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Why I gave up and bought a Prius Prime

Seamless

Member
Jul 2, 2017
28
88
Western Mass
I bought into, and still believe in, the promise of a Tesla for the masses. And me, I'm the masses. I really, really want an electric car. A 35k Tesla is just (barely) within reason for my finances. The other electrics don't appeal like a Tesla. Not at all.

But then my '04 Prius, best car I've ever owned, started calling for maintenance I wasn't willing to invest in at 172k.

And the math, it just doesn't lie. The farther away the ever-receding Tesla delivery date, the less rebate there will be. Put with that the fact that, after rebates and Toyota's aggressive moves to get rid of 2017 cars, the cost of my new Prius Prime got down to $16k. So we're talking probably $10-15k less than the M3. That is one major chunk of change to a lot of people, including me.

The EV mode range of the Prime is nothing major. But the overall mileage with regular charging becomes ridiculously high. It became really hard to justify waiting around for a Tesla. $10-15k will buy an awful lot of other things. Heck, maybe I'll finally get that vintage Gretsch guitar AND a car.

Thing is, the Prius Prime, which clearly has Tesla nods all over the place, is a really great car. It's some stiff competition for the ecology-minded buyer without a trust fund. Tesla is going to have more competition than it thinks.

I hope, like crazy, that by the time I'm ready to relinquish the Prius Prime, there's a Tesla that fits my needs and my budget. Because I'll still be rooting for it, and hoping there's one with my name on it. And I hope all of you who are waiting are rewarded in a big way when you finally get an M3. I'll be jealous.
 

outdoors

Always roaming
Aug 10, 2014
1,635
2,788
in the moment
I wonder what car will be around in 2032 when you are ready for your next one. Will we be driving? Teleporting? Or Hyperlooping?

My dad did something similar to you. Drove his Prius into the ground got over 200k. Exact amount escapes me. I offered my reservation. He declined. Really didn't want to spend the more money on something when he says his already "works". Then he got a new one with those lightsaber tail lights.

Very wise monetary decision, because you are at peace with it I would say.

Just did a meetup with several non owners reservation holders on Thursday. Many drove the Prius. Many looked with eyes openo_O and that famous Tesla grin. One observation was that the grin went away when they walked back to their Prius. I get the extra 10-15k. Grins might not be worth that much to you.

Safe driving.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
2,825
2,735
Austin
I can fully empathize with that and was in a similar position just after the reveal.
When we stood in line, we were thinking a $35K with no frills type of car, cloth seats etc.
But as time passed it became obvious to both of us that the car we really wanted was pushing us to the Long Range.
So we made the mental shift over a year ago so that when the invite did arrive we were ready for it.
After driving my LEAF for almost four years, I don't have it in me to buy an ICE.
 

BOBEDIGITL

Member
Apr 8, 2016
368
188
Los Angeles
I bought into, and still believe in, the promise of a Tesla for the masses. And me, I'm the masses. I really, really want an electric car. A 35k Tesla is just (barely) within reason for my finances. The other electrics don't appeal like a Tesla. Not at all.

But then my '04 Prius, best car I've ever owned, started calling for maintenance I wasn't willing to invest in at 172k.

And the math, it just doesn't lie. The farther away the ever-receding Tesla delivery date, the less rebate there will be. Put with that the fact that, after rebates and Toyota's aggressive moves to get rid of 2017 cars, the cost of my new Prius Prime got down to $16k. So we're talking probably $10-15k less than the M3. That is one major chunk of change to a lot of people, including me.

The EV mode range of the Prime is nothing major. But the overall mileage with regular charging becomes ridiculously high. It became really hard to justify waiting around for a Tesla. $10-15k will buy an awful lot of other things. Heck, maybe I'll finally get that vintage Gretsch guitar AND a car.

Thing is, the Prius Prime, which clearly has Tesla nods all over the place, is a really great car. It's some stiff competition for the ecology-minded buyer without a trust fund. Tesla is going to have more competition than it thinks.

I hope, like crazy, that by the time I'm ready to relinquish the Prius Prime, there's a Tesla that fits my needs and my budget. Because I'll still be rooting for it, and hoping there's one with my name on it. And I hope all of you who are waiting are rewarded in a big way when you finally get an M3. I'll be jealous.

Congrats on the new car! I test drove the prime and it just wasn't for me. Even out here in SoCal, I don't see too many off those. Tons of Prii, not too many primes. Not all potential buyers model 3 buyers have trust funds my man. I'm a 31 year old who bought a home last year and have been saving up for this vehicle. So that blanket statement makes you sound a little salty. Great post without that one line. Either way, great news about your new vehicle. Cheers!!
 

novox77

1.21 Gigawatts
Nov 25, 2017
1,640
3,547
NH, MA
A friend of mine recently bought a Prius Prime. It's actually a really, really efficient car, particularly if your daily commute fits within the pure-battery-operation range of the car. And the mpg in hybrid mode is still really good. My friend is getting better efficiency than my Model S because he rarely triggers the gas engine (and my S is predominantly doing highway driving). And he also got his for really cheap.

It's definitely a really smart choice if being efficient and economical are top priorities. You sacrifice performance, but not everyone cares about that.
 

Krugerrand

Enough of the 🐩, back to 🐈‍⬛
Jul 13, 2012
11,076
56,781
Tesla friendly place
Thing is, the Prius Prime, which clearly has Tesla nods all over the place, is a really great car. It's some stiff competition for the ecology-minded buyer without a trust fund. Tesla is going to have more competition than it thinks.

It’s not competition of any kind ‘for Tesla’, even if Toyota decided to copy a feature here or there. Because as you just explained, the 3 was never in your budget to start. Even the base 3 wasn’t in your budget, you were depending on rebates and tax credits to make it an affordable ‘purchase price’. So different market segment. All good, just don’t be confused about what is/may be competition. The PP is not and neither is anything else currently on the market.

Enjoy your new car!
 

ACA Man

Member
Jul 19, 2017
714
489
Rancho Cucamonga
A friend of mine recently bought a Prius Prime. It's actually a really, really efficient car, particularly if your daily commute fits within the pure-battery-operation range of the car. And the mpg in hybrid mode is still really good. My friend is getting better efficiency than my Model S because he rarely triggers the gas engine (and my S is predominantly doing highway driving). And he also got his for really cheap.

It's definitely a really smart choice if being efficient and economical are top priorities. You sacrifice performance, but not everyone cares about that.
Well said.
 

No2DinosaurFuel

Active Member
Apr 16, 2015
1,392
732
San Diego, California
Let's be honest here if saving is the ultimate goal then getting a reliable used ice car would be the best option if your current Prius is not to a point where it is costing more to maintain then buying new. Otherwise fix the Prius and keep driving it.

So the best way to save even more doe:
1) keep using your current car and just fix it up.

2) buy used cheap reliable car

3) buy Prius or some other cheap hybrid or EV

4) buy other reliable cheap low maintenance low fuel cost ICE

5) buy tesla or expensive ev.

So to me you chose the middle ground so you get some things like driving new car and such.

The argument is can be the same if someone came to you and said, "looking at all those Prius prime buyer, I walked to my used working Prius and smile, imagining the 5-10K I saved by keep using my old car instead of buying the new Prius prime.

Ultimately you need to ask yourself if what you get is better than what you give up. In this case the 49K for the model 3 and you gain the car which provides you transportation with the EV experience. For some it is not worth it, for others it is totally. For you it is not worth it even for the 35K or 27.5K with the tax break.
 
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insaneoctane

Active Member
Apr 6, 2016
3,538
6,793
Southern California
I completely understand the OPs choice. If I couldn't get a base M3 or Bolt full BEV, I would consider a hybrid. But, with the advent of the Bolt and SR M3 combined with tax credits and state rebates, BEV plays better, theoretically, to simplicity IMO. I have a bit of an issue with hybrids having both BEV and ICE internals and therefore maintenance and replacement schedules for both. Again, I am operating in the theoretical realm, so with BEV being fairly immature, I am sure that there are practical arguments to the reality of what I am saying. Nonetheless, I am choosing BEV for both the future win and today's win and letting emotions like impatience and desire drive me to just get the first production M3 knowing that about 70% of the purchase is very well justified ...
 
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Seamless

Member
Jul 2, 2017
28
88
Western Mass
Interesting lot of opinions! I really appreciate it.

Two things to clarify: I was being a bit silly about trust funds. I'm a writer, and I went to school with a bunch of legit trust funders, who were often very nice people, but also often mystified by the spendthrift behavior of the rest of us. But without context, that probably sounds a bit sour! Didn't mean it to be.

Secondly -- truth is I actually can afford a Tesla. At this point, even without rebates, thanks to a nice change in salary. But I got in that position by being wise with what little I used to have. $15,000 is something I see as a whole lot of potential. I generally don't spend big unless I find really compelling reason to do so -- I asked myself what I would gain in spending more on a car, and the answers weren't compelling enough. It is indeed an expensive smile! But I hope that in a few years, when Tesla is making something yet more insane, I'll find the transaction one I'm up for.

A Prius Prime is not a Tesla. That is true. But the main driver for me in having an EV or hybrid is what I'm doing for the environment. A Prius Prime is also, from behind the wheel, not nearly so sluggish, lame, or ugly as they may appear from the cockpit of a Tesla! :) I'm enjoying it immensely.

And the toast is delicious!
 

McRat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
5,771
5,414
LA
The Prime is the true classic Prius. Small electric motor, bigger gas motor. Just enough battery to get the HOV sticker. Just enough electric motor to pass some of the EV tests on electricity.

If you were looking to finding out about the EV lifestyle, but were on a budget, and didn't want range anxiety, you should have opted for the Volt instead. When you floor it at 85mph it runs at full rated power (actually 9kW higher than advertised) on battery alone.
You need to either run out of battery completely, or manually switch it to Hybrid mode to get the gas engine to run in normal driving.

If you were just looking to save the environment and your commute is under 150 miles a day, the Volt is greener. Ignore the quicker, and better handling, it's more EcoFriendly for most drivers.
 

Fusion

Member
Apr 13, 2016
682
487
San Francisco
The Prime is the true classic Prius. Small electric motor, bigger gas motor. Just enough battery to get the HOV sticker. Just enough electric motor to pass some of the EV tests on electricity.

If you were looking to finding out about the EV lifestyle, but were on a budget, and didn't want range anxiety, you should have opted for the Volt instead. When you floor it at 85mph it runs at full rated power (actually 9kW higher than advertised) on battery alone.
You need to either run out of battery completely, or manually switch it to Hybrid mode to get the gas engine to run in normal driving.

If you were just looking to save the environment and your commute is under 150 miles a day, the Volt is greener. Ignore the quicker, and better handling, it's more EcoFriendly for most drivers.

I agree.. the Volt is more like driving a regular car. Problem with the Prius is it has trouble keeping highway speed limits without having to push the gas pedal more. Most people hate it when a Prius drives so slow. It's not their fault, the car is SLOW. (not making excuses for the ones that wanna get max fuel economy in the fast lane) If you driven one. If you are on the highway, you are at speed, once you hit a slight incline. The car slows down and to bring it back up to speed is slow like molasses.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,342
15,251
New Mexico
A Prius Prime is not a Tesla. That is true. But the main driver for me in having an EV or hybrid is what I'm doing for the environment.
I share your sentiments and outlook, but I have been waiting a long time for a Tesla and I'm going to spend the money.
The simple truth though is that in terms of green-ness per dollar there are much better choices than a Tesla.
WHaaaat ?! say my fellow Model 3 wannabees. How is that even possible ?

The short answer is that the money saved on the difference in car prices spent on PV makes the comparison lopsided.
$15k dollars can generate around 15 MWh for 30 years, so 450 MWh
450 MWh can displace about 450,000 Kg of CO2 from coal combustion
At 10 Kg CO2 per gallon, that is 45,000 gallons of petrol. Say 2.5M gas miles ?

That is the closest a Tesla vs a Prime+PV gets. If criteria pollutants are considered the comparison is embarrassing.
 
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