What I don't like about the 2016 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by cproaudio, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. KenzoTH

    KenzoTH Member

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    The exterior and interior design of the 2016 Prius is definitely the result of an attitude of aggressive re-masking in the way it was conceived and the intent to present this to potential buyers. All the press over the years about the previous generations of Prius design from car reviewers (who almost always favor "sporty" and "snappy road feel" above all), have been taken to heart by Toyota. The result is they have given their designers and engineers the task of injecting (or superimposing) some "excitement" onto the unavoidable single love factor for most reviewers of the Prius- fuel efficiency.

    The difficulty with the new Prius visual design is it reflects these marching orders from on high in the corporation to overlay "excitement" onto the Prius brand- hence the angry-face front and "wolfish" tail lights and the "star-trek" console look of the interior. They are attempts to attract a "younger" demographic while shaking-off the persistence of car critic comments that Prius stands for: boring efficiency and a "safe" visual demeanor.

    As others have observed above, I too was, at first, put off by the images I saw of the 2016 styling exercise. I have posted elsewhere on this site that to me it is reminiscent of a mischievous angry catlike creature from Japanese animation (see work by Miyazaki such as the "cat-bus" creature "Totoro"). The designers responsible for the latest iteration are IMO, influenced by such cartoon character "aggression". In said animation, these aggressive, angry characters only appear that way. Most truly possess a gentle nature hidden behind the angry facade. They are most often fierce AND kind, angry AND gentle, and sometimes at first in many narratives, misunderstood, but when finally fully realized- have a deep-down integrity, gentle countenance and undeniable "goodness" at heart.

    I interpret the odd contradiction of the 2016 Prius as being the result of the above cited criticism given response by Toyota design studio that is deeply influenced by a celebrated slice of Japanese culture- the dual personality of the cartoon creature so pivotal in the best and most internationally recognized work of Miyazaki (re: Academy award).

    In the end, I love my new 2016 Prius two because it is a sheep in wolf's clothing. The improvements count among them: numerous invisible engineering advancements in the engine, drive components, battery, and hidden (or extremely subtle) efficiencies of the aerodynamic features such as reformed underbody closures and various surface textures that contrast across the contours to influence air movements over the surface (such as the shark antenna and paint to plastic surfaces).

    As stated by others above, it is much much better in person than in photos that flatten out the full spatial experience of the car in person, and of course eliminate the pleasing tactile feel of, for example, the new pebble-textured dashboard on my Prius two. What I love is the improved efficiency of the already efficient engineering coupled with the fact that the aggressive "face" takes on the critics with attitude while still adding to the aero efficiency and improving what has always been the Prius strength-gas mileage. I also happen to be a Star Trek fan despite being "older" and not specifically within the broader segment of the expanded demographic of Toyota Prius buyers sought by the corporation.

    Some more tangible improvements are: much quieter than my 2010 with (NO RATTLING!), better suspension feel (take that you car reviewers!), a pleasing new greater resistance to the steering that feels more controlled (good for the test track as well as the local highway!) and much more comfortable seats in front (don't yet know about rear-waiting for daughter's review). Oh, and also averaging 5+ miles per gallon better than my 2010 Prius in all situations.

    FYI: I am an artist, designer and professor of both, and Japanese/American with real remnants of Japanese culture in me. I love Japanese animation- especially Miyazaki, and I love my new 2016 Prius for its odd complicated heavily influenced "personality". I also love 52+ real world mpg!! It is truly a sheep in wolf's clothing. Interesting and real-world engineering excellence.
     
    #221 KenzoTH, Feb 14, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
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  2. ATHiker

    ATHiker Senior Member

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    First, my big dislike: The voice commands for navigation and the radio truely suck. It is embarrassing to try this out with someone else in the car, and just a pain in the butt to change destinations while driving.

    Second is the fact that Qi charging does not work with an iPhone, and the Entune manual clearly references the ability to receive emails (not just texts) when it just won't.

    As to the "controversial" styling, I am way past that. While I will admit that I appreciated the change simply because it was different (both my wife and 84-year old mother have been driving Gen 3s for over 5 years each), it is rather remarkable how quickly it becomes "normal" when you have been driving it for a few weeks. At least that is my experience.

    I think back to my reaction towards the 2010 towards the flying buttress when I first sat in that car-- and how close that drove me towards getting a Honda Insight. Yikes!

    I think back to just how remarkable and funky and modern some of the Hyundai sheet metal looked a few years back but how ho-hum it seems now.

    It's a bit scary to think that people on the other side of the world can actually change my tastes and sence of beauty but when I walk out in the morning and see my 2016 parked next to the 2010, I am seeing not only a good looking new car but one that somehow just fits.

    Of course I could just have mommy issues.
     
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  3. vince22

    vince22 Active Member

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    [voice="ATHiker, post: 2304152, member: 63497"]First, my big dislike: The voice commands for navigation and the radio truely suck. It is embarrassing to try this out with someone else in the car, and just a pain in the butt to change destinations while driving.[/QUOTE]

    +1 voice command navigation in my Lexus sucks too, I mean absolutely shameful as luxury SUV.
     
  4. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I never thought it looked ugly in the first place, except the fog light placement, the tail lights and the white interior accents. After having seen them in person, the white interior accents are much less offensive than in pictures, the fog lights are about the same, and the tail lights are even worse than in the pictures.

    But by far the biggest reason I haven't ordered a G4 is the removal of all the internal storage compared to my 2004. My 2004 has the little compartment below the stereo for my badge, parking pass, and other small items (gone in G3 and G4), the big box in the front of the center console (replaced by cup holders and a useless wireless charger in G4), two huge glove boxes (replaced one one tiny one in G4), a sunglasses holder above the windshield (gone in G4 if you get ATP), and the huge underfloor area in the trunk (gone in G4). I use every single one of those in my 2004, and I haven't bought a 2016 because I haven't been able to figure out what to do with the things I have in those locations. And to add insult to injury, they designed and built E-Four (something I could use often here in Colorado) but didn't bring it to the US. When they designed and built a 7-seat V but didn't bring it to the US, I bought a Mazda 5 instead of a 7-seat Rav4 or V.
     
  5. cjecpa

    cjecpa Member

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    The reason I opt out of manufacturer navigation overpriced and the most complaints on any vehicle is the tech features. I keep it simple I have a old Tom Tom. I use it even in my wife's Camry that has navigation.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I'm in the same camp. Problem is: they all come with built-in nav, and a cell phone charging bed you'll likely also never use. And no 12 volt outlet remotely close to the dash, for plugging in your aftermarket nav.
     
  7. Blizzard_Persona

    Blizzard_Persona Senior Member

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    The two and Eco come with nav? I think not...
     
  8. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    I found Tom-Tom very unreliable. Connection was spotty and it would be downloading more often than navigating. To be fair, it was on a trip and was many years ago.
    With an electric, my preference for OEM nav is even stronger as it is a very convenient way to show charging options along the route.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Oh, ok. But you are stuck with the big screen, regardless of the model? You'll have to excuse me, our 2010 Canadian Touring doesn't have the screen, shows back up camera in rear view mirror. I'd post a pic to clarify, but that function appears to broken on the site this am.

    Lemmee try posting an image:

    Nope, no soap. @Danny: impossible to post images (Win7, latest IE)
     
    #229 Mendel Leisk, Feb 14, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  10. cjecpa

    cjecpa Member

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    My Tom Tom has not been bad my Wife used her I Phone to compare on my last trip to Texas ended up much the same. That is why I am interested in the ECO use my cars basically to drive. Any modification usually in the handling department with the suspension. Just need a basic radio and a place to plug in my IPod.
     
  11. Blizzard_Persona

    Blizzard_Persona Senior Member

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    Oh wow, I didn't realize the Canadian model had the backup cam built into the rear view mirror...

    I much prefer the normal big screen myself. I once rented a large suv on vac and it had the rear view mirror back up cam trinket... Much too small to see details and it personally it didn't feel natural looking up there when over the years we get used to looking at the big screen.
     
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  12. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yeah nav was only available on the top model in Canada for 2010/2011. 2012 is when they brought the screen (6.1" Display Audio) to all cars and moved the backup camera from the mirror to the screen for those that did not have nav. It also brought a host of other problems with the 6.1" nav (like, "how come this looks different from my old Toyota's nav?")
     
  13. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "Pictures don't do it credit"..."It actually looks better in person"...:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

    Come on...how hard is it to design a good looking car?
     
    #233 frodoz737, Feb 14, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed. they should have copied the cobra. they don't come along everyday though.
     
  15. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Yea...some backwoods mechanic, decades ago, takes a British POS and turns it into a timeless beauty...and multi-billion dollar car mfgs can't make an economical/economy car look good...still. Go figure.
     
    #235 frodoz737, Feb 14, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  16. cjecpa

    cjecpa Member

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    With my history of previous cars the Prius is a classic.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    why? those all look like cobra's.
     
  18. energyandair

    energyandair Active Member

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    I think that the Volvo looked OK for the time and that Fit still looks good.
     
    #238 energyandair, Feb 14, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
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  19. Yeahoo Whoyah

    Yeahoo Whoyah Duct Tape Advocate

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    The wife and I braved the dreaded dealer experience this afternoon. We drove our 2006 Gen-2 to see the new 2016 Gen-4. Compared it to the "make you a good deal" car next to it, a new unsold 2015 Gen-3. We didn't drive either one. Visual Observations: What's with the dinky glovebox? A step backwards. I did like the longer front seat travel compared to my Gen-2. I recall that change came with the Gen-3. What's with the while plastic surround on the lower dash? And on the steering wheel controls, the matching white trim again! It was on the dash, luckily not all models. I suppose the body was pointer-sleeker. I forgot my tape measure but the hatchback opening seemed smaller compared to the 2015, could that because of the lower and sloppier roofline? At this point I'm too lazy to gather specs and compare. I will do that. I went into the dealership thinking I want a Gen-4. I went out thinking I'd be better off picking up an unsold 2015 at deep discount hopefully. Now that I'm comfortably at home in front of my computer, maybe I just keep driving my old Gen-2. After all, it's only clocked 103,000 miles. My valentine wants a new car, so happy wife happy life, eh? She'd be happy with either model. The wild card is we're soon to go to Switzerland for three months. I've got a friend interested in buying my '06 NOW. Sell it before we leave. Come back, buy a new Prius. Maybe they'll still have a few unsold '15 models with even deeper discounts. Three months time is enough to research then decide.
     
  20. Vike

    Vike Active Member

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    Oh c'mon. That's more of a problem with the iPhone than the Prius. If Apple chooses to ignore a standard embraced by many other manufacturers (and fairly easily added under the case to almost any phone w/a USB connector), that's really on them. The Qi charger isn't hurting you and provides useful functionality for a lot of phones. Similarly, Siri Eyes Free is a lot more useful for iOS users than Android, but again, I don't see how I could consider that a defect of the Prius. It's a reality of the current tech environment that's beyond Toyota's control.



    Merged


    It's always cheaper to keep driving what you've got (up to a point anyway), but before pulling the trigger on buying a deeply discounted Gen3, I'd strongly recommend driving the Gen4 and Gen3 one after the other. The difference is noticeable, and might be worth the extra cost to you. If you're anything like most Prius owners I know, you're going to have this car long after it's paid off, so the difference won't amount to all that much over the life of the vehicle if you really prefer the Gen4. If you and the missus are still neutral on Gen3 vs. Gen4 after those test drives, then make your informed choice.

    There is no doubt that the Gen3 is a better value (and if any are still around after your return, they're pretty likely to be an even better deal). But so much of the improvement of the Gen4 is in characteristics that can only be perceived on the road that I really think you owe it to yourself to experience it firsthand before committing.

    Another option to consider is leasing a Gen3 for a few years and coming back to the market when that's over. Low purchase prices and historically high residual values will make that a better deal than a typical lease. By the time that's over, the Gen4 will have shaken out some bugs and likely seen mid-cycle tweaks to some of those interior styling quirks you've noted, and the market for it will be more "normal." If you're not a Toyota-only shopper, it's worth noting that there will be more hybrid, PHEV, and longer-range BEV options available then as well.
     
    #240 Vike, Feb 15, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2016
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