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My mom is finally shopping for Toyota's and she is very interested in the Prius. She currently drives a 01' Mazda Protege that get appx 35mpg. She drives maybe 40 miles a day. My question is, Will she benifit from purshasing a hybrid? What is the cost difference between a new Prius and a new gas burning Camry or Corolla? I know a lot of you love you hybrids, but are there any downsides such as repair costs, maintanience, etc? I'm trying to offer her some advise, all I know at this point is that anything toyota should be great, I just don't want her to be stuck w/ a hybrid that may not be worth anything in two years due to the technological increases. Any advise would be great!
 

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Well the Prius has been around since 1997 (Sept 2000 in NA) so look around for 2001 Prius and see what their resale value is.


Maintenance - same as a regular Toyota except less brake pad changes (thanks to regenerative braking) and no power steering fluid to change

Repair costs - do you mean if you get into an accident? Shouldn't be any different from a Camry. Our 02 Camry sustained moderate damage to its front right corner (no airbags deployed) and yet it was totalled. It's probably because of the expensive aluminium hood or something. The Prius uses aluminium for the hood and hatch. The rest of the model is ultra-high tensile steel (which is more expensive than high tensile steel on the Camry/Corolla).

Insurance - check to see if they give discounts for hybrid vehicles in your area

Fuel - of course everyone knows about the fuel cost difference. You can calculate it yourself based on the no. of miles you drive.

Emissions - definitely wins hands-down (AT-PZEV) compared to the Camry/Corolla (both are ULEV)



And then of course you have to compare equipment levels. SKS, 7" LCD screen, 6 airbags, VSC, HIDs, backup camera, nav, bluetooth etc. The Corolla has none of these (except opt. side airbags and VSC on the LE model).

My Prius is already 2½ years old.
 

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FYI, as of May 1, 2014, Toyota is offering 0% financing on Prius. I bought a Prius V today, trading in a Toyota HL, and actually lowered my monthly payment by $50.
 
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