Converting to Prius - how did you come see the light!!!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Skateruk, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Skateruk

    Skateruk Member

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    Other than the obvious savings in mpg, what made you decide to buy a Prius?

    I had always been a big car driver - BMW, Merc etc and never even considered a Prius. I dismissed it has a "tree huggers preferred mode of transport" I used to work away from home 4 out of 5 days a week, and travelled by taxi a lot. I became fascinated by one car in particular used by the taxi firm........ you've guessed it a Prius!

    When it got time to change my Merc, I started checking out the Prius............... the rest is history as they say!!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I think of the Prius as the least obnoxious car, for when a bicycle is not preferred.
    The underlying tech has fascinated me for a decade.
     
  3. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

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    My previous car was an ultra reliable 1998 Mazda MX-3 Coupe with a 1.6i Twin Cam engine. Bought 5th hand in Nov 2004, it was a delightful little car with 33,000 miles on the clock and looked like it belonged parked in front of the Cantina at Mos Eisley.
    By today's standards it was thirsty. Not nearly so when the first model came out in 1992. My commute for my entire ownership of this black slipper shaped wonder (the design was "Kammback" like the Prius II onwards would you believe?), was a measly 4.4 miles each way, so petrol costs were irrelevant.

    Then I got made redundant - and my cosy world came crashing down! Taking stock of my outgoing expenses while unemployed, I realised just how expensive the MX-3 had become in "the real world". For example, the insurance costs were very high indeed for what it was.

    After 5 months of nail biting unemployment I realised that I'd never get another job 4.4 miles from home again. Job opportunities seemed to be in distant galaxies, and nipping there in a petrol fuelled vehicle was simply going to be prohibitive.

    I started planning on my next car to replace the ultra reliable sporty looking shiny black flying saucer.....
    Initially, I became quite obsessed with acquiring a small super-mini hatchback style vehicle. I studied the options available - but also had my own list of requirements for my next vehicle. I wanted all mod cons; A/C / Climate Control, great MPG, automatic transmission, electric everything. But I also wanted ultra reliability and a certain degree of finesse - prestige, even, attached to my next car - and running costs had to be CHEAP...!!! I even considered diesels - but really wasn't keen on the noise or vibrations.

    Candidates looked at and discarded in due course were the box-like Mazda 2 circa 2004 - 2007, a raft of Skoda hatchback diesels, the first Mercedes A Class (Eeeew!!), the 2nd version of the A Class Benz CDi which was a lot more desirable.....I even looked at the Mitsubishi Colt hatchbacks series. All automatics of course. I studied reviews, studied MPG, insurance costs, running costs with a calculator....I was neither impressed nor amused....then I started studying the Yaris Diesel - and by extension discovered Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive group of vehicles.

    I did a double take when I first discovered the Prius II reviews, statistics et al. Where was the catch? There really was none! I lurked on Prius Chat for a while, perusing tons of data. Then it dawned on me - I'd finally found the car I was looking to buy.

    I got a late 2008 Prius T Spirit - It had literally everything I had ever wanted in a car and a whole lot more. Digital Cockpit - er, dashboard, unbelievably spacious interior with limousine style legroom in the back, leather seats, built-in SATNAV, e-CVT transmission, voice controls and so much more.
    Needless to say, I'm very, very impressed with "The Spaceship" as I fondly call it.

    Why the Prius? It seemed to be the the best value for money set of wheels available to me. And you know what? It still is.....!!! :)


    iPad ? HD
     
  4. Elaine08

    Elaine08 Junior Member

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    When my '91 Toyota p/u started having problems last summer, I decided that it was time for a newer set of wheels. I'd been eyeing the Prius since its advent into the U.S., but decided to wait until the verdict was in on their reliability prior to any further consideration. Well, with the verdict having been in for a good while, I found an '08 with only 28K on a dealer lot nearby in a color that I like (silver pine mica)... w/pkg 6 (although believe it or not, it was advertised as a "base model") and it was affordable so I took it for a test drive and ended up forgetting about the other types of vehicles that I had considered test driving. It was like nothing I'd ever driven before and just felt like the right car. Simple as that.
     
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  5. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    As I recall when Gen1 came out, it quickly became clear to educated observers that Toyota's hybrid concept could grow to be a significant % of the market. I was not an educated observer myself, but got convinced before too long. As Elaine08 said pretty well above, many of us were "second wave" adopters, just waiting for a time to "jump". Another reason for procrastination, Toyota was saying all models (Camry etc ) would be coming out with hybrid versions, and we were not immediately enamored with the weirdo Prius (as we are now).

    Then around 2006, Congress decided to give a bigger hybrid tax credit (Prius=$3150 credit). By then Prii were selling like hotcakes so you had to move fast to try to get the full tax credit (we did). Congress designed that tax credit to put limits how many Toyota buyers could take advantage, so that all auto companies could participate to develop hybrids and catch up with Toyota.

    But no one ever really caught up, yet, and the % hybrids on the road is less than those educated observers were thinking way back when. Last data I saw less than 1% vehicles on the road are hybrids/plug-ins as of 2012.
     
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  6. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    It was pretty simple for me. Put my money where my mouth was. As a tree-hugging socialist liberal, there was no better car for me with the range, features, and pricing at the time. :)

    I bought mine sight unseen and I had never test driven one or any hybrid until I flew out and picked it up.

    Just picked up a Nissan Leaf last month as that is now the best compromise out there at the moment with the rebates.
     
  7. salguod

    salguod Member

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    We were looking to downsize from our SUV to a mid sized sedan. We had bought the SUV for towing a trailer, but after selling the trailer had no need for something that big.

    We were looking at used Accords, Camrys and Subaru Outbacks when a Prius popped into view in our price range. A little digging showed interior space was the same, cargo space was the same (at least as the sedans) and reliability of the hybrid battery was not an issue as I had feared. We were happy moving from 17 MPG to 25, but going to 40+ was fantastic.
     
  8. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Before I retired I persuaded my company to buy a Prius as my company car.
    Although more expensive than most suitable cars, there were large tax incentives for both the company and myself going to a Prius.
    Because of the high millage I did most previous cars had been diesels that left my ears ringing at the end of a long day. The low road tax and high mpg figures soon proved the extra cost worthwhile "the company buying several more the next financial year".
    When I retired I bought a secondhand Prius, the car I had driven for the last two years at a real knockdown price. So I own a two owner car that only I have driven knowing all about it's immaculate service history and exactly how it's been driven.

    John (Britprius)
     
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  9. Skateruk

    Skateruk Member

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    John, an excellent strategy in both getting to know the Prius and buying one!! Something to think about for those close to retirement who's employer gives them a choice of car and the option to buy when retiring.
     
  10. -1-

    -1- Don

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    :)I was looking for a replacement for my 2011 Lexus IS F-Sport. Shopping for cars is one of my favorite past times. I considered everything. At the end of the day, the Prius was my first choice. Not that I needed a high fuel mileage vehicle, just thought it would be different and fun. I was able to find a good deal on a 2012 Prius Plug In Advance, which added another element of intrigue, electric vehicle. After eleven months and 5000 miles, I haven't been disappointed. My Prius Plug In Advance is the best optioned car I've owned. Well worth the purchase price at 0% financing. Driving in EV mode is both fun and a challenge, which adds additional excitement and some frustration. Currently at 80% EV mode, so my frustrations is no worse than 20%. Well within tolerance.
     
  11. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

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    Bravo...!! Nice one John :D
     
  12. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    It was company policy to offer employees the cars that they had used at the end of two years when they were changed for new vehicles. If anyone that had a company vehicle did not want to buy the car they had driven, and most did not it was offered to any employees that did not have a company car on a first come first served basis at trade in value.

    John (Britprius)
     
  13. OMG

    OMG Junior Member

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    First off my company has two of them 2009 and 2008 with well over 200k miles on them and one of them still has the original battery pack.
    Very good on gas and most people now a days even doctors and such have nice cars but still run arround town in a prius.
    It's ajust a good little car.
     
  14. docmirror

    docmirror New Member

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    I bought my kids a pair of Prii Cs. I drove one for a bit and wasn't completely depressed with the car. Recently, as my Focus was on it's last legs I guess I figured that if it was good enough for my kids, it was good enough for me. I wanted a C, but didn't want to pay the premium for a 2012/13 model. So, I bought a 07 touring with 92k on it.

    My motivation was simply reliability, and cost savings over the long run. I had the Focus for 9 years, and will have the Prius for that long as well. The Focus has 215k miles on it, and still runs good but I travel long distances, and don't like getting stuck out on the road away from home.
     
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  15. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I don't know.
    This question get's asked from time to time. I know I've given different answers in the past. Basically you find the reasons for Prius or Hybrid ownership are very diverse....it's NOT limited to the stereotypical "Tree Huggers" ownership.

    To be honest? One reason I would admit to wanting a Prius, was simply the desire to own something truly different than the typical mainstream ICE vehicle. Usually to get something that isn't simply a cookie cutter vehicle, comparable to everything else on the street, you have to pay a LOT of money. Part of the appeal of Prius and HSD is that it offers a very unique driving experience...at really I think an affordable price. Really, for just a few thousand dollars more than my buy in Price for my Honda Fit, I was able to get a 50mpg Prius, with all the Hybrid benefit and driving reality.

    This isn't the ONLY reason I bought a Prius, but is one reason I wanted one. -The primary reason was probably just the desire for a more efficient vehicle.

    Now when I'm riding in an ICE vehicle I keep waiting for the engine to turn off at stops.
     
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  16. Skateruk

    Skateruk Member

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    lol at The Electric Me - that goes for me too, waiting for the engine in my wife's car to stop when we pull up anytime. She is still amazed at how quiet the Prius is and worries that it won't start up again when driving off!!
     
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  17. mathlal

    mathlal Junior Member

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    Skateruk,

    The trigger for us was our son starting school which changed our daily route significantly.

    Our then 2011 Sorento returned 16 l/100km (14-15 US MPG) with 90% city driving.

    Started looking at fuel efficient car specifically in city driving ... the Prius had no match/was a no brainer.

    It took a while to get used to being a long time Subaru driver but after 1 full year, 32 000 km (±20 000 miles) and 5.7 l/100 km (41 US MPG) average driving normally + cold winter, I'm satisfied !
     
  18. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    Hey! It still can be! :)

    In 2004, I was looking for a new car. I found a car with many features only found in high-end models. Bluetooth integration was only a dream back them since only a few phones even had Bluetooth. Push-start and keyless entry was practically unheard of. When I listed the features for friends, they named all the high-ends and got excited. When I told them it was a Prius, they asked me why. Simple: I get all features they wanted, plus double the mileage, and triple the technology for about half the price.
     
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  19. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    When hurricane Katrina caused gas prices to pass the $3 mark it was no longer feasible to drive a truck that got 10-14 mpg. I could not find a Prius to test drive and all purchases at that time were back ordered 3 months and had a $3000-$4000 markup over MSRP for demand. The insight (Gen 1) was available and discounted, but the tech was intimidating for this DIY'er, so I bought an '06 VW TDI @ 40 mpg.

    Time came for my Son to start driving for school and work so the car would be rolled down to him. I set a price of $25,000 to $30,000 and researched for best mpg and reliability in that price range. The 2010 Gen II Insight and TDI were now back on the market and I looked at several normally aspired eco boxes as well. Some of the later choices actually beat out the Prius for "total cost of ownership" based on my usage. In fact I could have bought 2 lower end Yaris, Fit, Corolla or Mazda 3s for what I was willing to pay...though that would increase other costs. It actually came down to a Corolla, Fit or Prius with the number crunch giving Prius 3rd place on total cost. Still having regret not buying the 2006 GEN I Insight, I decided to cross over and try the Prius this time while price, availability and demand were buyer friendly (right before the Tsunami).

    Well the Prius has been just about everything I expected. Although the Corolla or the Fit would have had the better TCO (still does), I have no regrets. My lifetime mpg is 49 and it has been very reliable so far with 70,000+ miles. We will be in the market for the Wife's replacement vehicle in 2 years, but the competition now is much better. With the New Accord Hybrid, C-Max and various other models out now or soon, the decision will be just as, if not more involved.

    Based on GEN III issues beginning to now surface, and my meticulous maintenance and repair schedule, I figure about 4 years from now and I dump the Prius. No telling what we will have by then, even in the non-carb states.
     
  20. -1-

    -1- Don

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    :)I agree. With the Prius Plug-In Advance, you can add LED headlights and tail lights, LED DRLs, HUD, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre Collision System. Any other car with this list of features would run 5o-60 thousand plus. Add the Electric/Hybrid feature and who knows? I finally have a Bluetooth telephone system that works. Unlike my previous 2011 Lexus IS and 2005 MB SLK 55. The entire list of features are functional day to day usage or safety items. I know bare bones. When I was in the Air Force, stationed at Torrejon, Spain, I purchased a new 1972 Seat 500 (Spanish Fiat). It had zero options unless you count heater and defroster. It was functional and served it's purpose. Since then, I expect more. My 2012 is my daily driver that delivers exceptional mileage, a pleasure and it's fun to drive, with every modern day option, feature I would want other than possibly a standard sized sun roof. Might not be a head turner, but it's beautiful on the inside.
     
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