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PHEV... Tales of the M6


Nick72
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Well ok, M6, M42, M40, M25, M1 etc. Probably driven 1500mi in the last 2 weeks.

M6, what a horrendous road that is. Pretty much a car park every single I've driven it in the last 3 months. 50mph average speed without anything happening on the roadworks was bad enough. Then night closures. Now constant accidents and breakdowns on the not so smart motorway sections. Standstill to max speed 35mph.

Waze not helping since that took everyone off the M6 onto the same country roads around Stoke which subsequently jammed. Huge long line of Wazers driving through the council estates 😂.

Back to relevance...

5 things I realise I don't like

1. Small fuel tank

2. The heavily nearside biased LTA

3. How long it takes the boot to open and close, especially closing and having to wait about 6 or 7 seconds before you can actually lock the car.

4. The silly messages that block the MID when driving. Do you want to close windows? If I wanted to I'd close them. No need to also put this on the HUD completely blocking the info I need for driving.

5. The lack of 360 Deg parking cameras.

6. How I can't easily turn up or down the directions volume from Google maps or Waze. Grrr.

7. The reversing camera gets dirty quick. Constantly cleaning it. Wished it was behind rear windscreen or like my last Merc where it pops out and self cleans. Low Res 80s VHS long play quality plus dirt means good luck with seeing anything.

Sorry, that was 7.

But, I like...

1. The power. Still feels like it can jump space-time which is handy on the parts of motorway that actually allow you to drive over 40mph.

2. The economy. Still averaged 49mpg real despite the stop start and caning it when possible.

3. The fuel reserve (orange light came on, pulled off the motorway to the services, failed to realise the poor road markings said HGV Fuel with the HGV part missing, and the other lane saying Exit with the car fuel wording missing or worn out, so I missed out as I couldn't U turn). 70 or 80 miles later the car is still running and I managed to fill up.

4. It's comfortable. Now that I have the stick on knee pad. Best accessory I bought.

5. It loves E5. Decided to give it a treat. Usually run on E10. Seems smoother and more responsive and more power in ICE mode. Seemed quite noticeable. 80 quid to fill up is probably the most money I've put in a fuel tank ever. So that will be it's last treat until next year.

 

Observations. Over.

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We used the M6 just over two weeks ago - holiday past Aberdeen. 

40, 50, and 60mph limits virtually constant from Birmingham to Blackpool - road works, stranded vehicles and pedestrians reported on motorway.

Returned last Sunday, and it was totally different and back to 'normal'. 

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6 minutes ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

We used the M6 just over two weeks ago - holiday past Aberdeen. 

40, 50, and 60mph limits virtually constant from Birmingham to Blackpool - road works, stranded vehicles and pedestrians reported on motorway.

Returned last Sunday, and it was totally different and back to 'normal'. 

It's such a lottery. I seem to be losing a lot at the motorway roulette.

Sunday probably the best day to drive it. Weekdays or late evenings then it's truly awful. I hadn't realised a few weeks back that bridge repairs started at 9pm and that meant it was down to one lane then no lanes at all (diverted off the motorway). Waze said 2 hours to home. I stops off for something to eat and drink. 15 minutes. Next thing Waze says 3hrs. Then 3.5hrs not long after. Just mistimed it.

Need a helicopter.

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38 minutes ago, Nick72 said:

I hadn't realised a few weeks back that bridge repairs started at 9pm

Was that southbound J32-31? They did some work on the bridge there during the day last month, and after motorists experienced delays of up to 12 hours, decided to continue the work overnight.

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2 hours ago, FROSTYBALLS said:

Was that southbound J32-31? They did some work on the bridge there during the day last month, and after motorists experienced delays of up to 12 hours, decided to continue the work overnight.

That's the one. They're still at it.

 

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Great observations Nick. the LTA bias is so scary I don’t even try to use it. If it worked it would be a good tool as it is it pulls into every lorry you’re trying to overtake or concrete block on some of the car park sections on the M1 which I know very well.  The boot closure is frustrating and could be sorted by a software change to press the closure side of the switch when it’s open to close the boot and then lock the car?

One of my current pet hates is the sections of the M1 that have been now opened which have combinations of the old road surface and new running down the traffic lane. This produces a wavy hump which always seems to coincide with the running wheels and the noise is horrendous.

I take the price hit and use E5 all the time. To be honest I don’t use a massive amount of fuel but find the car seems to run sweeter with less growl from under the bonnet. Absolutely subjective of course and no idea if it gives better mpg (probably not much if any).

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13 hours ago, Nick72 said:

...  I don't like

1. Small fuel tank

... I like...

2. The economy. Still averaged 49mpg real despite the stop start and caning it when possible.

3. The fuel reserve (orange light came on, pulled off the motorway to the services, failed to realise the poor road markings said HGV Fuel with the HGV part missing, and the other lane saying Exit with the car fuel wording missing or worn out, so I missed out as I couldn't U turn). 70 or 80 miles later the car is still running and I managed to fill up.

 

The fuel tank on the PHEV is 55 litres, I believe - same as the HEV. When I fill up it suggest that I have around 500 miles range - the PHEV should be similar and you may have EV range as well. Even at an average of 60 mph that's over 8 hours of driving before you need to fill up again. Why do you consider that too small? (Personally I'd welcome the break!)

That said, I tend to fill up when it's convenient and the range gets under 100 miles rather than when the light comes on. But on occasions I have run all the way to the warning light. The most I've ever been able to put in is 47.75 litres - suggesting that there is at least 7.25 litres "in reserve". The car will cover approximately 10 miles / litre (45 mpg) which suggests a "reserve" of 72.5 miles. You may well have been getting quite close!!!

Do you know / can you say how much fuel you managed to put in when you did fill up?

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You listed most of the issues I also have with this car, Rav4 is just not the most practical car on the market. !Removed! LTA and low camera quality as for the car released on the market in 2018/2019, no washer for the reversing camera, lack of ability to lock the car before the boot is closed, do you want to close windows - no, do you want to close windows - no, do you want to close windows - no. I have no issues with the power or drive quality, howerver, the car get noisy if driving over 85mph.

I guess it's not easy for me as I switched from 2017 Tiguan that was released in 2016 and I wasn't expecting so many downgrades in terms of practicality to be honest.

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LTA maybe its a PHEV specific issue?  maybe due to the extra weight the software really needs re-calibrating to be a bit firmer with the power steering motor to hold its line better. I have had two HEV's and both LTA steer really well dead centre on the road.  I do at least 500 miles a week with it on.

The window message is stupid but my absolute pet hate is the door open bongs, I know the door is freaking open, I am stationary and switched off so mind your own business RAV!!!!!!

Fuel tank is adequate to me, if you ever owned an Outlander PHEV you would not be complaining believe me, I often had to refuel it EVERY day!  The other day I went from the West Midlands to South Devon, then across Somerset, into central London, out to outer London and then next day back to the Midlands and still had plenty in the tank. Awesome.

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13 hours ago, ernieb said:

Great observations Nick. the LTA bias is so scary I don’t even try to use it. If it worked it would be a good tool as it is it pulls into every lorry you’re trying to overtake or concrete block on some of the car park sections on the M1 which I know very well.  The boot closure is frustrating and could be sorted by a software change to press the closure side of the switch when it’s open to close the boot and then lock the car?

One of my current pet hates is the sections of the M1 that have been now opened which have combinations of the old road surface and new running down the traffic lane. This produces a wavy hump which always seems to coincide with the running wheels and the noise is horrendous.

I take the price hit and use E5 all the time. To be honest I don’t use a massive amount of fuel but find the car seems to run sweeter with less growl from under the bonnet. Absolutely subjective of course and no idea if it gives better mpg (probably not much if any).

I think that's my main gate too with LTA. Just too close to the concrete and lorries. Should just be centralised in the lane really.

Not noticed anything on the mpg front yet but should do after a long trip this weekend hopefully.

I think in general the road and wind noise is pretty high over about 60mph. But not abnormal for an SUV. Just not in the Volvo sound proofing league. Then again their engines are noisy and unsophisticated at low speeds when the R4P hardly makes a noise.

 

 

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11 hours ago, philip42h said:

The fuel tank on the PHEV is 55 litres, I believe - same as the HEV. When I fill up it suggest that I have around 500 miles range - the PHEV should be similar and you may have EV range as well. Even at an average of 60 mph that's over 8 hours of driving before you need to fill up again. Why do you consider that too small? (Personally I'd welcome the break!)

That said, I tend to fill up when it's convenient and the range gets under 100 miles rather than when the light comes on. But on occasions I have run all the way to the warning light. The most I've ever been able to put in is 47.75 litres - suggesting that there is at least 7.25 litres "in reserve". The car will cover approximately 10 miles / litre (45 mpg) which suggests a "reserve" of 72.5 miles. You may well have been getting quite close!!!

Do you know / can you say how much fuel you managed to put in when you did fill up?

Not sure how much fuel I put in but typically it's 10 gallons when the orange light comes or whatever that is in litres. I believe it's 10+2 imperial gallons. 2 gallons in reserve.

So from full to orange light I typically get about 460 to 480 miles from full. Plus 50 miles electric range.

Probably not too far off your figures.

Too small because a lot of my business trips exceed 500 miles round trip so I'm filling up. Most of the time if I'm not on the M6 I'm probably averaging 75mph so averaging about 3hr20m each way. Sometimes I'd just prefer to blast through. Couple of extra gallons would have been nice.

Spoiled by a super efficient diesel Merc which did over 70mpg and a 700 to 800 mile range. Can't recall.

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6 hours ago, Rav Rob said:

LTA maybe its a PHEV specific issue?  maybe due to the extra weight the software really needs re-calibrating to be a bit firmer with the power steering motor to hold its line better. I have had two HEV's and both LTA steer really well dead centre on the road.  I do at least 500 miles a week with it on.

The window message is stupid but my absolute pet hate is the door open bongs, I know the door is freaking open, I am stationary and switched off so mind your own business RAV!!!!!!

Fuel tank is adequate to me, if you ever owned an Outlander PHEV you would not be complaining believe me, I often had to refuel it EVERY day!  The other day I went from the West Midlands to South Devon, then across Somerset, into central London, out to outer London and then next day back to the Midlands and still had plenty in the tank. Awesome.

Yeh it's definitely well biased to nearside. Practically on the line. I've not seen any options to adjust it. Ernie and others noticed similar so I assume PHEV issue or 'feature'. Can't think of any sensible or engineering reason why it wouldn't be dead centred.

 

Door bongs are crazy. Wish I could switch them off.

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20 hours ago, Nick72 said:

Yeh it's definitely well biased to nearside. Practically on the line. I've not seen any options to adjust it. Ernie and others noticed similar so I assume PHEV issue or 'feature'. Can't think of any sensible or engineering reason why it wouldn't be dead centred.

 

Door bongs are crazy. Wish I could switch them off.

Interesting comments about LTA as mine most definitely pulls to the offside. I also find it constantly trying to adjust even on a dead straight road which makes for a very twitchy drive so I don’t tend to use it

i think the PHEV is an engineering masterpiece but Toyota could put a bit more effort into sorting out most of the common gripes which would be virtually no cost improvements 
 

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Phil, agree about the ‘hunting’. When I first got the car I tried it a number of times and not only did I feel it pulled off centre it seems to oscillate between the lanes. My wife found the slow cyclical motion very unsettling. 

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LTA seems to me like giving your child the wheel in a bumper car, something you feel you should do but keeps you poised to take over at any moment. Entertaining but hardly relaxing.

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1 hour ago, Phil E said:

Interesting comments about LTA as mine most definitely pulls to the offside. I also find it constantly trying to adjust even on a dead straight road which makes for a very twitchy drive so I don’t tend to use it

i think the PHEV is an engineering masterpiece but Toyota could put a bit more effort into sorting out most of the common gripes which would be virtually no cost improvements 
 

Could be a tolerances thing. Misalignment somewhere. I bet it is front camera alignment related. Different in every model.

My HUD is wonky. It's on the extreme of rotation setting to correct it but still very slightly wonky. Never been bothered to sort it. Apparently it comes down to the screws being over torqued on one side.

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1 hour ago, ernieb said:

Phil, agree about the ‘hunting’. When I first got the car I tried it a number of times and not only did I feel it pulled off centre it seems to oscillate between the lanes. My wife found the slow cyclical motion very unsettling. 

Same until I adjusted the sensitivity setting.

 

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12 minutes ago, NASY said:

LTA seems to me like giving your child the wheel in a bumper car, something you feel you should do but keeps you poised to take over at any moment. Entertaining but hardly relaxing.

For me that was fixed by sensitivity setting in the mid 

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1 minute ago, Nick72 said:

Same until I adjusted the sensitivity setting.

 

I’ve never been able to get a setting that makes it useable. Agree that there may be be something that is not set up for the PHEV and I understand that the BZ4x has a recall associated with LTA?

Off subject: issues like this would never make me feel happy about being in a car that is fully automated.

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3 hours ago, ernieb said:

I’ve never been able to get a setting that makes it useable. Agree that there may be be something that is not set up for the PHEV and I understand that the BZ4x has a recall associated with LTA?

Off subject: issues like this would never make me feel happy about being in a car that is fully automated.

Me neither. There's a lot of bad engineering going on in automotive at present. Toyota are one of the better more cautious ones.

 

Didn't know about the BXZ4RABCDEFG recall. I wished they'd give it a proper name.

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I find lta to be like a new or bad driver, as it just reacts to what's near the car, it doesn't or is unable to look a hundred yards down the road and factor that in.

Teaching the nipper to drive at the moment (when did she grow up??? 🤣) and I say to her, look further than the end of the bonnet, look at what's happening 2 or 3 cars ahead.

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You need to remember it's not and never will be as sophisticated as the human brain. It is unable to take in the bigger picture, scan around and plan ahead, it's reactive rather than proactive.

Just a toy and not to be taken seriously and definitely not relied on 👍

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On 10/7/2022 at 8:41 PM, Nick72 said:

Same until I adjusted the sensitivity setting.

 

Oooh what sensitivity setting is that? There's one that warns about 'sway' that i can set the sensitivity for but that only seems to be for detecting if I'm swaying (It also doesn't seem to work :laugh: )

I can get it to stop oscillating if I manually force it to drive straight for a bit and stop it over-correcting its attempts to centre itself, but sometimes it will do the lane wiggle.

I tend to use it during boring parts of the drive, e.g. heavy traffic or long boring motorway runs - It really comes into its own there as it lets me concentrate more on the road and not holding a certain speed or following the hypnotic train of traffic!

 

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