Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

$0 a day gas bill?! - Page 2

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Posted by Michael Pardee on May 11, 2007, 4:27 am

I understand your concern and your analysis is spot on. A lot of people
can't even afford the purchase so the payoff period is moot. However, there
are deals to be had. I bought a 2002 last year with 103K miles on it for
about $2K. It drives like new and the experience of many is that there
really isn't much more going wrong in the second 100K than in the first. I
do my own maintenance, but even for those who hire it out the Prius is one
of the cheapest modern cars going. My wife's 2002 (bought new) has been by
far the most reliable car I've ever owned. My last new car needed more
repair in the first week than hers has in five years.

The Prius in its present incarnation is admittedly more upscale than many
people can afford. It isn't just the hybrid system, but the entire package.
I suspect the marketing design decisions were driven by at least two
factors: to minimize the shock of the premium paid for the hybrid system,
and to present the system as being fit for upscale cars. Considering the
upgrade packages offered in the current generation compared to the limited
list of options in the first generation, maybe the second factor is the big

For that Hummer driver, who is probably getting around 15 mpg combined
(depending on highway and city duties) and spending $0/day for gas, a Prius
would save about $5/day or about $000 per month. Unless he needs the
carrying capacity - some people do - that $2K per year would add up in a
hurry. Dropping the fuel bill from $8K per year to $K per year... yeah,
that's a viable alternative.


Posted by Michelle Steiner on May 11, 2007, 6:28 am

I didn't buy mine to save money on gasoline; I bought it so I would
pollute less and conserve petroleum.  I had a paid-off Acura, and the
Prius was the only vehicle that tempted me to even think of trading.

Consumer reports grossly underestimates the mileage that a Prius gets.  
It says it averages 44 MPG (which isn't shabby at all); I get between 48
and 51 MPG, with very rare drops to 46 or increases to 53.  I know of
people who routinely get 55 MPG or higher.

The Prius holds its value much better than just about any other vehicle
sold; resale value will be proportionally higher.  Maintenance is also
lower--for example, because most braking is regenerative, mechanical
brakes last longer.  Miles driven shouldn't matter, except for gasoline
costs because both vehicles would be driven the same distance--unless
high gas prices cause a reduction in driving for the less efficient car.

Support the troops:  Bring them home ASAP.

Posted by Elmo P. Shagnasty on May 11, 2007, 11:03 am

I get between 30 (bunches of short trips in the winter) and 46 or 47 in
my Prius.

I'd say Consumer Reports is dead-on.  Are they reporting actual survey

Posted by Michelle Steiner on May 11, 2007, 4:04 pm

With no offense intended, maybe you need to refine your driving
technique.  Even with bunches of short trips, I still get in the 40s.

It's the result of their own tests on a new 04 Prius; I believe the test
was reported in the Feb, March, or April 04 issue.

Support the troops:  Bring them home ASAP.

Posted by Elmo P. Shagnasty on May 11, 2007, 5:49 pm

Well, I drive it just like a normal car.

The Prius *allows* different techniques to get higher mileage, but it
doesn't demand such techniques and yet still manages to get much better
mileage than other cars.

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