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HectorG

My New PHV

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Finally found a lovely Pearl White ex-demo Prius Plug-in Excel. Just seven months old and a little over 5k on the clock. As usual, it involved a lengthy  trip of over 300 miles each way, but worth it I hope. On the way back now and on nearly 90 mpg since the Battery emptied. I’m sure it won’t remain as good as that, but I’ll report back when I get home tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who gave me  advice, particularly Jay.

 

 

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Excellent news, Paul! I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine. 

Post a pic when you can - I love Pearl White. 

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Just back from Stage 2 of collecting car. Completed 292 miles from Thirsk to near Dorchester without charging the Battery and achieved  77.5 mpg on hybrid system alone. The journey consisted of a lot of motorway, a hour delay at virtual standstill and some snail pace whilst waiting for an air ambulance to land on part of the M18 we were on and a long stretch cross country to avoid bank holiday weekend traffic. Very pleased as at least 30 mpg better than my RAV4 hybrid. My normal use will largely be short journeys of no more than 15 miles each way so I can’t wait to see what mpg figures I can manage.

First impressions are that it’s a very smooth drive with perhaps a little too much road noise (on Toyos BTW). I can live with this as I blame the dreadful UK roads and not the car. My son who works in the technical side of civil engineering (he runs a lab that tests materials involved in all aspects of road construction) tells me that things are finally improving and road surfaces are in the main much better now and finally approaching Continental levels of smoothness, so tyre choice will not be as critical in the future.

Being on the slightly elderly side, my wife and I are going to have to get used to climbing out from the recumbent position of the Prius, rather than falling out of an SUV like our Rav 4.

The steering is excellent as is the cornering and general road holding that come with the new TNGA platform. The manual seats are annoying when you’ve been used to electric adjustment. It may be just that they are different, but the driver’s seat feels just a tad insubstantial compared to the Rav and I ended up with a bit of back ache which I did not normally suffer with the Rav. However, I seem to remember that it often takes me a few weeks to adjust to new car seats, particularly on a long journey.

The infotainment ‘sounds’ great, even if very ‘Toyota’ in its implementation. As is the normal  Japanese practice when it comes to these things, they are at least 5 years behind the Europeans. To be honest, in a number of test drives, I never tried the radio, usb, etc as I consider it secondary to the ‘car’ stuff. I was very pleasantly surprised quite how good it is.

Finally, I have to say how impressed I am with Hodgson Toyota Newcastle where I bought the car. In view of the distance from my home in Dorset to Newcastle (well over 300 miles) I negotiated the deal almost entirely over the phone, having emailed photos of my car. Jack Hodgson, the sales manager, was honest, straightforward, transparent and a pleasure to deal with. Their car was immaculately prepared compared to some of the dross I’ve seen and a very fair price. I was beginning to think that most Toyota dealers were unprofessional, lacking in transparency and very slightly disreputable. Hodgson Toyota restored my faith and I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Very finally, I’m so glad I went for Pearl White. As Jay says, it really suits the shape of the car. I  used to dislike white cars, but I think it depends on the individual car’s shape and bulk. Coincidentally, having only ever seen one PHV on the road (Spirited Aqua), I was amazed to be nearly run over by a Hypersonic Red  one at a motorway service stop on the way to Newcastle. First red one I’ve seen and very bold. Probably one of those colours where some days you love it and others you hate it! BTW, it was driven by an elderly gentleman like myself 😩

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Hi Paul.  Glad you happy with your PHV. Re road noise. Tyre design does make a difference to road noise, but so does the surface of the road. Sometimes the road noise is very low in my Prius, sometimes very noisy and sound can change as you drive along. Sometimes I think the change of surface is deliberate so that a noisy road can “waken” up the senses of a driver - a safety feature.

Re car colour. My Prius Excel is the Hypersonic Red. I wanted that colour and as I was buying second user it was a hard search. Not only did I want that red, but also an Excel which has 17” wheels as standard and I wanted 15” so that made the search even tougher.  I love the Hypersonic Red, I did when I was looking for it and still do, and I no youngster either, I am now 72 but consider myself very modern in many ways.

MPG - of course I do not have a mains rechargeable Battery,  it our recent holiday in Gloucester resulted me getting 77mpg going there (Chester to Gloucester) using M6/M5, but coming home we stuck to the A roads (beautiful countryside) and did just over 88 mpg, photos posted on this forum of dash readings.

Enjoy your “new” car.

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Hi Paul you will not regret your purchase I have had Prius for 9 years now and have never had any issues with them at all I have had many cars in my life time but soon got fed up with them but I can honestly say I all ways look forward to driving the Prius it’s the best car I have ever had.

Good choice on colour the last one I had was the same as yours then last year decided to get the plug in but the government where about to stop the grant and I only had 1 week to get it so was restricted on colour so had to have the hypo red it took a lot of getting use to as it’s a bit in your face don’t like it as much as the white one as you say the white sets the car off but I have got use to it.

Paul this is a brilliant car so smooth when in electric so much so that you can’t wait to charge it up again this must be the best plug in you can buy toyota have been doing this for years and in my appiion no what they are doing unlike some of the other brands I don’t no what I’d do with out my Prius.

Enjoy your car you are going to love it just like me.

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One other thing Paul what I do is once I have charged it up I first use the hybrids potion of the Battery for local trips it tends to stay in electric for longer than when the main Battery is flat doing this I am able to get well over 40 miles electric range out it it for some reason it depletes the main Battery a lot slower I have found what you need to do is experiment a bit and see what’s best for you and you will soon get the hang of it.

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21 hours ago, HectorG said:

First impressions are that it’s a very smooth drive with perhaps a little too much road noise (on Toyos BTW). I can live with this as I blame the dreadful UK roads and not the car. My son who works in the technical side of civil engineering (he runs a lab that tests materials involved in all aspects of road construction) tells me that things are finally improving and road surfaces are in the main much better now and finally approaching continental levels of smoothness, so tyre choice will not be as critical in the future.

The technical capability of constructing road surfaces that are exceptionally quiet, grippy and free-draining may well be improving but the political will to lay these surfaces seems to be going the other way. As Joe alluded to, I believe some Local Authorities are deliberately using surfaces that increase noise as a means of driving down traffic speeds, because people apparently drive slower over noisy surfaces. I suspect cost has more to do with it, though. My journey to work now has five sodding miles of the most appalling cheap 'surface dressing' that is twice as loud as the old tarmac it covered. The vibrations are so bad I now have permanent dash rattles, as it seems to have actually shaken something loose! Nothing to do with me playing the JBL at excessive volumes, of course... :whistling:

Anyway, don't let it spoil your enjoyment - I can state categorically that the PHV is much better insulated than the previous generations of Toyota hybrids and it's not that much noisier than my supposedly 'luxury' Lexus. It also rides better than the Lexus, as I am reminded each weekend when I go out in the GS and am surprised by all the bumps and jolts! Just a shame that, as you say, the PHV seats lack adjustment. I found putting the seat back much more upright than usual eased the pain I was getting at the base of my spine, but my neck isn't always so happy with that arrangement. That probably says more about my decrepitude than the seats, though.

21 hours ago, HectorG said:

First red one I’ve seen and very bold. Probably one of those colours where some days you love it and others you hate it!

I guess it was sunny at the time? Hypersonic Red is a really dull, boring (or tasteful?) dark shade until it catches the sun when it goes all orangey and pearlescent. I'd forgotten how bright it can be until my car had its annual wash when it went in for a service last month. I rather like the candy-apple custom look, but it's more conspicuous than I would choose for daily driving. Fortunately, it's got another nice layer of grime taking the edge off it again now. 

Still want to see a pic of yours though, if you don't mind posting one. They do look great in pearl white.

12 hours ago, Catlover said:

I am now 72 but consider myself very modern in many ways.

We don't doubt your credentials as a modern man, Joe. The handbag proved that! 😁

2 hours ago, Melli said:

One other thing Paul what I do is once I have charged it up I first use the hybrids potion of the battery for local trips it tends to stay in electric for longer than when the main battery is flat doing this I am able to get well over 40 miles electric range out it it for some reason it depletes the main battery a lot slower I have found what you need to do is experiment a bit and see what’s best for you and you will soon get the hang of it.

Can you explain this a bit more, as I don't understand what you mean by using 'the hybrids portion of the Battery' first? Thanks. 🙂

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When you look at the Battery icon the top half is your plug in Battery portion and the bottom half is your hybrids portion so when you put it on hybrid mode by pressing the hv button it runs on engine and if you are going slow enough will use the hybrids portion at the bottom and go into electric mode using that part therefore preserving the top half which is your electric driving range although it will use a little bit of that not so much as it would if it was on pure electric so in other words would be the same as the normal Prius with out a plug so drive it as much as poss like a normal Prius when you can and use the electric range when you need it or if going over 35 mph.

Hope that explains it so basically you have 2 types of car in 1 an Electric when you want it to be and a hybrid that is capable of driving Electric at slow speeds ie 30 mph

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23 hours ago, Melli said:

When you look at the battery icon the top half is your plug in battery portion and the bottom half is your hybrids portion so when you put it on hybrid mode by pressing the hv button it runs on engine and if you are going slow enough will use the hybrids portion at the bottom and go into electric mode using that part therefore preserving the top half ....

There is only one HV Battery and the HV/EV split thingy is just visual on the display. There isn't a separate part of the Battery which is reserved for EV and another for HV.

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On 8/24/2019 at 7:55 PM, Ten Ninety said:

Still want to see a pic of yours though, if you don't mind posting one. They do look great in pearl white.

Attached photos of ‘dirty’ Prius after 350 miles use.62A05065-6648-4752-B588-B1B175EF3BF8.thumb.jpeg.25e2c67e6c50c1e93367ae55afb1fc59.jpeg6283C20F-1BC0-4421-B2F1-E383BA96D144.thumb.jpeg.1b282b0d375e2cde4e7d3bcb70bd8916.jpeg4392EF86-603B-43B9-AAC4-7AA06E1084EC.thumb.jpeg.213ab582f659044381a49f177dbfed67.jpeg74E6251B-FF41-4143-AAD3-3824177FE11A.thumb.jpeg.6f0a6491538a4f4b5ee8762d401c8592.jpeg

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I find this paint colour talk amusing intergalactic white and sonic the hedgehog red .why not just say I bought a blue one .😂

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7 hours ago, HectorG said:

Attached photos of ‘dirty’ Prius after 350 miles use.

Points deducted for the purity-spoiling protection pack 😄.

But still... stunning! Love it, and I wish I'd managed to find a good one in that colour when I was looking.

23 hours ago, Melli said:

When you look at the battery icon the top half is your plug in battery portion and the bottom half is your hybrids portion so when you put it on hybrid mode by pressing the hv button it runs on engine and if you are going slow enough will use the hybrids portion at the bottom and go into electric mode using that part therefore preserving the top half which is your electric driving range although it will use a little bit of that not so much as it would if it was on pure electric so in other words would be the same as the normal Prius with out a plug so drive it as much as poss like a normal Prius when you can and use the electric range when you need it or if going over 35 mph.

Hope that explains it so basically you have 2 types of car in 1 an Electric when you want it to be and a hybrid that is capable of driving Electric at slow speeds ie 30 mph

OK, I understand what you mean now. As Alan said above, there is no separate 'hybrid Battery' but I know where you're coming from as the range indicator does indeed go down more slowly in HV mode. However, that's because the ICE will have kicked in during the startup cycle and will also be helping out every time you stray into the second half of the power meter! Therefore it doesn't really count as additional 'range' in my view, because some of those miles will have been powered by the ICE.

I am perhaps being a little restrictive in my definition, but I think it would really muddy the waters if people start claiming miles travelled on electric in HV mode as EV range. You could easily do a 200-mile journey in a combination of HV and EV modes, and spend 50% of that journey on electric power. But using that to say the car has a 100-mile EV range, I don't think is particularly helpful. Maybe that's just me though.

However, it does illustrate just how brilliantly fuel-efficient these cars are, in combining the already-efficient hybrid powertrain with additional EV range. So much better than all the other plug-ins which just default back to a standard petrol or diesel power when the charge is gone.

3 hours ago, Alan1234 said:

I find this paint colour talk amusing intergalactic white and sonic the hedgehog red .why not just say I bought a blue one .😂

a) There's no fun in that.

b) If you said you'd bought a blue one, that could only mean Spirited Aqua, and we'd all be arguing over whether it was really blue or actually close to green...😁

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4 hours ago, Alan1234 said:

I find this paint colour talk amusing intergalactic white and sonic the hedgehog red .why not just say I bought a blue one .😂

I certainly can’t say I bought a blue one......... I bought a red one. 😀

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That is a nice looking car 👍, white really suits the car well. Great choice. 👌

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2 hours ago, Ten Ninety said:

Points deducted for the purity-spoiling protection pack 😄.

 

I quite agree Jay. I wouldn’t have fitted it, except for the boot liner. I’m a purist when it comes to a car’s lines, but now it’s there I’ll look on the positive side with regard to the long term benefits for the car’s appearance/durability.

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Now I’ve had the PHV for a massive 5 days it’s time for some reflections on the new beast.

I realise now that I never had any great affection for my RAV4 Hybrid. It did the job, was practical, well built, reliable and very efficient compared to my Forester 2.0 XT. However, it was a little bland and edging towards ‘white goods’ territory like a Kia or Hyundai (personal experience of wife’s previous Hyundai i10 - nice little car but soooooo dull)

The Prius PHV is something else. Can’t put my finger on it, but I think it oozes character, personality or whatever you want to call it. I may be smitten! It’s such a great drive. Not perfect - the soft ride can be a smidge wallowy on really poor rural roads, the previously mentioned road noise can grate, and the low ground clearance has been testing when pulling over on some of the almost single track roads here in Dorset.

The power is perfectly adequate and belies the max 120 hp;  and I speak as someone whose last car but one was a 240 hp twin scroll petrol turbo. I carried two passengers in the rear yesterday and they commented on how comfortable it was. They couldn’t believe that a car of its size had achieved nearly 100 mpg in the last 400 miles.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. I’m confident it’s qualities will continue to impress me and hopefully it won’t be a case of the novelty wearing off.

It amazes me there aren’t more on the roads. I’ve only ever seen two. I’m convinced that as a nearly new car it represents great value for money. Comparing it with run of the mill and over-priced products from the Germans, it’s amazing value. How on earth does What Car give it  ** ?

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This link refers to a conventional Prius gen. 4, and it's a French website, but if you allow Google to translate it for you, then it does give some extra insight on what is under the skin of that car (and your car?) from a sound deadening point of view.  The Google translated version might eventually end up giving you a headache - or you might find the occasionally idiosyncratic text charming!

https://hybridlife.org/threads/toyota-prius-4-2016-insonorisation-dorigine-details-et-photos.1408/

I did put this next link up a while back, this is a Czech soundproofing/audio-upgrade company website.  They have thoughtfully taken photos of their upgrades as they take place.  There is no gen. 4 Prius, but plenty of Toyota hybrids and others to examine - if you have time to spare!

https://www.ahifi.cz/autohifi-montaze-do-vozidel-toyota/

 

 

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14 hours ago, HectorG said:

 

It amazes me there aren’t more on the roads. I’ve only ever seen two. I’m convinced that as a nearly new car it represents great value for money.

The main reasons there aren't more plug in pri on the road are:

Price difference between plugin and normal prius.  (Also the 4 seats vs 5 seats and less boot space).

Consumer resistance to cars that are (or can be) plugged in. Hence Toyota adverts using 'self charging hybrid'.

Toyota don't market them.  There are no adverts for the plugin.

 

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1 hour ago, johalareewi said:

 

Price difference between plugin and normal prius.

 

Fair enough, but it seems to me that most private buyers will avoid buying brand new and go for a demo model or nearly new. I spent several weeks searching for a Plug -in and in almost all cases of cars less than 18 months old there was little or no difference between PHV and Gen 4 Prius when comparing cars of each type of similar age mileage and spec. In quite a few cases the standard Prius was more expensive than the equivalent PHV. More than one dealer told me that the interest from taxi drivers in the 5-seat Prius pushes up their relative cost in relation to PHV’s. The dealer on Exeter sells quite a few to London taxi drivers. Also, the PHV cannot be used by Uber drivers as their conditions require their drivers’ cars to have 5 seats.

I was quite happy to get 26% off list price for a 7 month old demonstrator with 5,000 miles which also came with a dealer-fit dash cam included. Initially I was put off by the 4 seats and comical boot; but I rarely carry 5 people and my main holiday/long journey vehicle is a camper van. It clearly isn’t a family car and I’m sure if any of my 3 children were still at home I wouldn't give it a moment’s consideration. Horses for courses.

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Welcome to the world of the PHV. We have had our red one for about 4 months now and really impressed with it, and love the colour.

In mixed driving and judicious charging (take both your 13 amp and type 2 cable if you are travelling overnight or stopping for a couple of hours at your destination) we can easily achieve 130 +mpg. 

In York and East Yorkshire there are a growing number of charge points with free parking and free/low cost charging. Also Lidl and Aldi are putting charge points in at a pace. 

A shopping stop at Clifton Moor (York) has 6 free to use chargers and easily adds 20 to 30 miles in a normal Tesco shop.

OOI I find swapping to HV for any significant bump in the road (southerners call them steep hills) save a huge amount of EV for the flat stretches for a small cost of petrol.

Cheers

Tony B

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22 hours ago, toshtosh said:

OOI I find swapping to HV for any significant bump in the road (southerners call them steep hills) save a huge amount of EV for the flat stretches for a small cost of petrol.

I spent several years living in the Yorkshire Dales and as a keen cyclist I assure you the hills in Dorset (as South as you can get in the UK), where I now live, are far worse. And Dartmoor is worse still! 

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On 8/27/2019 at 9:31 PM, HectorG said:

Comparing it with run of the mill and over-priced products from the Germans, it’s amazing value. How on earth does What Car give it  ** ?

Possibly because motoring journalists in the UK are twenty years behind the curve, still obsessing over 'handling' and 'power' when such things have precious little value on today's overcrowded roads. They have been wilfully ignorant of hybrid technology for years, they have absolutely no interest in driving efficiently and they place zero value on reliability, preferring to be seduced by soft-touch surfaces and technical trinkets that bejewel the interiors of the German contingent. The PHV offers them nothing that they understand. 

Alternatively, it might simply be because Toyota/Lexus refuse to pay them the necessary backhanders to get positive reviews, which would at least provide a rational explanation for the otherwise inexplicable favour shown to so many ugly, poorly-built, archaic products from JLR, VAG and the rest of the German contingent. 

10 hours ago, toshtosh said:

OOI I find swapping to HV for any significant bump in the road (southerners call them steep hills) save a huge amount of EV for the flat stretches for a small cost of petrol.

Except that if the ICE is cold (which it will be if you've been in EV for a while) then you'll fire it up at the bottom of the hill but it won't actually contribute to forward motion until it's gone through its initial warm-up cycle again. During that time, the Battery will still be propelling the car even though the engine's running. Whilst this cycle doesn't last a particularly long time, if it's not a very long hill you could find that the Battery has actually propelled you up most of it anyway. Even on longer hills, the ICE will remain cold after that initial warm-up and will therefore be running in its least efficient state whilst you're asking the most of it to drag the car up a hill. 

In terms of overall fuel economy, it is therefore not a good idea to invoke HV for 'occasional' hills on an EV journey. It might be a different story if the hills are more frequent, as the ICE could potentially reach its warm state and remain there. However, it's not really playing to the strengths of each mode - the gutless-by-design ICE will need help from the Battery going up steeper hills in HV mode anyway, whereas the torquey nature of EV is more suited to handling inclines. These days, if I'm in HV mode and manage to 'earn' some EV range from regen, I actually choose to 'spend' that on an uphill stretch. Based on completely unscientific but extensive sad-man-with-nothing-better-to-do-on-a-boring-journey testing on my commute, that seems to yield better average mpg for the journey. 

Of course, fuel savings aren't the be all and end all. If you just want to spend more time enjoying EV mode on flatter stretches, using HV to go up hills will give you just that.

All of which perhaps demonstrates another great positive of owning a PHV - there are many different ways to gain pleasure from driving it, none of which are 'right' or 'wrong', and always something new to try out. After a year, I'm still not bored with mine!

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I have noticed that in my pip mk1 with the hybrid assistant app.  When i first hit the HV mode button the ICE heads for 1500 rpm and pretty much stays there until stage 1a is done.  During that time the EV is providing the rest of the power.  One trick is to have stage 1a out of way before you reach the hill so the ICE can provide more oomph.

Or you can just drive and let the hybrid system look after itself.

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10 hours ago, Ten Ninety said:

Possibly because motoring journalists in the UK are twenty years behind the curve, still obsessing over 'handling' and 'power' when such things have precious little value on today's overcrowded roads. They have been wilfully ignorant of hybrid technology for years, they have absolutely no interest in driving efficiently and they place zero value on reliability, preferring to be seduced by soft-touch surfaces and technical trinkets that bejewel the interiors of the German contingent. The PHV offers them nothing that they understand. 

Alternatively, it might simply be because Toyota/Lexus refuse to pay them the necessary backhanders to get positive reviews, which would at least provide a rational explanation for the otherwise inexplicable favour shown to so many ugly, poorly-built, archaic products from JLR, VAG and the rest of the German contingent. 

Couldn't agree more. Regarding JLR, six of my last seven cars have been Japanese with the one exception being a Freelander 2 diesel auto.  I was on the verge of trading my seven year old Subaru Forester XT for a new Outback when I was talked into a new Freelander (my wife had a financial interest in the new car). Dreadful mistake - rear diff failure literally on the last day of the warranty and a pathetic 30.3 mpg (brim to brim measurement) over 33,000 miles. Needless to say I got rid. A friend who had one the same age as mine had a £2,000 bill 2 months after the warranty ran out.

My wife had a habit of buying new VW's despite a catalogue of failures - gearbox failed in Polo after 13 months; engine replaced in Golf TDi after 2 years, plus new cylinder head, DMF, sunroof motor, door seals, etc. She eventually realised her folly and bought a Honda Jazz, despite my preference for a Yaris (she didn't like the look of the Yaris at the time).

I have a very nice 1 year old Westfalia camper van which is unfortunately based on a Mercedes V-Class. Very car-like to drive, lovely interior and very bling. However, it's spent the last 5 weeks at the local Mercedes dealers having a new pop-up roof, various bits of corroded metal replaced and investigations into intermittent failure of the fuel gauge. I didn't have much more luck about twelve years ago with a new VW California which spent most of its downtime at the dealers having niggling faults repaired until I got fed up with it.

 

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This is my first car with the dreaded piano black trim. I’ve already noticed a couple of surface scratches it has suffered as a result of being a  demonstrator and before I end up damaging it further, can any of you detailers out there give me advice on how best to repair/protect/polish and generally look after piano black.

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