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Toyota on the mend?

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I never got why Audi let VW do that ... you try to create a corporate look, and then the budget lil' brother steals it?

    Even the Audi A2 gets the mouth - albeit capped off:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/09/13/audi-a2-concept-frankfurt-2011/

    IMHO Benz should bring the B- here. Phase out the Smart ForTwo and sell that instead, perhaps even in the same showrooms.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,310
    They share some blood and likely some styling management. Perhaps hopes that buyers will work up from VW to Audi over time.

    Thing about the B is that it is pricey, almost C money and can be loaded up just as much. That and it being a hatch might make it a tough sell here.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Premium hatches are (finally) making it here, though.

    5 years ago the sedan cost more than the 5 door hatch. Now it's the other way around. Not only that, the hatches are usually higher level models exclusively.

    Americans have slowly warmed to the idea. Even the CT is clobbering HS sales.

    Bring a loss leader at $29,999.99 and I think it would be well received.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    everybody tried to copy Audi's mouth-agape look

    I consider that a mistake. The Audi front end is what turns me off on buying one. Thankfully VW went back to a very clean styling. The Audi had that look and it was great. Sometimes what comes out of these automakers just does not make sense. By the way the GS posted is hideous to me. Looks like a cartoon character. Maybe I am getting too old to appreciate most of the automotive styling. Talked to a guy today with a Sequoia Limited just like mine. He has 150k miles on his and loves it. When he offered to buy his wife the new version she turned him down. We agreed Toyota has gone butt ugly on SUV and Truck styling. I guess I will drop a grand for a new set of Michelin LTX-MS/2s on the Sequoia. It is roomy and I just got my best tank of gas ever at 20.45 MPG over 302 miles of mountain driving. That was on Nevada Costco gas.

    If Audi would bring this model with diesel to the USA, I would pay MSRP, CASH for it. My favorite Audi of all time.

    image
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,310
    I know elsewhere you can load up a B to nearly 50K...that would never fly here. There's premium hatch, and then there's premium car.

    I think anything would clobber HS sales, save for maybe the GS which I think has sold about 12 units this year :shades:

    Sell the B at 29K - keep it below the psychologically significant 30K, and sell it fairly loaded - nav and other gadgets - and it would sell indeed. Offer a diesel too, to compete with the CT and others.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    I cannot imagine someone buying the CT over an A3 TDI. I don't think the CT has anything going for it that compares except EPA city rating. Which is dubious at best. No way the CT will handle, brake or accelerate with the A3. And I cannot believe anyone is getting 50 MPG on the highway with the CT, as many A3 owners are getting. Plus you can get 4 people in the A3 of normal size. No way with the CT. It is purely a feel good car for the green Lexus fan boys.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,310
    I think they sell to completely different target markets anyway. Lexus people in general shy away from acceleration, braking, handling. A3 is a premium sporty hatch, CT is a premium hybrid. I don't think they are apples to apples.
  • 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid returns 112 MPGe

    14.3 miles on a charge isn't much but the 1.5 hour re-charge time is a plus...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    They are not really apples to apples. However anyone looking for a $30k luxury hatch that gets better than average mileage should check them both out. I cannot imagine the CT winning on any level in head to head match up with the A3 TDI.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,310
    It might in dealer coddling, servicing costs, and is probably smoother and quieter anyway - the latter will win buyers here.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We should keep in mind the A3 has aged quite a bit, the GTI is much newer. It may be losing sales to loaded veedubs.

    Still, given supply constraints, Lexus seems to have a popular entry model. Keep 'em happy and they'll buy pricier Lexus models next go 'round.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That would work well for city dwellers. My commute is 13 miles and I'm in the 'burbs, even.

    I'll stick with my Miata, though...life is short, gotta enjoy the ride.

    Still, MPGe beats the Volt (if your commute is 14.3 miles or less) and of course the gas engine easily beats the Volt's iron block + massive battery pack boat anchor.

    One interesting thing is that we just opened a new bldg and it has "green" parking spots with charging stations. With a 1.5 hour charge that means you could go back and forth if the commute was up to 14.3 miles each way.

    I actually think it will do pretty well. Leaf gives people range anxiety, and Volt costs more even with the credit. Plus the Volt would only be more efficient if your commute is more than 14 miles but less than 35 miles:

    http://www.chevrolet.com/volt/
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited September 2011
    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/09/16/toyota-plug-in-prius-priced-at-32-000-prius-v- - -starts-at-26-40/

    Higher than expected.

    Prius V came in lower than I expected.

    Strange...

    Edit: I didn't realize it, but the Prius qualifies for a $2500 federal tax credit.

    So it keeps the $3500 price edge over the Volt after all.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    Pretty much all that stuff you mention is in the past.
    The marketing is more selective now.
    Certain brands are selling more now than ever in the US.
    Charity events are kind of a marketing exception.
    Good that you enjoyed all those test drives.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    Ford has top of the line Focus models that sticker over 27k.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    If it is like the Gen 2 Prius release back in 2003, the base model plugins will be in short supply and heavily gouged. I would not bank on that tax credit either. The Prius claims 4.4 KWH battery. Not enough to get the minimum $2500 tax credit. Did Toyota screw up?

    For vehicles acquired after December 31, 2009, the credit is equal to $2,500 plus, for a vehicle which draws propulsion energy from a battery with at least 5 kilowatt hours of capacity, $417, plus an additional $417 for each kilowatt hour of battery capacity in excess of 5 kilowatt hours. The total amount of the credit allowed for a vehicle is limited to $7,500.

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/article/0,,id=214841,00.html
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,442
    I kind of like that Prius V. That could work.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    I do too, but my wife thinks she still likes the, er, Prius II better. Confusing naming convention Toyota has going on there.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree, V looks like "Five".

    Base price is a good 4-5 grand higher, though.

    Maybe that's what the V stands for. :D
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    $27k for the II vs $30k for the V, according to her. I didn't check. Makes my wallet hurt just thinking about the van finally dying. ;)

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did Toyota screw up?

    If so that's a BIG screw up. It would fail at that price.

    Volt is struggling.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Base price for the V is $4280 higher, comparing Autoblog's price with Edmunds for the Prius I.

    I'm sure it varies with equipment levels, as the more expensive models tend to come with more features that are extra-cost on the cheaper Prius.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    edited September 2011
    All I asked for were heated seats. :-)

    She was looking at the Inside Line app on her iPad, so blame Apple.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Those should be mandatory on EVs and the plug-in Prius, because it'll take a while before the coolant is warm.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,036
    I presume an EV would use electric heat since there won't be any coolant??
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, and that uses up a lot of battery. That's why they have smart phone apps that can get your cabin temps up before you leave.

    Sort of like remote start, but remote cabin heat, before you leave.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    edited September 2011
    I think my wife was trying to ease me into the idea slowly. Yikes, you can pay $40,285 for the "uplevel Prius Plug-in Hybrid Advanced".

    2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Prius V Priced (Inside Line)

    image

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For reference, I used the Volt configurator and got a loaded one up to $44,194.

    You'd have to be crazy to buy either for that much. These are economy cars, after all, beyond the electric wizardry.

    Plug-in Prius doesn't make much sense beyond the base price with that credit, if it's eligible.

    Reminds me of Escape Hybrid pricing. The interior doesn't raise eye brows at the $16,999 rental fleet special pricing, but the hybrid breaks $30 grand and then it's just plain out of it's league when it comes to interiors.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    This is very interesting. We have a conflict between Federal Agencies on what qualifies as a Plug in Hybrid for tax credits. I wonder if Toyota asked the EPA and not the IRS.

    From Fuel Economy website:
    It must be propelled to a significant extent by an electric motor which draws electricity from a battery which

    has a capacity of not less than 4 kilowatt hours and
    is capable of being recharged from an external source of electricity.


    From the IRS:

    Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicles (IRC 30D)

    Internal Revenue Code Section 30D provides a credit for Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicles including passenger vehicles and light trucks. For vehicles acquired after 12/31/2009, the credit is equal to $2,500 plus, for a vehicle which draws propulsion energy from a battery with at least 5 kilowatt hours of capacity, $417, plus an additional $417 for each kilowatt hour of battery capacity in excess of 5 kilowatt hours. The total amount of the credit allowed for a vehicle is limited to $7,500.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    Motor Trend assembled a bunch of super cars for a 1/4 mile drag race. Lexus LFA placed 5th. See video for the fastest. It is a Japanese sports car.

    http://www.wimp.com/dragrace/
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