Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas


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Posted by John DeGrazia on October 4, 2004, 5:01 am
Hi I am a COX subscriber, and I just joined the group. I gather from reading
the rest of the posts that this group has just been added. Just in time for
me!!!  :)


I live in San Diego, CA and I am sick of the refills costing me over $0.00
each week. And I really want a hybrid. I have been waiting for the
Highlander, but I am now leaning toward the Prius. For two reasons. 1. It
guts record setting mileage. Much greater than the Highlander or the Lexus H
will get. And 2. It probably has enough room in it.

I currently have a '98 4 door 2WD Blazer that is comfortable enough for all
of us. But I frequently load the back with a LOT of stuff. And when we all
take off for a weekend. We have enough stuff to cram the whole vehicle with
people and gear. And it has over 70K miles on it and it has already stranded
us twice.

Anyway, this group has already provided me with some answers to questions

Q. How long do the batteries last?
A. "Could be between 250K and 400K miles", and the warrantee is 8 years and

Q. How much will replacement batteries cost?
A. I guess between $K and $0K. But there isn't much reported on the
Internet on this.

Q. Is the $,000 non-refundable deposit standard.
A. It seems to be but this could go away as more hybrids are offered. And
some dealers don't require them.

Q. How long is the actual waiting period?
A. 6 months is reported. But it is frequently much less.

I am fond of buying used cars because I prefer not to depreciate my
investment so quickly. And I have found some interesting options on e-Bay
Motors. The '05's are coming out without major changes, and this makes the
'04's a better value, but I may not have much selection on NEW '04's.

I have not read many posts on complaints of any generation of Prius's. And I
am curious about any unknown costs that any of you have experienced in
owning your hybrids. Outside of the right wing radicals that respond to
Michelle's informative responses. I was interested in the Jetta Diesel until
I found that it didn't qualify for the Low Emitions Tax Rebate.

Speaking of the Rebates... Can any of you respond with ACTUAL rebates that
you have received either federally or by state? How much do us Californian's
get? Is this for just the year of purchase? Or does it extend into following
years too.

Thanks for reading. Thanks in advance for any responses. Thanks for
polluting less!


Posted by Michelle Steiner on October 4, 2004, 6:07 am

Cox added it about two months ago after they got tired of me pestering
them for it.

In California, it's ten years and 150K.

So far no batteries have failed on the classic Prius or the 2004-05
Prius.  But your estimate is in the ball park; expect it to go down in
the future, though.

No; some dealers ask for less, and some don't ask for any.  I paid
$,000 to one dealer (and got it back when I cancelled my order), and
nothing to another dealer.

It varies; some people have been waiting ten months and haven't got
theirs yet.  Some dealers stopped taking orders because their waiting
lists were over a year.  I got mine in about 10 weeks.  Some people
lately have been getting theirs within a few weeks.  Check with dealers
in smaller cities and towns.  Also, Toyota just announced that they're
increasing allocations from 47,000 a year to 100,000 a year for the US,
starting in calendar year 2005.  That should help reduce the waiting

The only changes in the 05s are that the rear wiper is now standard, and
there's a $00 price increase.  There's a rumor that there may be a
change in available colors next Summer.

None that I know of.

*blush*  That was before Cox started carrying the newsgroup and we were
crossposting to the main Toyota newsgroup.  Once I got access to this
group, I stopped crossposting, and they stopped responding. <G>

I believe that it's not available in California; I think that no diesels
are available there.

The state and federal governments do not give rebates; they give tax
incentives.  The federal government will let you take a $500 deduction
if you purchase a Prius this year ($000 next year, and $00 in 2006).  
However, there is a bill that will restore the full $000 deduction.  
All it needs is for congress to pass it and the president to sign it.  
It's not a stand-alone bill, but part of other legislation.

Because it's a deduction and not a credit, you save the amount
multiplied by your tax bracket.  So, if you're in the 15% bracket, the
tax savings this year would be 15% of $500, or $25.

Stop Mad Cowboy Disease:  Vote for John Kerry.

Posted by Mike Rosenberg on October 4, 2004, 12:48 pm

I think it existed for about a month prior to that.  Does that sound
right, Michelle?

I got on three waiting lists.  One asked for a $00 refundable deposit
but when I gave them my credit card they didn't charge me anything at
all.  The second asked for $00 refundable but charged $00, and the
third just put me on the list with no mention at all of a deposit.
Another wanted $000 non-refundable.  I passed.

I got on the first list in early May, haven't heard back.  I got on the
other two at the end of July and got my white package 9 Prius from one
of them exactly three weeks ago.

Mike Rosenberg
<http://www.macconsult.com>  Macintosh consulting services for NE Florida
<http://bogart-tribute.net>  Tribute to Humphrey Bogart

Posted by Michelle Steiner on October 4, 2004, 4:23 pm
  mike@POSTTOGROUP.invalid (Mike Rosenberg) wrote:

Yeah, that's about it.

So, what are your impressions of it thus far?

Oh, it looks as if I'll have my first 50(+) MPG tank soon; I have about
240 miles on the tank, and currently am at 50.6 MPG.

-- Michelle

Stop Mad Cowboy Disease:  Vote for John Kerry.

Posted by Mike Rosenberg on October 4, 2004, 10:00 pm

I absolutely love it!  It's a HUGE step up from my old Prizm (a Corolla
in disguise)--a lot roomier, with lots more bells and whistles, and a
lot more pep.  I don't understand why some people claim that the Prius
is underpowered, because I don't find that to be the case at all.

Cool!  My best so far is just over 46 MPG.

Mike Rosenberg
<http://www.macconsult.com>  Macintosh consulting services for NE Florida
<http://bogart-tribute.net>  Tribute to Humphrey Bogart

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