Author Topic: Trade for a Prius?  (Read 4200 times)

sw1tch

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Trade for a Prius?
« on: May 12, 2015, 03:01:07 PM »
Hello fellow Mustachians,

I am debating trading in my wife's car, a 2009 Suzuki SX4 AWD, for a 2012 Toyota Prius.  I know this is entirely my decision and is more a pipe dream than anything at this moment, but I just thought I would put it out there since I thought it would be interesting to hear what others' opinions are on going down this path.

Details on the SX4:
- 75,000 miles
- rated at 21/28.  We average ~ 27-28 most weeks when it's warm out and ~ 24-25 during the winter.
- Car is paid for.
- Worth ~$6,000-$7,000 on trade

From my research, I see the following numbers for the Prius
- 61,000 miles
- rated at 51/48
- Price: $14,800 (actual price with no negotiations - might be able to talk it down a little)
- Estimated Sales Taxes: $1,349
- Estimated Insurance Increase: $171.14/ yr while financed

Negative:
Right away, I'm down ~ 9,320.14 - 10,320.14 depending on what I can get for a trade.

Positives (at least from what I'm thinking):
- I can get a 2-year credit union loan for 2.99% for the whole amount ($14,800), pay the difference with it and invest the rest (~ 5,479.86 - 6,479.86 into VTSAX or similar).  The CU would issue me a check for the amount (you're free to spend it as you like as long as you have the physical car as collateral).
- The gas savings will slowly make a difference (I calculate saving ~ $2,669.64 over 5 years driving 13,000 miles a year @ $2.55 a gallon - more if gas prices go up)
- Gas savings will cut down some of the costs of road-trips/travel.  This is one of the few things that I really want to do a lot more of.
- I am also considering becoming a Lyft/Uber driver in my off time, this would be perfect for that

I DO have other priorities right now (such as preparing to sell our house and moving to a rental) but just saw this car for sale and it kind of got me thinking of getting into a Prius sooner rather than later.  I am really considering going to a 1 car family in the near future, also.  I know there is probably some emotional aspect to wanting to get this car - maybe it will subside on its own.  Let me know what you all think and if there's anything obvious that I'm missing.

TheLazyMan

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Re: Trade for a Prius?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2015, 03:05:37 PM »
If you really want a Prius, go for it, but it doesn't make sense from a purely financial perspective.

sw1tch

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Re: Trade for a Prius?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2015, 03:08:20 PM »
Heh, yup.  Pretty much what is already on my mind. :)

MikeyDenver

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Re: Trade for a Prius?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2015, 03:49:14 PM »
I haven't looked at these cars in a while, so this information may be out of date, but what about;
Maintenance - aren't there very few mechanics for these to the point where you have to go to the dealer?
You don't want to open this baby up yourself and work on it as you can either be fried, break it or void the warranty....
Do the batteries wear down over the years?  Meaning less capacity and/or power in 10 years?
Do they have to be replaced in 10 years?
Isn't the warranty up on the batteries in 4-5 years?
I also heard that some of the manufacturing of these cars is really NOT environmentally friendly

So some other factors to think about....
--Mikey

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Trade for a Prius?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2015, 05:14:34 PM »
Going from an AWD to a 2-WD?  Your weather conditions?  If you get ice & snow that lingers in the winter, keep the Suzuki.  If not, consider a 2012 Corolla or Camry - 35Mpg.  Checking local Craigslist... the prices seem similar.  Sell your car, buy the used Corolla, plus an air freshener for the same amoun. Dependable -  Lifetime range ~350K miles.  No battery to replace every 10 years (Prius).

WhatIsFrugalAfterAll

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Re: Trade for a Prius?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2015, 11:27:12 AM »
Going from an AWD to a 2-WD?  Your weather conditions?  If you get ice & snow that lingers in the winter, keep the Suzuki.  If not, consider a 2012 Corolla or Camry - 35Mpg.  Checking local Craigslist... the prices seem similar.  Sell your car, buy the used Corolla, plus an air freshener for the same amoun. Dependable -  Lifetime range ~350K miles.  No battery to replace every 10 years (Prius).

You don't need AWD for snow, just good tires. MMM has posted a lot about this.


El Marinero

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Re: Trade for a Prius?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2015, 11:49:27 AM »
I haven't looked at these cars in a while, so this information may be out of date, but what about;
Maintenance - aren't there very few mechanics for these to the point where you have to go to the dealer?
You don't want to open this baby up yourself and work on it as you can either be fried, break it or void the warranty....
Do the batteries wear down over the years?  Meaning less capacity and/or power in 10 years?
Do they have to be replaced in 10 years?
Isn't the warranty up on the batteries in 4-5 years?
I also heard that some of the manufacturing of these cars is really NOT environmentally friendly

So some other factors to think about....
--Mikey

Speaking as someone who has driven a hybrid for over 10 years, these supposed  'issues' simply don't exist.  I'm not sure who made them up originally, but I occasionally still hear them being repeated.

The battery was warranted for 10 years.  I'm out of warranty now, but I still get 50 plus mpg in daily driving.   I've not had to do anything to the drive train, or even replace the brakes.  The guy at my local garage would be happy to work on the car if it ever did need work.  It simply has never failed.

Consider that the Prius went on the market in 1996 in Japan. After 19 years, I'd consider it  a mature technology.

AJ

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Re: Trade for a Prius?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2015, 01:06:34 PM »
Maintenance - aren't there very few mechanics for these to the point where you have to go to the dealer?

We have never had a problem finding a mechanic. The guy who worked on our old Suzki Esteem and our Toyota truck has no issue with it, and he's been great. We had to go to a special guy to replace the main Hybrid battery, but that still only cost $280 plus parts. I would rather have my teeth drilled than go to a dealer for anything.

Do the batteries wear down over the years?  Meaning less capacity and/or power in 10 years?

No. We bought ours when it was 10 years old already and it worked great at the time (until we wrecked it...)

Do they have to be replaced in 10 years?

At some point, the main battery will wear out, but it can be rebuilt rather than replaced. We damaged our battery by wrecking the car, so we had to replace it rather than doing a rebuild. It cost $2500 to buy a new one, plus $280 labor to have it installed by a specialist. Our car was 11 years old at the time, but who knows how long it would have lasted if we hadn't goofed.

I also heard that some of the manufacturing of these cars is really NOT environmentally friendly

They do use more energy to manufacture, but they more than make up for it over their lifespan:
http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/does-hybrid-car-production-waste-offset-hybrid-benefits.htm