Here at Ideal, we are all about finding you the best car for your rock and roll lifestyle. We are of the opinion that everyone needs an Ideal car like a McLaren 570 or an R34 GT-R. You know, to keep the blood moving and live a long, happy life.
We also know that most of us have to live in the real world, and spending six-figures on an unreliable set of wheels is usually not a great decision. In fact, a lot of us just need cars to get around.
So we started a series here on the blog where we got in touch with people who own, well, let’s call them normal cars. We’ll look at why they chose the cars that they chose so that you can get some valuable insight into whether or not the car is for you.
You should be able to guess what we’ll be starting with. The antidote to car enthusiasm, one of the most practical cars ever built, the one and only: Toyota Prius.
Introducing An Icon
Whenever people see what car I drive, they always ask me, “What’s your miles per gallon?” or they tell me, “Prius sucks. I would never drive one of those!”. The Prius Prime isn’t a game changer in performance, but Toyota has worked on their Prius models since 1997, making it one of the most efficient and affordable vehicles.
I have personally been driving my Prius Prime since 2017. I traded in my Toyota Tacoma and haven’t looked back since. This car is excellent for couples that want to travel and explore without having to worry about high gas prices. It is also a great entry car to understand if an electric car is right for you.
First, let’s get the price of owning this car out of the way. The original value when I bought the 2017 Prius Prime was an MSRP of $29,665, starting with three tiers of models, the plus (LE), premium (XLE), and Advanced (Limited). None of the trims affect the performance or mpg of the vehicle, which I will focus on. The crazy thing is that since gas prices have risen, my car is still valued at around $25,000 with 60k miles on it.
Savings at the Pump
Let’s do some math on how much you can save with the Prius Prime. The gas tank size is 11.4, and it has an 8.8 kWh battery. That means with gas at $5 per gallon, it will cost you at max $57 from empty to full, but if you are like me and fill up at a quarter tank, I only spend 30 dollars to fill up. Now since the Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid, most Electric car kWh lists will not list it, but we can figure out how it compares to other electric vehicles. At 8.8kWh, Toyota states it gets 25mi total under 84 miles per hour, which puts it at 0.35 kWh/mi. I pay 16 cents per kWh, which costs me about $1.41 to charge my Prius Prime. So those 25 miles I drive cost me less than 6 cents per mile to drive.
Compare the Cost
Now we have all of that out of the way, let’s look at how much you save compared to other cars. Let’s see how much you would save on 150,000 miles worth of driving at different gas prices.
|$3.00 Gallon||$4.00 Gallon||$5.00 Gallon|
|Prius Prime (55mpg)||$8,182||$10,909||$13,636|
|Avg Small Truck (18mpg)||$25,000||$33,333||$41,667|
|Avg Car (25mpg)||$18,000||$24,000||$30,000|
As you can see, the 18mpg and 25mph are both over double the Prius Prime’s price in gas. Now you may say, “Oh, but you have to pay for the battery!” Toyota’s warranty covers it for 10 years or 150,000 miles. Well, replacing the battery for a Prius Prime costs about $10,000. That means if gas is $3 per gallon, then a car that has 25mpg will cut even. From there, the savings only go up! As for the truck, you would need gas prices to be below $2.20 to break even on battery replacement. Now you can fend off the battery haters!
If you currently just need an everyday commuter, then there is no question that a Prius Prime is the way to go. The only downside I have with the car is that there is very limited space for storage. Most hatchbacks have storage underneath the floor in the back. However, the Prius Prime uses that space for the Plug-in battery, but I have managed to fit two mountain bikes in the back. As long as it is just you and your partner, this is the best choice you can make to explore. Of course, once you add kids to your vacation, the Prius Prime becomes impossible to fit everything. I hope I can finally stop getting asked about my car and help you pick your next car!
We hope you enjoyed this little look at actual car ownership. If you need a palette cleanser, check out this article on Cheap Drift Cars. Or, if you want to save enough money to own your own Prius (or cheap drift car) then click here to learn about some amazing side gigs.