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  1. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    So I am thinking about getting a hybrid, I have read many articles for and against the savings. Most of these articles are from years past. I was hoping that I could get some updated info here if any of you have the newer models (2010 + ) . I have read that the toyota prius is the best one as far as MPG. As of right now my wife and I spent roughly $350 - $400 a month on gas. She cost the most because she drives back and forth to school which is about 30 miles one way, which is some highway, some city. So I am going to say she spends have the $ of the gas each month. She mainly drives a 1999 pontiac grand am. So in my mind, the $200 in gas she uses would pay for a car payment. I know there would be some gas bought. I just don't know the mainteance cost, etc of these cars. So looking for some updated info on these cars if any one has one.

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  2. onion

    onion Burning Hunk

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    I cannot speak to hybrids since I don't have one. However, when I was looking to replace my Camry last year I looked at hybrids and decided on a Honda fit instead. I drive 80 miles a day commuting and I am easily easily getting 40+ mpg with it. It's a very basic car but nice enough and about half the $$s of a Prius with as good or better mileage as many get in a Prius and I picked up 5 8' 2x4s in it the other day ;)
    Realstone, mrjohneel and jeff_t like this.
  3. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    $200 ain't gonna make a Prius payment. If she needs a new car, then it's something to consider. But like onion said, there are other high mpg options that make more sense, dollar-wise, when you consider purchase price.

    I'll keep driving my 33 mpg '02 Saturn till it don't go no more.
    ColdNH likes this.
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    My MINI Cooper gets 40 mpg, is made by BMW, and is pretty sporty. The hatch is pretty square and can fit a pretty good amount of stuff in it with the seats folded down. It would be nice to get 50 mpg though.
  5. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    I would not buy a hybrid I would lease it and the lease would not be any longer than the warranty on the power train to avoid any potential out of pocket un-covered major expenses such as battery replacement etc.

    You can still buy a lot of gas for the grand am for what a payment on a hybrid will cost you. Not to mention that you would also have to carry full coverage insurance too.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We got a Prius in 2006. Heard lots of negatives here about it. But the car remains rock solid and virtually maintenance free. Since then in Seattle the Prius population has exploded. Why? Low maintenance and high mileage transportation, with the taxis leading the way.
    midwestcoast likes this.
  7. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    That is good to hear. I have read that brakes last for 100k miles due to the regeneration motors slowing the vehicle.
  8. TheMightyMoe

    TheMightyMoe Minister of Fire

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    There will be a lot of bias in a post like this. I am very cheap. You didn't include her current estimated MPG.

    Things to consider:

    Will maintaining that older vehicle, be cheaper then purchasing a new vehicle that will require maintenance? (You'll be saving 300-400 monthly and another $50-100 for insurance compared to buying a new car?) Even if you half your 200$ dollar gas bill, your saving 100$ to pay another 400) I drive a 88 and spend maybe $300-400 a year maintaining it, much better then the womans $300 monthly car payment. With the money I save I'll be able to pay for a new transmission / engine / gasoline when the time comes.

    For "many" people maintaining a older car that is getting around 20 MPG is gonna save you in the short and long run. Even if you gain 30 MPGs, you have to overcome the initial purchase of a 20-30k vehicle or save 8500 gallons of fuel. Which requires driving between 200-300k miles.

    After the warranty expires on something like that, I have no personal experience on the expected costs of maintenance.

    This is all just opinion, with a little math. The fact is, if the woman wants a new car, your decision is made.
    Realstone likes this.
  9. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    My '97 Camry 4-cyl went 240,000 miles before I sold it, and it never needed a brake job. My current '07 Camry 4-cyl is at 105,000 miles and no brake job; and it gets 34-35 mpg on the highway. I will consider a hybrid or all electric when it comes time to replace the '07, but at 20,000 miles/yr it will probably be another 7-8 years before it will be time to sell it. Have had Camry's since 1986 and never have had a more problem-free car.
  10. Lighting Up

    Lighting Up Feeling the Heat

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    Yep a catch 22.. Here's what I see going on in the industry, Hybrid could be the way to go depending on your driving habits....gas will never get below $3.50 again IMHO. I see alot of them with being in the business, idealy the person with driving habits at 30-40 miles a day will get the most out of one never needing to fill up.

    Cons are the batteries, even though they are coverd for 8 years (I believe only new and depends on the Manufacture) after 8 years is right now the unknown, how much longer will they last ? I know second warranty companies will not warranty them so the $3000-$4000 dollar question is...how much longer will the batteries last? That is being watched in the industry right now as many are getting to that age and will be resold as used. Owners of them are trading them in because they don't want to take the risk.
    md
  11. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    I Don't have a hybrid but I was in the same situation you are. I drive 600-700 mi/week.
    I was spending around $500-$600 on gas per month.!!!
    Last week I bought a 2011 Ford Fiesta, rated 38MPG:) ( one of the highest mileage non hybrid cars), paid about 11K.
    The Prius gets 48MPG and costs about 22K, If you drive 25K mi/yr the difference in fuel cost is $850.
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov
    It would take almost 13 years to before you would see a payback. It does not seem to make economic sense to me.
  12. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    We did some ROI calculations at work a few years back. We chose a Honda Civic because it came in both hybrid-electric and the more mundane gas version. The car is about the same except for the drivetrain. I "think" we used $3.50/gal gas price...don't fully recall. We used EPA MPG numbers; (a mistake perhaps). Base on our calcs, the hybrid breaks even on cost at about 450,000 miles; based only on fuel costs/savings. This makes the rather broad assumption that the price of parts and maintenance is the same for both.

    It is difficult to compare a Prius because it only comes one way.

    If you want to see what my friend Bob (an admitted genius) has become completely consumed with, click here:

    http://www.aprs.org/APRS-SPHEV.html
    Even he admits that the reason for running an electric car is not economics.

    But, as always, I say if you like it, buy it.
  13. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    Thanks guys for the feedback. I can get a 2009 toyota prius from my dealer for $16,000. One of my bosses has a prius and I talked to him today. He says he gets about 45-48 mpg on highway, and 54 mpg in city. He said he also before got about 65 mpg when he did nothing but drive in the city. I know $200 won't pay a monthly payment but that $200 + for the gas savings is a good chunk that could go towards a payment. Also my grand am need replacing. I have read that toyota backs the battery with like a 100,000 mile or 8 year warranty or something like that. IDK, still researching my options I guess.
  14. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Satisfied owner of a 2006 Prius here. IMO maintenance costs are a big plus for the Prius. 147,000 miles on mine. Still getting 48-50mpg. Recently had to replace the water pump. Had a front brake job at about 135,000 miles due to rotors beginning to de-laminate, not due to wear. It lives outside on a partly gravel&grass driveway. Tires, light bulbs & oil changes are the only other maint/repair it's had. Hybrid batteries have all proved to be very reliable and the replacement costs have come down a lot in case you are one of the very few who ever have to replace it. Plenty of used batteries from wrecked cars around now.
    Every car is different of course, but there's no reason to be scared of hybrid technology now. It's solid & has been for many years.
    Payback also depends on what kind of car you need or want to drive.
    Oh and I can fit 10' lumber in the Prius, hatch closed, vs 8' in my teeny Scion XA. Prius is our family road-trip vehicle, lol.
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Good info. Is it relatively sporty-ish to drive?. It looks sharp, in my opinion, and hasn't gotten old looking. Can't figure out the different body styles now though.
  16. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    yeah, there's what, 5 different prius's now...
  17. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    If it's MPG you want, find an old Rabbit DIESEL . Something else to consider Who other than the dealer can even get detailed repair information let alone is trained to work on a Hybrid? Hand onto your wallet there too!!
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    No, it's not sporty-ish to drive. If you have good tires on it (I changed out the stock tires right away) then it handles decently, but it's a Toyota and they go for plain vanilla handling. The all electric steering is pretty dead for road feedback.

    Toyota is very conservative with their cars. The hybrid battery is underrated and only uses partial capacity to favor longevity. With cabs pulling 200-300K regularly on these cars I wouldn't fret about battery life.
    midwestcoast likes this.
  19. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Sporty-ish is not a word I would use to describe a Prius
    It's comfortable & handles fairly well, but you are not gonna give your passengers whiplash when you put the pedal down. It does have enough power for driving on fast freeways...
    I guess the 2010 & newer have a bit more HP.

    Yeah, the stock tires on mine were crap. I wore them out before changing, couldn't believe the difference with a decent set.

    Don't be too scared of costly dealer repairs. Any good mechanic can work on the majority of the car. A repair on the hybrid system would need a dealer visit.
  20. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

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    Haven't seen it mentioned, so I'll throw in my $.02. My wife is also a teacher and drives 30 miles one-way. We bought a Nissan Versa 5-door with a bunch of toys for just around $12K. Gets 37 mpg reliably and, I think, is a whole lot sportier looking and driving (we got the cvt, which is like a go-cart) and has much more room. You should check it out if you're serious about buying a new car.

    S
  21. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    I have been under the impression that the benefits to the prius and any other hybrid, is that running on electric at slow speeds (city driving) is what makes it worth it. If you are driving mostly on the highway, in gas mode anywase, why carry around 500lbs of battery, when a fiesta/smart/golf/mazda2/wildfire will get similar mileage without the $5k+ premium.

    Wildfire
    [​IMG]
  22. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    well, I just found a 2007 Prius for 12,999. 63k miles. My question is this and it is puzzling me...why does a 2007 prius list the MPG as 60 city, 51 hwy. But a new one, lets says 2009 list as 48 city, 45 hwy? One would think the newer the car the better, but no..
  23. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    07 Prius was the same as an 09 as far as I know. The model changed in 2010. New model is rated for slightly (like 1 or 2 mpg) better mileage.
  24. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm pretty sure that during that time period EPA changed its testing procedures. Also, begreen noted they had more power now, but I can't see Toyota sacrificing mpg on a car like that.
  25. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Popular Mechanics magazine investigated this, and I hope this link is correct, but not certain. (I read the hard copy version.):
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/car...ruth-we-put-40-mpg-claims-to-the-test-6651300
    Basically...the EPA method is not consistant. Also, I seem to recall the (rather high) numbers they come up with are used for CAFE averages. Then they are computed down to the published number which is closer to real world.

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