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Old 06-28-2009, 10:22 AM   #21 (permalink)
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If you are leaning towards "ecomodical" (nice word...might be the first time I've seen it in print) then I would recommend the Prius in that case. Clearly, it would be an upgrade from your Cobalt.

I can't tell you how many times I've been stuck in bumper to bumper traffic (even on the highway) and had a smile on my face because while everyone is wasting fuel ideling...I'm running gas free and can keep it gas free as long as I use a feather foot and don't engage the ICE. I even hope for bumper to bumper on the highway so I can maximize my time on the highway until I can get back to city driving where I get much better mpg.

Economically, it's probably a wash from a Cobalt to a Prius when you take into account the higher loan amount you would be paying for your Prius (unless you can find a great deal in the same range as your monthly Cobalt loan which I'm guessing was around $13k new). If you spend $3000 a year on gas now you might only see $800-1000 savings over a year compared to your Cobalt (40 mpg vs. 60 mpg).

I anticipate using about 500 gallons of fuel/year less in my Prius than I did in my 4runner so from both economics and ecomodics it was an easy choice for me. If you are keeping the Cobalt for another 400kms...one can only dream.

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Old 06-28-2009, 10:36 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Matt Herring View Post
If you are leaning towards "ecomodical" (nice word...might be the first time I've seen it in print) then I would recommend the Prius in that case. Clearly, it would be an upgrade from your Cobalt.

I can't tell you how many times I've been stuck in bumper to bumper traffic (even on the highway) and had a smile on my face because while everyone is wasting fuel ideling...I'm running gas free and can keep it gas free as long as I use a feather foot and don't engage the ICE. I even hope for bumper to bumper on the highway so I can maximize my time on the highway until I can get back to city driving where I get much better mpg.

Economically, it's probably a wash from a Cobalt to a Prius when you take into account the higher loan amount you would be paying for your Prius (unless you can find a great deal in the same range as your monthly Cobalt loan which I'm guessing was around $13k new). If you spend $3000 a year on gas now you might only see $800-1000 savings over a year compared to your Cobalt (40 mpg vs. 60 mpg).

I anticipate using about 500 gallons of fuel/year less in my Prius than I did in my 4runner so from both economics and ecomodics it was an easy choice for me. If you are keeping the Cobalt for another 400kms...one can only dream.
I bought my cobalt used for around 11k cdn. At the time the cheapest prius would have been around 4k more, and it would have been older and had a lot more miles.

I'm kind of thinking i'll save up, and get a used 2010 prius in a few years after they come down in price. They seem to do better on the highway, and i'd be willing to bet they'll be just as reliable. Perhaps more so with the better electric drive system.

Every time i look at the insights, reports of problems scare me away. Same with the honda civic hybrid. The Prius though seems to be rock solid reliable.
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:45 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I guess what I was getting at was what Matt said. Boils down to this, your not "saving" anything if your throwing money away to just prove a point. Your Ecomodding should be for a real reason, so you have more money in your pocket at the end of the week. Take my Assfire; I have total in it $1000, it had leaky exhaust, O2 sensors mis-reading because of all the holes in the exhaust system. For a year it never went farther than 2 to 3 blocks to a bar so it never warmed up and I'm sure the Catylitic Converter never was at temp and was junk when I pulled it out. The clutch bracket for the clutch cable was broke so the dummy started it in gear and drove it in first gear to the bar and back home this way for who knows how long. The front wheel bearings were nothing but rust to the point where the hubs were smoking by the time I gort it home. I took that car, fixed everything, put new brakes on it, new exhaust and new sensors. Now I replaced the driving I did with my Exploder that I got 16-18mpgs with a car that routinely gets 42-45mpg. I have more money in my pocket every week for not burning as much fuel and the $1000 has already came back in savings. I'm not making any payments every month for a new car and It costs me $17 to drive every week and I can Mod it some more to see just how much more miles per gallon I can get out of it. That is what makes this fun and I'm laughing all the way to the gas station. Sure you can "buy your way" to more gas millage, but in the end it DOES have to pay off. The money HAS to come from someplace. Burning less fuel is good, Burning less fuel and spending very little to acheive that, is much much better. Thats why you see a lot of Metros on this site, there are a lot of repairable Metros out there that some people gave up on. I had three of them. Fix one up and you got yourself a 50mpg car easy! Same goes for a diesel Jetta (more room too). Yes Hybrids are the latest "gadget-to-have" but there are other alternatives. In racing we have a saying, "you can buy your way to the front, but beware of the guy with the two or three year old car that always seems to qualify on the front row".
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:46 AM   #24 (permalink)
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If you need a highway car I recommend that you find a prius to rent and take it on a trip before you invest in one. For some the seating position is pure torture after a few hours. Individual results vary. Toyota added a much needed height adjuster to the III to help with this issue.

So far depreciation on the Prius is very low. This could change with market saturation and or fuel costs.
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:58 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Stevey - I have read/heard very few problems with the Gen II Prius and suspect the Gen III will be just as reliable. Many new Gen III owners are reporting slightly better highway mpg's (in the 2-3 mpg better than the Gen II produced).

Guud - I also do not recommend "buying your way to better mpg's" as it really doesn't prove anything or help your pocket. In my case, I was fortunate because I have a similar payment but 40+ more mpg's from my 4runner to the Prius. As I said before, any gas savings is pure profit over the time of my loan.

EVD - I like the "rent/borrow" idea as it will give you a chance to see what you can actually get in terms of highway mpg. Test drives are great but you rarely get the chance to put your driving skills to the test with a salesman in the car with you (and he's not going to take a 100 mile trip with you to see how it does on the highway).
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:09 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I agree Matt, I think the rent-to-find-out idea is the best. That way you'd really see what youd get. I think your 4runner/ my Exploder situation was silmilar. We both made the switch for much the same reason. I don't owe anything on my cars because I don't believe in payments other than my house till the economy gets better. Lose my job and can't get another for awile what would I do, ride a horse? Glad you got a cheaper car to drive that your 4runner. I have to keep my Exploder for snow reasons, they don't plow the roads out here in the country very soon after a snow storm. And when I have to get to work, I have to be there, and stuck in the snow is not an option.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:49 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guudasitgets View Post
I guess what I was getting at was what Matt said. Boils down to this, your not "saving" anything if your throwing money away to just prove a point. Your Ecomodding should be for a real reason, so you have more money in your pocket at the end of the week.
If this is purely about saving money, a hybrid may not be the way to go. Of course, it may be with as many miles as stevey_frac puts on though. You have to run the numbers to find out. Just remember to throw all the numbers into the equation. You need insurance, maintenance, etc. Also, keep in mind that not everyone's main motivation is money.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:12 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guudasitgets View Post
I guess what I was getting at was what Matt said. Boils down to this, your not "saving" anything if your throwing money away to just prove a point. Your Ecomodding should be for a real reason, so you have more money in your pocket at the end of the week. Take my Assfire; I have total in it $1000, it had leaky exhaust, O2 sensors mis-reading because of all the holes in the exhaust system. For a year it never went farther than 2 to 3 blocks to a bar so it never warmed up and I'm sure the Catylitic Converter never was at temp and was junk when I pulled it out. The clutch bracket for the clutch cable was broke so the dummy started it in gear and drove it in first gear to the bar and back home this way for who knows how long. The front wheel bearings were nothing but rust to the point where the hubs were smoking by the time I gort it home. I took that car, fixed everything, put new brakes on it, new exhaust and new sensors. Now I replaced the driving I did with my Exploder that I got 16-18mpgs with a car that routinely gets 42-45mpg. I have more money in my pocket every week for not burning as much fuel and the $1000 has already came back in savings. I'm not making any payments every month for a new car and It costs me $17 to drive every week and I can Mod it some more to see just how much more miles per gallon I can get out of it. That is what makes this fun and I'm laughing all the way to the gas station. Sure you can "buy your way" to more gas millage, but in the end it DOES have to pay off. The money HAS to come from someplace. Burning less fuel is good, Burning less fuel and spending very little to acheive that, is much much better. Thats why you see a lot of Metros on this site, there are a lot of repairable Metros out there that some people gave up on. I had three of them. Fix one up and you got yourself a 50mpg car easy! Same goes for a diesel Jetta (more room too). Yes Hybrids are the latest "gadget-to-have" but there are other alternatives. In racing we have a saying, "you can buy your way to the front, but beware of the guy with the two or three year old car that always seems to qualify on the front row".
I'm more then a little offended by this. Your basically saying I want to throw money at the 'problem' so that i can be the 'best', making me sound like a stuck up prick. You also seem to indicate that somehow the honorable thing to do would be to buy a metro.

What if i get an old insight with a destroyed IMA battery for 5k. Or is that still to rich for your blood? Should we be like the F1 series and set a team spending cap?

I'll buy whatever car I want based on more then just mileage and cost. Chances are it will be a hybrid of some kind because I like being protected from fuel price swings and as an engineer, i find the drivetrains and controller interesting.

Hey my house is also very well insulated... But a bigger furnace would have been cheaper... Is that ok with you? Or was that another example of 'buying my way'?
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:07 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Assuming each lasts 5 years (300,000 miles), here are the approximate fuel costs of a new Prius over, say, a new Yaris:

Prius: 300,000 miles / 55 mpg * $3.00 = $16,363

Yaris: 300,000 miles / 42 mpg * $3.00 = $21,428

So a savings of roughly $5,000 in fuel for the Prius, based on what I've been able to achieve on both cars in mixed highway-focused driving. (The Yaris was an auto, so there's even more room there.)

The problem is that when you're driving 60,000 miles per year, you run the real risk of major overhaul long before the loan is paid off. The base MSRP on the Yaris is $9,990 vs. $22,000 for the Prius. I'm not saying you shouldn't own a Prius, but the risk is that you could be facing battery pack, engine and/or transmission replacement before 5 years is up, while still having to make the payment. The Yaris uses a traditional drivetrain, so could be fixed cheaply or swapped with a fresh Japanese transplant even more cheaply.

When you do the kind of driving you're talking about (I do almost 40,000 miles per year, so I know where you're coming from), cost does become a larger factor. Plus, why not drive the wheels off something cheap and get a Prius as something to enjoy?

I do like the idea of a used 1G Insight. Honda quoted me a replacement pack price of $1,400--not too bad, and the rest of the drivetrain is pretty traditional stuff. You should get better mileage than the Prius and enjoy much cheaper repairs.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:11 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Taxis and even personally driven hybrids have been known to go 300,000+ miles without the pack being replaced.

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