2012 Prius 5 w/ATP 27K Miles.... $23K... Should I?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by minnyprius, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. minnyprius

    minnyprius Member

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    Good morning PriusChatters!

    Well, I have found the car in the subject line... Only feature it doesn't seem to have is the solar/sunroof. It came from FL (Which to us in MN usually means flood/hurricane car). Carfax looks decent... Owner traded it in at a Chevy dealer near Orlando and then they pretty quickly sent it off to auction, which is how it ended up up here.

    It seems like a screamin' deal... $35,000 car, 1.5 years old for $23000. It's not certified, our local dealer does this "Lifetime Powertrain Warranty" thing where if you perform all scheduled maintenance at their facility, they cover the powertrain as long as you own the car. I'm sure this does not include the battery, but that's covered to 100,000 miles anyway.

    Something in my gut is saying there's something wrong with this car. I'm probably going to be able to make it over there today to look at all the body panels, etc.... but I'm more worried about water damage.

    Thoughts? Encouragement? Caution?
    Would you take out a 6 year loan on this car to make the payments more affordable? I'd love to have all the fancy stuff (radar cruise control is my favorite thing, probably ever, and heads up display is just plain nifty).

    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  2. jhinsc

    jhinsc Senior Member

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    Go with your gut. At least have it checked out at a Toyota dealer, get the history of the car, etc. Carfax? There's a reason why the car was immediately sent off to auction, otherwise the FL dealer would have put it on it's used car lot.
     
  3. minnyprius

    minnyprius Member

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    My thoughts exactly.... CarFax looks good. No wrecks/reported damage.... But yeah, I'm just not super confident with it... but it seems like such a good deal... hehehe.... dangit! I'd love to own that color combo (Blizzard/Dk Grey) with that feature set... and this is about the max my budget can handle, and the cheapest I've seen an ATP car priced at.

    Would you concern yourself with Toyota Certified? That's essentially just an extended warranty, and they tend to be about $1K more than non-certified... and I've never suggested anyone to get an extended warranty. But, when considering spending $20K+ on a used car, it seems like an attractive thing...
     
  4. haole man

    haole man Member

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    If it doesn't smell right, walk away.
     
  5. minnyprius

    minnyprius Member

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    Also turns out that the dealership group it was traded in at was a Toyota dealer. The fact that they didn't want to sell this car tells me something. I think I'm talking myself right out of this car already. Keep the comments coming if you want. Interested in people's thoughts... Thanks everyone.
     
  6. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    I would recommend having it inspected by an independent mechanic. The dealer wants to sell the car so they might not do a good inspection for you. Not sure where in MN you are, but hybridcars.com has a hybrid mechanic list posted here. There are 3 on the list in MN. Here's another independent shop that I found through Google that specializes in Prius repair. A shop like that would be best able to evaluate each vehicle for you.
     
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  7. minnyprius

    minnyprius Member

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    I'm in Eden Prairie/Twin Cities area. I do have a mechanic friend that will look at it for me if I decide to move forward, and that is a good idea.
     
  8. minnyprius

    minnyprius Member

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    I also can't help but wonder if I should just wait for the 2015... will I kick myself if I buy this one now and the 2015 is even more the perfect car for the long-haul ownership plan? hehehe...
     
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  9. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    I think I would wait to see what 2015 brings!:)
     
  10. Bucco

    Bucco New Member

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    Yes, the 2015 will be different. I am of the belief of not buying a car that is the first run of a new series. However, I think there are probably a lot of people waiting for the new series, which means until the supply becomes very abundant the price for the new series will probably be quite close to sticker price, or at least not as discounted as much as a Prius usually is. And then of course, the price for a new 2015 will be much higher than the price of the 2012 you are looking at. Also, when a new model is in high demand (assuming it will be) Toyota usually loads it up with all kinds of minimally useful stuff such as paint protector, interior seat sealer, expensive floor mats, Toyoguard, etc. As far as the Florida dealer not wanting to keep the car, I wouldn't put too much significance in that - who knows why? Could be a cash flow issue, or maybe they already had too many used Prius in stock, or maybe trying to sell new Prius Twos or Threes instead. My thought about your question of financing the car for six years. Of course, I don't know your finances, so I can only comment in generalities. Aside from a much larger amount of interest you will pay financing it for six years, you will also be upside down much sooner with such a long term loan, and should you decide to sell the car before the end of six years you will owe more than the value of the car. There is a popular consumer advocate from Atlanta called Clark Howard (I don't know if you get his radio talk show up there) who says we shouldn't finance a car for more than three years, and if that makes the payments too high, then we are buying too expensive a car. I think there is a lot of sense to that. Also I would think that if you had the car checked out, aside from any mechanical issue, it would be pretty easy to spot water damage.

    Having said all this, in your initial post you sounded very excited about the car, and I think that is important when buying a car. I do think following one's gut feeling is also important, but is your gut feeling based on valid reasons or just conjecture? Anyway, good luck, whichever way you go.
     
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  11. minnyprius

    minnyprius Member

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    Thanks, Bucco, for the very well thought-out response! I agree with the financing for 3 years or less. Unfortunately, I've never been able to do that. I would agree that I have more expensive tastes than I should, but I love quality, and features. I've researched "consumer/commuter/road trip" vehicles essentially non-stop for 20 years. I've honed in on what I find is a perfect value, even if the cost is a little more than I'd prefer. To me, the Prius 5 is essentially a Lexus at, as a used purchase, a bargain price. My thought is if I purchase a vehicle with all the gadgetry that I find irresistable now, the likelihood of needing to change/upgrade/replace prematurely goes down. Plus, everyone keeps saying the Prius is a 200,000 mile vehicle even in the worst conditions (a friend of mine has beat the crap out of his (5 accidents) and it just turned over 200K, still runs like new). I bought my smart hoping it would last 200,000 miles, but I don't think that's likely at this point (90K). Plus, it's fine for just me commuting or running errands, and parking, of course, is ridiculous... but other than that, after 6 years, I'm kind of tired of it. (I can't believe I just said that! Sorry smartie!!). I want quiet and smooth, and I want to improve on fuel efficiency.

    So, a well equipped Prius seems like the way to go. And I feel better (for some reason) stretching my budget for a newer one with less miles than finding a slightly older/higher mileage cheaper one; in the name of long-term-trouble-free ownership.

    And yeah, I'm a geek about cars... the Prius 5 gets me all excited! ;o)
     
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  12. minnyprius

    minnyprius Member

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    PS... do we have any thoughts on when we think the 2015's will become available? This fall? Next spring?
    Do you think the 2012-2014's will drop in price significantly when they come out, or do you think that's already happening?
     
  13. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    Final order date for 14's is May 12,2014.
    There is no initial order acceptance date for 2015's yet.
    Your guess is about as good as anyones on the rest. Sorry.
     
  14. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    Has Toyota committed that the 2015 model year will be the new design? I think they're just saying that the new model will come out in 2015, likely as a 2016 model
     
  15. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    The 3rd gen prices should drop a lot after the 4th gen is officially revealed and for several months before its release. $5,000 off sticker was easily found for 2009 Prius in Spring of 2009. The 2010 arrived in May that year. However there was the great recession happening at the time and I think accusations were starting to fly at Toyota also (sudden acceleration cases, floor mat problems, James Sykes, etc.... )
     
  16. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Chart I've seen is the release year for redesigned Prius is 2015, so it should be called a 2016.
     
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  17. CapeAnn

    CapeAnn Member

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    I just got myself a 2014 Prius. I will be picking it up today. As per the 2012 with 23K...you could get a new base Gen III v2 for around that price if you look competitively. Also, if it doesn't feel right I would tend to trust my gut instinct.

    I also had the thought of waiting till Gen IV, but being an early adopter rarely works out in my case. Plus, as mentioned there will be hordes of people lining up to get the new model. I feel with a 2014 model all the kinks will have been worked out. Not to mention better IIHS crash ratings vs 2010-2012 versions.
     
  18. minnyprius

    minnyprius Member

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    So, just a quick update... I went and looked at it, and LOVED IT!!!! Everything checked out... all body panels, etc looked unaltered. No moisture issues. Only two problems were allignment (pulled to the right slightly) and driver's door interior panel was broken (as if someone leaned REALLY hard on the arm rest and snapped it). So, I went home and crunched some numbers, and while I could make it work now, have decided (for now) that some aggressive debt reduction is in order first. If I buckle down for the summer, I should be in good shape by fall. if I can hold off until mid-2015 (when the new version might be out) I could have nearly everything but my mortgage paid off. So, we'll see. Now I have a carrot dangled in front of me.

    There's still a part of me that wants to change my mind and make it happen... If I do, I'll take pictures. :eek:)

    Good suggestion on the new 2014, but I really want all the toys (and have realized just how wonderful the lumbar support is on the 4 or 5). The radar cruise control, LED headlights and 17" wheels really make the car feel far more upscale and enjoyable for potentially longer ownership.
     
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  19. BrianPB

    BrianPB Member

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    Definitely have it inspected, also run a Autocheck report. I was looking at a used Lexus that showed a clean Carfax but the Autocheck showed an accident!
     
  20. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    That's no screamin' deal. Alot with lower miles on eBay cheaper.
     
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