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General Automotive General automotive discussion. This is intended to be a discussion about other not VW and Diesel cars you may have or interested in.

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Old August 12th, 2016, 04:32   #226
bhtooefr
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Gen 4's a lot better in quite a few regards...
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Originally Posted by JoshWagen View Post
-stealth mode below 10-15mph
My Gen 4 will very easily go into stealth mode at 40 mph, will sometimes do it on a level highway at 60 mph, and it'll even do it on downhills at as high as 73 mph.

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Originally Posted by JoshWagen View Post
-a$$ numbing seats
Mine could use more lumbar support, but other than that, I find the Gen 4's to be quite good. Not quite Volkswagen good, but good, and heavily bolstered. (I'll get to why that's important.)

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Originally Posted by JoshWagen View Post
-attempting to take off quickly from a stop and the traction control cutting all power. This issue bothered me a lot! I remember many times trying to pull out in traffic quickly and power cutting out - hopefully they re engineered this one for safety's sake.
Low rolling resistance tires are better nowadays, the traction control doesn't seem to be ridiculously aggressive, and there's now a traction control off button.

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Originally Posted by JoshWagen View Post
But after selling the car and getting a Jetta Sportwagen with a growing family, I realized just how much I missed having a "driver's car". By that I mean something that handles well, has some power/braking and feels connected to the road. I hadn't realized it, but the Prius had pretty much numbed me to the driving experience. And I totally get how some people could care less about a sporty car, but I can't see myself going back to a Prius.
Test drive a Gen 4 if you need to replace your SportWagen - I find that (compared to the couple of Gen 3s I've driven), they've greatly improved the steering feel and steering rack speed (and it's actually good in those regards), and the handling's actually fairly responsive. The vehicle actually likes to rotate more, the more you push it, interestingly.

Now, the braking still feels weird as it tries to figure out friction vs. regenerative braking, and it's not as direct as a manual transmission vehicle, but the powertrain is decently responsive in mine - I'd say that typically, if I put my foot down, there's less lag in getting the power than there is in an ALH with a VNT15. (And, it'll be more powerful than your Gen 2 was. Still, slower than a common rail TDI. Edmunds got 8.9 0-60 without rollout, 8.6 with, in a 2010 JSW DSG. Compare to 10.1 without, 9.8 with, traction control off, for a Prius Four Touring. Lower trims will be faster, especially Two Eco.)

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I've since come to the conclusion that biking/pedestrian centered life is central to sustaining the planet and our health, so I've made life decisions around that.
Yeah, that's ultimately the direction we need to go somehow...

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Originally Posted by EGK View Post
This comparison between the Prius and the TDI is a bit silly to me. You're comparing a gasoline-electric hybrid to a pure diesel. There is no technical reason you can't have a diesel-electric hybrid and get the sky high fuel economy that comes along with it. As far as I know only the only mass production diesel-electric hybrid was a Mercedes E class in Europe. There was talk of a TDI hybrid back in 2008 but I don't know if that went anywhere.
Sure, there's no technical reason why you can't do it, and there's diesel-electric hybrid buses allover the place, the aforementioned Mercedes, as well as a few Peugeot and CitroŽn diesel-electric hybrids (that didn't actually work well as I understand). However, there's various reasons why it doesn't happen in practice.

The first is simply... a diesel engine with all of its emissions controls (including, now, AdBlue) is expensive, difficult to package cleanly, and adds weight.. A hybrid is expensive, difficult to package cleanly, and adds weight. Now you have to pay both the hybrid and the diesel price premiums, package both ~1 kWh of battery and the urea tank, and deal with a rather heavy car.

Then, there's the benefit that the system provides, which is diminished with a diesel.

So, a hybrid system's first obvious benefit is that it can do regenerative braking, and then use that power to get off the line, and that is absolutely present on a diesel hybrid.

A hybrid system in the form of the Toyota/Ford system, or the GM 2-mode system, can also provide a very effective form of simulated CVT, with almost instant changes between ratios, more efficiency than a true CVT, and (at least in the case of the designs that Toyota and Ford use) better reliability than any other type of automatic transmission (I'd actually argue better reliability than a manual, too - nothing's designed to wear out in the Toyota and Ford systems), and better smoothness than anything else that isn't a CVT (no shift shock ever, it just gets to the perfect engine RPM for your power demand and stays there). That obviously helps a diesel, too. (Which is why there's a ton of buses running around with Cummins ISBs and GM 2-mode transmissions...)

However, neither of those are fundamentally rethinking the engine connected to the transmission, relative to the benefits the hybrid system gives.

Naturally aspirated gasoline engines tend to be lacking in low-end torque compared to turbodiesels of similar displacement... but the electric motor can help fill that in. On a diesel, you may well end up traction limited. (Granted, you can just use less diesel power, but high load at low RPM is the most efficient point usually, meaning you may have to avoid that most efficient point altogether, or not use electric during your acceleration, only cruise. On a diesel, not the end of the world, part-load efficiency is good too, but you're leaving some fuel economy on the table somewhere, most likely.)

This also leads into the Atkinson (or possibly more correctly, Miller - although that is usually used to refer to a supercharged motor with retarded intake timing) cycle combined with an increase in static compression, which greatly increases the thermal efficiency of the engine by getting more expansion out of each combustion event, without increasing actual compression and getting the thermal losses and detonation of that (because some of the excess air is getting pushed back out). For diesels it gets trickier to implement because the static compression needs to be extremely high, but it's relatively easy (especially with modern ECUs, to handle the intake reversion) to implement on a gasser. It does hurt low-end torque, though, which... that's what the electric motor is for. The upshot is that my Prius has a 40% thermally efficient engine (compare to 42.5% efficient for the ALH or the CBEA - and that CBEA figure is probably while cheating) in most operating regimes, with port injection, intake cam only (IIRC) VVT, (heavy) EGR, and a three-way cat. (There is also an exhaust heat exchanger, to speed warm-up.) So, the hybrid system enables gasoline engines with near-diesel efficiency to be used. And, with such an understressed engine (96 hp, 104 lb-ft, out of a 1.8 liter), it can be rather light, too.

Gasoline engines (that aren't set up for lean burn, anyway, and for emissions reasons that isn't a thing any more) tend to have very poor part-load efficiency. A hybrid system can prevent the gasoline engine from ever seeing partial load, by harvesting electricity off the engine if the power demand is lower than the minimum full-load power from the engine. Charge the battery, then once you're at a certain state of charge, shut down the engine and run on electric alone. Repeat as needed. A diesel doesn't get helped by this as much, because of the vastly improved part-load efficiency enabled by always lean burning. (This is also why downsizing and turbocharging gasoline engines is so popular now - the goal being to improve the range of efficiency. The problem with them is that, while at full no-boost load, or a little bit of boost, they're rather efficient (and they'll be there during a cruise usually), but to avoid detonation, they have to run very rich, and as a result are inefficient during acceleration. So, the range of efficiency isn't improved, it's just that the efficiency that's there is available only at part-load, not at full-load. And, this is also why Mazda has things like their wide-authority VVT system on gas engines - full-load is done at Otto cycle, but part-load is done in an Atkinson cycle, by retarding the intake cam on the fly - in the real world, that actually works rather well, because it's no worse than the old engines that it replaced at high power outputs (unlike turbo motors), but low loads are efficient too.)

Basically, you can do a diesel hybrid, but a couple of the effects that it has for making a gasoline engine operate more efficiently while being drivable don't apply to a diesel really, so you won't get the kind of gains that a gasser gets from it, and you get all of the drawbacks in cost, weight, and packaging. A diesel hybrid almost entirely helps you in the city, a gasser hybrid helps you everywhere relative to the base engine.

Another way to look at it is, rather than looking at things at a technical level, ignoring that you can't buy a new TDI... "I've got about $25-30k to spend, I want to get good mileage, what's the best way to do this?" A 2015 Golf or Jetta TDI, or a 2016 Prius will get the same ballpark of highway mileage, and once the TDI isn't cheating, the Prius will get better mileage most likely (but the Prius will do it on cheaper fuel), the Prius will get far better city mileage even with the TDI cheating, the Prius will have more space (more like the Jetta sedan, maybe even more than that), the Prius weighs less than either a Mk7 Golf TDI DSG (and most trims less than the manual) or a 2015 Jetta TDI (either transmission), and the Prius has a better transmission than the DSG (I'm not gonna say it's better than a manual, that's a preference). Oh, and the Prius is less likely to break in expensive ways...
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Old August 12th, 2016, 05:19   #227
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I have to admit having a little more fun in the BMW in City traffic than driving our 2010 Prius. More of 'I want to be there' and not having to plan it but point and go. <GRINS>

Bob Wilson
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Old August 12th, 2016, 05:45   #228
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Yeah, BEVs are nice like that, with their instant torque delivery.

A Prius can get you the supplementary electric torque instantly, but not the rest.
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Old August 21st, 2016, 11:53   #229
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By the way, I ended up writing a review of my Prius and posting it to Oppositelock: http://oppositelock.kinja.com/2016-t...iew-1785290150

Worth a read if you're at all interested in the car, although some of the comments have already been mentioned in this thread.
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Old January 29th, 2017, 18:42   #230
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There have been some changes. The BMW i3-REx has been and continues to be a lot of fun but Friday 4 PM, Dec 9, the transmission/motor mount bolt broke in 'rush hour' traffic. We were planning a 1,600 mile trip to Arizona. By the time the BMW got to the dealer, the trip window had closed.

During the two weeks of BMW i3-REx repair (all warranty,) I realized my plan to keep the backup 2010 Prius was fatally flawed. Dynamic cruise control and accident avoidance are a hard requirement and the 2010 Prius would never have that. Worse, first model year BMW i3-REx infantile problems; the repair delays and; cost of single-source, tires; the BMW i3-REx may not be an ideal car for fixed income, retirement.

So I sold the 2010 Prius, 73k miles, for $8k. Carmax only offered $6k and they would have turned around and sold it to someone else for $9-10k (if the usual suspects like Kelly, Edmunds and completed eBay sales are to be believed.) Regardless, the buyer got a Garmin nuvi, 1 1/4" receiver, attachments for a 1 kW 12V-to-120VAC inverter, good tires, full-size spare, dual-camera dash cam, three transaxle oil changes, and oil analysis. The car went to a good home for a fair price. The buyer drove home and got 54 MPG.

I replaced it with a 2017 Prius Prime Plus (lowest trim) for $28.5k and $4.5k Federal tax credit. Bought in North Kingstown RI, I drove it 1,200 miles, 55.7 MPG, using dynamic cruise control in 21 hours. I simply got behind a truck or SUV and let the Prime handle the speed control. Lane keep assist also bleeped if I got too close to the white lines. The Prime has a 22-25 mile electric range for around town. It is not a pocket rocket like the BMW but on the highway, it efficiently, comfortably gets us across long distances comfortably.

Understand I wish you' all the best of luck. Just one word of caution, there appears to be a persistent campaign by Ioniq fan-boys aimed at PriusChat.

Hopefully your moderators are putting the Ioniq fan-boys in a better corral. The Ioniq won't go on sale until April 2017 and their plug-in hybrid not until 6 to 12 months later. In the meanwhile, the Ioniq advocates are making themselves into proper 'Betaware' pests so I've started using personal filters to block the Ioniq-SPAM.

GOOD LUCK!
Bob Wilson
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Old January 31st, 2017, 11:47   #231
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Originally Posted by bwilson4web View Post
Hi,
An update, we still have our 2010 Prius but we gave our 2003 Prius to our housekeeper and replaced it with a 2014 BMW i3-REx:

Our housekeeper needed reliable transportation and at 172,000 miles, the 2003 Prius has many years of good service left. This BMW i3-REx coming off lease had 6,440 miles with manufacturer warranty to January 2019. Yet we still like the Prius and it is becoming a buyer's market.

The 2016 Prius are going through model-year change sales. In May, I was offered a Level 3 with the Toyota safety package, TSS-P, for $33k and as I walked out the door, $28.5k. But these prices bracketed the Ebay, completed sale, prices for 2014 BMW i3-REx coming off lease. I bought ours for $29.9k with BMW's safety package (collision avoidance braking, automatic cruise control, e.t.c.).

I bought the BMW via Ebay in Charlotte NC and drove it home via I40: 473 miles in 11 hours. I stopped at Biltmore Park for supper while the sun set and got a free charge but the rest was done on gas in 1 to 1.5 hour hops (it has a small tank.) Gas fill-ups were: Henderson NC; Biltmore Park (supper); Knoxville TN; Cleveland TN; Pittsburg TN (breakfast) and; Huntville AL. Knoxville-to-Cleveland measured 40 MPG @65 mph and Pittsburg-to-Huntsville 44 MPG @55 mph. Each stop added ~1.5 gallons for $3-5 and long enough for a potty break and fresh cup of coffee (or that warm brown liquid they call coffee.)

This is not a butt-buster, cross country car, as the maximum, practical long-range speed of 65 mph and with the small tank, the block-to-block speed would run about 50-55 mph. The top speed is 93 mph for a sprint drawing heavily on the battery but around town, it is awesome:


It has a 168 hp, rear-wheel drive, motor in a 2,900 lb carbon-fiber body on aluminum frame with 80 mile EV range. Charging at home, the BMW i3-REx runs about $0.25 per 10 miles (Huntsville utility rates.) In contrast, our 52 MPG, 2010 Prius runs about $0.37 per 10 miles (Huntsville regular gas prices.)

Best of all there are at least five, 'free' 240V @30A chargers that I use for brunch and after work beverages and take-out. As an experiment, I am finishing a week on 'free' chargers, over 300 miles, in my ordinary, daily driving. I'm driving around town for a week for free.

The BMW i3-REx is not a "road warrior" for those who want butt and bladder busting, +70 mph, highway driving. It can do 1,000 miles in 24 hours as I've already done in both our 2003 and 2010 Prius. Just BMW's 'briar patch' is city driving where the short wheel base, light weight, balanced weight, and high power really shine.

Bob Wilson

ps. If you can wait until September or later, the 2017, Level 2 ECO Prius with the Toyota safety package, TSS-P, will be a great ride with road-warrior capability.
Hey Bob
Thanks for the unbiased and straight forward review.
I keep EV in my mirror for potential future purchase, but the biggest limiting factor is the highway /distance driving as per how you highlighted with the I3

I'm curious to hear more about the city driving? Such as mpgs, braking feel, etc. Also, I know that you live in the hsv area, but how's the I3 in the snow?
I guessing it can't be the worst in the snow even though it's RWD, doesn't it have an lsd and the batteries over or near the drive tires?

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Old February 1st, 2017, 04:27   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwilson4web View Post
Just one word of caution, there appears to be a persistent campaign by Ioniq fan-boys aimed at PriusChat.

Hopefully your moderators are putting the Ioniq fan-boys in a better corral. The Ioniq won't go on sale until April 2017 and their plug-in hybrid not until 6 to 12 months later. In the meanwhile, the Ioniq advocates are making themselves into proper 'Betaware' pests so I've started using personal filters to block the Ioniq-SPAM.
I haven't seen many people talking about the Ioniq here, that much. (That said, I don't find the Ioniq fans on PriusChat annoying...)

However, all signs are that the Ioniq will actually come to the US, whereas in the diesel community, many manufacturers have announced diesel products, and not shipped them... to the point that we have the mantra that it doesn't exist until it's on dealer lots.

Unless, that is, it's the Mazda SkyActiv-D, which Mazda's been teasing the American diesel community with for 6 years now. A lot of people here are convinced that it's not coming, but...
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Old February 10th, 2017, 01:35   #233
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Originally Posted by sandmansans View Post
. . .
I keep EV in my mirror for potential future purchase, but the biggest limiting factor is the highway /distance driving as per how you highlighted with the I3

I'm curious to hear more about the city driving? Such as mpgs, braking feel, etc. Also, I know that you live in the hsv area, but how's the I3 in the snow?
I guessing it can't be the worst in the snow even though it's RWD, doesn't it have an lsd and the batteries over or near the drive tires?
. . .
Hi,

Well there have been some changes. A motor mount bolt broke on the BMW i3-REx. During repair, the 2010 Prius, my backup car, was replaced by a 2017 Prius Prime Plus (bottom trim.)

On Friday Dec 9 at 4 PM, the driver side, motor mount broke in traffic which aborted a planned, 1600 mi trip to Arizona. It took two weeks of warranty repair that replaced the ~1/2" fractured bolt with ~3/4" bolt and new mount hardware. The 2014 BMW i3-REx is the first model year of a new design so such things happen but it was out of service for two weeks and I had to use my fall-back, a 2016 Prius.

Over lunch, I test drove a Prius Prime Premium (middle trim) but it was not EV charged. I asked that it get charged for a second test drive. The next morning, the sales critter called,"I'm sorry Mr. Wilson but we sold that ($29.5k) . . . but we can get you another one for $36k." . . .

Within 24 hours, I found a Prius Prime Plus for $28.5k in Rhode Island and put a $500 deposit to hold it. I bought it Dec 28 and drove it 1200 miles home, 65-75 mph using dynamic cruise control, 21 hours, 55.7 MPG. The first tank, 600 miles. Second tank to fuel exhaustion, 699 miles, 11.4 gallons without EV miles. It has a 25 mile, EV range.

The first week of February, I drove the Prime in pure EV for 7 days, 301 miles. My work commute is 9 miles so at lunch time, I drove to free chargers within a mile from work and during an hour added 10 miles, completely covering the morning commute and trip to the charger.

I would leave work with 97-98% of the EV range on the car and drive to shopping centers with free chargers, ~6 miles from work, free EV miles. Then drive home with groceries, shirts, meds, or an after hour beverage. My EV cost for the day was ~6 mi, EV drive home.

This strategy works because of the placement of free chargers in Huntsville AL, the Prius Prime 25 mile EV range, and earlier practice using our BMW i3-REx. Another area, another plug-in car, and it might not work. Just I'm lucky in this case.

Both the Prius Prime and BMW i3-REx have:
  • dynamic cruise control and accident avoidance
  • 25 mi and 72 mi EV range
  • 55 MPG and 40 MPG highway mileage
  • Toyota reliability and history versus new to BMW technology
The Prius Prime means our BMW i3-REx manufacturer warranty will likely reach January 2019 because it won't get as many miles per month as before. Unlike the single-source, $130-160 each BMW i3 tires, the Prius Prime uses ordinary 15" tires from multiple vendors, $60-70 each. Each car backs up the other and the BMW i3-REx has the 2" receiver to carry my wife's wheelchair.

At age 67, I'm headed towards reduced, fixed, retirement income. Either car will keep fuel costs in control. But maintenance remains a concern and this particular BMW i3-REx has taught lessons.

Bob Wilson

ps. We had a recent discussion by Volt fan-boys about range and efficiency. To clear things up, I made this chart:
  • That is a log scale for miles so we can see the fine detail as well as the car range.
  • Volt has a 30-90 mile 'ring' where it out performs the Prius Prime
  • The Volt 'ring' does not exist for the BMW i3-REx
  • In range order, shortest to longest: BMW i3-REx, Volt, Prius Prime
Every buyer should look at their requirements and choose the ride that best meets their expectations. I'm happy with my BMW i3-REx and Prius Prime.

Last edited by bwilson4web; February 10th, 2017 at 01:55.
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Old February 10th, 2017, 05:40   #234
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Great stats, Bob; especially 700 miles on 11.4 gallons of gas!
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Old February 10th, 2017, 19:25   #235
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Originally Posted by bwilson4web View Post
Hi,

Well there have been some changes. A motor mount bolt broke on the BMW i3-REx. During repair, the 2010 Prius, my backup car, was replaced by a 2017 Prius Prime Plus (bottom trim.)

On Friday Dec 9 at 4 PM, the driver side, motor mount broke in traffic which aborted a planned, 1600 mi trip to Arizona. It took two weeks of warranty repair that replaced the ~1/2" fractured bolt with ~3/4" bolt and new mount hardware. The 2014 BMW i3-REx is the first model year of a new design so such things happen but it was out of service for two weeks and I had to use my fall-back, a 2016 Prius.

Over lunch, I test drove a Prius Prime Premium (middle trim) but it was not EV charged. I asked that it get charged for a second test drive. The next morning, the sales critter called,"I'm sorry Mr. Wilson but we sold that ($29.5k) . . . but we can get you another one for $36k." . . .

Within 24 hours, I found a Prius Prime Plus for $28.5k in Rhode Island and put a $500 deposit to hold it. I bought it Dec 28 and drove it 1200 miles home, 65-75 mph using dynamic cruise control, 21 hours, 55.7 MPG. The first tank, 600 miles. Second tank to fuel exhaustion, 699 miles, 11.4 gallons without EV miles. It has a 25 mile, EV range.

The first week of February, I drove the Prime in pure EV for 7 days, 301 miles. My work commute is 9 miles so at lunch time, I drove to free chargers within a mile from work and during an hour added 10 miles, completely covering the morning commute and trip to the charger.

I would leave work with 97-98% of the EV range on the car and drive to shopping centers with free chargers, ~6 miles from work, free EV miles. Then drive home with groceries, shirts, meds, or an after hour beverage. My EV cost for the day was ~6 mi, EV drive home.

This strategy works because of the placement of free chargers in Huntsville AL, the Prius Prime 25 mile EV range, and earlier practice using our BMW i3-REx. Another area, another plug-in car, and it might not work. Just I'm lucky in this case.

Both the Prius Prime and BMW i3-REx have:
  • dynamic cruise control and accident avoidance
  • 25 mi and 72 mi EV range
  • 55 MPG and 40 MPG highway mileage
  • Toyota reliability and history versus new to BMW technology
The Prius Prime means our BMW i3-REx manufacturer warranty will likely reach January 2019 because it won't get as many miles per month as before. Unlike the single-source, $130-160 each BMW i3 tires, the Prius Prime uses ordinary 15" tires from multiple vendors, $60-70 each. Each car backs up the other and the BMW i3-REx has the 2" receiver to carry my wife's wheelchair.

At age 67, I'm headed towards reduced, fixed, retirement income. Either car will keep fuel costs in control. But maintenance remains a concern and this particular BMW i3-REx has taught lessons.

Bob Wilson

ps. We had a recent discussion by Volt fan-boys about range and efficiency. To clear things up, I made this chart:
  • That is a log scale for miles so we can see the fine detail as well as the car range.
  • Volt has a 30-90 mile 'ring' where it out performs the Prius Prime
  • The Volt 'ring' does not exist for the BMW i3-REx
  • In range order, shortest to longest: BMW i3-REx, Volt, Prius Prime
Every buyer should look at their requirements and choose the ride that best meets their expectations. I'm happy with my BMW i3-REx and Prius Prime.
Awesome chart and impressive drive on that prius prime.

Just a thought, but I've wondered about this. Being that EV produced a lot of torque very fast, do you think that leads to parts breaking due to stress?

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Old March 14th, 2019, 11:30   #236
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An update, I'm trading-in our last, Prius, a Prius Prime plug-in:


Never having done a test drive, the car comes with a seven day, 1,000 mile, return policy. I've already planned test drives that will cover 650 miles in 2-3 days.

I'm keeping our BMW i3-REx as backup for our ordered, Standard Range Model 3 Tesla.

GOOD LUCK!
Bob Wilson
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Old March 14th, 2019, 16:37   #237
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Aye. Now *that* is an upgrade. The availability of the standard model tipped the balance?

(Personally I'd skip autopilot and get the premium interior, but that's just me ... and it would have to be a long-range. At least Tesla gives you a choice in the matter)
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Old March 14th, 2019, 17:58   #238
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Attaboy, Bob!
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Old March 14th, 2019, 18:38   #239
gulfcoastguy
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My niece had this Prius Prime for a month and a half. A drunk driver in a 4 door pickup rear ended iWell it seems that this forum is not picture friendly. Any how it is the same color as the one shown and is crushed all the way to the back of the drivers seat.

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Old March 14th, 2019, 18:44   #240
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