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Good points, all.

If you are like me, and you think there's a good chance for gasoline prices to double sometime in the next two to three years, then your "break even" date will come twice as fast.

Yes, I think there's a good chance for $100/barrel crude prices, and a $4.00 to $6.00 price per gallon of 87 Octane in the next few years. We're not seeing major new oil finds, nor do we seem to be making hugely successful efforts at weaning ourselves (US) off of oil (I mean oil of any kind, not just of the so-called "foreign" variety).

I hope I am wrong, but I see the parking lot at my place of work. More SUVs. Only three hybrids.

Tick tock.
 

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BIF said:
I hope I am wrong, but I see the parking lot at my place of work. More SUVs. Only three hybrids.
A ha. I guess that's where the new Toyota SUV hybrid comes in. You can have an SUV and a hybrid at the same time. :D

I guess that's one of my other problems here in Australia. I have a Toyota Hilux Surf diesel 4 wheel drive (SUV) as our family tends to go on a lot of trips here in Western Australia often on roads that normal cars couldn't (or shouldn't) handle.

I have been thinking about getting a hybrid for a while now and was really interested to see the Toyota Highlander hybrid was being release in the USA. I immediately contacted Toyota here in Australia to find out when/if there would be a similar model (we call the Highlander a Kluger over here) release in Australia. I was basically told that they wouldn't tell me anything about their plans and if I was interested to keep checking their website for information. This was a very poor response as far as I was concerned and definitely took Toyota down a notch or two in my eyes. I can understand if they can't release competitive info but you'd think they'd have a mailing list or something that they could offer to put me on that would send me information about models that they release and hybrids in particular. Nope. I've got to keep checking myself for this.

Anyway, as you can see by my previous post, hybrids are pretty expensive over here and there doesn't seem to be any motivation to promote them or reduce their price. I don't recall ever seeing one of the Prius hybrids on the roads here (although there must be a couple) and this doesn't surprise me considering the excessive prices and poor customer service. Most people just go and buy one of the small cars that are much, much cheaper than any hybrid. I think that there will have to be government backed schemes like tax rebates or manufacturers import tax reductions to reduce the consumer price before hybrid cars ever get a chance in Australia.
 

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I've done the math. You're better off buying a $14,000 Civic HX or Echo that get ~40 miles per gallon. The ~$1000 saved with the Prius/Civic won't make up the difference.

Even with an Insight ($4000 saved), you can't make up the initial price difference.
 

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re:

I've done the math. You're better off buying a $14,000 Civic HX or Echo that get ~40 miles per gallon. The ~$1000 saved with the Prius/Civic won't make up the difference.
If you are making an argument for just a commuter vehicle, I'd agree with you. However, the Prius breaks new ground in interior passenger and baggage space. I can fit three car seats in the rear, plus have room for 8 bags of groceries. There is a remarkable amount of rear seat legroom even with the drivers seat in the full-back position. The Prius is a family car. It's not a minivan, but for a family "around-town" vehicle or weekender, it's the ticket. I'll be saving the SUV for trips where we really need the cargo space or the rare occasion when we have 6 passengers. Since this auto eliminates a 2nd vehicle that gets 15-17 mpg, our fuel savings is amazing. We average 25000 miles per year in our cars. At $2.18 per gallon (what gas has averaged in the Florida Keys where we will be living) that's $3633 per year. In the Prius, at 48 mpg the same 25000 miles will cost $1135. Net difference is $2498 per year. Now there are not many vehicles out there that cost less than the Prius that will serve a similar purpose. Even if you consider a Korean minivan, the payback is less than 2 years. In most cases, you're saving money immediately. I think that if people with Kids start using this car, SUV's and mini-vans will sit in the garage as much as possible. At least until there there is a Hybrid Sienna! Wouldn't that be a nice vehicle.
 

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Re: re:

thomasfxlt said:
I've done the math. You're better off buying a $14,000 Civic HX or Echo that get ~40 miles per gallon. The ~$1000 saved with the Prius/Civic won't make up the difference.
If you are making an argument for just a commuter vehicle...
No I'm not. Neither the Civic HX nor Echo are just "commuter vehicles". The Echo is virtually identical to the Old Prius in size. And both Civic/Echo have room for 5 adults, spacious trunks. and plenty of room for hauling groceries.

For cost-conscious consumers, they are excellent alternatives.
 

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Who's talking about the old Prius? No comparison between an Echo and an 04' or 05' Prius interior. If you don't need the room, your absolutely correct in your analysis. But if you're in my situation, the extra space makes the Prius more versatile and gives more latitude for daily use. It also has much more rear leg room than either the Echo or Civic.
 

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People ask me about the gas savings all the time, and my response is always the same:

"Buying a Prius to save money on gas is like buying a cow to save money on milk"

The milk will be much cheaper, but cows cost lots of money. I love my Prius and am extremely happy with the purchase. I bought mine to save on how much GAS I use, not how much money I save.
 

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Yarok said:
... I love my Prius and am extremely happy with the purchase. I bought mine to save on how much GAS I use, not how much money I save.
I have said the same thing, almost to the word.
 

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Re: re:

thomasfxlt said:
If you are making an argument for just a commuter vehicle, I'd agree with you. However, the Prius breaks new ground in interior passenger and baggage space. I can fit three car seats in the rear, plus have room for 8 bags of groceries. There is a remarkable amount of rear seat legroom even with the drivers seat in the full-back position. The Prius is a family car. It's not a minivan, but for a family "around-town" vehicle or weekender, it's the ticket. I'll be saving the SUV for trips where we really need the cargo space or the rare occasion when we have 6 passengers. Since this auto eliminates a 2nd vehicle that gets 15-17 mpg, our fuel savings is amazing. ... I think that if people with Kids start using this car, SUV's and mini-vans will sit in the garage as much as possible. At least until there there is a Hybrid Sienna! Wouldn't that be a nice vehicle.
We replaced our venerable Previa minivan with the '04 Prius and are enjoying the fuel savings described above. The Prius had sufficient interior room to haul all of our college student's belongings to campus at the beginning of fall semester, plus the student and two parents!
 

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Interesting observations, but I think it goes beyond the environment or dollars saved--although those are both important. One of the experiences that sold me on the Prius was driving one (for my job) from Salem, Oregon to a fairly remote town in northeastern Oregon called Joseph. I averaged around 50 mpg and didn't have to stop when I finally chose to fill the tank up to "play it safe". I think I stopped around Island City, which would have been about 310 miles from my starting point. Not being so dependant on gas stations on long trips is just great, but what it boils down to for me is that the Prius is well made--in both technical as well as ergonomic terms. It's that quality engineering and well thought out design that make it appealing to me. If something is high quality and fresh, it deserves our attention.
 

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why buy Prius

I bought the Prius because it is, on balance, a great car compared to most of the other mid-sized sedans I compared it to in space, performance, reliability, fit & finish, ease of parking, maneuverability, looks, comfort, features, available add-ons (all the airbags, keyless entry/start, traction control, fog lamps, ABS, etc).

and it is a step in direction of eliminating air you can see & touch.

Then Motor Trend magazine said I was right by naming it the Car of the Year.

Oh, by the way, it gets great mileage.
 

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When I bought our first Prius back in 2000, a life long friend did the calculations as well. I told him it wasn't ONLY the gas mileage, but the ecology reason too. In addition purchasing the Prius was a vote to show manufactures that the consumer wanted such technology. Some people don't get it.

This time around, the car actually comes with cruise control. I'll have to remember how that works.
 

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OK, so Yarok is saying, "Buying a Prius to save money on gas is like buying a cow to save money on milk", and ElectricTroy in the next post signs off with, "Help fight cancer / Donate your computer:
http://www.grid.org/home.htm"...... Good advice.

Having previously raised cows to save money on milk in an earlier life, I know exactly how dumb it is to bother with cows. Get a Prius to SAVE on GAS, and FORGET the cow AND THE MILK to fight cancer. See http://www.notmilk.com, and stop believing those deceptive Dairy Industry lies. It's really just as dumb to consume any dairy product. Besides, if you own a Prius to do your part to help the environment, you basically nullify and do worse for the environment by contributing to the demand for dairy and other animal products. Make no mistake, you can't be a health concieous environmentalist if you still consume animal products!

OK, back to the subject of buying a Prius. I've only ever ridden in one once before [at an Earth Day event 1-1/2 yrs ago], but I have a chance at a 2001 model with 33,500 miles on it through an online auction here at work [closed to employees only], high bid is presently at $7500, auction closes next Monday. Do I jump at the opportunity? Just looking at a 2nd car to save on gas and then revert to my gas-guzzling but beloved Grand Cherokee only when I need to tow or carry big items... Any thoughts?
 

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I'm not sure where I saw the ad online, but I saw a 2001 with about the same number of miles for around $14K if I'm not mistaken. I have a 2001. The ONLY thing bad I can say about it is no cruise control. You can add it, or have dealer add it though. We have about 38000 on ours and it feels as good as day 1. I'd look around and see how much they are going for in the real world.
 

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fuel economy

When the gas lines come back (if you werent driving in early 1970's you might not remember the pain), you will only have to wait in line 1 time compared to everybody else's 2.5 times.
 

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vegansailor said:
...Having previously raised cows to save money on milk in an earlier life, I know exactly how dumb it is to bother with cows. Get a Prius to SAVE on GAS, and FORGET the cow AND THE MILK to fight cancer....Besides, if you own a Prius to do your part to help the environment, you basically nullify and do worse for the environment by contributing to the demand for dairy and other animal products. Make no mistake, you can't be a health concieous environmentalist if you still consume animal products!...
Aaaah, why did I get hungry for a big beefy hamburger as I read this? I don't eat a lot of red meat, but I am still human. And y'know, I still have these incisors and canine teeth in my mouth. There's this occasional urge to be carnivorous...I just can't help myself. I thought that fish I had earlier was going to be good enough, but alas, I feel myself slipping...

Now ya gone and done it! :twisted: (as all the cows within a 100-mile radius start getting nervous)...
 

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Re: fuel economy

An04Prius said:
When the gas lines come back (if you werent driving in early 1970's you might not remember the pain), you will only have to wait in line 1 time compared to everybody else's 2.5 times.
Or less, if you are able to work your life out so that you don't have to drive as often. I am lucky to have an employer who lets me work from home twice a week and on weekends. That's 40% savings of drive time, and as much as 50% during weeks where I have to work on the weekend.

Plus, nobody whines about my choice of new age or jazz music or my nice and chilly thermostat setting...

I'm only filling up once every 2 or 3 weeks now!
 
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