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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I've been a Subaru driver for 10+ years now. I've owned 3 including the one that my wife was the daily driver of, from the 2009 Legacy Limited, 2011 Outback Limited, and now currently leasing a 2019 Forester Premium. These are good cars - really good in the snow - but I am a little concerned at the problems I've had. Things happen from time to time and I get that, but it seems like once the Subies start pushing 7-8+ years, things start failing. My wife is driving a Honda Pilot now and that's largely become our family vacation car.

Cars today are more complex than ever thanks to direct injection engines and all the computers tied in. I'd like to believe that Teslas & full EV's in general are "simpler" to work with since they have fewer parts. Conversely, a hybrid has "double" the parts - both EV and ICE components. More parts, more potential points of failure is the way I see it.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on why I should pick a Prime over a Model Y going forward. I'm truly torn between the two, and the backup option is simply buying out my Subaru lease, but I'd be concerned again at long-term ownership.

A little about me first: I have two kids that are into sports, so I need the cargo room for equipment (baseball, soccer)... Model Y and Forester are fine. I'm sure RAV4 will be also. No car seats and no more kids on the way. I have access to outlets in my driveway so I can charge an EV without any extra effort or cost. My career requires me to go to work even when roads close and it's a state of emergency (fun)... this is what drew me to Subaru to begin with - since they always got me to work or home from work safely. I never, ever, ever felt like I didn't have full control of my vehicle in any of my Subarus. I've done 360's on the highways in bad weather in my Honda Civic in years past and that's what made me swear to only buy an AWD car (I learned about winter tires since then, but run all-seasons in my Subarus without issue. If I had a FWD/RWD car, I would consider an all-climate or dedicated winter tire... the wisdom of getting older!)

I commute about 10 miles in each direction, with usually less than 10 miles for local stuff after the fact. I occasionally will drive about 60 miles each way in the summer months to a shore area to meet up with family - around a dozen times per month during the summer.

For reference, fuel prices are cheap in NJ. I pay 17 cents per kWh for electricity at home - there's no time of use, just a 24/7 flat rate - which includes my delivery charge as well. Gas (87) is around $2.00 per gallon right now but I wouldn't be surprised if this pushes closer to $3 by next year as it tends to fluctuate.

It's worth noting that my state (NJ) pays $5000 towards the cost of an EV thanks to a new incentive this year, and you do not pay any sales tax which saves 6.625%. I'd also get a discount on highway tolls but I believe that would apply to the Prime also, so I am not factoring in that.

The Prime would get the Federal rebate of $7500, and around $1050 off from the state incentive ($25 per mile of full EV driving, which is 42 miles). I'd have to pay the 6.625% sales tax.

I'm factoring in about $100 per year for the 12 month / 12k service for the Prime, and factoring in $25 for the Tesla for tire rotations. I believe I can get them done for free at my local Costco anyway.

So, before going any further, including sales tax, destination fees and MSRP, then SUBTRACTING the incentives, we are looking at sales prices of:

Tesla: 46590
Prime SE w/ Moonroof pkg: 36300
Prime XSE w/ Tech pkg: 44000

Since nearly all my daily driving will be accomplished with electricity, I am not factoring in potential gas cost as I consider this negligible - maybe a tank every month or two.

If I kept my Forester at the end of my lease, I'd pay about $22,000. This would roughly cost me around $800 to $1000 more in fuel costs compared to the Prime and Tesla. But, I do regret the Premium trim I bought (that's the one up from base, Subaru's trims go Base-Premium-Sport-Limited-Touring) and would appreciate the amenities of leather and other "Limited" features again.

Over a 10 year and 20 year ownership (one can hope), the Prime and Tesla are generally even. Yes, the Tesla will require more tires it seems and perhaps more repairs, but again I'm not getting into the little things, like the Prime requiring ICE-related repairs of the exhaust system/components or spark plugs being changed at normal intervals - which seems to be an astounding 144 months!

Assuming the Subaru didn't explode in the 20 year ownership, I'd be looking at about an equal cost between the Prime SE, the Tesla, and the Forester in the low to mid 50,000 range. The XSE would be slightly higher at $55,000ish.

You could argue you get more features in the XSE with Tech Package compared to the Model Y, which doesn't have ventilated seats or a HUD. But, you could also argue the Tesla doesn't have to worry about catalytic converters, or things like that.

Has anyone converted from a Subaru Forester (especially a modern one like my 2019) to a RAV4 Prime or Hybrid? What's the ride like? How's the regen in it? Can you control the strength of regen to do a one-pedal driving?

Thank you for your opinions! I am scheduled to test drive next week (had to wait for an open appointment due to pandemic)

Has anyone purchased an SE and regretted not getting the XSE or vice-versa? Has anyone not purchased the Tech Package and regretted it or vice-versa?

Thanks,
Pilot

Note: FWIW, I have a Supercharger near work if needed and another along my short 10 mile commute home. I have an Electrify America station about a mile from my home, and I have two Tesla Service Centers within about 20 minutes of me.
 

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The Tesla Model Y starts at 49,990. Maybe you were looking at their “price with incentives”? Edit; noticed that you subtracted the state $5000 rebate. But maybe didn’t subtract that for the RAV4? That SE should be much cheaper.

I definitely understand your concern about the amount of complexity, just looking under the hood is a dizzying array of stuff. I probably wouldn’t have gone with a PHEV if it wasn’t a Toyota (and if there were any large issues with the Prius Primes).

I can’t compare to the Forester but I think the Prime will be much more similar in ride and interior space. Your commute is also a perfect use of a PHEV since you’ll pretty exclusively use EV unless you have a long trip. The Tesla is very cool and I was tempted to get one but personally needed a more all-purpose family car.

edit2: I got an SE because it was available and have actually been really happy with it. Missing a few things that I would’ve liked to have but my out the door price was just around $42
 

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I have owned two Teslas, one for more than 5 years, still have one. Waiting to trade it on a R4P. Long story short I would not recommend Tesla because of iniital quality problems, lack of longevity on non-tech parts, shitty customer service policies, lies from the CEO for years about charging roll out, "full self driving", etc. I admit I got sucked in.

I traded my 2015 Tesla S for a Lexus earlier this year and I don't regret it at all. Until Tesla grows up I'm done with them. Their main products are hype and grabbing new customers. I would especially not buy anything but the 3 at the moment, they haven't got the bugs worked out yet from the Y. Hang out on a Tesla forum and that will be obvious pretty quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi @jupiterking thanks for your response!

Yes, I'm interested in comparing the Model Y LR AWD which starts at 49,990. Add destination fees from Tesla and subtract the NJ state incentive of $5000.

Thank you - I found an error in my spreadsheet that didn't calculate the FEDERAL tax rebate off the price. As a result, the price parity is basically the same, the XSE with TP is pretty much dollar for dollar the same as the Model Y. And the SE, as expected, is around $7500 cheaper. Whoops on my part! I'll try to edit my first post.

My biggest concern is about reliability. I know Toyota's said that the battery will probably last around 150,000 miles, and that's a long time. What about the rest of the components? The transmission, the engine? Are there any weak points? I'm sure you've heard of the Subaru "head gasket" fiasco and the CVT issues.

@GoodGrief - Thanks for your response too!

I'd be looking to buy the Model Y next summer. But, I'd consider the Prime any time I could get one, if I could find one!

Has anyone tried the HUD? Is it worth the 5k upgrade? I think I would like the JBL speakers... What exactly is that whole Dynamic Navigation thing they're suggesting? I'd prefer to just use CarPlay. I love the idea of ventilated seats.
 

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I originally thought my next car would be BEV, for the simplicity and fewer mechanical parts, but then I learned more about the toyota hybrid system and learned how reliability was built into the design, heard all the stories about Taxi's that were prius's lasting 400,000+ miles, and thought a PHEV (by toyota only) was actually still a good choice. A big goal for me and my cars is total cost of ownership (right now I own a hyundai elantra, 105K miles and only one minor problem with the alternator that took 200$ and two hours in my garage to fix), toyota does pretty good in that realm as well. Even if I never drive to the car to the end of it's life, low cost of ownership and high reliability inevitably affect the resale value of the vehicle. I know a few people with Tesla's and they're turned off by the quirky problems they tend to have from crappy workmanship, so in the end I decided I was going with the R4P. Seemed like a safer long term choice for me (I tend to keep cars for 6-8 years).

Note, I still haven't gotten my hands on a R4P yet. I live out of state from where they're sold, and haven't had the best of luck tracking down exactly what I want yet, lol. I'm in no big rush though.

Here's another article that may interest you:
 

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Well that's where I am at myself. If I can't locate a R4P, as I want it in next few weeks, I'm ordering the Model Y. Cost wise it will be more, but after owning so many Toyota's all my life, it may be time for a change.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well that's where I am at myself. If I can't locate a R4P, as I want it in next few weeks, I'm ordering the Model Y. Cost wise it will be more, but after owning so many Toyota's all my life, it may be time for a change.
Thanks. Do you have any concerns over Tesla reliability?
 

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They don’t only think the battery will last 150k. That’s the factory warranty! The 150k is required by law for batteries, so Tesla meets that. I believe Toyota’s is 10 years over Tesla’s 8.
 

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Would not get the Premium just for the HUD however it is very useful at least for me. Put all the other features on the Premium together and it's well worth it, again for me.
Dynamic cruise adjusts your speed in relation to the traffic ahead of you and maintains your separation from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you! I thought both trims have the adaptive cruise and lane tracing assist, don’t they?
 

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Tesla’s aren’t known for their reliability and have build quality issues. But to be fair, most Tesla owners really love them.

Also, not that gas will stay at $2, but at 17 cents per kWh, the Prime is cheaper to run on gas. And your Forester gas operating costs would be close to Prime electric.
 

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There are many factors here and they seem to be changing almost daily. I drove a Y and if you want a fast driver car it is way ahead of the Toyota also a great stereo . The ride is kind of harsh
see the Consumer reports review that is pretty right on , and test drive are readily available. Lots of room inside the Y. I am not wild about the glass roof and even though you can get
Racks for it I think you would take a big range hit carrying things on top. I have heard from owners and reviews that real world range is more like 260. But you can get Y now easier than
getting a Prime. If you like a traditional car I would say the Prime is closer to what want downside is you have to support the ICE portion and there is still no history on the Prime. Some one mentioned it still might have gas tank problem.

Battery day coming up a Tesla wonder what that will bring.
 

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Thanks. Do you have any concerns over Tesla reliability?
I haven’t had that much of the Tesla kool-aid to be a fan-boi.;)... but I’m also being realistic, fit and finish seem to have issues. Reliability, should be fine during the warranty period. Heck even my trusted Toyota... they have some issues also, though personally never have had any. But look at this board...

I’m just getting tired of things like the infotainment system. It’s so dated and kludgy. How can a small company get updates over the air... and a legacy company can’t. They have an old model... get me to buy a new car instead of updating it on the fly. But BEV is where we are heading... Toyota better get moving on it, and there IT department needs a serious upgrade.

just to reiterate... I have a Prius Prime, so I liked what I saw out of a PHEV.
 

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How does the lane tracing perform on a highway?
I just finished a 2100 mile drive with my Rav4 Prime SE and found the lane tracing and adaptive cruise control to be effective. I'll admit it is the first car I've owned with these features, but they sure work well and reduce driver work load.
 

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Also, may I add, all cars have problems, the frequency and severity of those problems does vary between makes and models. IMO, both the frequency and severity of the problems with Tesla are pretty high compared to Toyota. To me, the cooling issues from tesla ranks super high in severity:

Battery fire experts say the flammable glycol coolant in the Model S system could cause or exacerbate a battery fire if the fluid or its residue contacts a broken battery cell after a crash. In a phenomenon known as thermal runaway, a single battery on fire can spread to other battery cells in a vehicle, causing a larger fire.

Although it’s unclear how common electric car fires are, there were several media reports of Tesla fires in the months leading up to May 2019, when Tesla began limiting Model S charges to 80% of capacity at the company’s Supercharger stations. The closer a battery gets to full, the hotter it gets. Some of the reported fires followed accidents; others appeared to burst into flames spontaneously.

(note: this doesn't mean that the model Y will have the same issues, but Tesla's track record and past behavior of hiding problems losses all of my trust)

Whereas the gas tank issue in the rav4 hybrid is silly and minor in severity.
 

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Hi.

Previous car: 14 Forester XT, 3 years
Current car: 17 RAV4 Hybrid awd, 4 years
Waiting delivery: 21 RAV4 plug-in

The Subaru was exceptionally great and a real life saver in winter conditions and against stupid drivers running stop lights etc. It had some reliability issues though.

The RAV4 Hybrid (previous generation)
This car is almost the same in size and utility and have saved me 30-40% of fuel and has had zero faults, absolutely 100% reliable. The awd is kinda OK from a not getting stuck standpoint but really shitty from a rally driving standpoint.

The nextgen RAV4 hybrid is much better in everything, I have driven both the hybrid and the plug-in version. The awd is also much improved.

The plug-in is extremely good in my opinion, it has good useable power in both HV and EV. ( especially up to 40-50 mph in EV ). It is very quiet and felt good even on rough roads. And there is a lot of buttons and stuff to do, so I will not get bored.

I haven’t driven the Model Y so I cannot really comment, but I immediately ordered the plug-in highest spec after the test drive.

Its worth to mention that the way the Toyota hybrids are designed lacking turbos, belts and chaindriven CVT really means that they are very solid and reliable, so from a reliability standpoint I do not think the Tesla is better than the Prime.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks this is useful 1:1 info. Do you have any take on the SE vs XSE? Is it all glam or are there truly functional things that justify the 8k with the tech package @Torque
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Also some questions regarding Toyota-specific features:

Can the Prime be charged with a 5-20 outlet, or only a 5-15? My garage has a 5-20 so I should be able to charge faster with the right adapter. (It's [email protected] compared to [email protected])

What's Destination Assist?

What's Dynamic Navigation?

Are there memory seats & mirrors?

Do the side-view mirrors tilt downward automatically when in reverse?
 
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