Originally Posted by groverat
Because the "advantage" is illusory.
The curb weight of a Prius is 2890lbs.
The curb weight of a 4-door Corrola is 2595lbs.
It's a good bit heavier (~11%), and that's not because of parts made from fairy dust, compost, and Miracle-Gro. Those parts are made somewhere using processes, factories, materials, and electricity; they weren't shit out of Mother Nature's loving colon.
Yep, its 300 lbs of toxic battery technology. That and the extra weight from the fact that a Prius has luxury features and the Corolla does not. The batteries should be recycled in the end and both Honda and Toyota claim they will. The economic value probably makes it worth while.
The advantage isn't illusory unless you cherry pick the mileage. Plus hybid technology is still young. Early adopters indicate that a market exists (at least with current gas prices) and this provides incentive for further development over buying a Corola.
A user here gets an average for 46mpg in his Prius.
A 2006 Corolla is rated 32/41mpg (city/hwy).
Obviously the Prius has an advantage here, but it depends on where someone does his driving. I'd bet that if it's a lot of highway miles they'll be almost even.
Googling shows that the average appears to be 48MPG ranging from 31 to 61MPG.
And then you use actual mileage vs rated mileage. From the same site the 2006 Corolla only got 35.5 MPG average with a range from 29 to 41 MPG.
48 vs 36. Annual fuel cost of $715 vs $1093. 3.4 tons of greenhouse gas emissions vs 5.2 tons. 96 cubic feet passenger space vs 89 cubic feet. 16 cubic feet lugggage vs 14 cubic feet. Luxury vs basic.http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/2001c...umn=2&id=21882
The 2007 Prius costs $20419.
The 2007 Corolla LE costs $13950.
Autoleveling HID headlamps, alloy wheels, spoiler, High Solar Energy-Absorbing Glass, rear wiper, fog lamps, push button start, climate control system, tilt steering with audio, climate and navigation function controls, side airbags, curtain airbags, antilock brakes, continuously variable transmission.
Corolla LE. None of these. heck cruise control is an option as are side curtain air bags and anti-lock brakes.
The Toyota site says $21K for the Prius and $15K for the Corolla LE. Add automatic transmission, alloy wheels, spoiler, cruise control, ABS and airbags and the price is $19K.
You can't order leather seats, nav system, etc that you can order on the Prius.
There is nothing wrong with owning a Prius. By the same token, there's nothing wrong with owning a Lamborghini Murcielago or a Corvette Z06. I'd love to have any one of the three, but not because the Prius is going to save the environment or because the Lamborghini and Z06 will lower my track times, but because they're cool, because of their image (although, to be fair, the Z06 does offer Ferrari performance at 1/3rd the price).
Well, a Murciélago or Z06 WOULD lower MY track times which wouldn't be saying much. Well a Z06 would anyway. I'd likely blow a shift on the Murciélago given my last not so hot performance unless I happened to have Kobe's wife's car.
Likewise a Prius does save gas. "Save the environment" is a taller order. Even there, should the Prius drive demand for hybrids in general it should have a positive impact that outweighs its individual performance. Its the first hybrid that didn't suck.