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Old 07-14-2013, 09:45 PM   #21
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I totally agree that one would have a hard time justifying the payback on any Prius. If I was out to save money I wouldn't buy a Prius either and since we lease the vehicles I surely can't justify the cost. The whole Prius thing was my wife's idea in the first place but since all of our driving is in town at about 12k miles per year, I figured now is the time to get one, lease it for three years and then see if we are ready for another one. Still would not have sprung for a Prius until I discovered the V model. Now I can fit into that one and plenty of room to haul stuff around. We love it.
Same as Johnnie had a 2012 Prius and traded it in for a Prius V due to anticipated 3000 mile x-country relocation. Lots of room for boxes, luggage dolly and more. Comfortable and easy riding. MPG about 44 mpg. Of interest is that I have more Prius miles on the "old" prius and now get about 46 mpg. My wife had little prius and gets around 39-41 mpg. She tends to surge the engine alot, jumps ahead more often and doesn't coast much.

Highly recommended.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:46 PM   #22
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I have a 2013 Prius hatchback. Love it, I don't think it's tiny inside, though I do hate the console between two front seats. Best mileage at 48. Runs silent. I would love the V but I'll trade mine in for it years from now. Got my beloved sunroof as well. I'll never drive anything but a hybrid ever again, the money I save on gas is amazing, fill up every two months.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:52 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Al in Ohio View Post
It's not a subcompact. It's definitely a small car, perhaps a compact.
I looked it up and you are correct, Both the Prius and Corolla are classified as compact cars - not subcompacts. Still I couldn't fit well as I posted.

The Prius C is a subcompact though. The Prius V is classified as a compact wagon/crossover.


As an aside, all of the posts about saving money remind me of Lee Iacocca's quote from perhaps 35 years ago...

“People want economy and they will pay any price to get it.” –Lee Iacocca
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:09 PM   #24
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I'll never drive anything but a hybrid ever again, the money I save on gas is amazing, fill up every two months.
Lets beat this thing to death and do some math...

lets say you drive 12k miles a year (1000 mile/month) and Gas cost $3.80/gallon ...

A Prius at 50 MPG it would cost (1000 miles/50mpg)*3.80 $/gal = $76/month

a Corolla at 34 MPG would cost (1000 miles/34 mpg)*3.80 $/gal = $111/month

So net fuel savings on a Prius versus a Corolla is perhaps $35/month or so. Now is that worth paying $150 or more extra cost a month to finance the extra cost or a Prius ?

Then add in the extra costs for interest/registration/maintenance.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:10 PM   #25
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I would never give up a perfectly good car in order to buy a hybrid car just to save on gas money. However, if you need to buy a new car then a hybrid is a reasonable choice. I tend to get 46-52 mpg with my 2009 Prius. Maintenance at the Toyota dealer is no more or less expensive than any other car I've had. The insurance is less than my Subaru WRX. Size and fit are a personal issue. If you are a large person or have a big family then the Prius or any other small car is not a good choice for you. Shopping for a Prius is like shopping for any other car. There are a number of factors in your buying decision and you have to weigh the factors that are important to you. I would also say that there has been quite a bit of gas milage improvement in other brands and models so I would think there is some more competition to consider. The Prius is a car not a religion.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:30 PM   #26
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The Prius is a car not a religion.
I'm not too happy with religion either....
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:46 AM   #27
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I think many (not all) that buy the Prius don't do the math, but it somehow it makes them 'feel good.' Not a bad marketing gimmick.
Not worth the extra $10k upfront to us, break even takes way too long. We like to keep our vehicles for more than 10 years and would also be worried about long term extra costs post warranty.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:52 AM   #28
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MPG is a lousy statistic. In other countries they use Gallons per 100 miles. It makes the comparisons more understandable.
Here is the classic example showing why:

Family has two cars: a gas guzzling SUV getting 10mpg and a sedan getting 20mpg.
They must get One new car and the size of the replacement will be similar. They want to save on fuel costs.
Both cars are used exactly the same amount- 10,000 miles a year.

Replacement car #1- a minivan to replace the SUV which will get 20mpg. A doubling of mileage 20mpg more!
Replacement car#2- a hybrid which will replace the sedan and get 50mpg. More than doubling the mpg an increase of 30mpg more!

Which car should they choose? A gain of 20mpg or a gain of 30mpg?
Using mpg you are incorrectly led to believe you should get the hybrid.
Using gallons per 100 miles it becomes clear from a fuel standpoint the minivan is the better choice.
Really?
Yes, really.
SUV uses 10 gallons per 100 miles
replacement minivan uses 5.
Savings 5 gallons per 100 miles driven.
Sedan uses 5 gallons per 100 miles.
Replacement hybrid uses 2.
Savings of 3 gallons per 100 miles.
5 gallons saved is bigger than 3 gallons saved.

Let's start using the Gallons per 100 miles stat when we discuss fuel efficiency! Insist on it in your car discussions that concern fuel use. Drop MPG from your vocab!
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:22 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
I totally agree that one would have a hard time justifying the payback on any Prius.
We've done the math a few times (last three times we bought cars, actually) and as late as last October it still has too high of a cost for the payback, even if we assign a pretty significant value to its environmental factors. From our standpoint, soon, but not quite yet.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:00 AM   #30
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....The insurance is less than my Subaru WRX. ...
Really? The insurance for the tortoise is less than insurance for the hare?

Not a very relevant comparison - the WRX is a performance car, the Prius, well.....
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:08 AM   #31
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I really like my 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid if you are looking for a different option. I'm getting 41 mpg in the summer (less in MN winter). I personally like the styling much better. It's also very comfortable inside, seats 4 easily and the Sync system is really nice. I put on 30k/year as a Realtor so I think the math works out better on the gas savings in that case plus I found a used one with 1500 miles on it when the original owner decided to get something else. 3 years later I have 85k on it and no real mechanical issues.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:31 AM   #32
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All this Prius love, and yet not much analysis.

Just my two cents...I don't get the Prius. If you love the hybrid technology then I would say - go for it. But if your intent is either to save money or to save the planet, then you need to think hard because the Prius does neither.

For a tiny subcompact car it is a very expensive car compared to gasoline versions. Where I live the Prius goes for around $10k more than a Corolla.

It's pretty clear then that the Prius is no bargain, any way you look at it
.
The Prius is not a tiny subcompact! LOL. It is a strangely shaped car but it's interior is mid sized. We have a 2005 and we can pack alot into it. Now there are several models, so I guess there is a tiny one available.

Not everyone is looking for a "bargain", but we have 145K miles and no signs of any problems, with regular checkups. Still haven't changes ANY brakes yet due to the engineering of the brakes, and we do lots of local driving. And if the gas prices go over $4 I believe it will prove to be a great bargain for us....

Can't commment on the price for the OP but we love our Prius.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:31 AM   #33
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Then add in the extra costs for interest/registration/maintenance.
What are the extra costs for maintenance?

What interest rate are you using to calculate the extra $150 a month? And, what is the life of the loan? I ask because Toyota has in the past offered 1% loans to some buyers, and, I suspect the majority of the car's life will be spent with no loan payments at all.

Also, $3.80 a gallon underestimates the average cost of gasoline over the life of the car. A modern vehicle probably has a life of at least 12 years if it averages 12,000 miles per year. I would love to see gasoline average $3.80 a gallon over the nest 12 years, but, I doubt it will. My guess is the average will be at least $5 a gallon. But, I hope you are right!

I do agree that only looking at mpg is misleading. My point is that the assumptions one makes when doing the comparison must be realistic for each person's situation.

Most likely, the cheapest car is a 3+ year old used one of the type you want and need. And the best way to save gas is to leave the car parked. So a guy with a gas hog SUV who takes mass transit to work every day, probably is far more green and saves a bundle more money than a driver of a 50+ mpg Prius. Or even the driver of the mis-named 'zero emission" electric cars.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:47 AM   #34
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I would never give up a perfectly good car in order to buy a hybrid car just to save on gas money.
+1
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:21 PM   #35
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If the minivan uses 5 gallons per 100 miles, at 4.00 per gallon, that costs 20.00

In 1000 miles, the minivan uses 50 gallons or 200.00 worth.

The hybrid uses 2 gallons per 100 miles. at 4.00 per gallon, it costs 8.00.

In a 1000 miles the hybrid uses 20 gallons of fuel, or 80.00 worth.

How is the mini van more economical please?
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:35 PM   #36
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The math is more complicated than you've made it out to be. There are two scenarios:

#1 = new minivan @20 mpg + old sedan @20 mpg
OR
#2 = old SUV @10 mpg + new hybrid @50 mpg
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:37 PM   #37
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I think many (not all) that buy the Prius don't do the math, but it somehow it makes them 'feel good.'.......
Right, as say, opposed to a Lexus or a BMW, which are bought because they provide so much more value and utility.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:01 PM   #38
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I bought my Prius new for $21k, and after five years and 80k miles I still get excited about it. I think that's rarely heard from other car owners. I've gotten slightly better than 50 mpg over its lifetime, and done only regular maintenance: conventional oil every 5k miles, new tires at 60k, and new wiper inserts just last month. The brakes look like they'll last forever. Some batteries have failed in hot climates around 100-150k miles, but it mostly seems to occur when the cooling fan gets choked with dog hair. I checked mine recently and it looked pristine (I don't have a dog), so I'm expecting no trouble.

Discussions about "the math" of buying a Prius are a lot like discussions about "the math" of tax policy and federal budgets: inescapably colored by ideology. Personally, I don't see a $10k premium. Like I said, I paid $21k for mine. A new Corolla with an automatic transmission runs $15-16k, but I own a Corolla too and they are clearly not in the same class: the Prius has substantially more leg and cargo room. Regardless, after enough miles the Prius always wins in terms of total cost of ownership. It might take 150k miles, but it still wins. If you don't want to wait that long, and you don't need a mid-size vehicle, then a Corolla or Civic or Fit is a fine choice too.

Tim
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:00 PM   #39
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If the minivan uses 5 gallons per 100 miles, at 4.00 per gallon, that costs 20.00

In 1000 miles, the minivan uses 50 gallons or 200.00 worth.

The hybrid uses 2 gallons per 100 miles. at 4.00 per gallon, it costs 8.00.

In a 1000 miles the hybrid uses 20 gallons of fuel, or 80.00 worth.

How is the mini van more economical please?
Ah, but
In a 1000 miles, the SUV uses 100 gallons or $400.00 worth. Or a $200 savings by using the minivan, instead.

The sedan uses 50 gallons per 1000 miles. at 4.00 per gallon, it costs $200. Switching to the hybrid only saves $120.

Just looking at one half of the trade is missing the point.
The question is which of the two scenarios really saves the family the most.
Remember they must maintain car sizes (roughly) and can only afford switching out one -NOT both vehicles.
Using MPG comparisons it looks like the hybrid increases things more, but it does not save more. Using Gallons per mile makes the comparison more clear.

Here is the math.

#1 = new minivan @20 mpg + old sedan @20 mpg
Total fuel costs are $4000 for 10,000 miles on each vehicle using you gas price.

#2 = old SUV @10 mpg + new hybrid @ 50 mpg
Total fuel costs are $4800 for 10,000 miles on each vehicle using you gas price


So better for them to switch out for the minivan than for the hybrid and have $800 more every year.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:29 PM   #40
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I have heard the following things about the Prius and would be interested in an owner's POV:

1. the battery the car requires uses HAZMATs, so it's not really green to build or dispose of
2. there is an EPA disposal fee associated with getting rid of the battery which will need replacing every 8-10 years depending on driving conditions (that is why they are often abandoned on side of the road in CA)
3. cost to insure a hybrid vehicle is higher
4. in an accident, a firefighter's job working on a hybrid takes special additional training
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