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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
This is my first time posting here. I've been reading the threads for a few days now, and only just registered to post this, my first bunch of questions.

I've been thinking about getting a hybrid since they first emerged on the market. I drove the first Prius that came out and I admit, I didn't love it, but then, I couldn't afford it at the time anyway. Now I can afford it and am ready to invest in a contribution to our green future!

I test drove a 2005 Prius, a 2005 Accord Hybrid, and a 2003 Civic Hybrid today. Of all of the cars I drove, I liked the Prius the best. I expected the Civic to be a lot more fun to drive, but it seems they've made some significant changes since the 2000 (gas) version I currently drive, changes that, at least in the hybrid, not only make the car feel to me a little difficult to drive in comparison, but also changes that would seriously hamper my comfort and convenience (lack of fold-down seats in the back due to the location of the battery? Are you kidding me?). So, after today, I'm pretty clear that I want the Prius. I like the way it drives and it actually feels a lot more roomy than I expected it to. And I like the efficiency better than the Civic. The only thing is, there are some things that concern me.

First, the fabric seems like it would get dirty really fast. Does it? Is it durable? Is it easy to clean?

Second, when making the transition from a regular car to a Prius, do you get distracted by the monitor screen?

Third, as someone who recently vowed never to purchase another new vehicle, due to the high depreciation that occurs when you drive off the lot, I've found the posts about the cost of new vs. used very interesting. I realize finding a used 2004 or newer Prius in a color I can stand may be virtually impossible, but is it also true that I may actually save money by buying a new car instead of used with the Prius?

Fourth, is there really NO negotiation on price? I've never bought a car I didn't negotiate for. Are you able to at least negotiate on your trade-in, thereby sort of indirectly negotiating down the price?

Finally, is there any advice that you would offer to someone about to purchase a hybrid car?

Thanks in advance!

GeoGirl
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A couple more questions

Has anyone been in an accident in the Prius, and how well did it stand up? Did the curtain airbags protect you?

And, how does the Prius do in snow? In the mountains?

Thanks,
GeoGirl
 

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I love the Prius. I was considering a fully loaded 05 Corolla LE but the Prius is much cooler. You are better off getting a new since used prices on the Prius are equal or higher than new. Getting MSRP is pretty good but we're beginning to hear stories about people who are getting it below MSRP. Shop around and even check out of state and see who's willing to give you the lowest price. Do not go for those that charge above MSRP because at this point in time, getting MSRP shouldn't be hard and the wait should be lessened significantly.

I've had my car for 5 months and the fabric look new. They are durable and easy to clean. I think we had a few posters talk about their spilled coffee, blueberry muffin and even one had grease all over the chair (from his jacket) so I don't think you need to worry about that.

You will get distracted by please try to keep you eyes on the road :lol: Eventually, you'll get a feel of what's happening. The screen does help you squeeze every extra drop.

I haven't been in an accident but there are few threads on PriusChat about that. I know of two that had front-end damage.

The Prius does pretty well in the snow and VSC really helps. The traction control is rather sensitive so if you live in a snowy climate, I strongly suggest a set of winter tyres as they'll stop the traction control from kicking in early and even more important, give you better traction on snow, ice and in colder temperatures. I've made it through last winter alive but then again where I live, it only snows a few days a year.

As for mountain driving, there are folks who say there are no problems climbing up steep mountain passes. The battery will drain quite a bit but the Prius will not let the battery dip to one bar and the engine is sufficient for most of the time. Besides, you'll get to recharge it to 8 bars on the other side of the mountain!
 

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Second that. Lotsa people have written similar things here and at http://www.priuschat.com . After a year the fabric in mine looks new, but then my girlfriend thinks I'm kinda nuts about it (no food, no dirty clothes, etc.).

You might find Consumer Report's advice on car buying helpful: http://www.consumerreports.org . I did all of my shopping and negotiating by phone and fax as described there, and got mine for MSRP - $300.
 

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I'm also concerned about the fabric, but I've found a solution. My dogs, daughters, and husband can't ride in it! (Well, that's almost true!) As to the screen, it's very distracting at first, in an exciting kind of way. After a month, I'm not allowing mileage issues to control me as much. The drive is exceedingly smooth and maneuverability excellent. The push button/brake start took me a week to get used to but has become second nature. From what I hear, the Toyota fall excells the other hybrids on the market. Good luck.
 

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I mean "far" excells. So much for proofreading skills.
 

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I've only had my car for 3 weeks, but my impressions (based on your concerns/questions) are:

1. Seats are still clean, but I am concerned about them
2. Dashboard is a dust magnet
3. Car drives well; I'm very surprised about it's turning radius.
4. I'm enjoying watching the display and feathering the gas to get the best gas mileage. I DO find, that I can't stop watching the screen
5. I paid sticker for it. I had to go to 3 Toyota dealerships before I found a car in stock. The first 2 dealers clearly lied and told me they had cars, when they never did (bait and switch).
6. As for the stereo, I bought the upgraded system (I'm a classical musician), but it isn't great, and the CD doesn't play loud enough for me, and I still haven't found a CD that displays a title. As a matter of fact, not one of the radio stations I listen to (NPR or classical music stations) have any station displays.
7. I have a short commute, so I don't think the car can get to max MPG before I get to work. After 1000 miles (3 fill ups; not on empty), I'm averaging about 41 mpg.
 

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Ask your Toyota dealer if they have a "Touch of Class" option if you are really worried about the fabric. I got this option, and I love it! It made my new car look even newer!

They coat the inside and outside of the car and guarantee it against any stain for 5 years, which means you never have to do anything more than hose off the outside with plain water, and if you spill something inside, and you can't get the stain out yourself, they do it for you, re-upholstering if necessary. So far I've spilled water once or twice on the seats, and after dabbing it up, it still looks new...no evidence it was ever there. This option has also limited the dust collection on the dashboard.

Saving money? Yes, you will, by buying new. But not necessarily because the used ones are selling for profit...personally, I think used vs. new is about equal right now on pure purchase price. However, you WILL get a federal tax deduction for buying a new one, $2000 this year. And in some states, you also get a tax credit or another deduction. That will save you at least a few hundred and possibly more. So in that sense, you will save money by buying new. You can't take the deductions or credits for buying used.

Screen distraction? Like any new vehicle, the features take some getting used to, but it's like watching the speedometer...after a while, you don't really notice. However, if you find you're really watching it too much, you can always turn it off if it bothers you.

Negotiation price depends purely on the dealer. With the demand right now, dealers have the advantage, but many of them are compassionate enough to not milk every penny out of you. Shop around and see what prices you can get.

And my advice for someone transitioning to a hybrid? Well, like the old 1st-generation Prius slogan said...JUST DRIVE IT.

And one more thing...do not take the dealer's offer price of extended warranty. Instead, join Priuschat.com and support the board there by buying the 7-yr platinum extended warranty from one of the board admins for a highly discounted price.
 

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Anyone considering a Prius should check out http://john1701a.com It will answer a lot of questions. Especially the "Prius Info" link. Some of the info is about the 2001-2003 ("Classic") model, but there's lots of stuff about the current ones too.
 

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Third, as someone who recently vowed never to purchase another new vehicle, due to the high depreciation that occurs when you drive off the lot, I've found the posts about the cost of new vs. used very interesting. I realize finding a used 2004 or newer Prius in a color I can stand may be virtually impossible, but is it also true that I may actually save money by buying a new car instead of used with the Prius?

Fourth, is there really NO negotiation on price? I've never bought a car I didn't negotiate for. Are you able to at least negotiate on your trade-in, thereby sort of indirectly negotiating down the price?
New car purchases are not good investments period. Unless you can purchase it......stick it in storage for 30 years and wait for it to become a classic and then sell it! Or obviously, like so many others are trying to do...buy one for below MSRP....then sell it for a few thosand over MSRP on ebay to someone that lives in a area with no availability!

We purchased our new P* this past Easter for $700 below MSRP. I dealt strictly with the internet/fleet department and we agreed on a price over the phone before I ever even stepped foot into their dealership!

Good luck....
 

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oh yes...

I missed your other question. If you'll be driving in snow or mountains, you really DO want the VSC option. I think this is included on all models save for the most basic, however, so if you're getting anything higher you should be fine.
 
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GeoGirl said:
First, the fabric seems like it would get dirty really fast. Second, when making the transition from a regular car to a Prius, do you get distracted by the monitor screen?
Third, as someone who recently vowed never to purchase another new Fourth, is there really NO negotiation on price? I've never bought a car I Finally, is there any advice that you would offer to someone about to GeoGirl
1. I've not had any stains, but you should certainly consider a spray-can of Scotchguard. Cheaper than having the dealer do it, works as well.
2. The monitor hasn't caused me any distractions (I wondered about that, too) but I do look at it from time to time to see my average MPG. After the first few days I did most of my radio adjustment with the steering wheel controls.
3. I usually buy cars used with under 20k on the clock, but this time I went for new (and a nine-month wait). The only alternative around northern VA is Carmax, and they charge near-new prices due to the high demand. The added benefit is, I get ALL of the warantee. Once you're driving your new Prius, you won't care anyway.
4. MSRP is what I paid at Leesburg Toyota, and I've not read about ANYONE negotiating on these vehicles. Some even get ripped off with an add-on price. I'd say, given the market for Prii, be happy at MSRP.
5. Advice on buying a hybrid: buy a Prius. I love mine. It's a great car, gets the mileage claimed (if you drive it past warm-up and don't have a lead foot), is comfortable, has a decent warantee. The Civic is more "normal"-looking, but the Prius has it beat on cool. If you're looking for more space and don't mind the mileage hit (27-28 highway), wait for the Highlander.

Enjoy!
 

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GeoGirl said:
First, the fabric seems like it would get dirty really fast. Second, when making the transition from a regular car to a Prius, do you get distracted by the monitor screen?
Third, as someone who recently vowed never to purchase another new Fourth, is there really NO negotiation on price? I've never bought a car I Finally, is there any advice that you would offer to someone about to GeoGirl
I LOVE my Prius! I started out looking mostly at sporty little cars, test drove it because I do have an environmental streak and fell in love. It just felt "right" to drive for me.

Stole the summary from above...
1) So far I don't have a problem and I drive mine to the barn every day where I handle my horse and can only dust off so much of the dirt, bran and hair... I think Scotchguard is a great idea (as was the Swiffer, dust on the dash and smoke plastic really shows)... so would be keeping some computer screen wipes in the glove. I am looking into seat covers. I've always tended to have them on the driver's seat anyway in case I ever trade in a car before I'm like to get $1000.00 on the trade!
2) You CAN get very distracted by the screen at first particularly by the NAV option. You can continue to be distracted as you try to figure out how the car is working and how to squeeze the last 0.1 MPG out of it. However, you can pretty much also turn it off when you are driving and just drive like a normal car. The only things you need the screen for are fine tuning the AC and stero -- the basic functions can be
accessed by buttons and dials.
3) I got MSRP, but was able to negotiate on my trade in. Around here it helps to get internet pricing as you then start at MSRP instead of having to argue about that...
4) Advice... prepare to enjoy!!!!!!!!!! And don't expect to get 60MPG. Don't expect to do much better than 43 on the first tank. I heard some guy on the radio who thought he could get 7200 miles on a tank. It''s good
but not THAT good!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
THANK YOU!

So many great replies here, thank you all so much! I learned a lot from the responses!

Going to read John's page now and check out the Prius info there.

The Touch of Class option is exactly what I was looking for. I hope our Toyota dealer offers it.

I noticed a lot of people talking about internet pricing. Can anyone tell me how that works and where I should start?

Thanks,
GeoGirl
 

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I keep thinking of more questions!

Does anyone know if there are ski racks that fit the Prius?

Also, are there any accessories that you can get for the Prius, fun doodads that are "I'm a Prius Owner" kind of things?

Thanks,
GeoGirl
 

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Go for it.

To address your concerns:


First, the fabric seems like it would get dirty really fast. Does it? Is it durable? Is it easy to clean?

>I haven't had mine that long and can't really say. I wanted a gray interior and got ivory instead. I have scotchgarded both the seats and the carpet. I've done the door handles twice. I have also ordered seat covers. From what I've read if you scotchgard the cleaning is fine. How dirty it gets would depend on your circumstances.

Second, when making the transition from a regular car to a Prius, do you get distracted by the monitor screen?

>Not at all. I was a bit concerned but not only do I find it not a distraction, but if I have to change radio stations or do the air....I find it is much faster. Thus my eyes are off the road only a second, compared to my old car. You're really not supposed to do that while driving. I paid a little attention to the default energy screen a bit when I first started driving, just to get a feel for the car and how to improve my driving pattern. Now...I'd like to find a way to just shut the screen off when I want.

Third, as someone who recently vowed never to purchase another new vehicle, due to the high depreciation that occurs when you drive off the lot, I've found the posts about the cost of new vs. used very interesting. I realize finding a used 2004 or newer Prius in a color I can stand may be virtually impossible, but is it also true that I may actually save money by buying a new car instead of used with the Prius?

>If you buy this year.....you can take $2000 off your 2005 income tax. If you wait until 2006 you'll only get $500. If you wait until 2007 you'll get nothing. So if you're thinking of buying...buy this year. Some states are offering ability for hybrids to drive in the HOV lanes with only the driver. A perk if you commute.

Fourth, is there really NO negotiation on price? I've never bought a car I didn't negotiate for. Are you able to at least negotiate on your trade-in, thereby sort of indirectly negotiating down the price?

>Well, you shouldn't have to pay over MSRP. If they try to add on or jack up due to "demand" leave and go to another dealer. Doesn't matter how far away you go to buy...you can have any Toyota dealer service it. I bought one off the lot and couldn't negotiate a lower price. But I did get the salesman to buy me something of my choice from the shop. I chose the cargo tote. It's only about a $30 item but at least I could tell my Dad I got them to throw something in. Register here and at priuschat.com and you'll read about how you can save big bucks on extended warranty (don't buy it from the dealer unless it's under $1000) and how you can get good prices on other accessories and the sources for same.

Finally, is there any advice that you would offer to someone about to purchase a hybrid car?

>Well, it sounds to me like you're already of the mindset to go hybrid. Once you take the plunge you are going to find you love your Prius more and more each day. After a few days you'll feel like you can't go back to driving a regular car. And you'll wonder why it took you so long. Driving the Prius will become natural and you'll be spoiled forever.

As for personalizing and doodads...I've bought quite a few accessories. Bumperguards, invisible bra and side trim, seatcovers, Wheelskins, dashmat, leather shade for display and cover for center console, exactmats for interior and cargo, horizontal and vertical cargo nets, two cargo totes, license plate frame that says "hybrid", decals for the sides that say "Prius" and for the back that say "gas-electric hybrid". I also ordered personalized plates that will read "HYBRDZD". I got a little yellow foam lightbulb antennae topper on eBay and a parking guide for the front bumper since I can't see the front of the car and haven't got used to the length yet.

That's pretty much it. I was considering a dash trim kit but am waiting. I'll reconsider mudguards when the car is closer to tire rotation as I heard it's best to put them on with the wheels off.
 

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Godiva,

Press Display, then press Screen Off

to turn off the screen
 
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Re: THANK YOU!

GeoGirl said:
I noticed a lot of people talking about internet pricing. Can anyone tell me how that works and where I should start?
You can often find a link on a dealer's web site for a sale price quote on anything they sell. That's "Internet sales." Try googling to find your local Toyota dealers.

The salesman I bought my Prius from (face-to-face) was also the Internet sales manager. So he's the guy who answers those quote requests.

Often a dealer will give a small discount on such sales because the customer doesn't take up a salesman's time at the dealership, but I'm doubtful about the possibility of getting such a discount on a Prius. But hey, give it a whirl.
 

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I have been wanting a Prius since they came out. I have one on order I decided to buy one now because of the $2000. tax deduction and in PA the state will give you $500.00 if you buy a new one. I also ordered it on the last day of the month and got $500.00 off of MSRP. I called around to a few dealers told them the color and package I wanted. A dealer that was about 1 hour away quoted me the $500.00 off MSRP then Icalled the dealer I have been working with and told him. The matched the deal. My car will arrive in NY on 4/17 it takes 5-10 days to get it.
I can't wait.
 
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