Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

I traded in my Model S for a Prius Prime

Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,268
1,793
The Woodlands, TX
As for me, after four Teslas and a couple hundred thousand miles on them I wonder what "service" we're talking about. Personally I just adjust my own windshield wiper blades, so I don't need to go to the dealer. Maybe you folk are so used to taking your gas cars in for "service" that you just keep taking in your Teslas. Beats me.

Why is it that in so many places on social media, one person's experience must invalidate another? You haven't had to bring your car in for service? FANTASTIC, good for you. But please, don't project that experience on everyone. All it takes is reading through these forums for 10 minutes to realize that there are enough things going wrong that people have to interact with Tesla service all the time.
 

Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,268
1,793
The Woodlands, TX
I've put on about 75,000 miles on my Teslas in Houston. Never seen any rolling coal. Maybe I drive differently than you?

I drive pretty much with the flow of traffic or a few over. I leave people alone, don't change lanes aggressively and move over if someone wants to pass, even if I'm passing people already. There's always someone out there who wants to make a statement. It's pretty rare, but it does happen.

I've got just under 70k on mine, but I get around quite a bit. Woodlands, Katy, Downtown, Sugarland, Pearland, Pasadena, Cleveland, Dayton, Dallas, and everywhere in between. I've seen most all of Houston via Tesla.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Missile Toad

David_Cary

Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
1,231
763
Cary, NC
My only obvious rolling coal was when I was going slow in the right lane because I was pushing range. It was an empty highway at 6 AM.
It is a luck thing and who you drive around.

As far as people's experiences, I always point out my relatively trouble free experience only to counter some who talk loudly and often about their horrific experience. Doesn't invalidate anyone's elses (though I realize the comment wasn't directed to me).

Surveys are the really only way to know about reliability. Flawed as they maybe, it is certainly better than anecdotal reports.

I for one have several friends that have Teslas and no horror stories. But that doesn't discount that some folks do.
 

pkitch

Member
Mar 9, 2020
251
89
Atlanta
Hi all, figured I’d provide my unsolicited rationale on what some will think is a controversial decision. I’ve owned 4 Teslas and truly appreciate Tesla’s tech and drive—it’s really unmatched. However, I dumped my ‘16 Model S (facelift) in favor of a Prius Prime. Here are my reasons:

- Prius Prime is actually a nice car. Build quality, driving dynamics, and practicality is impressive for the price.
- Speaking of price, Prius Primes are dirt cheap right now (tremendous incentives) and they qualify for the $4500 tax credit. You can get a prime for ~$20k.
- Tesla depreciation is abhorrent. Tesla MS and MX lose $10-20k/year for the first few years.
- Quality and reliability on early MS and MX are abysmal
- Tesla customer service is embarrassing, period
- *Trigger warning* For many, the Prius Prime is more efficient, cheaper to operate, and has a smaller life-cycle carbon footprint.
- Toyota has Apple and Android CarPlay; sorry Tesla, its just better
- Insurance on Tesla is getting more and more out of control; Tesla repair times and costs are still unacceptable

All that said, I downgraded in styling, safety, and driving dynamics. The Prius looks like an inbred fish. That’s actually worse than the MX “beluga whale” or the frog-like appearance of both the M3 and MY. The MS is just plain gorgeous, so I can’t hit that. Nobody notices a Prius Prime, and I don’t mind that. The Prius drives ok. The first few generations drive like vacuums cleaners, but the Prius Prime drives more like an EV.

I will go back to Tesla when they mature and get their act together. Wife still loves her MY, but the quality difference between the MY and Prius is astounding. As much as Tesla has improved, they are still no match for a $20k Toyota.

off soapbox

'Wife still loves her MY, but the quality difference between the MY and Prius is astounding'

Do you mean the build quality or the quality of the materials etc? I have never owned a Toyota but coming from a long series of BMWs I personally wouldn't assess the delta on either point as being 'astounding', but curious to know your opinion in a little more detail. For sure, no argument Tesla needs to improve on build quality.
 

skiwhmts

Member
Feb 12, 2021
46
41
New England
I have owned BMW's for 40 years and currently have a 2019 BMW640 GT, and a 2019 440IX coupe . While the Prius Prime materials may be less premium the overall fit, finish and construction is on par with the best of Germany. Tesla while having brilliant engineering is still catching up in consistent quality. Honestly the fit and finish is so bad on Tesla's it is really surprising. How can they make a technological masterpiece and not get the colors to match, or the doors to close or windows to seal or trim from falling off. It seems that would be the easy stuff.
 
  • Like
Reactions: InternetDude

xbox4me62

Member
Feb 8, 2017
117
145
SF bay area
As somebody who owns a Model S, PHEV Clarity, fiat 500e, 2005 prius with 300k miles, and 4 other cars I will have to say an EV is not the answer for everybody. At the moment a PHEV is the sweet spot in my opinion. You get the benefits of EV for short range around town driving when EVs perform best. Then you get a 40%+ efficiency engine for long trips giving you 500-600 miles of range and sub 5 minute fill ups.

Even with 300 miles of range I see the EV as an hassle for long trips.
 

eyedrop

Member
Jan 18, 2018
164
122
Prescott AZ
Congrats on your new Prius! I traded my old S for a Bolt EV and had very similar experiences. As fun and cool as Tesla's are, they will never be a "solid" car you can trust as a hand-me down. It felt like such a relief going back to a "normal" car. I no longer have to think about the ownership experience. It's all very intuitive, natural, and you know what your getting with GM or Toyota - a much more refined, boring, simple, solid assembly. Not some perpetual beta car aka Tesla....
 

rjpjnk

Member
Mar 12, 2021
518
270
NJ
Hi all, figured I’d provide my unsolicited rationale on what some will think is a controversial decision. I’ve owned 4 Teslas and truly appreciate Tesla’s tech and drive—it’s really unmatched. However, I dumped my ‘16 Model S (facelift) in favor of a Prius Prime. Here are my reasons:

- Prius Prime is actually a nice car. Build quality, driving dynamics, and practicality is impressive for the price.
- Speaking of price, Prius Primes are dirt cheap right now (tremendous incentives) and they qualify for the $4500 tax credit. You can get a prime for ~$20k.
...
Agreed. I also own a 2021 Prius Prime Limited. Super nice car. Comfortable and handles surprisingly well. Certainly no issues with body panel or paint. Lots of tech for the money too in the top level trim (Limited). I really like the BSM indicators in the side view mirrors and the HUD for speed and Nav. I plan to buy a MY soon, and I know I will miss these two basic features that the humble Prime gets so right. But after just 22 miles, the prime runs out of battery and the ICE fires up and I am always disappointed. Although it continues to get 50 MPG in hybrid mode, EV driving is just so much nicer.

If Toyota ever decides to build a BEV it will be a winner.
 

AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,527
3,896
Northern California
As for me, after four Teslas and a couple hundred thousand miles on them I wonder what "service" we're talking about. Personally I just adjust my own windshield wiper blades, so I don't need to go to the dealer. Maybe you folk are so used to taking your gas cars in for "service" that you just keep taking in your Teslas. Beats me.
I can’t remember which one of you it was, you or @Uncle Paul but I remember the claims of “never needing to visit service” made by one of you was proven false by someone who dug up posts of either yours or his talking about various service center visits to fix stuff.
You and him should really be banned for spread lies, but I guess it’s a Tesla specific forum so fanboys are welcome, regardless of how much they lies and try to deceive other members about their fantastic experience with the vehicle.
 

AMPd

Active Member
Nov 27, 2012
4,527
3,896
Northern California
Wait until your MCU doesn't startup every few times you get into the car, where you have to sit there for 10 minutes or more to reset it. During those 10 minutes you wonder if this is the day when it just won't come back - hopefully you're not in a rush to go anywhere. Then a door might spontaneously open on you while driving here or there. Then you take it in for service for the door opening and they say they cannot reproduce it and charge you $200 for diagnostics without a repro (even if under warranty), even though you managed to catch it on a cell phone video which you showed to service. Then you realize that your range has been cut with an over-the-air update, and your coolant pumps are now running 24/7 if you charge above 70%. When the main screen on a less than a year old car starts yellowing, you take it to service and they tell you that is your fault for exposing the car to oxygen and sunlight. Then the door handle comes out permanently, with the light always ON like a beacon in a parking lot, it stops working completely (have to open the door from the inside) but the door stops opening spontaneously on its own, so you consider the dead door handle as a good thing. Perhaps then you start thinking "I've had other brands of cars before for much longer that this Tesla and they never had these kinds of issues, even even in a Porsche door handle is cheaper to fix (were it to break) than a Tesla, while you get another Porsche to drive, rather than Uber credits which will not even take you home from the service center and back. And this is when your "aha!" moment comes, "Teslas are a dream to drive, but a pain in the ass to own". I bought 4 Model S's since 2013, I knew at first I was getting an early adopter product but service was stellar and I was willing to put up with it. I was somewhat surprised in 2017 that Tesla hasn't matured when I bought my wife a Model S and it required 4 service visits over the next 4 months to fix an issue found during delivery. But again, that was January 2017, service was still awesome (no Model 3/Y flood yet, always got a loaner, they bent over backwards to fix problems), though my wife did give me grief over a brand new, $100K car, with a frequent need for service.

I still got 2 Tesla cars. Cannot bring myself to buy another one (the latest S refresh helped with the yoke and the car guessing which way to go instead or Drive/Reverse/Neutral/Park stalk), but cannot find a substitute :( It's looking like Audi eTron GT or Taycan Cross Turismo might be the solution. More expensive to get similar performance (not the Plaid+, but I'm fine with 3s 0-60), but none of the Tesla headaches.
I know I’ve said this before but it’s worth saying again just to counter the few and we know who users who keep pushing the idea their cars never required service beyond consumables. Which is extremely hard to believe because the early model S’s had issues with drive units. All 3 of mine needed a new drive unit, a 13/14/15 all required a new drive unit. The first one I bought was around 13-14 a 2013 model that needed a new drive unit at 18k miles. The service at that time was amazing! And I mean amazing! I called my local service and spoke to a tech who ordered a new DU and I dropped the car off next day and a loaner was waiting. And like you I experienced fantastic service up until the model 3 hit the streets. After that it became more difficult to get an appointment time in a timely manner, and loaners we’re becoming scarce but they were able to get me an ice enterprise rental. Fast forward a year or two and even that was no longer an option, now it’s uber or kick rocks.
Uber is an absolute no go for my wife as we have two young kids in car seats, so she moved on.
If you asked me 5 years ago if I would ever move on from Tesla I’d say heck no, now? I’m trying my best to stick with Tesla but they’re doing everything in their power to make me move on. Everything from Uber credits to shady OTA updates that negatively alter your vehicle.
 

trm2

Active Member
Apr 3, 2016
1,066
1,657
CLE
I can’t remember which one of you it was, you or @Uncle Paul but I remember the claims of “never needing to visit service” made by one of you was proven false by someone who dug up posts of either yours or his talking about various service center visits to fix stuff.
You and him should really be banned for spread lies, but I guess it’s a Tesla specific forum so fanboys are welcome, regardless of how much they lies and try to deceive other members about their fantastic experience with the vehicle.
You mean something like this?

Some people are just unlucky. I had very little trouble with my 2012 Model S. 3 of the handles were replaced in the first few months, and then nothing. I had a bent frunk latch. Replaced. Everything was taken care of. I sold the car with 82+K miles on it at 3 years and bought a 90D. Have had it a year and a half. One squeak in the pano was fixed in the first month, then nothing. I have 38,000 on it.

I have also not taken my car in for "routine" maintenance. What is that?? Refill the windshield fluid? If something needs doing, the car will notify you on the dash. I called my service center about maybe needing to replace the 12 v. battery. They asked if I had a notice on the dash. Nope. They told me to wait. Way back when, Tesla's policy was, "there is no maintenance".

As for only being able to service your car at Tesla, that's goofy. A lot of things you can do yourself, including buying a new 12 v. battery on line and putting it in yourself. Tires are about half price if you buy them on line and have a local tire shop mount and balance them. My local body shop can do just about any body part replacement. Not Tesla.

I would never recommend that anyone buy an insurance package. Over time, they don't pay. I know, I know, people with years of taking care of gas cars can hardly do this, but it's OK when you get used to it.
 
  • Love
Reactions: AMPd

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,070
9,603
MI
As somebody who owns a Model S, PHEV Clarity, fiat 500e, 2005 prius with 300k miles, and 4 other cars I will have to say an EV is not the answer for everybody. At the moment a PHEV is the sweet spot in my opinion. You get the benefits of EV for short range around town driving when EVs perform best. Then you get a 40%+ efficiency engine for long trips giving you 500-600 miles of range and sub 5 minute fill ups.

Even with 300 miles of range I see the EV as an hassle for long trips.
The problem with hybrids is that many purchase them for the tax benefits but then just use them as a gas car which negates the pollution benefits of them.
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,070
9,603
MI
I know I’ve said this before but it’s worth saying again just to counter the few and we know who users who keep pushing the idea their cars never required service beyond consumables. Which is extremely hard to believe because the early model S’s had issues with drive units. All 3 of mine needed a new drive unit, a 13/14/15 all required a new drive unit. The first one I bought was around 13-14 a 2013 model that needed a new drive unit at 18k miles. The service at that time was amazing! And I mean amazing! I called my local service and spoke to a tech who ordered a new DU and I dropped the car off next day and a loaner was waiting. And like you I experienced fantastic service up until the model 3 hit the streets. After that it became more difficult to get an appointment time in a timely manner, and loaners we’re becoming scarce but they were able to get me an ice enterprise rental. Fast forward a year or two and even that was no longer an option, now it’s uber or kick rocks.
Uber is an absolute no go for my wife as we have two young kids in car seats, so she moved on.
If you asked me 5 years ago if I would ever move on from Tesla I’d say heck no, now? I’m trying my best to stick with Tesla but they’re doing everything in their power to make me move on. Everything from Uber credits to shady OTA updates that negatively alter your vehicle.

Is it really any different than the handful that keep posting about how bad their experiences are like a broken record on several different threads? Some are STILL posting here even after they no longer even own a Tesla nor any intention of owning one again.

Well I have had my Model S at the service center exactly one time just before my car reached 50k miles for the warranty expiration. About 3.5 years old at the time. And then it was for a windshield replacement. I wouldn’t have gone otherwise since it is a 2.5 hour trip one way. I had them lubricate the brakes too while I was there and bought the upgraded keyfobs.

I do have another service center appointment scheduled for next month for the MCU2 and FSD computer upgrade.

I have had service come to my house twice. Once when I first received the car to replace a seat (which was only for a small crease in the stitch, I didn’t expect a whole new seat) and once for the 12v battery which was due to a warning message. Car still drove fine. No handle failures as of yet. No headlight DRL failures as of yet. No drive motor failures as of yet.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DBO. and rjpjnk

rjpjnk

Member
Mar 12, 2021
518
270
NJ
The problem with hybrids is that many purchase them for the tax benefits but then just use them as a gas car which negates the pollution benefits of them.
I can only speak for the Prius as that is the only PHEV I've owned, but it is impossible to use it as a gas car. After the EV mode charge is used up it reverts to hybrid mode where it still relies on the battery which is charged during deceleration events such as braking and excess speed down hills.
 
  • Like
Reactions: InternetDude

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,070
9,603
MI
I can only speak for the Prius as that is the only PHEV I've owned, but it is impossible to use it as a gas car. After the EV mode charge is used up it reverts to hybrid mode where it still relies on the battery which is charged during deceleration events such as braking and excess speed down hills.

Don’t you have the option of only filling it with gas and never plugging it in?
 

essaunders

Member
Jun 6, 2012
144
50
Nashua NH area
when I was car shopping last year the 'final two' came down to a Prius Prime and a Model Y. we were replacing our aging gen 2 prius. While the prime is a very nice car, it was a 'down size' in almost every regard. less rear seat room. less luggage room etc. i'm really hoping I can test drive a Rav 4 Prime before I have to replace my '12 Leaf
 

rjpjnk

Member
Mar 12, 2021
518
270
NJ
Don’t you have the option of only filling it with gas and never plugging it in?
Yes, but in that case it runs as a traditional hybrid (battery used to store/recover excess kinetic energy during braking and costing). There is no option to run it as a purely gasoline vehicle.
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,070
9,603
MI
Yes, but in that case it runs as a traditional hybrid (battery used to store/recover excess kinetic energy during braking and costing). There is no option to run it as a purely gasoline vehicle.
Right. But my point is that running it this way, still pollutes quite a bit more than plugging it in. Essentially it is still running on 100% gas since it is using gas to charge the battery. Yes, you save some pollution from regen braking.
 

pkitch

Member
Mar 9, 2020
251
89
Atlanta
I have owned BMW's for 40 years and currently have a 2019 BMW640 GT, and a 2019 440IX coupe . While the Prius Prime materials may be less premium the overall fit, finish and construction is on par with the best of Germany. Tesla while having brilliant engineering is still catching up in consistent quality. Honestly the fit and finish is so bad on Tesla's it is really surprising. How can they make a technological masterpiece and not get the colors to match, or the doors to close or windows to seal or trim from falling off. It seems that would be the easy stuff.
I had a 2017 650ix which was probably the highest quality BMW interior but was not without faults. The last was a 2018 X5 PHEV (which is what sold me on the full electric experience) and had Sensatec interior (on a $67k vehicle) which I don't think compared well with my Tesla MYP. I would say it was possibly a bit more aesthetically pleasing, but the overall plastics, squeaks and creaks I think put it on par or possibly slightly worse than the Tesla.

On the MYP I had some panel gaps fixed post delivery (in fact the spoiler right now is lifting off again) but otherwise no issues at 9months in.

I think for sure the Tesla ownership is different, and if you want flawless fit and finish then this brand is not for you currently at least, but if you consider everything this company is doing for the betterment of us all then I think such minor 1st world issues pale into insignificance for me at least.
 
  • Like
Reactions: COS Blue

pkitch

Member
Mar 9, 2020
251
89
Atlanta
Right. But my point is that running it this way, still pollutes quite a bit more than plugging it in. Essentially it is still running on 100% gas since it is using gas to charge the battery. Yes, you save some pollution from regen braking.
I think it's a binary choice. If you're OK driving around spewing poisons and toxins into the atmosphere then the EV considerations are null, you should buy the best overall experience that fits your needs. Spewing 'less' poison isn't a good argument, and these smaller engines that work much harder IRL are much worse than their paper specifications.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top