littlemonkey

Verso owner seeking advice about pros and cons of Prius or Prius +

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Good morning,

I've owned a Corolla Verso for many years now, and it has served me very well. Very practical (especially with 3 growing kids) as a main family car.

Sadly it's mechanically beginning to fail, and to the extent that the repairs would be more than the car is worth. I'm quite happy to stay with Toyota and am very intrigued with the Prius. 

I wonder if anyone has made a similar move from a similar size MPV to a Prius, and what did you gain or lose, please?

Things that are important to me, are that many of my trips are within the city, with perhaps 90% no more than 8 miles, with occasional trips to see family elsewhere:

- one involves minor roads but usually travelling at 40mph+ for 2 hours

- the other can involve multiple motorways and takes 4 hours and on these trips I get between 42 - 45mpg.

Given that the vast majority of the trips are local and sub 10 miles, I feel it would be far more efficient to use a hybrid vehicle, and I'm working under the assumption (of course, I could be very wrong) that I could minimise fuel usage and emissions with a Prius/Prius +. Especially when doing pickups from after school clubs, barely doing 3 or 4 miles. Would it be feasible to do this on mostly the hybrid Battery?

I wonder if I would miss the space in the middle row where at one time we had baby seat + 2 booster seats. We can get away with 2 booster seats for now, obviously the kids are growing and we will soon have 3 teens/young adults we might be ferrying around.

We like cycling, and on the Verso are able to get 2 on the Roof Rack, and 3 on a carrier on the back. Although the Prius+ is very spacious, is it wise to avoid due to the lack of official towing capability?

When visiting family, it's a big plus to be able to fit an extra person or two in the Verso, this would be a nice to have. With older relatives it's good they don't have to be too agile to get into the Verso as the seats are quite high.

Thanks in advance for responding, I'm very close to looking at specs for a new(ish) car, and feel it's important I get opinions from other drivers before going ahead and possibly regretting it.

Have a great day,

LM

Edited by littlemonkey
Added tag and question about the school run

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Depends whether towing is a must. The only Prius that can officially tow is the 2016 on, Gen 4, the others can be fitted with bike racks if that is your only requirement for a tow hitch.

The Gen 4 is the most economical and best to drive but lacks interior stowage space and is quite low down compared to your Verso and may not be the best for getting elderly relatives in and out. 

The Prius+ sounds ideal for everything you mention except towing. It has 3 rows of seats(2) but the 3rd row seats are small and only suitable for children or small adults, they can be folded down to create a huge boot area, but they can't be removed. The second row of seats(3) are adjustable, they slide back and forth and recline and they can also be folded down, which basically turns the car into a posh van. There is also an under floor storage tray in the boot. The HV Battery is Li-Ion and is inside the centre armrest so the armrest storage is just a shallow tray, but there are two fair sized glove boxes. 

I loved my Prius+ but never made use of the extra seats and rarely made use of the space available in the boot so I traded it in for the Gen 4. 

Best thing to do is have a test drive of each and see which suits you best.

The Prius+ was a limited run 2012 to 2018 IIRC so there are not so many about and they fetch a good price, I had a 2012 pre-facelift model which was still a good looking car (almost identical to the Verso except the rear lights), the later ones have a sharper front end. 

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@kithmo Thank you for the very comprehensive reply about the storage. Lots of things for me to think about, however as you suggest getting a test drive of the Prius / Prius + will help to refine my assumptions.

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I totally forgot to add, I'm a musician and occasionally have to lug a 4x10 cab and amp around. That would certainly limit my choices! Not sure what the dealership would make of trying this as a practical experiment.

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As much as i love the 3 Toyota Hybrids I have owned (1xAuris Hybrid, 1xGen3 Prius and 1xGen4 Prius) and find they suit my needs very adequately, I think a Prius would not be for you and your needs, and although not owned or even been in a Prius Plus, I have doubts that would too.

The Hybrids are good on fuel consumption, the Auris is doing 60+mpg in the summer, the Gen3 I had was doing 66mpg in the summer, and now the Gen4 is doing 75+mpg in the summer. They all drop about 10mpg in the winter months - car engine runs more in the cold weather. I find all 3 comfortable, the Gen4 the most comfortable.

If it was just a family of 2 adults plus 3 kids, the Auris would be just ok, the Prius perhaps more so. The Prius plus, giving 7 seats would be better for your family needs, but you do take a hit on mpg (the standard Prius design is more aerodynamic).

Its the carrying potentially 4 adults plus 3 kids that will rule the "standard" cars out. And when you talk of carrying 5 bikes plus 5 passengers your mpg will drop dramatically. Physically the Prius Plus is the one more suited to you but you would have to make a very careful decision, and not just done on a test drive (which you would probably love).

I dont know what your budget is for this "new" to you car is, but I think you need to look at MPV still.  Could you keep what you have got (or even purchase a newer MPV), for the bikes/extended family and buy a used Nissan Leaf mark1 all electric vehicle for doing your local runs to school, shops etc. Mark 1 Leaf should do about 140 miles in the summer and 80-90 miles in the winter on a charge - thats a 5 day week running about covered before a charge overnight.

Just my thoughts, though I will have to go and wash my mouth out after talking about Leaf electric vehicles. 

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Catlover,

That's an interesting way of looking at it - retain a non Prius MPV, and then go all electric for city driving/school run type activity. I wish there was a Toyota version of the N*ss*n L**F, as Toyota has been the most reliable for me over the years (this is compared to previous Ford/Renault cars). It may be that given our needs - often having 2 adults and 3 children in the back, and then adding 5 bikes as well - it would not be as efficient in terms of fuel saving to get a hybrid.

Great to get direct feedback from experienced Toyota hybrid owners, I don't have the hands on experience to let me know what I might be unhappy with in future.

Thanks,

LM

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Loading a Prius up will definately affect the fuel efficiancy.

You can pick up Gen 3 Prius privately for around £6k, Auris Hybrid (which has same Hybrid mechanics) for around £5k privately. Thats an option - zero road tax, insurance not astronomic.

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10 minutes ago, Catlover said:

Auris Hybrid (which has same Hybrid mechanics) for around £5k privately. Thats an option - zero road tax, insurance not astronomic.

Estate version would probably suit you better than the hatch?

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7 hours ago, littlemonkey said:

...Especially when doing pickups from after school clubs, barely doing 3 or 4 miles. Would it be feasible to do this on mostly the hybrid Battery?

...With older relatives it's good they don't have to be too agile to get into the Verso as the seats are quite high...

A couple of observations:

  • the Prius/Prius+ are pure Hybrids, with no option to plug them in.  All the energy in the HV Battery comes from decelerating, braking and charge from the engine while it's running.  Realistically, if you arrive home with a fairly full traction Battery (around 75% on the gauge), you'd be lucky to do 1¼ miles on EV.  If the last few miles are fairly level town speed, you'd more likely finish with nearer 25% on the gauge, in which case EV mode won't even be selectable.   Also, if the car goes above 24 mph while cold, the engine will start and you won't be able to select EV mode again until it's completed the warm-up cycle.
     
  • The latest Prius has very low seats (a price for the class leading aerodynamic drag figure) and your elderly passengers may well find getting in and out a challenge.  When I bought my Prius I figured on keeping it for the rest of my driving days, but hip problems (that may or may not have been accelerated by this car) mean I'm now looking at alternatives (latest RAV4 Hybrid with 4WD is is my sights at the moment).

The Prius Plus will fare better with your requirements but as others have said, bike racks will hit the efficiency, but they will on any type for car.  The Toyota Hybrids are generally very reliable and can clock up some stellar mileages (one of mine was still going strong after 9 years and 163,000 miles) and most (but not all) people who have them love their driving characteristics.

The Plug-in Prius probably won't fit the bill - the original and current models will do around 10 and 28 miles on electric respectively, but lose a fair bit of boot space (and lose the spare wheel), plus the current one only has 4 seats as well as being low to the ground.

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Having owned a Prius+ I can tell you that on the odd occasions I did load mine up, when we went on holiday to the static caravan, we took just about everything except the kitchen sink and it still managed mid to high 60s mpg, which I think is great for a 1.8 litre, petrol automatic mpv.

If you look on Fuelly for the real world average mpgs: Prius+ is around 50mpg, Gen 3 is around 55mpg and Gen 4 around 63mpg.

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11 hours ago, littlemonkey said:

Good morning,

I've owned a Corolla Verso for many years now, and it has served me very well. Very practical (especially with 3 growing kids) as a main family car.

Sadly it's mechanically beginning to fail, and to the extent that the repairs would be more than the car is worth. I'm quite happy to stay with Toyota and am very intrigued with the Prius. 

I wonder if anyone has made a similar move from a similar size MPV to a Prius, and what did you gain or lose, please?

Things that are important to me, are that many of my trips are within the city, with perhaps 90% no more than 8 miles, with occasional trips to see family elsewhere:

- one involves minor roads but usually travelling at 40mph+ for 2 hours

- the other can involve multiple motorways and takes 4 hours and on these trips I get between 42 - 45mpg.

Given that the vast majority of the trips are local and sub 10 miles, I feel it would be far more efficient to use a hybrid vehicle, and I'm working under the assumption (of course, I could be very wrong) that I could minimise fuel usage and emissions with a Prius/Prius +. Especially when doing pickups from after school clubs, barely doing 3 or 4 miles. Would it be feasible to do this on mostly the hybrid Battery?

Both Prius & Prius + would suit this perfectly 

11 hours ago, littlemonkey said:

I wonder if I would miss the space in the middle row where at one time we had baby seat + 2 booster seats. We can get away with 2 booster seats for now, obviously the kids are growing and we will soon have 3 teens/young adults we might be ferrying around.

The Prius + is set up Just like your Verso so no loss of seat space, Prius is a conventional 5 seater so yes you would lose seat space compared to the Verso

We like cycling, and on the Verso are able to get 2 on the Roof Rack, and 3 on a carrier on the back. Although the Prius+ is very spacious, is it wise to avoid due to the lack of official towing capability?

Both Prius & Prius + can have bikes on the roof and offer rear mounted cycle carriers that fit on a towbar like set up  

When visiting family, it's a big plus to be able to fit an extra person or two in the Verso, this would be a nice to have. With older relatives it's good they don't have to be too agile to get into the Verso as the seats are quite high.

Again Prius + is just like the Verso in terms of seat height / setup

Thanks in advance for responding, I'm very close to looking at specs for a new(ish) car, and feel it's important I get opinions from other drivers before going ahead and possibly regretting it.

Have a great day,

LM

 

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10 hours ago, kithmo said:

The Prius+ was a limited run 2012 to 2018 IIRC so there are not so many about and they fetch a good price, I had a 2012 pre-facelift model which was still a good looking car (almost identical to the Verso except the rear lights), the later ones have a sharper front end. 

Still available new: https://www.toyota.co.uk/new-cars/prius-plus/

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All,

Hugely appreciative of the considered responses on here, this has given me so much useful information. Great cars, and clearly from this forum, very friendly and helpful owners too 🙂

I will definitely be investigating the Prius + - the Gen 4 Prius sounds really sleek and efficient, however, it might be limiting on those occasions we need the MPV like features. We can live without a towbar, that's a compromise we're able to make..

Have a great weekend, all.

LM

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13 hours ago, Devon Aygo said:

So tempting, I see they lost the panoramic roof with the face lift, I felt it brightened up the interior. SWBO is eyeing up my Gen 4 (she has a Gen 2), so I might consider another + and give her the Gen 4.

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5 hours ago, kithmo said:

So tempting, I see they lost the panoramic roof with the face lift, I felt it brightened up the interior. SWBO is eyeing up my Gen 4 (she has a Gen 2), so I might consider another + and give her the Gen 4.

If You liked the 2012 Prius+ (as I can se you did 🙂 ) You'll probably like the 2015 facelift even more. 

It's a bit quieter, a bit smoother and got a little bit upgraded powertrain (to reach euro 6 level)

(and at least in "sunny" sweden there is still an Skyweiv roof option)

 

some 2015 - facelift Prius+ info.

 
 
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We've driven our Prius+ 2016/17 for some 5000 km (about 3106 miles I think) now (in the winter, bought it 7th dec.) and when i've checket brim to brim it has consumed 5.1 l (about 54.5 britt. mpg I think) mixed driving . Think it's really god for 1.8 7seat 136 hp. Our Auris TS HSD 2014 ( same powertrain but a little lighter in weight) comsumes 4.9 (about 57.5 mpg) on year basis and thats god to. Both Prius+ and Auris TS (Touring Sports/combi/ Estate will easily load your 4X10 cab and amp head but the Auris is smaller,lower and deeper in the booth so i think Prius+ is easier to load .

I think even Prius gen 4 ( consumes a bit lesser fuel than Auris and Prius +) will load your music equipment, though its smaller than  Prius+ and Auris TS.

Both Prius gen 4 and Auris is a lot lower to entrance/acces than Prius+,  Though 

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Forgott to say that we are rarely more than 3 pers. and an manual wheelchair, a small dog and some bags (total wight of about 250 kg) in our cars.

Heavy weight is always bad/ not optimal, for HSD fuel consumption , as "Catlover" said abowe. as well as short trips and cold starts (as for any car, though)

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Prius plus is the car to go for. I had a couple of those back in the days when they came out both pre 2015 and the facelift model, both amazing cars, and differences really minimal, cosmetic mostly but the best thing on the facelift model are the LED front lights, they are so bright and with greater coverage ahead, once you get use to lights like that it’s so difficult to return to standard halogen bulbs on older vehicles, that really matters for a night drivers like me. If the interior space and boot are at priority no doubt Plus beats them all, and that’s why exist. Good luck with looking 👍

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On 2/8/2019 at 3:39 PM, littlemonkey said:

Catlover,

That's an interesting way of looking at it - retain a non Prius MPV, and then go all electric for city driving/school run type activity. I wish there was a Toyota version of the N*ss*n L**F, as Toyota has been the most reliable for me over the years (this is compared to previous Ford/Renault cars). It may be that given our needs - often having 2 adults and 3 children in the back, and then adding 5 bikes as well - it would not be as efficient in terms of fuel saving to get a hybrid.

Great to get direct feedback from experienced Toyota hybrid owners, I don't have the hands on experience to let me know what I might be unhappy with in future.

Thanks,

LM

Another alternative could be to have a Prius + (still reasonable fuel efficent for it's zise even when it,s heavy loaded) for longer and confortable trips ,and good space and then a Prius gen3 Plug In for shorter trips. 

(I'm thinkin of this myself. to sitch my Auris to an Prius Plug gen 3 In. Quite similar in design as Prius + , too)

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Hope the OP pocket is deep and full...... a Prius + and Gen3 Prius Plug In

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Hey everyone, appreciate all the comments and advice.
Due to budget not stretching to a brand new vehicle, I am actually heading down to look at an 18 plate Verso, and a 67 plate Prius + at my regular dealership this afternoon. The Verso comes in hugely less expensive, so I'm going to have to give some thought to how I can make up the shortfall to the Prius +

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