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Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       10-02-2012, 6:53 AM Reply   
As most know, I am a right-winger. However, spending $140/week in gas for my 4X4 lifted Tacoma was getting old. I wanted to pick up a vehicle to save some $ and take away the stress of rising gas prices. I also had to spend at least 23K so my mileage payments could be 100% tax free (this is an IRS deal). This 23K requirement eliminated a lot of pretty solid cars in the 16-18K range that would have otherwise been in play.

So, I end up getting a 2012 Prius C (model 3). To even make it more crazy to friends and family I get one in Habanero Orange. I figured if I am going to drive a small car I was to be as visible to F350s and Truckers as possible and this color is BRIGHT.

After a month of driving this car it is the bomb. The thrill of driving a 911 or my old Infiniti G35 (years ago) has been replaced by trying to get 70 MPG on a trip to Academy to buy ammo. When I get caught in bad traffic it isn't a problem- I just sit back and watch my mileage go from 50MPG to 65 MPG in stop and go traffic. The car has a lot of gadgets for 23K. It has a full navigation, voice command blue tooth, and you can send and read e-mails from the touch screen stereo. You can also surf the internet and use Bing from the car stereo. XM/Sirus, iPod interface, etc... it has basically everything you’d find a 60K Lexus.

I have filled it up 5 times in a 6 weeks versus 2 times per week. The worst tank was the first one- 48.4 MPG, the best was 51.4. On my commute I have to get on I35 and drive 70MPH+ so that isn't the best for hybrid mileage. If I ever just drove around in town I could EASILY average 60-65+MPG on a tank. I spent a lot of time reading on Prius Chat after getting the car and it was a big help. You need to drive a hybrid different than a normal vehicle to maximize what it can do. That is the fun part about driving one.

Cargo space is pretty tight. I can barely fit a 142 wakeboard in the car. I have to fold the rear sets down and wakeboard is pressed up against the front seats. You can barely fit a Glock 19 in the center console- I carry my Ruger LC9 in it now.

It is hard to say exactly how much cash this little car is saving me but it is a lot Even with a car payment. I could have paid cash for it but why when I got 1.9% interest for 60 months? My truck hasn't needed gas in 6 weeks. My wife is going on 3 weeks in her van. We take the Prius almost everywhere now. To fill-up a Prius runs around $30 and I can easily drive 415+ miles on a tank.

Personally, I don't give a rat a$$ about the scam that is global warming or ridiculous environmental issues that don't make sense. $8 light bulbs are just stupid. I bought this great car to save cash and I love the sucker. I can't wait to find a "hybrid only" parking spot but I haven't parked in one yet .

In summary, these cars may be ugly, not cool at all and worst of all- you may be mistaken for a liberal. However, it is nice driving by a gas station and not giving a crap how much gas went up. If gas goes to $5 gallon it really won't be too bad until I get ready to fill up my Super Air.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-02-2012, 7:35 AM Reply   
Not a right winger here, but switched several company fleet small trucks for prius's. Best thing we have done. My guys do about 1-2000 miles per month, so it was a no brainer. They average 48-65 depending on the trips. That is compared to 9-16 in the trucks. I wish I could change all of my work trucks to these suckers or something similar. I drive a 2500 Diesel every day and the gas mileage is terrible.

We don't hate you Rob. If this give you more money to boat, than rock on.
Old     (jcfox00)      Join Date: Mar 2009       10-02-2012, 7:47 AM Reply   
Not gonna lie, I'm a little jealous of your mileage. I drive a lifted Chevy and get about 16mpg if I drive like a grandma. Thought this pic was funny...

Last edited by wakeworld; 10-08-2012 at 10:43 AM.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       10-02-2012, 7:42 AM Reply   
Just please.....don't drive 55 in the fast lane. :-)
Old     (blindmnkee3)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-02-2012, 7:49 AM Reply   
Thanks for sharing Rob, you've got me seriously considering one when my company lease runs out next year. I average 2-3k a month in mileage so a Prius would be much more gentle on my pocketbook. How about comfort/roomyness inside? If I could fold my big a$$ into the front seat I may have to make a trip to the Toyota dealer. As a former student of the greatness that is Texas A&M, I seriously question your choice of color but its good to know that a fellow right-winger can feel at home in a liberal machine like the Prius.
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       10-02-2012, 7:52 AM Reply   
I don't drive 55 in the fast lane but I will drive 63 in a 70 if there are not cars behind me. If there is traffic I move with traffic. I am basically a little organge box surrounded by Dodge diesels and F250s in Texas so I am not into holding up traffic. I would have NEVER thought I would have liked the car as much as I do. I was planning on tolerating it then driving my truck on the weekends but it is damn hard to justify getting 16-18 MPG when I could get 50+ MPG. Everytime I don't take the Prius i see it as wasting money.
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       10-02-2012, 7:54 AM Reply   
Curious how much you're really saving by buying a $23k car. Punched in some numbers and it looks to me like it starts paying for itself at 92,000 miles and after that you'll be saving around $250/mo in gas at current prices. This is not factoring in interest on the loan (which is small at 1.9%), or additional insurance costs for insuring another vehicle. I don't know your costs or how many miles/yr so can't plug those numbers in. By the time you start saving money though, at 92k miles, you're awfully close to the 100k mile battery/hybrid service. If batteries need replacing at 100k miles for $3000 + labor ($4k maybe?), you're still not looking too bad at 108k miles before that's paid off and you're saving money again. I guess it depends on how long the car lasts as to whether it'll save you a significant amount of money.
Old     (Raf1985)      Join Date: Mar 2012       10-02-2012, 7:56 AM Reply   
Have you seen the south park episode on hybrids? You should check it out. Just don't start sniffing your own farts hahahahahaha
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       10-02-2012, 7:59 AM Reply   
Adam... I can easily fit 4 dudes in the car. You could fit in it but the back seat behind you would be pretty cramped. I have caught a lot of hell over the color but to me it was the same as KTM orange so I liked it. There isn't enough beer in the keg or meth in the pipe to get me to drive around in something even remotely close to t.u.'s ugly-ass orange but like my buddy says.... orange is like orange and blue or silver isn't like orange. Whatever! It is a unique color and it seems like everyone has an opinion about it. You either love it or you hate it.

As far as costs... the Prius will cost right at 7 cents per mile to operate. My truck was 21 cents. Dirving 2-3K miles and getting paid mileage with a Prius.... you will be getting a huge bump in monthly revenue.
Old     (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       10-02-2012, 8:00 AM Reply   
When I went back to school (and started driving 40k miles a year) I changed from my truck to a TDI Jetta. I have had the car for about 20 months and I have saved $8000 in fuel. I love getting 40+ mpg.
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       10-02-2012, 8:09 AM Reply   
Cory- it is also preventing a 35K tricked out Tacoma from getting drove into the ground every day. I can now let it sit and only use it to haul the boat or dirt bikes. Also, my wife's van is getting much less use. It is actually be a break-even deal but it is still 7 cents vs 21 cents for every mile I drive.

I ran extensive numbers and figured I'd be saving about $70/month even with the car payment. That is about right on. However, I didn't account for the gas savings by my wife not driving her van as much. So, we will probably save more than that....
Old     (Nordicron)      Join Date: Aug 2011       10-02-2012, 8:26 AM Reply   
Man I'm with you! I live in Madison Wi, crazy lib city and I wanna get a Romney sticker for out prius so bad! Lots of Prius around here but they all got Obama stickers!

Anyway love love love our Prius! Its loaded with leather and nav and stuff too. I can get 55mpg per tank all day long driving it but the wife on the other hand is always less than 50! Dang lead foot she is!
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       10-02-2012, 9:48 AM Reply   
I am loving mine too. Some days I wish I had gotten the orange but went with the boring charcoal (it was on the lot and had everything else I wanted). Got a tow hitch on it for the bike rack and the thing is super easy to park just about anywhere. I get 50mpg without even trying to take it easy. It handles WAY better than the regular prius, which felt like a real boat to me.
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       10-02-2012, 10:08 AM Reply   
How are the seats in the new gen? Namely, do they offer adjustable lumbar yet?
Old     (TroyD)      Join Date: Jan 2012       10-02-2012, 10:19 AM Reply   
Power to you if you really don't care about what you drive...
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       10-02-2012, 10:35 AM Reply   
I can see the attraction. My daily driver is an 07 civic si, 99% is suburban surface street commuting. I've found myself short shifting and coasting to try to eek out 27mpg in the city. And I've been riding my bike to work to stretch fillups. I'd bet I could get away with a tank a month in a prius.
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       10-02-2012, 11:18 AM Reply   
Wes.. since I have had mine I have only seen 1 other Prius C driving around and it was also a Habanero. The things are very few and far betwee here. You see the regular Prius every couple blocks.
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       10-02-2012, 12:12 PM Reply   
Try living in Bezerkeley - there is a regular prius every 10 feet - no exaggeration. I have seen a habanero here as well as another charcoal and a black one. The thing is so easy to drive around and park that I hardly ever take the fun car out of the garage.
Old     (azeus17)      Join Date: Feb 2010       10-02-2012, 1:11 PM Reply   
I am curious if you guys looked into the Volt before buying the Prius? If so, what was the deciding factor? Seems that if you have a shorter commute you could get away with zero gas. I understand that would not work for you guys driving 2-3k/mo, but even then, isn't it supposed to act just like a hybrid (get better mileage)?
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       10-02-2012, 1:16 PM Reply   
Yes I considered and test drove the Volt. Not a bad car but a bit cramped and only a 4 seater. Not a true hatchback so cargo loading seemed more awkward. Also hoping to rebuild my garage which would complicate charging station logistics. Finally it costs quite a bit more than the Prius C. However they do have special very cheap lease rates on the volt...

Last edited by pesos; 10-02-2012 at 1:19 PM.
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       10-02-2012, 1:39 PM Reply   
I did not test drive the Volt but I probably should have. But, I would have had a hard time going with anything from Obama Motors. Also, I had gotten completely screwed on a couple GM vehicles recently compared with Toyota which have all been awesome. I think you can drive around 30 miles with no gas on the Volt. You can drive around 15 miles I think with the Prius plug-in. For me, the best bang per buck was with the Prius C. I also wasn't a big fan of that huge center console on the regular Prius. I was a little concerned with the battery so I did do something I never would normally do: I bought the Toyota's official 100,000 warranty.

I didn't actually test drive anything else. I didn't want to spend 30K on a Prius so when I saw the Prius C for 19-24K I immediately knew that was it. I called around and went to look at one in person on Friday night. Test drove and bought it Sat morning. I have not regretted it one bit.

I need to find a bike rack for it. I think I am spending more gas hauling my mountain bike to and from the trails in my truck than I do driving all week!
Old     (cragrat)      Join Date: Mar 2012       10-03-2012, 1:00 AM Reply   
I'm curious. When a hybrid vehicle reaches the end of it's "life", what is done with the battery?
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       10-03-2012, 5:03 AM Reply   
I am sure the dealer takes it and disposes of it by recycling it like they do tires now. I am not too worried about the battery. You can see Prius Taxi Cabs running around with 300,000+ miles on them. Also, if you really search out stories about batteries failing they are pretty hard to find. Toyota has the hybrid technology pretty well in the bag.
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       10-03-2012, 8:59 AM Reply   
Rob here's my thread on the hitch and bike rack I went with - love it:
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            10-03-2012, 9:04 AM Reply   
Think a prius could carry a 14' paddleboard at highway speeds? Wakeboards fit in a prius right? Serious questions guys never seen a prius in person.
Old     (hco)      Join Date: Jun 2006       10-03-2012, 10:46 AM Reply   
When the battery packs reach the end of their life (100k+ miles), they are replaced. A large percent of the battery pack can be recycled though, I think it was somewhere 70%+
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-03-2012, 10:57 AM Reply   
Dan: Im not sure 100k is the end of life for a Prius battery. Many city Taxi's like here in SF have way over 250k + on the batts and they are still going strong.
I have seen a Rebuild swap out program for $600-$800 for older Prius batterys.
Old     (duramat)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-06-2012, 12:56 PM Reply   
Hey Rob, could you explain to me your write off with IRS? Are there any incentive credits for buying the Prius (other hybrid as well)?

Pm me if you need to

Thanx again
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       10-07-2012, 7:09 AM Reply   
No there are no tax credits for a Hybrid. For business miles, we use a company called CRS. It pays a fixed amount and then 22 cents per mile. It is based on a 2012 Toyota Camry. To be 100% tax free the car has to be 23.3K MSRP or only a percentage is tax deductible. Therefore, I had to spend at least 23K for my reimbursement payments to be 100% tax free. I am not sure how other programs work but I do know CRS bases everything on IRS guidelines. That was probably more confusing than helpful but I tried man! Good luck and let me know if you need anything additional.


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