Ascertaining value of CPO, year, & miles before buying my first Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by blhootz, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. blhootz

    blhootz New Member

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    Hi folks. I'm getting closer and closer to buying my first Prius. Hopefully within the week. I have pretty much settled on a 2012-2015, Four Trim Liftback. Now I just have to find the right one from the available stock around me. And despite doing my homework here on Prius Chat, I've still got a few, random questions for y'all to help me make the right decision. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and answers.

    MAIN QUESTIONS

    1) Toyota Certified Pre-Owned... worth the extra $$? Prices are already high across the board here in Northern California. Some dealers *especially* so. How much extra would you consider the benefits of a CPO to be worth?

    2) All other things being equal, how much more would you consider a 2015 to be worth over a 2012? What about a 2013 over a 2012? (At this point, both power train and battery warranties are going to run out pretty quickly on a 2012.) In other words, if a pretty good deal can be found on a 2012, are there any reasons whatsoever to nevertheless pay more to get a newer vehicle? Even just one year newer?

    3) Low mileage... seems silly, but... how low is too low? I've caught glimpses of other posts here implying that one should be wary of super-low mileage Prii, but I can't rightfully understand why. What about <3000 mi/yr? Why in heaven's name would this be a problem?

    BONUS QUESTIONS

    4) Okay, I understand that the navigation system sucks. And I understand the solar roof ventilation thing isn't all it's cracked up to be. This may be a silly question, but that's never stopped me before... Is there any possible reason why a Four *without* the Deluxe Solar Roof package might in any way be better than one with. (Like, for instance, any problems with having the cd slot behind the screen. I'm grasping at straws here, aren't I?)

    5) If I were to stumble upon a decent Five Trim but preferred the 15" wheels, is there a market for 17" wheels out there? Do you think there might be people interested in swapping? Heck, could I even make a little something off of "trading in" my 17" for 15"?

    6) If I were to stumble upon a good deal on a Plug-In Prius, but don't have the ability to charge at home (apartment) or at any of my regular work places, it is kinda silly for me to go with a PIP, right?

    Many thanks once again.
     
  2. blhootz

    blhootz New Member

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    EXTRA FORUM BONUS QUESTION: I know I'm still new on Prius Chat, but do all posts have to be approved by a moderator? When might that change? Thanks. And thanks to the mods who oversee this forum.
     
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Just the first 5 posts. It helps with stopping spam before they pollute the place.
     
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  4. blhootz

    blhootz New Member

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    Completely understand, having once run a forum that was overtaken by spam robot spiders, or something like that. Yeesh, what a nightmare!
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome! that's a lot of questions. start with kbb.com for local pricing.
     
  6. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    1. I'm not a fan of CPO programs. How much additional warranty are you buying? Chances are that if the part hasn't failed then it won't while the warranty is in effect. How much is "peace of mind" worth to you? Most of us drive used cars that have expired warranties.

    4. The head unit in my 2010 is flaky in the winter. As I don't use the CD player I can't say if it even works now. My problem is that the buttons won't select the AM band which is an issue once a month. Why not copy your material to a USB drive to eliminate the possibility of the car eating a CD?

    I've found over almost 9 years of use that the Garmin is just about as retarded the OEM nav unit. I wouldn't pay a premium for old hardware and software.

    5. Yes. It depends on the condition of the rims.

    6. No. The PiP has a larger battery so you'll see higher fuel economy even if it is never plugged in. The features of the PiP lie between the liftback's trim levels. If the car has the features you want then consider buying it.
     
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  7. yeldogt

    yeldogt Active Member

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    I have bought many CPO cars -- mostly Lexus ES for my business and higher end Luxury for family. My first was a Jaguar back in the 90's -- Jaguar was an early adopter. The idea intended to boost resale prices by offering a full warranty in the resale market -- the cars were also limited to lower mile accident free vehicles with minimum specifications guaranteed. Like anything else -- you have to price and determine if that cost is worth it to you. With high end luxury cars -- finding one 4 years old with low miles is the sweet spot -- buying CPO gave you some condition assurance and a manufacture backed warranty. Buying used from a private party provides no assurances.

    We have 17's on all our hybrids and have no issues ? not sure I would swap out. I typically like sunroof (moon) optioned cars ... not that I open them ... I like the extra light they provide. This is less important in the Prius with all the glass area -- even with black interior. ours all gen 3 fives and gen 4T ... so none have the roof.

    As cars age the options become less valuable -- finding a nice "five" would be ideal
     
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  8. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Just realised I never answered your original question

    1. Prii are fairly reliable so really a CPO is there if you want a guaranteed low mileage and some extra warranty (always ask and get in writing what the CPO warranty covers. Be explicit in the questions and in the responses and never assume something is covered).
    2. I can't say since I'm not in the US but sometimes minor changes are made year-over-year without ever getting a mention so it's hard to say. Of course a newer one will have more of the hybrid warranty remaining if that's your concern. If it's a 2012, make sure the price is good enough that if (that's a big if) the battery fails within a year or two, you've saved enough over a newer car to be able to replace it (and when you do, you're getting a semi-new car cause that engine isn't worn it that much and you have a new battery)
    3. The reason why too low is bad because it means the car has been sitting around a lot OR that it's been driven only on short trips. The former is bad for the battery and the latter is bad for the engine. A Prius is meant to be driven around "regularly". It's fine for it to sit for a few months (I mean, people do travel for months at a time for business or pleasure or may have a 2nd or 3rd vehicle) but it would be nice if the car was driven. For the latter, it just means the engine doesn't warm up to operating temperature so the fluids and oils and internals are never working at the temperature they're most efficient. How low is too low? Definitely <3,000 miles a year is too low. That's pretty much sports car/collectible territory lol
    4. <shrug> lol. I have a model with nav and the solar roof. Parking a Gen 2 with a beige interior beside my Gen 3 with the solar roof and the "dark grey" interior in the summer all day, the Gen 3 is definitely cooler. Also, the model with the solar roof gets (imo) the better navigation system. I'm not a fan of the standard 6.1" Display Audio nav (the garmin-looking one). It looked too aftermarket for me.
    5. Possibly. Those that want to upgrade to bigger wheels typically go for aftermarket so you'll be looking at the conservative modder - the one that wants the factory look and wants the upgraded wheels
    6. Mmm... Possibly. It's a short charge (3 hours on 120V and 1.5hrs on 240V) so even at any mall or grocery store with a Level 2 charger can top up. However, I've noticed that in the US, there's a charge for charging (while in Canada, public charging is still free). so if you still have to pay for a charge, it may not be worth your while.
     
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