"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

April 01, 2005

My Prius Costs

Two and a half years ago I purchased a new 2002 Toyota Prius and have averaged 47 mpg.

Today's gas pump prices are $2.40/gal for Regular and $2.60/gal for Premium here in Southern California. I drive 20,000 miles per year, which means the Prius consumes 425 gallons of Regular gas per year. At current prices this amounts to $1,021 a year for gasoline purchases.

Assuming I owned an SUV typical for So. Cal., I would get 15 mpg and use Premium gas. At 20,000 miles per year my annual gasoline expenditures would be $3,467.

Thus the difference in cost of gasoline for one year between owning a Prius and an SUV is $2,446. That's not chump change for most people. My car would technically pay for itself in gas savings alone in 10 years. The Prius is cheaper to buy and seats up to five people. Additionally, the Prius is lower maintenance because the gas engine is off part of the time you're driving (less wear-and-tear, less oil breakdown and consumption). During the 50,000 miles I've driven, I have had zero problems with the car (honestly). It has automatic climate control, 6-CD player, 6-speaker stereo system, GPS, advanced security system, is fun to drive and has very decent passing power. I purchased it fully loaded, taxes, extended warranty and dealer prep included, for $26,000 total price. The newer models cost a couple of $K more, but they're built even better, have more features and get significantly better mpg. (And they do look a lot better, too). And last but not least, the car is SULEV (super ultra low emissions vehicle), which is only one step away from a zero-emissions vehicle.

The Prius is by far the best car I've ever owned (and I've owned many) and I just don't understand why more people aren't buying them.

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