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We Bought a New Prius


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29 replies to this topic

#1 of 30 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted August 08 2009 - 02:43 AM

All week long we've been trying to find a 2010 Prius III that was blue or red and not black.  Sheesh, any Prius is in short supply now.  The dealer located a black one that was configured the way we wanted it, so we said do it and he was having it shipped in.

We went in last night to do the paperwork, including the clunkers program, and walking into the showroom we noticed a grey Prius parked on the lot.  We asked about it and it was a model II.  After realizing the only difference between the III and the III was a better sound system and bluetooth capability, we decided to get the grey and it's $700 less.  If we feel the need to upgrade the sound or add bluetooth, we've got a spare $700 to do it with.

There's no dickering on these things, all the dealers were quoting the same amount on the same configurations.  So that part was easy.  My wife drove it home (it'll be here car) and I kept watching the MPG indicator.  I noticed that ocassionally the MPG would hit 100.

It was not a selling point for us, but this one comes with XM radio and a free 6 month subscription so we'll be trying that out for the first time.  The business manager who handles the signing of the documents (and who happens to live with walking distance from us) told us he thought that CARS would run out of money this weekend, even with the added dollars.  I find that a little hard to believe.

We got $4500 for our '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Johnny
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#2 of 30 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted August 08 2009 - 05:53 AM

You guys are exactly who they're hoping for from this program; people going from a really fuel efficient hefty car or SUV to about as fuel efficient a car as you can get state side. I don't anticipate being able to buy a new car anytime soon, and my 95 Corolla wouldn't qualify for the rebate anyway. I think when I finally do, though, I'll be looking at a subcompact like the soon-to-be-relaunched Ford Fiesta which gets nearly as good mileage as the Prius but without the upfront costs of a hybrid.

Even though Cash for Clunkers seemed to run out virtually overnight, the dealerships had been stockpiling the rebates since the beginning of July. If it took over a month to blow through the first billion, the new $2 billion should last at least through September.

Let us know how you like the new car once you've had time to live with it for a while. I have friends with a Prius, and except for the high cost for repairs on the very rare occasion something breaks down, they absolutely love it.


#3 of 30 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted August 08 2009 - 06:45 AM

I wanted to get in the clunkers program, but missed out by that much. I had a 89 Olds 98 that I wanted to trade in. It was originally rated at the 18mpg that is the maximum mpg for the program. Then the EPA recalculated everything and the car came in at 19mpg /img/vbsmilies/htf/furious.gif So instead of getting a new car I bought a 07 Saturn Ion. I am getting about 31mpg with it. Let us know what your MPG turns out in reality.


#4 of 30 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted August 08 2009 - 07:25 AM

Ran into exactly the same thing.  Wanted to trade in a Chevy Venture.. when I bought it, it was rated at 17MPG when it was NEW.  Now, suddenly, it's 19MPG at the website, so doesn't qualify.  Not sure how an 10 year old vehicle got more fuel efficient, but whatever.

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#5 of 30 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted August 09 2009 - 05:51 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt 

You guys are exactly who they're hoping for from this program; people going from a really fuel efficient hefty car or SUV to about as fuel efficient a car as you can get state side.

Let us know how you like the new car once you've had time to live with it for a while. I have friends with a Prius, and except for the high cost for repairs on the very rare occasion something breaks down, they absolutely love it.
According to news reports, the new cars being purchased get 8-10 mpg better than the clunker.  I don't think the clunker bill asks for much more than 2 miles better.  If the news reports are correct, I think that's a pretty good result.  We went for the Prius because I have a strong feeling that we will be seeing gas at $4 gallon and more within the not distant future.

Can you describe those high cost repairs and their frequency?  I was offered several options for extended warranties.


Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#6 of 30 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted August 09 2009 - 05:21 PM

I don't think it was anything specific; just that more complicated insides means a more complicated repair job. They bring it primarily to the dealer for repairs; I can't remember if this was because they couldn't find an independent mechanic to work on it or if they didn't feel personally comfortable having an independent mechanic work on it. This has been a trend that's been ungoing for years as even traditional fuel cars have shifted from being purely mechanical machines to a complicated mix of the electronic and the mechanical. Hybrids, which have two systems for some key functions, take this to a new level. When a belt goes bad on my Corolla, for instance, I'll buy a new one at AutoZone and swap it out myself. I would be afraid to mess around under the hood with a hybrid.

If any of that sounds scary, however, from what they've told me, problems have been VERY rare. Toyotas in general have a deserved reputation for reliability, so this doesn't surprise me in the slightest.


#7 of 30 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted August 09 2009 - 11:45 PM

I checked into the cash for clunkers program for my wife's 2000 Mercury Villager. It qualified for the $3,500 rebate, but we were able to sell the vehicle for that exact same amount, so we went that route instead.

Unfortunately, we are still awaiting delivery of her replacement vehicle, a Saturn Vue bought under the GM PEP program. It's been two months and we still do not have the vehicle yet. We keep getting delivery dates, yet the vehicle never arrives when promised. /img/vbsmilies/htf/mad.gif


#8 of 30 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted August 10 2009 - 06:34 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt ...from what they've told me, problems have been VERY rare. Toyotas in general have a deserved reputation for reliability, so this doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
My brother has had one for 4 years and they have 100K+ miles on it and have only done routine maintenance on it.  They've not had a single problem.  I found a Prius forum and have found a warranty from Toyota for about $1K.  Same length (7 years) as the dealer offered, but the dealer wanted $2K.

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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#9 of 30 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted August 26 2009 - 03:40 PM

After about 16-17 days we (gasp), had to put gas in the Prius.  Got 50MPG.

Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#10 of 30 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted August 26 2009 - 04:52 PM

One thing that the Prius has that I wish they'd implement with all cars is the MPG meter. It's constantly remind drivers of gas guzzlers how few miles they're getting to the gallon, and it would showcase how small changes in driving style can have a huge impact on MPG.


#11 of 30 OFFLINE   Kowalski

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Posted August 27 2009 - 12:14 AM

I've had a Honda Civic Hybrid since October 2002. It has 117,000+ miles on it now and has been very reliable. It never did get the 50 miles to the gallon that they advertised. The most I could get out of it was about 47mpg under extremely concentrating driving - meaning feathering the accelerator, not using the A/C and coasting as long as possible. The real world average MPG I've gotten is closer to 41 MPG which is not that much more than the regular Civic. Also with each upgrade of the computer I got at the Dealer over the years the MPG also declined on the Trip odometer meaning they must have known that the original figures were hard or impossible to obtain. I've noticed that the Civic Hybrid seems to have been replaced by the redesigned Insight that advertises only 42-43 MPG I think. I remember being confused by the MPG numbers I was getting from the trip odometer early on and the actual MPG numbers I was getting by multiplying the gallons at fill-up by miles driven. The trip odometer would read 48-52 MPG but the actual mathematical MPG was 39-42. I am now considering the Ford Hybrid SUV.

#12 of 30 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted August 27 2009 - 05:51 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowalski View Post

I am now considering the Ford Hybrid SUV.
GM advertizes that their Chevy gas-powered small crossover SUV, the "Equinox" I believe it is called, gets 1mpg better than the Ford Escape Hybrid!

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#13 of 30 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted August 27 2009 - 10:17 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt 

One thing that the Prius has that I wish they'd implement with all cars is the MPG meter. It's constantly remind drivers of gas guzzlers how few miles they're getting to the gallon, and it would showcase how small changes in driving style can have a huge impact on MPG.
There's also a horizontal meter, something like a software progress bar, that tells you when  your driving in the sweet spot.  The two trip odometers show mpg and average speed for the duration of the trip odometer.  I wonder how accurate the overall mpg reading is because the car said 52mpg and I figured 50mpg for the duration the trip.


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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#14 of 30 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted August 27 2009 - 02:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Hamm 

GM advertizes that their Chevy gas-powered small crossover SUV, the "Equinox" I believe it is called, gets 1mpg better than the Ford Escape Hybrid!
The key to both is the transition from truck-body SUVs to lighter, crossover (car-body) SUVs -- basically larger, SUV-shaped station wagons. Still, hybrid SUVs are almost like an oxymoron, providing fuel economy comparable to a midsize sedan. I guess they make sense for people who need the extra space, though.


#15 of 30 OFFLINE   nolesrule

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Posted August 27 2009 - 03:46 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowalski 

I've had a Honda Civic Hybrid since October 2002.

[snip]

The real world average MPG I've gotten is closer to 41 MPG which is not that much more than the regular Civic.
It's about 10 MPG better.



#16 of 30 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted August 27 2009 - 06:45 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Hamm 

GM advertizes that their Chevy gas-powered small crossover SUV, the "Equinox" I believe it is called, gets 1mpg better than the Ford Escape Hybrid!
I think the "Equinox" is one of the best SUVs to purchase. Its brake rotors are among the the highest quality for the lowest price you can get. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif (all right I will stop shamelessly plugging for my company)


#17 of 30 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted August 29 2009 - 04:25 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angell 

After about 16-17 days we (gasp), had to put gas in the Prius.  Got 50MPG.
My 93 Ford Escort got 38 - 42 MPG on the highway. 16 years later and $10k more expensive, and the most advanced efficiency car on the planet improves over my bottom-of-the-line Ford by a meager 25%?

I hope that plug-in electrics bring significant advances to driving efficiencies. I can't get excited about Hybrids.


#18 of 30 OFFLINE   CRyan

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Posted August 29 2009 - 05:03 AM

I dont know.  I mean I agree that hybrids are a stop-gap at best.  But 50mpg for mixed driving versus 40 for highway only isnt a bad increase.  I mean my car can get right at 28mpg highway only but only 20 mixed - Thats a pretty big difference.

I think thats more of a 48% increase in fuel efficency over the Escort.  I mean hybrids get their biggest bang for their buck in city driving.  So comparing higway driving only doesnt really do it when discussing hybrids.

#19 of 30 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted August 29 2009 - 05:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF 
My 93 Ford Escort got 38 - 42 MPG on the highway.
 My 2002 Ford Escort averaged 31MPG and that was all rural or interstate driving.  My father tells me that the 72VW beetle we had got around 50 MPG in New Jersey traffic. That is what confuses me about the "improved technoligy" or is it the EPA regulations?

Quote:
I mean I agree that hybrids are a stop-gap at best.
I agree. Currently how would you take an all electric car on vacation?





#20 of 30 OFFLINE   CRyan

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Posted August 29 2009 - 06:11 AM

Thats damn good for a beetle.  I have a 71 Super and it got around 32 in its prime.  Currently around 25-28.

The only thing I see this all going is to fuel cells.  At least with the current technology that is available.  Batteries are simply not going to cut it as a long term long range solution.  As far as all electric is concerned - I have no idea (except the eccentric and rich) who will be paying $40,000 for a 50 mile range commuter-only vehicle.