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Toyota Prius

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  • dupiedupie Posts: 22
    John1701a
    I placed an order for a 04 Prius on August 26 what is the time line that I should expect a reply from Toyota confirming the order, or don't they do that for regular orders? just computer orders? I have been following the Yahoo Groups and Edmunds with your comments, keep up the good work I am getting smarter about Prius every day because of you.
    send me a reply to:ddvet61@aol.com
    dupie61
  • A Prius is only a little smaller than a Camry, yet the Prius gets nearly double the fuel economy. Over 150,000 miles, the Prius saves almost $5000 in gasoline and oil change costs. So if one needs a car that is bigger than a Corolla and costs less to maintain then a Camry, the Prius is a good choice. This is especially true if one does a lot of stop & go driving (which includes "suburb driving" where there are lots of stop-signs and traffic lights). There are the environmental benefits as well.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    The Prius and Camry will both sell well because they're different people that will buy both cars. here are the buyers running into Toyota dealers:

    Group 1: Let's do the math. Shall we?
       This group is concerned with driving a car that will cost the least to own and operate and they calculate every single cost that they're going to be putting in to the car to see which one costs the least. They're educated buyers, who are very analytical and research carefully. In other words, they're Prius buyers instead of Camrys.

    Group 2: I'm gonna buy a Camry and no one will stop me.
       This group has always driven Camrys to work and play. They're very loyal to the Camry brand and would never buy an Accord even if it was a giveaway on the TV show Survivor. They're Camry buyers.

    Group 3: I'm gonna buy a Prius and no one will stop me.
          This group is very environmentally concerned and is looking for the best way to get to work will benifiting the environment. They're Prius buyers.

    Group 4: How much was that incentive again?
       This group is concerned with incentives, or the lowest purchase price of a vehicle. They don't care about anything else- just a low price for a nice and roomy ride. They're Corolla buyers.

    See where everyone fits into the Toyota buying camps? that's why sales won't drop too much on the Camry, since some people are loyal to Camrys and will never buy anything else. Prius too.
  • My dealer just got the low down on how to order so I got package 9. They said to expect the car in late Nov or early Dec. We shall see. Also ordered the Solara for my daughter (SEV6 with side curtain airbags....) That should come in one to two weeks.
  • pb17pb17 Posts: 33
    150000 miles, to me, is 15k per year times 10 years. That's a lot of miles for one owner. Most drivers trade long before that. When will the battery need replacing and what will that cost? Also, what mpg's are being used for the comparisons? How does this affect the costs?
  • Isn't there a group that wants an economical car which doesn't require many trade offs? You KNOW that the styling, hatchback functionality, cool features, LCD screen, ultra-modern design, and mileage (not to even mention the low emissions) have to count for something! Also, you aren't going to see a Prius on every corner like a Corolla or Camry.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    some people like to blend in to the crowd- in other words, if the crowd is driving Camry and Corollas, then I guess I'll have to buy one myself. the prius buyer is concerned with the cost to own of the vehicle or is a member of the Sierra Club or is environmentally concerned.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi All:

    ___Being an 03 Corolla LE (Auto) owner as well as an interested Prius enthusiast, I might have a thing or two to add to the discussion ...

    ___On a dollar to dollar basis, the 03 and even the 04 Prius will never pay itself off in comparison to a Corolla. I have reached a high of 44.2 mpg in the Corolla with an average over the last 6 months of ~ 41. I have a 185 mile daily commute and the 44,000 miles on the Corolla now which should give a pretty good idea as to what kind of hwy mileage is available to those driving them. I will bring up the Instantaneous Mileage readouts helping the Prius owners after more commentary ... I have spoke with an 01 and 02 Prius owners that haven’t received even 45 on average as is the case with many of the Prius reviews scattered about the web. Even those writing about the Edmunds 01 Prius review received just 41 mpg combined cycle! Maybe my case is peculiar given the almost all hwy miles and the amount driven but I am probably the type that would most consider a Hybrid.

    ___Now let’s do some gas math ... The 04 Prius will receive ~ 48 mpg on the hwy. It supposedly won’t match the Corolla in a drag race even with all the advancements to 60 but that really doesn’t matter here since the average high mileage end user is after maximum economy, not maximum performance. My Corolla receives an average of 41 in the summer and ~ 37 in the winter (3 months of the year). Over 160,000 miles (4 years in my situation), the Corolla uses ~ 4000 gallons of fuel with a 40 mpg average. The 04 Prius driving the same distance over those 4 years will consume 3,333 gallons of fuel. Since I average 60 - 65 mph in the Corolla, I will assume the EPA estimates will hold with the 04 Prius giving me that 48 mpg at the same average speed. 666 gallons of fuel over 4 years at $1.75/gallon (all time highs) comes out to be just $1,165.00.

    ___As far as maintenance is concerned, since 30,000 I have been using Mobil1 w/ a SuperTech filter and have only done 2 oil changes (30,000 and 42,500) since the Synthetic switch. 12,500 sounds about right for the 04 Prius if I were to drive the same distance on a daily basis using 0W-20. Going much further before a change is beyond my level of comfort ... In other words; both are going to cost me the same amount in the maintenance dept. I don&#146;t know what the tires cost on an 04 Prius but the GY Integrity&#146;s on my Corolla are < $50.00 per and although they don&#146;t have the traction of some more expensive brands and or models, I will purchase them again because of their longevity. The fronts have just 5/32 and the rears have 6/32&#146;s. I just rotated them (they were rusted to the hubs however :( ) so I am expecting ~ 80,000 before a change is needed. I cannot say the same for the Prius as I believe they are using some low rolling resistance tires and will be a bit more expensive? Either way, I will assume the maintenance overall will be ~ the same although in reality, I suspect the Prius to be more maintenance intensive given the added electronics and drive train (CVT not withstanding?). I will give the benefit of the doubt and say the Prius&#146; battery pack at 160,000 is as strong as new. Many older Corolla&#146;s are driven this kind of distance and appear to meet and or exceed this comparison. Differences, $0.00 with the Prius&#146; Battery pack hitting the wall at that high a mileage over those 4 yrs. more than likely.

    ___Resale? I don&#146;t know for sure on this one but a 99 Corolla w/ 160,000 is still supposedly worth 5 - $7,000.00 according to Edmunds Used car price guide. From a newly purchased 99 Corolla LE in the $13&#146;s to $6,000 you lose just $7,000. On the Hybrid side of the equation, I have already read of a few newer model year Insight owners receiving ~ $3,000 in trade w/ far fewer miles and fewer years. We are speaking of a $17K loss here! I can&#146;t say what the 04 Prius will be worth in 98 w/ 160,000 but I am willing to guess that it will be worth considerably less than an 04 Corolla LE. There was a link provided in another thread to a California company selling used Hybrid&#146;s that showed significantly higher resale (or that is what they are charging anyway?) but in all reality, the Hybrid&#146;s will probably be bathing in red ink by comparison.

    ___Now for the initial out the door pricing. Apparently, the base 04 Prius will cost $20,500 + tax no matter where you live. I have asked and have only seen a Maximum of $500 under MSRP on a Prius. My 03 Corolla LE w/ ABS, Cruise, Mats, and All Weather Guard cost just $15,200. In my locale, I have to add another 6.5% in tax to the difference for a grand total of $5,644.00 in favor of the Corolla LE. Add another $100.00 for the 04 and you should be in the ball park at ~ $5,500 in favor of the Corolla.

    ___Tax incentives. I would receive the US tax deal giving me an extra $560.00 for 1 yr. ($2,000 in a 28% bracket). Clearly an advantage of $560.00 in favor of the Prius.

    ___Let&#146;s put it all together ... Even if an 04 Prius could hold half its value at 160,000 in 08, it would only just match the 04 Corolla LE. I have the feeling given the Insight owners experience that it would be much much less. In fuel, the Prius would save me ~ $1,165. In maintenance, it&#146;s a wash. In the out the door expense category, I would lose at least $5,500 by purchasing an 04 Prius. The Tax advantage would give me $560.00 in favor of the Prius. All total not including any loss at resale in comparison to the Corolla (highly doubtful) as well as the cost of holding an additional $3,775.00 over those 4 years, I lost $3,775 and this again does not include the probably extreme depreciation of the Prius over those 4 years and 160,000 miles.

    ___There are many other reasons to own an 04 Prius (SULEV, latest technology, more std features?) but in pure dollars and cents, the 04 Prius still cannott compete as has been mentioned time and time again ...

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    ___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
    ___Waynegerdes@earthlink.net
  • Basing resale on that of an Insight is pretty dodgy -- the Insight is a two-seater with limited market appeal (which is why it was advertised in the Washington Post at about $5,000 under sticker about a year after introduction), whereas the current Prius is closer to the mainstream, and the 2004 Prius even more so.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > I don&#146;t know what the tires cost on an 04 Prius but the
    > GY Integrity&#146;s on my Corolla are < $50.00 per

    The 2004 Prius uses the SAME tires, Goodyear Integrity's.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Since I average 60 - 65 mph in the Corolla, I will
    > assume
    > the EPA estimates will hold with the 04 Prius giving
    > me that 48 mpg at the same average speed.

    Actually, my 2001 Prius gets 48 MPG at that speed (using E10 too, which is a little less efficient than 100% gas). So the belief is quite HIGH that the 2004 will do several better. That would result in an additional savings of $450 to $650.

    On the Hybrid Road Rally last year, we drove even faster. Almost all 1,200 miles was highway. My average then was 48.5 MPG.

    Your point is still valid, owners that drive almost exclusively on highways (all fast, no commute slowdowns) won't gain as much as those that drive a mixture of city & highway (both fast & commute).

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > I will give the benefit of the doubt and say the
    > Prius&#146; battery pack at 160,000 is as strong as new.

    Don't forget that "strong" is almost meaningless for acceleration.

    Very little of the total overall capacity of the pack is needed for a quick burst of speed. So even with a deminished supply, you won't notice a difference. And since recharging at 45 MPH or faster only takes 2 minutes, the need for HEAVY acceleration more than once within that small window of time is quite slim. NORMAL acceleration uses electricity generated on-the-fly by taking advantage of optimum engine RPM efficiency, so that's entirely a non-issue.

    Lastly, the 2004 voltage from the pack is 207 volts. That DC power is converted to AC, then stepped up to 500 volts. If the pack is old and weaker, it will feed a lower voltage to the invertor. That just results in a loss of efficiency, the output will always be 500 volts regardless. So whatever may have been an strength concern there may have been with the classic Prius, simply doesn't apply to the 2004.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > few newer model year Insight owners receiving ~ $3,000

    Insight is a very low-demand vehicle. There is not a large market for mini 2-seat cars. So the number of consumers interested in the NEW model is rather modest. That makes the interest in a USED one quite small.

    2004 Prius is a midsize vehicle. That market serves a totally, completely different audience.

    My friend trading in a 2002 for a 2004 with 18,000 miles on it was dealer quoted a little over $16,000 for the Prius he paid $21,000 for. That's not bad.

    I'll be trading in my 2001 with 60,000 miles on it. I'm expecting to get in the $12,000 to $13,000 range. That's not bad either, especially for a vehicle type that doesn't have a lot of actual long-term data available yet.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Even if an 04 Prius could hold half its value at 160,000
    > in 08, it would only just match the 04 Corolla LE

    It would be best to make generalizations when the hybrids are available in quantities just like vehicles in general, since that will affect the market as a whole.

    Corolla is tenatively scheduled to be offered as a hybrid in 2007. That will likely shake up the pricing of the used ones. Anyone want to give a guess how?

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    People are willing to pay for piece-of-mind. There is absolutely no guarantee that the price of gas will remain at reasonable levels. It could jump to $4 per gallon, just like it is in Europe now. That would push the benefit of high MPG significantly in favor of a hybrid. And remember, a hybrid doesn't have to be well loaded like a Prius. Corolla as a hybrid wouldn't have the extras that come standard on Prius, like the Multi-Display or Aluminum Rims or Automatic Climate-Control. That would easily drop the price by over $1,000.

    People are also willing to spend a little bit on the environment. That amount, even if small, shouldn't be ignored.

    JOHN
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Really. if I go out to my local gas station and I suddenly see $4.50 a gallon for regular, don't you think I'd pay off my Odyssey, leave it in the garage and buy a Prius/Civic Hybrid? I already have a regualar Civic that after a $2000 trade and some bargaining was bought for under $9K.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    was one of those DX with the Value Package sort. Here's what it includes over a Civic DX:
    Body Color door-handles
    CD player
    Air Conditioning
    Body Colored Trim
    And to think I bought it for just a little more than a DX.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    If everyone thought & felt the same way, things would be different. In reality, they don't. That's why when work benefits are offered, you get to choice between the pre-tax & post-tax options. Some choose pre. Some choose post.

    The same goes for car purchases. Just take a drive through my neighborhood. You'd be shocked by how many FFV vehicles you find. Almost none of them actually ever use E85 instead of gas. All they want is the ability to do it "if the need araises".

    Fortunately with a hybrid like Prius, you get the benefits of AT-PZEV-2 emissions and high efficiency all the time.

    JOHN
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    FFV cars, He, he, he........ Almost no one uses FFV anyways. So why do they buy it? If the need comes when it's time to put corn into their engine, then they're ready. Then again, FFV cars were created to help detroit sell more and more Excursions!
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