I had a letter from my Toyota dealer today offering to buy my 04 Prius for $1000 over Kelly BB price. No mention of buying another Toyota.
Now I wasn't born yesterday so I know there's a hook in there somewhere but I've never had a dealer come after my car before unless he wanted to sell me a new one. (We've bonded and It's not for sale)
Anyone else getting a similar letter..?
For Spike and other advocates of consumer reports being the honest mentor of car information, I hope you are all planning on purchasing their April auto issue to be on the stands Tuesday. In depth testing of the costs and benefits of ownership of The Ford Escape, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Lexas RX 400H, Toyota Highlander, and Toyota Prius hybrids are evaluated.
And believe me Spike and niomeka, I had nothing at all to do with writing the article. That they have come to the same conclusions I have stated is just coincidental.
Then again, you know that my feelings about consumer reports being mainly just the expressions of the opinions of consumer report subscribers and I know of no one personally who subscribes. On the other hand this latest issue is the opinion of the editors only.
If you like, I'll post the two paragraph gist of the article posted in Knight Ridder newspapers, todays date in San Jose, California.
I knew someone would bait you to respond. And I'm a subscriber, have been for 20 years so I don't have to purchase the new guide. It'll arrive in the mail. And my response is included with their 1 million plus responses on how they gather information on reliability. Their questionaires are rather lengthy and they don't just focus on cars. They ask questions on just about every appliance and electronic you own. First requirement is the product you purchase/lease is new and they track what you've owned for 5 years. To make sure they don't have dupes, they ask for VIN and serial numbers. When I looked at their FCC required circulation info, they have in excess of 30 million magazine and online subscribers.
And my response to their conclusion about the costs of owning a hybrid "just don't add up" is they are entirely correct - at today's gas prices. But seriously - it is not economical to choose any vehicle based soley on gas savings if one is more expensive than the other. I'm just trying to be not as greedy in using resources as possible. Like my Dad always said, leave the place better than how you found it.
Drash, I wouldn't think of critiquing a magazine I did not read. We subscribed for several years when the family was growing in the fifties and sixties but dropped the subscription when I found that I was not finding a lot of merit in their choices of products. Have had much better success talking to neighbors and friends and now with the net.
Except for spikes remark I wouldn't have mentioned this article, but I will purchase a copy next week.
Their article leads with "If you're thinking of buying a hybrid vehicle to save money, you won't---ever" says Consumer Reports magazine.
In it's April auto issue, on newstands Tuesday, the magazine said the six most popular gas electric hybrids will end up costing owners from $3700 to $13,300 more over five years compared with similar gasoline models. Much of that comes from the higher purchase price of hybrids vs. non hybrids, but they also will lose more of their value, the report said.
The complexity of the vehicles, questions about battery life and replacement cost, and a lack of independent repair shops that will work on hybrids all result in extra depreciation costs, said David Champion, the magazines senior director of automotive testing.
"None of the six hybrids we have tested recovered it's price premium in the first five years and 75,000 miles of ownership," said the magazine. "Nor did any when the analysis was extended to ten years and 150,000 miles."
Rik Paul, the magazines automotive editor, said the study took the price of gas from $3.00 a gallon now to $4.00 a gallon five years from now. "Still, the cost did not add up," he said.
The costs and benefits of the Ford Escape, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Lexus RX 400H, Toyota Highlander and Toyota Prius hybrids were evaluated.
Hybrids do provide strong fuel economy and emit less pollution, the magazine noted
Personally I've been wondering at the rest of the worlds auto manufacturers lack of interest in hybrid power and it just might be because of the consumers pocket books. They may have done the same study just completed by Consumer Reports.
Well, I have been comparing my fuel usage and cost, compared to what it would have been, had I still been driving my Saturn SL2 which gave 33 MPG. At almost 49K, I have saved $1255 in fuel costs. I estimate at 150K, which will only take me 3 or 4 more years, I will save $3700, possibly more since for the first 6 months of ownership, gas was under $2 a gallon. Depreciation is better than other cars right now, though I admit it might not stay that way. I doubt it would be worse though.
So considering I have a lot nicer car than the SL2, I'll probably break even than if the Prius had a conventional drivetrain.
I'm the last person to say anything in the article is gospal and only mentioned it as I feel it's veracity makes as much sense as an identical one posted by "Motor Trend" for instance. We all know there is no battery problem but "CR" obviously feels Toyota will not be able to educate the average car buyer to this acceptance. (I'm sure CR knows of the fantastic warranty) We all know we are saving considerably at the pumps but the "experts" have evidentually factored in the price of the car differential differently and have refuted the long term savings with what I would assume were reasonable figures on fuel prices of the future.
I'll buy a copy just for their views but take them with a "grain of salt" just as I would any other article in any other type publication.
Yeah Motor Trend, also loved the gas mileage for the TDI Jetta but thought it would take forever to make up to diesel premium (about $3,700) for an exact same model with a gas engine that has better performance. Particularly since diesel sells in my area for 5 to 10 cents per gallon more than premium. Even a RAV4 is cheaper (with incentives) than my Prius but I just wanted the Prius even if it would take forever to make up that price difference, particularly since gas at that time was $1.89/gal. Little did I know gas would go up 63% in one year.
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