The Drive-a-Toyota Act

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Wall Street Journal
"...this [CAFE] debate is a test of who has more clout in today's Democratic Congress -- the men and women who work in American
factories, or the affluent greens on both coasts who can afford to pay a premium to own a Prius to indulge their concern about global warming."
complete article: http://curio.us/8h
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Yeah, that's bad, considering the Prius is a very cheap car. They should look at facts in these cases, that way everybody doesn't think morons are writing for the wall street journal..
Most of the people I know drive something like a Chevy Silverado that costs as much as 2 Priuses.
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Joe wrote:

...because those other vehicles are a better value over their useful lives.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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How so?
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I just bought a new Corolla (5-speed) that gets 32-41 mpg and I paid $14,400 on the road for it. I couldn't have gotten nearly the same discount on a Prius (msrp $22,175)) and at current gas prices the Prius wouldn't save the equivalent cost in gas to make up the difference in price over their useful lives.
I can't say that about the Silverado, but I also know you can't haul 55 10 ft. 2X4's in a Prius.
I'm all about reducing the amount of oil we import, but the hybrid is a poor solution to our problem of reliance on foreign energy sources.
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Sean Elkins wrote:

But, the cars have different options. A better comparison might have been comparing a Camry and Prius.
It is easier to compare the Honda Civic and Honda Civic Hybrid.
Jeff

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Why not a Camry and a Camry Hybrid?
Ed
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C. E. White wrote:

I forgot they made one.
The Camry Hybrid and Camry XLE seem pretty comparable in price and options, if you go with CVT with both.
The XLE with the most expensive package is about $2k less than the Hybrid with the most expensive package or about 5% or 6% of the cost of the vehicle.
That works comparing the top of the line vehicles, but if you don't want all those options, you're still stuck buying a lot of them with the hybrid.
Jeff
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I wasn't thinking about options, I was thinking about size. A Camry is a bigger car than a Prius, so I don't think that's a valid comparison.
More to the point-- I would never consider buying a Camry when I can get a more economical car that serves my needs and gets better mileage. I couldn't have gotten any new Camry for under $15K new.
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Based on an older post: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/2007_Prius/message/8468 and using US figures
2007 Prius: http://www.toyota.com/prius/specs.html 2007 Camry and Camry Hybrid: http://www.toyota.com/camry/specs.html 2007 Corolla: http://www.toyota.com/corolla/specs.html
I'm not quite sure why you are comparing the Prius with the Corolla... The Prius is a mid-size, and the Corolla is a compact. A better comparison is to the mid-size Camry. And the EPA tests are standardized, so you should use the same tests for comparason (city to city or highway to highway or combined to combined).
Car Sum (interior+cargo volume) Diff to Prius --------------------------------------------- Prius 110.6 (96.2+14.4) +0.0 Camry 116.4 (101.4+15.0) +5.8 CamryH 112.0 (101.4+10.6) +1.4 Corolla 103.9 (90.3+13.6) -6.7 all listings in cu. ft.
EPA MPG Car City Highway ----------------------- Prius 60 51 Camry 24 33 CamryH 40 38 Corolla 30 38
150,000 EPA miles, @ $3/gallon: Prius @ 60MPG (city): 2500 gallons, $7500 Camry @ 24MPG (city): 6250 gallons, $18750, diff +$11250 to Prius CamryH @ 40MPG (city): 3750 gallons, $11250, diff +$3750 to Prius Corolla @ 30MPG (city): 5000 gallons, $15000, diff +$7500 to Prius Prius @ 51MPG (highway): 2941 gallons, $8824 Camry @ 33MPG (highway): 4545 gallons, $13625, $4811 diff to Prius CamryH @ 38MPG (highway): 3947 gallons, $11842, $3018 diff to Prius Corolla @ 38MPG (highway): 3947 gallons, $11842, $3018 diff to Prius
But since you are comparing to a Corolla, we should use an accurate comparison of the Prius and the Corolla, which means comparible options. Since the Prius is an automatic (eCVT) v4 engine (MSRP $22795 including the $620 Delivery, Processing, and Handling fee), I'll use automatic Corolla LE (v4 engine) (MSRP $17035 with same $620 DPH fee).
Then start adding in options. It looks like a number are standard between the Corolla LE and the Prius: Power Windows, Power Door Locks, Engine Immobilizer, Power Side Mirrors (Prius' is heated too), AC, Remote Keyless Entry, 6 Speaker AM/FM/CD, Tilt Steering Wheel, and Dual front airbags.
The Prius also includes ABS with tire pressure monitors, Traction Control, Cruise Control, side and curtain air bags, a Rear Spoiler (it's small, but it's there,) and Alloy wheels, which the Corolla LE doesn't have standard, but available as options. ABS/tire pressure monitor/traction control is package AB (MSRP $390), Cruise contol is only available in the audio value package VV (MSRP $200) (this will replace the Corolla's AM/FM/CD with a AM/FM/6 disc CD (same speakers) so we add $589 for a 6-disc CD changer accessory to the Prius (which then has a 7- disc CD capacity fyi)). Rear Spoiler accessory RF for the Corolla is $425, and Alloy Wheels are package AW (accessory price $499, package MSRP $390). The side airbags is package BE (MSRP $655). To summarize, 390+200+425+390+655 = $2060 to add to the Corolla to make it comparable to the Prius, while adding $589 to make it comparable to the Corolla.
So that's 17035+2060 = $19095 for the Corolla LE w/ the appropriate options and accessories. The Prius with the 6-disc changer is 22795+589 = $23384. The difference in MSRP is $4289 more for the Prius than the Corolla.
Now, there's also tax incentives for the Prius. The US Federal Income tax Hybrid Credit comes into effect, which for the 2007 Prius purchased now through September 31, 2007 is $787.50. http://www.toyota.com/prius/tax.html http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id 7557,00.html
There's also state incentives, depending on where you live (CO gives a $3,013 credit for a 2007 Prius (see http://www.revenue.state.co.us/fyi/html/income09.html ), for instance), but I'll ignore those state incentives for now since it's location dependent.
So with the current $787.50 Fed income tax credit as stated above, the price difference drops from $4289 to $3501.50.
So, if you always drove your car according to the EPA highway test cycle, and gasoline was a stagnant $3/gallon over the time it takes you to drive 150,000 miles, and you purchased a vehicle today, and ignoring sales or excise taxes (based on the vehicle price): To purchase the Prius you'd spend $3601.50 more than on the comparable Corolla LE, but after 150,000 highway miles you'd spend $3018 more on the Corolla LE than on the Prius.
So, just comparing similar vehicles MSRP with their expected fuel use, you'd pay $483.50 more for the comparable 2007 Corolla LE than for the 2007 Prius.
YMMV with state incentives of course. Also, for really calculating ROI on a vehicle (not just purchase price and gasoline cost), you'd need to calculate the different cost for maintenance, insurance, and the big one: depreciation, which definitely makes the Prius even more attractive.
See also: http://www.intellichoice.com/press/Hybrid-Survey-2006 http://www.intellichoice.com/carBuying101/HypeOverHybrids http://www.kbb.com/kbb/Advice/GenericContent.aspx?ContentUniqueName=KbbWebContent%3a912&linkId=hp_resale_text
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giant snip

Yes, but you're not listening to me. I didn't buy a Corolla LE for 19K. I bought a Corolla CE for 14.4K. I don't care about an apples-to-apples comparison of similar features, since I do not desire to purchase a car with any of those features. You loaded your comparison Corolla to the max with stuff that isn't included on my car. I don't have a CD changer, or side airbags, or a moonroof or any of a number of things you padded onto the comparison.
According to your final argument, which you calculated using the 19K number, the Prius would save me $483. If we redo the calculation using the car I actually own, it turns out that I save $4600 minus the $438, for a total savings of $4162. Depreciation isn't a factor, since the car will never be traded. I'll drive it until it isn't functional then go out and buy a new one.
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Oh, another thing---my Corolla is a 5 speed, so the mileage figures should be 32-41, making the mileages you calculated a tad too low for my actual vehicle.
I will confess to being surprised by the interior volume figures you posted. I would never have dreamed the Prius has more interior room than a Corolla. It certainly doesn't look that way on the outside.
I'm not sure my earlier response articulated my overall point well enough, so I'll try again. To me, comparing the Prius and the Corolla is valid because the Corolla is the Toyota product I would buy by default. To me as a consumer, it's the Corolla that the Prius would be competing against.
Unlike the average consumer, I actually prefer to buy the stripped down models with manual transmissions, crank windows and manual locks. My new Corolla is a bit of a departure in that it has power windows and locks--I got them essentially thrown into the deal since this particular car was on the lot and they would rather have absorbed the difference than gone to retrieve the dealer trade I was actually negotiating for. My point in sharing this background information is that there doesn't seem to be such a creature as a stripped down Prius to satisfy my particular purchasing preferences.
So to me as a consumer, Toyota is stacking the deck against the Prius by not knocking a few thousand off the sticker by selling a base model without the myriad options. I realize that the loaded models are what most consumers want, but my interest in cars is getting reliable transportation as inexpensively as possible.
Here's how I calculate the difference in mileage over 150K miles at $3/gallon.
Prius: 150000/55 X 3= $8181
Corolla 150000/37 X 3= 12162
That's a difference in fuel cost of $3981. I paid $14,400 on the road for my Corolla. To save money over 150K miles, I would have to be able to buy a Prius for $18,291 on the road. Know anybody selling them that cheap?
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wrote:

I already basically said this in another post: it looks small on the outside, but is designed in a way which renders it definitely roomy on the inside. I drive a Corolla & the interior of the Prius is larger than that of the Corolla.
Cathy
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It certainly does look that way for the current model. The first model could be visually compared to a Corolla, but not the current one.

Then you are ahead already. You aren't driving a comparable vehicle. You could save even more money by buying used, maybe a rental or fleet return.
On the other hand, the hybrids tend to be factory loaded with what are options on the other vehicles, making "as equipped" comparisons slant in favor of the hybrid. Honda does that on the Civic. For my 2003, the only option was 5 speed or CVT, and that disappeared the following year. There was no sunroof option. Anything else was "standard". Taking less profit on those things that are high markup options allows a finer margin on the expensive hybrid parts. Ford seems to have a range of options for the Escape Hybrid. But I don't think anyone buys the stripped models. A couple of Ford dealers in this area had stripped hybrids available when there was a waiting list for the nominally and fully equipped models.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5

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snipped-for-privacy@kluge.net wrote:

http://www.kbb.com/kbb/Advice/GenericContent.aspx?ContentUniqueName=KbbWebContent%3a912&linkId=hp_resale_text
You can subtract the $787.50 from the savings because *somenone* (the taxapyer) pays for that. Only if yuou ar a liberal do you ignore such costs.
Also I question your depreciatrion point, especially if the battery pak has not been replaced before you put it on the used market. The used car market will be sure to (and should) factor that in.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Only if there were no hybrids. I would like to thank you for paying your portion of my rebate, but the source of it doesn't affect the fit in my pocket. I think of it along the same lines as the development cost for Velcro, also funded by the taxpayer.

The used car market doesn't seem to be down on the hybrids. The battery packs are not a factor yet, and they might never be. Given the conservative state of charge that is maintained, they might never go bad. In 11 states they have a 10 year warranty. Eventually, there should be an aftermarket supply. It's only D-cell batteries. In the case of the Honda, they aren't even high capacity, a total of $863 to replace them all.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5

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snipped-for-privacy@12.usenet.us.com wrote:

I don't know whether to take issue with that particular statement ("...the source of it doesn't affect the fit in my pocket...") or not, as I don't understand its meaning. If you can explain its meaning I will either agree or disagree. *My* point was that the price to you would have been higher had I not paid part of its direct cost, so please factor in the amount that everyone else involuntarily contributed to your car for any real apples and apples comparison.
I'm not sure what you could say that could make that not true, though maybe there is something I have not considered buried in your statement that I don't understand the meaning of.

Irrelavent to this discussion. We're talking about total cost of ownership of two different vehicls. Let's compare like for like to keep the compraison honest.

Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Those if favor of "tax" assistance do not think of the fact they are the ones paying the tax money that is used to "assist," and that is going to a foreign corporation that pays NO US federal corporate income taxes ;)
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

But it's US subsidies do.
Jeff

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That may be your opinion, but if you think you are correct you had better notify the IRS. There is no listing of any Toyota holding company paying any corporate taxes, on the IRS wed site. LOL
mike
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