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2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Honda Insight
Base Prius gets a $1,000 price cut

The most popular hybrid car on the market is the Toyota Prius. The Prius has been around for a decade now and Toyota is getting set to launch a new and larger Prius for 2010 that offers an increased feature set and better fuel economy. One early road test showed that the 2010 Prius achieved 52.5 mpg.

Toyota is going to be pricing the third-generation 2010 Prius to better compete with Honda's new Insight hybrid. The Insight carries a base MSRP of $19,800, undercutting the 2009 Prius selling for a base MSRP of $22,000. However, the 2010 Prius I will carry an MSRP of $21,000 which helps to close the gap between the two hybrids. The 2010 Prius will be offered in five trim levels with the II, III, IV, and V coming in at $22,000, $23,000, $25,800, and $27,720 respectively.

Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division, expects the $22,000 Prius II to be the most popular model for consumers. “This model provides more than $2,000 added value, including the features most buyers want, at the same price as the current base model,” said Carter.

Standalone options will include an $1,800 Navigation Package, $3,600 Solar Roof Package (includes Navigation Package), and a $4,500 Advanced Technology Package (Navigation Package plus Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, Lane Keep Assist, and Intelligent Parking Assist).

The Insight is rated at 41mpg combined for city and highway driving, while the larger new Prius is rated at 50 mpg combined and is classified as a mid-size car offering more space than the Honda.

The economy is hurting sales of all vehicles, including the Prius and other hybrid automobiles. Through Q1 of 2009, the Prius sold 24,277 units, a 43% drop from the same quarter last year. The Insight hit the market in March and sold 569 since then.

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Cheaply build
By SpaceJumper on 4/21/2009 2:12:57 PM , Rating: -1
I went over to the dealer yesterday and look underneath the Insight. It is cheaply build like the Toyota Yaris. I have not seen the new Toyota Prius yet.

RE: Cheaply build
By Smartless on 4/21/2009 2:18:00 PM , Rating: 2
Define cheaply build or built? I'm not an expert on anything so I usually go by the old rule, if its heavy its probably expensive except I'm told when it comes to airplanes and laptops. lol.

RE: Cheaply build
By Mojo the Monkey on 4/21/2009 2:21:22 PM , Rating: 2
does the interior reflect the early images they were putting out at the auto shows?


RE: Cheaply build
By oopyseohs on 4/22/2009 1:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it looks exactly like that.

RE: Cheaply build
By sedluk on 4/21/2009 2:54:05 PM , Rating: 5
I own a Honda and it is true that many Honda parts can look a little cheap. I have also owned Mercedes and BMW's and every parts is machined to perfection. The surprising think is that the Honda is a more reliable car, at least for me. The Honda may not have the same smooth ride and may lack many features, but it is amazing how trouble free they are. My last S Class Mercedes had thousands (and thousands) of dollars of repairs, but if you look under the hood it looks like a piece of art and fine engineering. Go figure.

RE: Cheaply build
By barjebus on 4/21/2009 3:41:14 PM , Rating: 3
Thats what I've heard as well about BMW. My family has always purchased Honda's, so I obviously have quite a bias...however, I was very interested in buying a BMW because I don't really like Honda's designs lately. What I was told by a car dealer friend of mine (and numerous others) was that you need to be able to not only afford the car itself, but the inevitable repairs that you'll need to perform.

As to Honda's, do some regular maintenance repairs every 4 years or so and you'll be fine for a decade or two.

RE: Cheaply build
By Spuke on 4/21/2009 3:43:59 PM , Rating: 2
was that you need to be able to not only afford the car itself, but the inevitable repairs that you'll need to perform.
You do save some money with the "free" maintenance.

RE: Cheaply build
By TomZ on 4/21/2009 4:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
What I was told by a car dealer friend of mine (and numerous others) was that you need to be able to not only afford the car itself, but the inevitable repairs that you'll need to perform.
There may be some truth to that, but there is also some distortion.

First, when you look at quality, in the sense of that things don't go wrong with the car, there is some statistical difference between BMW and Honda, but really in the big picture, both brands have "world class" quality.

In other words, the differences are not as large as you might perceive. Specifically, BMW quality is probably better than you think, and Honda quality is worse than you think. Despite what you might think and have heard, Hondas do also break down and have to go to the shop sometimes, just like all other brands. Honda also has a lot of recalls, like other manufacturers.

Another point is that BMW service and parts do cost more than other brands. The parts obviously have a higher cost since they are produced in lower volumes and are in most cases imported. And the service, well, it's a BMW...

RE: Cheaply build
By Daigain on 4/21/2009 5:11:13 PM , Rating: 1
If you look at statistics, 8.4% of all BMW 3serie cars have a major fault. You might think almost 9 out of 100 cars that is a lot of major faults! But in fact it is the 3rd best car only trailing behind Toyota corolla at 3.4% and aygo at 7.2%.

I think as you get into a little is that it has more to do with perception, there is not that big of a difference between the bigger car brands. But people probably do the calculation in their head that if you paid more for the car it should break down less, well it probably wont. There's also like you touch on the cost once it does breaks that can define how fast you forget what a hassle it was to have to repair it.

RE: Cheaply build
By mindless1 on 4/22/2009 12:24:06 AM , Rating: 2
I have to think these stats are only a small part of the puzzle, as a 3 series buyer may not be the same kind of driver as a Corolla buyer.

In other words, self-fulfilling prophecy. People who are interested in a longer lasting car, buy one which seems more reliable, and because of their interest they are perpetually more mindful of what is required to make the car last a long time.

On the other side of the coin, people looking to spend the least amount possible on whatever gets them from point A to B, are more likely to buy a cheaper Hyundai, GM or Ford, put less thought into longevity and as with the initial price, will want to pay less to maintain it.

Good engineering and parts cost money though, so while spending enough for a luxury class car may not guarantee fewer problems, there may still be a certain cost inherent in a quality car. This factor contradicts my prior paragraph, we might say there are converging factors that determine overall problem rates.

RE: Cheaply build
By Daigain on 4/22/2009 3:08:05 PM , Rating: 2
Very true that, looking at the safest cars in my country not the cars that gets the best EuroNCAP scores are the safest but cars bought by a certain demographic group, mainly middle aged people buying toyotas are the safest.

But on major and minor faults the statistical difference is so huge I don't think it is so easy to contribute the differences to certain buyers. I mean BMW 3 series has 41,3% minor faults while Volvo XC90 has 99% minor fault ratio.

RE: Cheaply build
By Drexial on 4/21/2009 4:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
Speaking from experience and being around them a lot. there are about a dozen flaws in the design. Mostly on the 3 series. But all of them can be prevented pretty cheep. But this is maintenance that usually needs to be done every 120k miles. Most of it can be upgraded for a few bucks extra and it will never fail. most of this is in the cooling system and the rear shock mounts.

How ever if something does fail catastrophically, or if you are in an accident with a BMW over 10 years old (generally no matter how minor) the repairs will be expensive and the car will be totaled out.

RE: Cheaply build
By mindless1 on 4/22/2009 12:28:26 AM , Rating: 2
The same (being totaled) could be said about most cars over 10 years old.

Even a minor fender bender where you rear-end an SUV while braking so the car's front end barely dips under it's bumper, so the front grill, headlight and turn signal assembly is damaged and the bumper plastic and hood corner are bent a little, can total a typical 10 yo car.

RE: Cheaply build
By TomZ on 4/22/2009 1:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, especially considering that even a well-kept 10-year old car probably has lost 90% of its original value, which is the value that insurance companies use to cap their losses, i.e., "total the car out."

RE: Cheaply build
By Type2 on 4/21/2009 5:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
That's why after much inner gut-wrenching turmoil I passed on an Audi A6 (and later an A4) and went with a subaru (used cars btw). I want sporty, and I want AWD - and I gotta tell you the interior of that A6 was amazing - but I want my house even more. Sadly, that requires me having a reliable car and being somewhat responsible. That said, the moment I can afford an Audi with spotty reliability and eye popping maintenance bills, well, I'm in.

RE: Cheaply build
By rqle on 4/21/09, Rating: 0
RE: Cheaply build
By Jimspar on 4/21/2009 6:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, I chose a Fit over the Yaris and the comparable Scion. The materials in the Honda seemed to be of a better grade. Personally I think the Insight is a better looking car and am considering one. To those that think sexuality is based on the car you drive, go f*** yourself. Nuff said?

RE: Cheaply build
By Alexstarfire on 4/21/2009 9:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
And from my experience Toyotas are just fine. Our 3 Toyotas have only had regular maintenance ever, except for our 13+ year old Previa that somehow had a leak in the AC and had to be fixed and refilled, but that's it. We do have a Honda, but it's only about 6 months old so I can't say much about it yet. Seems to be the same as all our Toyotas though. It's only had oil changes so far.

RE: Cheaply build
By mindless1 on 4/22/2009 12:31:14 AM , Rating: 2
What about size:cost ratio, isn't a Corolla larger than a Civic, A Camry larger than an Accord?

RE: Cheaply build
By Spuke on 4/22/2009 12:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
What about size:cost ratio, isn't a Corolla larger than a Civic, A Camry larger than an Accord?
Roughly the same size. Not enough to make a difference anyways.

RE: Cheaply build
By mindless1 on 4/23/2009 12:46:31 AM , Rating: 2
If the slightly smaller size allows a $100 cost reduction that is then put into interior finishing, that could be enough to make a difference.

RE: Cheaply build
By theoflow on 4/21/2009 3:58:40 PM , Rating: 3

My co-worker has a Prius and when I first sat in it, it actually felt like the interior panels are made out of recycled paper.

The dash and the top of the door panels feels super thin and have a sandpaper-ish feel to them. I also feel that the dash is really not that great and there isn't enough design put into it with the displays coming from an old pontiac digital gauges.

HOWEVER, I'm pretty sure the usage of those materials cuts down quite a bit on weight.

As for Honda's interior materials (I have a civic) just keep it clean and you'll be fine. I notice that some of the plastics are losing their 'rubber-ish' texture, but then again I smoke so all that tar is starting to stick. Steering wheel is still nice though.

I'm also a big fan of the two-tiered dash assembly. It really does make the intake of information easier.

RE: Cheaply build
By Samus on 4/21/2009 4:13:31 PM , Rating: 1
I would take a Honda over a Toyota. Toyota's are the most boring cars on the planet. However, neither are cheaply built. Every Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit I've come across has class leading build quality. The panels fit together tightly with small assembly gaps, there are no squeeks and creeks, the interior is soft plush material (although usually quite ugly) and they remain mechanically sound for years.

So define cheap? You want cheap then look as a Mexican-built Focus or Jetta from the late 90's.

RE: Cheaply build
By Freezetronius on 4/21/2009 5:04:15 PM , Rating: 4
With that logic, you can also tell if tires are good if you kick them.


RE: Cheaply build
By mindless1 on 4/22/2009 12:34:54 AM , Rating: 2
You have it backwards, you may not be able to tell a car is good by looking under it, but you may in fact be able to tell tires are bad by kicking them (play in bearing). Cheap construction can be seen in many cases, but we don't have specifics to go by what led to the conclusion.

RE: Cheaply build
By Spuke on 4/22/2009 12:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
but you may in fact be able to tell tires are bad by kicking them (play in bearing).
You're not going to be able to move a tire by kicking it with 25% of a typical cars 3000+ lbs sitting on it. Kicking tires is silly. Besides, you are more apt to have a bad alignment causing premature wear on a tire than bad bearings nowadays.

RE: Cheaply build
By mindless1 on 4/23/2009 12:48:50 AM , Rating: 2
False. You can in fact notice bearing wear by the wheel moving from grabbing both sides and pushing/pulling, or kicking it.

I was not talking about premature wear from the bearing or alignment.

Granted, most cars have no wheel bearing problems, so I wouldn't expect that to seem obvious, but taken part by part most cars have most parts working fine but the goal is to find the ones that aren't fine.

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