Newbie to be... Torn between two cars

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by setonhallic, May 15, 2009.

  1. setonhallic

    setonhallic New Member

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    My wife and I really want a hybrid for our next vehicle. We are both torn between the 2009 Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid. In the end the decision is mine so I'm looking for a bit of help...

    I love the look of the Civic but am turned off by lack of storage space. I like the Prius (and its fold-down seats) but am not so sure of the look of the car, it doesn't look too attractive in my opinion.

    I understand the difference in the hybrid systems.

    I guess my question is, why did you pick the Prius over the Civic if you in fact had to make that decision.

    If you didn't have to make that decision, can you offer any general advice?

    Thank you so much! I have now driven both cars and I actually like the drive of both as well. Very confused...

    THANKS
     
  2. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    I'll try to make this easy for you by making all sorts of assumptions that will lead to a foregone conclusion. (You should be able to tell where this is going!)

    If you are comparing the HCH and the 2009 Prius and find them so equivalent that a decision is difficult, then look to the real differences and see if that helps.

    If we go with a Prius 2009 Package #2, then we can compare it to a fairly standard HCH. The MSRP is nearly identical. Hwy MPGs are the same (but Prius is better in town and overall). The HCH has a slightly wider tire and may have a more "typical" handling feel, though the Prius offers Traction Control.

    There is no getting around the fact the Prius has the hatchback and 60/40 fold-down (fold flat) seats. The 2009 Prius has the MFD with rear-view camera (only available in higher packages in the 2010 Prius).

    Exterior and interior dimensions are very, very close. I think the Prius has slightly more shoulder room, and the HCH has barely more front seat leg room. The one glaring exception is that the Prius has 4" of additional rear seat legroom. This is quite significant.

    As you've noted, the cargo space is different: The Prius has nearly 40% more cargo space. And this is with the rear seats up!

    Then there are little things: The Prius has heated side-view mirrors and illuminated vanity mirrors. The HCH has a tachometer. You can get a NAV system with the Prius (not at the price shown), but not with the HCH.

    So . . . What to do? If you still can't choose the 2009 Prius, then read on.

    Unless you want something with all of the do-dads and gadgets, I would drop both options and go for the 2010 Prius. You'll get better mileage, better cold weather performance, better suspension, more available information, better information control, and EV-button for all electric vehicle driving, a telescoping steering wheel, better seats, even more interior room (5 cubic feet more!) -- and all for the same price as the 2009 (MSRP-wise)!!

    Oh! I almost forgot. The body style has changed, and the Prius may be more appealing to you.
     
  3. accordingly

    accordingly Member

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    The 2010s are coming out and even though they are still the same basic design, the 2010s look a lot better in my opinion. You'll proably have to wait a few months before you get your hands on the one you want, but who knows.

    [​IMG]

    The 2009 is not that tiny, it's just a weird perspective.

    For me, it was indeed the lack of a folding seat that nixed the Civic. Cargo space is important to me and it sounds like to you as well.

    If you're dead set on a hybrid, the Prius is the way to go, and the base models are a bargain. But if you will go regular gas engine and want to pocket some cash to spend on gas and still come out ahead, I'd look into the Elantra Touring or Mazda3 5-door, especially if you want creature comforts like a nice ergonomic interior with leather and moonroof which are way overpriced on the 2010 Prius. The fully loaded mazda is like a BMW at half the cost.
     
  4. Blauer Glimmer

    Blauer Glimmer Active Member

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    Although we have been "Honda people" for 20 years with no complaints, we chose the 2009 Prius for several reasons:

    1. The legroom in the rear seat - we have a leggy teenager who is often back there.
    2. The height of the car - the Honda is much lower to the ground, which is hard on my arthritic knees. Also, I like the vantage point from behind the wheel.
    3. The hatchback on the Prius will allow the three of us to take trips with luggage.
    4. The fold-down seats in the Prius will allow us to carry larger items when necessary.
    5. IMHO Toyota's hybrid technology is better than Honda's.

    We chose the Touring style, which has a suspension more like a Honda (stiffer, more controled). We went with Package #6, which gave us all the options we wanted. The 2010 would have been much more expensive if we got leather, nav system, etc.
     
  5. setonhallic

    setonhallic New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I won't be waiting for the 2010, I don't want to wait a year for my new car. The dealer where I test drove the Prius told me he could possibly get me a 2010 by October. No guarantees. New fun options in 2010 are very overpriced as well and will likely fall in a year or two. In any event, I'm not doing waiting.

    Bit of misinformation posted above, Nav and other systems are certainly available in the HCH.

    I really do thank you all for the information. In the end it will likely come down to interior space for me, so the Prius very well may win out.

    Now to the dealers to see who comes out with the better price!
     
  6. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    If you are referring to me . . .

    I think you are correct. The first source I used said the Nav was not available on the HCH. When I looked at another source just last night, it suggested a Nav system was available.

    I've never seen it on the HCH, and I haven't seen it priced out.

    Sorry for the misinformation!
     
  7. setonhallic

    setonhallic New Member

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    Well thanks for all the advice, again, I appreciate it.

    a priori - I'm surprised you've never seen the HCH Priced with Nav. The car has four trim levels that are actually called Hybrid, Hybrid with Nav, Hybrid with leather and Hybrid with Nav and leather.
     
  8. Bob 411

    Bob 411 New Member

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    Don't make the final decision. It's a trap. Think really hard, she has said something to let you know which one she thinks is best. If you think she hasn't said which one is better, you are wrong. Think harder. If she is like my wife, she may tell you important things, when you are not in the room with her. Think real hard.
     
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  9. bac

    bac Active Member

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    I did make that exact decision.

    My situation was similar to yours, but a bit different. I like the looks of the Prius and the Civic. However, I really didn't want a car that looked like a hybrid ..... whatever that means. Where I live, if you're not in a monster truck with NRA stickers plastered all over the back windown, you're fair game. Therefore, all else being equal, I would have chosen the Honda.

    In the end, I liked the way the Prius drove a bit better. But the deal breaker for me in terms of the Civic was the trunk. The functionality of the hatchback was just too much of an advantage to give up.

    ... Brad
     
  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    He is lying. The 2010 will be available on your coast in two or three weeks. They were on the lots here on the west coast yesterday, and one participant here expects hers today.
     
  11. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Get the one your wife wants.
     
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  12. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Our Prius is the first Toyota I have owned, and I like it very much for many reasons, but to the extent that I care about cars at all, my heart belongs to Honda.

    Back in '04 when we went hybrid shopping I checked out the HCH first. My wife said 'cramped' and 'cheap interior feel', so that was the end of that. I agree with her, although would not have been quite so blunt. Also, I have never owned a sedan, and it would have taken a lot to make me buy one.

    Fast forward to 2009: I didn't get a change to drive the Insight II, but I liked what I saw sitting in it for a few minutes at a dealer. IF I was buying today and the Prius G3 was not available or quite a bit more expensive, the Insight would be fine.

    Happy hunting !
     
  13. jessica12

    jessica12 New Member

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    welcome to the community. Hope you enjoy your stay! :D
     
  14. Mach1

    Mach1 New Member

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    I was in the same situation as you when I decided I wanted a hybrid 2 months ago. I tested a 09 HCH and liked the way it felt on the road. I did not like the fixed back seat or the funky wheels. (hub caps) At the time, the local dealer was giving $4000. off the HCH and it was a great deal. After testing the prius and doing research, I ruled out the HCH. (even though I figured prius was gonna cost more up front) The Prius to me was by far more technically advanced and has a proven record of great reliabilty. I also like the hatchback over the trunk and fixed seat. I ended up buying a used 08 touring package 6 with only 3000 miles about a month ago. I have fallen in love with this vehicle and it is a great addition to our family. (06 mustang, 05 expedition) The only thing I dont like about the prius is the way it feels on the road, which I understand is being fixed with the new 2010
     
  15. setonhallic

    setonhallic New Member

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    Not liking how a car feels on the road, to me, would be the biggest problem of all. Can you elaborate a bit? The car doesn't drive well?!?! Then I think you've talked me out of it and I'm glad I read this because I'm going shopping tomorrow.

    That means the Prius is just not a good vehicle. With the pricing, the 2010 is not an option for me.

    I was 2009 or bust.
     
  16. Mach1

    Mach1 New Member

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    My intent was not to be misleading, Im a mustang guy and maybe Im comparing the feel of the prius to my mustang with 17" wheels and wide tires. I do think the prius drives well and is actually fun to drive. Ive owned many honda accords and a sold a 07 accord ex to buy the prius. I think it might be a wider wheelbase on the accord and on the HCH that gives the hondas a better road feel to me. My opinion is the prius is better in every catagory except the feel of the car on the road. It was not a deal breaker for me. Also, I wanted an 08 or 09 because I didnt want to pay the retail and adm on a 2010. I think there are great deals to be had on low mileage prius in the marketplace. I payed $21,000. for my 08 touring Pak #6 that only had 3000 miles on it. Ive seen low mileage package #2 for around $17,000. I used autotrader.com and vehix and found a private party who needed to sell it. One of the reasons I bought a prius is I think we'll see $4.00 to $5.00 gas within the next few years and I wanted to purchase while there seems to be a lull in the market because of cheap fuel. The masses wont change until its to late. Additionally, if you like the HCH sedan I think a great deal can be made on a new 09. I think it is a good vehicle that alot of owners like. Im a little worried about the long term reliability of the HCH IMA hybrid system...do some research on this. I hope Ive helped. Good luck.
     
  17. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

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    My 2004 Prius was a fun and versatile runabout around town, but on long highway trips was susceptible to crosswinds. Also, the electronic power steering didn't have much if any "deadband", so more attention to steering was required. Long highway trips were much more tiring in that car than in my 2007 HyCam. These issues have been fixed in the 2010 Prius. Most people like the handling of the Hondas better, but I'm not sure HCH would be any better for long highway trips.
     
  18. Blauer Glimmer

    Blauer Glimmer Active Member

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    Although I haven't taken a very long trip yet (max 150 miles in one direction), I have found that my 2009 Touring model handles a lot like the Hondas I am used to, as my dealer promised. Its suspension is stiffer than the base Prius and is a bit more stable in the crosswinds.
     
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  19. setonhallic

    setonhallic New Member

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    Mach - Don't get the wrong impression! I didn't think you were being misleading. I really appreciate your positive feedback about the vehicle. This community has been so helpful to me in making this decision.

    And the decision has been made.

    Yesterday I picked up my 2009 Prius! I got an incredible deal, which made any thought of a 2010 obsolete. I think if I got 80 miles a gallon in the 2009 it won't save me as much as the discount on the 2009 and the mileage on my first tank (51 mpg!)

    I will create another post to introduce myself and my new ride. Thanks to all who have commented.

    After a very, very long highway test drive (my third test drive in the '09) I am very satisfied with the highway performance. Could it be tighter? Yes. Will it be a great car for my purposes? Absolutely.

    Thanks again! I LOVE THIS CAR (and I've only had it about 15 hours).
     
  20. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I think you made the right decision. 4 out of 5 would pick the Prius over HCH, per the sale numbers. Enjoy the superior car! Over 95% of the Prius owners love their car, one of the highest (tied with Corvette).
     
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