Opinions needed... which Prius should I get?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Nards, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Nards

    Nards New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    11
    0
    0
    Hey guys. I'm hoping to get some opinions on a couple deals I'm considering. I'm having a lot of problems deciding which of the following deals to pursue. I would appreciate any advice, suggestions, or any other input.

    The first is an '04 basic model with 26k miles for $15900. However, it has been in a supposed minor accident and has a replacement fendor even though it has a clear title and no accidents reported on its Carfax. It also just needed a replacement car window motor and regulator, which was supposedly caused by the last owner putting in after-factory speakers and leaving some foam spacer inside the door that caused stress on the motor. I don't know what to believe with this. They also mentioned some kind of noise, but they claim it is completely normal, but their explanation seemed to be complete BS. They said it was the electric engine and gas motor synchronizing. It's through a dealership that has terrible reviews and combined with these other issues, something just doesn't feel quite right with it, but I might just be paranoid.

    Another is for an '05 basic model with 40k miles for $16000. However, this car was owned by a smoker (I assume) and has a burn hole on the front seat. Besides that, everything is supposed to in excellent shape, minus one scratch on the back bumper (not sure how big and how deep). This one is through a private party. This seems like a good deal.

    Finally, there is an '04 with 62k miles for $15400. It also has a navigation system, cd changer/tape deck, etc, which would be really awesome. Plus since it has the navigation system, it should have bluetooth even though they don't mention it, which would be really nice as well. This one is through a dealership. My only concern with this is the significantly higher mileage, but I really think I am leaning toward this one.

    Unfortunately, all of these are a few hours away at least, so I really don't want to make the trip unless I'm certain I want to buy that particular car.

    Help... I can't make up my mind! Thanks!!
     
  2. Presto

    Presto Has his homepage set to PC

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    1,326
    21
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    I highly recommend getting one with VSC. It's right up there with seatbelts and airbags, in terms of safety equipment.
     
  3. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Artist In Residence

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    6,038
    706
    0
    Location:
    Tumwater, WA USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Your first option: No. Not only no, but Hell No.
    Your second option: Maybe. you can have the car thoroughly cleaned by a detail shop, and you will probably never detect the smoke smell... or, will only rarely. Only you really know just how sensitive you are to it.
    Your third option: It may NOT have bluetooth, so don't assume. As far as the mileage, this is a car that Toyota warranties for 100,000 miles...(with limits, consult the manufacturer, etc.).

    I would suggest you "meet" cars 2 and 3, and then make your decision. Trust your gut.
     
  4. Jack Kelly

    Jack Kelly New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    1,434
    0
    0
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    All other things being relatively equal (color preference, packaged equipment, accident history, etc.), you're crazy if you don't go for the '05.

    Avoid the first '04.

    For comparative prices (asking), if you haven't already, go to www.autotrader.com and punch in '04-'05 Prius, within any distance range (e.g., 300 miles) that is reasonable for you.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Nards

    Nards New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    11
    0
    0
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Presto @ Jun 11 2007, 04:48 PM) [snapback]459743[/snapback]</div>
    All of the '04 packages with navigation/cd changer/etc include VSC, right? The first and second options are just for a basic model, so I know they don't have VSC.


    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Rae Vynn @ Jun 11 2007, 04:49 PM) [snapback]459746[/snapback]</div>
    Haha, yeah... that's what I was thinking on the first one. The second and third are pretty close to each other actually, so it wouldn't be too far out of the way to check both out. I'll definitely have to do that. I thought all the packages that include navigation have bluetooth on the '04 though? If not, oh well... it's not that big of a deal to me. I'm definitely more about the navigation system anyway.


    Anyway, thanks for the advice guys. Keep it coming!

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Jack Kelly @ Jun 11 2007, 04:53 PM) [snapback]459750[/snapback]</div>

    Well the '05 is just the basic model. The second '04 is a loaded one (not sure of everything it has, but I know it the navigation system and jbl cd changer/tape deck). Taking this into account, which would you go with?
     
  6. ystasino

    ystasino Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    792
    47
    0
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Like the others said avoid the first car.

    I have an 07 Prius with package#2 that's with the VSC, backup camera and Smart Key system. I don't think that any of these are musts.

    Ask about their tires and whether their oil has been changed. Once you are there have a look as to whether the oil is OVERFILLED a common mistake by dealers who empty 4 quarts of oil in the car that requires 3.5.

    Have a look at their maintenance records.

    From your 3 choices I would suggest #2 but do try to bring the price down by telling the owner that it's very basic, the tires are old, and that it has 40k miles on it and finally ask if they have done the 30k mi service. Tell them that a dealer (who offers you some warranty with the new car) is having another loaded Prius for sale that you want to consider. You can lower the price by quite a bit on the basic imo.

    I would not buy a used car from a dealer unless they offered the extended warranty. I bet you they have overfilled the oil, lol

    You can pick any modification you want and add it later, the sound system would probably be the first one.
     
  7. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    7,028
    1,109
    0
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    Nards, a 3 year year old car with only 26000 miles? Why wasn't it driven? Sounds like too many problems. If it is making an unusual noise compared to other Prius' something (maybe big) is wrong.

    2004 and early 2005 cars were subject to a couple of recalls. Is the recall work done? The MFD was upgraded for 2006. There's a big difference at least in appearance.

    Aftermarket parts can be added to provide the functionality found in the higher option packages for a lot less money. You will spend slightly more for a good portable GPS system than you will for Toyota's nav DVD upgrade (which will still be old and incomplete).

    I agree with the other posters, if I had to pick one, I'd pick the 2005. Personally though I would keep shopping.
     
  8. Nards

    Nards New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    11
    0
    0
    Thanks for all the opinions guys. A little update on the 2005. Apparently, it just had all new tires put on in October. They also just did a full interior detail and steam clean yesterday, which supposedly removed the smoke odor. However, I'm sure it'll take a while, if ever, for it to be completely unnoticeable. Also, it has received the 30k mile tune-up. They're going to have their dealership fax over all of the service records. I plan to try to talk them down a bit in price, but I'm not sure how negotiable they are since I haven't even gotten into that yet. I'm thinking I could probably get it down a few hundred though. Any more input on this deal or thoughts on how much I should shoot at getting it for? Thanks again!
     
  9. tanglefoot

    tanglefoot Whee!

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    625
    184
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Hey Nards,

    You might want to keep looking and not jump yet. Of those 3, I'd pick the 3rd because I can't stand smoke smell and it usually comes back a while after it's been concealled. With the falling gas prices though, the feeding frenzy might ease a little and you might start seeing better availability and prices. You'll find your ideal car.

    Eric
     
  10. Nards

    Nards New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    11
    0
    0
    Another update...

    Just received pictures of the 2005 and it looks to be in really great condition besides a couple minor rock scratches and such and the cigarette burn on the front seat, which I could probably do an okay patch job pretty easily to cover it up. Because of these, they said they would come down $500, so we're looking at $15500 for a 2005 basic model with 40k miles. However, the one downside, which is significant, would be the smoke smell. Also, since it's a private party I could probably get them to report that it sold for 80% of the value (the minimum amount you can report according to a recent TX law that was passed), which would save a couple hundred.

    I am really leaning toward either getting this one or, as some of you mentioned, holding off a couple months or so. How much do you guys image prices will come down by around September or so with gas prices and such?
     
  11. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    7,028
    1,109
    0
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    Nards, read through www.carbuyingtips.com and get used values from nada or kbb. Personally I don't think smoke ever comes out so would not recommend a smoking car to a nonsmoker. You can always throw some seatcovers on and the hole in the seat becomes a nonissue (out of sight, out of mind). Gas prices may be down now but they will go up. How soon and how much is anyone's guess. Anything is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it. Shop around until you find what you want.
     
  12. bobdavisnpf

    bobdavisnpf New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    149
    2
    0
    Door #3.

    Like Daniel said... it's the safest car on the stage.
     
Loading...