Why did you pick the Prime vs Volt or other competitors?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by dalecooper, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. dalecooper

    dalecooper New Member

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    Hey Prime owners.....

    I left the forum for several weeks but here I am considering the prime again. I'm also considering a 2018 volt or bolt. I've now driven all 3.

    A little bit of background to level set. I've had a slew of performance oriented cars and to be quite honest, I'm done with them, and I'm done putting premium gas in my car. The concept of an electric vehicle is really enticing to me. I have a buddy with a tesla that has been urging me to drive a full ev forever. The first car I drove was the prime - primarily because its a toyota, the starting price is cheaper, and for my typical commute or drive, the 25 miles of range is suitable. Driving the prime was a liberating experience - it was so relaxing. Extremely quiet (I'm convinced its the most quiet of all 3), smooth, etc. It really got the ball rolling with, ok I want to get into one of these cars. I didn't think the power was that bad, it accelerates quite easily and briskly up to city speed limits. The interior is spacious, with great visibility, and I think thats one of the reasons its so relaxing. Yes the interior design is funky but I like it actually. Finally, the features and standard safety sense on the premium model is a step above both chevy's, namely, adaptive cruise! With all that said, I was totally ready to get the prime and drive to maryland for a sweet deal on a 2017, but then the rebate expired and none of my local dealers were going to make a deal so I'm like ehhh, this isn't worth it. However, there is new light with driving to new york to get a deal on a 2018 :)

    Then enter the volt (and bolt). I've liked the Volt for a while, and owner satisfaction seems extremely high. I love the increased range of the volt - ~53 miles, and I was also attracted to the more sporty driving dynamics and much peppier 0-60. The 40mpg on range extender didn't really concern me as having 53 miles of range would mean that I'm pretty much never using gas except on road trips. So then I drove a volt - nice driving dynamics, pretty good quality interior too. However, the interior feels cramped, the window line is relatively small, and maybe I'm insane but the direction of the ac vents were horrible. Granted it was 90 degrees out but the climate control and ac vents were terrible. It was tough to get cooled down.

    Ok so then theres the BOLT. I'm EXTREMELY attracted to what the bolt is all about. To be honest, chevy hit it out of the park and is way ahead of their "full ev" competition with the bolt. I actually drove the bolt on a whim. I figured, ok I live in an apartment, 110v charging isn't going to be enough on the bolt and my lifestyle could change at any point but hell let me drive it anyways. I was pretty surprised and blown away. The bolt is QUICK, almost hilarious to drive. The interior is spacious albeit very utilitarian. The exterior is a great size given the roominess of the interior. The 238 mile range is awesome. So then I started thinking about can the bolt work for me.... well yes it can, but is it worth potential anxiety (even though I'd probably get over the anxiety). Charging the bolt overnight would give me around 40 miles to top off. I have a couple chargers at work I could also utilize. Finally, I live within a 5 minute walk of garages with 20 total level 2 chargers which are FREE to use. If I parked overnight just one night there I'd be practically good for the entire week (so cool). So the wheels started turning.... Yesterday I took it for another drive. This time, maybe cause I'm very serious about potentially buying it, I had some anxiety driving it actually. I don't know if I could really handle a full ev. its such a DIFFERENT experience of driving and the concept of never having gas to back you up, that I'm not sure it fits my life right now. Yes I could probably manage the range, and yes I'd love driving it, and I'd get over some things... butttttt my original intention was to have a more normal, but still unique car, that was very efficient. The prius flat out excels at this - you almost can't go wrong with it. I was also ignoring, but now am trying to be realistic that my first impression of the prime was superior to all 3 cars. Hmmmmm

    Price wise, I qualify for the full $7500 tax credit. The prime and volt end up being similarly price because I can get a decent rebate on the volt, plus the full 7500. Also, contrary to conventional belief, the volt has a higher predicted residual if you look at the residual on a lease. 44% on the prime vs 48% on the volt. Oddly, I think toyota's residual prediction on the prime is off. I think the prime will retain better value than they're saying. The prime is wayyyy better then the plug in from sevearl years ago. The bolt is more expensive than the volt I'd want, but not that much more. The bolt also has surprising residual of 54% so its nearly the cheaper car to own. All that said, the price amongst all 3 is sort of a wash....

    So this thread could go in a million directions and sorry for rambling with my stream of thoughts. What I'm really interested in, is why most of you picked the prime over its competitors. I'm guessing some of you drove a 2nd gen volt for sure (and maybe a bolt also?). Thanks for your help, very interested to understand why you landed in the prime.
     
    #1 dalecooper, Aug 6, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  2. slothsandwich

    slothsandwich Junior Member

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    I was in the market for a commuter vehicle after driving my truck's terrible MPG to work for the last 10 years. I looked at the Tesla X, Chevy Bolt, Honda Insight and Nissan Leaf and settled on the Prius Prime. I am a tall guy (6'9") so my decision was swayed toward comfort first, styling second. The Prime IMO is ugly AF but honestly, I think they are all pretty vanilla, including the Tesla X and 3. I found the Prius Prime to hit all of my checkboxes. I drive to work 18 miles each way so I can run almost exclusively on the battery to commute to work. The interior is roomy and has a nice, clean open feel, which in comparison to the other interiors, I felt they were much more cockpit style, limiting my spider legs to move freely. I am super impressed by the comfort of the vehicle while in motion, incredibly quiet and more than enough adjustments in the seat to compensate (I have Prime Advanced). I may have more cons than pros below but know I am SUPER happy with my purchase and have NO REGRETS. Just offering my feedback for people on the fence to consider.

    Pros:
    • Tons of room in driver/passenger seat in all areas (headroom, leg room, shoulder room)
    • Great sound system for the money (Prime Advanced)
    • Affordable price considering bells and whistles (HUD, Lane-Departure)
    • Plenty of room in hatchback w/ seats down
    • Gigantic 11.7" screen for full-screen navigation/map
    • Comfy seat belts, even for a tall guy
    Cons:
    • The UX of the 11.7" screen is pretty bad. Although I love my HUGE nav screen, the backup camera and music displays never utilize the available real estate like I would have expected. The backup camera uses the top 1/3 of the screen, all else is black. The music display shows the first 20(ish) characters of the station, band, song...then abruptly cuts off even though there is plenty of room to display more. I listen to Howard Stern and he is only live 3x a week, hard to know now because I can't see the (LIVE) on the station name when applicable.
    • Terrible wheels (hubcaps) - I'll be swapping for custom wheels immediately. I know this is an EV but I've seen golf carts with better-looking/larger wheels.
    • Minimal "compartments" to store loose items in hatchback/trunk. Aftermarket storage bin is almost required.
    • Because Prius Prime has three bible sized operations manuals, the glove compartment is reduced to storing a candy bar or 1 pair of gloves. Center console is large but impossible to organize because space is 95% cavernous and only 1 small sliding tray on top that can hold a pack of gum, some loose change and Sams card... that's it. Most cars are leaning toward this console design/function but it doesn't mean we have to like it. Some people don't need much space to store JIC items but I like to carry a flashlight, beanie/gloves/buff (Colorado weather), napkins for spills, chapstick, lighter and gum. One 4x4" sliding tray doesn't cut the cheese. Not a deal breaker but consider if you are coming from a larger vehicle and are used to LOTS of storage.
    • One USB port located in front of center console. I'm no designer but wouldn't you put the USB port next to the wireless charging tray? If that area is for storing phones, why wouldn't designer allow but wired and wireless users to use the tray? The current design requires wired users to stretch wire across both cup holders to store the phone in "tray". Seriously, one USB port in the whole car. I use a dual USB adapter in the accessory-power port to bump to three USB ports.
    • Split rear window takes a while to get used to when in reverse and changing lanes.
     
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  3. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    For me, the answer was simply that I believe that Toyota builds much higher quality cars than General Motors.
     
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  4. Bob Comer

    Bob Comer Active Member

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    The Bolt wasn't even a consideration for me, no EV range anxiety for me! As for why I chose the Prime over a Volt, (and a C-MAX too), there were a few reasons. Charging time is prohibitive on the Volt, even with a 220 charger (which i would have to get installed) Not so for the Prime. My commute is 75+ miles a day, and I can only charge at night for now, in figuring out the gas mileage of all 3, the Volt was best at that exact range, but not by much, but if I went ~90 miles in a day, the Prime starts to get better than the volt, so if I go to lunch at work, I go over the 90 mark and the Prime wins gas mileage-wise. The gas mileage of the HV mode is quite bit better than the Volt or the C-MAX, and that appeals to me, as I never know how much I might need to drive in a day.

    In reliability, the Prime wins too, and the C-MAX is probably the worst, but I really like the design of the C-MAX, especially adding the power rear hatch. (I'm short and disabled, so the Prime and Volt's hatch are way too high for me to close easily.) For the C-Max, I would have had to go to a dealer further away, so it had to win in more categories for me to get it.

    One big negative for the Volt was interior colors -- I wont own a black interior, I live in too hot a climate, and that brown is *ugly*.
     
  5. dalecooper

    dalecooper New Member

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    Thanks Bob!

    I was like you with the charging at first but unless I'm missing something now...I realized that may be misguided? Both cars are going to be able to charge at around 4 miles per hour (the charging rate is the same). So theoretically, the volt could get you 25 miles in the same time as your prime. The advantage of the volt is you could've probably had 40-50 miles of range overnight charging. As for reliability, I think both chevy's are seriously engineered machines - first gen volts have great reliability. The perception though no doubt is that its assuring to have a Toyota product. Did I mention that I cannot STAND these chevy dealers in the midwest. None of them are interested in selling a volt or bolt.

    My roundtrip commute is 23ish miles right now. I probably drive 30-40 total in a day though (go to gym after work, run around, etc).
     
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  6. Bob Comer

    Bob Comer Active Member

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    I never calculated charging time per mile, so i don't really know on that, but there's no way i wouldn't charge the Volt to full, so it's total charging time that's the problem, not charging time per mile. My commute is longer than the 53 miles for a full charge, and electricity is about half the cost of gas. One thing about the volt, for overnight charging, I would have to install a 220 charger, I didn't need to with my Prime. I'm not home long enough at times for a full charge on the volt..

    As for reliability, this is my 2nd toyota Prius, and no problems with either one. I had subaru's before that, then chevy's before that, they weren't so good back when i had them. (mid 90's I think) Before that I had a renault, Fun little car, but it leaked every fluid possible the whole time I owned it. <g>
     
  7. Bob Comer

    Bob Comer Active Member

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    A volt would be better for you unless you take long car trips occasionally....
     
  8. goinskiing

    goinskiing Active Member

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    For me, the Volt was way too cramped. I am 6' 0" and I felt claustrophobic in it, also the window line was so small and with the car as low as it is didn't help with the cramped feel. I would have been okay with the trade-off in hybrid MPG for more EV range and peppier motor. Overall, I picked the Prime for it's roominess, comfort, and Toyota reliability. Also, my commute is 22 miles, but my work has 15 Chargepoint stations for 6 cents per kWh so it's no big deal to hook it up at work (compared to the 10 cents at home which is still phenomenal). My whole commute is electric and the volt would have made it to charge half as often, but it wasn't worth the comfort trade-off for me.
     
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  9. BrettEG

    BrettEG New Member

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    I was considering all three in the last month or so, to replace my 2011 Prius. I ended up with the Prime.

    The Bolt was probably a strong second though - but the range - that killed me - we regularly (2-3 times a year) travel 500 miles to visit family - the Bolt would not be able to do it with out at least one charge. And while we could take my wife's car (Honda Fit), I wanted something that I COULD take on longer trips like that and not have to worry about the range.

    The Bolt is also very new, and I am hesitant until I see how it is performing for people 3-4 years down the road.

    The Volt was ruled out mainly because of the Prime's more fuel efficient engine. I do not believe for a second that a real world situation/drive is going to give me the over 600 miles that they say, but it is still larger than the Volt. (right?)
     
  10. triggerhappy007

    triggerhappy007 Active Member

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    I bought mine because of the price was lowest compared to all the others. I ended up paying $17,500 + ttl for a 2017 Prime Premium. I did have to fly to RI and drove 1,700 miles back home though. I have a 110 mile daily commute and wanted something with good highway mpg and adaptive cruise control for the lowest cost. My wife had been driving a Focus EV for 3 years so I loved being able to plug in at night. I tested the C-Max and Bolt. They were both OK, but the C-Max didn't have adaptive cruise and the Bolt is very expensive when adding adaptive cruise.

    Dale, have you driven the Honda Clarity Plug In Hybrid? That would have been my second choice, but it's at least $5,000 more than my Prime.
     
  11. dalecooper

    dalecooper New Member

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    I haven't - the clarity seems like a big car and I really don't like how it looks. People can hate on the prime but I don't think its a bad looking car.

    Cool responses so far. I knew I wasn't crazy thinking about the volt feeling cramped! I don't mind it per say as I'm used to smaller interiors but its much more relaxing to be in a space with big window lines, and open and airy. I also agree the prime feels really lightweight in operation .
     
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  12. goinskiing

    goinskiing Active Member

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    I mean, I was REALLY close to getting a Volt. I drove both before buying. I won't lie, the Volt was more fun to drive and much peppier, but the cramped feeling made it a difficult sell for me. Then I drove the Prime again just to make sure and I loved the openness of it with so much more window to look out of, someone mentioned it almost feels mini-van like with how much you're able to see of the road.
     
  13. dalecooper

    dalecooper New Member

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    I gotta be honest, I'm literally writing off Chevy - I've never seen a worse dealer net work in my life. No one will give me a deal and I'm not even asking for the moon (been going back and forth today with another one). That about decides it for me.... What a joke.
     
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  14. goinskiing

    goinskiing Active Member

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    I had a similar experience at the Chevy dealer, did not care for that experience. At the Toyota dealer I at least know what to expect. I'm sure the Volts are more reliable than most of the Chevy\GM lineup, but I had a hard time with settling on owning one.
     
  15. antiglare

    antiglare Member

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    For me, the decision to buy the Prime vs the Bolt/Volt (which I really liked, actually) has nothing to do with the actual cars themselves, but is purely Toyota vs GM/Chevy.

    If the manufacturer of the cars above were not a factor (or a blind taste test), I would have hands-down chosen the Bolt/Volt over the Prime... no other EV/hybrid seems to require the buyer to make the performance compromises the way the Prius does.

    However, such is not reality, and for someone who has zero desire to drive/rent/own a Cruze/Malibu or anything GM, Toyota became the default choice, especially to serve as a reliable commute car with a HOV carpool sticker, above all. Perhaps, in the distant future or alternate reality when GM is capable of having an entire lineup of cars that are consistently reliable (as per Consumer Reports surveys) and don’t have disastrous resale value, I would consider actually owning one. This is all about brand trust and perception of quality.

    Of course, if the objective is to lease for 3 years, I would take the Bolt/Volt hands down over a Prime.
     
  16. dalecooper

    dalecooper New Member

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    Interesting and fair statement.... I have nothing against GM and actually praise them for the engineering in both the volt and bolt. The first gen Volt continues to be a rock solid reliable vehicle that is truly innovative. When GM actually puts their mind to something, they can product great products - i.e. the corvette. Therefore, I don't really compare against their other offerings...

    THAT SAID, for me, my frustration is the difference in walking into a chevy dealer vs toyota. You're in california which I'm assuming is much better than the midwest - california is EV hotbed and dealers have no choice but to accept the importance of EV's on their lot, and the interest from consumers. GM should appoint an "EV specialist/evangelist" in all of their dealerships that actually know about the cars and truly care to sell them. Whereas here, I'm not sure they really care, OR they certainly are not trying to attract "new blood" to the brand. It's somewhat concerning the low traffic I see in a chevy dealer compared to toyota or subaru. Subaru in particular here in midwest sell like crazy. The irony - my subaru dealer experience was by far the best, and I got the best deal on my trade. Its like, can someone just give me a good customer experience, solid deal, and take my money? It's annoying to want and appreciate a product, but other factors really dissuade you from said product. Or, you just can't get it for the right price. Maybe I'm too much in the camp of "it has to make financial sense", no matter how much I like it.

    The prime value proposition is hard to deny..... Seems like many of you feel the same.


    Antiglare - now that you've owned the prime for a bit, is the lack of performance a bigger issue? Or do you still really love the car and appreciate it for what it is? I thought the handling and ride dynamics of the prime were quite good - just a bit slow, but ehhh...it is what it is. But that was only an initial impression.
     
    #16 dalecooper, Aug 7, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  17. antiglare

    antiglare Member

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    Actually, despite preferring driving the Bolt/Volt, I still quite love my Prime. It really has two different personalities... in EV mode, the car is torquey, quiet, smooth, and definitely keeps up with traffic at stoplights without any strain. In HV mode, it's a typical Prius performance-wise... meaning that to keep up with big-city traffic, you'd be revving the buzzy engine quite a bit and the time spent on the Hybrid Indicator in the dashboard will be off the chart, beyond the "Pwr" bar.

    My expectations were set by my previous 2011 Prius; as such, the Prime is a huge improvement. With the Prime in EV mode (~75% of all my driving), I don't feel like I need to sacrifice performance for fuel economy, which was pretty much the Prius trademark.
     
  18. goinskiing

    goinskiing Active Member

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    My father-in-law has the Volt that I occasionally drive. I've driven a Prius for 4 years now and am used to its (lack of) acceleration and peppiness. There's no question that the Volt is more fun to drive and it makes me wish sometimes that the Prius had just a little bit more pep. However, the Prime is so comfortable and relaxing that it makes for a better overall experience in my opinion. PWR mode in EV mode on the Prime does a decent job at making it feel more peppy than it actually is.
     
  19. CaliforniaPrius

    CaliforniaPrius Active Member

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    Trunk space. Volt could barely fit the stroller. Off we go to prime.
     
  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I think this is what @john1701a and @Lee Jay are saying - the Prime has the square footage while the Ioniq and Volt have the volume. (depth)
     
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