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What's your reason for buying a Hybrid?



  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Your points are all valid IMHO except for the first concerning the expected avg gas consumption. I've delivered 50-60 Prius' since the first generation in 2001 and almost to a person the feedback I've received is abt 48 mpg over extended periods such as several months/yr, although achieving 55-60 mpg is a common occurance if all factors are favorable.

    The styling, features and performance of the Prius were directed toward the 'early adopters' rather than toward the bulk of the driving public. One comment made in the Wash Post last year was that potential buyers were eschewing the Civic Hybrid, letting it sit on the lot, in favor of the Prius because the Civic just looked like a Civic. The Prius made a statement.. but.. it's not for everyone.

    After 5 years of introduction for its hybrids Toyota, with the THH this year and next year's TCH, is going after the heart of the buying public now. It remains to be seen if the mainstream buyer is willing to take the step. However with hundreds of thousands of satisfied Camry owners on its side - not to mention gas prices - it is quite likely that the 2nd phase of Toyota's Hybrid Marketing strategy will be as successful as its first.


  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    ""Who cares? The battery is warranted for virtually the life of the car. "

    Actually, that is turning out not to be completely true"

    Your replies are well written but often not based on the facts. I've owned Toyotas since 1990. There are presently 7 in my family. In the rare instance when there has been a warranty question it has been solved immediately on the spot in the dealership. No questions. Last week it was a water pump on my Certified Used Camry with 52K miles. Replaced at no cost. I would be AMAZED if Toyota started weasling on its Warranties for it's Public Relations Flagship Prius. That's just not going to happen.

    Regarding the batteries themselves you leave the impression that the entire battery 'might' fail leaving the owner stuck with a massive replacement cost. That too is highly unlikely because as you know the batteries are made of many individual cells. While its possible for one or a couple to wear down over time.... ALL the cells failing at the same time? That's just not going to happen under normal conditions.

    Finally on the question of Warranties - in other words Guarantees - Toyota has long had an impeccable reputation for Quality, Dependability and Reliability. Its 5 yr or 60000 mi Powertrain Warranty ( Guarantee ) is based on the well known fact that under normal care and driving conditions you can expect a Toyota engine and transmission to take you 200K miles or more. Having seen this first hand several times on my own vehicles I would expect any Toyota Hybrid to EXCEED it's Warranty period by two or three times without problem. I hardly see Toyota as a company with a gambler's mentality.

    If they have put an 8 yr / 100K Hybrid Warranty out there on the Prius at no cost to the consumer it's because they are virtually certain that they WONT have to pay much in Warranty costs during that period. Again from personal experience I wouldn't be surprised if their internal testing didn't lead them to expect upwards of 300K for the battery life expectancy. This is just good business practice.

    In the year 2010 there may be a Hydrogen revolution. That would be wonderful. But dont paint a picture of all Prius' dead on the side of the road as all the batteries fail at the same time. That's just not going to happen and sounds like the hope of a 21st century 'flat-worlder'.

    Disclaimer: I do sell Prius'. I also own 3 Toyota's and have 4 more in my immediate family. The Prius or TCH will be be my next vehicle.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    If they have put an 8 yr / 100K Hybrid Warranty out there on the Prius at no cost to the consumer it's because they are virtually certain that they WONT have to pay much in Warranty costs during that period.

    That is a bit misleading. Toyota did not give that warranty out of the goodness of their hearts. The hybrid warranty is mandated by the EPA & CA.
    From Toyota website:

    Hybrid-Related Component Coverage: Hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles. The HV battery may have longer coverage under emissions warranty. Refer to applicable Owner’s Warranty Information booklet for details.

    California mandate on their website:

    Such vehicles are certified by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) as partial zero emission vehicles or PZEVs, and Advanced Technology PZEVs (AT PZEVs) because pollution controls are so tight and the burning of fuel is extremely efficient. PZEVs and AT PZEVs meet the ARB's most stringent tailpipe emission standard (super ultra low emission vehicle), have a 15 year/150,000 mile warranty and have zero evaporative emissions.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    In their literature they claim the battery should last the life of the vehicle. But it IS true that they do not give this warranty out of the goodness of their hearts. I wonder how it is determined that the battery pack is a component subject to this warranty. I understand that all components relating to pollution controls fall under this category. Regardless, I am eager to see what happens ten years from now.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    There are several gas powered cars equipped as well as the Prius priced under $20K that will get 30's all day. How long would you have to drive the Prius to recoupe the difference in price? Also, the long term reliability of these vehicles is still unknown. Waiting......
  • 1) Prius is made by toyota...the most dependable car made (except for lexus)
    Honda people will tell you they are just as dependable as toyota...expecially the civic...they are right.

    2) Prius Hybrids are not new untested TECH...they have been driving around Japan for 8 years now. Honda has had Hybrids for Years.

    3) My prius is fully loaded with Power everything a nav. system and upgraded sound (JBL 6 CD through dash and speakers) Air Filtration keyless start and entry (smart Key), Stability Control, fog lamps, HID headlights BLUE TOOTH Phone, Side airbags, Heated outside mirrors Tilt and telescoping Steering wheel with Audio and and climate controls ...(PG 6) Find a car with that equipment and tell me the cost.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I didnt mean to imply at all that the warranty was done out of the goodness of Toyota's heart as you stated. More what I was stating is that from a purely business perspective Toyota is not going to put a warranty out there that is beyond the the technical capability of its product. The mandated 150K CA warranty also is likely well within what Toyota already knows is the expected lifetime. Again from my own experience with their products I cannot see Toyota risking its impeccable reputation with a guarantee it cannot back up.

    And as another poster has stated this is not 'new' technology anymore. The Prius has been around for almost 10 yrs now. The product is already proven. Its just that most of the world has suddenly discovered it since the '04 model came out.

    There are already many Prius' here in the States with mileage in excess of 100K and probably even 200K . To my knowledge there have been no reports of sudden battery/hybrid failures when the vehicles turned 100K or 150K. 3 of my clients put 50-70K per yr on their Prius'. The interiors get worn out but the damn bunny inside 'just keeps on going and going and...' :shades:

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    "There are several gas powered cars equipped as well as the Prius priced under $20K that will get 30's all day"

    Your first statement is curious...such as? A compact vehicle like a Corolla/Civic? Its been covered here and on other sites but you need to first state what is most important in your driving experience.
    Gas economy?
    Size of the vehicle?
    Ride comfort?
    Interior features?
    Environmental concerns?

    If you are ONLY comparing gas economy then for sure there are small vehicles like a 2 yr old USED 5 spd manual Echo which will last 10+ years which is a better overall economic decision. Spending $9K for this Echo and getting 37 mpg avg vs $22K for a new Prius which will also last 10+ yrs is a no brainer.

    The press focuses on 50-60 mpg but that's not why most owners buy a Prius:
    They buy it because it has more room inside, a better ride, nicer features;
    They buy it because the styling makes a statement about themselves;
    They buy it because if both they and the Echo owner drive 150K miles over 10 yrs the Prius will give off SUBSTANTIALLY less emissions and do a small part to improve the environment.

    As Mr Mattox stated there is NO midsize car in the US now priced at $27500 that has VSC, TRAC, Side and curtain airbags, HID, Bluetooth, Navi, SKS and gets 48-51 mpg all the time while improving the environment. That's a no brainer.

  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ...... I gotta agree with Shifty on this one ......

    Most drivers are seeing in and around the 40mpg zipcode on the Prius, some better and some worse depending on the geographic area ...... the original warranty was 36/36 until it was mandated to go 100k warranty/150k, so it is an issue - a big issue, and it isn't like the dealers can just reach over to their parts bins in the other room if they need something .l.o.l... ... I think the best analogy was said on the Fox Financial yesterday about hybrids in general .. "If gas went to $9.00 a gallon tomorrow - it would still take you 12 months to retrieve your money back" .......

    Terry ;)
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I want the content of the Prius in an under 20k package.

    I want vehicle stability control
    I want HIDs
    I want bluetooth
    I want NAV
    I want 45 mpg
    I want a hatch
    I want keyless entry/start
    I want AT-PZEV

  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I have posed the question so many times it's getting ridiculous. No one has come up with an equivalent gas only vehicle for 27k that has all the content of the Prius along with 45mpg. If that car exists, I'll buy it today. As a matter of fact, I will post a JPG of the sales invoice as PROOF that I purchased such a vehicle.

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This is shallow at best or outright false on the part of Fox ( which typically has an agenda ) without comparing it to something.

    If the comparison is New vs New such as a Corolla/Civic ( ~34 mpg ) @ $17500 SP vs Pkg 2 Prius (~45 mpg ) @ $22500 then the Prius saves $500 a year in gas based on 15000 mi/yr but you then you have to give up the size and comfort of the Prius plus the present typical $500 Tax Incentive. The next Prius' sold will be delivered in 2006 so the Tax Incentive a Corolla/Civic buyer will give up will be ~$2800. Even though the vehicles are not equal in size or comfort the 'recovery period' for the Prius delivered in 2006 will be only 5 yrs vs a Corolla/Civic - but during that time the Prius owner will have a much nicer vehicle.

    More importantly though the Hybrid buyer is rarely concerned with recouping a price differential. It's an added benefit but well down the list of reasons to buy. I see it every day. These buyers will take a Prius over other midsize cars like the Camry or Accord for the same reason that a Lexus/Acura buyer will opt for an ES 330 or TL over a Camry or Accord. Does the Lexus/Acura buyer calculate how long to recoup these differentials? Not likely.

    BTW in 2006 a typical Prius ( after the Tax Credit ), without Navi, will likely be less than a similarly equipped Camry or Accord. Plus one still gets the gas savings. Thats where FOX is misleading the public. Agenda??

    But believe what you wish. It was said on TV.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,371
    Hi misterme -- I get 17.5 mpg in the city on my V8, and 24 mpg on the highway. Not too bad considering the performance level.

    Hi kdhspyder! Gee, I don't know what it is, but my six friends who do own Priuses have all sworn on Bibles (well not exactly, but I did grille them pretty hard) that their mileage OVERALL (city/hwy/whatever) is around 41-44 mpg. Sure the clock has registered some fantastic mileages at any given point but when they do the math over months and months it comes out to about this range.

    hi falcon! -- I think the VW TDI would meet your criteria for a non-hybrid that matches the Prius features except for certain types of emissions. The VW would have some plusses and minuses against the Prius. On the plus side, it would handle and brake MUCH better and be much more fun to drive. It would be about as fuel efficient in highway driving almost certainly, but overall perhaps 4-6 mpg less so, or in total city driving perhaps 10 mpg less so.

    RE: Road & Track -- that's EXACTLY why I like their rating of 41 mpg. They aren't "milking" out the best possible mileage or having fun or playing games trying to achieve top mileage. They are just driving it like they would any other car. So while I also enjoy playing with my car I don't think that all kinds of coasting or "egg under the gas pedal" or driving barefoot techniques are really a fair indication of true MPG.

    Also, your friends reports are only anecdotal, whereas R&T kept some 50,000 miles of log books. That's more appealing data to my somewhat scientific mind.

    Reliability: Jury is still out. Honestly only one of my friends has had serious problems with a total meltdown of the hybrid drive system. Also I have seen two Priuses on the hook in the past month, but keep in mind that I live in Hybrid Heaven and there are a LOT of Priuses on the road where I live.

    Personally I never judge a car's reliability until it has been out about three years. Then all the facts are usually in on the car. VW's record after three years hasn't been very good I must admit.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    I want vehicle stability control
    I want HIDs
    I want bluetooth
    I want NAV
    I want 45 mpg
    I want a hatch
    I want keyless entry/start
    I want AT-PZEV


    I would trade all the above for good handling, performance & superior braking with a Jetta TDI Wagon. And get an honest 45-50 MPG at 75-80 MPH on the highway. None of the above atttributes are available in the Prius II. If you are a gadget freak and don't care about highway handling, the Prius may be a good choice.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Hi Shifty..

    I will agree that the differential in 'reported' mpg ratings may very well be due to semi-fanatical mileage junkies doing the most to milk the Prius for all its benefits; you mentioned coasting as much as possible, driving with 'an egg under the pedal', etc. This seems to a game that many owners play when driving. On Priuschat these are summarized for new owners to use as a potential reference.

    But these 'strategies' are also useful if one is concerned about keeping fuel usage to a minimum and emissions as low as possible.

    I'd suggest that a reasonable mpg estimate balancing the daily rushing around we all do vs the special strategies one might do if so inclined would be 45 mpg ( 41-44 vs 51-55 ). YMMV. ;)


  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Both good points and that's why there are a wide variety of vehicles for a wide variety of drivers. One size certainly doesnt fit all so your preference for the performance of the TDI is just as valid as mine for the gadgetry/environmental benefit of the Prius. The Prius is certainly not a high performance vehicle and was never intended to be one.

    Comparing the 2 is not really valid. They are just too different.

  • My calculations confirm in 3 years at $3 per gallon my additional investment for a hybrid will be paid back....and the next 10 years will save me a $1000 a year....My Prius gets a legit 52 MPG in Mixed driving....the car it replaced a Suburu got a Legit 23 MPG in Mixed driving (28-30 on the freeway) Those are apples to apples compairsons based on our families driving habits (both cars belong to my wife who drives it almost exclusively)
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    TDI doesn't have many of the features.

    Can't buy it where I live.

    VW dealers suck....

    VWs are unreliable..

    Way too many other reasons... anyone else?

    Don't forget.. it has to have ALL the features in the list above....thanks!
  • What price would you be paying for that Jetta TDI win no features????

    My Prius easily drives on he freeway at 75-80 mph....and still gets good milage in the city..actually even better milage in the stop and go traffic.

    *Not to mention it is unlikely to have the poor repair record of a Jetta.

    *Can be fueled at ANY gas station. No searching for that special station.

    *Is and will continue to legal to buy fuel for, in ALL STATES.

    * Is Much better for the environment.

    * Is more comfortable to ride in.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    It seems you and I are looking for two totally different packages when talking about hybrids. You want something with an endless number of creature features while I am looking for a vehicle that gets me from point A to point B, with the reliability typically found in most Toyotas, offers a reasonable amount of comfort and is as inexpensive as possible to both purchase and operate. I believe most people who are interested in hybrids would fit more into my catagory than yours. For myself and probably most others as well, hybrids aren't the best choice.....not yet anyway.
  • Does any Prius OWNER with an 04 or newer Prius get only GET 41-44 MPG...

    As I have said my wife drives our Prius and makes no effort to milk it for milage..and we have always gotten 48-52 Mpg. in mixed driving.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,371
    It may be that the hybrids will have a similar appeal that Volvos had in the 1980s...the joke then was " for people who hate cars".

    Just kidding but you get the point about the possible difference between a VW TDI owner and a Prius owner. I kid my friends and call their cars "Transportation Modules".

    You know, "features" don't all have equal weight to all people. For me, fun to drive (good handling, braking and acceleration) is worth about 10X more than subjective ideas about comfort. I can't trade that away for gas mileage either, as I lose one my my biggest pleasures in day to day driving--fun and "oneness" with the machine, for $500 bucks a year tops in savings. Not worth it to me.

    I wish I could be one of those hybrid owners who give good reasons for buying one, but not yet....... :P

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    I would need a crew cab or club cab.
    PU bed at least 6 feet long
    Power enough to pull a 6000 lb trailer
    30 MPG highway
    ground clearance enough for most CA fire trails
    If it is AWD or 4X4 if would have to be good in sandy washes
    I like XM radio
    Does not need
    side air bags
    curtain bags
    Bluetooth (cellphones in cars should be outlawed)
    I hate the blue HIDs (should be outlawed)
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    Sounds like something they made in the early 60's. How about nixing the seatbelts and airbags.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    ,,,,,agree with gagrice about bluetooth. Every car should have a jammer that disallows cell phone use when the vehicle is in any gear except park or neutral.
  • Consumer Reports (I know, some folks don't think they're THE source but they're certainly a valid source) in their review of the Highlander Hybrid found the same good reasons I have - they rated the HH as top in its class - and with the twin Lexus 400 the only "excellent" in the class - with the one point that if you're buying it just to save on gas $ you might be disappointed. While the HH is still an SUV - and to some folks a stodgy one at that - I truly enjoy driving it, my wife shudders when I play a little and punch it on our highways around Philly (and it goes, wish my friend's old Mustang was still around so we could have a little fun car to car - he now drives a van, by the way) and overall it is a good mix of power, space, comfort and performance, plus better mileage, high tech and environmentally friendlier, plus every mpg increase with the features we need in a vehicle is a real saving on the overall use of petroleum, which we should all be looking for -- there are MANY hidden costs to low MPG, check the cost to us or future taxpayers for the bill just passed by congress. Imagine if that was being paid for - dollar for dollar - by an increase in gas tax. So if it costs me some $$ in purchase price to reduce gas consumption, that's an investment in the future to me.

    I've had more fun driving a Miata convertable on Maui, VW and Mercedes wagons on the autobahn around Berlin (and the cobblestone excuses for highways on the east side after the wall was opened, passing smoke-spewing Trabants as they skittered down the road - that was an experience!), even a beat up old Suzuki of some type through the mountains of Queensland in Australia, but in my real world day to day the HH is a great vehicle, a kick to drive, very comfortable and gets mileage way above my old van and even the equivalent gas Highlander (we get around 27mpg that when we don't walk includes a commute of about a mile each way, not good for getting top hybrid mileage). I have no regrets with this choice, though it will be nicer once the payments are done! Variety is a great thing....
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    Sounds like something they made in the early 60's

    They may have. Not for sale in this country. XM is more recent than that. And a 30 MPG full size truck may be a push for that time period. I have never needed ABS, ESP or airbags in 48 years of driving. I imagine I have driven on more snow & ice than most people on this forum. Those fancy driving aids give people a false sense of security, leading them to drive too fast for the conditions.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    Does any Prius OWNER with an 04 or newer Prius get only GET 41-44 MPG

    If you take a peak at greenhybrid you will see statistics for over 300 Prius II owners. About 63 owners are reporting mileage between 36-44 MPG. Only 21 are averaging EPA or better. Overall average is 48 MPG, which is very good.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    In your normal day-to-day driving;

    What percentage of your time is spent needing a cab that seats more than four people?

    How many hours per week do you need to use a PU bed of whatever length?

    How many hours per week do you usually pull a 6,000 pound trailer?

    How many hours per week do you drive on fire trails or in sandy washes?

    If your answers indicate that your needs are for minimal numbers of hours of the above per week, then you don't need to buy a full hybrid for those applications. However, if most of your time behind the wheel is spent like the rest of us plebians, you can do fine with a hybrid car 95% of the time. You can keep some gas-guzzling junker in the yard for the other 5% (perhaps a Sierra?).
  • "Gee I have never met a Prius owner that gets 52 mpg city/hwy average."

    Mr. ShiftRight, do we have the capability to post pictures of the vehicle's MPG as displayed on the monitor?

    When I drive my wife's Prius, i'd get better than 58mpg. The Prius is my wife's car so I don't get to drive it much, but when i filled it up, I would reset the mpg and drove about 50miles or so. When my wife takes over, it would drop down to around 52mpg. My 400h currently displays 30.5mpg for the last ~800miles.

    Are pictures convincing enough? or people's minds already made up? I can get you a couples of pictures when I get a chance.
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