Toyota to Launch Cheap(er) Prius to Compete With Honda Insight
March 11th, 2009 9:59 PM Share
TOKYO ( MarketWatch) — Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.TO) plans to release a cheaper version of its Prius hybrid car later this year in a bid to compete with Honda Motor Co.’s (7267.TO) more reasonably priced Insight hybrid, the Asahi Shimbun reported Thursday. The paper said that the new Prius will be priced around Y2.05 million, whereas Toyota’s cheapest model of the fuel-efficient vehicle now sells for between Y2.3 million and Y3.4 million.
Published March 11th, 2009 9:49 PM
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John Horner: Toyota already confirmed that's what they'll be doing in Japan. That's what this post refers too. Not likely in US, though.
So this one company faces competition from Japan and they decided to do something about it and be competitive instead of trying to steal my money instead? How novel!
I agree they aren't especially "cool" by most normal criteria. They certainly look boring and form-follows-function and I hate that instrument displaced cluster on the inside. That said, for those of us that live/work in the city (Seattle here), and spend a frustrating amount of time wasting gas at lights and sitting at 0-5mph on the freakin' highway, knowing that you are getting 50+ MPG is very satisfying. I would buy a hybrid IF it came in a hatchback or sassy wagon. I am a drummer and need the space.
I am a little surprised about the not-so-great expected mpgs for the Prius. I get over real 47mpg (U.S. gallons) from my 2004 Toyota Avensis Diesel (manual, of course. 5 speeds. The 6 speeds version is slightly more frugal). I must add that I drive very conservatively. I do my own numbers at the gas station (the on board computer is too optimistic and stops counting when the car is idlind -cheat!-) and the number say I am slightly under 5 liters per 100 km, i.e. 47 US mpg. The (UK built) on board computer tells me I am doing in the 60s imperial mpg. The Avensis (not sold in the U.S.) is the same size of the Prius, and to me is a BIG ENOUGH car. I can not understand such a bloated monstrosity as the current US Camry. Uh, and the car has a very convenient hatch. And a five stars NCAP safety rating. I am also very annoyed by the waste of my engine running at traffic stops, but I bought used. Used Priuses were more expensive than the Avensis. OTOH I needed a car for a lot of years, and I do not know what´s going to happen in the future to the functionality of 10 year old Prius batteries.