If Prius got only 30 MPG, would you buy?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by drumslinger, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. drumslinger

    drumslinger future hybrid owner

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    I heard somewhere, and it may be apocryphal, that the Prius is basically a Corolla, and that Toyota, in a masterful stroke of marketing, decided to give it its own identity rather than call it the Corolla Hybrid.

    I know this is hypothetical, but please indulge me, for I have a point. If the Prius were just another fuel-efficient non-hybrid, like the Corolla, except with all the bells and whistles and high-tech stuff intact, would you still buy the car? In other words, could you honestly love the car with as much passion as is displayed on this forum if you got only 30 mpg and not 50?

    I'm not trying to raise anyone's hackles. I'm just wondering if it's possible to step back from the altar of mpg and candidly appraise your Prius? Or is mpg too powerful a siren to resist?

    Don't get me wrong, the Prius is high on my list for a new car, and I will test drive, etc. before deciding. I just think that input from owners with real-world experience, who have lived with their Priuses for a while, can offer some valuable insight that can be had nowhere else.

    I'd appreciate any input you can provide.
     
  2. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Yes... but....

    Here's the thing. I would never buy a car that only got 30 mpg. The Prius is my worst gas mileage car that I've had in a long while. I love the car for all the other stuff that it offers up. But if it only got 30 mpg, I wouldn't buy it... or any other car that was so wasteful of gasoline.

    I don't worship at the altar of mpg. I worship at the alter of NOT burnin gas. At worst, I worship at the altar of GPC.

    But I digress. Yes, the car is really great despite the relatively high efficiency.
     
  3. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    I'm confused by your question? Why would anybody want to pay ~ $5K-$6K more for a car (ie, the Prius) that was (assuming your hypothetical) essentially the same as the cheaper car (ie, the Corolla)? That would make no sense.

    Now, if you asked me, would I buy a Prius that had none of the hybrid technology, and therefore, was at the same price as the Corolla...then my answer would be yes, I would still buy the prius.

    Reason: I want the flexibility of a hatchback, and the Corolla does not offer a hatchback model (to my knowledge).
     
  4. davesrose

    davesrose Active Member

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    The Prius is not a hybrid Corolla though. Its passenger space is more in line with a Camry. What I find impressive about it is the effecient use of space...which is also relevant to its high mpg.

    I'm more comfortable with a mid sized car: my previous car was a Camry, which I liked better then my Corolla before that. My grandmother, though, is a short woman....so when she was looking for a new car a couple years ago, she decided on a compact car. She likes Lexus, so she went from an ES to an IS. I've driven her IS to and from Florida, and while it has a big engine for its size, it still feels like a small car (IE it gets shaked around the highway while my Prius stays put). I also like my Prius for its value and gadgets. It includes most all the luxury features of my grandmother's Lexus, it is still cheaper to buy and uses regular gas, plus it has more features then my grandma's car (Ipod integration as well as Nav).

    Yet it's hard to dismiss the mpgs of the Prius as well: the reason I settled on it as my hybrid was that it got good mileage as well as providing plenty of cargo space (something most hybrid sedans can't offer).
     
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  5. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    The Prius is NOT a Corolla, nor is it similar to a Corolla. In terms of power and suspension geometry it may be similar to a Corolla, but it is a hatchback, it has a lot of technology and features that you can't get on a Corolla. Its a unique car, not a lot of cars you could compare it to.

    I don't think anybody can really answer that question because one of the major things at the heart of what the Prius is...is the gas mileage.

    Its also hard for me to answer because I wouldn't buy a Prius with 50MPG, but thats just me.

    Do I think the car would be popular at 30MPG? No.
     
  6. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    To my point - not at $21K, it wouldn't. We agree.

    But at $15k (or close to what the base Corolla sells for), it would have it's following. Price point, for this segement of the market, is extremely important. Would it outsell the Corolla? No, but that's partly to do with the styling. Most Americans prefer a "traditional" sedan. Much like most Americans prefer a boxy Colonial house, to a contemporary one.

    People (at this segement) choose based on two primary factors: cost and style. Look at how well the Sonata is selling right now. Great price, and IMO, a fabulous looking car (certainly better looking than the Camry).
     
  7. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    Yeah, at $15,000 it would be a different story for the hatchback alone.
     
  8. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    But I expect (and maybe that's what the OP is talking about??), if you pulled out all the hybrid-specific technologies/systems in the Prius, the selling price would be closer to what the Corolla sells for...who knows, maybe even lower?

    What's Toyota's cost just for the HV battery (alone).
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    there are a million if's and's or but's, but to your point, absolutely not. nor would i buy a corolla. i'm in it for the hybrid technology mpg. and low emissions.
     
  10. drumslinger

    drumslinger future hybrid owner

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    I wasn't even thinking about price, but it's an excellent point. Are you saying the Prius is basically a $15-17K car without the hybrid technology? Wow.
     
  11. drumslinger

    drumslinger future hybrid owner

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    An honest answer, bisco. Thank you.
     
  12. Paul58

    Paul58 Mileage Miser

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    Based purely on your hypothetical scenario, no I wouldn't purchase a Prius with all the bells and whistles... I already owned a Honda Fit that gets 32 - 34 mpg city, and and I really don't need all the bells and whistles...
     
  13. ksstathead

    ksstathead Active Member

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    What is any passenger car without its powertrain? The hybrid system is what makes it special. The stereo is a stereo, just like other passenger cars. No rich corinthian leather here.

    The car is defined by its hybrid system and resulting fuel economy.
     
  14. drumslinger

    drumslinger future hybrid owner

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    Good reason, davesrose. I need cargo space to haul around my drums, and I had originally written off the Prius because from the outside it looked too small. Thanks to this forum, and a Prius-owning friend who let me "use" their car as a test bed, I can say my drums fit quite easily, in fact.
     
  15. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    The base Prius is about $21K (maybe a bit less/more depending on where you live, and the demand, etc).

    I have no way of knowing exactly what toyota's cost is just for the HV battery, but my estimate is, the battery (alone) is going to add $3K-$5K to the Prius price tag. Now add the cost of all the specialized/hybrid systems in the Prius, such as the electric motor, hybrid drievtrain, etc...and sure, i can easily believe there is $6K+ in added costs associated with hybrid technology.
     
  16. Teakwood

    Teakwood Member

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    I would not even consider it if it only got 30 MPG. There are far better driving cars out there that get 30-35 MPG for about the same price.

    I bought it BECAUSE IT GETS 50 MPG, and I have come to like it.
     
  17. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    Just as an FYI...If you drive a Prius like a normal car in a very hot climate (i.e. Phoenix), during the summer months, you might only get 40 mpg. Again, that's driving it harder without regard for hyper-mileing. I know, I tried it for one tank and you can easily scuttle high mileage if you are not careful.
     
  18. Colonel Ronson

    Colonel Ronson New Member

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    The Only Thing the Prius and the Corolla have in common is the 2ZR-FXE Engine. The Prius is bigger than the corolla, has climate control, is a hatchback, has a lower coefficent of drag...etc.

    And no i wouldn't buy a prius if it had 30mpg. i'd buy a camry hybrid, which has 35mpg.
     
  19. nerfer

    nerfer A young senior member

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    I agree, except I'm not in it for the hybrid technology. I'm in it for the mpg, however that's accomplished.

    If there was an affordable domestic car that got 40+ mpg at the time I made my purchase, I very well might not have a Prius. I've been waiting a long time for a car that got 40+ mpg and was not a two-seater, and the Prius was the only option for me. As a bonus, it only cost $22K, the same as my previous car and it has more passenger room. So I bought it, even if it wouldn't save me money immediately, but in part to show other car companies in some small way where the future lay. I don't like giving money to terrorists and wasting resources we'll need in the future and polluting our atmosphere, so it was worth paying a small amount more for better mpg. And as it turned out, a few months later gas went above $3/gal for the first time ever, and it was clear I made a good decision.
     
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  20. Michaelvickdog123

    Michaelvickdog123 New Member

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    Not my experience.

    I live in a hot & humid climate (mid-Atlantic), and when traffic will allow, drive ~ 10 mph over the posted. Is that "hard driving"? Maybe not, but I'm not exactly hyper-miling, either.

    Here's my weekly average MPG's for this weeks commute (~160 miles)...so far (see attachment):
     

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