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Possible alternative to the V (which I like) might be the Fit and the....

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Rhizzlebop, Dec 14, 2011.

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  1. Rhizzlebop

    Rhizzlebop New Member

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    ...other suggestions?

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not here to V bash as I really like this car.

    However, I've started crunching the numbers on the "economies of economy" and I'm undecided if a V is my best choice.

    First off, if I buy a V I want the trim v. I want the pleather, and heated seats and other goodies. Even still strongly considering going for the AT.
    So, at a min, looking at 30K and a max say 35K (cause I haggle HARD)

    Well, looking around, not much is comparable. Especially since I'm not much on sedans with trunks and low seat position.

    Well, I saw the Fit from Honda. Havn't driven one yet, but just looking online and saw a couple on the road it looks interesting.
    It has a more sport wagon shape. Hopefully a bit higher seating position than a sedan, and I'm hearing people averaging more like 35 MPG, well over the EPA. (Up around 37 highway).

    The MATH: A V at an average of 45mpg over 150,000 mile ownership cycle at $4 per gallon yields $13,333 dollars in fuel.
    A Fit at an average of just 30 mpg over 150,000 miles at $4 per gallon is $20,000 in gas.
    So, the net difference is less than $7,000.
    A fully loaded sport series Fit can be had for about 20K.

    Compare that to about 30K for a haggled V 5 and thats 10K difference that'll never be recovered.

    Now its a different car, and I dont want something that feels like I'm in an unsafe tiny little econobox that rides rough. But I do think this is worth consideration.

    Anyone else thought about this? Thoughts?
  2. stevemackie

    stevemackie New Member

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    It's hard to compare apples to apples here. The Fit is a significantly smaller car (didn't fact check here, I'm sure someone will do that for me now).

    When we started car shopping a few months ago, we decided the CRV was the vehicle for us but wanted to wait for the 2012 model to come out to see what it had to offer over the 2011. The 2012s were taking too long and we needed to upgrade ASAP, so 2011 it was. Then, for whatever reason, I looked at the Toyota website again and there was a new model...the Prius v.

    Saying to myself "Prius v? What the heck is that," I clicked the link. After reading the list of features the 2011 CRV could only dream of, the almost parallel interior size, a nearly identical MSRP plus half the fuel consumption rating, we were sold.

    While the "pay-back" on a Prius v vs. a [insert cheap sub-compact here] may be a million years, when you're in a market for a particular item and another item comes along that fits your need perfectly yet the cost to operate is significantly cheaper, the payback is instant.

    Yes, the CRV we looked at was 4WD, but we decided it we ever needed the 4WD, we'd simply hop in our 1995 Jeep Cherokee Country with it's 4.5" lift and 31" mud tires. ;)

    2011 CRV-LX 4WD
    MSRP: $28,290.00
    Insurance per Year: $944.00
    Fuel Cost per Year: $3,900.00

    2012 Prius v Base
    MSRP: $27,200.00
    Insurance per Year: $875.00
    Fuel Cost per Year: $2,100.00

    On a side note, we compared a Toyota Highlander to a Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the payback was 43 years.
  3. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    You are running into one of the essential issues when looking at a hybrid or EV - you really need to be driven by more than $'s to choose one.

    I think that the Fit is a great car but it is quite a bit smaller than either the regular Prius or the v. However it is a great deal less expensive, is a fun drive and has a great layout with a lot of useful space. You might also want to take a look at the Cruze Eco and the Hyundai Elantra - both are rated at 40 mpg on the highway. If you want the added space of a wagon/hatch take a look at the Mazda 3 - the 2012's have their new Sky Active engine and drivetrain tech and get great mileage. If you want as SUV style body take a look at the Ford Escape - they are soon going to release an all new version, but they have a hybrid version.
  4. pdp

    pdp New Member

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    I'm going to have to agree with both the above replies, this isn't an apples to apples comparison. There is a dramatic difference between interior volume so depending on one's space needs, the Fit may not even be an option. But if size isn't an issue, then we get into your calculations about mileage and gas savings.

    I've done the hybrid vs regular car comparison many times. The conclusion that I've always come to is that unless you put at least 250k miles on the car, or if you're comparing a Prius to a gas guzzling mini-SUV, there is no way a typical consumer will make up the price difference in price of a car in a similar class as the Prius with gasoline savings (US gas prices).

    So why get a hybrid Prius v? My answer is "because you like it!" In your case, go by what you like and how the car will fit practically into your lifestyle, I don't think you'll make a good choice if you just go by numbers alone.

    Adding one suggestion: VW Jetta TDI wagon
  5. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Two copies of the Prius v I can think of are -

    Mazda 5 and VW Jetta Sportwagen in TDI or 5 cyl.

    If you look at up front cost, looks like a hybrid not worth it financially, but have to consider resale value as well. Prius v will have much higher resale value than a Honda Fit.

    You could save money on a Prius v Three. Cloth seats aren't bad unless you have little children.
  6. Rhizzlebop

    Rhizzlebop New Member

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    Well, my big factors are MPG, Interior roominess (I'm 6'3.5 and 230 lb) along with overall cost and "value" aka what I get for the money.
    Another big factor related to interior space, is ride height. I much prefer a car large enough that I feel like I'm sitting higher and easier to get in and out of.

    I may find the fit is just too small. Just as a Chevy Aveo is too small.
    I thought I might find that they are similar in interior space.

    I may have a wife in the next year and a half and may have a child not long after that and any car I choose will be around for probably 7 to 10 years so it probably does need to accomodate those things.

    A friend of mine said he saw a Fit and leather interior was much closer in feel to the CT200h than the V. I find that hard to believe for half the car price but we will see.

    I really wanted the CT200h. Was hoping for a nice "luxury" economy car with decent interior room. That isn't the case. its small and smaller and then smaller still. A midget would find that back seat tight.
    I love the "niceness" in it.

    Then looking at the V its interior is not as "nice" for very close money.
    So it just made me at least open the door to consider the Fit. I'll report back my thoughts after I drive one.

    To above poster. I don't really wanna consider an elantra or jetta because its still a low ride height like a sedan. The V is higher which I really like.

    As for the TDi, sounds nice, but when you add 20% for higher fuel cost, it negates the 40 mpg, and I'm concerned about diesel maintenance.
  7. GotARibbonBluev5

    GotARibbonBluev5 Junior Member

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    In my driveway, I have both a blue ribbon Prius v5, and a 2009 blue ribbon Honda Fit.


    The differences beyond the color are like night and day.


    The Prius V is what the Fit should have been.


    The suspension of my Fit can only be described as slightly better than a Radio Flyer wagon.


    If you like “feeling the road”, as in every bump and crack in the asphalt, then the Fit is the car for you. With a short wheel base, the Fit extenuates rocking front to back as the wheel pass over bumps in the road. This makes a cross country trip on the freeway in a Fit, a long ride.


    The low profile tires of the Fit, give you little protection from pot holes. We had to replace both of our front tires within a month of purchase, due to sidewall failures after hitting Minnesota pot holes.


    The adage “You get what you pay for” holds very true here.
    The Prius v has:
    1.) much more cargo room, has such a superior ride and suspension system
    2.) is so much less noisy inside going down the road
    3.) has room for your passengers legs and headroom in the back seat
    4.) has a climate control system
    5.) has enough kick to easily merge with freeway traffic, something that the Fit really strains to do
    6.) gets better mileage consistently


    The heated leather seating in the v5 is wonderful, in the Fit, no leather seat options are available. But, unlike the v5, a leather wrapped steering wheel is an option in the Fit. The arm rest between the front seats, is a $395 option in the Fit.



    The only reason that my wife and I did not pop for a Gen 3 Prius at the time we bought the Fit, was because of that plastic console extension from the dash to the armrest that divides the driver and passenger seats. With long legs, as a passenger, I could not cross my legs in the passenger seat. In the new Prius C coming out this spring, Toyota has finally gotten rid of it.


    Mileage wise, our Fit can do about 37 on the freeway, and gets more like 33 in town.


    Because the cloth of the Fits cloth seat is glued directly onto the seat foam, after market heated seats are not an option. Placing adults in the back seat of the Fit, leaves them with very little leg room, as compared to the v5.


    The only feature that the Fit has, that would be great to have on the Prius V, would be the % life remaining of the engine oil.


    When the Prius C becomes available, we might trade in the Fit, for one.
    Since my Mrs. primarily drives the Fit, and I drive the v5, when I came home with the new v5, she had a bad case of “Prius Envy”.
  8. Rhizzlebop

    Rhizzlebop New Member

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    I will take a test drive but it sounds like the fit might not fit me. pun intended.

    What else did you guys consider before going v?

    Sounds like a Camry can be a good standard bang for the buck option if I can live with a standard low sitting sedan. Around 20K will get you 30 MPG average and 4 decent seats.

    Any others to look at?
  9. skang5

    skang5 New Member

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    if mpg is not a priority, consider getting an acura rdx similar in size and price and both are very well equipped
  10. Rhizzlebop

    Rhizzlebop New Member

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    Well, mpg is a primary concern, right among the top 3 factors.
  11. GotARibbonBluev5

    GotARibbonBluev5 Junior Member

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    I was looking at the Honda Civic, non-hybrid with the trinkets of leather and Navi and so on, it was $25.5K. If you're looking for decent mileage and very little otherwise, the Civic HF (hybrid) can be had for $20.3K - just be ready for a complete lack of accessories (no nav) or leather. The 41 mpg highway is good, 29 mpg city not as good as a Prius. The HF does not suffer from lack of get up and go to merge on to the highway in my test drive of it.

    I test drove a Honda CRZ, a very zippy (200 hp) Hybrid at $20K. 35 city, 39 highway mileage. It had very poor visibility behind and to the rear right. In the drivers seat, there was something built into the foam of the seat that poked me just above the left hip. I think the only car with less storage on board, is a MX-5 Miata (I got to drive my sons MX-5 all last summer, a ball to drive once you look past getting in/out of it). Around here, the Asian kids go ga-ga over CRZ's.

    Comparing a loaded Civic to the Camry SE, the Camry is a nicer car for the same cash. The Camry hybrid, might be your compromise, as long as the amount of trunk space left over is not a bother to you.

    A tipping point for me, was that Toyota has upgrades to the nav system coming, where as I never heard that from Honda.

    The long and short of buying a Prius, is that you're paying upfront, for lower overall fuel costs tomorrow. What is kind of odd, is that today's low interest rates, point to the future value of money not depreciating an investment made today. That will hold true until the fed reflects the true cost of money, which they are unlikely to raise, as it would completely screw Uncle Sam and his (actually "our")debt huge payments.... If you're familiar with Excel, you might want to try this: look up examples of using the function "NPV". With it, you can get the real value of your "extra" investment to by that hybrid or not. Overall, it was worth it to me.

    The other harder to figure out variable, is what is the expected cost of fuel in the future? If the Israeli's feel threatened enough by Iran, they might do the unthinkable, and preemptively strike them. All of the crazy Abdul's Omar's, would then be unleashed, and oil would most certainly stop flowing as it is today. It is regrettable, that the current administration remains totally clueless of this risk, as they continue to flip off our neighbors to the north, by stopping, instead of fast tracking Keystone. China is all to happy to buy that oil, if we remain too stupid to seize the day and opportunity.

    I wish too, that there was a kit, to add Compressed Natural Gas capabilities to the V. Honda makes a CNG version of the Civic, CNG is quite a bit cheaper to run, than gasoline, and there are compressors which can run off your home gas line. I've heard that the V has been modified outside of the US. EPA casts a wet blanket here on entrepreneurs, with their fees of $50k/yr/system on manufactures of CNG systems. If we had some form of leadership here, harnessing the power of economies of scale, CNG would uncouple the US from the stupidity that defines the Middle East.

    I am still, Hoping for Hope or Change.
    pineapplehead likes this.
  12. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    I'd second the RDX - my wife has one and it is a terrific car, though when we were buying it this summer I preferred the TSX Wagon -we just got an amazing deal on the RDX.

    It really sounds like you want an SUV or crossover - in an earlier post I mentioned a hybrid Escape - that will give you the higher ride and relatively good mileage. We looked at it as well this summer and the hybrid version is pretty nicely equiped.



  13. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Honda Fit is subcompact and has 'subcompact' driver's seat. No height adjuster on driver's seat. I have long legs and the seat offers pretty much no thigh support (if one likes tensing long legs all day, get a Fit). Shorter legs ok.

    Some mentioned Mazda3. Say what? That is a MUCH smaller car than Prius v. Slide driver's seat back, there is virtually no room to sit behind. I know this car quite well. Not a very good family car.



    Chevy Aveo is well known to be a tin can piece of junk ride. Aveo is in little league minors whereas Prius v would be like one step below the pros.



    Honda Fit seating doesn't hold a candle to CT200h. CT has power driver's seat and it's a darn good one. Adjustable front seat bottom lip and it would be a BMW seat. CT is a hot little car, but too pricey, sits low and too specialized for my taste.



    Honda Fit has a 1.5L gas engine. I already know it's the best of the subcompacts, but it's not in the same league as a Prius v.

    Prius' are stellar vehicles with Hybrid Synergy Drive. These are 'cars of the future' comapred to conventional vehicles which are, to me, old fashioned.

    That said, to keep costs down, have you considered a Toyota Matrix? Those are nice cars and often overlooked.
  14. Rhizzlebop

    Rhizzlebop New Member

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    I have not looked at the matrix but I shall do so.
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    As some people have pointed out, your comparisons are all over the place.

    I suggest you go to Compare Cars Side-by-Side and compare the combined EPA mileage ratings of all the vehicles in question. Also click on the specs tab and compare their EPA size classes, passenger volume and luggage volume.

    Fit has less passenger volume and luggage volume than even the regular (non-v wagon) Prius and is EPA rated at ~31 mpg combined w/an automatic. Regular Prius is EPA rated at 50 mpg combined, ~61% better.

    You'll have to dig around elsewhere if you want to compare dimensions such as front headroom, hip room, etc.

    People here will be griping and complaining about their 2nd gen or 3rd gen Prius mileage if it dips to say ~35-40 mpg due to short cold city drives, uninderflated tires, winter, etc. You're not going to see much better than mileage on the Fit than what people here complain about and that's with highway driving.

    As another data point, you can compare how a regular Prius compares in terms of mileage to the Fit and Matrix at http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/...ce/most-fuelefficient-cars/overview/index.htm and http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/...-fuel-economy/best-and-worst-fuel-economy.htm, in CR testing.
  16. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Using the regular Prius as example, I would only compare it to a Toyota Matrix (not really fair to compare it to the myriad of 4 door trunked vehicles, Civic, Elantra, etc...)

    In this case the Prius is about $3k more than the 1.8L Matrix, and not considering resale at all, Prius can make up the cost difference in much less than 100k miles. But Prius is also a nicer car with some great features like Smartkey and push button start to name a few.
  17. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Thank you very much for your candid assessment of Fit and Prius v.
    I see how that 'fun to drive' factor of the Fit translates into a firm ride for the rear end :)
  18. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    RDX should be similar Prius v with adv. tech pricewise.

    Prius v should get about twice the fuel economy. And doesn't the RDX require premium gas for its turbo engine?
  19. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    2012 Civic HF is actually not hybrid/ IMA. Same drivetrain as regular Civic. They just used the previous gen alloy wheels to boost the highway MPG numbers.

    CRZ is 122 HP and 120 something on torque. Nearly sitting on ground and a 2 seater, but a fun specialty car nonetheless.
  20. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Little heads up - Matrix classified as compact car, so it should be a tad cozy in front for you at 6'3. Its real name is Corolla/Matrix as its a Corolla with hatchback.

    It's tough to compare anything to Prius v, nothing quite like it now. Ford will try to match it with its C-Max hybrid, but that doesn't arrive til well into next year, irc.
    ----------------------------

    To Steve who bought the v over CR-V, good job. Prius v did exactly what it was designed to do, steer one away from small SUV/CUV and into Prius v. Also, one is 24 Mpg, other is 42 MPG.
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