Jun 16

What Make More Sense – Chevrolet Volt or Toyota Prius Prime?

 

Need I ask? …

The Chevy Volt is America’s best-selling plug-in gas-electric car but as sales this year of Toyota’s new Prius Prime are improving, which would make better sense for you?

If that most-telling measure – consumer purchases – is any indicator, the Volt is still ahead in the U.S. plug-in hybrid popularity contest, but not by much. Through May the Volt has 9,187 sales to the second-place Prime’s 8,073. The Prime has led by slim margins the last couple of months and this spring was just being introduced to dealers, though Toyota says it’s now available nationwide.

Aside from sales, there are of course other meaningful measures of relative value to compare the U.S. built “extended range EV” to the Japanese-imported plug-in hybrid. To explore these, we’ll highlight some of the key factors.

The World’s Only Gen-2 Plug-ins

Plug-in electrified vehicles are relatively new, and the Volt was the first to receive a full redesign in 2016 following its origination in 2011. On its heels came the 2017 Prius Prime – renamed from “Prius Plug-in Hybrid” which had been released as a mid-cycle variant in 2012 of the 2010-2015-era Prius Liftback.

Both are purpose-built electrified vehicles, and not modified versions of conventional petroleum-powered models, distinguishing them from several other plug-in hybrids in their competitive set – though others. such as Hyundai’s Ioniq PHEV, are on their way.

Plug-in Hybrids

For those who still think the Volt is a series hybrid whose gas engine does nothing but generate electricity, that was not completely true for gen-1, and is not the case at all for gen-2. In updating the Volt, GM modified the powertrain architecture so as to make it suitable as gene stock for future hybrids and plug-in hybrids, but its “extended-range electric” operation remains.

Significantly, the Volt will accept full acceleration without kicking its gas engine on for backup power all the way to its 102 mph top speed. The Prius Prime also has been given something similar. With a fully charged battery, it defaults to EV mode and will stay in EV mode without turning the engine on at full throttle up to 84 mph.

All-Electric Range

Arguably the biggest reason why anyone buys a plug-in hybrid over a conventional hybrid is its ability to drive in EV mode. The idea is to bridge the benefits of a pure EV without concern for “range anxiety.”

2017 Chevrolet Volt

If that’s your reason to buy one of these cars, you can stop right here and declare the Volt the winner. Its 53 miles of EV range is accomplished by a big – and more costly to produce – 18.4-kWh battery pack. The Prius Prime makes do with 8.8-kWh for 25 miles range.
Toyota points out that 50 percent of drivers’ daily traveling needs may be served by the range provided by its Prius with a plug, but the Volt is good for more than 75 percent of drivers.

The key question for a prospective buyer is whether 25 miles is enough to satisfy you, or would 53 be so much better? If you’ve never driven a plug-in hybrid, we’ll hint the EV experience is addictive and many a PHEV driver does wish for more electric range.

MPGe

“Miles per gallon equivalent” (MPGe) is the EPA’s virtual measure of efficiency with electric power, and the Prius Prime is astonishingly efficient with 133 MPGe in EV mode, versus the Volt’s 106 MPGe.

Another way to slice this is the Prime is rated 25 kWh/100 miles, and the Volt is rated 31 kWh/100 miles.

MPG

Though the Volt is dominant in all-electric range, a layer of complication comes in when assessing mpg in gas-burning hybrid mode. With either car, eventually, the reality of gasoline burning returns when the battery is depleted, and here the Volt looks less impressive.

2017 Chevrolet Volt

Specifically, it’s rated 42 mpg combined, and the Prius Prime is rated 54 mpg – midway between the 52 mpg Prius Liftback its based on, and the ultra-efficient 56 mpg Prius Two Eco.

SEE ALSO: Five Ways Toyota Updated Its 2017 Prius ‘Prime’ Plug-in Hybrid

That’s superb efficiency, and Toyota’s engineers placed a priority on actually improving mpg while GM cut back on what is possible. This is shown by the larger, more powerful Malibu Hybrid, which uses a Volt-based powertrain, yet gets 46 mpg.

A Volt that got closer to 50 mpg would be nice, but if you stay in EV mode, its 42 mpg rating becomes less relevant. Even on drives past the battery power’s range, the Volt retains an advantage in total energy consumption, but after a point the Prius matches it, and surpasses it.

Long drives well over 100 miles will see the Prime doing better, but as observed above, many drivers don’t do that kind of distance except occasionally.

Total Energy Costs

According to the very standardized metrics of the EPA, the Prius Prime saves $4,250 over five years compared to a 26 mpg car, which is average for 2017. The Volt saves $3,750 over five years, so the feds declare the Toyota cheaper to operate.

These measures go out the window however depending on how much EV driving one does, what you pay for electricity (if anything, if you happen to have solar), what gas costs in your area, and otherwise how aggressively or carefully you drive.

With more than double the EV range, the Volt stands to beat the averaged numbers of the EPA, but again, this question is answered on a case by case basis.

Functionality

Unlike the Prius Liftback, Toyota chose to make the Prime a four-passenger car. Its rear seat area is divided like the gen-1 Volt’s back seat was and this is ironic. GM caught flak for the lack of rear middle seat space and in response gave gen-2 a compromised rear middle “seating position” in which a child (or child seat) can fit.

Toyota seemed to take a step backwards, but realistically, the compromise is not that great. For one, the rear leg room for the right and left passengers is greater for the midsized Toyota than the compact Chevy. An adult can fit on the Volt’s middle hump perch but it is definitely the “cheap seat.”

Beyond this, both cars are well-equipped with roomy front seat space. Being hatchbacks, they can cram in a lot of stuff, but the Prime is larger. Interior cargo volume is 19.8 cubic feet next to the Volt’s 10.6 cubic feet.

Other meaningful measures are Prime’s EPA passenger volume measures to 91.5 cubic feet, compared to the Volt’s 90.3 cubic feet.

Drive Experience

The 1.8-liter hybrid powertrain in the Prius Prime is good for 121 net system horses. The Volt’s 1.5-liter hybrid powertrain is rated 149 horses, and GM provides a torque figure of 294 pounds-feet.

Bottom line is the 3,543-pound curb weight Volt scoots from 0-30 in 2.6 short seconds, quicker than the 2.9-second Bolt EV, and makes it to 60 in an estimated 8.4. In its testing, Car & Driver pegged 0-30 in 2.5 seconds in either hybrid or electric mode. Zero-60 took 7.6 seconds in electric and 7.4 in hybrid, and the quarter mile was accomplished in 16.0@85 in electric, and 15.8@86 in hybrid.

For the 3,365-pound Prime, acceleration to 60 is comparable to the former Prius, or in the neighborhood of 10 seconds. The car is not sluggish, but it’s no hot hatch either. Car & Driver timed it to 30 in 3.5 seconds in electric mode, and 3 seconds in hybrid. To 60, it took 12.2 seconds in electric mode, and 10.2 seconds in hybrid. The quarter mile took 18.6 long seconds @72 slow miles per hour in electric mode, and 17.7 seconds @79 in hybrid mode.

While being quicker, note also how the Volt’s all-electric acceleration in EV mode and hybrid mode are more closely matched. A priority for GM was making the hybrid mode feel as close to EV mode as feasible so changeover from EV to hybrid mode is less perceptible.

The Prime on the other hand has bigger acceleration time gaps between electric and hybrid mode. This is because power in EV mode is lower in the car that’s less-powerful overall, and which has less than half the battery capacity for it to tap into.

In the corners the Volt was known since 2011 for being a step above the Prius, so for the updated Prius Liftback and Prius Prime, Toyota spent extra on an independent rear double-wishbone suspension. Combined that plus a stiffer Toyota New Global Architecture chassis for and it’s become the best handling Prius yet. Gone is the virtual hinge in the middle, and the vehicle is confidence inspiring through twisty bends.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Chevy Volt Review – Video

Same goes with the improved Volt, and combined with the peppier powertrain, the sporty factor is still a step above – Car & Driver measued roadholding on a 300-foot skidpad at 0.81g for Volt, 0.76g for Prime.

In our test drive on California’s Route 1 above San Francisco, the Volt proved reasonably tossable, and fun. The left-side regen paddle also makes things interesting, and works like an alternative brake, while feeding energy to the battery.

Style

Clearly the Prime is much better looking than the Volt, so this case is closed.

What? You disagree? If you do, you would not be alone, and seriously, scores of readers have found the looks of Toyota’s new Prius most incongruous, but to be fair others like it.

Obviously we were just kidding about the Volt, and it is actually a well-proportioned car intended to not stand out as any kind of green car statement. In fact, its design language borrows elements from the Kia Forte, Honda Civic, and a whole lot from the Chevy Cruze.

The Prime, being the range topper in the Prius line, does get tweaks here and there and people have said it is net prettier than the Prius Liftback non-plug-in.

And then again, if you are biased by a form-follows-function ethos, both wind-cheating, and energy conserving vehicles are quite attractive, and realistically, they tend to blend in on the road though between the two, the Prius does stand out more.

Inside, both cars are modern and functional, with amenities like heated seats and info screens that pair to your smartphone.

Recommended is a trip to the dealer to see for yourself.

Brand and Reliability

It’s little secret that Toyota enjoys greater brand credence than Chevrolet, but before anyone scoffs at the Volt, it has been a reliable car and its powertrain – the crown jewel of the vehicle – has proven excellent.

GM reports no batteries have had to be replaced under warranty due to range degradation out of more than 100,000 Volts sold and its ability to maintain range is aided by liquid cooling.

Chevrolet furthermore reports it has been stacking up awards and accolades in the past few years, and it’s determined to continue putting a shine or respectability on its brand image into the future.

Price

The Prius Prime comes in three trims, Prime Plus ($27,985), Prime Premium ($29,685), and Prime Advanced ($33,985) – all including an $885 destination fee.

The Volt comes in two trims, the LT ($33,995), and Premier ($38,345) – including an $825 destination fee.

Looking at entry level, the Prime, which is perched midway in the price range of the non-plug-in Liftback, is eligible for a $4,500 federal tax credit, and potential state incentives as the case may be. The Volt is eligible for a $7,500 federal credit – so it stands to halve the $6,010 difference in sticker prices between the less-expensive Prime and itself. Assuming federal credit, the Volt nets to $26,495 and the Prime nets to $23,485.

That $23,485 by the way is $875 below the price of the base Prius One Liftback which stickers for $24,360 with destination. This helps explain in part why the Prime has sold so much better than the more costly, snd shorter range former plug-in Prius. If it does much better, it could also in the next seven months close the 1,114 unit sales lead the Volt has through May and if it does, it could finish the year as America’s best selling plug-in hybrid.

Wild card issues could include potential state incentives, and what you can actually get one of these beauties for at the dealer – i.e., are they willing to cut the price? By how much?

Combine that with the sum total of what each car represents and you can decide for yourself which would makes better sense for you.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 16th, 2017 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

COMMENTS: 77


  1. 1
    Mark Z

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (7:41 am)

    Great comparison with added humor to tweak the lemmings. Well done!

    We can give thanks to GM for inventing the plug-in and hybrid technology that saves fuel by not using gas at all. GM gives the Volt a 100% all electric vehicle experience until the battery needs charging. No compromise. I continue to be impressed with the quality, style and reliability that makes Volt the one to recommend to anyone who wants the fun and economy of all electric driving around town.

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    BAZINGA

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (8:01 am)

    In 10 months of ownership I have driven my 2017 Volt as my DD and rolled up over 72xx miles and have used about 6 QUARTS of gas. According to voltstats.net for Von Zipper I’m operating my 2017 Volt 99.3% of the time off the battery. Putting it another way I have driven 50 miles on the ICE. Oh and not one issue requiring me to return to my dealer. It’s been PERFECT/FLAWLESS. But if I keep this up, I’m going to be forced in Aug to BURN off over 5 gallons of gas that have been wasting away since delivery.

    I’ve used 3 gallons of gas in my lawn mower this year. That is until I sold it two weeks ago and replaced it with an EGO 21″ Self-Propelled electric mower.

    Tom

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  3. 3
    Loboc

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (8:13 am)

    Here is a stat never mentioned:

    How many Volts have been traded for a Prime?

    How many Primes have been traded for a Volt?

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  4. 4
    Nelson

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (8:32 am)

    The best way for a potential buyer to answer this question is to take test drives.
    If you’re one who can’t walk away from a sales person and ends up buying the first car you drive, test drive a Volt first. 🙂

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671

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  5. 5
    john1701a

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (8:46 am)

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  6. 6
    James

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (8:47 am)

    53 Miles Of Electric bliss = Volt

    Seats 3 in back seat albeit cramped – more literally 2 1/2 in back – center best for kids = Volt

    Dealer markdowns + various state incentives make price closer = Volt

    Full 50 state availability now = Volt

    Apple Carplay and Android Auto = Volt

    Appearance of an attractive automobile = Volt

    Logical center touchscreen without lag or confusing graphics = Volt

    Far more attractive interior without scads of fingerprint magnet glossy plastic = Volt

    No gloss white plastic anywhere inside = Volt

    Handles better than Prime even with a twist beam rear axle vs. Prime’s new IRS = Volt

    Better for persons traveling 100 – 150 miles per day vs. Prime best for travelling salespeople = Volt

    17″ wheels look less cartoony than Prime’s go kart wheel-tire size

    Reliability and quality = Tie

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————

    OK, now you the consumer go make your Thomas Jefferson list and tell me which one wins for you.

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  7. 7
    bro1999

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (8:48 am)

    What makes more CENTS? If someone drives less than 30 miles a day, the Prime probably does since its MPGe ratings are higher.

    What makes more (common) SENSE? The Volt hands down. It doesn’t look like a freakmobile, it has vastly superior EV range, better performance numbers and handling. And it has that 5th seatbelt, which Toyota chopped for cost/weight savings.

    The Prime is a good option for Prius lemmings that want to take baby steps towards owning a plug-in. Juts as long as they don’t test drive a Volt after getting their Prime, otherwise buyer’s remorse will set in. 😉

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  8. 8
    john1701a

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (8:56 am)

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  9. 9
    American First

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (9:19 am)

    In the financial aspect, the Chevy Volt is a much better deal than the Prius Prime, because the savings in the TCO of just a few years will pay off the purchase difference. Add the patriotic factor that the Chevy Volt is a U.S. product while the Prius Prime is a foreign product, and the Volt clearly wins.

    Poor “john1701a” who has been mistaken with his Toyota idolatry!

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  10. 10
    Kdawg

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (9:26 am)

    john1701a: the goal of replacing traditional vehicles.

    How many of these gassers have been traded in for a Prime?

    Toyota Corolla – 378,210/year sold
    Toyota 4Runner – 111,970/year sold
    Toyota Camry – 388,618/year sold
    Toyota Highlander – 191,379/year sold
    Toyota Rav4 – 352,154/year sold
    Toyota Sienna – 127,791/year sold
    Toyota Tacoma – 191,631/year sold
    Toyota Tundra – 115,489/year sold

    What plugins is Toyota offering to compete with these “traditional” vehicles?
    Why the slow/limited rollout of the PiP, and now the Prime?
    Why no BEV from Toyota?
    Why the hydrogen distraction called the Mirai?

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  11. 11
    Kdawg

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (9:29 am)

    john1701a: Toyota configured it to not only appeal to those looking to replace their aging Prius, but also those considering a Camry or Corolla.

    A Corolla costs $10K less than a Prime. Why would someone spend that much more for a car with less seats?

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  12. 12
    Steverino

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (9:40 am)

    I’m convinced Toyota hires blind designers so the designer won’t quit after being forced to make these hideous monstrosities.

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    john1701a

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (9:40 am)

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    BillR

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (10:01 am)

    john1701a:
    Same old rhetoric as the past.This is new:

    – Dynamic Radar Cruise
    – Pre-Collision Baking
    – Lane-Departure Detect with Assist
    – Automatic High-Beams

    All are standard, on the base model of Prime.

    Pre-Collision Baking…. Does the Prime include a Suzie Homemaker Oven?

    What will those geniuses over at Toyota think of next?

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  15. 15
    Kdawg

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (10:04 am)

    Steverino: I’m convinced Toyota hires blind designers so the designer won’t quit after being forced to make these hideous monstrosities.

    It was actually an over-correction. Toyota realized their designs were known for being bland/boring and CEO Toyoda wanted to change that. So he told his designers to change it up, and the result is something akin to when Homer was allowed to design a car.

    http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/toyota-president-declares-no-more-boring-cars

    Akio Toyoda has issued a companywide decree for “no more boring cars.”

    The idea would have been unthinkable at the world’s biggest automaker just a few years ago.

    F0r decades, design was r0utinely sacrificed at the hands 0f T0y0ta’s pr0ducti0n engineers, a c0terie revered internally as “pr0ducti0n g0ds” f0r their relentless pursuit 0f efficiency and the brutal vet0 p0wer they wielded 0ver any pr0duct fl0urish deemed t00 friv0l0us f0r the fact0ry.

    But T0y0da, in his own pursuit of sexy cars, has cut them down a n0tch.

    “Normally Toyota styling is not so sexy or three-dimensional. That’s because, I’m sorry to say, on the production engineering side, they do not take risks,” Katsumata said.

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  16. 16
    Loboc

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (10:10 am)

    john1701a: move away from GM’s own customers guzzling hasn’t begun.

    One word: Tundra V-8. Ok, that’s two words. Ya can’t say GM has guzzlers and not Toyota.

    My daughter loves hers, btw. She traded in a smaller Toyota truck. Apparently, the dealer can’t keep used trucks on the lot, so, they got her to trade early.

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  17. 17
    john1701a

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (10:31 am)

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    Kdawg

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (10:34 am)

    john1701a: how easy it would be for Toyota

    If ifs and ands were pots and pans

    “too little too late”

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  19. 19
    Sheldon

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (10:40 am)

    I have a gen2 Volt Premier with the safety paciages, and adaptive cruise control. But I think the Prius comes with these items as standard, which is really good deal.

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  20. 20
    Viking79

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (11:07 am)

    john1701a: I didn’t.

    What I have done is pointed out how well RAV4 HYBRID is selling and how easy it would be for Toyota to offer a PRIME model.

    We still wait for something in that category from GM.Their move to offer a diesel version of Equinox is a step in the wrong direction.

    Toyota’s Hybrid fleet has been shrinking in the US over the last two years, and given the decrease in Prius sales is more than the increase in Prime sales, my guess is nearly all the Prime buyers were in the market for 1 of 2 cars, the Prius or the Prius Prime.

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  21. 21
    john1701a

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (11:17 am)

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    Viking79

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (11:25 am)

    According to TrueCar, the Volt Premier is selling on average for about $34,000 ($4000 off) and the Prius Prime Advanced for about $33,000 ($800 off). This makes the decision a no brainer, because after rebates the better Volt will actually be cheaper.

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  23. 23
    Viking79

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (11:55 am)

    john1701a: That has nothing to do with when Prime is finally available in dealer inventory, when a customer can just purchase it off the lot rather than waiting several months for delivery.

    This is a looking forward design, one configured to withstand the loss of tax-credit subsidies.Note how low the MSRP is already.Volt is not positioned the same way.Next year when phaseout is triggered, the struggle to grow sales will become far more difficult.

    The short-sighted thinking is becoming a very real problem.

    Everything about the Prius Prime design screams how Toyota can get the most ZEV/CAFE credits for the least amount of money in a contracting hybrid market.

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  24. 24
    Eco_Turbo

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (1:08 pm)

    john1701a,

    So, you’re saying the only reason Volts aren’t traded for Primes is Primes aren’t available? ROFLMAO!

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  25. 25
    john1701a

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (1:29 pm)

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  26. 26
    Jackson

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (2:15 pm)

    The Prime is a lot better than we were expecting, but still not the best. It may even surpass sales of the Volt near-term, as pent-up demand for non-domestic plug-ins are satisfied; but then, like an entry-level drug, it will eventually bring drivers back for something stronger. At worst, they would pay $3000 more for twice as much range: and with experience, that will be seen as the bargain it is.

    I doubt Toyota will make many conquest sales, depending on it’s dyed-in-the-wool followers instead.

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  27. 27
    MnVikes

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (2:36 pm)

    john1701a:

    My average for the month right now is at 196 MPG.It’s taking forever just to use up the tank I filled 5 weeks ago.

    Well my Volt in MN has gone the last 8 weeks and only used 0.03 gallons for EMM.
    I have more EV miles than any other Minnesota Volt on Voltstats.net and the car has been great for 4 years.
    https://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/3384

    Just wish it was bigger 🙂

    It’s up to GM to make the next vehicle I want or I will look elsewhere.

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  28. 28
    crew

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (2:42 pm)

    A few quotes from Car and Driver in my favorite Chevy vs Ugly comparison:
    “For Uber duty, the Prius has the Volt licked. Everywhere else, the Volt is the clear winner…it’s a more mature plug-in hybrid and a more satisfying car.”

    RE the price advantage of the Prime vs Premier:
    “We’d be happy to pay the extra money for the Volt. It’s worth it.”

    And:
    “While the Prius Prime might not please those of us who love driving, Toyota’s reputation for reliability and the Prius Prime’s soothing driving experience will be compelling enough to win over fuel-obsessed buyers. Just don’t drive a Volt after signing the paperwork.”

    A particularly well stated Backfire comment to the article from a former Prius owner and current Volt owner that drove a Volt BEFORE signing the paperwork states in summary:
    “…Based on (personal observations of a Prius Four ’16 trade in for a Volt Premier ’17) it appears the Prius is the favorite, however it was the range, power and styling (in that order) that swayed me.”

    So, if you really think the Prime is the way to go, well then, go ahead and sooth yourself, you fuel-obsessed buyer you.

    The Volt is for the rest of us.

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    Mark Z

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (3:50 pm)

    Take a careful look at Jeff’s text for a disturbing Prime problem:

    “…30 in 3.5 seconds in electric mode, and 3 seconds in hybrid. To 60, it took 12.2 seconds in electric mode, and 10.2 seconds in hybrid.”

    What Prime drivers experience is inconsistency of operation. The driver must avoid performance for maximum economy. The slower electric only mode sends a message that you need to use gasoline for more enjoyment of the vehicle. In other words, electric mode is inferior, and as any Volt, Bolt or Tesla driver knows, that is the furthest from the truth when an EV is properly engineered.

    IMHO, Toyota creates a driving environment that traps the customer into bad karma against the superior BEV or Volt E-REV.

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (4:34 pm)

    john1701a: My average for the month right now is at 196 MPG.

    Lol. Peanuts. My best month in the last 2+years was 326.83mpg. And I’m driving a 4-year-old ELR! Spiritedly!

    200mpg is a minor accomplishment for a Volt. Many are in the several thousands mpg. 1128 out of 3074 are over 200mpg. LIFETIME!

    https://www.voltstats.net/

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (4:40 pm)

    john1701a: The question only applies to those who cross shop.There is a large chunk of the population who don’t.They shop within a brand.So, the comparison is a moot point.

    That’s how Prime really shines.Toyota configured it to not only appeal to those looking to replace their aging Prius, but also those considering a Camry or Corolla.That’s why the standout features… like the array of , the large touch-screen, and the dual-wave glass are exclusive to Prime.That is also why there isn’t a middle seat.Being unlike the other choices with a “step up” appeal, yet not compromising on price, is key.

    $27,100 for a MSRP of the base, with safety options that Volt doesn’t include, gives it great potential.There is no dependency on tax-credit subsidies.It is carefully configured to compete with the true competition… their own traditional cars choices, not other brands.

    You list the funky headlight design as a reason to buy over Volt? John, you’ve sunk to a new low!

    You list Prime’s odd design as a plus , and that it’s a Toyota ( which we know is BS since Toyota has lost it’s share of customers due to quality and safety boo boos ). The touchscreen you mention as a plus has been negged by nearly every reviewer on YouTube, with it’s confusing layout and graphics and laggy performance. You tout the omission of a 3rd seating position in back as a bonus..HAHAHA… and lastly, your price argument we hear at least twice per week – which is weak – because of the discounts being offered on Volt nationwide added to state incentives like no sales tax in my state for Volt.

    You also sound as if there is inventory available to purchase now – which we know is incorrect. Primes are special order still in my state and they don’t discount price.

    Why do you offer yourself up as Toyota’s sacrificial lamb here day after day?! Your arguments
    get weaker as time goes on.

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (4:41 pm)

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (5:03 pm)

    Kdawg: It was actually an over-correction.Toyota realized their designs were known for being bland/boring and CEO Toyoda wanted to change that.So he told his designers to change it up, and the result is something akin to when Homer was allowed to design a car.

    http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/toyota-president-declares-no-more-boring-cars

    Akio Toyoda has issued a companywide decree for “no more boring cars.”


    The idea would have been unthinkable at the world’s biggest automaker just a few years ago.

    But T0y0da, in his own pursuit of sexy cars, has cut them down a n0tch.

    “Normally Toyota styling is not so sexy or three-dimensional. That’s because, I’m sorry to say, on the production engineering side, they do not take risks,” Katsumata said.

    So true.

    One thing lost on many folks is just how long a development cycle the next iteration of a model takes in the auto biz. They started designing gen 2 Volt before the gen 1 went on sale. This is why some features seem a bit dated or old news is because both designers and engineers are working through a looking glass at trends to determine what will be hip and popular four to five years into the future. Design, clay mockup,wind tunnel, tooling, parts acquisition, safety testing and road testing takes years.

    This is why Toyota looked to declining sales of it’s top-selling Corolla and panics when Honda’s Civic eats it for lunch on dealership floors. The current Corolla touched off Akio’s demands for style when the Civic was outselling Corolla in several important markets. He sent his California design studio into emergency redo mode when he saw the plain, three-box design they had in the pipeline.

    Next came the Elantra. Nobody foresaw the style-forward new design language that entered the market when Hyundai introduced the last generation Elantra and Sonata. Those cars took a bite
    out of Toyota’s reign in those categories. Obviously, Toyota countered, but the products posessing very weird, wavy designs are coming out now – an entire year after Hyundai zagged and surprised everyone with more conservative iterations of the current Elantra and Sonata!

    What next? Design language is a tricky business. What succeeds as a fad today turns out to be a big mistake tomorrow. KIA remains Hyundai’s conservative sister with plain designs that take no risks. Toyota no longer has Scion to experiment with fashion-forward designs. This explains Prius’ oddball shapes and the CH-R whatchamacallit they are passing off as a 2-door CUV for millennials.

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (5:18 pm)

    john1701a:
    Loboc,

    Still haven’t learned about diminishing returns… sacrificing so much for what, bragging rights?

    If you really think a higher number is going to sway a mainstream consumer to spend more for so small of a gain… the actual quantity of gas is tiny.Do the math.You’re in for a surprise.

    200 MPG

    You are in for a surprise.

    When people buy a hybrid they get their first experience of electric drive. At first, they’re proud
    of their decision and love it when that dash display pats them on the back for being in electric mode. Soon thereafter, they long for every electric moment. All Prius hybrids including Prime skimp on that EV experience and make the driver go through hoops and effort to get the most of it.

    “Gateway drug” is a good way to describe that experience. I’m happy that some will buy a Prime and find 25 miles of EV range. They will soon wish for twice that. Perhaps Toyota will drop the hydrogen nonsense and get busy making a 3rd generation PIP/Prime that matches or exceeds the current Volt’s EV range.

    For now, they will have buyer’s remorse. There is already a car on the market with nicer looks and over double the EV range and it seats more humans inside. This is a great time to buy or lease a Volt too, as it’s available now with no wait time and since inventories at dealers abound, so does bargaining power to the consumer.

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (5:49 pm)

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (5:52 pm)

    john1701a: Notice the corner you backed yourself into?

    You must be right, you’re the expert at backing yourself into a corner.

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (6:01 pm)

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (6:54 pm)

    john1701a:

    Volt lite ?

    Pale Toyo Volt-knockoff ?

    What’s your point?

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (8:20 pm)

    The pool of loyal Volt owners who will reup with a new one, even if a theoretical 100%, will be dwarfed by the pool of Prius owners of all variations who might buy a new Prime. With sales now in all states Prime will outsell Volt easily by the end of the year.
    But, I understand that today there are quite a few Volt conquest sales from former Prius owners (and in a few years Prime owners) If Chevy could target their ads towards this very large group, Volt sales might actually take off. They need to figure out how to get all potential buyers to test drive Volt. That will yield good sales results.

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (10:35 pm)

    Well, it’s approaching 10:30 pm Eastern time here at Voting Central, and the votes are coming in……

    So far, it’s well over 200 votes for the Volt, while we have registered -128 for the Minnesota Prime (not to be confused with Colorado Prime).

    Stay tuned for updates everyone, as this is a close one……

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    Jun 16th, 2017 (10:39 pm)

    I was just wondering, is Prime just short for Primeval?

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (5:23 am)

    The real cost of ownership is depreciation as this is the real killer in the piggy bank.
    So can the person doing the review of number please include expected depreciation for both.

    Suspect the Toyota would come out in front – if it wasn’t for the ugly as sin techno design.
    The design is beautiful techno modern to those in Japan as it reflects Japanese Anime / Robot style.
    However for the typical USA and Australian customers it just comes off weird looking and this will be the question when time passes will it age well, will it appeal to Toyota fans who buy second hand ?
    vs
    The Chevy Volt where the design is more mainstream but second hand buyers are less loyal due to the unfounded fear of main battery life.

    Time will tell.

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (9:29 am)

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (9:39 am)

    OK, look at what’s happening. Of the 43 posts so far, 25 have revolved around 1 troll. We have allowed 1 individual to hijack our site.

    So from now on, in addition to down-voting any posts by this troll, I will also down-vote anyone who responds to this troll, and I encourage others to do the same.

    PLEASE DON’T FEED THE TROLLS. Better yet, don’t even read his posts. Just click -1 and move on.

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (10:33 am)

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (10:41 am)

    Dave G:
    OK, look at what’s happening.Of the 43 posts so far, 25 have revolved around 1 troll.We have allowed 1 individual to hijack our site.

    So from now on, in addition to down-voting any posts by this troll, I will also down-vote anyone who responds to this troll, and I encourage others to do the same.

    PLEASE DON’T FEED THE TROLLS.Better yet, don’t even read his posts.Just click -1 and move on.

    While I agree with you, this was inevitable for this thread.

    So this is Jeff’s fault!!!!!

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    It is fun to see how much people really rally around their vehicles!

    But I have to say I really don’t understand John. He must spend all day on this site…..

    Jim – C-5277

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (11:30 am)

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (12:49 pm)

    john1701a,

    Big difference between ‘debate’ and ‘religious ferver’.

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (1:01 pm)

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (1:12 pm)

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (2:57 pm)

    john1701a: Want to be constructive? Suggest something.

    How about you rectally insert your diseased head and shut up? In case you haven’t noticed, you’re not getting single negative votes, you’re getting many. What we wish we could dismiss is YOU.

    Something actually constructive would only give you another toe-hold for your never-ending Volt-bashing. We offer you only what you deserve, much more so than your obsession-du-jour.

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (3:05 pm)

    Those better served by the 25 all-electric mile Prime will buy it (especially Toyo-lemmings and Government Motors haters). However, by Toyota’s own figures, only half the driving public would fully benefit. Meanwhile, the Volt can serve 75 percent of drivers’ needs electrically. Yes, it costs more, but not a huge amount, and the story isn’t anywhere near the end. We may find Toyota lagging in another area: as the Volt catches up by lowering costs. In the long haul, math is against the Prime.

    People will buy Volts because they are better, and people will buy Toyotas because they’re Toyotas. At first, certain people* said that the Volt would never be, then would never surpass products that already existed. Now Toyota is paying GM the greatest compliment: imitation.

    * well, OK; John

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (3:17 pm)

    john1701a:
    Loboc,

    Blah, blah, blah

    200 MPG

    We’ve been telling you for years about 200+ mpg, and you never got it! Instead, you stayed with your 47 mpg hybrid.

    Now somehow, just because you can get that in a Toyota, it’s incredible!

    Note you are one of the few who will get this mileage in the Primeval, because you drive like a grandma and even on your Facebook page you mention to hell with everyone who has to wait behind you while you go slow to get great mileage numbers. It’s obvious that you are self-centered, arrogant, and illogical.

    As we all know, but you can’t understand, is that you are totally #%!*&^ up.

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (3:37 pm)

    We don’t hear a lot about how much better a Celica is than a Camaro; there is room for both in the market. But for John1701a, this town ain’t big enough for the two of us. He’s going to stand on top of the Prius pile with his six-shooter until the very end.

    Volt lite? Do we really need 2 equivalent low-cost leaders? Leave cheapest to Toyota, it’s what they’re good at; and cost is only part of the equation. People have a choice to go up-market or down now. It shows how broad the segment is becoming (and it will get broader). When others stir their entries into the mix, what do you want to bet John will still be here bashing anything GM serves up?

    John now has the Volt-lite he’s always said should exist, and it says “Toyota” on it. You’d think he would take his toy home in triumph and leave us alone at last, but no. He’ll never be satisfied. He has a thirst that can never be quenched; to see GM vanquished by, or at least subservient to the holy “T”. That’s why GM must make a 25 AER Volt: Lowered to Toyota’s level.

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (5:12 pm)

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (5:17 pm)

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (5:35 pm)

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (6:14 pm)

    john1701a: EACH AUTOMAKER MUST OFFER SOMETHING AFFORDABLE. Why is that so hard to understand?

    Affordable compared to what? What is the cost of a Bolt compared to the actual cost of a Model 3 (once optioned comparably)? To an i3? What is the cost of a Volt verses a Fisker? What if the extra $3K is worth it for twice as much? What if the cost of the Volt does drop along with the tax incentive?

    What manufacturers need to do is offer lower cost, without sacrificing functionality as Toyota has done. Is that possible? (Hint: Batteries are getting cheaper, not more expensive).

    And don’t count out the possibility of something like a “plug-in Cruise” coming down the pike. We don’t know what is in the offing. You never did have any patience; it’s always been “Do now, or die.” It doesn’t work that way. Stay tuned.

    You once thought that no car beyond a Prius would sell at all, but now Toyota has a Prius Volt-copy and it’s all OK. From vaporware to Volt is like a Prius, to Volt is worse than a Prius, to worse than the PiP to too expensive again. Do you really think we can’t see you dishing up something else next year? What’s hard to understand is how you think no one can see through you.

    And I doubt very much that a lower cost GM plug-in will be limited to 25 AER. There may be a lower cost EREV one of these days, but it won’t be equivalent. Letting Toyota set the acceptable standard for GM may be a wet dream of yours, but there is an advantage to being 5 years ahead …

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (6:29 pm)

    john1701a: Rather than focus on how beneficial 200+ can be for all, it is a emphasis on electric-only driving. AER arguments send a very different message. Enthusiasts of Volt cannot agree upon purpose. Think of how confusing that is for others.

    That’s why I asked “Who?” so often. Getting clarity of intent from this group, rather than making assumptions was very important. Unfortunately, the feedback was clearly not in agreement. Purpose remains a mystery. It still doesn’t make sense.

    No, you never could understand. I really don’t think you want to; it’s been explained to you eight ways from Sunday. MPG becomes less relevant as you factor in more electric-only range. If you’re locked into a gas-mileage mentality, how can you accept the paradigm of the gas-less? You’d better find a way. Toyota is heading down the Volt highway: You wouldn’t want to be left behind by your own company.

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    Jun 17th, 2017 (11:24 pm)

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (12:16 am)

    john1701a: Diminishing returns is what I have been posting about for years.

    So the Prime’s 25 mile AER is perfect and there is no need for Totyota to release at vehicle with more? You seem to not count that the Prime is also the Prius 2nd gen PHV.

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (8:24 am)

    Toyota’s LMP1 hybrids didn’t do so well at Le Mans this year with all three dropping out to mechanical problems.

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (8:25 am)

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (9:59 am)

    MnVikes: So the Prime’s 25 mile AER is perfect and there is no need for Totyota to release at vehicle with more?

    That’s not how “diminishing returns” works.

    The measure of what you’ll get as a result of your investment for that product-cycle shows there is a drop in effectiveness. Spending a lot more for little in return doesn’t make sense. That’s why study of the numbers is so important. That is also why it is a moving target. Each generation will have a new higher level, especially when it comes to battery advancements. You find a level where more doesn’t accomplish much, then stop before exceeding it. Pushed too far, more can actually have a negative impact, causing a loss instead.

    Remember that “5,000 per month” goal? Look at annual sales of Volt, excluding 2011 due to rollout and ramp-up inventory:

    2012 = 23,461
    2013 = 23,094
    2014 = 18,805
    2015 = 15,393
    2016 = 24,739
    2017 = 22,049 (annualized using results thru May 2017)

    Where’s the improvement? You’d think with the growing popularity of plug-in vehicles, there would be a noticeable increase. The design choices for gen-2 of Volt kept MSRP too high. Offering more power & range had the consequence of higher cost without any resulting increase of sales in return. GM’s gamble doesn’t make sense for this market at this time.

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (10:29 am)

    Prius Prime has power seats available depending on the model you pick.
    Why can’t GM make that an option?

    While this personally is not enough to make me want a PP over a Volt – it was a big reason I had went to a Fusion Energi nearly 3 years ago when my 2013 Volt lease ended. I’m going back to a used 2015 Volt as my Fusion lease ends but will be watching the market – if someone else offers a ~40 mile AER compact-to-midsize PHEV that can compete with the Volt’s EV mode AND it has power+memory seats/mirrors it will rank very highly for my $$$. (Honda, I’m looking at you – please make that Clarity PHEV awesome)

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (10:39 am)

    As the Bolt steals Volt buyers and the Mirai steals Prime buyers, maybe Jeff should combine the sales numbers of these two models for each manufacturer.

    Wouldn’t total carbon dioxide emissions be the best number to track rather than sales? Whatever manufacturer has the lowest numbers should win the award for reducing global warming.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (11:18 am)

    I simply don’t understand the 25 mile AER. If I commuted 25 miles a day I would buy a fun car like a Mustang. I would not buy an EREV or an EV. EREVs and EVs only make sense if you drive a lot, considering how limited the selection of vehicles is. For me I drive 34 miles just to get groceries. I can do it with my Volt. With a prime I would always be burning gas. So if I’m burning gas I would prefer to do it in a fun car, preferably a convertible. When is the convertible prime coming? 😉 (just kidding)

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (11:59 am)

    cyaopec:
    I simply don’t understand the 25 mile AER. If I commuted 25 miles a day I would buy a fun car like a Mustang. I would not buy an EREV or an EV. EREVs and EVs only make sense if you drive a lot, considering how limited the selection of vehicles is. For me I drive 34 miles just to get groceries. I can do it with my Volt. With a prime I would always be burning gas. So if I’m burning gas I would prefer to do it in a fun car, preferably a convertible. When is the convertible prime coming? 😉 (just kidding)

    You have a great point about the limited AER, it is one I struggled with when I went to the Fusion Energi after my Volt. I primarily work from home and my drives tend to usually be ~10 mile round trips. I’m also fortunate because, when I do drive farther, I often have access to free charging at those destinations (a rarity in here in DFW).

    My primary reasons for going to it after my Volt, in order, were: cabin space (especially rear legroom), power/memory seats (as I mentioned above), inexpensive lease terms (were much better Volts at the time) and the Volt spoiled me for smooth, EV ride & drive so ICE only cars were not that tempting.

    The main reason I’m going back to a (used) Volt as my Fusion lease ends are (again, in order): I hate that I can’t get full acceleration w/out the ICE, I hate that the ICE comes on a lot in hot weather, we have a very comfortable SUV for family trips when the legroom would be an issue and the ~40 mile AER will be nice to have back. After having lived with it for ~3 years, those “hates” have come to outweigh my original reasons.

    I seriously have considered more “fun” cars (Tacoma TRD Pro, Mustang GT, used GT-R, Toyota 86 etc), but I just can’t bring myself to spend that much on a car that I’ll drive so infrequently and I love not having to stop for gas for months at a time! (Although if a sweet deal on one of those pops up in a year, I could see myself being swayed!)

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (12:51 pm)

    Good article and I learned some stuff about the Prime. But I will stick with my 2014 Volt Premium. Produced by an American company, fun to drive, and suits me just fine.

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (5:30 pm)

    Late to the party.
    It looks like s slaughter:)

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    Jun 18th, 2017 (6:43 pm)

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    Jun 19th, 2017 (9:16 am)

    john1701a: Tax-Credits will run out before something able to compete with Cruze, Malibu, and Equinox is securely in place.

    There has been quite a bit of spin attempting to misrepresent my stance. That has been it all along… with GM, with Ford, with Toyota. Each of the automakers need to offer something actually able to compete with the true competition: traditional vehicles.

    Toyota carefully considered configuration to ensure it was up to the chore. GM did not. That’s why Prime makes more sense.

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    Jun 19th, 2017 (12:41 pm)

    George S. Bower:
    Late to the party.
    It looks like s slaughter:)

    Just the usual one-man asstastrophe.

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    Jun 21st, 2017 (5:13 pm)

    I’m so sorry I missed this thread. Work got in the way.

    This would have been fun…

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    Jun 21st, 2017 (11:56 pm)

    Dave – Phoenix,

    Their spin is interesting, they take time to come up with something actually thoughtful. It doesn’t hold much merit though when compared to goals, but that’s still better than the outright lies others tell… which there were plenty of this time.

    In this particular thread, it was the lack of understanding what 200 MPG actually represents. For driving a Prime during summer, the distance traveled from a single charge yielding that result is a little over 50 miles. Assumptions that 25 miles of EV isn’t enough fall apart when that real-world outcome is witnessed firsthand.

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    Jun 22nd, 2017 (5:18 pm)

    john1701a: In this particular thread, it was the lack of understanding what 200 MPG actually represents. For driving a Prime during summer, the distance traveled from a single charge yielding that result is a little over 50 miles. Assumptions that 25 miles of EV isn’t enough fall apart when that real-world outcome is witnessed firsthand.

    Bullsh!t.

    John’s understanding of what 200 MPG actually represents is convenient and primitive. If you do most of your commuting electric, you can get an effective 400 MPG or more. The more electric range you have, the likelier this is to achieve. Some people can do that within 25 miles, but statistically no more than half of them. The Volt makes it possible for 3/4.

    MPG becomes relevant only for long-range, extended driving (and if you do that a lot, no plug-in will really help you).

    The very minute Toyota comes out with a greater range, watch John change his tune and explain why the new figure is “superior.”

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    Jun 23rd, 2017 (4:50 pm)

    john1701a: The measure of what you’ll get as a result of your investment for that product-cycle shows there is a drop in effectiveness. Spending a lot more for little in return doesn’t make sense. That’s why study of the numbers is so important. That is also why it is a moving target. Each generation will have a new higher level, especially when it comes to battery advancements. You find a level where more doesn’t accomplish much, then stop before exceeding it. Pushed too far, more can actually have a negative impact, causing a loss instead.

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