We went out this afternoon to buy a base Prius Two and came home with a
Prius Plug-In. It turns out that the Prius Plug-In was a better deal.
$000 Toyota incentive plus $000 in tax incentives brought the net cost
down to about $1,900 while the Prius Two would have been about $1,600
with the optional non-optional equipment like floor mats. The Plug-In
has the navigation system, the back-up camera, HD Radio and a bunch of
other features that were not really important to us like heated seats
and digital ashtrays. Plus of course the HOV sticker (if we can get one
before they run out of the 15,000 that California jut released). Also,
this is one of the rare times when Northern California Toyota dealers
had better incentives than Southern California dealers ($000 versus
$000)--usually it pays to drive down to Southern California to buy a
Downside to the Plug-In is the lack of a spare tire (the batteries take
up all that space). You get a compressor and some tire sealant. You can
buy a wheel and tire but then it would take up cargo space).
These are in short supply due to the incentives expiring soon (7/7) plus
the rush to get one of the new supply of California HOV stickers. The
one dealer that was going $00 under invoice was sold out. Most of the
dealers were about $00 over invoice. The dealer we went to was at
invoice (that was the Costco "deal"). We would have paid cash but they
had 0% 60 month financing. If we factor in the interest we'll get on the
money we didn't spend in cash that brings the Plug-In to a bit less than
the Prius Two.
I drove it home while the spousal unit drove home our Camry Hybrid. The
difference is really noticeable in terms of power and quietness. The
Camry Hybrid has much better acceleration due to the much larger engine,
and is very quiet. The Prius Plug-In has a lot more road noise and
unless you push the button for higher power it's anemic in accelerating
onto the freeway.