While 48 mpg may be nice, hybrids don't add up right now

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Family' started by Right Lane Cruiser, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. MateriaPanama

    MateriaPanama Well-Known Member

    nevermind about my ford comment, i just read your other post, i was just so shocked to hear that statement that i had to respond immedeately
    no one is more reliable than toyota though, and price doesnt matter, toyota simply does not risk their reputation on any car that might have reliability issues, which is more than i can say for the american automobile companies, sure their big cars are pretty good
    but their small cars are um of unproven quality
    and toyota built themselves up to being the biggest car manufacturer with small cars not big ones so they know a thing or to about them

    any one at this forum ever own a small toyota that was amazingly reliable? im sure lots of you have
  2. donee

    donee Well-Known Member

    Hi Sentra,,

    Everything is biased by conditions and operating. So, in the Prius you would get 175K miles on the original disk brakes. The relative comparison still stands. Some people (my brother when he was 25 years old) only get 25K miles on front wheel drive brakes in metro area driving.

    If you do not budget for maintenance, you will end up like one of these SUV people driving bald tires in the winter (snow storm in the midwest, heavy rain in California costal areas). Its a must, and there is nothing theoretical about parts having a service life. All vehicles have service schedules based on expectateions of various parts service lifes. Not budgeting for maintenance is the most common mistake a first-time car buyer will make.

    The Prius transmission is actually mechanically simpler than a MT. Check it out. In comparison to a AT, the Prius transmission uses about 1/3 the parts. You control the Prius transmission by how far off the point of accelleration you lift the pedal. People get used to it (DAN , XCEL, BESMAPMAN, etc). The computer automatically keeps the engine/transmission ratio at the best BSFC. All you need to be sure of that, is to keep RPM in the olive drab to orange (on my Mycanscan, at least - orange is 2000 RPM).

    The MT is more efficient, power in to power out. But in a car system, its worse MPG's because it does not have the ratio range best suited for the engine at the speed range of cars. That may change with these DSG 6 and 7 speed transmissions.

    The real determiner on if one gets a Prius or not with gas above $4/ga for best TCO economy, is the daily one-way trip range. If its over about 15 miles, go for it. 10 to 15 mi you need to have a garage to run a engine block heater, or live in a hot climate state. Under 10 mass transit or a cheap car might be better. And this is because of the funky anti-polution warm-up techniques programmed into it.
  3. kngkeith

    kngkeith Well-Known Member

    Toyota. Hmmm. I get 200,000 miles out of whatever I've owned. IMO there are just a few models/engines/trans to avoid no matter the make, including Toyota. Toyota's got their V-6 oil sludgers of 00-02. My 04 Highlander has interior hardware problems: the power mirror buttons keep sinking into the dash and the heater temperature control ceased working. Turns out the temp control dial issue is worthy of a number of internet threads, making it a quality control issue. $700-1000 repair at the dealer, but fortunately I was able to repair it on my own with a soldering iron (thank you internet!). My friend's son just fried his 02 Prizm (corolla) engine with 62,000 miles. Turns out the little 4's have a rep for burning oil according to his mechanic. Shame on the kid for not checking it while travelling but still...

    I'm not saying that Toyota makes junk. I just don't think they are worthy of such elevated status. GM gets dinged not because they are a bad brand, but they pushed out some monumentally rotten models (Vega, 80's diesel, etc).

  4. MateriaPanama

    MateriaPanama Well-Known Member

    well while the prizm may be the same as a corolla, its noteworthy that your example of a broken toyota actually wears a chevy (geo) badge

    and toyota is worthy of theri status, as a whole, they are way more reliable than any other car make, and you cant just throw a few examples and say, look they are just as unreliable as anyone else, thats flawed logic

    and i will grant that there have been a few problems, especially recently with a few recalls, but overall they are a ahead of the others, and thousands upon thousands of happy toyota owners will back me up on this

    toyota makes the landcruiser (not the crappy american gasoline version, the awesome everywhere else diesel)
    that truck could represent reliability, i mean the UN buys thousands of them for their dangerous missions, just because of this
    if aliens landed and said give us your most reliable production vehicle and if it doesn't break down we wont destroy you, hopefully we would give them a landcruiser

    also i dont think its gm that gets dinged, i think ford is the one with the worst reliability reputation for any non English car
  5. GrendelKhan

    GrendelKhan Well-Known Member

    For me the economics are easier:
    $1 given to a car company who is trying to make better more fuel efficient cars (and entities further down that chain) is just worth more (to me) than $1 given to an oil company (and entities further down that chain).

    One seems (to me) to be trying to be part of the solution, the other seems (to me) to be trying to be part of so many problems...

    It's overly simplistic, but:
    "I'd gladly spend $2 to keep $1 from going to Saudi Arabia/Iran/Venezuela/etc..."

    I don't want a used car. Been there, done that. And I tried the Yaris, and it ain't for me.

    I think every car should have a hybrid option. I settled on the Altima Hybrid. It's not perfect, but it's basically what I wanted, and got good mileage (for a car that size/power).
  6. kngkeith

    kngkeith Well-Known Member

    My Toyota's have been no more or less reliable than any other cars I've owned. They're good cars, demand higher prices, and are bought by people that probably take better care of them. I'm not sure why different badging on the same car is noteworthy. Corolla's had the same problem. My sample size may be small- 18 cars of my own. The Highlander is the only one that has had hardware problems before 80,000 miles, under 5 years old. Actually, I've never been under the 150,000 mile range before having hardware or mechanical failure problems. I just have my personal experience, and if that's flawed logic, I can live with that. And Ford (as well as GM...Chrysler too) probably would like to erase the late 70's-early 80's altogether.

  7. kngkeith

    kngkeith Well-Known Member

    Sorry to steer off topic.
    Put me in the "it doesn't make personal economic sense, but there are other compelling reasons to spend more to use less" camp.
    And thank you to those that won't buy used, allowing me continued purchase opportunities. There are values important to you that I just don't seem to have.

  8. MateriaPanama

    MateriaPanama Well-Known Member

    right it really doesnt, but i just thought it was interesting that a gm had been used to prove that toyota was unreliable, not to lessen their point, i was just appreciating the irony, you see i like to note irony
  9. WoodyWoodchuck

    WoodyWoodchuck Sophomore Hypermiler

    I can appreciate those that are saying the hybrid was the way I should have gone. Use less gas, better for the environment, cushier ride… What it boiled down to was affordability. I needed a new vehicle, or any reliable vehicle actually but was shooting for new. The last 2 cars I had were bought used and my luck wasn’t very good with them. My budget was for $xxx/month or out the door cost of under $15,000 including the first 6 month insurance payment. With canceling some of life’s luxuries and tightening the old belt I could up that by a little more. But the more I upped it the less of a buffer there is if an unexpected expense comes up. That was the bottom line and no amount of ‘well, after 160,000 miles the hybrid saves more money’ was going to change that. BTW, we had no hybrid buying incentives that I know of in NC to help me make a decision.

    With gas at $4.00/gallon I needed a cost effective, fuel efficient commuter vehicle. Not much in the way of choice in new vehicles (available in the US) within my budget back in July 08. We had the Aveo and the Yaris with the Smart running a little more but still in the running. By using the internet for research, the Aveo wasn’t living up to its mileage claims and seemed it would be hard to get over 40 mpg. With the Yaris folks were reporting over 40 mpg and most were getting over the 36 highway estimate. The smart was getting about Yaris mileage using premium gas.

    All things considered (I can list the reasons if folks are interested) I went with the Yaris. Yeah, I probably ‘suffer’ a little over a luxury vehicle’s ride but I don’t notice as I do not know the difference between them. I never even test drove one before buying, never drove a Prius either. To me it is just a car: transportation, mobility, work/home/store, nothing more. I have the styling, beat-up old Cherokee for fishing! I took all the variables into consideration and got the best deal on cost efficient transportation I could. Never looked back either.

    I’m not trying to sound defensive here, just letting folks know that there are those of us that do not have the hybrid choice as an option regardless of payback in the future. For a $40,000 Volt, the payments would be more than my mortgage! Bottom line is I’ve been happy as a clam at high tide with the Yaris. Rides great, fun to drive, within my affordability range, over 40 mpg consistently, and it’s bright red! No, the pretty girls haven’t been crawling all over me for a ride but I had to make a sacrifice somewhere. The Cherokee doesn’t attract them either but gives them a good laugh as I drive by. :eek:
  10. kw5kw

    kw5kw New Member

    For me its simply saving me money at the pump.
    I drive in excess of 40,000 per year and the most economical vehicle is what I need.
    The price difference of the HCH II over the base civic didn't even enter in.
  11. spitfiregirl52

    spitfiregirl52 Well-Known Member

    I got into an 06 aveo almost 3 years ago. Mind you, I was only 19 and needed a car desperately. So I didn't really do much research (and wish I had). However, I've maintained the car very well. With oil services every 3,000 miles, and I just got new brakes last week at almost 60,000 miles. I've been checking to see my mileage a lot lately, and I get about 27 in town, 37 highway. Which is pretty good because that beats the EPA estimates.

    But... I'm still getting a hybrid in April to cut down on fuel costs (I put about 18,000 miles on my car a year) and for other reasons too. I definitely think its worth it.

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