Camry owner considering switch to Prius Prime

Discussion in 'Prius Prime Plug-in 2017-Now' started by Jnbrown, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Jnbrown

    Jnbrown Member

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    I drive a 2002 Camry XLE that I bought new. It has 225,000 miles on it and I was going to just drive it until its dead. But something happened that may have changed my mind. Our good friends recently bought a Prius Prime Premium and we rode in it the other day. I had no idea about this car until then and now I am thinking I want one. I have considered Prius in the past but never bought one because I felt it was a poor riding noisy car with uncomfortable seats but I think the Prius prime is game changer for me. So here I made list of why I should get the Prius:

    The Camry is expensive to maintain, recently I have paid a lot of money for repairs like brakes, struts, alignment, engine mounts, etc. It also burns oil I need add a quart every two weeks. It also has a lot of leaks some of which I had repaired and others I was told I could live with.

    The Camry still looks and drives good, if I sell it now I could get maybe $2500 for it. If I wait I will continue to pay for repairs and its value will keep going down.

    I was impressed with the ride and the comfort of the Prius Prime.

    With the 25 mile range I could drive it to work and if I can find a way to charge it here I could drive it back home without using any gas.

    My commute (San Diego) has terrible traffic. There is a car pool lane part of the way and car pool ramps I could use that would really make it easier to commute.

    I checked my electric bill and I have enough Tier 1 energy that I could charge the Prius with at 19 cents per KWHR which would equate to $2.35 for a gallon of gas. It would also be great to not have to visit the gas station very often.

    I did start looking here in SoCal and found one dealer who is offering the color I want at $500 below MSRP.

    I am afraid some of the rebates / credits could disappear so I don't want to wait too long but wondering if in 3 to 6 months there will be better deals.

    So does my reasoning make sense? Is there something I am missing?
    Thanks for any input.
     
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  2. dalcon95

    dalcon95 Active Member

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    If you can afford buying a new car, I would go for it. There are all kinds of federal($4500) and local credits you can get for buying one too. Also maintenance is low on a Prius. No belts, no starter, no alternator. Change fluids, filters, and tires for the first 120,000 miles. Brakes last awhile because of regenerative braking. I have gone over 150,000 miles without concerns of brake replacements. I currently don't use any gas on my daily commutes, which with less engine use can extend if any future oil leaks unlike your camry. Even on gas alone, I have gotten 64 mpg. So alot money savings in the long run. I bought the Advance trim and love my Prime. It is the best car I've owned so far. I like the flexibility of having the choice to drive only on electricity or gas. I would highly recommend a Prius Prime purchase.

    #1 in Easley,SC
     
    #2 dalcon95, Mar 20, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  3. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    When the new 2016 Prius first came out, I saw a few here in So Cal. But as soon as the Prius Prime hit the market, I am seeing way more of them! The Prime seems to be more appealing regarding looks and and economic features. If I could afford one, I would.
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    makes sense to me.
     
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  5. Jnbrown

    Jnbrown Member

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    Dalcon,

    Thanks for the great feedback. I HATE buying new cars. When my daughter needed a new car a few years we found her a Camry that was a few years old with 20K miles and was like new for half the price of a new car. That is what I would do for my next car, but like I said I think this a game changer. My wife and I are planning to retire in the next few years so I don't really want spend the money on a new car but I think over the long term it will pay off.
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    plug in's have huge depreciation, so you may want to look at something a year or 3 old. but cali may be different.
     
  7. HPrimeAdvanced

    HPrimeAdvanced Senior Member

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    California has some fantastic deals for people who buy Prius Prime. You can get the basic $1,500 cash if you buy the car. This is from the California rebate program. You can also qualify for a $4,500 federal tax credit. My city, Anaheim gives you $1,000 cash after you buy a 240 volt charger. Toyota gave me $1,000 off the price of the car when I bought it in February. The electric only range for the car is somewhere over 25 miles as much as 35 miles depending on if you're driving in heavy traffic or not. Driving slowly in heavy traffic or on surface streets you get much better fuel range and I've reached 36.3 miles in that sort of driving environment. The good weather out here also gives us terrific mileage. I bought the Prius Prime Advanced and I would recommend that car as a great value. Oh yeah, I got $100 credit on a plastic card from chargepoint because I bought the Prius Prime! How can you refuse this?!

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  8. Jnbrown

    Jnbrown Member

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    Good point, somebody in out neighborhood is selling a Prius plug in, but those older ones don't have any range and I think don't drive as nice.
    I could hang on to the Camry for 2 or 3 years and then look for a used 2017 but that falls under the category life is too short.
     
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  9. dalcon95

    dalcon95 Active Member

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    The new car smell has to have some value. LOL

    #1 in Easley,SC
     
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  10. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Colorado is even better.

    $4,502 federal credit.
    $5,000 state credit assignable to the dealer at purchase.
     
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  11. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Mine *appreciated* since last fall. The KBB value went up, despite the extra miles and time.

    In other words, the market is growing and so is demand.
     
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  12. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

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    If you end up buying one let us know. We will give you the secret hand signal you give other Prime drivers you pass on the road.
     
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  13. allotropic

    allotropic New Member

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    I recently replaced my 2008 Altima S with the Prius Prime Plus. The Altima was averaging about 26-27mpg with mostly highway driving, but commuting 400+ miles a week meant that I was using about 16 gallons of gas per fill-up.I had considered a Volt or a Bolt, but decided on the Prime because it's a phenomenally efficient vehicle, both as an (short-ranged) EV and as a HV.

    Couldn't love the car more. It's certainly noisier than my Altima, particularly on rough road surfaces, but the ride is still composed and it handles surprisingly well due to the added weight of the battery pack. My daily commute is about 80 miles round trip, mostly on California highways, with no workplace charging, but I still average around 60mpg and can almost get through 2 weeks without fueling up. Since it sounds like your commute is a lot shorter, the Prime makes even more sense, given that it's more efficient than the Volt as an EV, and you don't need the added range.

    The main rebate to watch is the $1500 California Clean Air Vehicle Rebate. As of this post, it's about 44% claimed, and I haven't heard much on whether or not they'll be adding more funds for next year. My estimate is that, if they don't, the current runs will run out in a month or two.

    Toyota MIGHT offer a bigger rebate as the 2018 Prius Primes roll in later this year, but I don't know if it'll be as good as the $1000 cashback + $1500 CCAVR. Still, it could be that supply finally catches up with demand for the car later this year, and dealers will be more inclined to slash more off the MSRP. Right now, it's hard to find anything that's more than a few hundred off.

    Also: check with your energy provider to see if they have special rates for PHEV/EV owners. Up here, PG&E gives a pretty deep discount (about $0.12/kWh for off-peak use) for PHEV/EV owners-- and that seems to apply for ALL electricity use, not just the bit that goes into your car. It has a customer cap, however, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's still room for us.
     
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  14. Jnbrown

    Jnbrown Member

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    I was just on the CVRP website and you are correct. Do you think the funds will run out that soon? I am not sure I can even find a car that soon, I was told the end of next month for the model / color I want.
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed. other than the loss of the middle rear seat and the hatch space, the prime is head over heals better than the pip.
     
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  16. allotropic

    allotropic New Member

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    I've heard estimates that the funds will run out by Q2, but who knows. My understanding is that car sales tend to pick up as the year goes on, but I don't know if it'll be draining at 1%/day or what. We had the opportunity to buy one that was on the lot at what we felt was a fair price, but we were pretty flexible about color.

    I imagine Toyota will probably offer a bigger rebate when they're ready to roll out the 2018 model, so if you miss the California rebate, you can maybe wait for a better manufacturer's rebate. Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and CA will replenish the funds (but maybe with a lower income cap) and then we would have been worrying over nothing!

    Or buy your car from out of state ;)
     
  17. CaliforniaPrius

    CaliforniaPrius Active Member

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    Beware, 25 miles is from the driver's handbook. I only get 20 miles. It depends on your driving style.

    Prime's all speed adaptive cruise control helps with congested traffic in a sense that you don't need to worry about distance, brake, acceleration, etc. It is a bless.
     
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  18. Jnbrown

    Jnbrown Member

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    I think I am going to love that feature since the freeways speeds here can be anywhere between 0 and 80 MPH at anytime.
    My commute home often takes 1 hour with traffic and 25 minutes with no traffic.
     
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  19. pricoaster

    pricoaster Member

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    One of my most favorite features. I don't use the freeway that much during my daily commute, but on the weekends I'll often use them for further distances. For example, I went up to the valley this weekend from OC, and set the dynamic radar cruise at 75...there were times when it brought me to a complete stop, sped me back up, and maintained a safe distance at various speeds. It took a little while to get used to when I first used it, but I feel completely comfortable with it now.

    As for EV distance, I got my car back in November and estimated distance was in the low 20s. Over the past few weeks since the weather's warmed up, my estimated range is now in the low 30s. This is with the AC set to auto at 73 (76 when the sun is out).

    Love this car, I came from a 2006 Prius with 197,000 miles. Had no major maintenance with that car. The hybrid battery did die at 145,000 miles, but the warranty is to 150k, so I got a new hybrid battery for free. My justification for the Prime was my daily commute is less than 25 miles, the tax credit, CA incentive, and cheap electricity through a time of use plan (.13/kwh cents overnight). I rarely use gas during the week, and I've filled up about once every 5 weeks. My last fill-up was in Palm Springs a few weekends ago at about 1200 miles on the tank (and I still had a quarter tank left) because gas was cheap at $2.75. Based on your current car situation, and if you can afford it, I'd definitely recommend looking seriously at getting a Prime.
     
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  20. geguia

    geguia Member

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    great car - just under powered on hills.

    If gas savings mean a lot to you - get the prime.
     
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