forward.
     
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