Is a Prius right for me?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by unkki, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. unkki

    unkki Junior Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Looking for some advise on whether a Prius is right for me or not based on the following:

    - Needs to transport 2 adults, 1 (2) babies
    - All driving is in a city, lots of stop and go traffic
    - I drive about 6000/7000 miles a year, not a lot in distance but more in time...
    - Fuel price: 3.1 USD/USG (and rising..)
    - Location: South-America, small country
    - All cars here are imported, mostly Japan (used), aka limited choice
    - Dealers here have mostly likely no or little experience with Prius

    I've been looking at websites with used cars from Japan, can get a 2012 Prius with 60k miles for +-7500 USD. Price for me would be 11000 USD (transport, import tax etc.)

    Other options would be (smaller) Honda Fit 2015 for a similar price.

    According to my calculations I would save about 200 USD a year. (Based on 57 mpg prius vs 35 mpg for a Fit)

    Looking forward to your input thanks.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    i think the fit is a better fit. you likely won't get 57 mpg in heavy stop and go city traffic. not sure about fit.
     
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  3. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Active Member

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    As much as I love my Prius, I would say no based on the above. An ICE is relatively standard from car-to-car and pretty simple. The Prius propulsion system is not. For a savings of $200/yr, I would not take the risk.
     
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  4. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    Based upon your local demographics, I would stick with a more conventional automotive platform such as the Honda Fit. As reliable as the Prius is, it is somewhat technical. If service is limited you would be taking somewhat of a chance with Prius
     
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  5. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Prius is a great family car (assuming Liftback verion) but the two concerns are (1) low miles per year does not give enough savings to justify extra costs for what we call the "hybrid premium" (the extra cost of having 2 engines and a battery) and (2) it is a used Prius which always seem to be worse luck than a new Prius. In your example, there is not a cost "premium" for the purchase, but you have a theoretical cost for a new hybrid battery.

    Also the MPG benefit is difficult to predict without real life testing on your commute. Could be better or worse than your estimate.
    But your estimate of the difference is good for starters.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Neither will the Fit get 35 in those conditions. The Prius will very clearly save a chunk on fuel.

    But as above, I would hesitate to take the hybrid used car risk in a region with little or no hybrid service and repair experience or infrastructure. For most buyers, it will be just fine for a long time. But a few buyers will draw a short straw, and the repair attempts, successful or not, will consume far more than the fuel savings. If one has the financial resources to be a leader, fine. But those on a tight budget should be quite wary.
     
    #6 fuzzy1, Jan 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Driving 6/7K miles per year, mpg savings dwindle. Come to think of it, that's us...

    FWIW, the Honda Fit is one car I've been looking at lately. One thing Iike in particular is the conventional heat/vent controls, at least on the lower levels. I sense consumers are being conned, with the manufacturers' push to touch-screen controls.
     
    #7 Mendel Leisk, Jan 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  8. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Active Member

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    +1 Without taking your eyes off the road, it's easy to reach out and feel the station knob on the radio and give it a spin. Especially with satellite radio containing hundreds of stations, its not intuitive to find the right place on the touch screen and then hold the finger on it while it scans up 200 stations, constantly looking back and forth to see the progress.
     
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  9. Jamieconway

    Jamieconway New Member

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    I have just purchased a Prius 2011. I and my wife have a baby and we drive in the city with many traffic and stops. This car is wonderful for family purposes.
     
  10. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    If the Fit is a common car under your circumstances I would go with it if it fit your needs with small children.
     
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  11. jfschultz

    jfschultz Active Member

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    My concern is the 6000 to 7000 miles per year. This would tend to indicate that most of the driving is for short distances. The Prius only provides exceptional MPG when the engine has reached operating temperature. You might find that the with short drives the Fit will give better MPG than the Prius.
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    I'm all over this:

    upload_2018-1-8_10-4-12.png

    As opposed to:

    upload_2018-1-8_10-5-42.png

    MUCH easier to work with the first, on a windy road, at night, in the rain, with the windshield fogging up.
     
  13. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I very highly doubt this. The Fit, and all petroleum burning cars, will suffer the same type of short-distance warm-up fuel penalty as the Prius. The only way to avoid this is to get a car that doesn't need any engine warm-up, such as an all-electric car. Leaf? Or a plug-in hybrid with enough all-electric range to cover most of the short trips. Volt?

    The relatively low annual miles driven will put a cap on the potential fuel savings that may not be high enough to cover the repair risk in a region without adequate technical support.
     
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  14. jfschultz

    jfschultz Active Member

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    This is true, but during this time the Prius would get about the same MPG as a similar conventional car. With the Fit being a smaller car would probably get better MPG during this warm up period.
     
  15. pilotgrrl

    pilotgrrl Senior Member

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    The key here is that you said most cars are imported used from Japan.

    For Prius, that means the car will have all menus and messages in Japanese, unless whoever you would buy it from can swap out all the necessary parts to change it to an English or multilingual display.

    日本語が話ますか。

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  16. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Lack of parts and experienced service would be the show stopper for me. I lived in Central America for almost nine years. My friends who imported cars from the US sometimes had a terrible time getting replacement parts. Shipping from the US and then customs duties were expensive and made it take longer. But the ones with cars made to be sold in Central America had very little problem getting parts.
     
  17. jfschultz

    jfschultz Active Member

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    Reminds me of one of my Dad's stories. Back in the 40's he bought a used Lincoln Zepher. He did not believe the salesman's story that the car was custom built for Ford's daughter. It was shipped to Peru and when it came time for routine service, he ordered the parts needed for the tune-up. It became obvious that the parts were wrong. The salesman was right, it did have a Lincoln Continental engine!
     
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  18. Jamieconway

    Jamieconway New Member

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    I think the language is not a really big problem. I also purchased one used Pirus 2011 from Japan (Used Toyota Prius 2011 for sale at best prices low mileage updated 2018 | CAR FROM JAPAN) and the language can be swapped to English easily. Just ask the dealer to notice this before importing.
     
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