Sunday, May 27, 2012

Should I Buy a Hybrid?

With gas prices on the rise and at the level they are at today, many people are probably asking themselves this very question.  The answer, as you may have guessed, is different depending on why you want to buy a hybrid.

If you are considering buying a hybrid vehicle to be "green" or lessen your impact on the environment, then you just need to decide if the extra cost of a hybrid is worth it to you.  If the extra money it's going to cost you when buying the car satisfies your desire to lessen your carbon footprint, then a hybrid is for you.

If you are like most people and are considering a hybrid to save money on gas, then read on and let me shed some light on the math involved to see if it's worth it for you.  I will show you how long it will take you to "break even" when comparing a hybrid (Toyota Prius) and a fuel efficient gasoline-only vehicle like a Toyota Corolla.

Let's take a look at the numbers.  The comparison will be based off MSRP of each vehicle, 15,000 miles per year driven (average mileage), and I will use the Combined MPG for the calculations.  The fuel price I will use is $3.39 per gallon of Regular 87 octane.

Purchase Price and Fuel Mileage Numbers according to &

  • 2012 Prius II - $24,985 - Only option is Carpet Floor Mats
    • 51 mpg City - 48 mpg Highway - 50 mpg Combined
  • 2012 Corolla LE - $18,799 - Only option is Carpet Floor Mats
    • 26 mpg City - 34 mpg Highway - 29 mpg Combined
Annual Fuel Cost for a 2012 Prius II:

15,000 miles per year / 50 mpg = 300 gallons used per year
300 gallons used per year X $3.39 per gallon = $1,017.00 annual fuel cost 

Annual Fuel Cost for a 2012 Toyota Corolla LE:

15,000 miles per year / 29 mpg = 517.24 gallons used per year
517.24 gallons used per year X $3.39 per gallon = $1,753.44 annual fuel cost 

MSRP Price difference between 2012 Prius II and 2012 Corolla LE is $6,186.00.
Annual fuel savings of a Prius = $736.44

How many years it will take you to "break even" just from the difference in purchase price:

$6,186 price difference / $736.44 annual fuel savings = 8.4 years

Now there are a number of variables that come into play here and some of them are the price of gas, the number of miles that you drive, the fuel economy that YOU get out of the vehicle and the incentives that are on the vehicle when you purchase it.  Currently (May 2012), the Prius has no incentives on it, where the Corolla has a $500 rebate or 0% financing for 60 months.  The incentives make the Corolla an even more favorable purchase instead of a Prius.

I'll give you three more examples, but I'm not going to show all the math.  The first example is if gas goes to $5.00 per gallon.  In this situation, the time required to break even is reduced to 5.7 years.  The second example is if you drive 30,000 miles per year (gas at $3.39).  4.2 years is required in this scenario to break even.  The final example is if gas goes to $5.00 per gallon and you drive 30,000 miles per year.  The higher number of miles that you drive and the higher gas prices go, the more advantageous a Prius becomes.  The last scenario requires 2.8 years to break even.

When purchasing a vehicle there are many things to consider and for those that are considering buying a hybrid, maybe this will give them some insight whether a hybrid is right for them and help keep more of their hard-earned money.  All these calculations can't factor in each individual's value they place on being "greener".  To some, it may be worth it to spend the extra money up front to have a lesser impact on the environment and gradually save money on gas over time.

With the introduction of the new Prius C, Toyota has narrowed the price gap considerably, but the Prius C is a smaller vehicle than a Corolla.  You will always have a trade-off whether it's price, size, mileage, etc.  You need to decide for yourself, what factors are the most important.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

New Off Roading Videos!

I added some videos to the Off Roading page.  I had my 4Runner out this past weekend, with some friends and a customer of mine, to play in the dirt.  Some of the videos are embedded into the page while the rest of them are on my YouTube channel.  Click the Off Roading link to the right or HERE to check them out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Toyota Entune Multimedia System Walk Through

I have made a walk through on how to set up your phone with Toyota's Entune system with pictures and video.  It has all the steps needed to take to get yourself up and running and enjoying Toyota's newest technology they are offering in their cars.  It also includes videos on how to set your home address, program a destination, some of the features of Entune and also how to customize some vehicle settings within the system.  If you find it helpful, you can leave feedback by leaving a comment on the blog page below or on the YouTube video pages.

Click this sentence to go to the page.  You can also click the link in the list of pages to the right on my blog page.

If your vehicle doesn't have Entune, this is the next closest thing.  It is Pioneer's App Radio 2.  This is the second generation of the system.  As of right now, there are 14 different apps available for iPhones and 10 for Androids.  You can use Pandora, Motion X GPS Drive, Extra Mile (helps you drive more efficiently), Google Maps, Aupeo, Best Parking, Waze, Dash Command (onboard diagnostics) and more.  Once I get my 2013 Scion FR-S, I'll be getting this head unit or the Pioneer AVIC-X940BT.  There is no CD player, but I can't remember the last time I listened to a CD.  I've been using digital music for the last couple of years and I'm not looking back!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Content!

I made a page that describes how leasing a car works so you can read about it and determine if it's for you or not.  I also made a page that has some pictures and videos of my dog.  He's a 3 year old Boxer that can be goofy at times.

Leasing 101

My dog Buster

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New Bluetooth Videos are live!

I finished 4 videos that cover the instructions to pairing Bluetooth phones to the different systems that Toyota has available. Feel free to comment and leave feedback!
Click the Bluetooth link over here ------------------------------------->

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Just updated with some of my reviews from Dealer Rater

My Dealer Rater Reviews

2013 Scion FR-S

Here are some videos I took of the 2013 Scion FR-S at the First Drive Event in Baltimore, MD on 5/5/2012