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What's your reason for buying a Hybrid?

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  • You wrote:

    My wife drives it and traded in her 2002 VW Bug... turbo... running on premium... 23mpg. With a 80 mile round trip work commute, I calculated the gas savings to be about $1,400-$1,500 annually. Not bad.

    We bought is because we fell in love with the car as a green vehicle. More importantly, however, this is an in your face to the oil companies and Detroit. We need to improve vehicle mileage in all categories so that we can lower our dependance upon foreign oil.

    I intend to buy a Prius for myself in the ext 1-2 years also.

    Love that car!

    ----------

    I write:
    Before you blather on about giving an 'in your face' to the oil companies and Detroit by buying a Prius, how about cutting your work commute? Eighty miles a day? That's still two gallons of gas a day! Just for work! You sure are a Greenie all right. Smug, yes. Green, no.

    That attitude is right up there with Hollywood celebs who tout their environmental hipness by driving a Prius -- right into the garage of their 12,000 sq. ft. air-conditioned mansion.

    And does it really 'save' the enviroment when you build a new car? Hate to tell you, but Toyota pours as much [non-permissible content removed] in the air and water as any other car company when they build a car, even your beloved Prius.

    Just wanted to clear a bit of smugness out of the air.....
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I guess people are tired of paying the Mecedes premium or the Lexus premium etc etc. That argument holds no water. Every car today is a complex piece of machinery and should be serviced by the dealer.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...would be happy to hear you say that. Their price for the 30K checkup on my car: $550. My trusty local mechanic's price: $280. Guess where I went.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Many, MANY people in the $40K to $70K per year earnings bracket have car payments. A car payment is usually considered to be a "normal" part of many people's monthly budgets. Many people even have their car payments automatically withdrawn from their checking accounts each month.

    So having a car payment that is $425 a month versus a car payment that is $385 a month is not usually that major of a deal for many people. It's the cost of having a nice, newer model car to drive and to enjoy.

    My point is that if you have to pay $3000 more to get a Hybrid Civic versus a non-hybrid Civic EX, and the payment is only $40 more per month, to most people, that's not a deal breaker.

    Where the benefit comes in and REALLY GET NOTICED is when you are paying only $700 a year in gas money for the Hybrid instead of $1200 a year in gas money for the gasoline-only car.

    Most people take "gas money" out of their budgeted "spending money" for that week or month, right? So spending $58 a month on gas hurts most people a lot less in their everyday budget money than spending $100 a month does.

    So you "feel" the hit of the car payment far less, because you have a car payment every month ANYWAY, and you get the tangible benefit of more spending money in your pocket each month because you spend less on fuel.

    Even though the hybrid "costs more" in the monthly payment, it costs less in the money that you notice more readily.

    And in addition, you get the peace of mind in knowing that upwardly moving gas prices will affect you personally far less it will most people. That's not a tangible benefit, but it is definitely a stress-reducer !! :D
  • Honda's and Toyota's don't need a lot of Service..Unlike German Cars...Infact those two brands need less service then any other....

    I calculated the savings in gas costs on our Toyota Prius...Based on 15,000 miles per yr....Our old car got an avg. of 23 MPG in Mixed driving or Prius gets 52 MPG...Our old car used about 652 gallons per Yr. at say 2.80 per Gallon 652 X 2.80 Equal $1825.60 per yr. 15,000 at 52 MPG equal 288 gallons per yr. at $2.80 equal....$806.40 per yr.

    The extra $3000 it is claimed we paid for our Prius, Pays off in 3 years... The higher the gas prices the quicker the payoff.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ALL cars need the basic preventive service stops, Honda and Toyota included. Preventive maintenance is done even when there is nothing wrong with your car. They're just checking to make sure that everything is okay (typically every 30K miles or so, or slightly more often for some things). What I'm saying is that if I have to go to a dealer for those kind of things you can basically add an extra $1000 to $2000 to my ownership costs over the life of the car above what I'd pay for a "regular" car.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Honda's and Toyota's don't need a lot of Service..Unlike German Cars...Infact those two brands need less service then any other....
    What type of service is required less? Fewer oil changes, fewer air filters, fewer spark plugs,?
  • Fewer Repairs...
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    Definitely agree on that. Just be lucky you didn't buy the Liberty diesel. Talk about a lemon!!! :lemon: :lemon: LOL. True... Japanese cars are much more reliable than German cars. Heck.. I think these days even American cars are more reliable than German cars. It is fair to say that if you buy a Japanese hybrid the ownership experience will be a pleasant one. I've been taking my cars to the dealers for the last ten years. I don't trust Joe's Corner Repair on my cars.
  • crbcrb Posts: 10
    You have FAR FAR FAR too much faith in dealerships. I dealt with dealerships for a long time with my car, and they screwed up more often than not. In fact, I wound up speaking with the Regional service manager for the NE because of all the problems. They still misdiagnosed the car, so I took it to a small time local mechanic and...

    ...he correctly diagnosed the problem and fixed it. Dealerships GOUGE. They once quoted me a price of $89 to change a brake light!!!!!
  • larsb,

    You forgot something important, even though the hybrid is more expensive, say, $3,000 more than a regular, the higher price translates into higher resale value. Say you save $2,000 in gas over 4 years, cars depreciates by 50%, you can still sell the car for $1,500 more than a regular car, so overall you'll still be ahead.

    I don't understand why so many criticts don't see this, they think the higher MPG does not justify the higher price because the saving is not enough, but how about the re-sale? Not to mention the tax credit, usage of carpool.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,845
    "You forgot something important, even though the hybrid is more expensive, say, $3,000 more than a regular, the higher price translates into higher resale value. Say you save $2,000 in gas over 4 years, cars depreciates by 50%, you can still sell the car for $1,500 more than a regular car, so overall you'll still be ahead.

    I don't understand why so many criticts don't see this, they think the higher MPG does not justify the higher price because the saving is not enough, but how about the re-sale? Not to mention the tax credit, usage of carpool."

    You are making assumptions about resale value. There are extensive arguments in the forums about this. You might start with the "great battery debate" forum...
  • I am making a very educated assumption on value, I use the current info I have. Last time I checked, hybrids hold their value much better than any gas vehicles.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I realize that hybrids are currently holding their value, but that won't be for long. It will be interesting to see what a low mileage 2004 Prius will see for in 2009. Only time will tell. The only reason I am buying mine is quite simple. It's a bargain considering all the technology it has. It also easily achives high 40's in mileage without even trying. Gotta love it!
  • beantownbeantown Posts: 228
    "I am making a very educated assumption on value, I use the current info I have. Last time I checked, hybrids hold their value much better than any gas vehicles. "

    That's a tough argument when it comes to Toyota. I traded in a three year old Rav4 earlier this year that I originally paid $20,000 for and got back $17,000 for it from the dealership. I doubt a hybrid can hold their value any better than that.

    Right now, hybrids are going for MSRP (or more) because they are fairly scarce in most areas, demand is waaaay up, competition is lacking and the technology is new. Logic dictates that as competition increases in the next few years, as supply begins to meet demand, and as technology improves, prices will drop under MSRP. What do you think will happen to these guys when you trade them in? They have little chance of holding that original "over MSRP" value.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,657
    There's nothing older than old technology. Once the 3rd gen hybrids come out, the 1st gen wont' look so good; and besides, who is going to repair a high miles 1st gen hybrid anyway? That's right, Mr. Dealer or nobody. I don't think independents are going to gear up for repairing obsolete cars. You have to remember, that technology is increasing exponentially, and so obsolete comes faster now, much faster than say the difference between a 1991 car and a 2001 car.

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  • The key is numbers.
    If there are as many HCH's as there are Honda Civics running around, then factories will tool up, aftermarkets will develop and so will service technicians.

    If the numbers aren't there (they aren't now), it doesn't matter how much better the hybrids look on paper, the support system will just not be there and any out-of-waranty work will be very pricey indeed.

    And all this talk about resale values holding up are out the window when the support infrastructure isn't there. And they won't be until the hybrids come out of the niche markets and into the mainstream.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    You also have to realize that Toyota is selling more and more hybrids each year. I'd say the Prius is NOT a niche vehicle when you consider 100,000 units for the N/A market in 2005. The infrastructure will be there. Toyota is certainly committed to the technology.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,845
    "You also have to realize that Toyota is selling more and more hybrids each year. I'd say the Prius is NOT a niche vehicle when you consider 100,000 units for the N/A market in 2005. The infrastructure will be there."

    1. 100K units out of 17 Million.

    2. If the infrastructure is there by Toyota, you will be forced to use their dealers.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Most modern cars are complicated machines which require specialized training by mechanics and computerized analysis.

    That's not new, nor is it a "Hybrid" thing. Modern cars are complicated - if you want the best service with the best trained mechanics FOR YOUR CAR, use the dealer.

    For me, it's not an issue because I bought a bump-to-bump 100K warranty when I bought the car. I will trade the car before 100K miles. So why do I care where it gets serviced?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,845
    "For me, it's not an issue because I bought a bump-to-bump 100K warranty when I bought the car. I will trade the car before 100K miles. So why do I care where it gets serviced?"

    Because the person who buys that used car is going to care; if repair costs are expected to be high, the resale (or trade in) value will be less. Only time will tell. If the hybrid technology takes off even more, then parts will be plentiful. If some of the other technologies become common (low sulfur diesel is probably the biggest possiblity in the near term), then the parts may cost. Most likely, it will be somewhere in between the extremes of either possiblity.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Sure, all cars need servicing. By the time my car has 100K miles on it, the "hybrid training" will have branched out to many of the "certified AAA" mechanic shops.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,845
    Sorry, I misread that last sentence.

    You are making an assumption about hybrid parts availablity and training of hybrid technicians. Maybe both will be common; maybe not. Note also that while hybrids remain so popular, Toyota has little incentive to expand their spare parts or training; the dealers make $$ doing those exclusive repairs.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,657
    I think you have to look at a Prius as a computer gadget, not just a car. So repairs will be akin to getting a 5 year old PC or CD player fixed. No one is going to "repair" an old Prius...it's going to be major component replacement, in the same way that no one is soldering single connections on motherboards anymore.

    In other words, an old Prius will be more like repairing both a computer AND a car, and the technician is going to have to be a REAL SMART person. Will anyone that smart want to work in a car dealership?

    Time will tell. I'm thinking old hybrids will not be repaired when they have a major breakdown, but recycled. It will not be cost efficient to repair them.

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That would put Hybrids into the "disposable car" category, and that would be VERY BAD for everyone.
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    I hedged my getting an RX400h by leasing. So I know what the residual lease value is. If , when the lease is up, I can sell it for more than the residual value on the lease, which is likely since the mileage allowance is 15000/year and I generally drive less than that, I'm ahead. But in any case I can just turn in the car. with no further concern. There is quite a good aftermarket for used Priuses and I expect the same will be true for the Lexus crossover. As far as my experience with the Lexus hybrid, it has been great.. The hybrid synergy drive is a major technological advance and I can't see any reason to go back to the old technology. So my next car will also be a hybrid
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,657
    But really ALL cars are heading for the "disposable car" category, don't you think, and have been for some years now. I mean, I do wish to avoid gross generalities, but only in America do we seem to solve a consumption problem by buying something else.

    Nothing wrong with disposalibility if there is a really good recycling system set up---maybe even factory buy-back plans, where Toyota can take the old hybrid and shred it into stuff for new hybrids.

    I see hybrid technology as strictly interim and short term-- a 10-15 year thing and then a dead end or a morph into something completely new.

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  • Why did I buy a Hybrid? Looking at least what the Highlander we bought has:

    - the ICE part is a standard Toyota ICE (sure different transmission), on the Highlander much of the vehicle is the same as the non-hybrid
    - it uses advanced electronics/computers, as does any other car you buy, but integrates them even more fully since the computer does much more control of the vehicle (drive by wire). As a comparison, modern passenger jets are fly by wire, so it's not new technology. All can fail, but wires and circuits, well designed and constructed, should be more reliable than mechanical/hydraulic components. Yes, can't tinker in the driveway and maybe you need a dealer to do the service, but reliable means less need for service. I work with technology every day and while I kiddingly say I hate computers in fact the transition to more advanced electronics has made the work I do (video production) better, more efficient and more reliable. It's the same with they HH.
    - the other electrical rather than mechanical components - power steering, etc. - are based on electronics and electric motors - again less complicated than the hydraulic/mechanical components they replace and so - designed and manufactured well - they'll be more reliable. Electric motors are amazing, simple things and modern digital control systems are very reliable. Sure, they require skilled persons to work on them, but for the average person who would never consider changing their oil much less doing a valve job what does it matter how the thing works, if it keeps working and is reliable it's a good thing. Electronics tend to just work until they fail, and if their duty cycle is well designed, they'll never fail in the normal life of a product. Mechanicals fail, and that's on any vehicle.

    Unlike computers, which are commodities which are cheap and disposable since service labor is expensive - same as just about electronic device today - any vehicle for a long time is far from "disposable" - maybe the batteries in a hybrid need to be replaced eventually, that''s an unknown, but they are replaceable, and even if the cost really is a couple of thousand dollars, that's still a small % of the total purchase price (and I've spend more than that on repairs on a non-hybrid) so while it's a "maybe someday needs to be replaced" thing that is far different from disposable. It's easy to point at the battery pack and say "see, it's disposable" (actually recycleable according to what I've read somewhere) but the rest is so like any other vehicle that's hardly disposable. A part breaks/fails/wears out you fix it, replace it, or trade it in or junk it. Just like with any other vehicle. And some things are actually simpler - the AWD HH is only about $1500 more than FWD and is a lot less complex than standard AWD.

    In sum, the hybrid to me was attractive because I found it to be a good application of technology that makes the vehicle more efficient, which reduces our dependence on oil, imported and domestic, reduces direct to the air pollution, and the use of electrical components in some systems is a very positive feature. The Highlander Hybrid specifically serves our needs well and is a great vehicle to boot. If you're looking for a direct return on investment through fuel savings it takes a while, but we keep our vehicles for over 100,000 miles so that's not an issue. Not for everybody, we have our reasons to choose. But to us we're happy with our choice and investment. Definitely the best vehicle I've ever owned. - John
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    If you take your theory and use that ratio, every car model pales in comparison to the total number. I stand by my assertion that the Prius is NOT a niche vehicle. Is the CRV a niche vehicle? How about the Chevy Impala?
  • I have not seen Prius asking for more then MSRP...I got mine in less then a month...even though I was told by the Dealers 6-8, Dealers I talked to, that there was a 6+ month waiting list.....

    Once they realize you are serious and have the cash...They will find you one....there are lots of toyota dealers just be persistant..

    P.S. the kiss of death is to go on a waiting list....Tell them you will buy from the first dealer that can get you the car you want ...Right Color and Features...
This discussion has been closed.