Trading in a 2020 Prius Prime for a 2020 Leaf... Should I?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Salamander_King, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I wouldn't say driving PP 40 miles is a "bad" thing. Before the COVID, I averaged 40 miles/day or 15K miles/year. Ths included 40 miles round trip of daily commuting plus occasional weekend or holiday long trips of usually 500 miles or longer. Prius is a perfect car for this type of regular driving. Soon after I got my current 2020 PP early this year, the COVID-19 restriction changed my driving habit drastically. I now drive only once a week ~40 miles. As a result, my cumulative miles on PP for the last 10 months is only 3k miles which comes out to be an average 10 miles/day. I don't know how long more this COVID style driving is going to continue, but what I have learned during the last 10 months is that I can pretty much live with an average of fewer than 10 miles/day driving without daily commuting as long as I do occasional long trips on the different car. What happened was that I have lost the range anxiety I used to have on BEV which is perfect for short range in-town only drives.
     
  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, the whole point of considering this swap is that after haggling with a few dealers, I have learned that I can do no money swap (or even with profit in one case) of PP for LEAF now with all the end of year discounts and incentives plus the tax credit still available on Leaf. I never looked into used Leaf, for they are inherently bad deals due to the huge depreciation of the car in the first few years plus degradation of the battery. When I can get a brand new $40K Leaf for half of the price tag, I don't see a reason to try 3+yeras old Leaf for $10K+ price tag.
     
    #22 Salamander_King, Dec 24, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
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  3. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Another thing to consider is that the LEAF uses CHAdeMO quick charging, which has lost quite a bit of favor in all but Japan. Although, best I can tell/recall, 50KW chargers, EVgo’s, still typically support CHAdeMO, the higher-powered stations, like Electrify America’s, I gather are CCS only.
     
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  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I agree completely. If I get Leaf (or any BEVs even one with 300+ miles EV range), I would never take the car onto the interstate which is 50 miles away. It would be used purely in-town only daily driver. I always thought buying this type of very specialized function BEV is a waste of money compared to much better utilitarian super long-range, super-efficient Prius Prime, but now after 10 months of COVID-19 restriction, I have learned that I can eliminate most of my long-distance driving needs, and my essential daily drive can be well within the range of any BEV on the market.
     
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  5. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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    " I have learned that I can eliminate most of my long-distance driving needs, and my essential daily drive can be well within the range of any BEV on the market."

    I think a lot of us would echo those sentiments.
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    even though i'm almost 100% ev with my pip, if i could swap for a leaf at no cost, i would do it in a heartbeat.
    just for the fun factor and new experience. what else brings joy these days?
     
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  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, the main thing is that I am getting bored with PP just sitting on my driveway not being driven. No cost swap to Leaf will give me something new to explore and learn. One big hesitation right now is that for closing the deal, I would certainly have to travel to the dealership, which I am extremely nervous about.
     
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  8. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Like, but disagree. For me, 300-mile range, even by EPA estimates, is an entirely-different ball’o’wax from a 150-mile range. I would probably not take it on open-ended, cross-country trips, but no issue with Austin to Houston and back. For a Tesla, even less concerns, because of the comprehensiveness of their SuperCharger network.
     
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  9. John321

    John321 Senior Member

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    It is daunting to have to spend hours at a dealership to buy a vehicle during the pandemic. I share your fears.
    Here is an article from AARP that might be interesting to you and others

    How to Buy a Car Online During Coronavirus Pandemic

    I have no experience with the True car service the article speaks of, I used an online service called Edmonds New Car Buying Service and unfortunately still had to go to the Dealer to complete my online transaction. The saving grace was not having to deal with a salesman. I bought two cars in the last two year using an online service and highly recommend it based on our experience. Everything was agreed upon -car-price-options etc before I went to the Dealership
     
    #29 John321, Dec 24, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
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  10. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    With 300 mile EV range BEV for Austin to Houston, it is still ~165miles one way. You will need to charge the car at your destination. Even though charge stations are starting to pop-up here and there, it is still very few in our area. As I said, in our local, there is no DC fast charge station within 250miles, making interstate traveling by BEV almost impossible. There are a few Tesla SuperChargers within 100 miles, but that again is very inconvenient for my typical trip down to Boston. Yeah, as I get closer to the big city, there are more choices, but I like to avoid wandering in the big city. My long-distance trip is usually straight to the destination and straight back to home, only stopping for refuel as necessary at the service area on the interstate. Unless the charge stations become more abundant, like beside every gas pump at the service area, I will not venture a BEV on the inter-city or interstate trips.
     
  11. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info. I have done all of the negotiations with 4 dealers by email only. Yeah, they still like to do their business the old way by luring the potential customer into the showroom and BS their way through it. 4 out of 4 dealers' first response to my initial inquiry e-mail was "When can you stop by our office to discuss the deal?" I had to tell them very firmly right from the beginning that "I am not interested in chatting with anyone in a dealership. Unless I can get all the necessary negotiations done by e-mail and telephone I am not interested." Under the COVID-19 circumstance, most dealers are agreeable to my proposition. All of them did the appraisal of my PP online and gave me itemized quotes in writing without seeing me. Still, I will have to physically go to the dealer and they have to visually confirm the condition of my trade-in and I have to see the condition of the to-be-purchased new vehicle. I know there are ways to buy or sell a car by online transaction only, but it is hard to do the specific negotiation of a trade-in for a new car that way. BTW, I sold our 12-year-old vehicle using Peddle.com online instant offer. They gave me an instant offer online and I agreed, a truck came to pick the car up and gave me a check on the spot. The easiest transaction to get rid of the old car and was still ~$1000 better than what a dealer offered for the trade-in.
     
    #31 Salamander_King, Dec 24, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
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  12. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Closer to 200 for the particular trip we do, but charging when we get there should be zero problem. Lots of hotels in the particular areas of Houston we go to have overnight chargers (more for Tesla than generic chargers, but still a fair number of generic), plus Electrify America has several quick chargers in those areas, and one in Columbus about halfway between Austin and Houston.
     
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  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yap, if you know the way around the destination and there are plenty of options to charge your car, then inter-city travel by BEV for the distance close to the range limit becomes possible. For me in our region, that is not possible at least not yet. BTW, I have owned PP for over three years now, but I have yet to see a public charge station anywhere I have been to. Thus, I have never charged my PP other than at home. For all practical purpose, this practice will continue with any BEV or PHEV.
     
    #33 Salamander_King, Dec 24, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
  14. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Hmm, after reading more of your posts and getting more information, if you’re looking at the LEAF purely for something different and as a second cad for in-town driving only, then go for it.

    At least you can do all of your in-town driving in EV instead of blending in 5-10 miles of HV mode on the Prime.

    I’m lucky in that I can do the same distance you do around town but all in EV because of adequate L2 charging around my metro area.
     
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  15. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    And we all know how accurate those EPA "estimates" are, don't we ?? :whistle:

    You have been very active in THIS forum. I have to think that there are similar forums for the Leaf......and becoming active THERE BEFORE you get one might be a very good idea.
    Just maybe. :)
     
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  16. plug-one-in

    plug-one-in Junior Member

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    For your use case: I don't think the Leaf does any more than your PP right now. The PP serves you well. It is enough for what you do. Also, it is enough for whenever you make those 500 mile trip. For these 500 miles trip: the PP will have no issues; whereas the Leaf probably will take much longer, especially in the New England winter. I know you said that you have the Pathfinder hybrid. So it comes down to this: if you enjoy taking the pathfinder on those trips moreso than the PP, then that would decrease the value of the PP (vs. the Leaf).
    PP: pros: Toyota reliability, can take long trips without issues cons: not 100% EV all the time, slower
    Leaf: Pros: 100% EV all the time, faster, might be more fun, a little less maintenance (see below). Cons: perceived less reliability than Toyota, long trips could be daunting.
    I just want to comment on maintenance: many folks keep saying there is a lot less maintenance in full BEV vs. PHEV. Some of this is true, but if one compares a Toyota (Not BMW, mercedes, audi, etc.), maintenance is pretty low. I own a 2015 Nissan Leaf: it works well. I will outline PP vs. Nissan Leaf maintenance so far. About 37K miles on both.
    PP:
    1) oil change x 3 : free for 1st 2: I paid for 1: $50--I change my oil every 10K to 11K miles
    2) cabin air filter x 2: DIY: $30 total;
    3) engine air filter: DIY: $15
    4) Windshield wipers x 3: DIY: $60
    5) Michelin Tires x 1 set: $700;
    -Total so far paid: $855;
    -Future big maintenance: 100K mile: Engine coolant replacement; 120K mile: Spark plug.
    Nissan Leaf:
    1) cabin air filter x 2 : DIY: $30--more difficult to do but doable; takes a little more time)
    2) 12 volt battery: DIY: $120;
    3) windshield wipers x 3 : DIY: $60
    4) Goodyear Tires x 1 set: $600;
    Total: $810; suppose to change brake fluids every 30K miles but I don't do it. (If I did would've been around additional $125)
    As you can see: the biggest maintenance are the tires. Hopefully, the Michelins will last a lot longer than the Toyo Nanoenergy that came with the car when I bought new. Future cost of PP will be more b/c of the Engine Coolant and Spark Plug (but that's another 7 to 10 years).
    Maybe the 2020 Nissan Leaf is better now, but my 2017 PP feels sturdier and just feels better built than my 2015 Nissan Leaf. Also, I feel it is a better ride than my Leaf
     
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  17. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, luck of public charger and range anxiety was what made me stay away from BEV, but the last 10 months of house confinement taught me that a long-range BEV is not a necessity for me but just a luxury. At this point, we can even do away without a second car. But if and when, I do go back to the daily commute, then I will need a second car. We will still need to keep a large SUV or minivan or pickup truck for our hauling needs. Since it seems still a long way for a truly affordable BEV pickup/SUV/minivan, the best combination for our current needs is a short-range BEV like LEAF and PHEV SUV or minivan, like RAV4 Prime or Pacifica Plug-in.
     
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  18. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, the EPA estimate is just an estimate. YMMV for sure. Still, any BEV range longer than 50 miles on a full charge is acceptable for me now. I would never pay a full $40K price for a short-range LEAF, but right now there is an opportunity to trade in the 2020 PP for a no-cost trade-in. I am sure there will be more opportunities again for more choices later, so I am not very pressed about the switch. Just something to explore over the holiday confinements when I have nothing else better to do.

    BTW, I signed up for the LEAF forum mynissanleaf.com a couple years ago when I entertained the idea of buying our second car and LEAF was an option then. Did no go through the purchase after realizing that we really needed a larger car than LEAF. Compared to PriusChat, I have to say the LEAF forum was far less informative and entertaining. That's kudos to participants of PriusChat like you and others.
     
    #38 Salamander_King, Dec 24, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
  19. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    In your case do it, don’t listen to any bay sayers here, just do it.



    given you live in a progressive area that doesn’t tax the living $hit out of a plug even if it’s only a summer / daily driver that doesn’t do trips it’s still worth it.

    go to 300mpg.com or read about some of your New England ecomodder counterparts to find a $500 beater for the rust season .

    Get your leaf for a nice car and carry a cheap backup for times it doesn’t work.

    leafs are reliable and comfortable compared to many other cares they just have a battery capacity loss issue in hot areas
    (in your case you might actually get the rated 10 years)

    when the battery degrades too much just sell it off and move on.

    even here in the US they are just about giving away a leafs in some areas, if I got one for free I would own one despite the additional $665 title + license taxes.
     
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  20. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Initially, when we got Pathfinder Hybrid, it was to be used for mainly in-town or near town hauling duties and to use PP for most of the other driving. But after two years, it has become my wife's car and she really enjoys the larger luxurious interior (it is Platinum trim with every possible option) even though it is 6 years old technologies. Pathfinder is by far more comfortable and enjoyable to drive on the long interstate drive except for the luck of DRCC, although PP is far better once we reach inside of a big city. The thing is for most of the past long trips we have made, the number of passengers occupying the car and the amount of cargo we had to haul, and the preference of my wife on the comfort of the seating, the Pathfinder became more of the go-to car for us on long trips. If I was alone in a car, I would always take PP over Pathfinder, but traveling alone for a long distance is very rare, and not likely to increase in the future. PP is everything I need for a car if that's the only car I drive. If I get LEAF, it will be strictly for the in-town commuting car. I will never attempt to take Leaf onto an interstate, that is clear. Thus the combination of LEAF and Path Hybrid will end up more use of Path Hybrid than PP and Path Hybrid. Have not done an actual estimation, but most likely the total gal of gas used for our use pattern will likely result in roughly the same amount.

    Thanks for the comment on the maintenance on LEAF. Yes, I had suspected what you have said is true for PP vs Leaf that other than routine oil change required for PP, there would be not much difference in terms of frequency or the cost.

    I have not seen a real 2020 Leaf yet, but I did see and test drove 2019 Leaf SV a few years ago. My impression was very similar to yours that compared to 2017 PP I was driving then to 2019 Leaf was less polished and "cheap" feeling and look. I don't think much has changed from 2019 to 2020 Leaf models.
     
    #40 Salamander_King, Dec 24, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
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