Are you driving a Prius because you're Green or Frugal?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Glenn G, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    I am not particularly "green" and I didn't buy the Prime to save money. I traded in a manual transmission Mazda Miata for it because I started to hate driving in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic. I have owned it for over a year and have just over 6000 miles on it. I may have saved $200 in gasoline but have probably lost $5000 in depreciation, so I have certainly not saved money with it. That said, I am somewhat of a nerd (ex-Navy Master Chief Electronics Technician) and I really enjoy the nerdy features of the car. Also a Vietnam veteran and a victim of Agent Orange. Because of the complexity of the car, if it were not a Toyota I would not have bought it.
     
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  2. mrwhsprs

    mrwhsprs Junior Member

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    I suppose the short answer is: budget; fuel economy; reliability; safety.

    We bought our first Prius, a 2010, less than 3 months ago. We were looking for a used vehicle within our limited budget that would have much better fuel economy, reliability, and safety, compared to the 2000 Saturn SL2 that it would replace as my daily driver and occasional family vehicle for us and our two children. I did extensive research on various makes and models, and came to the conclusion that for our current and foreseeable needs, a Prius would be the most logical option.
     
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  3. CraftyCoder

    CraftyCoder Member

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    1. Very inexpensive for my 25 mile daily commute.
    2. Prius reliability record.
    3. Overcame my revulsion towards the standard Prius looks.

    Pleasantly discovered:
    1. An amazing car for stop/go traffic -- wish I knew about this earlier.
    2. DDRS cruise control.
    3. The smooth quiet ride in EV.
    4. No harm to move car to closer parking place during lunch. I wouldn't do this with an ICE due to wear/tear for really short trips.
     
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  4. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    D.)
    None of the above.

    I drive one because my company bought one back in 2010.
    THEY bought Priuses back then for reasons that are their own....but in the years that have passed since 2010 we've been replacing all of our cars with these weird little Hello Kitty minivans that you see on the roads now.
     
  5. SaraBBrown94

    SaraBBrown94 Active Member

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    Neither. The car is expensive and would take forever to break even in terms of old prius cost and gas mpg over this one. I got it because I like competing with myself on getting good mpgs, the quiet drive of electric, racing people at stoplights and watching their reactions when a prius takes off silently and faster than their carbed ricer can, and because I've come to like the way the car looks. (The old priuses look like ticks)
     
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  6. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    As a city driver, I agree that it's really nice to have no engine running when sitting at a full stop in traffic. Also, no need to warm up an internal combustion engine for short trips.

    Worth noting: I discovered that "B" -- which is designed for down-hill regenerative braking -- is also useful in start-and-stop ("creep-and-beep") traffic. You still have to use the brake to come to a full stop, but speeding-up/slowing-down is smooth and seemingly less stressful than the gas-brake-gas-brake of a traditional car.
     
  7. Starship16

    Starship16 Senior Member

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    Thank you for your service, Master Chief. And you bring up very good points. The depreciation wipes out all, or most of the savings on gas. But only if we sell? (most owners probably don't even give it a second thought.) The 25K I spent on my 2016 Prius would have bought 15 yrs of gas for the Camry I traded in, and paid for any future repairs. And I also got a lousy deal on the trade-in. You're right, I'm not really saving money with this Prius. It's nice to have a new, high-tech hybrid car... but just don't crunch the numbers! :ROFLMAO:

    (I saw several used 2016 Prius Three's on the dealer's lot. All had about 40-50,000 miles. They are asking $23,995.:eek:)
     
  8. JoeEngineer

    JoeEngineer Junior Member

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    I'm not particularly green, and I don't believe I will save money overall by using less gas. For me it was the technology that attracted me to the Prius Prime. My brother lives in California and has a Volt. He took me for a drive recently and I was hooked on the technology. I like the reliability of Toyota as well, and did not want to go fully electric yet due to range issues, especially in a Canadian winter. I'm close to work, so the electric range of the Prime was perfect for me. My gas guage is still showing full since I bought it, over a month ago! In fact, I need to use some gas soon to prove the guage works. I see where car technology is heading, and it is changing fast, especially battery technology. Should be very interesting over the next 5 years...
     
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  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    That is the price range of end-of-lease, BMW i3-REx. Go for a 2015 or later to avoid some of the infantile problems but you get 72 miles EV and a 40 MPG @70 mph, cross country car. The 168 hp rear-wheel drive is nice too.

    Full disclosure, our 2014 BMW i3-REx was dropped off at the dealer this morning with a gas leak. About two months ago, a fuel pressure sensor was replaced so hopefully just a loose fitting. When working, the car is great but repairs take ~48 hours to get the parts. <GERRRR>

    Bob Wilson
     
    #89 bwilson4web, Jun 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  10. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Active Member

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    I want to reduce/remove gas usage, at no extra cost.

    I don't want to burn gas, but don't want to spend much more money to achieve that. Hope car makers can lower their cost to make PHEV and BEV.
     
  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm on my second Prius. I didn't buy either one new, so I never took a giant depreciation hit driving off the lot. My first one appreciated by $3k in value in the first four months I owned it (that was early 2008, when, you may recall, gasoline in the US hit $4 and change before summer).

    I drive them because I am a shameless lover of ease and luxury, and I had never spent as little effort looking after a car as for my first one, which I drove until 230,something thousand. If this one is as trouble free, I might worry about losing my skills, except for oil changes and tire rotations. Also, being able to stop any old place and stretch out and sleep in heated/air conditioned comfort is a nice luxury too.

    Also, there's the useful view of a fuel-efficient car as insurance. Whether gasoline swings up to $5 or down to $0.50, it affects my life only one third as much as it would have in my former (before Prius 1) vehicle.

    If I'm contemplating an off-the-cuff road trip, I can think one third as hard about the expense.

    I disagree. Gen 1 looked like a rather spiffy little car. Gens 2 and 3 look like speed bumps.

    -Chap
     
  12. douglasjre

    douglasjre Active Member

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    In 2008 I had a MTG, 2nd MTG, two student loans, a Car loan, full coverage, and $1,000/month gas bill. I dreaded my bills. That's when I vowed NO MORE interest, loans, full coverage.

    Now I live frugal, no longer have any loans for anything whatsoever. All my bills are paid off. I rent out part of my house and therefore have no living expenses. Both of my Priuses cost me less than $8k each. I got minimal insurance for $600/yr, paid off all my debt by negotiating payoffs for less than the amount owed, and stopped wasting money. I got my sig other to stop driving her gas guzzling Jeep and follow my way of thinking. I still work two jobs but instead of spending money every month, I'm banking all the money I once wasted. Consequently I will retire at and early age. My Prius is part of my Dave Ramsey way of life!
     
    #92 douglasjre, Jun 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
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  13. SaraBBrown94

    SaraBBrown94 Active Member

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    AHAHHA SPEED BUMPS. Yeah the first model prius blended in with other cars well enough. Headlights were a little weirdly shaped but overall not a car you would notice.
     
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  14. SteveMucc

    SteveMucc Active Member

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    have you tried using cruise control? unless you're in a spot where people are rampantly trying to cut in line (e.g. sneaking up right to the last minute and trying to cut in on the wait to the Holland tunnel instead of waiting in line like everyone else did for the last 45 minutes). The cruise control is awesome for creeping traffic. going through the tunnel, all you have to do is tickle the cruise stalk or just tap the gas and the car will move and stop for you automatically.
     
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  15. triggerhappy007

    triggerhappy007 Active Member

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    Even in traffic, turn on your cruise control, set the cruise, it will auto set to 28 mph, hit the distance control to one bar. It will accelerate and brake for you. If you stop for longer than a second, you have to hit resume on the stalk or hit the accelerator. This works much better than 'B' mode in traffic.

    You mean the i3-REx is a cross COUNTY car, right? You have to fill it up about every 1.5 gallons of driving cross country.
     
  16. Witness

    Witness Active Member

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    I bought the 2013 PiP to be frugal on gas, because of high mileage commute. However, being green was a great side effect.

    I bought the 2017 Prime for the above reasons, but also because I frickin' love driving a Prius despite road-hate and having a car that continues burning gas in traffic/stop is so ancient.
     
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  17. WesleyG94

    WesleyG94 Junior Member

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    For me, its a mixture of both. Mainly, I wanted a reliable car that I could put 200,000 miles on if I needed to.
     
  18. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    Probably the choices should have been green, frugal, and nerd. I fall into the latter category. The first Prius that I ever saw on the road was my 2002 Gen1, of course I was looking at it from the inside out. It was months before I saw another Prius on the road.

    I have always been intrigued by electric cars. I bought my first new car in 1992, a Toyota Camry wagon. I justified purchasing a new car only by making a commitment to myself that I would drive it for ten years. I remember telling people at the time that maybe my next car in the year 2002 will be an electric car!

    In the late 90's it looked like that might be possible as I followed the progress of the world's first mass-produced electric car, the General Motors EV1. I thought maybe electric cars are finally here. But like many I was disappointed when the EV1 program ended in 1999. The biggest issue back then was that battery technology just wasn't there yet.

    So when the year 2002 finally arrived there were no electric cars, other than custom mods. However there was this thing that Toyota had recently come out with the year before called the Prius hybrid, which had an electric motor and could actually run pure electric for short periods at low speeds. As Mr. Spock would say, I found it "fascinating". And when I sat in one for the first time I was surprised that it was roomier inside than I expected, including the back seats. However all I heard or read was don't go there, it costs too much, it's new technology, repair shops won't be able to fix it, EMT workers won't pull you out of your car because they will be afraid of getting shocked, etc. And of course the everyone-knows-this-so-it-must-be-true admonition that the hybrid battery will die just after the warranty expires and will cost $4,000 to replace.

    However I also heard that there was an online community of Prius owners who were reporting that the car was fantastic, well built, and fun to drive. One of the members here @john1701a had one of the earliest if not the first Prius website. I decided that with that type of support I wouldn't be alone. I also learned that Toyota had been producing the Prius in Japan for over four years by that time. So with a combination of extreme trepidation and excitement, I bought a car with revolutionary new technology that I not only didn't know anyone else who owned one, I hadn't even seen one on the road. But I never looked back (except when driving in reverse!)

    The Gen1 was everything that I expected. Mr. Spock would have loved it! All kinds of unusual clicks and whirs even when it was just sitting in my garage. Having the engine shut off when stopped at a light was mind blowing. As was pulling into my driveway at night with the only sound being the squeak of the tires on the concrete. And oh yes the gas mileage. I was amazed how infrequently I had to stop at a gas station, and that only to put in at the most ten gallons. Remember this was in 2002. My standard joke when someone mentioned that gas prices had gone up was "yes I read about that in the papers"

    I also made a commitment to myself to keep the 2002 for ten years. Gen2 came out in 2005 and was nice but I was sticking with my commitment. Then in 2006 they had a $3,100 federal hybrid tax credit. And the resale value of Gen1 was quite good. So I bought a new 2006 Gen2 and sold the four year old Gen1 for a few thousand dollars less than I paid for it. So it cost me very little to upgrade.

    The Gen2 was a whole different ballgame, a huge improvement. To start with better exterior styling. And the interior was futuristic yet not geeky. I know the Gen2 exterior styling gets knocked now, but remember this was over a decade ago, it was definitely an improvement from Gen1

    And the Gen2 was the first Prius hatchback. All of a sudden I had the equivalent cargo space of a small crossover. I had kept the 92 Camry wagon and used it often for carrying things when I owned the Gen1. However once I had the Gen2 I almost never needed the wagon to carry things, and have to actually remember to drive it every couple of weeks (I still have it).

    However what I really liked best about the Gen2 was the amazing technology that came with it even though I got one of the relatively low end packages. It had a backup camera, almost unheard of in 2006 except for Cadillac Escalades and the like, and some (not all) Lexus models. And the screen is a nice large 7" in size, with high resolution. That size is more common now, but for years I would ride in the few other cars that had backup cameras and laugh (to myself) at the little 4" screens. In fact some cars still have backup camera screens that small.

    And it has 3-door smart key system, also nearly unheard of in 2006. What a treat. And for safety it has VSC which almost no cars had at the time.

    Well actually I guess what I really like best is the extreme reliability which I had not expected. That's why I am still driving my Gen2 well past my 2016 ten-year commitment. It's like the Dick Clark of automobiles it just doesn't age. And my car is not a fluke, most long term Prius owners have experienced this reliability. In fact there is a funny "bug" that many 2005 Gen2 owners are up in arms about. It turns out that the odometer in the 2005 model stops at 299,999 miles. Plenty of Gen2 owners have exceeded that and are furious that they can't track their mileage anymore and that Toyota won't fix it. As a workaround they have to use the trip odometer and add the numbers together. Well it's funny to me anyway, maybe not to them.

    EDIT - removed some OT content from my post which was already way too long.
     
    #98 Since2002, Jun 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  19. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I have the impression that is the plan for the new CUV model of Prius. This current Prime rubs some the wrong way, since they don't want it to be defined as something other than a "family" vehicle. Diversity is key to growth though and there is an undeniable market shift away from what made the first hatchback Prius a draw.
     
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  20. karthik1107

    karthik1107 Junior Member

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    Historically, humans have bred and trained Cows to produce more milk a day - that said, it doesn't surprise me that they also expect more MPG from the dinosaur fuel they have to buy with their hard earned money. Prime/EV owners are special breed of people that like to live of energy from a distant Star.
     
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