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2004-2009 Toyota Prius Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • cruising7388cruising7388 Posts: 125
    It's sort of a mixed bag. Credit union rates do look good compared to lots of other loans, but the trouble with all consumer loans is that the interest accrued is no longer tax deductible. If you have the collateral to support it,
    in many cases it is less expensive to use a home equity loan which does permit deducting the interest on the loan.
    BTW, isn't that Barcelona Red a nice color? It's tough to make red a class act but they certainly did succeed on this one.
  • maryanna1maryanna1 Posts: 2
    I do love the color... I was dithering between Barcelona Red and Silver Pine Mica - I love them both, but was going to be a much longer wait for the other. It's almost a candy apple red, but nicer.

    I agree, a home equity loan can be the way to go, but I don't own a house, so that option was out for me. I'm pretty happy with my rate - I just can't wait to get the car. :D
  • cruising7388cruising7388 Posts: 125
    You're gonna love the car. It's actually a mid sized
    car inside even though it looks like a compact outside.
    Much more room than you would imagine.

    My wife is a bug on visibility so we got white for a color.
    What's nice about the metallics on the Prius is how much depth they have.

    Take your time on an extended warranty decision. You have up to three years to decide one way or the other.

    And don't forget the great Fed tax credit that is available for the Prius. You should get in under the wire
    for the full credit without any problem.

    There's a tremendous amount of information on this forum regarding the most effective driving techniques for best mileage etc. It's definitely worth the time surfing through them.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Every dealer I've visited has two or three Priuii on the lot. All will sell at MSRP and will deal (for less). One dealer I went to for a test drive offered $2500 less than MSRP. I think I may pass on this. In Canada we only have three option packages -
    "A" is "base" - about $31,500 Can. or around $28,350 US.
    "B" includes audio system, bluetooth, VSC, homelink and more - about $35,350 Can. or $31,815 US
    "C" includes everything above and adds nav. - about $38,700 Can. or $34,800 US. I thought it also added leather, but it's not mentioned on the on-line list.
    As you can see, the pricing is a bit high compared to the US pricing. In fact it looks like I can buy a Prius in the US and import it for less than $28,000 Can. (base model) including all taxes, inspection fees and duty and $1000 to cover airfare and hotels. That's about $5000 Can. less than offered here. So even with the quoted offer above, I can still save $2500 (his offer was on a "B" package as well, so it may not apply to a "base" model).

    The same math applies to BMW cars, so it looks like there is too much money floating around here. Oil boom!
  • cruising7388cruising7388 Posts: 125
    Before you do this perhaps it would be productive to determine a few things:

    1. Does Canada have an import duty that would eat into the

    2. Are there any Canadian DOT requirements that are not satisfied by CONUS DOT standards? For example, doesn't a
    Canadian vehicle now require the "always headlights on
    when driving" feature which is only an option on a lot of
    CONUS vehicles?

    3. Is every feature of a CONUS Toyota warranty honored by
    Canadian Toyota repair facilities?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    All checked out and ok. In fact, most vehicles can be imported into Canada (ditto the other way as well). Some require minor modifications (not the Prius or BMWs). Duty was included into the pricing. Warranty would be ok. Do you think an American whose Prius breaks down in Canada would have to pay or have the vehicle towed back to the US? Warranties have been honored for years. I had a Subaru that broke down in Flagstaff and had it fixed under warranty there. I might purchase the extended warranty here though.
    Revenue Canada has a list of vehicles on the internet that can be imported. Certain vehicles can't, mainly ones that aren't sold here, such as certain Mitsubishi models, and even a Toyota or two (bumpers don't meet Canadian/world standards).

    In fact we went though the entire process, acertaining which forms we would need etc. It's pretty simple. A few years ago it wasn't worth it, but now it is.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Sounds like Canada is similar to California. The dealers think they have a captive audience and stick to them. Maybe it is because the initials are the same CA. I rarely buy a vehicle here in California. Too many places willing to deal.
  • ggibson1ggibson1 Posts: 1
    The residual value I have seen on a 36 month lease in my area on a 2006 Prius with Package #8 and 12k annual miles is $13,200...well below 50% of the $29,000 purchase price. This is from more than one dealer.

    The low residual is probably why the monthly lease rates are high. On the other hand, with the low residual, you may actually build a small amount of equity in the car if you flip at lease end...but you are buying this equity with the higher monthly fee.
  • brydgebrydge Posts: 6
    I've recently contacted about a dozen dealers in Virginia and am consistently seeing residual values for a 36-month, 12,000 mile lease on a 2006 Prius Package #8 around 48.5%. When I pressed the dealers about the large disconnect between this residual value and current 2-3 year old Prius's selling for 75%-85% of their original MSRP they didn't have an answer other than the canned, "Toyota sets the residual and market demand sets the resale price". To me, Toyota is saying their product isn't worth anything near current resale values. Assuming you have decent credit, the 48.5% residual puts the lease payments pretty close to financing an outright purchase; and if you purchase you can sell at anytime and get any equity out of the car, versus leasing and having to wait until the end of the lease term. I'm trying to find some leasing companies to talk to directly to see if they offer better terms than Toyota Motor Credit; does anyone have any suggestions?
  • I have my eyes set on a Prius. I currently live in Boston but will be moving out to the Bay Area soon. I am wondering if I should purchase the Prius here or once I get out west...what do you think? My original plan was to wait until I got to the Bay Area, but after reading about people's purchase experiences, it looks as if I might get a better deal if I buy here...(Note: I currently drive a Mercury Mountaineer - great for getting my stuff across the country but not so good for mileage...). thanks.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I would think the Mountaineer would have better value where it snows. Not a big demand in the Bay area. The Prius is a wait list car at many CA dealers. And they stick it to you. Many times over MSRP.
  • cruising7388cruising7388 Posts: 125
    Some things to consider:

    1. California is a CARB state that provides the purchaser of a Prius with a substantially better emissions warranty than the Federal Warannty provides, e.g. 10 year 150,000 miles on the battery vs. 8 years 100,000 for non-CARB states. Look into these warranties and check to see if
    Mass is a CARB state. A bunch of Northeast states are.

    2. The 2006 Prius is available in 8 packages - in theory.
    In fact, depending on the particular region, certain packages are simply not available. So, you should check
    with a dealer in the area you now live and a dealer in the area to which you intend to relocate to see if the particular package you want is available.

    3. California has enacted legislation that permits the Prius to operate in the HOV lanes with a single operator.
    I'm not sure, but to qualify for the HOV stickers it's possible that the vehicle be purchased in California. I'm
    not sure. A call to Cal DMV should provide you with accurate information. It may even be on their website.

    4. If you do decide to purchase in the Bay Area, my suggestion is that you look to the outlying areas. The Bay Area dealers have developed a reputation for very long waits for vehicle delivery and prices well in excess of MSRP. I found a dealer in the Sierra foothills that was
    willing to negotiate and they were nice people to boot.

    Whatever you do, you'd better get off your duff because the $3150 Federal Tax Credit is going to start to disappear after Toy sells over 65,000 hybrid vehicles.
    Also, it's getting late in the game for the 2006 model. Dealers had to submit their last 2006 order on 5/10/06. Their initial order for 2007s will be accepted by the factory after 6/12/06. The factory will go into initial production of the 2007 in August and the 2007 will deliver in October. Because these vehicles are sold as fast as they are built, there will be none to tide the dealers over during the changeover dry spell.

    Hope this helps.
  • fphinneyfphinney Posts: 2
    My wife & I saw the Al Gore movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" on June 3. It really started us to thinking. On a whim, we stopped by our local (Walnut Creek CA) Toyota dealer the next night! They told us there was a 30 day waiting period. PERIOD! We did a little investigating, including going on the internet. The morning of June 9, we decided this whole idea was crazy. We already had a '98 Honda in good shape. So that was that.

    About 2 hours later, the local internet salesman calls us & says they have one of those "rare?" cancellations. Would we like to come down & take a look? We figured, "What the heck?"

    It looked pretty good. It was white. Had a #7 pkg. We kinda wanted a #8. They said that they regularly upgrade some Prius' to a #8 by switching the seatcovers to leather, locally. To make a long story short, we signed on the dotted line that afternoon! (Paid MSRP)

    We also bought an Extended Warranty for $1300. Have since requested a refund. They said, "No problem." So, now we are shopping...
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Are you saying this car is selling for $30,000-$32,000? (before tax....which in NJ would be $2100) I thought they would be $21,000. Hmmm lets see $34,000 (Prius) Minus $15,000 (Yaris) equals $19,000. The only thing going up faster than the cost of gas is the price of saving gas!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    People who spend $32k for a Prius obviously are not buying them to save money.

    The MSRP including side bags is $22,955. I know at least one dealer in my area selling them for no more than MSRP. Also, there is a tax deduction for I think $3150. That puts the effective price of the Prius, with more equipment than you can get on any Yaris (since it's impossible to buy a Yaris in my area with ABS and side bags, let alone buy a 5-door Yaris) under $20k before T&L. That is only a few thousand more than the most comparable regular car, the Matrix.

    If you really want to drive on the cheap, I know where you can buy a moped, or perhaps a (greatly) used Excel for a couple hundred bucks. The moped would be quite a gas saver.
  • bhodawaybhodaway Posts: 5
    Hi there....I haul a pretty large piano keyboard/amp/etc and I wanted to know how long (in feet/inches) it is from the back of the rear seats to the rear hatch. (Of course, when the rear seat is folded down.) Also what are the width measurements w/ the 40/60 splits, etc? Thanks so much!
  • fphinneyfphinney Posts: 2
    OK - - I did some definitive research for this answer. You owe me a beer!

    70" long if either rear seat back is folded (This measurement was taken with the front seats in their normal position).
    15" width on the left side (seen from the rear of car).
    23" width on the right side.
    (You could add another inch or so to these last 2 measurements, if you raised the 'item' about 1 1/2 inch where the item passes through the rear seat back opening. There is a slope inward where the outside wall portion approches the floor of the opening.)
    If you move the passenger seat all the way forward & remove the headrest, the seat back can be folded down to the same level as the rear seat. This would allow items up to 8' to be loaded & still be able to close the rear hatch.

    Good luck -
  • bhodawaybhodaway Posts: 5
    8' is not bad at all!! Thanks so much!! BTW, I like Bass, Heine, and fat tires... :)
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    The MSRP including side bags is $22,955. I know at least one dealer in my area selling them for no more than MSRP

    When was the last time you saw a stripped Prius on a dealers lot at MSRP? You can get most any Toyota at entry level except the Prius and Camry Hybrid. Even the new FJ Cruiser is coming in at entry levels now. Not the Hybrids. You would be very lucky to find a pkg 4 available in most places. In San Diego that is a $26,054 car. It is the very reason you did not buy a Prius. They do not exist. Or they are so rare it is like winning the lottery to find one.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Here in the Portland OR area, it is not unusual to see Pkg 1 cars [Airbags only] available - that's how we bought ours, in February, off the lot at MSRP with no waiting.

    The situation in California is unique. Anyone willing to travel a little in the West can score a car at will, IF they are willing to also be flexible about color and options. Most people who have stories to tell about long waits are those who are inflexible about what they want. If you feel you have to buy from a California dealer, then you have to be bound by what is happening in that market right now. It is not universal everywhere in the West.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I like buying cars in Portland. Good to deal with and very good prices to out of towners. I have bought several from Oregon. Got a great price on a Passat diesel wagon last year.
  • vancmtvancmt Posts: 22
    Just purchased a Silver '06 Prius with Package #8 in Portland OR for $200 off MSRP. Started looking 3 weeks ago and picked up my vehicle last week. The wait list seemed daunting at first - 30, 45, 75 day waits. However, it appears either people have very specific requests or many on the lists are not serious buyers. I was able to find several vehicles in stock (package 5, 7, etc) at dealerships days before I acquired my car. The fact that Priuses are starting to appear at dealerships not assigned to a buyer leads me to believe that demand may be slowing down
  • aviva2aviva2 Posts: 1
    I'm buying a second Prius. I did not have good experience for the first in SF Bay Area.
    Can you tell us which dealer did you buy your from?
    Maybe its worth my while to visit Portland.
    Thanks much.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Maybe its worth my while to visit Portland

    Having bought several cars and trucks in Portland over the years I agree it is worth the flight up to buy. Plus it is a beautiful city to visit. The drive back if you take the coastal highways is a wonderful vacation. When you are pricing here on Edmund's put in zip code 97027 and you will get a list of Portland dealers to contact. Oregon does not charge any out of state buyers tax. They just give you the MCO and you take care of the paper work at home.
  • kienkien Posts: 5
    I am considering replacing my 2002 Honda Accord for a Prius. I contacted a few dealerships, most are willing to sell at MSRP. One is welling to sell through pre order for $300 less than MSRP.

    Is it a good idea to pre-order? I have heard of stories that some dealerships would sell your car if they get better offer, so you have to keep waiting.

    Thanks for any advice.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    We got ours at Russ Toyota, Beaverton. However, you should check with all the dealers in the area. Go to Toyota's website, do the dealer search with zip code 97228. If you are flexible, you should be able to score a car more or less immediately...
  • blumaleahblumaleah Posts: 2
    we originally purchased the warranty because we had no clue -- we have since canceled it - everyone here said it was a scam and you could buy it from any dealer for around $1000 (we have not checked into it) - they charge $25 to cancel and you have 30 days from purchase .......
  • gina2748gina2748 Posts: 2
    Just pick up my Prius 06 # 7. Had to pay MSRP price($28,364). I traded in a Honda Pilot 05 (excellent condition) with DVD and running boards. The dealer would only give me $22500.00 for my trade. Kelly blue book stated that in excellent condition it was worth at least $24,000, good condition $22,700. I love the color and I think that I am going to be happy about the reduction in gas.

    I just want to think that I did not over pay for this car.
    What do you think?
  • vancmtvancmt Posts: 22
    I actually bought my Prius via Costco services. The Costco discount I received was -200 off MSRP for any model. The Costco dealership was Vancouver Toyota (basically 15 min north of Portland,OR). The only place that offered below MSRP pricing
  • cruising7388cruising7388 Posts: 125
    Hey, you did just fine. MSRP is pretty much the rule
    throughout the country although some folks have been
    successful at buying below MSRP. Re the trade, the
    trade in value is always less than the Kelly blue book
    indicates. So you weren't low balled. Also the good
    news is that you are within the window for a $3150 tax
    credit. The #7 except for leather seats is fully loaded.
    You're in for a very enjoyable experience driving this
This discussion has been closed.