There were a few small models with small engines that were designed
to be thrifty for just about as long as cars were built. It would be
hard to answer your question definitively, because it would depend on
how you defined it. Volkswagen used to boast about the 25 MPG Beetle
(although the heavier, faster, more robust Volvo Amazon would also
average 25). Models like the Nash Rambler (introduced in 1950) and
Plymouth Valiant were designed with fuel economy as a significant
factor. I'm sure that whenever there was a Depression or Recession, or
gas rationing, fuel economy was used as a selling point...
Also, the Prius isn't heavily discounted off of MSRP, while the Corolla
is. There was brief period, after California gave out the maximum number
of carpool lane stickers for hybrids, that Prius street prices fell a
lot, but now with the higher gas prices they're back up.
A good analysis, but real world consumption figures show the Prius lower
than the EPA rating, much lower in cold winter weather.
On the up side for the Prius here in Canada there are Gov. rebates for
low consumption vehicles, which drop the price of the Prius
significantly, the Camry hybrid quite a bit and even the Corolla
My real world consumption figures for my Prius in NJ is a reliable 50+ MPG
in the winter and 52-55 nowadays. Blocking the front grille slats in the
winter keeping the engine warmer goes a long way. So my real world
consumption figures for my Prius in NJ is higher than the EPA rating.
Got a lot of opinions Josh, how about facts, the Prius will NOT run on a
failed battery pack and cabbies have heavy feet, it is part of the
job.....however, don't you see the contradiction in your two statements that
the battery packs fail in three to five years yet they are usesd as high
mileage taxies....of course you don't see that, after all, you have been
told all of these things and after all drove a prius once admittedly
overloaded. Oh well, this is the internet, these are things you have heard
or read so of course they must be true fact.
Ok, I'm biased since I own 3 Corollas (one tho is a 1992 but in great
shape). I won't get into which one is the best because of my bias
but how can you go wrong with any of your choices? Even if you did,
how bad could it be compared to your other choices? I say rather
than beat your brains out, buy the Corolla (is my bias showing yet?)
and enjoy it for 200,000 miles or more.
As others have pointed out, the Prius is larger than a Corolla so the
comparison isn't completely fair. OTOH, a Civic Hybrid costs about
$3000 more than a Civic EX and the 40 to 30 mpg comparison would be
about right fro these two. So it could pay for itself and then some
during the period you expect to own it.
As for your original questions:
Civic LX or EX model is worth considering. LX saves you about $2000
if you don't need a sunroof, alloy wheels or a fancy stereo.
Use Edwards and the manufacturer sites to do your research. Google is
I would shop any place that sells the cars. You can play them against
each other to see who will give you the best price.
It's also fair to point out that there are Federal tax breaks
available to those that buy hybrids. If those tax breaks are still in
existence (and I believe they are), they greatly enhance the economy
of these vehicles.
And by all means, use the fleet manager and the web site of the
dealership. You can usually get better deals this way than by dealing
with the snake on the sales floor...
Joe - Linux User #449481/Ubuntu User #19733
joe at hits - buffalo dot com
It's fine, as long as you sell it before the batteries need to be
replaced. Toyota is very clever with the Prius batteries in the way they
never discharge them very deeply, at least in the U.S. (in other
countries there is a button that allow greater electric range by
allowing the batteries to discharger more). This allows them to claim
that they last a very long time, when in fact they are losing efficiency
from day one. _They_ get to decide when the batteries are worn out. It's
similar to how automakers define "normal" oil consumption to avoid
having to repair oil-burning engines.
You're much better off with a Corolla than a Prius, unless you're
driving huge amounts of miles (then you're better off with one of the VW
TDI vehicles). I recently sold something on craigslist to someone that
drove up in a new TDI. Since they don't sell these in California, I
asked him how he got it, and he said that there's a dealer in Marin
county that brings in slightly used TDIs from Oregon (I think they need
7000 miles on them) then sells them as used cars. Very high mileage and
very good engines. VWs have good longevity, even if they have more
I think the best resource is the April issue of Consumer
Reports. CR has matrices for every year and model of car for
about the last ten years that show the reliability of
different car systems. It jives IMO with what generally
hears: Honda and Toyota are the most reliable. OTOH, certain
Toyota models, like the Tundra, are doing very poorly for
Still, you might be fine with a Corolla.
I plan to use email to negotiate the price of my next car.
This is based on reading reports here of much success with
Makes no difference. It's a new vehicle, and that's what
RPS I've been wondering the same recently and am still researching.
For what's its worth Consumer Reports (CR) has picked the '08 Elantra
SE as it's best small car.
Here is their summery:
"The Elantra is a pleasant small sedan. We found the ride comfortable
and road noise low, but the Elantra still isn't as agile as a Mazda3
or Honda Civic. The engine booms at high revs but returns good fuel
economy. Cabin access is fairly easy, and the roomy interior is put
together nicely. It also has more standard safety equipment than some
competitors, including ABS and curtain air bags. Electronic stability
control is standard on the SE trim and, combined with wider tires and
a tighter suspension, makes the car very secure. IIHS offset-crash
results are good. First-year reliability has been much better than
average. An Elantra Touring hatchback model will arrive for 2009."
Another interesting new feature CR has is under "Price and Costs"
They calcuate the overall cost of owning the car for 1-8 years to be
$0.46 a mile which they rate as "Excellent" which is their highest
I'm going to check the other car site and see how these cars you've
I'd first narrow things down by safety, reliability, depreciation, and
What are the top four compacts in each category.
Toyota Corolla (assuming 2009 model ranks highly in Side & Rear tests)
J.D. Power Long Term Dependability (3 year)
Only Toyota and Honda rank above the industry average
Longevity (11-20 years) (of companies making small, non-luxury cars)
You can buy the base Corolla with a manual transmission very
inexpensively, but most people in the U.S. don't buy manual transmission
Buying a slightly used Corolla or Civic rarely makes sense because these
models are highly discounted by dealers, yet have very high resale
value. As a result, a good deal on a new one is often less expensive
than a bad deal on a used one.
Once you narrow down by tangible factors, that's really up to your
Consumer Reports is a start, though they tend to emphasize reliability
and value, less on handling and performance.
It depends on where you live. Carsdirect can at least give you a
baseline of what to expect, but they tend to be a bit higher in price
than what you can get on your own, or through a non-profit buying service.
The Corolla is new for 2009, so be careful. I've been burned by the
first year of a new model (though it was a Honda).
About now, if they have any left.
We're also in the same situation. A 12 year old Camry that while still
reliable has some issues. I don't like the lack of rear headrests, and
most new vehicles seem to have full rear headrests (3 of them). Now that
my kids are bigger I want something more suitable for them, but I'm
thinking of going down to the Corolla instead of another Camry if the
legroom is sufficient, just for the better mileage.
Bottom line is that if you're looking for another vehicle that will last
12 years, and still work well and look decent, get the Corolla.
I'd agree the Corolla is a good choice. I have been enjoying the heck
out of my '09 Matrix S (Corolla with more interior hauling capacity).
has the Camry 2.4l engine and moves along pretty quickly. If you go
this route I'd suggest selecting an upgrade on tires as the stock 16"
stock tires don't do anything for performance (as tested in the June
We looked at the Prius and were told the battery had a 10 year/
100,000 mile warranty but no one seemed to know If the terms of
the warranty specified what amount of lost battery capacity would
be considered unacceptable.
The other thought I had was the fact that your resale value would
depend highly upon the cost and availability of a new battery 10
years down the road. No one at the dealership could accuratly
speculate on future battery availability.
Good luck with whatever you choose.
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