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"I wouldn't have bought a Corolla"

Another person gets it: Consumer Reports screwed up big-time in comparing the Prius to the Corolla rather than to the Camry.

I've done my own purely economic comparison here - I had done an earlier version of this on a spreadsheet; it's not that difficult. But many people will never try now that CR has incorrectly told people that hybrids don't pay for themselves.

This entry was posted in the following categories: Economics , I Told You So , Transportation , metablog

Comments

If the Prius should be compared to a Camry, to what does one compare the hybrid Camry?

Small four cylinder gas cars like the Corolla, Sentra, or Focus can be run well over 200,000 miles with just routine maintenance from any mechanic. I've done it many times.

The Prius makes sense for someone who trades in every three years, but not for those who keep their cars for a long time.

Once any hybrid goes out of warranty the costs are going to go through the roof.

To date no hybrid is a good deal for anyone who keeps his or her car beyond 100,000 miles.

You guys must all read from the same manual.

1) The Prius was closer to the Camry in size than the Corolla; and very few people considering the Prius would have bought a Corolla instead. As the guy in the article said - you don't buy a big hatchback to replace a tiny econobox.

2. All I ever asked for was for the Prius to be compared to _both_ the Camry and the Corolla; since it rests between the two in size - so people could make up their own mind. That way, the guy that WAS considering the Corolla can make an educated comparison, and so can the guy who was considering the Camry.

3. The original US Prius (really the 2nd-gen car) has had enough cars last longer than 100,000 miles to expose your remaining arguments for FUD. Try this for a start:

http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2005/08/02/sainsbury-cab/

"(Toyota, seizing a chance to evaluate the car's durability, took his original back after he'd driven it 200,000 miles in 25 months and exchanged it with a 2003 model, fully outfitted for fares.) Compared to conventional taxis, his current 2004 Prius saves between $900 and $1,100 per month in fuel costs alone, and his repair bills -- thanks to automotive innovations such as regenerative braking, which reduces wear and tear on the brake pads -- have been cut by more than half."

I'd say nice things about anyone who "exchanges" my old car for a new one too.

If you can put down the kool-aid and think for a moment, ask yourself which car needs more maintenace:

1) The car with one motor.

2) The car with two motors.

That's not to say that hybrids aren't good cars, I'm thinking about getting one myself.

But the fact is that at a mimimum you'll need to replace at least some of the expensive batteries, and in our heat probably all of them, if you want your hybrid to stay a hybrid over the long haul.

Don't kid yourself.

You're spinning, man. Toyota bought back the car because nobody else had driven it that far before (it was too new) - and what they learned led them to be much more confident on battery life for the next-gen car ('04 and later).

They've never had to replace a battery for reasons other than an accident. Never.

As for "two engines more expensive to maintain than one" --> it's possible that the long-term savings on brakes more than make up for it. The cabbie certainly thinks so, at least.