Dilemma: cheap 2006 or New?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by TheNewGuy8, May 3, 2011.

  1. TheNewGuy8

    TheNewGuy8 New Member

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    Hi all,

    So I need to buy a car this June. I'm 27 and my previous cars were a hand-me-down volvo wagon and then a used 97 honda cr-v. I've been excited about the possibility of getting my first 'real' car and have decided that a Prius makes the most sense. I'm very financially stable and would be buying the car for cash.

    So here's the dilemma: my father, who has been driving a prius for 5 years, just bought a new car (Audi A7, droool). He is offering to sell me the Prius for the lowest possible trade-in value (b/c of tax reasons he needs to actually charge me a 'fair' price, though he can make it as low as is feasible). He has a 2006 champagne prius that I'm pretty sure was the top package when he got it (it has nav, back up camera, leather, bluetooth, etc.). He thinks the price would be around $12k.

    He's taken impeccable care of the car - always dealer-serviced, no accidents, driven responsibly, etc. It has 55k miles on it.

    Here's the dilemma: for the past number of weeks i've been imagining myself in a new Prius. His car is not in a color I would prefer (I have my eye on the new blue with dark interior and he has champagne with light interior), and I really like the new interior and exterior styling of the 2010 model over the gen2. I don't have any real need for navigation (I don't like the nav on his car, and much prefer my phone's built-in system.

    Have any of you been in a situation like this? I know its an amazing deal, and it would cost me at least $25k to get a Prius III with leather and upgraded sound (plus money for tinting and fog lights and all of that - at least another $1k-$1500).

    Money isn't a HUGE factor here - I can afford the new car without a question, it's just the anxiety of being suddenly faced with a very good deal.

    Because of family issues I probably could not turn around and trade this car in or re-sell it for the profit to upgrade to a 2011. That said, this is something I MIGHT be able to do a year or two from now.

    Sight, any thoughts?
     
  2. TheSeer

    TheSeer New Member

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    If you take the used car, you will gain respect in your family for being "financially wise". The Prius is getting in short supply, so you might have trouble finding exactly what you want new anyway.
     
  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Tough call if you say money isn't a huge factor. The 3rd gen is overall a superior car.

    The hand me down is obviously way cheaper but most of the warranties are gone. That said, that isn't very high mileage and you should be able to drive it for many more miles w/o major problems.

    Despite you not liking the nav much (I have factory nav on mine), you will likely find it much more convenient to use than your phone. I had a slow older Android phone w/Google Navigation and also can use the free MapQuest iPhone app (on my iPhone 4) and also have Garmin Nuvi units for my nav-less car. Guess which I used 99% of the time? I used the built in nav system.

    It's always there and the screen is larger besides having some nice UI touches. I don't have to get out my bean bag mount, hook up cables if the battery is low, put it away when leaving the car, etc.

    I'm leaning towards you taking your dad's car, driving it for a year or two. Then when you can sell it/trade it in, go get a new or used 3rd gen... or maybe by then the 4th gen will be out. In theory, the used or new 3rd gens will be more plentiful as production should be back to full capacity by then.
     
  4. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    An 06 for 12k in this market is a great deal. Buy it. Then in 2012 or 2013 you can trade it in for a plug-in-prius for probably more or less what you paid your dad for it.
     
  5. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    How tall or short or far from 5'5" tall are you?

    Be very careful of the 2nd gen 2006 driver's seating, compare it to the 3rd gen and others (Civic is very good for its size). it's a very small, non height adjustable seat in the 2nd gen Prius, that offered virtually no leg support for me. My mistake bigtime. I had some headroom with dome shaped roof, but visibility was terrible, always ducking to see signs.

    3rd gen is a larger seat frame with more travel and height adjustment.

    3rd gen feels more robust and solid to drive, although 2nd gen Touring owners said they felt good.

    I wouldn't expect a 4th gen regular Prius for 4 years from today, and then you'd want another year of so for it to gel, so 5+ years.
     
  6. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    The above post sounds like good advice to me. We luv our 2006 and I am a 6-footer, never noticed a problem. But definitely try it on for size. I recall now, the ceiling clearance to my head was a concern of mine before we bought the Prius, but not now. Maybe I shrunk. I agree the 2006 color palette was less than exciting, except for the brilliant white, right?
     
  7. TheNewGuy8

    TheNewGuy8 New Member

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    OK I have a few more details:
    The car is in perfect condition, it was the top trim level available with xenon headlights, up'd sound and nav, etc. My dad bought the 7 year / 100k extended warranty (so that would run out in 2013 I guess).

    I need to look into it, but I think that by the time the warranty ran out I wouldn't have a problem trading up.

    I'm leaning heavily towards taking the car. It seems just too good of a deal to pass up. I guess I can wait a bit to get the car I REALLY want (and who knows, maybe by then we'll have a more exciting array of plug in hybrids).
     
  8. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    Buy it. If you live in a area where there is winter snow/salt, a Gen II would make a nice winter car and you can later buy a Gen III for a summer car and keep driving the Gen II in the winter :p

    Mike
     
  9. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    Man, I'm really in the camp that you should buy the new 2010-11 Prius. It's just like you said - you've always seen yourself in it and you don't like the color of your dad's. If money isn't an issue, then buy the car you want. :)
     
  10. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    You will be perfectly happy with the Gen II, and you will feel the same way about the Gen III as you do about the Gen II when the Gen IV comes out. Is that clear?

    I own a Gen III, and I would be happy to get a Gen II at that price, with that warranty, mileage, and knowing the complete history of the vehicle. There's nothing particularly special about the Gen III.

    Seriously, when the Gen IV comes out, we'll all be talking about what a bucket the Gen III is.
     
  11. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I beg to differ. I don't give car companies free passes on anything. For, I guess 'most people' the 2nd gen interior worked for them. For me, and countless others through the years here on PC, 2nd gen interior was jacked up. I don't care how may MPGs a car gets, if it's grossly uncomfortable, I'm out of there.

    It's like the driver's seat, puny thing that it is, was seriously out of adjustment, but it couldn't be adjusted.
     
  12. TheNewGuy8

    TheNewGuy8 New Member

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    I'll have to see what I think when i test drive today or tomorrow. I've driven my dad's car a bunch but I can't remember specifics. I don't remember ever being uncomfortable.

    I will say this - when I test drove the package III gen3 prius (cloth interior) I was asTOUNDED by how awful the quality of the cloth was. I would be forced to get leather upgrade just to avoid that atrocious center armrest and door accent fabric. Its like 1985 fire retardant child pajama fabric - for some reason my skin crawls every time i touch it.
     
  13. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Keep in mind the HID headlights have given some problems and are notably more expensive to replace than halogens. search around here. You mentioned Champagne color. I didn't know they made that color for Prius. Was it repainted?

    other than that IF you're comfortable in it, I guess go for it.
     
  14. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Like said before, IF you fit and are comfortable in your father's (compare it to his Audi)

    I think go for the 2006 and pocket the money. It's only a car. You get leather seats, that's big bucks in a 3rd gen whose Prius IV at $29k comes with crappy little wheels with plastic covers (if you take them off, wheels are ok, but not great IMO).
     
  15. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Just to put a different perspective on things, while I do like the GenIII outside I feel that the GenII is roomier. (I know it isn't though, it just feels that way with all that open room upfront not taken by the "bridge")

    As to the seats... Well they are not like the Lexus seats, but I have taken this car for multiple 1500mi to 2000mi trips just fine. And by "trips" I mean leave one day and get there 20-30 hours later with night spent sleeping in the seat at a reststop. My butt is still functional, and what more can you hope for?

    The fabric does indeed feel cheap, but its better than some others I have felt in newer "competing" non-hybrid cars of the same era. There are leather seat covers that actually replace the fabric and look stock. Some dealers actually do this to their lower packages. Catskinz maybe? If you are interested I can dig up the name. But it is relatively cheap and feels great according the posts I have read. It is on my list of "to do"'s.
     
  16. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    For me, it started with being up far too high in my 2009. At first, trying to push up the mirror in my way (while driving, dangerous!), then realizing, I'm ducking down to see things. Then realizing, my legs are mostly flailing and not supported. Amazing how I overlooked these things while initially gaga over driving a hybrid.

    anyrate, comfort is personal, if it works for you, it works.
     
  17. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Yes, they are more expensive but you can buy the replacements at http://www.amazon.com/Philips-Xenon-Headlight-Bulb-Pack/dp/B00480J4J6 which are currently $55 (~$50 when I ordered).

    If you go to a dealer, they will possibly ream you for labor besides wanting $150+ for the HID bulb alone. It's an easy DIY job for some. For me, it didn't turn out that way :(, I eventually had to pop off the front bumper cover after the darn clip came off (http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...d-tank-trying-replace-passenger-side-hid.html).
     
  18. TheNewGuy8

    TheNewGuy8 New Member

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    Thanks so much for the insight everyone - this is very helpful.

    I'm 5'8" so heigh is not an issue for me. If anything not seeing the nose of the prius (either gen) will take some getting used to.

    I like the cabin of the gen2, its mostly going to be a question of how the car drives. I was amazed how much I really liked the gen3 driving. We'll see if the lower power of the gen2 is significantly joy-reducing.
     
  19. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    Sounds like it is a Salsa red Gen II. I find the Gen II is fine to drive, but I much prefer a Gen III for comfort and a more stylish looking car. The Gen III fabric is just fine, yes leather would be saweet, but the fabric is comfy too :)

    Mike
     
  20. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    Even in a Gen II, I can still hit 75-80mph on the on ramps getting on the Interstate. The Gen III has noticeably more Mad Powa, but a Gen II can still haul nice person if you cram that little Go pedal to the floor boards ;)

    Mike
     
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