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Discussion Starter #1
I hope I am not contributing to a new urban legend,
but two acquaintances of mine, who watch TV in
Duluth, Minnesota have reported a program they
saw in which all hybrid cars were verbally trashed
and the Prius in particular. They say that it stated
that manufacturers lie about mileage, that hybrids
never do better than the low 30s mpg, that the
Prius just stops operating frequently, and that hybrids
are so high priced that one will never recover their
bloated costs no matter how high gasoline prices go!!!
My Prius cost less than a run-of-the-mill Chevy and
I currently get 50+ mpg.
Has anyone heard this broadcast? Is it sponsored
by Exxon-Mobil or GM? Sounds really wacky, but
“wacky” is not unusual these days.
Edward
 

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Edward said:
I hope I am not contributing to a new urban legend,
but two acquaintances of mine, who watch TV in
Duluth, Minnesota have reported a program they
saw in which all hybrid cars were verbally trashed
and the Prius in particular.

Unless you've seen it directly, it's hard to say. Sometimes people exaggerate things. And programs like that do have a point, sort of. The Prius *is* overpriced in a lot of ways. It's performance isn't that good. And most car shows are focused on performance.
 

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Yes, unless you hear it yourself you have to disregard most of this type of supposedly TV news ect; When was the last time you checked the price of the chevy?

Until Sept 6 you can get a fully equipped Buick Le Sabre for three thousand less than a Prius. They are now going for nineteen thousand and change. And that's with heated and powered leather seats.
 

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If you go to GM's web site and follow the "Build your car" links, and equip a Malibu to as close as you can to a Pruis, it will come out a few thousand higher. Ours is a pkg 4 which we bought for MSRP (23,799), the Malibu priced out at 26K+ and it still didn't have some of the things our Prius has because they are not available from GM (SKS for example).

I chose the Malibu because the size is the closest to the Pruis. Fords were either quite smaller or quite larger than the Prius, although the Fusion looks like it will be a close match but havn't seen any pricing yet.

This of course does not take into account the current "Employee Pricing" plans now going on, but they are not the normal prices anyway.
 

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tleonhar said:
If you go to GM's web site and follow the "Build your car" links, and equip a Malibu to as close as you can to a Pruis, it will come out a few thousand higher. Ours is a pkg 4 which we bought for MSRP (23,799), the Malibu priced out at 26K+ and it still didn't have some of the things our Prius has because they are not available from GM (SKS for example).
.
And the Mailbu has a lot of things not available on a Prius. Such as adjustable seats. Seats that don't cripple. Instruments. XM radio. Remote start. Comfortable seats. Soft touch plastic. Materials that don't wear when you touch them. 4 wheel disc brakes. Did I mention the seats? A V6. And so on.

Your best bet is to equip an Hyundai Elantra GT and see how much that costs. That's a much more accurate comparison.
 

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Ya ... a Prius with a V-6 would be great for that gasoline-savings goal. And all those instruments that I'm missing; wish I had those.
 

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And the Mailbu has a lot of things not available on a Prius. Such as adjustable seats. Seats that don't cripple. Instruments. XM radio. Remote start. Comfortable seats. Soft touch plastic. Materials that don't wear when you touch them. 4 wheel disc brakes. Did I mention the seats? A V6. And so on.

Your best bet is to equip an Hyundai Elantra GT and see how much that costs. That's a much more accurate comparison
XM $45 and a vacant FM station, got it, works fine, lasts a long time. Seats? sorry, I rented a Malibu about a year ago for a week, the seats were like a bean bag chair. And they allready had plenty of wear especially considering the car only had 8K on it. 4 wheel disk brakes? Nice but how much regeneration do you get out of them? V6, thats 2 more spark plugs to replace, 2 more pistons to slap, 2 more rods to go out, either 4 or 8 more valves to leak, and being a V engine, 1 less main bearing to support all that rattling. The chevy also comes with an old step shift transmission. The remote start is a nice convinence on a conventional car but totaly unessisary on a hybrid. You can get HID headlights on the Malibu but that package brings the price up to 29K

Compare the Prius to a Hyundai? Then you need to compare the Malibu to a Yugo to be fair!
 

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I'll never ever buy another GM car again. To me, a comparison between GM and Toyota in terms of only vehicle size, accessories, and so on is completely worthless.

GM has to have an employee discount for everybody, because they can't sell their cars at higher prices!
 

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People can say whatever they wish about the Prius hybrid and soon to be extensive lines of Toyota hybrids. We hybrid entusiasts are on to something better. The many years of promise by American manufacturers to supply hydrogen vehicles to the general public have developed into exactly that, years of waiting. The hybrid technology represents the least disruptive method of making the enventual conversion to hydogen fuel which, of course, must come someday and the sooner the better. The Fords, the GMs, the Chryslers, BMWs, Jaguars; all, represent stuff that was made 30 years ago and hasn't changed for the better. The same smelly gas vapor leakage, the same jerky transmissions, everything the same. All they do is change the body styles, tire sizes and paint colors. And, oh yes, raise the prices. Ugh!
 

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Just follow the money...who benefits from trashing the Prius & Hybrids ??
 

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Actually the middle Americans who purchase a chevy or ford every four or five years would probably tell you that they wouldn't even consider owning a piece of japanese tin.
It's as bif said like "spitting into the wind" to even consider one or the other. You get your mind made up and no one is going to change it. In another thread I notice that most people who have purchased a Prius mention the car they traded and it is predominately foreign and mainly japanese. That tells me it has been a long time since they, if ever, have looked at American.
After 60 years of car ownership when one of the two cars in my garage was foreign and the other American I have observed no differance at all in the quality, performance or maintanence in the models I have chosen. The Prius in my garage now is there because I was curious about the hybrid and for the technology involved "unsurpassed". To claim it is even remotely in the same league as my Cadillac is ludicrous. The only thing in my Prius that I would like to see in the Cad is "smart key" and I've already seen it mentioned in BMW and Mercedes ads. I'm sure GM will follow as they have acceded to many buyers requests for the remote start in most of their vehicles. When that same demand is for hybrids and they can make one for a reasonable price I'm sure they will.
I believe the Lexas H is probably the way the hybrid movement will be heading because of the cost and the fact that those that can afford them are seeking higher performance over that of fuel cost savings
My Prius is a fine car for commuting, but to COMPARE it to a fully equipped Malibu or Buick which can be purchased for three thousand dollars less is really "apples and oranges."
By the way, I've read more than one article lately mentioning that after the employee discounts are over we will be seeing these prices as standard on most GM vehicles in a new pricing structure. This should mark a drastic cut in the Prices of all models of Japanese cars so competition should help out everyones pocket book.
 

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BIF said:
GM has to have an employee discount for everybody, because they can't sell their cars at higher prices!
To me the 'employee pricing' sale just shows you how much they've been ripping people off for years. I doubt they are losing money on each sale.

Would I buy a GM again? If they made on that met my needs. I don't need to go 0-60 in 3 seconds, though.
 

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To actually blatantly attack hybrids shows you how desperate some people are. Sales may not be at Camry level but they're still going up. With the new HCH, that might even boost sales as non-Toyota buyers or those who simply favour Honda will have a new, more efficient choice.

I'm particularly picking about build quality and workmanship. Quality of materials is another thing. It's the way switches and stalk feels, it's the way the dash is assembled and the tightness of the gaps between panels. It's the way materials are chosen and matched. I'm not a Honda fan but so far, Honda's the closest to Toyota with that kind of feeling when I sit in a Honda vehicle. Sitting in a Ford Taurus (which we've rented on several occasions throughout the years) doesn't exude that kind of feeling. The rental cars had no squeaks or rattles but it just feels like a car, nothing more.
 

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one of the two cars in my garage was foreign and the other American I have observed no differance at all in the quality, performance or maintanence in the models I have chosen.

You must have a golden touch, since the overwhelming majority opinion of automotive experts for the last two decades disagrees with you.


By the way, I've read more than one article lately mentioning that after the employee discounts are over we will be seeing these prices as standard on most GM vehicles in a new pricing structure. This should mark a drastic cut in the Prices of all models of Japanese cars so competition should help out everyones pocket book.

The Big Three lost over a billion dollars a month with their employee discount sales campaign. It is simply not sustainable. Yes, domestic prices will drop because people are not placing as high a value on them as the builders imagined. But it can only go so far unless they also cut costs. This will probably mean dropping redundant makes such as GMC and Buick. Business Week did an analysis of GM's future and concluded this is inevitable.
 

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hyperion said:
After 60 years of car ownership when one of the two cars in my garage was foreign and the other American I have observed no differance at all in the quality, performance or maintanence in the models I have chosen.
Wow, you must certainly be in the minority here. I'd be really curious to know what "quality" American cars you've owned. None of the American cars I've owned have come close in quality to the my Toyotas and Volvos.
 

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hyperion said:
Actually the middle Americans who purchase a chevy or ford every four or five years would probably tell you that they wouldn't even consider owning a piece of japanese tin.
Can you just please explain how American car companies are losing market share then? And don't give me any of that "higher pension/health plan cost" explanation either. Those excuses would explain higher cost and lower profit, but they won't explain lower market share. Market share is purely based on customers buying the product. Numbers don't lie. You may talk all you want about middle Americans who buy American products, but declining market share means they aren't anymore. Out here in the west I already see more Japanese cars than huge American SUVs and trucks for the past 5 years (at least). I just really can't see the justification of your faith in American cars (barring major changes in the US car industry).
 

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American vehicles, specifically Ford products have treated my family and my relatives’ families very well for 60+ years. I still own a mid-80s Mercury and compare that vehicle with a mid-80s Toyota and the interior materials, interior design and fit and finish are far superior on the Mercury. The Toyota may still be tight and not dripping oil, which is an important indicator of mechanical quality, but the interior is covered in rough fabrics (in generally unappealing colors), inexpensive feeling plastics, and toggles and switches which do not feel positive and also feel inexpensive, and don't forget the dash cutouts for options you didn't get or that weren't available. Toyota has been climbing up the long road of materials quality and appearance for many years now. They have been at stride for a number of years, however in the 80s when the Americans were really working hard on the quality issue, they did eclipse the Japanese in terms of interior appearance and feel.

GM is the last company I would point to regarding interior fit and finish. Their interiors still feel inexpensive and kludged together, however Ford has spent the most time making the interior of a vehicle quiet, devoid of squeaks and rattles, the materials appealing, the switches solid and the seats comfortable.

My problem with some of the things I hear in the Prius community are with regard to the American bashing. If you are going to bash, bash about their lack of foresight regarding fuel economy, but don't bash for the sake of bashing. Read a few honestly written car articles, take a look at what Ford is trying to do and the product they are currently selling (Escape Hybrid) before you choose to dismiss the American manufacturers as lost causes.

The question becomes, when an American manufacturer gets a couple of hybrids in their fleet (such as Toyota's or Honda's position now), will we continue to bash them because they aren't up with the times? It will be very interesting to see how all of this plays out in the next couple of years.
 

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I was a Mopar man for years. I just felt they had superior styled cars. Everyone copied the mini-van and I love the look of the early model Sebring convertibles. PT Cruiser anyone??? I accepted a long time ago that the workmanship and reliability was not as good as Toyota or Honda.

Anyway, I went through a progression. First, I would not buy any foreign car as I say "keep my money here", then I went to, well, I'll only buy a car "Made in America" (even if it was a Honda).

But when it finally came time to DO something about gas costs, well, DEAFENING silence from the Big 3. They wouldn't move with the times. They are still all about Power, POWER, POWER!. (as in Horsepower)

The Prius was WAY ahead of the Honda Hybrids.

So, I would gladly buy a Ford, GM, or Chrysler Hybrid that could get a competative mpg of the Prius. But if Toyota BEATS them by building hybrids in Kentucky, well, looks like I will remain a Toyota loyalist.

Sometimes I wish the "American" people were more loyal and would have sent the imports packing, BUT, if they had, I can only imagine the mpg and quality of cars we would be suffering with now (Think Russian common cars in the 80's)
 

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KTPhill, No, I'de much rather believe what I see and hear from my neighbors, friends, fellow workers and from personal experiance than from the periodicals and the media who supposedly are enjoying trashing the hybrids . I haven't personally encountered this other than the comedic remarks by Jay Leno and those were more about the appearance of the beast rather than the concept.

You have to observe that well over 75% of the ads in magazines like Car and Driver and Road and Track for the past thirty years have been placed by the Japanese auto industry.

You get your opinions from your years of personal experiance. I'll spot you those years and throw thirty more into the pot for mine.
I drove perfectly wonderfull American cars in the seventies along with a couple of very good German ones while your mother evidentually had an American lemon! Heck, it could happen to any of us.
If you believe the stuff you have read about American cars then how can you deny what you are reading about the Prius?
Keep it on a personal plane and don't enjoy spreading inuendos and rumors.


Jim, I could ask you the very same question about the Japanese, but some were Buick Wildcats, Ford Mustangs, a couple Chevy Caprice Wagons, a Ford Wagon and a couple of Plymouth Voyagers. Trouble free, "all of them."
I couldn't even consider how we could have raised our family and enjoyed our homes without the chevy wagons. The Japanese made none of this type of vehicle and I guess you could say it was a different generation.


Wayne Bruce, The biggest number of cars which went and were the most desired in the sell-out were the SUV's and the largest seller in the Toyota brand are the SUV's, Mini Vans and pickup trucks. That's what the average American buyer still wants and that's what the car makers are going to give them. I'll be estatic when the demand is for hybrids but until you can knock nine thousand off the price you won't see it soon.


SgtKarl, You probably won't be able to afford anything coming out of Kentucky if Toyota only makes Camry Hybrids there. The expected list for one is already over thirty grand.
 
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