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Prius vs TDI

crazypete89crazypete89 Member Posts: 1
edited July 2015 in Toyota
i am looking to buy my first car, and mpg is important as well as lower cost to own. My price range is up to about 8500. I've found some Prius with about 140000 miles and am concerned about replacing a hybrid battery . I would consider a beetle or Jetta tdi but those also have questionable upkeep costs. But they are about a few thousand dollars cheaper. I also am considering Pontiac vibe, which I probable like more. It's mpgs are in the 30s highway, and if I get a manual it's only 10 less highway than Prius and about 20 less city, but I mostly do highway commute driving. Any thoughts? My first time buying and any advice I would love!

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    zandorzandor Member Posts: 67
    I find it useful to put gas mileage into dollars and/or gallons per year. Gas mileage and liking what you drive are features just like a power seat or cruise control. I like to see what the difference in cost is when I'm deciding if I like car X more than car Y.

    Assuming $4/gal gas and 12,000 miles/year
    50: 240 gal, $960/yr, $80/mo
    45: 267 gal, $1,067/yr, $89/mo
    40: 300 gal, $1,200/yr, $100/mo
    35: 343 gal, $1,371/yr, $114/mo
    30: 400 gal, $1,600/yr, $133/mo
    25: 480 gal, $1,920/yr, $160/mo
    20: 600 gal, $2,400/yr, $200/mo
    15: 800 gal, $3,200/yr. $267/mo

    This is more like the international standard for measuring fuel economy - L/100kms, but I find the $ per year and month more useful. L/100km or Gal/100mi is better than mpg, but I like turning it into $/time.

    A lot of compact cars will get 35mpg on the highway, while the Priuses you are likely looking at are rated at 45. Since you're mostly driving on the highway it might be $25-30/mo or so difference between a Prius and something like a Civic, Mazda 3, Ford Focus, or the Vibe you're looking at if you drive 12k/year. I just mentioned those three because they have a reputation for being fun to drive.

    Hybrid batteries aren't as bad as people make them out to be. The failure rate so far has been pretty low for the Prius, so most people with an older Prius that needs a battery will just get a pack from a junkyard out of a wrecked one, buy a rebuilt pack, or have their pack rebuilt. Hybrid battery packs contain a bunch of individual batteries. Most of the time a failed pack has a number of bad cells but most of them are still good, so they can just swap out the individual bad cells. It's hundreds of dollars instead of thousands for a shiny new OEM battery pack from a dealer.

    You'll pay a bit of a premium for a Prius or a diesel VW. There are lots of people out there looking for an inexpensive car that gets really good mileage. The result is they bid the prices up a bit, so you have to figure out if the better mileage is worth the cost compared to your other options.
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