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2004-2009 Toyota Prius Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    South East Toyota is the distributor for the south east (obviously, right?). They are allowed to offered different option packages, and even different brands of wheel upgrades than non-SET zones. I believe the pricing is even different in some cases.
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    This is an excellent example of why you have to be cautious with the Edmunds TMV figures on what people are paying for their vehicles. Their TMV for the Prius shows anywhere from $1500 to $2000 over MSRP. But you sure don't see anyone involved with these forums paying that inflated price.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 149
    Mike, Congrats on new car. Red is gorgeous, and more visible on windy, wintery day in Chicago. You are the first one I have seen who got a 07 in Midwest. Most others who gotten 07 are in OR and CA. So it's an encouraging sign for others hoping to get an 07 before 9/30 east of Mississippi.
  • All:

    AFter compromising on both package and color, I finally have my Prius. I ended up going with a local dealer who gave me the best deal on my trade-in. I know the salesman too. I also got the car in time to beat the Sept. 30th deadline. Yay!

    I dropped by the dealer on my way back from an appointment on Monday and he had one, but it was marked sold. We put an '07 "on hold" for me (arriving in 6 to 8 weeks), but then he called me that afternoon and said the 2006 was now available if I wanted it. It was red and one package higher than I wanted, but I was sick of waiting and really wanted to beat the Sept. 30th deadline.

    I picked it up Tuesday night and so far it has been perfect. I've never had a car with so many cool features. It is the Barcelona Red, package HI. I got it for $27,462.13. That includes the sales tax. The MSRP was $26,321.

    I believe the car mats that everyone is talking about were fairly non-negotiable. I didn't even try. They gave me such a good deal on my trade-in, I didn't figure it was worth it for a couple hundred dollars. :)

    So far, the only annoying thing is the backup beep when the car is in reverse. It is pretty loud. I'm hoping there is a way to turn it off, or at least down. I'll be checking my manual when I get a chance. Still haven't programmed my garage door opener into the rear view mirror controls yet either. Way cool.

    I'm still learning, but so far the controls seem pretty intuitive.

  • All:

    Just wanted to add that this is what one of the dealers told me when I was complaining about the availability of colors, packages, some dealers having alot available, others having none.

    He said that for the Midwest "region" for the next quarter, only a little over 1,000 Priuses have been allocated. Only about 136 of those have the HG package I was looking for. I also originally wanted Seaside Pearl. Don't know how many of those were that color. He also said that Toyota customers were mostly conservative (really?) and blue was the least popular color. He was probably just trying to talk me into a different color. He also said that dealers have to "earn" allocation of Priuses. This particular dealer had just been allocated 20 and he said that was more than any other dealer in the area. He also said the people were coming from Chicago to buy at their dealer. Don't they all think they are #1? LOL.

    Just thought I'd throw that info out there.

  • HI! I just bought my first brand new car, and its a silver 2006 Prius with the Navigation/Bluetooth package. I must say, as my first new car buying experience, I am now extremely disappointed. I am in the Baltimore/Annapolis area. The salesman was very nice to me the day I came in to look at a used prius on the lot, then pressured me into putting a sizable deposit down. The car came in and they were very pushy about how I should buy the extended warranty and lojack, even though I insisted beforehand I didn't want it. Anyway, although I have called with several phone calls since, with questions, the original salesman is now cold and rude!

    If I loved the car, this would not matter so much. But, I am embarrassed to say, I think I made a mistake. I know every one loves these cars, and I am very much concerned for the environment, but I do not feel comfortable driving this car. I would really like some feedback on this.

    I find this Prius does not handle well at highway speeds, the steering seems extremely loose, some of the dash lights seem to go on mid-drive for no apparent reason. In addition, I have to have the air conditioning on non-stop because the air inside the car is always humid! It has been i the 60's down here lately, not hot. I can't figure it out!

    Conclusion: I am unhappy with this Prius, and I wish I had not bought it. After only 150 miles, I want to either return it to the dealer, where I will probably lose 5,000$, or sell it with an ad.

    Any suggestions, advice, comments? Please??

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    Sell it yourself. Give a sob story about being shipped overseas for 3 years. You may get your money out of it. You will lose the tax credit. There is some stipulation in the tax code about keeping the car for 3 years I believe it is. Maybe you can trade it for a Camry Hybrid and not take such a big loss.
  • Gagrice: Thanks for the input! I'll put an ad up today. Re the tax credit: If you have to keep the car for three years to get the tax credit, does that mean you have to wait three years to report it as a credit? If not, how would they know that you are going to keep it for three years into the future, you know?
  • Gagrice: Thanks for the input! I'll put an ad up today. Re the tax credit: If you have to keep the car for three years to get the tax credit, does that mean you have to wait three years to report it as a credit? If not, how would they know that you are going to keep it for three years into the future, you know

    Precisely... although there is a requirement on paper that you retain ownership of the vehicle for three years, you receive the tax credit when you file your CY2006 return and unless they put a tickler question on your subsequent returns, there is no protocol in place that would feed subsequent sale information into the Infernal Ripoff Service.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    It would be difficult for them to know if you sold the hybrid before 3 years. One of those things to not get caught doing.
  • Oh, and by the way, it is NOT a Touring model. It does have the non-optional floormats option, but I knew it would. They're horribly overpriced but they are nice.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 149
    Finally found ride to pick up my 2007 Silver Prius (non-touring) in SoCal. I turned down 3 2006 because I was hoping to get a 2007 before Sept. 30, and succeeded. Was thinking about flying up to NoCal for a Touring #3 but it costs $2.5K more (and I did not really need all the electronic toys, fancy wheels, other than the tighter suspension). Just in the drive home (and some joyride afterward), I was already amazed at the mileage. After 80 miles fuel gauge is still Full. Wish my other cars are like this. I also think I made the ride choice going with the base, since most SoCal driving is congested surface streets or highways, having a softer ride (instead of Touring's tighter ride) is probably better. I did not get a chance to drive a Touring (none in SoCal yet), but a few NoCal sales person told me about it (Touring being tighter, bumpier due to tighter suspension and bigger wheels, but handles better at high speed).

    Only thing left is to get HOV sticker. I read that one can apply for it, once he gets the plate number (not the actual plate). But I was wondering, how do I get the plate number? Do I call DMV ahead of the time (base on registration number from dealer)? Or did most people just wait until actual plates arrive, then apply for HOV?

    Thanks Cruising and other posters for their suggestions, opinions and ideas. Even though I did not get a car $$$ below MSRP, I found a car I (and my kids) will enjoy for many years to come. And with good mileage like this, rediscovering the joy of driving and roadtripping again.
  • Do NOT rely on the digital fuel gauge for an accurate fuel status. Like most amalog fuel gauges, the Prius fuel gauge is slow to drop down from the full mark. Instead, rely on your miles per gallon indication and miles driven to determine what actually remains in the tank. BTW, as the engine breaks in and you develop the economy technique for maximizing mileage you will see your MPG go up. One of the ways to accelerate this learning process is to have competitions over a measured driving distance with your spouse and kids (assuming they're old enough to drive!). Another thing you will learn is that except for really flat terrain, you will lose mileage with the cruise control on. Most vehicles do, but with a gas guzzler, it doesn't make much difference. IMO, the touring model is a pricey solution to a non-existent problem. The regular model sports a skid pad coefficient of .82 which beats the figures for 1990s vintage Corvettes. If you've got kids and/or pets I would invest in some waterproof and washable seat covers made by GT covers. I bought a set and they look really nice. You have to do some pulling and tugging to get them in place, but they are form fitting.

    Any, congratulations on your game plan. You got the best of both worlds which is a full tax credit + an undepreciated 2007 model.

    Reminder: The front end is really low on these critters and if you drive up into the curb type stops in parking lots, you will scrape the underside of the vehicle. Avoid doing it. No significant damage, but the sound makes the hairs stick out on the back of your neck!

    Because of the additional 10,000 stickers authorized, I think you will have no problem getting the HOV stickers.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 149
    Cruising, thanks for the headsup. I know no mileage is real until a fillup. By the way, any ideas on how MFD (ECU) calculates mileage?

    The only negative thing I encountered so far is lack of Prius knowledge at dealers. Sales people know little about them, so are the guys who do the delivery checklist. They are courteous and friendly, but really does not know enough about the car's features and operations. And Toyota's owner's manual is not too helpful either.

    In regards to toys for Prius, I was going to get some suspension or body strengthening parts, because I read a lot of comments about bad handling. But so far it is better than I thought. The velour texture seats do concern me; so I will look into nice seat covers.

    Thanks again cruising.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    " Only thing left is to get HOV sticker. I read that one can apply for it, once he gets the plate number (not the actual plate). But I was wondering, how do I get the plate number? Do I call DMV ahead of the time (base on registration number from dealer)? Or did most people just wait until actual plates arrive, then apply for HOV?"

    Bad news, I don't think there are any HOV stickers left. It was limited to 75K. Please let us know if you get one!
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 149
    Stevedebi: I think Gov. and CA state legislators passed the 10K extra stickers and extended HOV usage to 2011. But I won't know until I get mine (I will post when I get it).

    Interestingly some dealers have been calling me with available Prii since Sept 30. I think they are finally coming down from their high perch, due to halving of tax credit, and recent cheap gas. I would not be surprised if one can find a Prius for $K's below MSRP, even in CA now. It's probably going to be bad for Prius sales until gas prices comes back to $3/gallon again. Hope someone will find some good buys.
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    With earlier carburators, fuel consumption measurement was mechanically determined by an inline impeller in the fuel line. This wasn't feasible with later carburation that uses an in-tank fuel pump and much of the fuel pumped out is returned. In modern fuel injection, the computer knows both how much fuel it is metering to the injectors and compares it with the distance traveled. I've done some testing and found that the MPG figure presented by the computer is dead accurate.

    I myself wouldn't opt for any suspension improvements because I have found the handling characteristics to be perfectly satisfactory for the vehicle it is. If I was going to add anything it would be the aftermarket EV mode which permits you do force the vehicle into a lengthier electric mode. Peculiarly, this extended EV mode is included on the Prius sold in Europe, but not in the U.S.

    The GT seatcovers fit very well. Read the instructions before installing them to save yourself extra work. I recommend the waterproof models. The material is a little stiffer than the velour covers but that's a minor tradeoff for having bullet proof covers. GT also supplies a cover of the same material as the seats for the center console for no additional charge.

    I'm delighted that you were able to finesse this. You did your homework and you got the best of both worlds.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    Peculiarly, this extended EV mode is included on the Prius sold in Europe, but not in the U.S.

    The last I read Toyota only demonstrated a plug-in Prius in the EU. The only difference is a few added standard safety features to the European Prius. Toyota was trying to get some interest with the 97 MPG Prius they were showing in the UK. I don't know if it worked or not. With all the high mileage cars available over there the hybrids are just another choice.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 149
    After driving my Prius a few days, I agree that EV mode is probably the best modification for the money, because it is way too easy to activate gas engine even at grandma speed. And I think I can build my own EV kit for $2-3 from Radio Shack. Suspension so far is better than I read (no steering wobble at highway speed, no rear sliding from solid axle rear suspension). At least I have not noticed yet from LA driving.

    97 MPG Prius and barely any pollutions???!!! I know what my next car is.
  • jenster1,

    Thank you very much for the informative post. I couldn't have figured it out without your inciteful input.

  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    Actually, when you plug it in for a recharge, you're probably causing more pollution than letting the engine charge it. Remember, SOMEWHERE, there's a power plant generating the electricity. There is power lost in the power transmission lines, too.

    It's more of a "Pollute Somewhere Else" mode.

    Just something to think about. :-)
  • riposte,

    You are absolutely right and I like you have quit using electricty in my house. The windows are open and all elctricity is off. I also found that nay fire for cooking is soo polutting i quit Cooking altogether. I have taked to eating plants, grass and wild fruits. I cgather all day like our nacestors did long, long ago. Even the Hybrid car is too polluting to drive. So now I only walk or bicycle. I still have water but soemtimes the showers are too cold so i use a solar water heater. Riposte, I am willing to bet you and I are the only two so dedicated to being green.

    Completely Back to nature, no poultion,

  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    MidCow -

    I grow increasingly weary of both the tone and nonsensical content of your posts.

    My point regarding recharging a vechicle via a connection to the conventional power grid is that it is not only NOT "zero pollution", but that it probably causes MORE NET POLLUTION than generating the same electricity via the on-board ICE.
  • Is it MidCow .... or MadCow?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,370


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  • Of course, you're right, the power has to be generated somewhere but quantifying the pollution factor for the power grid is difficult because of the multiple generation sources: coal, oil, hydroelectric, wind, nuclear etc. But even in the worst case situation - a soft coal power plant, I still hazard the guess that for the energy produced, a large power plant is less polluting than millions of petroleum burning internal combustion engines. Power plants operate under very stringent air quality regulations. However, your point is well taken that the Prius ICE is a very clean burning engine. It would be interesting to see some hard numbers developed to make a comparison.
  • matsfmatsf Posts: 3
    My first post :) Anyway I had a good buying experience getting a 2007 Touring, pkg 3 at City Toyota in Daly City, CA. Got it for MSRP (26.444) with floor mats... just before the end of Septemeber. Like the car so far. I just cannot see why they did not put in a hight adjustable driver seat. And maybe a telescoping steering wheel.

    I do have a question to other "touring" owners. What do you think of the wheels? I do not understand why Toyota chose to put allow wheels with wheel covers on this car? I have never seen anything like it. I just think the "normal" silver alloy wheels looks so much nicer than these darker allow wheels with the wheel covers...

    I also noticed that on the doors there is some black plastic strip on the edge. Probably to lessen any impact of opening the door into anything. Is this supposed to be there or is it only maybe for dealer transport and they forgot to remove it?

    Happy driving!
  • I'm trying to decide whether to get the touring edition or a regular Prius. What is 'tuned suspension'? Does it give it a firmer(aka less comfortable) ride? I'll be sure to check out the wheels when I go. For anybody else reading this, Walnut Creek Toyota (CA) has been honest with me about availability while other dealers have outright lied. They do not require a deposit and don't sell over MSRP.
  • I'm a three time Honda owner and have been shocked at the sleazy business practices of some Toyota dealerships in the San Francisco bay area (my neighbor had the same experience). Selling a Prius is about as close to a 'sure thing' as a car dealer can get. They don't need to operate this way to sell them. If I wasn't trying to do my part to get us off of Middle East oil...I'd run right back and buy another Honda.
  • Yeah, hotflashy, I'm going from Honda to Toyota and feel similarly. I'm not sure where you are in the buying process, but I heard (after the fact, for me) that getting a Prius through a fleet manager is the way to go. Hassle-free, no broker's fee, etc. Good luck!
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