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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I stumbled upon a thread on the Toyota RAV4 Prime Forums about people having some regrets or gotchas about the PHEV compared to the ice model.

anyone have anything constructive to add?
 

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I didn't think the Rav4 Prime was on sale yet. I thought it was being released at dealerships this summer.

No regrets here. I love that I still have full time AWD. I wanted something smaller than my Legacy since I use the car 95% of the time when I am the only person in the car and mostly my daily commute. If I know I need to drive over 50+ mi in a day, I use my wife's Rav4 hybrid and she uses my car for her commute to save on fuel and it works out nicely.

It would have been nice if they designed the car better to drop the battery lower into where the spare tire well still is, but I understand it probably wasn't worth their time to do that for something that won't sell like hotcakes.

I absolutely love my purchase and I plan to have the car for 5-7 years or so depending on what else hits the market in that time period (hopefully another Subaru PHEV with better range).
 

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I think article was about RAV4 Hybrid, which, yes, has many regrettable buyers. The 2021 RAV4 PRIME is a game changer and isn't available until summer 2020.
 

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I think article was about RAV4 Hybrid, which, yes, has many regrettable buyers. The 2021 RAV4 PRIME is a game changer and isn't available until summer 2020.
That's interesting. My wife and I have a 2017 Limited Hybrid and it's great! We are averaging 34 MPG for the life of the car to date and that's pretty good for a SUV of its size. Winter is a bit rough on everyone's mileage, but in the warmer months, we're getting anywhere from 35 to 41 MPG each tank. It's much better than the gas only version and I have a friend who does have that version and she can't get 30 MPG.
 

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The regrets and negative reviews come a lot in the from of overall costs associated with the hybrid acquisition costs vs. ROI in comparison to ICE.
Secondary to that is the lack of appropriate trims that are more sporty and aggressive, vs the ICE model (TRD, adventure and XSE) - in 2019 the XSE model makes it a lot more appealing to many younger hybrid drivers, which closes the gap.The PRIME, with all the tech and amazing stats, along with a sporty option will really dispel many of the negative complaints. This is really Toyota's first departure of a hybrid "old folks" trim, even further than the XSE, which broke the toyota mold. The Camry is following that departure with better trim available soon. Honestly, the hybrid is amazing in toyota, and the RAV4, but with the introduction of the PRIME, it is poised to be a mic drop situation..
 

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The regrets and negative reviews come a lot in the from of overall costs associated with the hybrid acquisition costs vs. ROI in comparison to ICE.
Yep, when I've looked at it I couldn't get the math to work. We don't drive enough miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, I'm sorry it was vague, the first post was about people with the regular Rav4 Hybrid and not the plug-in. Toyota is launching the RAV4 Plug-in called the Prime this summer. It's supposed to have 39 or 40 miles of all-ev range, which is substantial.

I'm glad that the Crosstrek has some positives to it. Unfortunately 17 miles won't get me a full round-trip all-EV, but I suppose running a little gas is better than nothing. Ideally I'd like the number to be closer to 30 miles of all-EV range.

I'm going to test drive the Crosstrek PHEV next week while I'm in for service, hopefully. I typically buy the upper level tiers anyway, so I'm directly shopping a Limited Trim to a Limited Trim. Not only would I get a Federal tax discount off the PHEV, I'd also get a smaller rebate from my state which I believe offers $25 per all-EV mile, so that would be 25 * 17 miles of range. Hey, it's not a lot, but it's still free money. The state also offer up to $500 towards EV charging installs so I'd probably spring for a 240V 20A outlet (NEMA 6-20) regardless.

For me, I'm around 25 mpg in mixed city & highway driving for about a 20 mile round-trip commute. The city driving really drops the economy. If I could keep this all EV or mostly all EV, I'm looking at a substantially lower cost to operate per mile due to the relative inefficiency of the car I'm in (A 2019 Forester)

Thanks for your input. Scotty Kilmer over on YouTube does NOT like hybrids one bit - even Toyota ones... :/ I get his point, more parts, means more points of potential failure, means less places to source parts from... I almost always do repair work at the dealer anyway, so I don't know that that's as big as a negative for me as it is for other people that use local mechanics.

And yeah, @dpc166 I would have liked to see the battery pack in the cargo area more integrated with the specific model as well, even if they couldn't figure out a way how to put a spare tire in there (maybe I'll buy run-flats?) it would be nice not to have the "wasted" area from the spare tire well anyway - and ideally, it would squeak out some more range with a bigger battery as well!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
For what it's worth I did a little build/pricing options:

Crosstrek Limited (ICE) is around $28,500; the PHEV is around $36,100 including destination fees but no accessories (since they'd be nearly identical)

So the price difference is about $7600.

Average gas mileage according to Fuelly is about 28 mpg. It looks like the 2019 Hybrid will return around 46 mpg when combined but there are outliers that are above 100 mpg (thanks to the electric engines)... Let's say that it's 56 mpg - double the gas mileage...

With fuel costing about $2.50 per gallon here, you're looking at a cost of around $0.09 per mile driven. Since we're doubling for the hybrid, that's $0.45 per mile, which is also a difference of $0.45 cents per mile.

In 10,000 miles, you'll use about 358 gallons of fuel and spend about $895. With the hybrid, this is half, which we'll round to $450 for easier math. If this is correct, it means you'd have to drive about 160,000 miles before you break even in terms of the hybrid cost, right?

10k miles * 20 = 200k miles, 358 gallons of fuel * 20 = 7160 gallons / 2 = 3580 gallons * $2.50 per gallon = $8950.
10k miles * 15 = 150k miles, 358 gof * 15 = 5370 g / 2 = 2685 g * $2.50 pg = $6712.

I know there's other things that go into hybrid ownership besides just fuel savings, but there's also other disadvantages like maintenance to the batteries and motors as well that could have issues. I think this just demonstrates that it's probably not ideal to buy this vehicle based solely on "I'm going to save on gas money!"

Under an ideal scenario where you use zero fuel, it would be a little different, that would be around 8 years or 83,000 miles of driving. Still a long time, though. And that doesn't factor in the electricity cost.

There's always the benefit of faster acceleration and "smarter" operation!
 

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For what it's worth I did a little build/pricing options:

Crosstrek Limited (ICE) is around $28,500; the PHEV is around $36,100 including destination fees but no accessories (since they'd be nearly identical)

So the price difference is about $7600.

Average gas mileage according to Fuelly is about 28 mpg. It looks like the 2019 Hybrid will return around 46 mpg when combined but there are outliers that are above 100 mpg (thanks to the electric engines)... Let's say that it's 56 mpg - double the gas mileage...

With fuel costing about $2.50 per gallon here, you're looking at a cost of around $0.09 per mile driven. Since we're doubling for the hybrid, that's $0.45 per mile, which is also a difference of $0.45 cents per mile.

In 10,000 miles, you'll use about 358 gallons of fuel and spend about $895. With the hybrid, this is half, which we'll round to $450 for easier math. If this is correct, it means you'd have to drive about 160,000 miles before you break even in terms of the hybrid cost, right?

10k miles * 20 = 200k miles, 358 gallons of fuel * 20 = 7160 gallons / 2 = 3580 gallons * $2.50 per gallon = $8950.
10k miles * 15 = 150k miles, 358 gof * 15 = 5370 g / 2 = 2685 g * $2.50 pg = $6712.

I know there's other things that go into hybrid ownership besides just fuel savings, but there's also other disadvantages like maintenance to the batteries and motors as well that could have issues. I think this just demonstrates that it's probably not ideal to buy this vehicle based solely on "I'm going to save on gas money!"

Under an ideal scenario where you use zero fuel, it would be a little different, that would be around 8 years or 83,000 miles of driving. Still a long time, though. And that doesn't factor in the electricity cost.

There's always the benefit of faster acceleration and "smarter" operation!
I did similar calculations a while back and came to the same conclusion. Even with the tax credit the numbers didn't add up for the number of mils we drive (about 8K/yr), especially when considering what you have to spend on electricity to take advantage of the electric range, and also that they were selling for over MSRP whereas you could get a Limited for $1,000 or more under invoice.

One advantage is being able to use the HOV lanes and for some commuters that might be worth the extra cost.
 

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For what it's worth I did a little build/pricing options:

Crosstrek Limited (ICE) is around $28,500; the PHEV is around $36,100 including destination fees but no accessories (since they'd be nearly identical)

So the price difference is about $7600.

Average gas mileage according to Fuelly is about 28 mpg. It looks like the 2019 Hybrid will return around 46 mpg when combined but there are outliers that are above 100 mpg (thanks to the electric engines)... Let's say that it's 56 mpg - double the gas mileage...

With fuel costing about $2.50 per gallon here, you're looking at a cost of around $0.09 per mile driven. Since we're doubling for the hybrid, that's $0.45 per mile, which is also a difference of $0.45 cents per mile.

In 10,000 miles, you'll use about 358 gallons of fuel and spend about $895. With the hybrid, this is half, which we'll round to $450 for easier math. If this is correct, it means you'd have to drive about 160,000 miles before you break even in terms of the hybrid cost, right?

10k miles * 20 = 200k miles, 358 gallons of fuel * 20 = 7160 gallons / 2 = 3580 gallons * $2.50 per gallon = $8950.
10k miles * 15 = 150k miles, 358 gof * 15 = 5370 g / 2 = 2685 g * $2.50 pg = $6712.

I know there's other things that go into hybrid ownership besides just fuel savings, but there's also other disadvantages like maintenance to the batteries and motors as well that could have issues. I think this just demonstrates that it's probably not ideal to buy this vehicle based solely on "I'm going to save on gas money!"

Under an ideal scenario where you use zero fuel, it would be a little different, that would be around 8 years or 83,000 miles of driving. Still a long time, though. And that doesn't factor in the electricity cost.

There's always the benefit of faster acceleration and "smarter" operation!
You're forgetting about federal, state, local, and municipality tax credits, which, in most cases, make the cost difference less than $1-$2000...

Also, many states are beginning to pass legislation that exempts plug ins and EV's from states sales tax, which, if passed in my state, would make the plug in literally the same price as the gas model.
 

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You're forgetting about federal, state, local, and municipality tax credits, which, in most cases, make the cost difference less than $1-$2000...

Also, many states are beginning to pass legislation that exempts plug ins and EV's from states sales tax, which, if passed in my state, would make the plug in literally the same price as the gas model.
I factored that in and there was still no cost advantage to the PHEV. What everyone seems to be missing is that the dealers are taking advantage and selling these cars for a much higher margin than the ICE equivalent. Comparing MSRP and then deducting tax credits makes no sense if it costs $3-5K more to buy the new, cool, EV or PHEV...
 

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I factored that in and there was still no cost advantage to the PHEV. What everyone seems to be missing is that the dealers are taking advantage and selling these cars for a much higher margin than the ICE equivalent. Comparing MSRP and then deducting tax credits makes no sense if it costs $3-5K more to buy the new, cool, EV or PHEV...
What data do you have that says dealers are making more margin on plug-in vs. gas? Or is that number another point you pulled out of nowhere to justify your opinion that plug-in's/EV's are useless?
 

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What data do you have that says dealers are making more margin on plug-in vs. gas? Or is that number another point you pulled out of nowhere to justify your opinion that plug-in's/EV's are useless?
That's a pretty hostile response...

The PHEVs were in demand when they were released, especially as they were only available in states that followed California's emissions regulations. I read reports here and in the media that dealers were selling them for over MSRP.

How about you provide some data that the PHEV will save you money... 😸
 

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For what it's worth I did a little build/pricing options:

Crosstrek Limited (ICE) is around $28,500; the PHEV is around $36,100 including destination fees but no accessories (since they'd be nearly identical)

So the price difference is about $7600.

Average gas mileage according to Fuelly is about 28 mpg. It looks like the 2019 Hybrid will return around 46 mpg when combined but there are outliers that are above 100 mpg (thanks to the electric engines)... Let's say that it's 56 mpg - double the gas mileage...

With fuel costing about $2.50 per gallon here, you're looking at a cost of around $0.09 per mile driven. Since we're doubling for the hybrid, that's $0.45 per mile, which is also a difference of $0.45 cents per mile.

In 10,000 miles, you'll use about 358 gallons of fuel and spend about $895. With the hybrid, this is half, which we'll round to $450 for easier math. If this is correct, it means you'd have to drive about 160,000 miles before you break even in terms of the hybrid cost, right?

10k miles * 20 = 200k miles, 358 gallons of fuel * 20 = 7160 gallons / 2 = 3580 gallons * $2.50 per gallon = $8950.
10k miles * 15 = 150k miles, 358 gof * 15 = 5370 g / 2 = 2685 g * $2.50 pg = $6712.

I know there's other things that go into hybrid ownership besides just fuel savings, but there's also other disadvantages like maintenance to the batteries and motors as well that could have issues. I think this just demonstrates that it's probably not ideal to buy this vehicle based solely on "I'm going to save on gas money!"

Under an ideal scenario where you use zero fuel, it would be a little different, that would be around 8 years or 83,000 miles of driving. Still a long time, though. And that doesn't factor in the electricity cost.

There's always the benefit of faster acceleration and "smarter" operation!
First, regular gas here in SoCal runs about $3.50 a gallon. Second, the Feds give a $4,500 tax credit on the Subi Plug in.

So that is saving $800/ year against a cost increase of $3,100, or a payback in 3.9 years at 10,000 miles per year, or, under 40,000 miles.

We really enjoy ours. It is great fun zipping around in EV mode, and nice to make a 2 mile trip to collect dinner and never have the engine come on.
 

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I'm averaging 100 MPG so far over the life of the car after 5 fill-ups. I'm around 4800 miles on the odometer and I'm filling up around 900 miles and that's mostly out of convenience when I am in Delaware where gas is cheaper than Pennsylvania. My previous car, a 2015 Subaru Legacy, was averaging 28 MPG, so I'll take that savings hands down.

I paid $35,500 after sales tax, then after the Federal Tax Credit, I'm at $31,000. There were posts in this forum saying that CA dealers were charging a $10k over MSRP premium for this car. Glad I got a deal!

Cost per mile for me right now is $0.047 per mile and this factors in gas price and electric costs. In a typical month, my cost to charge is about $20.00 ($0.78 per full charge) and I'm driving on average 735 miles per month. I'm filling up maybe once a month (more like 6 weeks per fill-up) and that is running me around $22.00. Figure $42.00 per month to operate the car. My previous car was costing me around $90.00 per month just in gas alone so I am at a 50% savings.

I got the car on July 1, so for the 2nd half of 2019, I've got $104.62 in combined fuel/electric costs over 4414 miles. Assuming I do the same for another 6 months, I'm at $209.00 in rough numbers for 8830 miles.

If I was comparing to the ICE Crosstrek and I paid $4k more for the hybrid, I can assume the same fuel economy as my Legacy had. Crosstrek ICE would be about $90/mo, or $1080 in fuel vs $504 for a year in the Hybrid. I'd break even in 7 years or less depending on driving habits. Thinking about short term, I'm happy to be saving $500 a year on my car and that it's way more efficient than my previous car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You're all absolutely right in the sense that it appears to be regional. Gas prices in NJ have been largely "stable' for the last 5ish years and I've really seen an average of around $2.40-2.50 per gallon... I can't remember the last time it was $3, and it's been a long time since it was under $2...

Electricity is also pretty cheap out here, I pay about $0.15 per kWh from my utility company. I could also potentially shop around - I know that ChargePoint partnered with some third-party electric supply company that gives you free weekend charging for your EV but requires their third-party ChargePoint charger (which is around $500+) and also the Crosstrek's pack is so small this is largely insignificant. I could see potential savings if you had a 75 kWh battery pack that you charged on the weekends making your commute "free"...

It's also considerably different when you cross-shop those numbers using another car. Take my Forester, for example, with a combined estimate of around 23 mpg, or one of those new Outback XT's are around 23 but I'd expect real world values down at 20-21. There's a bigger difference between the Crosstrek PHEV mileage vs. the other two Subies I mentioned.

NJ does have a new law that goes into effect in July that I mentioned above with $25 per "all EV" mile of range, apparently, maxing at $5000. The only other incentive is that BATTERY EV's like Tesla's or Nissan Leaf, etc. don't pay sales tax which saves about 6.625% further. Unfortunately, these benefits don't extend to PHEV's, only BEV's.

Thanks again for sharing your data, @dpc166 - it helps to have real, tangible, experience.

For me to seriously consider the Crosstrek PHEV next year when my lease is up, I'd need these things to fall into place:

  • Option to not have a moonroof, like you did, out of long-term ownership concerns as well as headroom concerns
  • Auto Lane Centering must be available in the new model year (2021 or 2022 MY)
  • No availability of a Forester or Outback plug-in hybrid option
  • Pricing has to be justifiable comparing the Crosstrek PHEV to a Tesla Model Y. Assuming that it can be purchased for close to $31k with the tax credit, that is obviously much different compared to the $47k that the Model Y would come in at after the state tax incentives.
For me, it seems like a mild hybrid is kind of pointless, and I need to pursue an actual plugin option. I don't need a PHEV, but it would be convenient at times. I am confident that a full EV would work for my specific situation. Who knows, maybe the Crosstrek would even have a slightly larger pack for the minor refresh as well. 30 miles would be an excellent target EV range for me.
 

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You're all absolutely right in the sense that it appears to be regional. Gas prices in NJ have been largely "stable' for the last 5ish years and I've really seen an average of around $2.40-2.50 per gallon... I can't remember the last time it was $3, and it's been a long time since it was under $2...

Electricity is also pretty cheap out here, I pay about $0.15 per kWh from my utility company. I could also potentially shop around - I know that ChargePoint partnered with some third-party electric supply company that gives you free weekend charging for your EV but requires their third-party ChargePoint charger (which is around $500+) and also the Crosstrek's pack is so small this is largely insignificant. I could see potential savings if you had a 75 kWh battery pack that you charged on the weekends making your commute "free"...

It's also considerably different when you cross-shop those numbers using another car. Take my Forester, for example, with a combined estimate of around 23 mpg, or one of those new Outback XT's are around 23 but I'd expect real world values down at 20-21. There's a bigger difference between the Crosstrek PHEV mileage vs. the other two Subies I mentioned.

NJ does have a new law that goes into effect in July that I mentioned above with $25 per "all EV" mile of range, apparently, maxing at $5000. The only other incentive is that BATTERY EV's like Tesla's or Nissan Leaf, etc. don't pay sales tax which saves about 6.625% further. Unfortunately, these benefits don't extend to PHEV's, only BEV's.

Thanks again for sharing your data, @dpc166 - it helps to have real, tangible, experience.

For me to seriously consider the Crosstrek PHEV next year when my lease is up, I'd need these things to fall into place:

  • Option to not have a moonroof, like you did, out of long-term ownership concerns as well as headroom concerns
  • Auto Lane Centering must be available in the new model year (2021 or 2022 MY)
  • No availability of a Forester or Outback plug-in hybrid option
  • Pricing has to be justifiable comparing the Crosstrek PHEV to a Tesla Model Y. Assuming that it can be purchased for close to $31k with the tax credit, that is obviously much different compared to the $47k that the Model Y would come in at after the state tax incentives.
For me, it seems like a mild hybrid is kind of pointless, and I need to pursue an actual plugin option. I don't need a PHEV, but it would be convenient at times. I am confident that a full EV would work for my specific situation. Who knows, maybe the Crosstrek would even have a slightly larger pack for the minor refresh as well. 30 miles would be an excellent target EV range for me.
Yep, again. Even here in SoCal with gas approaching $4 per gallon the numbers didn't work for us at the time. OAK's sister is on her third Prius and loves it, and we had four Priuses (Prii?) in our condo building's garage a couple of years ago, out of 21 spaces. Now we have only one... hmmm...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Don't get me wrong, I still love the concept and idea of hybrids, just specifically plug-in hybrids. My infatuation with Tesla is mainly about the fact that the fleet as a whole "learns" constantly (yay, Skynet!) but also they send out updates to improve the fleet over time as well. For example, I'd need to buy another 30k Subaru Forester/Outback/Legacy in order to get Lane Centering. Tesla just sent that out to every one a few years ago when it was ready. Who knows what's around the corner, but man, I am so pissed about missing out the Lane Centering in my 2019.

It's one of those things where you don't realize how great it is until you realize you don't have it. Kind of like adaptive cruise control now, it makes my lousy commute so much easier and safer.
 

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Don't get me wrong, I still love the concept and idea of hybrids, just specifically plug-in hybrids. My infatuation with Tesla is mainly about the fact that the fleet as a whole "learns" constantly (yay, Skynet!) but also they send out updates to improve the fleet over time as well. For example, I'd need to buy another 30k Subaru Forester/Outback/Legacy in order to get Lane Centering. Tesla just sent that out to every one a few years ago when it was ready. Who knows what's around the corner, but man, I am so pissed about missing out the Lane Centering in my 2019.

It's one of those things where you don't realize how great it is until you realize you don't have it. Kind of like adaptive cruise control now, it makes my lousy commute so much easier and safer.
I'm astonished that Subaru doesn't do those kinds of software/firmware updates over the air. Why do the '19s have remote start but the '18s don't, and it wasn't just a firmware upgrade, over the air?

As cars get more tech, the manufacturers need to learn how tech works and what consumers expect.
 
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