Which car to buy?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by maiki, Sep 29, 2021.

  1. maiki

    maiki Member

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    I started a similar thread some days ago, but it went fairly far off the original topic, so I will start this one.

    my current car- Prius Prime 2018 Advanced. However, it was damaged in a recent accident and my insurance company decided to total it, not repair it, and send me some money towards purchasing a new car.

    So now I need to decide what kind of car to buy? It might be another Prime (as I liked mine), but could be a different PHEV. Or I might take a risk and buy an all-EV, only electricity, no gas. (Advantage-Much larger EV range, and many more to choose from. Disadvantage- no gas backup.)

    I don't think I want to regress to gas only, so either PHEV again or EV?

    Others thoughts on this, between different PHEVs, and also the EV possibility (anyone have or had one)?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    In my opinion, the Prius Prime is the most economical car you can buy as long as you don't often exceed the battery range.

    Even though that is my situation, my next car is likely to be a Tesla SR+ so that I won't have to do as much maintenance and can do all my driving on the solar power I just had installed this year. And there's the fun factor. I still need to test drive one on a bright sunny day to see what I think of that glass roof. The reason for the SR+ is that it's the only one I've found that can compete with the Prime for m/kWh. When they finally gave the SR+ a heat pump in the 2021 MY, I decided it was ready for the real world.

    But which car to buy is intensely personal because everyone's tastes and needs are different.
     
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  3. JGC61

    JGC61 Member

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  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    You won't find a more economical car than PP in the current market especially in the CARB states like CA. PP was the only car I have owned that resulted in net gain when sold after only 1-2 years of use. But for now and the foreseeable future, it is a seller's market. Toyota has lowered the rebate on the current 2022 PP, and you may have a hard time finding any car at a bargain price. Good luck.

    For myself, I am eyeing Mustang Mach-E as my next and first BEV, if all the proposed tax credit goes forward and Ford offers $12500 incentives as a form of a refundable tax credit. But I may also go with the base Leaf for a low $20K OTD price instead. Kia EV6 is another BEV that looks very good, but the price will be too high for me. I lost confidence in Bolt so that is off my short-list for now unless it comes back with a $12500 tax credit and assurance they fixed the battery fire problem. Also, the RAV4Prime was one candidate to replace my Prius Prime, but the price tag of RP is too high to justify a replacement for PP. For the roughly same prices, I would much rather have Mach-E.
     
    #4 Salamander_King, Sep 29, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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  6. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I don’t see any of the posts so far dealing with actually buying a vehicle today.

    I assume the OP is going to need a vehicle ASAP. Like the OP, I have been dealing with an insurance total and trying to find something NEW that one can test drive at their leisure, work some numbers, wait and think about it..... is virtually impossible. Those days are gone (for the time being). The only good thing is this OP is in CA where the PHEV/BEV market is the most robust. I ended up getting our ‘19 Prime from there.
     
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  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I think we need to know the OP's use cycle for a car and budget before giving specific suggestions.

    We know from the other threads that they don't drive often, since the lost car had very low miles(under 10k in 3 years), but how many miles is typical trip when they do go out? Were they regularly exceeding the Prius Prime's EV range? What is the farthest trip they are likely to make? Do they have, or can install, a higher power charger for a BEV?

    Considering the number of miles on that PP, I'd lean towards a BEV. Then you don't have to worry about engine maintenance on one that is rarely used, or aging gas. What BEV is going to depend on what total range is acceptable, and budget. Longer range will cost more, but then the car is more capable in 'what if' scenarios of unplanned trips and power outages.

    I personally wouldn't consider the Leaf, because it still uses passive air cooling. It works fine for some owners, but on a whole, the Leaf tends to see more capacity loss than others.
     
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  8. lbligh

    lbligh Member

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    The best part of driving my Prime is when it's being an EV, so I certainly understand the temptation to get a pure EV. In my area the charging infrastructure just isn't robust enough yet, though, and the Washington DC area is supposed to be one of the best in the country! If Tesla follows through on its plan to retool and make its network available to other EVs, it will make a big difference. Meanwhile I am sticking with a PHEV.

    The Kia looks like a great car, but I have never driven one.
     
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  9. maiki

    maiki Member

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    Do the EVs require a battery charger, not just plug into AC like the Prime?
     
  10. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yes, of course, an EV needs/requires an EV charger. I think what you’re asking is “Does it need a special (extra purchase) charger? No. Yes. What? :)

    No. It can use any standard 120v wall receptacle just like the Prime. And just like the Prime, that’s good for about a 4 miles per hour maximum charging rate. Since most cars sit for long periods of time, this is fine for most shorter range EV’s.

    Yes. If you want/need to charge faster than 4mi/hr, then a “special” level 2 charger (240volt) is needed. The higher the amps, the faster it will be but there’s a limit to how much each home’s electrical panel can offer. Then there’s the installation costs. Many folks avoid this by using a dryer’s 240v receptacle that’s close to the parking space. Also, 240v charging means pre-conditioning the cabin won’t reduce range/draw power from the battery to heat/cool the cabin.

    Many BEV/PHEV owners use the “free” 120v charge rate at home and only public/super chargers whenever they need a faster rate/traveling.

    FWIW
     
  11. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    The charger is in the car. What you will likely need is a 240v outlet to plug in the L2 EVSE. I think most BEVs on the market provide L2 EVES with the car, but you have to have the outlet to plug that in. If you don't have one already, then it may cost you some to install a new line and outlet that will support the L2 EVSE. The EVSE that comes with the car may allow you to plug it into a regular 120V outlet just like PP. But at L1 speed, BEV with a larger battery is going to get charged much slower. However, if you are not driving a lot and don't need a faster charging, L1 for over a few days may work for you.
     
    #11 Salamander_King, Sep 29, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
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  12. maiki

    maiki Member

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    Which PHEVs have the longest all-electric range? That is one problem with the Prime- its EV range is so low. Having the gas option is a nice security in PHEVs, in case of charging problems, but 25 mile EV range (I usually haven't got more than 20) is SO LOW. It sure would be nice to have a longer EV range,
     
  13. maiki

    maiki Member

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    I just looked online at the BMW i3. Anyone familiar with it? If it wasn't so damn expensive, I think it could be a good option, with the Range Extender, which makes it almost like a PHEV with a much larger EV range, It is actually not a PHEV, but an EV, with a low range for an EV, about 150 miles, But if you get the range extender, that is a small gas engine one could use as backup if the electric charge runs out. I think that is probably why many of us got a PHEV, wanting an electric car, but the security of being able to run on gas as well if need be.

    But the most basic version of the i3 with Range Extender is about $50,000, and many things that are standard on other cars are expensive add-ons with the i3, so it could end up $60,000 or so. While one could get the lowest Tesla for about $40,000 with a much longer electric range,

    The idea is good though- an electric car with gas backup. (While PHEVs seem to be primarily gas cars with just a little electric capability.)
     
  14. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    The i3 Rex (gas extender) is still a PHEV but just goes about it a different way. The BMW design is a serial hybrid while most other PHEV’s from Ford, GM, Toyota, Hyundai, etc are parallel hybrids just like the original prius. IOW, the ICE generator in the i3 isn’t directly, physically connected to the power train (axles).

    PC member @bobwilson has an i3 Rex.
     
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  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    That's @bwilson4web and he has actually used it on long trips. IIRC, he got it used for much less.

    Couple things to consider with the i3 is that it is a much smaller car than the Prius. Then it is programed different for the US in order to get more ZEV credits. The fuel tank is effectively smaller, which was tiny to start. Then the HV performance is hobbled. The engine isn't sized to provide full power. Which is fine in Europe where the driver can go into HV mode at 75%+ charge in the battery when they know that the trip is longer than the EV range. CARB only allows HV mode to come on when the battery is at 5%. So the car could end up without enough power when accelerating on the highway or climbing a steep incline. It is possible to have a tuner to activate the European program though.

    As for other PHEVs with ranger longer than a Prius Prime and available now. There isn't much that isn't also higher price. There is the Rav4 Prime with over 40 miles of EV range. The Kia Sorento PHEV has 32 miles. The Ionig PHEV has 29 miles, but starts less than the Prius Prime. The latter two don't have a full EV mode like the Primes. Meaning they could fire up the engine under high power demands. Not having driven either, I can't say how easily that can happen.

    In California, a 2021 Clarity PHEV might be found, and it would be the best all around choice. 42 mile EV range for about $600 more than the Prius Prime, but it is a bigger, more comfortable car. It is like the Hyundai/Kias in not having a dedicated EV mode. The accelerator pedal does have a stop to let you know the engine will come on when going past it.

    Another option to consider, specially if thinking lease until the car market and options improve, is a hydrogen FCEV; either the Mirai or Clarity. They both have free car rentals if you want to go outside the hydrogen network.
     
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  16. Froglegs

    Froglegs Junior Member

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    Compare Electric Cars: EV Range, Specs, Pricing & More
    Scroll down ... way down ... to the plugin section.

    One problem, as Jerry noted, is that once you are accustomed to the incredible efficiency of a Prius (for both miles/kwh and mpg), it's hard to find anything even close. The Rav4 Prime is a nice car, but gets 40mpg vs 56 for the PP. This is a considerable difference in the environmental impact of driving it, not to mention the environmental cost of producing 1200 pound batteries for EVs.
     
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  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    At one time, we owned both:
    • 2017 Prius Prime - traded in for 2019 Std Rng Plus Model 3
    • 2014 BMW i3-REx - wife's car and she loves it
    Owning both at the same time, the 25 mi EV range of the Prius Prime made it a '3 stop' car whereas the BMW 72 mi EV range was a '10 stop' car. I could commute in both cars but the BMW gave the option of EV shopping and errands that the Prius Prime lacked. Worse, the Prius Prime control laws became sensitive below 55 F and it would run the gas engine too soon. In contrast, the BMW would run the gas engine only if EV was at 5% SOC or with coding, upon enabling the REx below 75% SOC.

    The BMW interior is much easier to load than the Prius because the "B pillar", the roof support between the driver and rear seats, is embedded in the rear doors. The doors opened like a micro van so side access is large. You could also load the car up to the rear hatch. It was long enough that with rear seats down, I could lay down. We also put on a 2" receiver hitch and carry a rear platform. We did not get a light kit but we do short trips with a small trailer.

    The Prius Prime is king on the highway, 56 MPG and 600 mile tank, versus 39 MPG and ~80 miles of the BMW i3 on REx. But 600 miles means you still have to make biology breaks while the BMW offered frequent biology and gas breaks every 1 hr 15 min at truck stops. The BMW holds 70 mph 24x7 as long at you add 1.9 gal to the motorcycle sized tank. My wife and her dogs appreciated the frequent stops.

    I paid $29k for the BMW i3-REx, an end-of-lease, with 6,000 miles. Now it has +52,000 miles. A recent survey of Ebay shows they go for $18-22k. There was a battery change in 2016 adding to the EV range. With 16k mi., Tesla gave us $18.3k on the Prime that brought the out-of-pocket cost to $24k. But the Prime had become 'driveway art' as the BMW was more practical. Did I mention the BMW goes like stink?

    Testing both the BMW in 'comfort mode' and Tesla in 'calm', they both accelerated at the same rate until ~70 mph. Then the BMW tapers to an electronic speed limit of 94 mph while Tesla keeps pulling North of 100 mph.

    Bob Wilson
     
    #17 bwilson4web, Sep 30, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
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  18. MTN

    MTN Active Member

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    Seems a Rav4 Prime with 300hp, 42 EV range (easily 50+ in City), 38 mpg HV; is a better vehicle than the BMW, if acceleration and cargo space are compared (and purchase price, new). IMO if you 'need' more EV range than the Rav, you should be getting an ID4, Tesla, etc - BEV.
     
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  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Your last thread seems on-topic and active. And even if it did drift, that’s ok, just get it back on track. Starting a new thread causes confusion and frustration.
     
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  20. maiki

    maiki Member

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    But where does one get that hydrogen fuel? That is the problem. I don't think that kind of car ever caught on, so the fuel is rare.