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Next tech investment - electric or plug in hybrid? Or???

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I currently have a first generation prius that I bought in 2001. Actually, I put my name on the waiting list in 2000 and waited in excited anticipation for my new high tech hybrid car. I was proud to be investing in and promoting new technology that is moving the industry forward. (Or backward, since the first cars were electric). Now that my little prius is coming up on 19 years old, I'm thinking I may need to start doing some research on my next car. I live in a condo complex that is not at all interested in me having an electric car, and I'm not sure I want to battle the HOA on this.
Soooo....what other new tech is on the horizon that I can support with my next purchase?
What do you think will be the next big thing in 2020 or 2021? What are other early adopters buying?
I live in Southern California and don't drive a ton, so I'm really looking for a fuel efficient little car to tool around town. What do you think?
I am currently exploring plug in hybrids, electrics (actually I'm looking at the home charging stations more closely then the cars), and even traditional fuel vehicles with great fuel economy. I'm not crazy about the prius c because it doesn't have the best mpg, but that is the closest I have found so far if I went with a straight replacement car. It just doesn't excite me the way my first prius does.

Priorities: Fuel economy / Reliability & durability / Warranty, maintenance cost

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 50000
Maximum age: 5 years

Maximum price: US $ 30000

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Response from Sea-Dan

6:52 pm September 21, 2019

Wow, you got your money's worth on your Prius! Not surprising given their exceptionally high reliablity -- there is a reason they have become the predominate taxi in many areas.

I just did a similar exercise and purchased a Kia Niro PHEV. It is also available as a non plug in HEV or full BEV. The Niro Hybrid has some advantages over a similar Prius, but the P would probably top the Niro in terms of overall cost to own & reliablity based on its past.
You might want to take a look at my thread here on True Delta regarding purchasing a Niro:https://www.truedelta.com/Is-the-Kia-Niro-a-hero/next-car-Q1158&b=mr

lex on Autos has a couple of excellent review of the Prius vs Niro.

Also there is a excellent Niro forum here:https://www.kianiroforum.com/index.php?page=active_topics

Living in a condo and considering an EV, I assume you have easy access to a place to plug in. Whether you can you easily access a 120 or a 240 outlet will make a big differnce in the car you might purchase. Larger battery = longer charging times. Is the condo associate concern that you might be using an outlet that the condo association pays the electric bill on rather than your personal electric bill? If that is the case it is pretty easy / inexpensive to get a watt ready that attaches to your outlet & records amount of KW used that could calculate how much energy you're vamping from the association.

Love to hear how you sort things out and what you get. No matter what is it, you may be shocked how much cars have changed / generally improved since 2001, especially the electronics and safety features


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Response from LectroFuel

2:51 am September 23, 2019

If you are only "tooling around town," it might be a good idea to check whether you will actually save money by going electric or PHEV. SDG&E has some of the highest electric rates in the country unfortunately. I don't know about SC Edison or LADWP. Some companies like SDG&E have the time of use (TOU) plans that drastically cut your rates per kWh at night and raises it during the day. That would help a lot only if you drive a lot because if you don't charge your car often, you won't be saving much money at all because you will be paying extra $$$ during the day when your rates are high. Otherwise, I'm not so sure a car that you plug in would help in your situation. Find out this stuff before you buy the car and you'll be fine.

Most of the apartments around me only have a few ChargePoint stations each it seems like. If you only have a 120V outlet and you buy an EV you will probably be screwed. 240V is the only way to go. "The next big thing in 2020 or 2021" in my opinion will still be Tesla because their cars are always updated over the air. Several companies have come out with luxury EVs costing way more than the Model 3 and there is still a certain charm in that well-thought-out Tesla that makes it very enjoyable to own. It will feel fresh 10 years later which you can't say about any other car. I would probably avoid an old Model S, but a used Model 3 might be a little cheaper now and is worth a look.

Some of the better EVs and PHEVs are the Kia Soul EV, VW Golf EV, Kia Niro EV/PHEV, new Nissan LEAFs, Prius Prime, and Honda Clarity PHEV.

The Volt is discontinued, but may still be on dealer lots. Since the Volt is gone, I think the best PHEV would be the Clarity PHEV or Niro PHEV.

For regular hybrids, the regular Prius liftback is excellent and the Honda Insight is a new one that is said to be pretty good. Honda Accord Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrids are good as well. The Prius C is a miserable car and I agree with your thoughts. It is the old Yaris with the powertrain of a 2004-2009 Prius. It doesn't have the special feel of the Prius either. I have a 2016 Prius and (at least when it was new) it felt pretty cool and futuristic inside. Now, I regret that it doesn't have CarPlay. Everything else I like about it though. I had a 2005 Prius that went to over 260k miles and thought I could do it again in this car.

The only thing to do is test drive. Sep. 22 is the last day of National Drive Electric Week when all the test drive events are held. I guess dealers are the next best option!

I'm really interested to see what you get. Please respond!


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Honda Clarity
Kia Niro
Toyota Prius

Response from AcuraT

3:14 pm October 2, 2019

Just note the Prius C due to lack of demand will end with the 2019 model year. If you don't care about that, buy it as it will be cheap at the end of the year (now) as it won't be made anymore. The Prius is not selling either but Toyota just redesigned it and added AWD with electric motors (not selling either). I assume Toyota will offer it for a couple of more years before throwiing in the towel on it if it continues not to sell.

The future is self-driving cars but I think we are still at least 5 or 6 years away before we see what happens next with that.


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