To Buy A Prime or No?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Husker4theSpurs, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Husker4theSpurs

    Husker4theSpurs Active Member

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    A little background. My wife currently leases a Volvo XC60 T8 (18 miles of EV range) and doesn't drive a ton of miles a year. Her lease expires in October of 2021. Considering a Prius Prime. I generally always buy our cars, not lease, but in this case I was suspect of Volvo jumping on the PHEV train.

    I drive a Full Size SUV for family use and hauling kids. We have a 3rd car ... Jeep Wrangler 4 door ... we use it for fun and have a ranch that I need something similar for getting around up there.

    I have been longing for a Prius Prime for quite some time. Seems to make sense in our situation I'm thinking as my wife has a short commute and likes not using gas. I like the idea I can take the Prime when I go on my short road trips when I get away on my own (short golfing trips etc). We've also considered just downsizing to two cars again and going with a BMW X5 45e (30 miles of range) to replace her Volvo and trading in the Jeep as well. My wife doesn't care either way she says. She doesn't care as much about cars as I seem to :)

    I have owned 3 Priuses (2008, two 2010s - car accident resulted in one being totalled) in the past and enjoyed them all. Sure they aren't fun to drive necessarily, but we like getting solid fuel economy when able. We like having an "extra" car for the time one's in the shop or getting work done or "just in case."

    Things that make me want to get the Prime (and keep the Jeep):
    - We have no need for more miles of range than it offers really. My wife's commute is 16 miles round trip.
    - Like having a car we can buy and keep for a long time that likely won't give us any trouble.
    - It's just downright cost efficient in every manner including price (if I head to the Northeast and drive it back ... tax credit, et.c)
    - Better to have a Prime sitting around not getting driven a ton of miles than some BMW X5 45e.
    - The fuel economy on a BMW X5 PHEV isn't any better than the non-hybrid on a road trip.
    - More reasonable to license, insure, register, etc. Especially for a car that is just my wife's commuter.
    - If we keep the Jeep she could drive that in inclement weather.

    Things That Have Me Hesitant:
    - Prime is getting a little long in the tooth.
    - Redesign might happen sooner than later (could always trade for fairly reasonable especially if the tax credit is still available)
    - Having 2 cars is more reasonable.
    - My wife (who says she doesn't care) has grown a bit accustomed to luxury features in the Volvo (massage seats, etc.).

    Input or suggestions? Part of me just likes the idea of heading out to the NE and buying a car and driving back. :) I will be out there sometime this spring or summer anyhow. Maryland and New Jersey seem to have the best rebates right now? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. bluespruce

    bluespruce Junior Member

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    There are so many options but here are some thoughts. The BMW X5 45e is a big luxury suv to drive with limited range. I currently own a BMW 640 GT which is bigger than a 7 series and I find the X5 45e huge. Women like these large cars but they are not fun to drive for me. It is a big family car but as expensive as any other large BMW. You have a wrangler also so a small efficient car to run errands, short trips and be fun to drive makes sense. I was between a Tesla Model 3 and a Prius Prime. The Tesla 3 was great but at least $50,000 while the Prius Prime Limited was $28,000 or so. The fact the Prius Prime is less and is not limited by range made it an appealing choice and a bargain. I have two new BMW's and the Prius Prime gets the most use. The other hot car to consider is the Toyota RAV4 Prime with 40 miles of range but its $50,000 and you can not get them right now.
     
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  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Well for one, the prime will drive nothing like the Gen 2/3 vehicles. Having owned both generations like you (2005 & 2010), the Gen 4 and Prime are significant improvements over the last two generations in terms of ride comfort and handling. The Prime will ride a touch softer than the Gen 4. Steering ratio is quicker than both generations (even the V/Five).

    The mpg in HV blows both generations out of the water and slightly ahead of the regular Gen 4. In the summer, city HV mpg can be in the 70s. On the highway, 50-60 mpg. If you can charge, that’ll bump it up past 60mpg.

    For 2021, the Prime's TSS-P has been upgraded to 2.0. It adds low light pedestrian detection and daytime bicyclist detection to PCS, Road Sign Assist and Lane Trace Assist. Rear side airbags have also been added.
     
    #3 Tideland Prius, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  4. pghyndman

    pghyndman Active Member

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    Ditto! We have two Mercedes but absolutely love our Primes and they see the most use (just got our third in 3 years).
     
  5. PT Guy

    PT Guy Senior Member

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    Husker, add the normal maintenance costs to your BMW list. Are brake jobs $3000 as claimed by an X5 owner I know?
     
  6. Husker4theSpurs

    Husker4theSpurs Active Member

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    sure could be but probably less brake job need with regenerative brakes? BMW used to offer maintenance foe 4/50,000 miles but no more.
     
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    There is an option three.

    Buy the Volvo.

    Volvo is serious about plug ins. Polestar is a Volvo brand, and they are planning Volvo BEVs. They are owned by Geely, who by reports is hands off with Volvo, so their primary focus is the markets of Europe and China, which are focused on growing EVs.. Quick look at their PHEV specs, it seems they took the same approach as Toyota did with the PiP; the least amount of compromise of the ICE model's usability. Thus why such a short EV range.

    I can't say how much the buy out price will be, but it is likely less than the BMW. Which is 10 inches longer, and less efficient overall. Since trading in the Jeep is a consideration, I'm guessing the SUV, or even the Volvo's AWD, will meet your needs at the ranch. Though keeping the Jeep may work with this approach. I trust Volvo reliability over BMW's, and you already know this car. Any issues you've had have already been addressed, or should have been. Plus, if the wife likes it, why trade it.

    The only downside is the EV range. If using less gas overall is important, the Volvo isn't going to work. The PriusP will take your wife's commute from mostly electric year round to almost fully electric. Winter will be tricky for all of the them. While the BMW has longer EV range, it, and the Volvo, are power hybrids. It could trip on the engine easier than the PriusP. Check out BMW sites and reviews on this.

    I haven't sat in a gen4 Prius, but Toyota has had some of the most uncomfortable seats based on a 2004 Matrix, 2005 Prius, and 2016 Camry. I do believe people when they say the gen4 Prius is improved, but I'll bet the Volvo is still better. I only test drove a 2004 S40, and the first thought I had while checking out the dash lay out was, "this is the most comfortable seat I have been in, Volvo should make furniture." Something to consider in addition to the general luxury level between the cars.

    Option four(and a half) is to get a BEV. Sounds like one the models with less 200 miles of range will be enough to meet your wife's driving needs, and even yours for short trips. These, and the Bolt, can be found for not much than the PriusP. These won't match the Volvo for luxury and comfort though, and availability may be limited. Among the pricier and luxury level BEVs, there is Tesla's 3 and Y, who does get good reviews on their seats, the Mach E, the Polestar 2 is coming out this year as a 2021, and then the 2022 ID 4 and Ioniq 5 should be out before the year's end. The wife may have to drive the Jeep for a bit, if you need to wait on the arrival of the one you want. Depending on how willing she is to do this, you could even wait for a Toyota BEV.
     
  8. Husker4theSpurs

    Husker4theSpurs Active Member

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    You are right that this is an option. My wife uses ZERO gas on her commute in the Volvo. We had a whole bunch of Check Engine Lights on the Volvo in a brief period as well as the thermostat going out. So much so that Volvo made 2 lease payments for us. I was ready to be done with it after that, but we haven’t had any problems since. I guess that sentiment has lingered a bit but honestly the range is just fine for us. On road trips I get 28-32mpg on the highway (70mph or so).

    I don’t think we are comfortable with a full EV yet but we did talk a bit about a Tesla.

    Thanks for adding to the thoughts! Good points.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sunday driver DIY’r

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    My 2 cents: no spare, no sale.

    Also, not enamoured of:

    1. Raised hatch floor
    2. Glass-jaw front “bumper”
    3. Looney Tune dash, gloss surfaces, lack of tactile/ergonomics for vital controls
    4. Exterior looks in general
    5. Never ending insistence on utilitarian alloy rims with plastic covers
    6. Astronomic cost for replacement head unit (the laptop in the dash) and those sculpture work-of-art headlights
    7. Claustrophobic rear seating, due to lowered roof and front-to-rear up-sloping window belt line (a feature Toyota’s been pushing since the Echo)
     
    #9 Mendel Leisk, Feb 24, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  10. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    I've been driving the 2017 Prius Prime Advanced for a year and a half. I drive it locally most of the time, and long distances each month.

    You can pretty much throw out whatever trollbait says about the Prime. If, as he says, he's never been in a gen 4 then he is just repeating hearsay and scuttlebutt.

    As I said in other posts, the Prime does great on the open road, including 7,000 foot tall mountain ranges. I drive up to 10 hours in a day and find the seats are quite comfortable. I reach my destination without fatigue.

    It took a little time to get used to the controls, but now they feel as normal as what I see when I rent a car.

    The car works great as a local commuter. I drive less than 25 miles a day most of the time. By most of the time, I used no gas between March 2020 and Feb 2021 except when I put it in hybrid mode a few times to keep the engine lubed. Around town I use about 214 watt-hours per mile. That's about 27 miles range.

    When I bought my prime, my other two cars were a 2002 Prius (gen 1.5) and a 2010 Camry. I was used to the idea that I would not be bringing home 500 lbs of lumber in either sedan. I've been quite happy with the things that do fit in the Prius. For instance a 7 foot step ladder fit with all doors closed. A full shopping cart of groceries fits in the back. Fold down the rear seats and a flatscreen TV that I could not get into the Camry fit just fine. Fold down the back and front passenger seat and I can schlepp large/long boards home.

    I like the safety features of the 2017 models, and it sounds like they have made them even better in the 2021 models.

    While I don't care for the controls on the big screen, I appreciate that screen when navigating in an unfamiliar area. In a related vein, I really like the HUD (Heads Up Display) that has the current speed, speed limit and "next turn" information.

    I would not worry about the "raised floor" that covers the batteries. It should only bother people who had a gen 4 Prius and who were used to putting specific things back there.

    For the price, the Prius prime is an excellent all around car. I've used mine throughout the pacific northwest, the Arizona Desert, the length of California. From Beaches at sea level to 7,000 foot Sierra Nevada peaks. No problems.

    Dan
     
  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Sounds like you need to find out how much you wife likes the Volvo, and maybe sit in a Prime or gen4 Prius. What was her car before the Volvo? If you are considering the BMW, she may not want to go back to a car.

    Also don't worry about a Prime redesign. it came out in 2017, and the generation cycle for the Prius has been 6 years. The gen4 Prius came out in 2016, and there hasn't been any talk about a redesign for it yet.
    Geesh, all I said was that have found not seat in a Toyota I have owned comfortable. But specifically to the Camry is the fact that I like sitting upright. Set the seat in the Camry for that, and the ceiling crowds my head, and the top edge of the windshield is noticeably in my field of view. To correct those issues, I recline the seat back some, which becomes uncomfortable on longer trips.

    This is all a personal preference, but SUVs generally are laid out for more upright seating.
     
  13. SciRunner

    SciRunner Junior Member

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    No, not in your situation. The ride on the Prius Prime and other short wheel base cars will never be like the Volvo XC-60 or BMW X5.

    Some regional rebates like in NJ and MD may only apply to cars registered in the respective state.

    If the car will be used only as needed then the current Toyota Corolla with a 1.8L engine or the Corolla Hybrid (new or Toyota certified Pre-own) may fit your situation. The Corolla is cheaper to insure and body parts are cheaper than the Prime. The Prime has an expensive rear curved glass hatch to replace and not many around so other replacement body parts are expensive.

    Your Volvo lease end date coincide around the launch of Toyota’s new BEVs and possibly also a replacement to the Prius and Prime. A Lexus BEV (maybe the new NX) is also expected to be revealed. Designed in collab with Subaru so a Subie version is likely to come out of it. Lexus is already selling the all electric UX 300e in other markets albeit with a much smaller range than the new Lexus BEV.
     
  14. Husker4theSpurs

    Husker4theSpurs Active Member

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    Well she drove an Acura MDX, a BMW 328d (diesel) SportWagon, and a Ford C-Max, and 2010 Prius. She says she doesn't really care what we do ... and i THINK she means that? :)
     
  15. Husker4theSpurs

    Husker4theSpurs Active Member

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    I think most of these rebates are based on where you buy them, not where you're from right?

    I have definitely considered waiting around for the Lexus NX redesign that will likely have the same powertrain available as the RAV4 Prime.
     
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  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Damn infuriating ain't it. Tell her you've decided on a Mirage.:)

    Seems to be where bought as many have taken the trip for the discount, but check the fine print.
     
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  17. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    2022 Lexus NX leaked: Compact crossover takes on evolutionary look
     
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  18. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Depending on who is going to be driving PP most, this may become the deciding factor. The Prius Prime, while it is more refined and efficient compared to previous generations of Prius models, it is certainly not a "luxury" model. But as a cheap daily driver, there is no other car I can find that matches the quality, reliability, and efficiency. BTW, I am carless right now for I am not driving to work anymore. When and if I go back to my daily commuting routines, I will have to decide what my next car, Prius Prime or other PHEV or a BEV. I am sure there are going to be more choices in upcoming years.
     
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  19. Husker4theSpurs

    Husker4theSpurs Active Member

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    Yeah, I'm with you. She never cared BEFORE we married but now may be liking the luxury too much to let it go :) I find I rarely use massage seats (although it sounds like a good idea), but mine are just like air bladders that keep you from getting sore. Volvo has some of the best that actually knead and give you a real feeling massage. She uses hers every day she says ... hmmmmm.
     
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  20. SeattleBebop1

    SeattleBebop1 Member

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    Hi Husker, many women like bigger vehicles because it's easier for them to see the road (average American woman's height is 5'4", average man is 5'10").

    When I was researching an upgrade (from an '03 Prius), I liked that the Premium and Advanced trims have *power seats* and *heated seats.* I can raise my height up (the Prime *is* a low car at 4.8" ground clearance), rock my chair back, and use this air cushion-y thing against the small of my back (I believe women may tend to have more curvature there)? I find the seats comfortable. I do sometimes still find myself doing the meerkat thing where I'm sitting up in my seat and craning my neck to look around, but I'm a hilly area.

    I find the new Toyota platform for Gen 4 to be a very nice ride (double wishbone suspension). I especially like it in EV mode. Power mode is fun on the interstate. I did get "curb anxiety" until very recently (my Prius is lifted), I perceive the hood/nose as "long" and impossible to see something like a curb when I'm pulling into a spot.

    You might look into renting or leasing a Premium or Advanced trim, see what she thinks.
     
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