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user 24513

Well-known member
Jul 3, 2018
Our little 4wd sedan is crapping out, we are thinking of replacing it with a new AWD vehicle. My wife would like a PHEV, because it is more useful as a traveling machine. One big downside I am seeing: that ALL PHEVs use the ICE to get heat in the cabin, and we need this vehicle mostly in the winter, so, probably never going to see the 20 or 30 miles pure electric in cold weather. I will be angling for an all-electric..... but there are not yet as many options out there. Any inside scoops on a PHEV with a heat pump, or an EV on the horizon?
Our RAV4 Prime has a heat pump but no resistive heater. What this means is we have heat while in EV mode down to the teens but colder and truthfully in the low teens, we have to force the ICE on to get decent heat.
Also while the summer EV range of the Rav4 is around 40 miles, the winter range even with the efficient heat pump heater is closer to 30 miles.
What my wife does in the very cold cold as her travels are generally 50 or more miles is to force it to ICE for her morning single digits commute, which gives her toasty heat and saves the EV and heat pump heat for her afternoon return when temps are warmer.
While I wish the Rav4 had a bigger battery so she could do all her commute in EV mode, it's basically the best PHEV currently available.
In a way I'm thinking I might have liked a full EV with an ~250 mile range which would have given us all her driving in EV, in not too long when she's not driving so much, we should be able to do almost all our driving in EV and just have to use the ICE for a half a dozen long trips/year. Note I kind of wanted a Toyota and the waitlist for the EV Toyota AWD that I liked was even longer than the 2 years it took to get our Rav4 Prime and I'd been waiting sometime before I learned about the BZ4X and I was also a bit leary about the issues Toyota has been having with their very new BZ, the Rav4 Prime has been round for a bit and seems to have had the bugs worked out for the most part.
DougWantsALeaf said:
I believe Outlander PHEV has a resistive heater for cold EV driving.
True, the EV range isn't quite as good as the Rav4 Prime and to us the biggest negative was the ICE mpg. That and the heater wasn't a heat pump but I guess it would have the advantage of working in all temps, just less efficient in all temps. I was also a bit leary of the Mitsubishi name for reliability for a vehicle we planned on keeping 10+ years.
I believe it shares a bunch of parts with the Nissan Rogue. I was pushing my wife to look at an outlander.phev but the closest dealer is quite a drive for us so any service needs would be a pain.
We tried a used Outlander PHEV a couple of years ago, a 2018, and it had no way to prioritize all-electric. If you push too hard on the gas pedal, ICE comes on. Turn on the heat, ICE comes on. It sounds like it is greatly improved.... and I have a Mitsi Fuso FG that has been a terrific truck for 25 years, so I may have an unwarranted soft spot for the marque. Maybe worth a look.....
I have a Rav4 Prime and I use it for various things that my Leaf can't do. For example: long road trips and 4WD road excursions. I have to admit that I also love the heat provided by the ICE when the temps are very cold. When the temps are < 10F you can make a good argument that the heat generated by an ICE isn't wasted since it can be used to heat the interior of the car.

The biggest down-side to me of an PHEV is the complexity. Complex machines are the norm these days and the reliability is good but if something complicated breaks, it's not something that can be fixed cheaply.
Even though I am not looking for a car, I am intrigued by the new Prous Prime with the optional roof solar cells which feed the main battery.

I would really like my next EV to have solar, but it so far doesn't seem to be offered outside of the Toyota phev.

Anyone know anyone with one yet?