Author Topic: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?  (Read 23077 times)

mtnrider

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Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« on: May 10, 2015, 02:42:54 PM »
Sadly, I find myself in the position of needing a new car - it seems like a Prius is a good fit.  Here's what I've been thinking:

 - new vs used: I don't want new, but it seems like the discount around here for used Priuses is not very good.  (Toyota has a $2000 new Prius "incentive" which tilts the scale to the new car price.)

 - I don't see any reason to buy a higher class than the "Two."

 - I'm not going to finance it

 - not sure about doing a private party trade-in for my old car - there are serious mechanical and cosmetic issues that bring my car to the bottom side of the used car valuation.

Am I missing something?

Syonyk

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2015, 03:49:15 PM »
What's your driving profile look like?  And what are the mechanical issues with your existing car?  Dropping $20k+ on a new car is a good chunk of change.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 03:50:52 PM by Syonyk »

GueroKC

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 05:50:52 PM »
Every individual has their own unique situation and values, however...

In the vast majority of circumstances, buying a brand-new Prius is going to be a poorer financial move than buying a used non-hybrid car. An older Honda Fit, Scion XD/XA, or similar car will be cheaper to purchase, cheaper to insure, and get comparable gas mileage (Especially if most of your driving his highway driving. Hybrid gains in MPG are almost all in stop-and-go driving.)

If environmental impact is a big deal to you, small, non-hybrid cars can be very competitive in that arena, too. What they give up in fuel-efficiency, they make up for by not needing batteries.

mtnrider

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2015, 07:18:29 PM »

Driving profile: I walk or ride a bike to almost all of my local destinations - work, shopping, etc...   But I actually drive a few hundred miles a week - mostly due to family obligations.  That'll be true for the next four or five years.  I live in a small New England city.

The old minivan is 15 years old, has about 200,000 miles, and it needs a new torque converter+tranny, rear brakes/rotors, windshield, and a handful of minor things (rear wiper motor, power window motor, door rollers, struts).  I did a lot of work on this beast in the past myself, but my current landlords don't allow repairs - plus I don't have time to pull the tranny anyway.    The KBB value is around $1000 and we're talking about probably >$4000k to get it to pass inspection.  (And although I try practicing non-attachment, I love this minivan.  But I need something more reliable.  It's the failing transmission that pushed this over the edge.)

For non-hybrids, I've thought about used with the Civic, the Fit, and a handful of other cars, but they don't fit me well and aren't priced all that competitively either.  The Prius itself is a compromise - I'm tall, and I sometimes sleep in the back.  Actually, the 2015 Fit would work for driving, but not as much for sleeping.  I was surprised about the Prius - I'd driven a 2002 and a 2005 before, and they didn't fit me vertically, but I just squeeze in for the >2010 models without a sunroof.

I'd really like a used Prius, but the pricing (!) - they're asking $24k for a 2013 Model Two with 11k miles.  Or $12k for a 2010 with 100k miles.  Granted that we're talking about the "asking" price, but they're "asking" around $3k MORE than a new one than a 2013!  Overall, it appears to be a very efficient market with something like 10 cents per mile, with no huge depreciation.  (Partially due to the price incentives from Toyota, but with a new, more efficient Prius model coming out next year, I have to wonder if there'll be a depreciation hit then.  Not that it helps me now.)

I'm trying to look at other aspects too.  Insurance seems to be on par with other smaller cars, as is reliability and repair costs.


Faraday

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2015, 08:02:03 PM »
Buy that Prius. I own a 2011 Prius II and I paid more for my car than you will pay for a new one - by about $4k. My points to you are:
- insane price incentives on the Prius right now due to the low price of fuel
- those price incentives will not last.
- the car is fantastic
- I can get 50mpg "any day of the week". My wife can do 54mpg on her commute.
- We can put 500 miles on a 10 gallon tank and refill every two weeks.
- I'm tall also (a tad over 6 ft) and the car fits me just fine.
- It's insanely comfortable, especially on long trips
- You'll get free maintenance from the Toyota dealer for two years. Free oil changes, etc. I spent $0 on mine the first two years.
- Some Toyota dealers offer free oil changes for life, etc. You gotta schedule them well in advance, but that's easy to plan for
- After that, I've not gotten hit with any big bills of any kind.

Negatives?
- It's not gonna throw you back in the seat when you mash the gas,
- You don't get that "tightly coupled to the road" feel,
- There's no manual transmission you can slam through the gears

In short, if you are confident in your own manhood and frugality, you can make out like a bandit with a Prius. I wouldn't trade mine for any other vehicle. NOTE: I am not affiliated with Toyota and I have no pecuinary interest whether you buy or not. I'm just a satisfied Prius owner.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 08:10:35 PM by mefla »

mtnrider

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 08:12:44 PM »
It's good to hear that mefla!  I've had my time of building fast cars, so I don't need to prove anything, and if I want to feel the road, I get a much better connection on a bike.


Travis

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 08:50:59 PM »
What is a Prius 2? I'm aware of the Prius, Prius V, and Prius C.  I'm in the market for one and I'm just looking at the Prius between 2006 and 2010 models.

mtnrider

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2015, 10:22:50 PM »
What is a Prius 2? I'm aware of the Prius, Prius V, and Prius C.  I'm in the market for one and I'm just looking at the Prius between 2006 and 2010 models.

It's a normal Prius, in the "Two" trim level.  No sunroof, no lane following radar, no HUD, no Sidewinder missile rails (!).  :)  This is generally the cheapest available level they sell for - the "One" level seems to be only for fleets.

I think the models you're looking for are typically called "Gen II" (second generation body)  The current Prius is "Gen III" and apparently next year, there will be a "Gen IV."  My understanding is Gen II are nice + the rear seats fold down flatter than the Gen III, which makes them better for sleeping.


Faraday

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2015, 06:35:42 AM »
What is a Prius 2? I'm aware of the Prius, Prius V, and Prius C.  I'm in the market for one and I'm just looking at the Prius between 2006 and 2010 models.

It's a normal Prius, in the "Two" trim level.  No sunroof, no lane following radar, no HUD, no Sidewinder missile rails (!).  :)  This is generally the cheapest available level they sell for - the "One" level seems to be only for fleets.

I think the models you're looking for are typically called "Gen II" (second generation body)  The current Prius is "Gen III" and apparently next year, there will be a "Gen IV."  My understanding is Gen II are nice + the rear seats fold down flatter than the Gen III, which makes them better for sleeping.
+1 to what mtnrider said. The "two" designation is the trim level. But even at "two", you get four wheel disk brakes, cruise, temp-controlled A/C, remote locks, seveal-speaker MP3-capable stereo and I think this year's Prius Two includes a backup camera. With any Prius, you get a remarkable set of screens for great fuel consumption and performance data from the car.

One of my sons has an older Gen Two Prius (2005) and it's going strong, getting him 50mpg on his highway trips between New York and North Carolina. He tracks what he spends on fuel and compared to the Acura Integra he used to drive, he paid for the Prius just in fuel savings, saw a drop in the cost of his insurance and taxes, and has a ton more interior room and creature comforts. He can cruise on I-81 around 75-80 MPH while still getting 48-50 MPG depending on the weather and driving conditions.

I own two hybrids: A "Gen 1" Honda Insight, 2000 model and the "Gen 3" Toyota Prius, 2011 model. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, things they are better suited for and less suited for. But both cars can get in excess of 500 miles per 10.8 gallons (I'm aiming for 700 miles on my next 10 gallon tank in the Insight over the next two weeks).

BTW: Batteries last about 15 years. I just now replaced the hybrid battery in my Insight for $2075. I know people who have had to recondition and maintain their Prius battery, but so far I don't know anyone who's had to replace theirs.


Faraday

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2015, 06:50:46 AM »
Now look...let me be clear: Buying a new Prius is "not mustachian" in the sense that it's not a 2-3 year old minivan, Scion Xa, Honda Fit or Corolla. You can, however, "get mustachian" if you buy a used Gen 3 Prius for $12k or so.

However, you have correctly pointed out that the used car market is fairly inflated: most people who have crappy credit are stuck with buying used, and the dealerships gig the hell out of them on interest rate. So it's a real racket. Plus, if you buy new, you get all kinds of benefits that ARE worth money you'd have to spend on the used car.

If you can pay cash for the car, great. If you can get 0% financing, great. But you will pay nothing for maintenance the first two years, you may escape paying for oil changes if you go to the right dealer, and you will get MPG numbers that far exceed what you can do with a civic, corolla or fit. (Last I checked, the Honda Fit SUCKED at MPG because Honda wanted to make it "sporty")

To reach 40mpg with a non-hybrid, you have to buy a model that's specifically built to hit that number. The older Hondas with the "HF" designation could get close to 40 on the highway. Newer Hondas have the "ECON" button, and I think there's a Corolla that can get near 40mpg. Otherwise, you are looking at 32-34 mpg most of the time.

That's still 10-20mpg less than you can do with a Prius under any circumstances. So while a Prius doesn't DOUBLE your fuel economy over, say, a new Corolla, you get efficiency capabilities with the Prius that, if you are interested in learning about "hypermiling", can give you choices you just don't have with a Civic or a Corolla.

And believe me, if you buy a Prius, there will come a time when it's capabilities will save your ass. The Prius can go 60 miles on it's fuel reserves after the gas pump comes on. You can slow down and drop into "EV mode" on the Gen 3 Prius - so when going through a big parking lot or a neighborhood, you can go full-EV and burn NO GAS. (When I turn off on the slow road to my house, I can go full-EV mode for over 1/3 a mile. The car is completely silent when it comes up into the driveway! :-) )


Jmoody10

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2015, 08:20:18 AM »
I feel like a ninja when my prius goes silent! I live on a rural dirt road and love sneaking up on grazing deer with it!

Syonyk

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2015, 12:25:07 PM »
Sneaking up on deer is useful if you have a rifle or shotgun. Otherwise I'd rather not be sneaking up on them in a car. I've had the damned forest rats run into the side on my car...

Bob W

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2015, 12:34:14 PM »
Sounds like you have your heart set on the Prius?   

So let's make it the best deal possible.   

Read a few blurbs on negotiating.

1.  Don't tell them it is cash
2.  Ask the what the absolute best price they can give you on the trade
3.  Say it like this and practice "What is the absolute best price you can give me on this today?"  Whatever number they say -  Reply -"I was thinking lower,  how much lower can you go?"
4. Do this on the 18th of the month. 
5.  Keep turning down their price (until they get near the dealer cost) and you meet the manager.
6.  Walk away.
7.  On the last day of the month about 4 pm walk in and offer them $500 less than their best previous offer.

In today's sales environment for Prius' you should be able to buy below the dealer cost. 

Then finance it at 3% at your local credit union and keep your funds invested. 

rtrnow

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2015, 12:54:12 PM »

If you can pay cash for the car, great. If you can get 0% financing, great. But you will pay nothing for maintenance the first two years, you may escape paying for oil changes if you go to the right dealer, and you will get MPG numbers that far exceed what you can do with a civic, corolla or fit. (Last I checked, the Honda Fit SUCKED at MPG because Honda wanted to make it "sporty")

To reach 40mpg with a non-hybrid, you have to buy a model that's specifically built to hit that number. The older Hondas with the "HF" designation could get close to 40 on the highway. Newer Hondas have the "ECON" button, and I think there's a Corolla that can get near 40mpg. Otherwise, you are looking at 32-34 mpg most of the time.


The fit easily averages 34-35 in mostly city driving for me, and I do not try to hypermile. With some mild hypermiling, I hit 38 easily and sometimes maintain over 40. I payed 11K for the fit with 45K miles and now at over 100K miles it has needed nothing other than routine maintenance. I can buy a hell of a lot of gas for the extra 10-15K you'll spend on that prius. I also get to drive a stick and have a car that is easy to work on myself. All maintenance thus far (oil changes, brakes, valve adjustment, spark plugs) I have done myself with no experience using forums and youtube. I doubt things are that simple on the prius but I don't really know.

mtnrider

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2015, 08:42:30 PM »

Well, my heart's not set on it - that's why I posted here, to get some countervailing opinions.

Some things I've rejected:

 - thinking outside the box: move closer to my kid.  That would end up a net-negative since I'd have to drive to work in traffic.

 - bike to the kid: way too far to be practical

 - use a rental to travel: I like this idea, but it's not cost effective, and would be harder in the winter

 - buy a craigslist Prius or small car: they are ridiculously close to new car prices (modulo mileage) + there's time invested in finding one

 - buy a smaller car: OK, but I'd have to choose which to lop off - my head or my feet?  :)  Seriously, I /could/ squeeze into a smaller car, but the price differential is not that much, and I'm hunched over enough at work.  The 2015 Fit would "fit", but they're asking $19k for used models with low mileage.

 - buy a sedan: the Accord or Camry aren't hatchbacks, a PT Cruiser is inexpensive used, but has not-so-great reliability.  I like Subarus, but don't need AWD + clearance since I don't ski anymore.

But really, given the constraints, I don't think there's anything else practical other than to suck it up and get a new car.  Like GueroKC said, everyone has their unique situation.

mtnrider

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2015, 08:49:44 PM »
Sounds like you have your heart set on the Prius?   

So let's make it the best deal possible.   

Read a few blurbs on negotiating.

1.  Don't tell them it is cash
2.  Ask the what the absolute best price they can give you on the trade
3.  Say it like this and practice "What is the absolute best price you can give me on this today?"  Whatever number they say -  Reply -"I was thinking lower,  how much lower can you go?"
4. Do this on the 18th of the month. 
5.  Keep turning down their price (until they get near the dealer cost) and you meet the manager.
6.  Walk away.
7.  On the last day of the month about 4 pm walk in and offer them $500 less than their best previous offer.

In today's sales environment for Prius' you should be able to buy below the dealer cost. 

Then finance it at 3% at your local credit union and keep your funds invested.

Oh this is interesting.  I had heard to walk in and tell them I'd be buying with cash because the guarantee of making a sale is currently better for them since they're trying to up their sales numbers. 

I'd have to drive to a number of dealers, so I was just going to email them all a form letter to get the negotiations kicked off.  It would say that I'd like to buy their car for $xyz*, when can I come by with a check?

* where xyz is a few hundred below the Consumer Reports New Car Pricing number, minus the $2000 cash incentive.

But yeah.  I'm totally prepared to walk away.  Actually, I'd probably walk away anyway just to sleep on it.







Syonyk

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2015, 09:17:08 PM »
Dealerships hate cash.  They make a good bit on selling off the loan.

Travis

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2015, 09:24:58 PM »
Quote
buy a craigslist Prius or small car: they are ridiculously close to new car prices (modulo mileage) + there's time invested in finding one

What years are you looking at?  Both here and where I'm moving to are a few 2008-2010 models under $9k with around 150k miles as both private and dealer sales.

Faraday

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2015, 09:28:26 PM »
Sounds like you have your heart set on the Prius?   
So let's make it the best deal possible.   
(...amazing shit here...)
Damn Bob, you are the Darth Vader of car negotiating, man.

Faraday

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2015, 09:38:05 PM »
Some things I've rejected:

 - thinking outside the box: move closer to my kid.
... (other stuffs here)...

Oh crap. I better understand your mission for the car now, and why you are looking at a new car of ANY kind....you have a mission for the car that is in-no-way mustachian and you've already assessed the alternatives, ruled them out.

A new Prius is a pretty good choice, especially if you are making some trip > 50 miles twice in a weekend.  And you damn well don't want this car failing on you while you are on the road. That would be a catastrophe for several reasons.

NOW I also get the "sleeping" option too. It's not quite as good as a minivan that way, but then you throw MPG out the window. It'll work for that, especially if you use a decent foam pad.

danactsalot

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2015, 09:44:19 PM »


 - buy a smaller car: OK, but I'd have to choose which to lop off - my head or my feet?  :)  Seriously, I /could/ squeeze into a smaller car, but the price differential is not that much, and I'm hunched over enough at work.  The 2015 Fit would "fit", but they're asking $19k for used models with low mileage.


Have you actually tried sitting in smaller cars? Most cars in the past 10 years can actually handle taller, bigger people fairly comfortably. Unless you're Shaq, you should be fine...

With you mostly doing highway driving, a used diesel would probably be the most economical and environmental option. Used car market is tight for them, too, but probably not as bad as the Prius. VW Jetta, Golf, Chevy Cruze could all be good options.

Syonyk

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2015, 10:50:35 PM »
A reasonably recent used diesel is an utter maintenance nightmare waiting to happen.  The things they have to do to the engine to make it meet US EPA emissions regulations utterly destroy any inherent simplicity or reliability of a diesel.

I'd rather have a Prius than a new diesel car, and I say this as one who despises Priuses and the utterly bland economical motoring they represent.  Also that they seem to be unable to exceed 55mph in the left lane.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2015, 11:15:52 PM »
$2000 off MSRP is NO WHERE NEAR ENOUGH!!

Truecar for a high COL area (Alexandria, VA) is showing $4900 off suggested.  Just last week there was a thread on TCL about a guy who got $4500 off a new Prius ($31,450 sticker, $26,900 transaction price) in Philadelphia.  You need to work with a different dealer.  This is the final year of the 3rd generation Prius and Toyota's blowing them out to clear inventory before the new one hits dealerships for the 2016 model year.

For the record, back when I was married, we had a 2010 Prius Two, no options except the protection package or whatever it's called, which is basically some clear strips over the door edges, rear bumper, and I think the floormats.  Anyway, it was a perfectly fine car.  My ex-wife still drives it.  60,000 miles in nearly 5 years, no problems but regular maintenance.  I personally think anything above the base model is a waste.

Still: hammer on the price.  Call multiple dealerships until you get the best price.  $2000 off MSRP is a joke at this time for the Prius.

ClaycordJCA

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2015, 01:14:23 AM »
At least in Northern California, Toyota is offering 0% financing on all Prius' through the end of the month. May want to see if that same deal is being offered in your area.

Faraday

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2015, 05:18:43 AM »
A reasonably recent used diesel is an utter maintenance nightmare waiting to happen.  The things they have to do to the engine to make it meet US EPA emissions regulations utterly destroy any inherent simplicity or reliability of a diesel.

I'd rather have a Prius than a new diesel car, and I say this as one who despises Priuses and the utterly bland economical motoring they represent.  Also that they seem to be unable to exceed 55mph in the left lane.

Why does everyone keep forgetting that diesel fuel is as much as a buck a gallon more expensive than gasoline most places? Only way you can make a diesel pay off is to add the components to let it burn vegetable oil. Also, no one seems to understand that diesel/kerosene has more energy/kg than gasoline, and that's why it "gets better gas mileage".

I'm with Synonyk....Yeah, shuh. Rather have that crappy 'ol Prius. :-) :-) :-)

Faraday

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2015, 05:28:20 AM »
$2000 off MSRP is NO WHERE NEAR ENOUGH!!

Truecar for a high COL area (Alexandria, VA) is showing $4900 off suggested.  Just last week there was a thread on TCL about a guy who got $4500 off a new Prius ($31,450 sticker, $26,900 transaction price) in Philadelphia.  You need to work with a different dealer.  This is the final year of the 3rd generation Prius and Toyota's blowing them out to clear inventory before the new one hits dealerships for the 2016 model year.

For the record, back when I was married, we had a 2010 Prius Two, no options except the protection package or whatever it's called, which is basically some clear strips over the door edges, rear bumper, and I think the floormats.  Anyway, it was a perfectly fine car.  My ex-wife still drives it.  60,000 miles in nearly 5 years, no problems but regular maintenance.  I personally think anything above the base model is a waste.

Still: hammer on the price.  Call multiple dealerships until you get the best price.  $2000 off MSRP is a joke at this time for the Prius.

+1, totally with Sid on this. The base model still has a lot of amazing features. ABS, electrically-powered A/C compressor, four wheel disc brakes and remarkable instrumentation, for example. They don't strip that stuff off the base model, it's cheaper to just build them all the same. And brakes last for-freakin-ever. I've got nearly 70,000 miles on mine and the brakes show little sign of wear.

Only trouble I've had is with the rear shocks. Toyota installs shocks on their cars that seem to explode after 60,000 miles just to throw some dollars at the dealership service departments. I buy KYB shocks and do them myself. AWESOME shock absorbers and they last the life of the car thereafter.

And BTW, MSRP on a Prius Two is $24, 650. (I didn't pay that, our prior car was destroyed in a car crash and insurance paid 2/3rds of that...)
Local dealerships in central NC have been offering $4k off that PLUS the 0% financing. So you could walk out the door with a new Prius Two for under $21k.

We see Corollas going for about $15-$16k. At $21k, you'll recoup the Prius' higher price in about 4 or 5 years depending on what the price of gasoline does, then you are livin large on the pump at 50mpg after that.

Now these are ADVERTISED prices. You don't even have to be Bob W. to get those prices. :-) :-) :-)

rtrnow

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2015, 08:21:00 AM »
Dealerships hate cash.  They make a good bit on selling off the loan.

Depends on the dealership. I had always heard this so I didn't mention that I was paying cash at a local Mazda dealer. After negotiating the price, the salesman started to talk financing and I quickly said I'll be paying cash. He left the room and then came back and took an additional $250 off the price that I didn't even ask him to do.

Syonyk

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2015, 08:27:06 AM »
Huh. OK.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2015, 08:59:13 AM »
Some dealerships do pressure you on loans, though. My sister walked into one with a check already written out for what she was willing to pay. Nevertheless the salesman wasted a lot of time trying to get her to finance, at one point saying "but it's better for me if you finance".

olivia

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2015, 09:05:35 AM »
I went with a new Prius last year for the same reasons you listed.  I love it and have no regrets.  I did all my negotiating ahead of time online with multiple dealers who were located along a roughly 300 mile stretch of I-95.  Once I found the best price I got 0% financing and put $0 down. Took a few hours to do paperwork and such because Saturday was the only day I could get it done, but it was pretty painless.

Most importantly, what color are you going for?  ;)

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2015, 09:12:48 AM »
Sounds like you have your heart set on the Prius?   

So let's make it the best deal possible.   

Read a few blurbs on negotiating.

1.  Don't tell them it is cash
2.  Ask the what the absolute best price they can give you on the trade
3.  Say it like this and practice "What is the absolute best price you can give me on this today?"  Whatever number they say -  Reply -"I was thinking lower,  how much lower can you go?"
4. Do this on the 18th of the month. 
5.  Keep turning down their price (until they get near the dealer cost) and you meet the manager.
6.  Walk away.
7.  On the last day of the month about 4 pm walk in and offer them $500 less than their best previous offer.

In today's sales environment for Prius' you should be able to buy below the dealer cost. 

Then finance it at 3% at your local credit union and keep your funds invested.

If you are set on buying new, what worked better for me was to email dealerships.  We did this when purchasing my wife's van. 

Once we were certain on what we wanted, email every dealership in area or that you are willing to drive for asking for their price. 
Get your lowest price, send that out to the other dealerships and see if they can beat.
Repeat.

In our case we were offered a below invoice price off the bat from a dealership about an hour away.  The local dealership where we had test driven wanted to play games, so we drove an hour and saved several thousand. No haggling in person, we drove down and they had the car ready.  We did some paperwork, declined additional warranty etc and were out the door.

We did wind up going with dealer financing though, they were offering 0.9% which beat the credit unions rate.

KCM5

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2015, 09:45:12 AM »
We have a 2010 Prius we bought certified pre owned a couple of years ago and it's awesome. That said, if they had the same incentives they do today, we would have bought a new one. After years of crappy cars that need repairs a couple of times a year, it's a joy to have something that only requires regular maintenance!

Since your interested in sleeping in your car, have you seen this? http://www.habitents.com/

I don't have one so I can't personally recommend, but I think it could be pretty cool and give you quite a bit more space.

mtnrider

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2015, 09:51:42 AM »
For smaller cars - really, I don't fit.  I'm not Shaq sized, but I'm uncomfortable in them.  Last summer, I spent a couple days and around 500 miles in a Fit.  It's a nice car, but I don't like having to scrunch down to drive.  I was actually originally thinking of the Prius V, due only to the extra one inch of headroom, but I think I can make the Prius work for the few thousand dollar price difference.

Truecar (which is slightly biased) has the price at
base:21780, regfees:351, dest:825, incentive:-2000 = $20,956
That's a bit more than $4000 off the MSRP.  I figure that with the Consumer Reports pricing sheet*, I could do slightly better than that.

* here's a sample

Quote
Oh crap. I better understand your mission for the car now, and why you are looking at a new car of ANY kind....you have a mission for the car that is in-no-way mustachian and you've already assessed the alternatives, ruled them out.
Yes mefla.  I'm suspicious of the "I'm doing it for the children" line of reasoning, so I didn't play this up.  My kid likes the minivan anyway.  :)  And it helps teach him about frugality and not relying on material validation; and kids are tough on cars, etc... but yeah, this equation does have constraints on some variables.

habitents - I might make one of those, or just try throwing some mosquito netting up.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 10:13:51 AM by mtnrider »

mtnrider

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2015, 09:55:35 AM »
Oh color!   I assume that was facetious, but it's one of the only things I can change about the car, so I did a bit of research. :)

Silver is the most popular color, but bright colors get slightly better resale value.  I'll probably go with silver because road salt,dirt, and minor scratches seem to be less visible on it.  Suggestions welcome.  :)

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2015, 11:10:09 AM »
I'm seriously torn about my next car being a prius or a RWD, 6 speed, V8.........The driver in me craves the V8, the mustachian the Prius.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2015, 11:29:03 AM »
+1 on Bob's tactics. 

And I do more pre-dealership-visit legwork:
1. research on-line, know exactly what package you want, and what stock & prices the nearby dealers show on-hand. 
2. get their best offer on-line (or on the phone).
3. negotiate with the next dealer saying, "I can buy this car from dealer X today for $Z - can you beat that?"
4. lather, rinse, repeat, and be willing to visit a dealership 50 miles away if it saves you $1,000 bucks.

[in my 2nd used Prius - gen I 2003 & gen III 2010 - 48+ city / 53+ highway every day]
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 11:30:58 AM by Mother Fussbudget »

Another Reader

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2015, 12:03:09 PM »
One of the local Toyota pushers in San Jose had several 2015 Prius Two's on special last weekend for $19,888, or $5362 off MSRP.  I'm sure they will have a few more up this weekend.

rtrnow

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2015, 12:18:58 PM »
I'm seriously torn about my next car being a prius or a RWD, 6 speed, V8.........The driver in me craves the V8, the mustachian the Prius.

Compromise with Subaru BRZ.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2015, 12:25:56 PM »
I'm seriously torn about my next car being a prius or a RWD, 6 speed, V8.........The driver in me craves the V8, the mustachian the Prius.

Compromise with Subaru BRZ.
I would get a mustachian  miata.

olivia

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2015, 03:06:08 PM »
Oh color!   I assume that was facetious, but it's one of the only things I can change about the car, so I did a bit of research. :)

Silver is the most popular color, but bright colors get slightly better resale value.  I'll probably go with silver because road salt,dirt, and minor scratches seem to be less visible on it.  Suggestions welcome.  :)

I have very strong feelings about car colors and was curious.  :P  I have a red one, but I also really like the dark grey color.  Silver is good too.  Black also looks great but would show dirt and scratches so easily I wouldn't be able to do it.  I HATE white cars, and the white Prius actually costs $395 more for some strange reason when you do the "Build a Prius" tool on the Toyota website.

aj_yooper

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2015, 03:28:13 PM »
To me, the Prius sounds like the buy for you.  I have been considering one myself and going down to one vehicle.  We always buy new and run them until the wheels fall off.  And, I would definitely take the 0.9% financing instead of cash.  Sign me up!  Silver color.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2015, 03:54:55 PM »
I was actually originally thinking of the Prius V, due only to the extra one inch of headroom, but I think I can make the Prius work for the few thousand dollar price difference.

On this topic, did you already make sure to adjust the Prius seat?  Even the base model has a lever to adjust the seat height up and down.  For example I fit much better in the driver's seat with it lowered down from the position that my wife would adjust it to.  I'm only 6'1" so I can't comment on how it fits someone truly tall in the long term.  Also I'm pretty willing to compromise.  I drove an older Miata for a while, and that was a car where my head would touch the ceiling with the top up.  Didn't care, car was too fun to mind the tight squeeze to fit inside!  :)

mtnrider

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2015, 04:14:28 PM »
On this topic, did you already make sure to adjust the Prius seat?  Even the base model has a lever to adjust the seat height up and down.  For example I fit much better in the driver's seat with it lowered down from the position that my wife would adjust it to.  I'm only 6'1" so I can't comment on how it fits someone truly tall in the long term.  Also I'm pretty willing to compromise.  I drove an older Miata for a while, and that was a car where my head would touch the ceiling with the top up.  Didn't care, car was too fun to mind the tight squeeze to fit inside!  :)

Oh, the Miata.  My coworker has one.  They're nice!

The nice thing about the Gen III is that my head doesn't hit the roof when I sit up straight.  But, I do look through the tint in the windshield.  I figure that I'll get the windshield replaced with a clear one after a rock hits it.  (That happens once every few years here.)  I'm pretty sure I got the seat down all the way - I've driven my friend's, and he's about my height.  (Edit: he has the fancy-pants electric seat, not sure if that makes a difference.)

One of the local Toyota pushers in San Jose had several 2015 Prius Two's on special last weekend for $19,888, or $5362 off MSRP.  I'm sure they will have a few more up this weekend.

That's a very good data point!  Thanks!


I have a red one, but I also really like the dark grey color.  Silver is good too.  Black also looks great but would show dirt and scratches so easily I wouldn't be able to do it.  I HATE white cars, and the white Prius actually costs $395 more for some strange reason when you do the "Build a Prius" tool on the Toyota website.

Olivia, those are my feelings exactly!  If it comes to it, I wouldn't mind red or that dark grey.  The red is really nice, but I was a little afraid that it could look like a sports car (ha!) and invite police to take a second glance.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 05:24:49 PM by mtnrider »

mtnrider

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2015, 04:45:18 PM »
Financing:  this almost deserves it's own thread.  The options are:

 1. 0% 5 years + $1500 incentive
 2. no financing + $2000 incentive
 3. Credit Union: 1.5% financing 5 years

It's hard to compare on a risk-adjusted basis.  I can make around 1.75% on a 5 year CD, but that's not really comparable since I wouldn't have the full $20k cost of the car for the whole 5 years as I'd be paying it down.  So it's more like .8% rate for a savings account.  A savings withdrawal calculator tells me that even with 0% financing, I'd be left with only $424 instead of the $500 I'd have had from the "no financing" option.  And that doesn't include taxes, any requirements the underwriting bank might put on the car (insurance?), or the slight annoyance of remembering to check the automatic payment.

I could finance and invest that money in a riskier asset like stocks, but that's almost like borrowing to invest in the market, like a margin account.  I wouldn't be interested in starting up a margin account, so I probably wouldn't take the financing to have more cash in the market.  (If the market goes up 5% per year, I'd be missing out on $2500.  Ouch.  But if I get laid off while the market tanks, that would be a double ouch.)




« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 04:57:02 PM by mtnrider »

Prepube

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #44 on: May 12, 2015, 05:58:52 PM »
Just another tip for finding the best price on the lot... Ask which cars have been on the lot the longest.  If you don't care about color, you can get the best deal on the cars on the lot longest because the dealership gets incentives for moving the cars quickly.  If a car has been on the lot for more than 90 days, it starts to lose value for them, and they are more willing to make a deal.  If the salesman says that they have no way of knowing which ones have been there longest, he's bullshitting you and you should ask for a manager. I paid under their cost for a Prius C last year (for my daughter), partly because it had sat on the lot, overlooked for six months.  I absolutely love my Prius IV, too. I'm over six feet, and it fits with room to spare.  Go to the dealer with lots of knowledge in your head re: trim levels and models, and buy the cheapest one on the lot.  The warranty is the same regardless.  I get 55 mpg driving 60 miles per day in the mountains above Denver, and it handles the hills just fine.  I love this car.

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #45 on: May 13, 2015, 11:22:19 AM »
Have you searched Craigslist elsewhere? I know right now in AZ there is a 2011 Prius 3 with 70k for $12.5, or a 2010 2 with 50k for $13.9. Really new cars for probably around 1/2 of new. A plane ticket and road trip away!

I always search the entire SW as I like to get my cars cheap and sell them for a profit after about a year or 10k miles.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #46 on: May 13, 2015, 12:52:39 PM »
I bought a 2015 Prius Two in November.

The only thing that I miss that this trim package doesn't have is the ability to auto-unlock the doors by touching the passenger side handle.  Not worth the increased price.

Where I live, used Prius's are also almost the same price as the new, so it didn't make sense to buy one, given that the new has the full warranty and two years of free maintenance.

I regularly get 50-55 mpg on each tank..  My husband gets about 46-48 (he likes power mode).

I HATE the giant blind spots.  Other than that, I love the car.

The best price in our area was actually advertised on the website of a dealer about 40 miles away.  I had done business with them before, and their internet prices are always pretty low - no other dealer would match it.

Good luck!

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2015, 08:55:41 PM »
If you have Amex credit card, they offer a handy car buying service that shows what your price should be based on sales stats in the area and connects to dealers that will honor that price. May save a bit of $$ and hassle. Love my Prius 3- I can load 16 bags of mulch in it and still be doing 50 mpg :)

tomsang

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2015, 06:02:47 AM »
Sounds like you have your heart set on the Prius?   

So let's make it the best deal possible.   

Read a few blurbs on negotiating.

1.  Don't tell them it is cash
2.  Ask the what the absolute best price they can give you on the trade
3.  Say it like this and practice "What is the absolute best price you can give me on this today?"  Whatever number they say -  Reply -"I was thinking lower,  how much lower can you go?"
4. Do this on the 18th of the month. 
5.  Keep turning down their price (until they get near the dealer cost) and you meet the manager.
6.  Walk away.
7.  On the last day of the month about 4 pm walk in and offer them $500 less than their best previous offer.

In today's sales environment for Prius' you should be able to buy below the dealer cost. 

Then finance it at 3% at your local credit union and keep your funds invested.

I would strongly recommend not following this advice if you are buying a new car unless you like the drama of negotiating in person.  If you do it will cost you money, but maybe you get enjoyment out of the drama.  If you are set on buying a new anything.  You are buying a commodity.  Something that all of the dealers have or can have the exact product with the exact features.  There is nothing special about buying from one or the other.  If you talk with them in person they will try to tell you there is a difference.  Avoid the trap.   

You should not negotiate the price anywhere near the dealership.  The key is to figure out exactly what you want down to the minute detail, spelling out exactly what you want including financing.  Put all of this in an email and send it out to the 10-30 dealers within 200 miles of you.  The most time that you should spend is the time figuring out exactly what you want and putting it in an email.  I throw a phone number down to show that I am real, but tell them that I prefer email and that I am going to buy on the specific date/time from the dealer that offers the lowest price on the product that I want.  The phone calls or energy will be in calling all of the dealers and getting their internet manager's email addresses.  In some cases, you will be connected with them as they are trying to entice you to come in to their trap.  Politely just say that you are buying this car on this date and that to save their time and your time you are spelling it out in email so there is no confusion.  If through the email or a phone call a dealer asks a relevant question or you change your mind on something, make sure that you communicate to all of the dealers the updated information.  You want to ensure that you are negotiating a commodity vs. features that are offered.  Also make sure to use a SPAM email account as you will be put on their email lists.  When they call, I am very polite but tell them that I am really busy so please just put it in email so I can compare it to the other offers.  This sends a message that you are a serious buyer, that there are other competing offers, that your time is valuable and that you can't be dicked around.   

I believe that it is better to buy a car on the last day of the month/quarter.  I would send this email out two or three days before buying the car.  Figure out exactly what you want then email them something like this with MSRP so they canít jerk you around with something else.  MSRP off of KBB or any of the sites out there.

I have purchased cars for myself and friends this way.  Total time commitment after you know what you want is less than 3 hours with zero stress and dealing with the emails when you have time or desire to deal with them vs. stuck in a room waiting for an answer from the mystical sales managers and needing to walk off the lot several times to show them that you are serious.  Let them negotiate with the other dealers vs. you. 

One of those hours is getting all of the email addresses, one hour responding to the emails over the two days, half an hour negotiating with the final two or three dealers through email and the final 1/2 hour is signing the paperwork and them showing you the car.  They will try to offer you different years, used, different brands, etc.  Politely decline and say please send me your best price on the car that was requested.  If they don't have it, then you have 9-29 other dealerships that you can buy from.  Again keeping it a commodity. 

Once you have the lowest price out the door from the dealer, then I will approach the closest dealers and see if they can beat or match my price.  It is a 50/50 if they will.  Them saying no, tells you that you got a good deal.

I have them email me all of the paperwork ahead of time and schedule an appointment to pick up the car, drop off the cashier's check, and hand over the keys.  For one friend that I helped buy a new car, we were in the dealership for approximately 15 minutes to sign the paperwork, drop off the check and pick up the keys.  He was blown away that the transaction had zero stress and faster than ordering lunch.(which he bought)

Cash will get you a better deal if the dealer is offering the 0% or low percent mortgages.  If you want them to finance add that to the email with your credit score. Again keeping everything apples to apples.           

I have cc'd all of the dealers so they know that they will not get the deal unless they are the cheapest.  Some will drop out immediately with a snarky email as they don't want to waste their time, which I feel is good as it doesn't waste my time.  Remember it is important to list MSRP and other very specific details to ensure that you are getting an apples to apples deal.  They may come back and say that they don't have something specific and you can choose to allow this change or not.  Note that in some places the differences in sales tax could be 1% of the value of the car, so figuring out the net bottom line amount is key in the negotiation. They will also ask who is negotiating.  I usually don't tell them, but let them know that there are a few from out of state or out of territory to keep them off guard.

Note MSRP, Dealer Invoice, Dealer Cost, etc. have no relevance to what you will pay for a car.  Typically through this process you are buying a car for hundreds to thousands off of Dealer Costs so that tells you how accurate Dealer Costs are.(One was $7,800 below Dealer Cost). Once you have the final price you can negotiate if you want to trade in your other car or sell it yourself.  By keeping the transactions separate you are comparing apples to apples vs. mudding up the water.

Here is an email that I have sent.
 
I am interested in buying a new 2015 Nissan Leaf

I am looking for an all-inclusive price for a 2015 Nissan Leaf with:
Model S: MSRP of $29,010
Onboard 6.6 kw charger and Port MSRP 1,770
Splash Guards MSRP $190
Carpeted Floor Mats MSRP $125
Rear Cargo Cover MSRP $300

Prefer Formal Black exterior and Black interior.

If you can include all charges including tax, documentation fees, advertising fees, transportation fees, lease fees, residual purchase price and imputed interest rate that would be great.  I would like to buy it on May 31st.

I have already test driven the various Leafs and other vehicles so I don't need to do a test drive.  I will not be trading in a car or using financing. 
 
If you can email me your best offer and contract that would be very helpful in choosing a dealer.

Thanks for your help,

Another Reader

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Re: Buying a 2015 Prius Two - suggestions?
« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2015, 06:15:47 AM »
I have bought maybe 50 new cars over the years for myself or on behalf of friends and family.  Tomsang's approach is the one I use.  Basically, it involves whittling the candidates down to the two or three dealers that understand the cars are a commodity and move a lot of them because of their competitive prices.  It works and there is very little effort involved.

You will overpay significantly if you use any of the buying services, including Costco.  Never pay any attention to Truecar, KBB fair price, or the invoice the dealer wants to show you.  Again, you will overpay by a substantial amount.