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What to expect from the next model year Prius



  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The 2009's are being built now, today.
    They are exactly the same as the 2008's.
    The Chairman of Toyota will introduce the new Gen 3 Prius at the NAIAS in Detroit in January.
    The 'line off' of this vehicle in Japan will be April 2009 as a 2010 model.
    Normally it should arrive here in Summer 2009.
    It will have NiMH battery technology in the first year or two.

    Then... if all engineering tests are completed and results found to be satisfactory the Li-Ion technology will debut in late 2010 or 2011, depending.

    Everything else is speculation.

    Toyota has been leaking and confirming these data to certain well-placed sources such as Edmunds here and among others. Rampant speculation however does help keep the pot boiling on the Net.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    But Toyota would be wise to keep the standard Prius at the current price. Honda's trying hard to nip them on the low end and the new Honda hybrid-only model will squeeze their market share seriously if Toyota gives it a chance

    A lowend Honda hybrid will never be serious competition to a Prius simply because it will be too basic and too small. It will probably be at least equal if not better in FE as compared to the current Prius but maybe not so competitive to the Gen 3.

    Then there is allegedly a new family of Prius' coming out soon including one smaller to compete directly with the HCH and the new hybrid-only model. This one is very likely to be a lot smaller and a lot more basic and A LOT better on FE than either the standard Prius or the HCH or the new Honda hybrid.
  • maribagomaribago Posts: 5
    "A lowend Honda hybrid will never be serious competition to a Prius simply because it will be too basic and too small. It will probably be at least equal if not better in FE as compared to the current Prius but maybe not so competitive to the Gen 3."

    kdhspyder, I see you are a 3-posts-a-day heavy forum user, so I want to defer to you. But help us out here: how can you be sure the new hybrid-only Honda will be "too basic and too small" compared to the Prius? I wouldn't underestimate a company with resources and the history of Honda. (Btw, I too have a 2005 Prius, so my bias should be toward Toyota, just like yours)
  • lotusfanlotusfan Posts: 9
    If the $10,000 premium is for the plug-in option, then it is overpriced. You can buy a plug in-conversion for your current Prius for $5000. Building it in the car at the time of manufacture is going to be cheaper (lower costs due to significantly higher volume, lower costs due to not modifying the car after it is produced, lower cost due to more automation in production). Further, industry estimates suggest that a plug-in option could added to production for $3000-$5000 (or less, depending on volume).
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The info available is that Honda is looking for a Fit-sized hybrid, i.e. smaller than the HCH. In this market for the most part small means basic. We Americans don't like to pay high prices for small cars.

    Also I think that with the least expensive hybrid now on the road starting about $22000 that there's a huge potential for Honda to gain a big slug of buyers in the $18000+ range. But to get down to this price level something has to give, it's usually the size and the content.

    As a side note, and this is my own personal opinion, I think that for the present the four main hybrid makers are intentionally NOT treading on each others toes. Note that none of the 'true hybrids' on the road today compete against another hybrid in the same class. This is NOT a coincidence IMO. To keep this order Honda will go lower and more basic ISO going after the Prius. It's also good business.

    If Honda does go after the Prius with a new hybrid then I'd expect Toyota to go after the HCH with it's own smaller Prius sedan. The agreement would be broken in this case.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I agree but for those who are desperately seeking a plugin it's not too much of a stretch if the warranties are similar in length.

    The Volt has already been announced at coming to market in the $40000 range. But....there's a huge unmentioned factor in this. GM has been working the halls of Congress to get a significant tax break credit for all plugins and EREVs. By announcing that they plan to sell it for $40000 I'm certain that they are confident of a $5000 - $10000 tax credit for the buyers. Now the net difference is only about $3000-$5000 over a top trim Toyota. Slick move on their part this would be. The Volt is announced to get 40 gas-free miles. The Prius PHEV is expected to get maybe 20 gas-free miles.

    But on the Toyota side this is what I'd expect to see. The Prius is going to remain the main driving force simply because to most its name means 'hybrid'. This is why Toyota is looking to expand the lineup both smaller and larger with 3 or 4 or 5 different 'Prius models'.

    If it remains the basic hybrid in Toyota's lineup then it will remain as a NiMH hybrid simply because this technology is so stable, so durable and now after 1.3 million vehicles so cost effective.
    NiMH Prius' ranging from $22000 up to $30000 with different amenities. Then in 2011 a plugin model with Li-Ion technology as a 'super trim' in the $35000 or $36000 price range. From recent indications from Toyota these PHEV Prius' will number in the several hundred at first. Toyota has never been very excited by this concept at all.

    I tend to agree and I think you would too. Too expensive for too little benefit. However over at PriusChat and other sites there is a hardcore group of EVs that can't wait to spend the money for one. For me when my current 'outdated' Prius is used up at 250,000 or 300,000 miles I'll probably just go with another NiMH 'traditional' model in the low 20's....or a used one.

    Nevertheless with such a HUGE and wealthy market I'm sure that Toyota ( and GM ) will find all the buyers they want in the $30000-$35000 range. If these buyers happen to have the perfect commute or annual usage they could stop buying petro-fuel forever.

    Just as an example one 1 fillup every 6 months vs a 33 mpg Corolla or Civic. Both driven 12000 mi/yr at an average cost of $5 / gal over 7 yrs of driving. For those that hate the oil companies, or hate the oil producers or want to use no fuel for environmental reasons it's very very seductive to buy a vehicle that uses no fuel. They are apparently more willing to pay some 'premium' to an auto company rather than to an oil company. This is a perfectly valid reason for buying also.

    There are a lot of GM proponents over at GMI that can't wait to shell out $35000-$40000 ( with an expected credit ) in order to get GM back on its feet thus to stick it to the oil companies who they see as putting GM in the mess they are now.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "Also I think that with the least expensive hybrid now on the road starting about $22000 that there's a huge potential for Honda to gain a big slug of buyers in the $18000+ range. But to get down to this price level something has to give, it's usually the size and the content. "

    The Fit is already pushing 18K (sports model), so a hybrid version is more likely at 20K or so. BUT it should get much better MPG than the HCH due to it's smaller size and lower weight. Plus, it is a hatchback.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Toyota has decided to build the next-generation Prius in the United states to better address changes in consumer demand.
    To do this, they will move Highlander production to one of the Tundra assembly plants and build Tundras in only one plant.
    This will also deal with changes in the value of the US dollar vs the Yen and reduce overcapacity for building Tundras.
  • fookahnfookahn Posts: 3
    Yes, you are right, THANKS. I called my dealer and said you are correct, I made the mistake, Sorry.

    As far as wait for 2010, I will get my 2009 and keep it until 2010's are out, sell the 2009 for about what I paid. The old Prius's hold the value very well, having said that the 2010's production may choke the market reducing the value of the used Prius.

    Dealer says that production is underway.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    For most vehicles that doesn't hold true. when a new model comes out there is a bigger than normal drop in price. Why would someone want to give you what/almost what you paid when they could buy for a few bucks more a 2010 with all new technology? I'm sure they are thinking the same as you, I want the new one that will be the same for at least the next 5 years.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yes 2009 production is underway. We already have the 2009 brochures waiting the arrival of the new models.

    I have a feeling that there is likely to be a 'Gold Rush' mentality for the new 2010's similar to what occured back in 03, 04 and the beginning of 05. Yes, production will be far greater than at that time but if fuel is topping $5 a gallon and the new model is more efficient than this Gen I can see it being oversubscribed for at least 6 months or until the new plant in Miss can get wound up.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Usually when a new model comes out the initial production is pretty slow, so the 2010 Prius will probably be in short supply for several months after it debuts and may have a backlog of people who pre-ordered to be the first to buy the new design.
    If there are issues with the new technology, production may slow even further.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    What new technology would that be? The 2010 Prius is supposed to have the same kind of technology as the current Prius, but with an ICE derived from the Corolla's 1.8L engine. The new battery technology comes later. At least that is what I've read.

    Initial supply will probably depend on how fast the U.S. plant can ramp up.
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    The new plant in Mississippi is not expected to come live until late 2010. My belief is most 2010 cars will be assembled in Japan (or China??) and 2011 model year is when US production will kick in. It will be interesting to see differences in manufacturing quality between their plants.
  • fookahnfookahn Posts: 3
    Dealer just called, says early to mid August, come and get it!. Had my money down for 2 months. Can't wait. Dealer has put me in line for 2010 ($500.00), I will trade 2009 and expect that people hoping for good mileage will line up for the used prius. Many people out there looking for anything that has mileage. I see old Prius's selling for high dollars. If gas keeps going up I will make a profit, Gas goes down, then I keep 2009. Regardless of hybrid, Toyota holds value, hybrid & Toyota holds value better.

    Want plug in, will sell 2009 for the plug. I am on ComEd real time pricing program. Charge different rate per hour, some days 4 hours free power, no charge at all. plug in at night, yeah. electric bill down to 48.00 a month. go to
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    For those of you who are going to wait for 2010 redesigned Prius, you might as well look at the 2010 Honda Insight also. It is like a Prius clone for less money.
    It should start in the $19-20K range.

    At least there will be good competition when both these new models come out during the same year.
  • lotusfanlotusfan Posts: 9
    Yes, a new Honda hybrid, or from other makers that might get to the market by then is another reason to wait to pull the trigger.

    But I have to say that buying one now and then selling it and buying a year alter might also be a goo strategy provided we are convinced that resales prices will remain high, such that you biggest cost of swapping models is an extra couple thousand dollars of sales tax from buying twice.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I think Honda has a big winner here with their own Prius.

    However it's clearly intended for the budget buyer who doesn't want to put up $23000 ( HCH ) or $25000+ ( Prius ). From the pics shown it's probably Fit-sized with a few basic amenities. It is afterall a $17000 vehicle with a $2000 hybrid option. It probably doesn't compare to either the HCH or the Prius in ride, amenities or options.

    It will probably be better than both the HCH and the Prius in fuel economy though. I'd esimate ~60 mpg on average. However in I believe that we will soon see a Prius sedan ( Toyo's HCH knockoff ) which will be smaller, more basic and more fuel efficient than either the HCH or the Prius ( a Yaris-sized hybrid sedan? ). I'd guess we will see 60-65 mpg on average for this baby Prius also.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    It doesn't look smaller than the Prius in the pictures.
    The styling looks like a Prius, but Honda says they were emulating the styling of their new FCX Clarity. The front grill will look like a FCX.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The back end is smaller than the Prius. I'll wager that the seating inside is smaller as well.
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