1. I really really can't give you an estimate (don't even know how Edmunds or Consumer Reports come up with n years. I suppose they just pick a random fuel price, some insurance cost and some resale value lol).
I mean if you want mine, I can give you my costs and you can do the addition. Keep in mind I'm in Canada not the US but since you just want a ball park.
Mine's a 2005 that I got in 25th Oct 2004. It's mostly city driving in a hilly area. The only highway driving I do is a short 4km stretch of 80km/h (50mph) into my university (when I went to college) or any road trips to the US at 70mph (I get 5.1L/100km or 46mpg at that speed).
My 2005's MSRP was Cdn$34,395. After taxes, it cost: Cdn$40,709.40 (Yeah, our cars are more expensive than yours). Our rebate back then was $700ish only
. So let's just say $40,000 was my cost for calculations' sake.
According to my Excel Sheet:
Total km: 76,856.9 km
Lifetime mileage: 4.9L/100km (48mpg)
Total amount of fuel used: 3761.919 litres
Cost of fuel: $3,651.14
Total Maintenance Cost: $1,404.27
The maintenance cost included $136.72 for a new tyre last January because of an irrepairable nail damage, $1.44 for a taillight bulb and $483.42 for a new set (4) of tyres last Dec.
At 76,000km, my engine air filter has been replaced once. My coolant will be replaced at 80,000km. My brakes are practically brand new (90% front, 95% rear at the 64,000km service. Will get them checked at 80,000 when I rotate the tyres). The maintenance cost (oil & filter and full maintenance) are identical to our Camry.
At 76,000km for our 2002 Camry XLE 4 cylinder, we had to replace the brake pads (all four) once, the tyres once, the automatic transmission fluid once and the engine air filter twice. The pads are about $300 plus tax and labour. The tyres and fluids were close to $1,000 after taxes and engine air filter is about $40 each time plus tax. We never tracked the Camry's mileage but it's nearly $2,000 a year on average (and increase as gas prices doubled from 50¢/litre to > $1/litre) given similar kms per year as the Prius. At 24,000kms a year, that 76,000km was done in 3.167 years. At $2k a year, that's $6,333 at the same km as my Prius is right now. So it's about doubled the cost despite having a fuel price advantage at the start of its life in 2001 at 50¢/litre.
For around the same price, I could get a base 2005 Camry XLE V6 for $33,245 plus tax (no leather, TRAC, VSC, Brake Assist, foglights, CD Changer, heated seats, power passenger seat). If I wanted all that, it's $36,735 plus tax.
2. hahaha. Yeah, I've heard $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, you name it.