Wondering whether to buy or not to buy a Hybrid Camry / Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Vanya, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Vanya

    Vanya New Member

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    Thank you for your feedback. What do you think would be the biggest difference between an older 2006 Prius vs. 2011 Prius which would motivate you to go for the newer one ? I am just considering older one from cost perspective. Newer one would hike up insurance cost as well.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the genIII gets a bit better mpg's, is a bit larger, on the other hand, the pkg2 doesn't have 3 door sks anymore so ther are tradeoffs. and an 06 will probably need new struts and a few other things which affect ride quality and comfort or performance. but you're talking another $7500. for an eleven.
     
  3. mrnoyb

    mrnoyb Junior Member

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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i agree on the comfort of the camry. after driving my prius all year, when my wife and i take off in her hycam for florida, it feels like a limo. it's better than the regular camry.
     
  5. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    If you go new Prius, then tempting to wait for Prius v wagon if you want a bigger version of Prius. Sort of like what I think the CAMRY hybrid should have been designed like.
     
  6. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Hi Vanya, I'd definitely go with a S/H Prius. You should be about to get a low mileage 2006 - 2008 model with your budget.

    You'll actually save nearly $1000 in fuel per year over your current drive (Prius will use about half the fuel of your current Camry). Put that 1k/yr aside for repairs. The chances are ten to one that over five years you wont even have any major repairs, the Prius is very reliable. So chances are you'll get to keep that $5000 anyway. :D
     
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  7. johnmaso

    johnmaso New Member

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    Hello!

    As many have mentioned, you cannot go wrong with either car. Personally, (and with much bias) I would go for the Prius. I have recently purchased (Last week) a Certified Pre-Owned 2007 Toyota Prius from a Toyota Dealer for 17K with 50k miles on the car. Being a CPO, I get the extended 7 year 100k powertrain warranty, 12 months bumper to bumper, 150k on the battery, and free 1 year maintenance! Also, if you are financing, they give you a 2.9% for upto 60 months on all CPO Priuses.

    Personally, I avoid buying private party unless you really know the person you are buying from (i.e., a friend, family, neighbor, co-worker, etc.) or really know how to inspect a car. The risk, for me, does not really outweigh the benefits. Plus, you can squeeze so much freebies from dealerships if you can haggle well:)

    anyway, the Prius is a great car. In my 1 week driving the prius (about 500 miles) I am getting 55.6 MPG. It is pretty amazing considering I was getting half of that number in my previous car!



    good luck!

    -Doni
     
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  8. Vanya

    Vanya New Member

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    I test drove a 2006 Prius 55K today and couldn't help but compare the ride quality with Hybrid camry. I liked Prius but it was making very annoying vibrations. The owner said it is because he pumped up the air pressure 44/38. Is this common?? Do you think there could be any other reasons?? Do you feel it is worth getting the car checked by a dealer before making any decision?

    Btw, Hy-Cam was a luxurious experience. Totally smooth, pampering ride.
     
  9. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I've had a HyCam as a loaner before and yes it has a smoother ride than my 06 Prius. If you're curious, see what I wrote at http://priuschat.com/forums/toyota-...impressions-after-driving-hycam-62-miles.html.

    Can you be more specific about "annoying vibrations"? Was it when going down the road or just when the ICE was running or both?

    Yes, I would get it checked. Also, I haven't followed this thread closely, but it might be a good idea to check the cars' records via Toyota's owner's site. Google for toyota owner's vin site:priuschat.com records.

    As for pumping up the tires, yes, we do that for better fuel economy and to prevent uneven wear on the tires. The recommended pressures on the door placard is too low, unless you like uneven tire wear.
     
  10. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yes high tire pressures can give a pretty rough ride. If that's the first prius that you've driven then perhaps you should look around a bit more and test drive another for comparison.
     
  11. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    I would get a dealer or a competent mechanic to do a thorough check on the used car no matter what kind of car I am buying. No one can tell if there is any hidden problem just by a test drive.

    1995 was probably around the years when Toyota quality was at its peak. If the Camry works fine I don't see the reason to replace it considering the limited budget and the potential big repair bill for a hybrid car. The "environmental" argument seems bogus as it takes tremendous amount of energy and resources to produce a new car, especially a hybrid.

    Just my 2 cents. :)
     
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  12. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    We do not have any vibrations that I know of.
    The vehicle tires if orig may be needing replacement.
    We use Goodyear Assurance Comfortread for smoothest quite ride.
     
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  13. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Keeping in mind "Consumeraffairs.com" is a site run by lawyers, to drum up business. Period. They are not, as far as I can tell, in it for the consumer benefit!

    You will find that the Prius is just about the most reliable car sold. It also has one of the lowest yearly maintenance costs.

    Yup, you -could- find yourself facing a $4000 repair bill. Pigs could also fly!

    I -think- you can buy the extended warranty up until the standard warranty expires, if you want "peace of mind". But on a 2006 it would have expired already, and I don't think you can extend the extended warranty (if the car in question has it already). You -can- purchase a warranty from -other- scam artists (er, warranty providers). They will give you peace of mind but won't help if something goes wrong. Their track record is abysmal!

    The Camry Hybrid is a hybrid "normal car". Nice car, I could have had one for the same price I paid for Pearl (new in 2007).
    The Prius is a hybrid, was designed as a hybrid from start, and is -still- the mileage leader of ALL production cars.
    It will carry more than the Camry, is more versatile, and, well, -looks- like a hybrid.
    Did you know you can remove the cargo cover (the "window blind" thingy in the hatch), stow it -under- the hatch floor, fold the rear seats down, and have all that area for carrying very large things? Try that in a Camry! Good luck. ;)

    So you have to decide what exactly you want.
     
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  14. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    44 on the front is quite stiff. If the tires are old and worn, then, particularly at highway speeds, the ride is bound to be rough and uncomfortable. But this is also a good example of listening to your inner voice, which is saying that something just isn't right. Keep looking.
     
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  15. Vanya

    Vanya New Member

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    Thanks for your responses everyone. I am going to test drive the same Prius with lowered tire pressure tomorrow. Apart from the vibrations, other things looked ok. It did feel congested at the back with me and my two kids (one in booster). Prius doesn't seem to be a 5 people car. With just four of us, it might be ok.
     
  16. Vanya

    Vanya New Member

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    The owner lowered the pressure and was able to sell the car (to someone else). I will have to keep looking... :unsure:
     
  17. fgoodyear

    fgoodyear New Member

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    We have a 2007 Prius package 6, the top of the line loaded, and a 2008 Camry Hybrid, also loaded. Other than the fuel mileage difference, Prius 47, Camry 37, we love them both. Can't go wrong with either. It is just whether you want mileage or comfort. Even with that, it is almost a toss up for us.
     
  18. SpikeVFR

    SpikeVFR New Member

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    Have people had problems, absolutedly, no question. Is it widespread, no, not at all. In fact Consumer Reports rates the Prius as one of the most reliable cars sold, not of Hybrid cars, but cars all together. I have a 2004 Prius, with a little over 125,000 miles; my total repair costs to date have been zero. I have had one repair that was covered under warranty, and would have been rather expensive, but even that is not widespread.
    You mention seeing a "few" problems on consumer affairs.com, never been to the website, so I can't say for sure. But usually, with those types of sites, people go there when they are looking to complain. Does that mean that they aren't having a problem(s)? No. But it does mean that you don't tend to get the full picture. Yes, like any car, some have had problems, but you also have to put it in context of how many are out there. What do I mean? Well, allow my to use a purposefully extreme example to make my point. Say your are looking at two cars, Car A has 10 complaints, model B has 80 complaints. Wow! You say, "I am not going to buy model B, look at all the problems people have had!" I mean, it has 8 times as many reporeted problems, and that is a HUGE difference, right? Who wants to be 8 times as likely to need a repair? No one, right? So the choice is clear, right? Uhhh, no, unfortunately not. Because model A only sold 100 units last year, meaning a 8% chance of a repair (yeah, for the sticklers out there, that isn't necessarily the case, but for simplification sake, allow me to continue), meanwhile model B sold 100,000 units meaning that although there were more model B cars in the shop, the chance of repair went from 8% to 0.08%. Clearly model B is the more reliable car overall and by a large margin, but you have to look at the data the right way.
    Now with the Prius, you have a car that has sold over 100,000 units a year in the US, and closer to 200,000 units over the last 5 or 6 years. So even if you told me there were 20 complaints of cars just blowing up, it wouldn't really matter, since my chances of suffering such an incident are incredibly low.
    Does that make sense?

    04 Prius - 125,000+ miles
    06 Sienna - 75,000+ miles

    '94 Camry that we sold in 2001 - 238,000 miles total, first repair at 180,000 miles, still ran like a top

     
  19. SpikeVFR

    SpikeVFR New Member

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    Holy crap, that is a high PSI to run in your Prius tires! Off the top of my head recommended pressure is 33f & 35r. That is a BIG difference in ride quality and available grip from your tire. Do not emulate him when/if you buy one.
     
  20. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Expert and Devil's advocate

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    SpikeVFR, You got it backwards on the F/R its 35 Front / 33 Rear if you go by the sticker (Toyota's recommended pressure).

    Higher than stock PSI is not that bad, even higher PSI isn't bad if you put better brand/model tires on than OEM. But the front shouldn't be more than 3 PSI difference than the rear*. If the rear was 38 the front should have been 40 or 41, preferably 40 assuming all 4 tires were the same size/brand/model.

    OEM Integrity Tires sure 42/40 or 40/38 is OK, less if you like a soft ride say 38/36 at the least. You'll end up with more wear on the outside if you use much less than 38/36.

    Go for performance tires that are rated highly on tirerack and have a max sidewall of 51 and I have no problem riding on 50/47, 48/45, or 45/42.

    I guarantee you a high grip tire at 50 PSI will handle better than the OEM integrity at 35 PSI.

    If I know I'm doing short commutes on a regular basis (like 2 miles each way to work) with no time for the tires to heat up I do 50/47.

    If I don't know my average trip or know I'll be taking a longer trip I'll set it up for 48/45.

    If I think it might snow I'll lower it to 45/42 (at 50 to 60 degrees in my garage) and let it shrink how ever much it will shrink when it gets below freezing but that's a rare occurrence where I live.

    But then I don't live in the desert southwest or in the snowy north. You always have to prep your car for local conditions and driver ability. Then you have to drive safely based on road conditions and the behavior of your car.

    I won't think less of you if you ride at 35/33 and pay more for new tires when they wear unevenly. That's your car and your preference in a soft ride.

    * Technically there is room for interpretation/debate whether the 2 PSI front rear should be observed no matter the PSI or if the relative PSI percenatge should be followed. Since 35/33 is 1.06 or 94.2% depending on which way you do the math. Above 40 PSI you could either keep the 2 PSI gap or you could use the percentage which widens the gap to 3 PSI at higher PSIs. I follow the % state of mind but some follow the fixed PSI method. Either way it's a minor difference.


    Oh and for the OP Vanya, If you are testing a car you aren't familiar with you might be wise to take a tire pressure gauge with you. I can't stand driving a car with underinflated tires and you may not be used to driving a car with overinflated tires.

    You may also want to read How to Buy a Used Car Part Two: The Test Drive | The Truth About Cars

    Some of the items in a thorough test drive like that won't apply to the Prius and you may just choose to have someone else do the checks for you but you should either know how to do some checking yourself or get someone to go with you when looking at a used car.

    FWIW the Prius I bought used (a 2005) had 4 underinflated tires when I took the test drive. In fact one was as low as 18 PSI. Once I put air in them (came back with a portable air compressor) it was obvious that the rear tires were out of balance and had worn unevenly from the first owners lack of keeping the correct tire pressure. In fact the rear of the car vibrated a bit above 50 MPH (most noticeable if you sat in the rear but I noticed because the rear view mirror wasn't stable) but the vibration went away at any speed below 50. Put new tires on the car and now it drives smooth at any speed. I wouldn't recommend that gamble at retail value or if you get stressed easily but I got a good price on mine and I don't regret it even with plenty of time/miles under the belt.
     
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