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looking at a prius
Old 07-14-2013, 05:45 AM   #1
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looking at a prius

I am looking for a new car. I am trying out a 2012 prius with 9000 miles. they want 22k for it. is it a good car? is that a good price? how do I find out what price is fair? I have always owned domestic cars and have no experience with electric hybrid cars or for that matter imports. any thoughts or suggestions? anyone here own a prius? thanks

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Old 07-14-2013, 06:24 AM   #2
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I've got a 2007, and it's a great car. I've had really good experiences with my local Toyota dealership for service too. Definitely better than with Ford, Saturn, or Chevy.

I have a lead foot, so my mileage isn't anywhere close to optimal, but it is very good (mid-40s), and I haven't noticed a decline over the years (I got it new). There is a mileage hit during Minnesota winters, when the engine runs more because it needs to keep warm, but it's still in the upper 30s per gallon. I've had to replace the battery (12V) and tires once each, which I think is pretty normal. The big battery pack is still holding strong.

Acceleration is good, I'm often cursing the putzes in front of me merging on to highways. Turning radius is tight. Stereo is good, but mine only has an auxiliary jack, no USB. We regularly have a couple of friends in the back, and they have room to sit comfortably, though it's preferable to have the shorter (5'6") rather than the taller (6').
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
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I don't have a Prius so I can't speak to that. Regarding the price, my recommendation would be to plug in the vehicle details and your location to the Edmunds web site which will give a good ballpark as to the true value of the vehicle. Be sure to enter in all the options from the vehicle so having access to the original sticker may help. KBB is another good option although Edmunds seems a bit more "real world".
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:33 AM   #4
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do you need a membership or anything to sign into edmunds?
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:36 AM   #5
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Our family owns two Hybrids and one is a Prius.

When wife drives it, she gets ~ 50.2 MPG. With me, it's more like 48.5-49.5 MPG.
It's a very good car and we both enjoy it. Recommend it and would buy another one.
One of our neighbors also has a Prius with 260k miles on it, looks new and still runs
great! They haven't had any issues with it. His wife drives it every day.

Also have a Lexus SUV hybrid. It's fully loaded but the extra money we paid for the Hybrid
system will never be paid back with the additional gas mileage it gets.
Just trying to be a little more "Green".
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:44 AM   #6
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do you need a membership or anything to sign into edmunds?
No sir!
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:11 AM   #7
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DW is keen to get one, but how is it in the winter in snow? IIRC it is pretty low for aerodynamic reasons and it seems like it would be a snow plow in more than a few inches of show. Drive wheels are front, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maenad View Post
I've got a 2007, and it's a great car. I've had really good experiences with my local Toyota dealership for service too. Definitely better than with Ford, Saturn, or Chevy.

I have a lead foot, so my mileage isn't anywhere close to optimal, but it is very good (mid-40s), and I haven't noticed a decline over the years (I got it new). There is a mileage hit during Minnesota winters, when the engine runs more because it needs to keep warm, but it's still in the upper 30s per gallon. I've had to replace the battery (12V) and tires once each, which I think is pretty normal. The big battery pack is still holding strong.

Acceleration is good, I'm often cursing the putzes in front of me merging on to highways. Turning radius is tight. Stereo is good, but mine only has an auxiliary jack, no USB. We regularly have a couple of friends in the back, and they have room to sit comfortably, though it's preferable to have the shorter (5'6") rather than the taller (6').
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:25 AM   #8
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frank, we bought a 2013 Prius V in March this year. We bought it for the mileage and because of the track record of the Prius. However, we may not have bought one if they had not come out with the V series because we need the extra room to haul stuff around. It's a much bigger vehicle than the standard Prius and that's what sold us. It's rated for 44 mpg because of the size and corresponding added weight. The best I've done on mileage is 43 but I would say we average 42. These are actual calculations and not just going by the onboard computer. All of our driving is in town (where you get the best mileage) with very little highway mileage (where you get the least).

We only have 3400 miles on it but will definitely get another one based on the vehicle performance to date. Rides and drives great and at 6' 3" fits me like a glove. Plenty of room for back seat passengers even with my seat back all the way. Some things we miss are no power seats and automatic headlights. I think this is standard for cars of this type with the emphasis on preserving battery power.

Price on a 2012 would depend on what style you are talking about and how it is equipped.
We leased ours but the sticker was about $30k and then we had real leather seats put in after market for about $1500.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:50 AM   #9
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That price sounds a little "too good" for 2012, but you didn't mention model and options.

Blackbook gives a price on what dealers are buying and selling them for

Black Book Weekly Values Lite

Used toyotas typically carry a premium because they are good cars.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank View Post
do you need a membership or anything to sign into edmunds?
Sorry if this comes off as mean, but isn't it easier to just go to that website and try it and find out for yourself rather than ask here and wait for a reply?

Anyway, you already have that answer, and to add something helpful to the discussion, you might consider getting a Carfax report. You will have to pay for this, so it's up to you whether it's worth it, but a car that's been in a major accident should be priced lower (or avoided) even if it looks fine cosmetically.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:06 AM   #11
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I have a 2009 Prius and I love it. I live in a moderate climate. I do notice that the milage decreases a little in the winter so it will probably do so in snow weather. I also experienced the lower power on mountain roads. For example, when I was driving through the mountains west of Jackson Hole, WY. I wouldn't want to own one in those driving conditions. If you are living in Iowa then you should have no problem with mountains.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:31 AM   #12
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its a prius 5 door hatchback and I did check the prices at nada and edmunds. the price they give is right in the range the dealer is asking for a car listed at clean retail. The thing I was thinking is if the dealer is asking this for the car is there any room to haggle? The car is certified and comes with a carfax although I have not yet asked to see it. that might be a good place to start. If you folks think I am being lazy asking these questions, its just that I am trying to do my due diligence and refer to your experience in checking out this type of thing. thanks again

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Old 07-14-2013, 11:19 AM   #13
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Another thing that nobody has mentioned.....does frank do a lot of driving? For us it wasn't worth the extra cost, although the difference in cost has come WAY down in recent years. We drive less than 12k a year and get some ice/snow so we bought a Subaru Forester. If we were to drive more.....then things like the Prius start to look better.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:37 PM   #14
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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.

Just for fun work out what you would save should you buy gasoline if you owned a late model Corolla compared to what you would spend on a Prius. That's the good part. Then you have to add in the additional Prius costs. You'll need to account for the Prius extra insurance/interest/maintenance/depreciation. After that little exercise the choice becomes more clear. That is especially true should you have to "invest" in one of those Prius battery packs and installation.

It's pretty clear then that the Prius is no bargain, any way you look at it.

From a carbon emissions point of view the all-in lifetime emissions of a Prius including manufacturing is greater than a Corolla.
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:15 PM   #15
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MasterBlaster, I have to disagree with you on some points. It's not a "tiny" car. Have you ever been in one? If not, go down to the Toyota dealer and sit in some. I guess you didn't read my post about our 2013 Prius V. Before that version was introduced, I might have agreed with you; however, "tiny" compared to what?

From an investment point, I agree that there are better vehicles out there. We leased ours and at the end of three years I'll turn it in and get another one. We never drive a vehicle out of warranty. As things stand right now, I love ours and would do it again (will do it again) in a heartbeat. It just feels good to drive 360 in town miles and fill up for $29.

I just disagree with some of your statements as I know you didn't check these out. Insurance: My insurance went up about $10 a year when we got the Prius compared to the 2011 Honda CRV. And, it's newer. I say, it's no change on insurance ($1200/year). Maintenance? I'm not worried because we never drive out of warranty and all the standard maintenance is covered for three years. Depreciation? I don't care.

Just my take.
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:42 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by frank View Post
its a prius 5 door hatchback and I did check the prices at nada and edmunds. the price they give is right in the range the dealer is asking for a car listed at clean retail. The thing I was thinking is if the dealer is asking this for the car is there any room to haggle? The car is certified and comes with a carfax although I have not yet asked to see it. that might be a good place to start. If you folks think I am being lazy asking these questions, its just that I am trying to do my due diligence and refer to your experience in checking out this type of thing. thanks again

frank
Frank,

My partner drives a Prius and we are very happy with it. The more you drive the more you can economically justify it from the gas savings, but beyond that, it's just a very nice, quiet comfortable car. When driving in low speeds on battery power, the silence is amazing. And the unusual bubble shape of the car makes it much more comfortable than something like a corolla, which feels much more claustrophobic to me.

My bigger concern is some of the questions you are asking about whether the dealer has any haggle room, or how to use Edmunds to determine the fair price of a car. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but those are the kinds of comments that make car salespeople jump for joy.

Of course there is room to haggle with a dealer! And if they don't want to haggle, move on to the next car and dealer. And don't limit yourself to dealers. There are plenty of private sellers who are trying to sell their cars through craigslist, autotrader, edmunds, cars.com, etc.

I just sold my Hyundai Sonata through Craigslist. I started off at an ask price of around $20K, which seemed like a great price to me compared to what everyone else had listed. I got zero bites. I slowly kept reducing the price every few weeks, and finally I found someone to take it away for $17.5K. He got a great deal because there are so many used cars for sale and not nearly enough buyers to buy them all.

Take your time and wait for the right opportunity. And use the web sites as references and justifications to offer lower prices to anyone you are negotiating with. Everything in life is negotiable, and buying a car is certainly at the top of the list of important things to get a good deal on, since they tend to be one of the most expensive things we ever buy outside of our residences!
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:36 PM   #17
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I have a 2009 Prius and I love it. I live in a moderate climate. I do notice that the milage decreases a little in the winter so it will probably do so in snow weather. I also experienced the lower power on mountain roads. For example, when I was driving through the mountains west of Jackson Hole, WY. I wouldn't want to own one in those driving conditions. If you are living in Iowa then you should have no problem with mountains.
I have a 2010 and also love it. It is NOT tiny - I've hauled all kinds of things in it with the rear seat down, and regularly drive 3 other adults on a 4-hour roundtrip - the 5'11" man sits in the rear and says it is more comfortable than his own Camry rear seat.

Regarding the power - I finally realized that PWR (power) mode is made for steep hills. I use ECO (which uses the computer to limit the throttle response to save fuel) 98% of the time, but there are two steep hills I occasionally go up and when I switch to PWR mode (button on the dash) I can jackrabbit right up to the top instead of struggling in ECO mode.

One other site to check out is Truecar (I used it for price info when I bought mine new but I think they have used info as well).
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:04 PM   #18
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Johnny36 and MBaustin:

I have sat in a Prius and stand by my comments per the subcompact. The PriusV is indeed bigger but gives up quite a bit in MPG as well as costing considerably more than the traditional prius.

For me there was just not enough room in the car, especially under the steering wheel. But I feel the same way about the Corolla. I would never choose a car that fits so poorly.

If you are leasing new every three years then this car isn't about saving money then, is it. That somewhat cheaper fill-up comes with a big monthly check. As I posted, if you love the car then go for it. Just don't delude yourself that you are saving money, because you are not.

Sorry, Ijust don't feel the love for it that others aparently do.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:51 PM   #19
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My wife bought a 2005 Prius when you got the first tax subsidies. She still has it and loves it. It has 170,000 miles so far. That's a lot of gas savings. She still averages 49 mpg on trips. It's fun to drive on short trips too. It's very quiet when on battery power. She likes the hatchback aspect for hauling stuff around and the ease of loading and unloading. With 2 teenage boys we prefer to take my SUV on long trips over 250 miles one way, but the four of us travel comfortably and save gas money on day trips in the Prius.

It's not a subcompact. It's definitely a small car, perhaps a compact.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:56 PM   #20
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Johnny36 and MBaustin:

I have sat in a Prius and stand by my comments per the subcompact. The PriusV is indeed bigger but gives up quite a bit in MPG as well as costing considerably more than the traditional prius.

For me there was just not enough room in the car, especially under the steering wheel. But I feel the same way about the Corolla. I would never choose a car that fits so poorly.

If you are leasing new every three years then this car isn't about saving money then, is it. That somewhat cheaper fill-up comes with a big monthly check. As I posted, if you love the car then go for it. Just don't delude yourself that you are saving money, because you are not.

Sorry, Ijust don't feel the love for it that others aparently do.
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.
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