Prius c compared to FEH?

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Family' started by rdprice64, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    Drove my first Prius tonight. A Moonglow 2012 Prius c. I have always thought the Prius was rather dull, but tonight I loved the ride, the styling, and the instrumentation.

    So I have a question for anyone who has driven both an FEH and a Prius c: "What am I going to find markedly different between the two?" I am not as mechanically inclined as some others are, so this question is more from a "piloting" perspective.

    My commute is 12-14 miles of 35-45 mph street driving where I rarely stop at a red light and am able to use pulse and glide for most of it. I work from 7am-4pm, so I usually miss any major traffic snares. Mostly downhill on the way to work, getting around 50 mpg. Mostly uphill coming home, getting 38-42 mpg. Most of my non-commuting is done on highway trips of around 35-50 miles each time. I don't do nearly so well on highway mpgs :eek:

    My initial impressions of the Prius c are:
    - I expected it to feel low-to-the-ground, but it really didn't
    - The glides seemed fairly similar, even though the dealer had the tires inflated for "comfort"
    - The instrumentation seemed farther away in the c
    - Almost seems like I wouldn't need to put in the scan gauge, so what are you monitoring in your c with the scan gauge?

    When I bought the FEH, I really went into it blindly just trying to be green. I am hoping to do better this time around, so I would appreciate any and all insights and experiences that you could share.

  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rob:

    If you are considering a c, good for you. The drivetrains act similar but the c's is a few generations ahead so it is a bit smoother to transition, acts like it is supposed to after warm-up and is going to be a lot easier on your pocket book at the pump.

    It is lower and you will notice it when getting in and out a few tens of times.

    Wait until you make that girl sing. Whoooa do glides make the numbers sore in the c. Pressing up the tires will certainly help.

    If there is a problem with the c, its the interior. From the centered instruments to the IP (interior plastics), its all over the map. If you can get used to it (you will), the multi-colored and higher res display vs. the Prius hatch is welcome. Just remember that it is a Yaris with HSD installed and take it from there.

    An SG-II in the C gives you a tach, SoC, IGN and a much more precise and quicker iFCD.

    I hope this quick overview helps?

  3. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    I have a Trim 4 With the Sunroof and 16". If you like to have better handling then go with the wider 16", it takes corners real good with since the C is 2500lbs and the center of gravity has been low. Also the trim 4 does come wit the Softex and headed seats which does make the interior look better.

    I got 63 mpg on my best tank and I only do basic smart driving. I just got 54mpg going from LA to Vegas and back with CC set at 70mph.

    For the car of its size its not bad space wise. It surprises me actually!

    I don't use the scan gauge but use the ECO gauges and the instantaneous read out on the NAV screen which comes on trim 3 and up which I recommend you get.

    Let me know if you want me to answer anything else from an owners perspective.
  4. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    Yes, its does help Wayne. Thanks!

    New question for you though. My current pulse and glide steps are:
    - a low-rpm, steady acceleration up to 35-40 mph
    - L or double break tap to go EV (gotta love the first gen FEH :rolleyes:)
    - then a Neutral glide until I'm down to 20-25 mph depending on the terrain/conditions.
    - repeat

    How different would those steps be in the c? The transition is so smooth compared to the FEH that I couldn't tell during the test drive when I had gotten the ICE to shut off, so I could see how the scan gauge giving me the tach would work well.

    Awesome numbers, sounds like if you treat her right that she responds well :D

    I've driven that stretch between LA and Vegas before, 54mpg is great there. Sounds like the c would certainly help my highway numbers.

    I appreciate your thoughts on the trim level also, but I am much more of a minimalist, so I'll probably end up with the one

    So a new question for you too. Which display do you seem to use most? I went through them all on the test drive and really liked the diagram that showed the energy going in and out of the battery pack (but I'm a computer geek so that may explain it). Does the NAV system take over the default displays or is it a separate screen?

  5. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    Two new questions:
    What is the "B" at the bottom of the shifter?
    How is the EV button used most effectively?
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rob:

    Forget B as it adds engine braking instead of more regen.

    Doesn't the c have an EV light that illuminates like the v when it goes into a glide or EV? It has been a long time since I have been in the c. With HSD, once you are warmed up, any speed below 46 mph is glide time. P&G as traffic allows and because of its really light weight, it responds very well to a light pedal. IGN to guide your highway driving and rockin and rollin with "Glide, Glide, Glide" around town.

    The 1.5L with the smallish pack providing a boost is not all that quick however. Fortunately you will rarely need to beat 60 in under 12 seconds but when you do, she's not as powerful as some would have hoped.

    Regarding Trims, II or III for me if you can get by without embedded NAVI. The IV is almost $24,000 with D&H and for $24K, you can buy a whole lot more something else with all the bells and whistles. Remember it is a $14K Yaris underneath that just so happens to have a much more fuel efficient drivetrain.

    A bit OT...

    I had a very well respected journalist within the Spanish Community say he almost got killed in a 13 Sentra a few weeks ago because he could not accelerate to speed from a stop on the median quick enough. The 13 Sentra is within a hair of the 2012 Civic, faster than the Corolla and Cruze with the 1.8L, slightly slower than the Elantra and a lot slower than the Mazda3 with its SKYACTIV engine. I did not push the subject but he did not like the Sentra and its 10 second to 60 performance. The Prius c is another second + slower.

  7. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    I use the ECO Screen the most and I would say it will be for you as well. It helps the a lot for getting the best MPG.

    The NAV screen that comes on trim 3 and 4 has other uses then nav only like apps. It is a separate larger screen where the radio would go. You can switch to trip info screen when you push the CAR button. Then benefit with this is that you can have the ECO screen on the dash going while you have the trip info screen open on the nav screen. With these two together you can see a better picture of whats happening. If you don't get the nav screen then you will only have the small screen on the dash only. You can toggle to the trip info on there but can only have one screen open at a time then. Your going to want to keep the ECO up because it really does help the most.

    If you like tech stuff the ability to see more stuff at once then you will want the NAV screen. If not then like you said the trim 1 or 2 will work for you. I would use the scan gauge if it does show instantaneous MPG? I mostly use that on the HWY. Definitely look over the brochure to see other things you get with the different trims in case you wanted something else.

    You can also see that diagram energy screen under the CAR button if you like as well

    Can't wait to see the car when you get it hehe
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  8. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    Wayne, thanks for the additional info. I was hoping that was the case.

    As far as acceleration goes, I rarely get up to 60 in less than 20 seconds anyway :p, so that should not be a problem. I am fortunate to have mostly considerate drivers here.

    priusCpilot, thanks for the additional info as well. I can't wait either :D The more I learn, the more I'm looking forward to it.
  9. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    I think B setting is for going down a mountain, there you need engine braking.
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Herm:

    You do not need B mode in that situation either, once the pack is full form regen, the ICE will spin up to ever increasing RPMs with the throttle plate closed creating heavier regen. A tap of the brakes if you go beyond terminal in that condition but to fill a pack, you have to be coming down a huge mountain. Like a 10 mile glide into Salt Lake from the East. Even there, no reason for B.

  11. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

    The salesperson said that it was "battery only mode" in case you run out of gas. :confused: That seemed unlikely to me.
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rob:

    It is braking mode and allows the engine to spin up for more engine braking.

  13. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Crazy what these sale people say! That guy should not be working at the dealer after saying that!
  14. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Wayne when my pack was full and I was coming down that larger grade going to Vegas I used B rather then hold the brake? I as increasing speed past 80+ if I didn't use B or brake. Should I have not used B to speed down or keep speed since it was not slowing down even in B but keeping speed??
  15. ILAveo

    ILAveo Well-Known Member

    A man's got to know his limitations. [​IMG]

    Most likely the journalist misjudged the break in traffic he merged into because he is used to driving things that do 0-60 much faster. Extra caution because you don't know a car's capabilities is a worthwhile moral to keep in mind for anybody who is test driving cars.
  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi priusCpilot:

    One of the few times when B can be helpful. Here are a few suggestions to get the most out of your c up in the mountains...

    Crest at an absolutely a minimum speed with the pack drained. And I mean in the truck climbing lane with e-flashers or even maintenance lane if you have too. And bring that pack down to 2-bars or less. The extra minute it takes is not going to harm you and you will have improved FE. You will regen for miles before the pack is full and by then you a usually at some point where a small climb may occur. Again drain the pack and run EV for as much of the uphill section as possible while you prep for the next steep downhill with a lower SoC

    I do this all the time on my driving adventures when in hybrids in the mountains.

    Rich, your comment about the journalist driving vehicles that are much quicker was probably indeed the culprit. It is sort of funny as I just questioned on twitter the High Gear Media Chief Editor about why he rated the latest Range Rover "whatever" as his top pick of all SUVs when he can probably not afford it and surely cannot afford to fuel it either? Everyone does indeed have a different priority :)

  17. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Oh man driving 30mph maybe or less lol to drain the pack up hill on a 70+mph freeway going to Vegas. Death Wish part 5! I guess if traffic is very light but you also have to know your to be descending down somehow before hand in case your not familiar with the route to much?
  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi PriusCpilot:

    What you just posted is one of the things that helps me understand why so many people will never touch the EPA in their cars let alone double it... Speed Kills Fuel Economy and Speed Kills. It does not work the other way around.

    Many of the trucks are climbing in their dedicated truck climbing lanes at less than 30 mph in the mountains. If it was Death Wish, there would be thousands killed each and every day on every mountain pass with a truck climbing lane. There are not so move over into their dedicated lane in a RR and follow them up while draining your pack down in prep for the crest.

    Here is a pic of exactly how you do this even in the mountains with a Hybrid or anything else for that matter. You would have been on I-10 heading towards Vegas but it does not matter which Interstate or State route. With 4 + percent grades, there is a truck climbing lane. Get over and use it for your safety and to minimize your fuel consumption.

    On I-15 North at the Cajon Pass while heading towards Vegas.​

  19. Xringer

    Xringer Older Member

    Our new C2 is saving me a lot of gas in both our cars.. Since I don't drive the Ford, anytime I can take the C.. :)

    I was called back to work last week, so I've been working some part time and using some fuel in the Escape.
    The tank was getting low, so I stopped to get some gas. When I pulled cap hatch open,
    I did a double take, my gas cap was missing!!

    1.2 seconds later, I remembered this car doesn't come with a gas cap!

    So, either I'm getting really old, or I'm not driving the Ford enough! :eek:

    The good news is, 24 MPG back and forth to work (about 6 miles),
    and I don't have to hook up the battery tender every time I garage the Ford.

    The bad news, is I could be getting over 50 MPGs in the C (which handles it's own batteries). :(
  20. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    What do you mean by "not slowing down even in B"? Do you mean in B mode with foot off?

    In B with foot off it has heavy engine drag, but you can press the brake harder to get it to spin the engine faster.

    You use B for braking if you'd otherwise be using hydraulic braking for an extended period that would be liable to damage the brakes. So either:
    a) You'd fill the pack with regen
    b) You need to brake very hard

    Obviously you want to avoid B, which is throwing away potential energy, and the most efficient way to do that, as Wayne says, is to crest at very low speed with a near empty pack so you can use the potential energy to fill your pack with regen and gain speed up to the speed limit.

Share This Page