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Topic: Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow! (Read 4763 times) previous topic - next topic

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Picked up a 2012 Prius v over the weekend. It's basically a Prius that's a little wider, taller, longer and a has 3" stretched wheelbase. Same powertrain, with a slightly shorter axle ratio to account for the extra mass and frontal area to move around. Much larger rear hatch area. It can fit my 70lb black lab, while the Prius hatch area slopes down steeply, precluding my doggie from a comfortable ride.

Nearest competitor is something like a Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, or Hyundai Santa Fe. Prius is rated for 44/40 while the CR-V/RAV4/Santa Fe are 20-22/28-31. Didn't really want a Hyundai and a similarly trim'd out CR-V/RAV4 was the same price as a Prius v, so I went with the v. I also like the plethora of OBD-II PIDs the Prius folk have deciphered. Somewhere around 350 that are streamed to my phone/tablet via a Bluetooth dongle plugged into the OBD port. Coolant temp? Check. AC Compressor rpm and power? Requested engine torque? Check The engineer in me loves it. :D

It's not much in the fun to drive department. That's what you give up by gaining the fuel economy. Steering is light and feeling is dead. Brakes can be a bit nonlinear when the friction brakes activate (after you've saturated the battery recharge capacity or nearing a stop at slow speed). I haven't done a quick lane change yet. I test drove one with 16" wheels (mine has 17") and it was a muddling mess, as expected. The last Autocross of the season is December 14th (HoHoHoooo version), so I should be able to sling it around some cones by then.

The one option it has that I like is the Radar Cruise Control. You set the distance to follow (far, medium, close) and the cruise will automatically track the person in front of you if they're going slower than your cruise set speed. Really nice in light/mild traffic on the interstate.

First tank from the dealer was 44 mpg doing 70 mph on the interstate. Daily driving this week so far is ~47mpg.


Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #1
Congrats on the purchase!
1986 Mercury Cougar - 2.3T/T5 swap, TC brakes and suspension and rearend, 3" exhaust, 255 lph fuel pump, Stinger BOV, Gillis MBC @ 18 psi
2003 Chevy Suburban Z71 - Daily driver
2015 Chevy Volt - Wife's daily driver

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #2
Mancard revoked, lol.
'88 'bird, 10.9:1 306 w/TFS top end, forged rods/pistons, T-5 swap & bunch of other stuff, 1-family owned, had it since ‘98, 5.0tbrd88 on Instagram and YouTube

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #3
Just keep it out of the left lane, there, fella!

Nothing wrong with going for MPG's, though. Personally I'd have gone for a diesel Jetta wagon. Similar economy (better on the highway, actually) and owning one doesn't make you a eunuch ;)
2015 Mustang GT Premium - 5.0, 6-speed, Guard Green - too much awesome for one car

1988 5.0 Thunderbird :birdsmily: SOLD SEPT 11 2010: TC front clip/hood ♣ Body & paint completed Oct 2007 ♣ 3.55 TC rear end and front brakes ♣ TC interior ♣ CHE rear control arms (adjustable lowers) ♣ 2001 Bullitt springs ♣ Energy suspension poly busings ♣ Kenne Brown subframe connectors ♣ CWE engine mounts ♣ Thundercat sequential turn signals ♣ Explorer overhead console (temp/compass display) ♣ 2.25" off-road dual exhaust ♣ T-5 transmission swap completed Jan 2009 ♣

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #4
I respect your decision, Jeremy, because of your engineering background.
And that's all I'm going to say about that LOL.

Had you looked at a Fusion Hybrid at all?

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #5
I turned in my mancard when I took my Cougar to the junkyard! :p

I looked into the Jetta Sportwagen a bit. I love the torque of a diesel, but VW's terrible reliability in the past gen kept me from looking any further. So far, current generation shows pretty decent reliability. Diesel has run ~15% more than 87 octane over the last for years here, so that's another ding. However, I probably would have chosen the V'dub if I wasn't overly concerned about having a reliable appliance of a vehicle.

The Prius forum is interesting. Not as many granola eating hippies as one would think. For every person that wonders why people honk at them for keeping the car in the "ECO" acceleration zone, there is generally another to call them out for driving like a douche.

There are also a lot of myths about hybrids that gearheads seem to preach as the gospel. Battery life sucks. Batteries are 500 lbs. Batteries cost $5000 to replace. Prius' have worse cradle to grave environmental damage than Hummers, etc.

Quote from: EricCoolCats;436865
I respect your decision, Jeremy, because of your engineering background.
And that's all I'm going to say about that LOL.

Had you looked at a Fusion Hybrid at all?
Haha. :mullet:

I wanted a hatchback, so I didn't look at the Fusion. Didn't look at the C-Max because my budget was already creeping up and a 2013 was well out of it. The Prius v started production in 2012, which is why I didn't get an older one. I originally was looking for a AWD hatch/CUV that could tow ~3klbs, get decent mpg and had some scoot to it while fitting 4 full-sized adults and my dog in the back. I take my dog with me a good bit and removing/replacing the dog quilt in the back seat gets old and still leaves massive amounts of hair all over the passenger area. After making a rather large spreadsheet and test driving a bunch of vehicles (2.0L EB Escape, Edge, RAV4, Venza, etc) my wife asked me why we needed another SUV when we already had one (her 4Runner). I said "exactly*" and swapped over to looking for fuel efficient hatch/CUVs. Better for the T-bird that I don't have a fun, fast DD that does everything I want and then some. :cool:

*My wife wasn't a big fan of me borrowing her 'baby' and taking friends up into the mountains on dirt roads and towing with it, which is why I began looking at V6/AWD cars. She eventually came around. That's what mawwiage is all about!

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #6
I turned in my mancard when I took my Cougar to the junkyard! :p

I looked into the Jetta Sportwagen a bit. I love the torque of a diesel, but VW's terrible reliability in the past gen kept me from looking any further. So far, current generation shows pretty decent reliability. Diesel has run ~15% more than 87 octane over the last for years here, so that's another ding. However, I probably would have chosen the V'dub if I wasn't overly concerned about having a reliable appliance of a vehicle.

The Prius forum is interesting. Not as many granola eating hippies as one would think. For every person that wonders why people honk at them for keeping the car in the "ECO" acceleration zone, there is generally another to call them out for driving like a douche.

There are also a lot of myths about hybrids that gearheads seem to preach as the gospel. Battery life sucks. Batteries are 500 lbs. Batteries cost $5000 to replace. Prius' have worse cradle to grave environmental damage than Hummers, etc.

Quote from: EricCoolCats;436865
I respect your decision, Jeremy, because of your engineering background.
And that's all I'm going to say about that LOL.

Had you looked at a Fusion Hybrid at all?

Haha. :mullet:

I wanted a hatchback, so I didn't look at the Fusion. Didn't look at the C-Max because my budget was already creeping up and a 2013 was well out of it. The Prius v started production in 2012, which is why I didn't get an older one. I originally was looking for a AWD hatch/CUV that could tow ~3klbs, get decent mpg and had some scoot to it. After making a rather large spreadsheet and test driving a bunch of vehicles (2.0L EB Escape, Edge, RAV4, Venza, etc) my wife asked me why we needed another SUV when we already had one (her 4Runner). I said "exactly*" and swapped over to looking for fuel efficient hatch/CUVs. Better for the T-bird that I don't have a fun, fast DD that does everything I want and then some. :cool:

*My wife wasn't a big fan of me borrowing her 'baby' and taking friends up into the mountains on dirt roads and towing with it, which is why I began looking at V6/AWD cars. She eventually came around. That's what mawwiage is all about!

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #7
I see what you mean about VW reliability. Parts are expensive as hell too.

As for hybrid "misconceptions", I can't speak for Toyota, but I have personally replaced a few batteries in Civic hybrids and Insights. Their price varies depending on the year, because the batteries have different technology. The cheapest one was $6800 for the battery (labour not included). The most expensive one was just a hair under $13k without labour (and was the single most expensive repair job I'd ever done to a vehicle in my 20 year career). All the ones I've done, thankfully, were covered under warranty - one was something like 8 kilometers (5 miles) inside of its coverage, in fact by the time the part arrived he was over, but since his original complaint was made within warranty he was covered. I would imagine nobody would ever have one replaced outside of warranty - $6800-$13k is a lot of money to spend on a 5 year old "economy" car... These prices are Canadian, too. I'm sure Americans get better prices, since Honda gouges Canadians for parts prices almost as badly as Hyundai does...

The sad thing is that Honda hybrids aren't even cutting edge. The batteries are relatively small (weighing around 85 pounds) and they don't actually power the car like real hybrids. Honda calls it "Integrated Motor Assist", where an electric motor provides help to the gas engine, but doesn't actually move the car. Their fuel economy is mediocre at best. The only good thing is that Honda warranties the batteries so long - I think depending on model year it's to the tune of 10 years/200k km
2015 Mustang GT Premium - 5.0, 6-speed, Guard Green - too much awesome for one car

1988 5.0 Thunderbird :birdsmily: SOLD SEPT 11 2010: TC front clip/hood ♣ Body & paint completed Oct 2007 ♣ 3.55 TC rear end and front brakes ♣ TC interior ♣ CHE rear control arms (adjustable lowers) ♣ 2001 Bullitt springs ♣ Energy suspension poly busings ♣ Kenne Brown subframe connectors ♣ CWE engine mounts ♣ Thundercat sequential turn signals ♣ Explorer overhead console (temp/compass display) ♣ 2.25" off-road dual exhaust ♣ T-5 transmission swap completed Jan 2009 ♣

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #8
Toyota has a 8/100,000 mile warranty on the hybrid components and battery. A few states extends that to 125,000 miles. Gen II Prius (2004-2009) seem to get at least 150,000 miles or more out of them. One guy drove ~600,000k on his Gen II, but it was almost all highway miles where the battery does very little. Gen III (2010+) Prius has a bigger battery pack that supposedly should last longer, but the oldest model is only 4 years old, so not many have failed yet. Gen III replacement cost is ~$2750 from the dealer, assuming a $120 hour labor rate (US dollars). It's actually quite easy to replace a Prius battery. Remove some body panels in the trunk/hatch area, kill the battery connection, unbolt it, and throw in a new one. You can also get a rebuilt battery for $700 (plus labor). Most of the times a bad battery means only 1 or 2 of the cells is actually bad  (Gen III has 28 cells). Replace them and rebalance the battery and it is good for another 50-70,000 miles. The traction battery is only ~100 lbs, so it's a DIY job.

This article seems to suggest the Honda batteries are pretty terrible compared to the Toyota counterparts. I've driven an Insight. The Prius and Prius v is no award winner in the NVH department, but the Insight made the Prii sound/feel like luxury cars. Insight = tin can! The Volt blows them both out of the water.

There are other bits that can and do fail. Inverters, DC-DC converters, and the eCVT can all go bad. But they don't seem to do so often and there is enough salvage yard supply of used ones to make it reasonable to replace them.

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #9
Wow, I knew I've been seeing a lot of battery replacements in Hondas - I've only been there since September and have done probably a half dozen, compared to zero transmissions and one engine, and that was in an Accord that the owner hit a porcupine, took out the radiator, and kept going until it stopped - but a 20-30% failure rate is ridiculous. The article notes that it's a $3k replacement, so it appears Americans get their batteries much, much cheaper than Canadians, but even still, a $3k repair bill to 20-30% of a model five years old is just nuts. So much for Honda reliability...

As you can imagine, I've driven plenty of Honda hybrids, and you're right - the Insight feels like a tin can. The Civic hybrid is little better, but at least it's a Civic (for what it's worth). The one that disappoints me is the CRZ. Really sporty looking little car, but let down by what is essentially a Fit engine with a big alternator/starter. It's the only hybrid available with a manual transmission, but that does little to help the car's case. Even the ironically named Hyundai Veloster has better driving dynamics.

Now, had they built the thing with the 2.0 and 6-speed out of the older Civic SI, that'd be a sweet little car.

One Honda hybrid that is quite entertaining is the older Accord. I don't even know why Honda made that car - it pairs a V6 with the hybrid powertrain, so fuel economy wasn't the priority - but man, that car scoots!

You might think this crazy, but the coolest hybrid I've driven was a Silverado. 6.0 V8, electric motor, and God's own torque. It can drive at low speeds on electric power alone, but buddy, when you drop the fun pedal all hell breaks loose. I drove one half the length of the local main drag without the engine running, and any time we had to move it around on the lot the engine wouldn't start either. It's eerie watching something that big move so quietly...
2015 Mustang GT Premium - 5.0, 6-speed, Guard Green - too much awesome for one car

1988 5.0 Thunderbird :birdsmily: SOLD SEPT 11 2010: TC front clip/hood ♣ Body & paint completed Oct 2007 ♣ 3.55 TC rear end and front brakes ♣ TC interior ♣ CHE rear control arms (adjustable lowers) ♣ 2001 Bullitt springs ♣ Energy suspension poly busings ♣ Kenne Brown subframe connectors ♣ CWE engine mounts ♣ Thundercat sequential turn signals ♣ Explorer overhead console (temp/compass display) ♣ 2.25" off-road dual exhaust ♣ T-5 transmission swap completed Jan 2009 ♣

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #10
I love the South Park reference! :cheers:
'88 Thunderbird LX
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Engine:  FR B303 cam, GT40P heads w/ Trickflow valve springs, Explorer upper/lower intake, SR cold air intake w/ MAF
Exhaust:  shorty headers, BBK O-R X-pipe, glasspacks w/ turn downs
Misc:  8.8 rear, Saleen SC replicas 17x8/17x10, Mach 1 front springs/SN95 rear springs
&
'74 F100 Custom 351W

Prius v - So slow. Such mpg. Much room. Wow!

Reply #11
Quote from: Thunder Chicken;436875
You might think this crazy, but the coolest hybrid I've driven was a Silverado. 6.0 V8, electric motor, and God's own torque. It can drive at low speeds on electric power alone, but buddy, when you drop the fun pedal all hell breaks loose. I drove one half the length of the local main drag without the engine running, and any time we had to move it around on the lot the engine wouldn't start either. It's eerie watching something that big move so quietly...
Yeah, I really thought hybrid + Truck/SUV was a good option. Example: The hybrid Tahoe (discontinued after 2013) gets 20/23 mpg. The 2014 Tahoe is 15/21. That's a lot of gas to save if you're running in the city very much! The 2015 Tahoe is 16/23. To me, that's mindblowing! Our 2014 4Runner is only rated for 22 mpg highway (with a 30% smaller engine and smaller cabin area).


Finally got plates for the car. Took the dealer 24 days to get me the title. Then I was out of town for a week. :toilet:

Was originally going for this one, but my wife overulled me. :( :hick:


I've got a 2" hitch delivered, but want to clear coat it before installing. The hitch on my '06 Accord and '06 Impreza Wagon (sold a while ago) has oxidized and the black paint looks very dull. Is something like this the way to go?

Hitch will be used mainly for my bikes, but I'll tow from time to time when needed. I've been monitoring the engine coolant temps and MG1/MG2 (motor/generator [hybrid motors]) and have seen that MG1* is a good bit warmer in the Prius v than the Prius. To be expected since it's the same powetrain, but the v is bigger and heavier. However, I doubt I'll be towing any dirt bikes unless it is winter due to the temps!

*72% of the torque generated from the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) flows through MG1 (due to the gear ratios of the planetary gearset that comprises the eCVT). MG1 acts as a generator, and MG2 takes the power from MG1 and applies it directly to the wheels. That energy flow path is less efficient than a normal non-hybrid vehicles, but at cruise, that path accounts for very little of the total energy (28% of system torque could be only 5% of the system power depending on engine rpm and vehicle speed) and allows for optimum engine rpm, so it ends up saving system mpg.