Print 16 comment(s) - last by Aprime.. on Aug 2 at 12:49 PM

A new decontented Prius becomes America's cheapest hybrid

The cost of entry for Toyota's wildly popular Prius hybrid just got a little bit cheaper. Toyota announced on Monday that it would introduce a new "standard model" for the 2008 Prius which will start at $20,950 -- down from $22,175 for the previous base 2007 Prius.

The price cut effectively makes the Prius the cheapest hybrid available on the market. The crown was previously held by the Saturn Aura Green Line which has a base MSRP of $22,695 including destination fee.

There is no word on what features Toyota cut to drop the price by over $1,000, but possible targets might include traction control, heated mirrors and steering wheel radio controls.

The Prius wasn't the only Toyota hybrid to receive a price cut -- the company announced last week that the Camry Hybrid would receive a $1,000 price cut for the 2008 model year. In order to reach the lower $25,860 price point, Toyota ditched the leather steering wheel/shift knob, Homelink and JBL audio system among other things.

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Yay for America...
By Aprime on 7/31/2007 9:59:11 AM , Rating: 2
Fact is that it will still cost 40% or so more in Canada even if the difference between our two currencies is of 1/8 of that percentage.

It would cost a total of CDN 18K to buy a base Prius taxes not included) with the Provincial and Federal incentives, but since all the companies are putting the extra profits they're making because of the exchange crap in their pockets there is basically little to no advantage to having a strong dollar for regular Canadian citizens (manufacturing jobs tend to go away because of the strength of the currency, too). There used to be a time when the advantages were shared with the consumers... I guess that time is over.

By the way, the car I bought was an exception to this rule.

RE: Yay for America...
By indianpunk on 7/31/2007 10:08:29 AM , Rating: 2
And what car was that

By the way still no hybrids in india yet though CNG and LPG hybrids with petrol and diesel are running pretty cool

RE: Yay for America...
By Aprime on 7/31/2007 11:03:10 AM , Rating: 2
A Pontiac G3/Wave, which is basically a rebadged Aveo (sedan).

With the same equipment, nevermind taxes and such, it's price more competitively here than in the US.

RE: Yay for America...
By Ringold on 7/31/07, Rating: -1
RE: Yay for America...
By Aprime on 8/1/2007 8:43:11 AM , Rating: 2
There was actually an advantage for us when the dollar was at 65 or so cents.

Now there is none, prices aren't going down and exporting isn't as profitable as it used to be, leading to job cuts in first-tier sectors.

I'd understand a 10-15% difference because that's would be safe considering the dollar has been navigating in those waters (as in: it hasn't gone below that point, yet) for quite some time, but the thing is, things have barely changed for Canadian consumers since the days of the 65 cent dollar.

And you know nothing about Canada.

RE: Yay for America...
By Chris Peredun on 8/1/2007 9:46:25 AM , Rating: 3
Purchase the vehicle stateside, pay the $200 import/inspection fee, and bring it into Canada then. All you'd have to deal with would be an odometer/speedometer in miles instead of KM, as the Prius isn't on any exclusion lists or asterisked to death with "modifications required."

Visit for more information.

RE: Yay for America...
By Aprime on 8/2/2007 12:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't buy cars, I lease them - so I don't know how that'd work.

Still looks ugly
By Blackraven on 7/31/2007 11:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe if it was a Lexus LS 600hL (aka Lexus Hybrid), then it would be superb. :)

But the Prius...........still ugly as hell in current form.

I dunno what the design team was smoking when this vehicle was created.

In short, it is currently as ugly as hell and needs a redesign ASAP (as well as a redesigned THS powertrain unit).

RE: Still looks ugly
By porkpie on 7/31/2007 6:19:53 PM , Rating: 2
Driving it is meant to be a sacrifice. The bad looks are all part of that.

RE: Still looks ugly
By Ringold on 7/31/2007 9:43:09 PM , Rating: 1
Are environmentalists the new Flagellants?

They can start holding rallies with these guys. They can go around occasionally deeply inhaling some CO2 while walking over shattered incandescent light bulbs to give it their own special twist, perhaps.

And, of course, going "Help! I'm being repressed!" any time somebody is a business coat walks by.

RE: Still looks ugly
By Il Signiore Schwoopy on 8/1/2007 4:43:16 PM , Rating: 2
Are environmentalists the new FlageZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz...

traction control? on a Prius?
By exdeath on 8/1/2007 3:39:44 PM , Rating: 2
Why does a car like the Prius have traction control?

I've never heard of a 110 HP FWD car going sideways on the throttle... you probably couldn't break the wheels loose in the rain with a manual.

As for the torque of the electric motor, thats all modulated electronically, so I don't see that as being a cost saving measure when the hardware and software for running the electric motors has to be there no matter what...


By Il Signiore Schwoopy on 8/1/2007 4:34:12 PM , Rating: 2
Traction control is indeed integrated into the motor conotrol, and it's primarily there to prevent overspeeding the motor in extremely slick conditions. What's probably going to be deleted is "Vehicle Stability Control," which modulates the brakes independently on each wheel to assist with yaw control on slippery roads.

The stock tires don't have the greatest traction because they're low rolling resistance. It's easier to break them loose than you might think.

By piroroadkill on 8/2/2007 7:12:15 AM , Rating: 2
I can break traction in my 60hp fwd van if I cane it from the lights, and I have narrow-ass tyres. In the wet I can get it into a decent slide.

You don't need colossal power to do stupid things in a car.

Hybrid prices
By Doormat on 7/31/2007 12:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
The Camry and Ford Escape hybrids both start for around $25,000 now. Thats not too bad. But the question is do you drive enough to make it worth it...

Hybrid Hype
By query on 7/31/2007 10:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
Hybrid's have too big green halo if you compare them to some diesel car models. For example volkswagen sells Polo Dune with a turbo diesel engine that gets same milage, or even better than prius. And it's cheaper than prius.
Small diesel car's just haven't caught on in north american continent as in europe.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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