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Lifetime of a Toyota Prius - Page 4

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Posted by Phil on January 24, 2007, 10:32 am
 



My real concern was not so much the battery life as the vehicle life.
If the battery last 7-10 years thats quite reasonable.  But for toyota
to say the car itself has a life of less than 10 years concerns me.  I
am very much a buy and drive till it dies sort of car owner.  I have
previously had a manual Mazda 626 which lasted 21 years (1 engine
recondition) and a Mitsubishi Nimbus which is still going strong after
14 years (one replacement automatic transmission and another not so far
away).

For the price of a Prius I would expect a lifetime of at least 16 years
(if not 20).  When I calculate the total purchase and lifetime running
costs (petrol, insurance, maintainence, tyres, etc) for a Prius
(assuming lifespan of 10 years) and compare it to a V6 Camry (assuming
lifespan of 16 years) I get an annualised cost for the Prius of
AUD$500 per annum and for the V6 Camry of AUD$800 per annum.

That means that even with the much lower petrol costs, the shorter life
makes the Prius a more expensive option.  The calculation would be
completely different if the Prius was made to last 16 years (the
annualised cost for the Prius would drop to AUD$100 per annum).

So is Toyota saying you pay a premium to be environmentally
responsible?





Posted by on January 24, 2007, 12:38 pm
 




My real concern was not so much the battery life as the vehicle life.
If the battery last 7-10 years thats quite reasonable.  But for toyota
to say the car itself has a life of less than 10 years concerns me.  I
am very much a buy and drive till it dies sort of car owner.  I have
previously had a manual Mazda 626 which lasted 21 years (1 engine
recondition) and a Mitsubishi Nimbus which is still going strong after
14 years (one replacement automatic transmission and another not so far
away).

For the price of a Prius I would expect a lifetime of at least 16 years
(if not 20).  When I calculate the total purchase and lifetime running
costs (petrol, insurance, maintainence, tyres, etc) for a Prius
(assuming lifespan of 10 years) and compare it to a V6 Camry (assuming
lifespan of 16 years) I get an annualised cost for the Prius of
AUD$500 per annum and for the V6 Camry of AUD$800 per annum.

That means that even with the much lower petrol costs, the shorter life
makes the Prius a more expensive option.  The calculation would be
completely different if the Prius was made to last 16 years (the
annualised cost for the Prius would drop to AUD$100 per annum).

So is Toyota saying you pay a premium to be environmentally
responsible?

______________________________________________
Sorry, Phil. I can't discuss this with you any further unless you adjust
your newsreader back to indenting replies. Until then, happy motoring.



Posted by Michael Pardee on January 24, 2007, 1:04 pm
 


My real concern was not so much the battery life as the vehicle life.
If the battery last 7-10 years thats quite reasonable.  But for toyota
to say the car itself has a life of less than 10 years concerns me.  I
am very much a buy and drive till it dies sort of car owner.  I have
previously had a manual Mazda 626 which lasted 21 years (1 engine
recondition) and a Mitsubishi Nimbus which is still going strong after
14 years (one replacement automatic transmission and another not so far
away).

For the price of a Prius I would expect a lifetime of at least 16 years
(if not 20).  When I calculate the total purchase and lifetime running
costs (petrol, insurance, maintainence, tyres, etc) for a Prius
(assuming lifespan of 10 years) and compare it to a V6 Camry (assuming
lifespan of 16 years) I get an annualised cost for the Prius of
AUD$500 per annum and for the V6 Camry of AUD$800 per annum.

That means that even with the much lower petrol costs, the shorter life
makes the Prius a more expensive option.  The calculation would be
completely different if the Prius was made to last 16 years (the
annualised cost for the Prius would drop to AUD$100 per annum).

So is Toyota saying you pay a premium to be environmentally
responsible?


================================================================

Your question really highlights an area of contention: when is a car at the
end of its useful life? I have mostly bought cars that were at what the
previous owners considered the end of their useful lives for 30 years. My
belief is that 80-100K miles is the sweet spot. At 50K miles it is very hard
to tell how a car has been treated; at 100K it is very hard to hide. Any car
that is in good condition after 100K miles is likely to give at least 100K
more before it is really done. Exceptions are those with time bombs, like
the Taurus automatic transmission and some of the '80s GM ABS. Years seem to
matter most in how the interior holds up - the Royalite plastic suffers
most.

That's the thing we don't know about the Prius. Is there a vital part -
battery, hybrid transaxle, inverter - that will not reliably make it past a
particular milestone? In terms of miles, I am confident the answer is "yes"
because plenty of people have made it into the 200K mile area wthout
trouble. It's the years we don't know about; the model has only been out ten
years now. OTOH, in those ten years no trouble spot has emerged.

There is no "sure thing" in buying cars, but our two 2002 Prius cars have
been the most reliable cars I've ever owned. I've only had two new cars
before and they were both *far* less reliable than the Prius. One of the
Prius we bought new in November 2002 and the other I bought a few months ago
with 103K miles on it. I handed down my 22 year old, 240K mile Volvo to my
son-in-law when I bought the second Prius :-)  'Research and decide' has
served me well.

Mike



Posted by Michael Pardee on January 25, 2007, 12:55 am
 


ah... "yes" meaning "no!" <8^P - - - Mike



Posted by Michelle Steiner on January 24, 2007, 5:09 pm
 



When has any car company officially said what the expected life span of
a car is?

--
Support the troops:  Bring them home ASAP.

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