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It's easy to save money vs a 16 mpg SUV, but you can do that with a plain Camry LE 4 cylinder.
Has anyone crunched numbers of TCH vs a Camry LE 4 cylinder? I know people like to compare to an XLE because of the auto temp control and rear HVAC vents etc, but I'm not shopping XLEs. I would get either a TCH with upgrade package or a Camry LE with automatic, VSC and JBL (I'd probably get alloys and autodimming rear view mirror if they were on the lots, but I haven't seen them and the dealer installed alloys and rear view mirror is wildly expensive vs the factory installed equivalents).
So based on street pricing I've seen there would be about $3500 purchase price difference the way I would end up getting them equipped based on what I want from what's available to choose the way the dealers get them equipped locally.
If I averaged 24 mpg in the LE and 35 MPG in the TCH (As I observed in rentals of each) it would probably take about 70,000 miles to recoup the cost difference in gas savings alone assuming gas prices do not ever go down.
If I sold it a lower mileage such as 50,000 miles, the TCH would be a loss on gas savings, but I suppose the extra resale value on a hybrid with only 50,000 miles would make up for that.
If I kept it for a long period of time, eventual battery replacement would more than wipe away all the gas savings. It's unlikely I would keep the car past 150,000 miles, but at high mileage the resale may be a negative because future buyers will be scared of it.
I assume it would take an insane amount of total mileage driven to have enough gas savings to pay for both the initial price premium and one battery replacement.
Last edited by toyweb; 05-06-2008 at 10:24 PM.