The Drive-a-Toyota Act

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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Do you think Toyota buyers would pay the 35K or more price of a Camry hybrid?
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

The list price of a Camry hybrid is about $33K with the most expensive package. The list price of a Camry V6 with the CVT with the most expensive package is also in the same neighborhood.
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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According to "Automotive News" Honda may not offer the Civic hybrid in 2008. It is more apparent to Honda customers, unlike Toyota buys how do not thing to compare the Pruis to the Corolla, that the hybrid is not worth the premium price charged by dealers ;)
mike
wrote:

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The Honda system is just not as good as Toyotas.
Ed
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And neither is as good as a TRUE hybrid vehicle: one with a pure electric motor and independent gen set.
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I am not sure that is true. Cars are not trains. Care to cite some numbers to prove this?
Ed
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Yeah, but they won't give us that because it just makes too much damned sense. Not to mention KILLS EVERYTHING on gas mileage..
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When fuel prices go up, discounts on hybrids go down (IF there were any discounts on hybrids to start with--other than the hybrid-that-not-a-real-hybrid GM trucks with the battery pack under the rear seat, whose engine stops at red lights, then restarts when you take off again).
Resale on the Prius and similar might be better if fuel prices continue upward, so you'd need to consider that in the mix, just as with a gasoline-powered normal vehicle. Once you get past the initial buy-in, the ownership costs might be lower. Same thing with buying a diesel 3/4 ton truck vs a gasoline version.
Yet, on the basic purchase, it would be hard to justify the hybrid on JUST fuel savings. Unless . . . the vehicle you were comparing it to (traded-in?) was more thirsty on fuel. Several ways to look at it.
Still, the Corolla and Camry 4cyl, as are the similar Honda Accords 4 cyls, hard to beat on total package fuel economy vs. price vs. resale. There are also some good USA brands that can be similar . . . IF anybody's interested.
Just some thoughts . . .
C-BODY
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

Is there a hybrid that doesn't sacrifice trunk space and full size spare capability? The Prius, Camry and Vue have these limitations. In fact the Vue hybrid doesn't even have a spare, just a very small hole patch kit that you can struggle with while sitting at the side of he road. The Camry's lovely trunk is killed by the hybrid batteries plus the regular battery.
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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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