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Comparison of prius with Corolla LE - Page 4

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Posted by mrv@kluge.net on April 17, 2006, 3:30 pm

Dave wrote:

I'm not quite sure where your roommate got his numbers, nor why the
current Prius is being compared to the Corolla...   The Prius is a
mid-size, and the Corolla is a compact.  A better comparison is to the
Camry.  And the EPA tests are standardized, so you should use the
same tests for fuel 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 103.8 (90.3+13.5)       -6.8
all listings in cu. ft.

Car     City    Highway
Prius   60      51
Camry   24      33
CamryH  40      38
Corolla 30      38

150,000 EPA miles, @ $/gallon:
Prius @ 60MPG (city): 2500 gallons, $500
Camry @ 24MPG (city): 6250 gallons, $8750, diff +$1250 to Prius
CamryH @ 40MPG (city): 3750 gallons, $1250, diff +$750 to Prius
Corolla @ 30MPG (city): 5000 gallons, $5000, diff +$500 to Prius
Prius @ 51MPG (highway): 2941 gallons, $824
Camry @ 33MPG (highway): 4545 gallons, $3625, $811 diff to Prius
CamryH @ 38MPG (highway): 3947 gallons, $1842, $018 diff to Prius
Corolla @ 38MPG (highway): 3947 gallons, $1842, $018 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 $2305
including the $80 Delivery, Processing, and Handling fee), I'll use
automatic Corolla LE (v4 engine) (MSRP $6695 with same $80 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, a Rear Spoiler (it's small, but it's there,)
and Alloy wheels.  ABS/tire pressure monitor/traction control is
package AB (MSRP $90), Cruise contol is only available in the audio
package W (MSRP $00) (this will replace the Corolla's AM/FM/CD with a
AM/FM/6 disc CD (same speakers) so we add $89 for a 6-disc changer to
the Prius (which then has a 7- disc CD capacity fyi)).  Rear Spoiler
accessory RF for the Corolla is $25, and Alloy Wheels are package AW
(accessory price $99, package MSRP $90).

So that's 16695+390+200+425+390 = $8100 for the Corolla LE w/ the
appropriate options and accessories.  The Prius with the 6-disc changer
is 22305+589 = $2894.  The difference is $794.

Now, there's also tax incentives for the Prius. FWIW, for much of 2006,
the US Federal Income Hybrid Credit comes into effect, which for the
Prius is $150.  http://www.toyota.com/prius/tax.html
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id 6048,00.html.

There's also state incentives, depending on where you live (CO gives a
$,285 credit for a 2006 Prius (see
http://www.revenue.state.co.us/fyi/html/income09.html  ), for instance),
but I'll ignore those for now since it's location dependent.

So with the current $150 Fed income tax credit as stated above, the
price difference drops to $644.

So, if you always drove your car according to the EPA highway test
cycle, and gasoline was a stagnant $/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 $644 more than on the comparable Corolla LE, but
after 150,000 highway miles you'd spend $018 more on the Corolla LE
than on the Prius.  So, just comparing similar vehicles MSRP with their
expected fuel use, you'd pay $374 more for the 2006 Corolla LE than
for the 2006 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.  (Currently, used Prius can often be sold for more than the
purchase price, depending on where you live and demand...)

2006 Prius:  http://www.toyota.com/prius/specs.html
2006 Camry:  http://www.toyota.com/camry/specs.html
2007 Camry Hybrid:  http://www.toyota.com/camry/specs_hybrid.html
2006 Corolla:  http://www.toyota.com/corolla/specs.html

Posted by Dave on April 18, 2006, 6:20 pm

A Big part of it was supply and demand. I'm sure he got a discount off
of sticker price for the Corolla LE whereas the Prius was probably being
offered at MSRP or higher.

mrv@kluge.net wrote:

Posted by OscartheGrouch on April 24, 2006, 12:42 pm
 I think we can do away with the 60 mpg figure for the Prius in town. Maybe
if we all just drove on Toyota's closed test course all the time at whatever
speeds they did to optimize mileage. From what I can tell, 60 mpg is not
what any of us are going to get. Low to mid 50s, yeah. (In the summer)

But still, low to mid 50s is fantastic fuel mileage compared with the other
options out there. But I can't use the 60 mpg figure in any real world

Posted by Bob Wilson on April 25, 2006, 12:44 pm


mpg (US)        mi      gal (US)        F      Minutes Per Ride
62.4    162     2.6     80      45      [edit] [more]
63.9    139     2.2     80      20      [edit] [more]

I'm driving a model NHW11, a 2003 Prius.

Bob Wilson

Posted by mrv@kluge.net on April 25, 2006, 1:02 pm
OscartheGrouch wrote:

It's not Toyota's test.  It's a test cycle established by the EPA, used
to test all cars against it for an apples to apples comparison.  If you
know what your real-world fuel economy is in the car that you are
currently driving, calculate the % difference from the EPA numbers on
it, and then apply the same % difference to the Prius' numbers and then
you'll have your "real world" numbers.  "Real world" numbers are
whatever you individually would get, depending on how you drive and
where you live and how you maintain your car.  The EPA even states that
"Your MPG will vary."  (
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/why_differ.shtml  )

US EPA Fuel Economy ratings for cars going back to 1985 are available
at:   http://www.fueleconomy.gov/

The cars are not put on a "closed test course," but they are put on a
stationary dynometer (rollers under the wheels) in a lab and "driven"
in a specified pattern.

City: Represents urban driving, in which a vehicle is started with the
engine cold and driven in stop-and-go rush hour traffic. The driving
cycle for the test includes idling, and the vehicle averages about 20

Highway: Represents a mixture of rural and Interstate highway driving
with a warmed-up engine, typical of longer trips in free-flowing
traffic. Average test speed is about 48 mph and includes no
intermediate stops or idling.

For some information published from Toyota on the issue:

Prius Fuel Economy: Explaining the EPA Ratings
Toyota  explains what the EPA ratings actually mean, and lists ways to
improve your MPG
http://www.priusonline.com/viewtopic.php?t 79

Prius Fuel Economy Factsheet:

Tips for better Prius Gas mileage (near end of Spring 2004 newsletter):

Can I expect to get over 50MPG in the new Prius?  (see question #6):

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