Buying a replacement Prius

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by pbratt, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. pbratt

    pbratt Junior Member

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    Folks - I've been a proud prius owner since 2007 (Owned a 2004 Gen II from 2007 to 2012, and then got a 2008 Gen II Touring in 2012). My current 2008 Gen II Touring has about 119,000 miles on it and the value (I used Quiken on a monthly basis to evaluate the value) has fallen to about $3,000 for a private sale.

    Last summer someone backed into the hatchback hood and caused some body damage, which doesn't bother me, but the rear lid is starting to crack a bit more. The stealer quoted me a price of $350 to replace the rear light and the broken tail light cover. my two lighter outlets have also burned out, and replacing both fuses will cost $100 total.

    While I'm fine with replacing these, I do wonder if I should look for a newer Prius instead of putting $$ in to my current one. The car is our second car, and generally I put 4k miles on it a year (my wife put on a lot of miles for work when it was our only car). I'm also realistic that the Hybrid Battery will go soon as it is 13 years old, thus requiring another significant expense. If I got a replacement second car, I would like to get a new or used Prime, although my wife would prefer to get a new Honda Insight (she likes Honda) or a slightly used Chevy Bolt.

    Any thoughts? We have funds, and are not in a huge rush to make a decision until one is forced upon us. Many thanks!
     
  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I thought repairing an old car is always more economical than replacing it. And I also thought buying a brand new car is always more expensive than buying a used car. That was until I was introduced to Prius Prime. This situation probably does not exist where you live, but in the northeast and west coast, Toyota has been giving very aggressive rebates and incentives on Prius Prime ever since they introduced PP back in 2017. If you are willing to travel to either coast and drive back PP to take advantage of the $4000 cashback being offered. Combined with the $4500 tax credit you can claim for next year's income tax, you may find it cheaper than buying any used cars or repairing your old Prius.
     
    #2 Salamander_King, Jan 17, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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  3. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    My rule of thumb was “if repairs start exceeding what car payments would be it’s time to consider a replacement“.
    Now life is too short so when I see something I really like I go for it. ;)
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    stay away from honda hybrids for the time being, bad rep.

    prime and bolt are two distinctly different cars. if the bolt range works for you, it's a great car.

    if you need more than a couple hundred miles on a charge, get the prime, all else being equal.
     
  5. pbratt

    pbratt Junior Member

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    Thanks everyone. My wife finds the Prime's shape weird, but I rather like it. Toyota has delivered for us for over 14 years, and I'm personally inclined to go for the Prime. Thanks everyone! P
     
  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Hmmm. Don't get me wrong. I love my Prime. It's nearly perfect for me. But if you're only averaging a little over 300 miles a month does that mean you don't drive on long vacation trips? The Prime is the perfect mix that gives you mostly adequate EV commuting without the range anxiety of an EV on road trips. If there are no road trips, would not a full on BEV make more sense? No wondering if you should change the oil or if the gas is going sour are two pluses if you have an EV and don't need long range capability.
     
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  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Not answering this for OP, but I was thinking of trading in PP for a BEV exactly for the reason you mentioned. But in the end, I did not get a BEV, not yet anyway. One big reason is that there aren't any BEV (new or used) less expensive than PP in the current market in our area. I am without a car for now. When the time comes, I may have to search again, but there is a good chance that I won't find any BEV (new or used) that will be cheaper than a brand new Prius Prime.
     
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  8. srivenkat

    srivenkat Active Member

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    I considered used BMW i3 (2017+) with the REx option but eventually settled on the Prime for reliable gas engine availability. If OPs range needs are small, perhaps the i3 can work. Used i3's are very cheap. 2019 i3 at 153 miles range (IIRC) has double the battery capacity of the original 2014; 2017 in the middle range.

    EDIT: Perhaps an i3 BEV (without the Rex engine) would be less expensive to maintain than with the REx option.
     
    #8 srivenkat, Jan 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  9. srivenkat

    srivenkat Active Member

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    OP can also look at @bwilson4web posts here about his i3 (vis-a-vis his Prime), if interested.
     
  10. mrchowmein

    mrchowmein New Member

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    if the only real problem is the taillight and fuse, change those yourself. you can change the fuse yourself for a few dollars. youtube a guide if you need one. The process shouldnt take more than a minute or two. same for the taillight assembly. replace your cracked one with a use one yourself. This might be a tad harder if you need to pull off the bumper. Both repairs could prob be done for less than $100 for parts if you did it yourself. If you feel that it's too much work, you can probably buy the parts and bring it to an independent shop for installation that will still be cheaper than the stealership.

    i would hold off on a new/used prius. 120k miles is nothing for the prius considering how reliable they are. There is still a lot of life left in your prius. HOWEVER, if you just want to get a new car, then get a new car. The sooner your replace your car, the higher your total cost of ownership will be over the long run.
     
  11. Mikhail Bond

    Mikhail Bond Member

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    Have her drive one. It's more exciting on the inside. I personally like the sportier look
     
  12. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    I've found that it's almost always worth it to fix a car that is otherwise in good shape. Spending $500 a year on repairs is a much smaller drain on your bank account than a $300 a month car payment. There are exceptions such as when you reach the age where you are likely to be buying your last car. The other exception is when the new models do things that your existing model can not. The Toyota Sense 2.0 safety package, for instance, is not something you'd find on a gen2 Prius. :)

    I try not to factor in the fun factor, but it's always there. I've enjoyed my Prime for 15 months. I love the fact that it's basically a sophisticated electric car that can be called into service as a cross country touring car without any advanced preparation. It's safety features have saved me from a few accidents. There may be better cars available, but the Prius record is pretty good. :)

    Dan
     
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  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I have never seen BMW i3 in the wild. I actually didn't know much about the car at all. So, I did some googling and found this video:

    OMG! It's an ugly car. I thought Gen1 Leaf was ugly, but this is worse. And how cheapy looking interior and exterior is for a car with an original price tag north of $50K. Then I checked the used BMW i3 (2017+) on Carvana. Used 2017-2021 BMW i3 For Sale Online | Carvana There are 9 listed with prices ranging from $17,990 to $27,990. Yeah, low mileage, but for the lowest price, I can get a brand new Prius Prime LE which I know I can sell for a profit next year after driving a year. For the highest price, I can get a brand new 2020 LEAF S Plus (226 miles EV range) OTD before applying the $7500 tax credit.
     
    #13 Salamander_King, Jan 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  14. srivenkat

    srivenkat Active Member

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    I think this is one of those polarizing designs; you either love it or hate it. This has liquid (refrigerant) cooling for the battery; not sure if the Leaf has it. IIRC, @bwilson4web had both the i3 and the Prime and elected to keep the i3 and replace the Prime with Model3.

    EDIT: The seats look skinny but are apparently very comfortable.
     
  15. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    As I understand it, LEAF is still air-cooled, which is one reason it suffered early degradation especially in a hot climate. For me, if I buy a BEV I will very likely not to keep it any longer than a few years. It is a very rapidly developing technology, 2-3 years old BEV is totally obsolete. I would not want to spend ~$20K on a used 2-3 years old BEV knowing that it would have no resale value after driving it another 2-3 years. My guess for the reason Bob sold PP is that it has only 25 miles EV after that is a gasser and that it had more resale value than i3 for trading to M3. I sold my PP and kept my wife's gasser PathHY for the simple reason that our current vehicle needs require large cargo with towing capacity and PP had more resale value than 5 years old PathHy.
     
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  16. yaun

    yaun Member

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    Not being able too access the rear doors without opening the front doors is a particularly odd design choice.
     
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  17. srivenkat

    srivenkat Active Member

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    Certainly resale value is a major factor in these decisions, but having lurked on the bmw i3 forums for a while, I can say that most owners (including @bwilson4web ) are in love with their i3 and find it a lot of fun to drive around town in. Buying it cheap (relative to new), many realize they won't be able to sell it, so buy it for the fun factor (plus the fact it probably has the least environmental footprint during manufacturing using carbon fiber with hydro/wind power). If I were to buy one, I would lean toward the BEV version (2017+ without the REx) to keep the risk of expensive BMW repairs low.

    EDIT: Some like the higher seating position as well.
    EDIT2: One thing I wish it had was DRCC (radar); it relies on the camera which doesn't always do a good job, apparently.
     
    #17 srivenkat, Jan 19, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  18. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, that seems to be the sales point. Not having seen the real i3, I can't say how I would like it. The only BEV I have seen and driven so far is LEAF (Gen2) which was acceptable to me even though the quality of finish seemed to be inferior to PP. The main attraction was that it was the only affordable BEV at ~$20K price range after all the rebates and incentives. I also had an interest in the Ioniq EV no money down $99/mo lease offer, but I could never find a car near me.
     
  19. Sarge

    Sarge Active Member

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    A former co-worker of mine has an i3 Rex and he loves it. I have sat in it, but didn’t ride in it. It’s a nice car, but quite small, and weird with those suicide doors. I think it has 15kwh battery or something, good for about 100 miles I believe before needing a charge, and uses CCS for DC (which is good). The weird thing is the Rex has a tiny gas tank, something like only 9 or 10L (~2.5 gal), so it also only went about 175km or something on gas, so certainly not a long hauler, lol. Also has a TINY trunk. But he didn’t really travel with it so he didn’t care. His is a 2014 and my disclaimer is I am pulling those numbers from memory, so I could be off, lol. :)

    I am still leery of German cars though. Toyota all the way. (y)
     
  20. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I don't even know if we have a BMW dealer anywhere close enough. Even if there is one, the cost of repair would be higher than Toyota's for sure. Not that Toyota is cheap to fix. I did not consider it initially due to lack of tax credit, but after viewing some reviews, I am starting to think Bolt maybe a great BEV for my needs. When the time comes, Leaf with tax credit vs Bolt with deep discount must be compared.
     
    #20 Salamander_King, Jan 22, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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