Last post on Nov 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Hybrid Cars, SUV
#896 of 4026 Re: $8000 Premium for HH? [phoebeisis]
Jun 30, 2005 (9:47 pm)
phoebeisis, your manufactured number is based on several factors being heavily biased against the HH and you admit you're guessing on at least one factor. I imagine that given that you're in a region that is hot market for Hybrids, dealers are heavily discounting conventional Highlanders and heavily marking up Hybrid Highlanders and Toyota is offering large rebates on the conventional Highlander, you can achieve your $8000 premium.
I know from research and personal experience that those factors don't apply broadly across the country. The HH is my wife and I's third Hybrid. We own a 2001 and a 2004 Prius (both bought without dealer markup). We saw the same dealer price gouging going on in several hot markets in the country while waiting for the '04 to arrive. I know from following the Prius forums that it wasn't hard to find a dealer that would sell at MSRP, even when people were selling used Prii for more than MSRP.
You fail to consider the tax advantages possible. Of course the Federal deduction of $2000 doesn't do much for most folks, but several states have tax incentives for buying a Hybrid vehicle. If you are a resident of Oregon, you get $1500 tax Credit. Colorado residents get a credit equal to 85% of the differential between the conventional and hybrid equivalent. If you sell your 10-year-old car to an out of state resident, or junk it, the credit is 100% of the difference.
The only state I found a $1000 cash back incentive is California (I didn't try all 50). In Chicago, Denver and Boston, $800 is available. In the Central Atlantic, it is $750. If you buy from a Dealer in Seattle or New Jersey, there's no cash back for you.
According to Edmonds, the spread between MSRP and Invoice on a 2005 Highlander is approximately $3000. You say you can get the conventional Highlander for $4000 under list from the right dealer. This would only be plausible in the regions that offer $1000 cash back on a Highlander and would probably require an afternoon's haggling. I know from personal experience that can buy a HH at true MSRP from the right dealer. Yes many dealers are taking advantage of a tight market, but plenty of dealers aren't throwing dealer options to create an inflated "MSRP".
The Highlander I bought, at the MSRP listed online, had no dealer options and the only port option was cargo/floor mats. They had two AWD Limited with Nav on the lot. The one that had been prepped had a supplimentary sticker where they had added $199 for paint sealant and $3000 Additional Dealer Markup. When I said I pay either, they didn't blink and asked me which color I preferred. It was so easy I feel I could have gotten them to go below MSRP if felt like really haggling.
Of course the real problem is that too many people (usually people that will never be hybrid buyers) focus entirely on fuel economy improvements that hybrids provide and make a big deal that the ROI from fuel savings doesn't cover the premium for the Hybrid. Except for people who can get a state tax break, this is almost invariably true. What they fail to consider are the other factors that add value to a hybrid vehicle, such as benefit the the environment, advanced electronic systems (Especially in the case of the Prius, which has more Lexus in it than Toyota when it comes to the electronics), higher performance (Highlander, RX400h, Accord), etc.
One point that most people don't understand that Toyota's prime hybrid design objective is to minimize exhaust emissions. Fuel economy and/or higher performance simple come along for the ride.
#897 of 4026 Re: Lights shut-off quirk? [bouvsrus]
Jul 01, 2005 (7:24 am)
I am not sure if you're telling us it was the headlights or the interior lights. If it was the headlights, they will shut off when you take the key out of the ignition and open the door. (within a minute or so with the "twilight sentinel"). If, however the car is turned off and you manually turn the headlights on, they will stay on.
Hope this helps, and if not, a bit of clarifiaction would help.
#898 of 4026 Re: Real Life MPG [toyotaken]
Jul 01, 2005 (8:40 am)
Good points toyotaken..The overall "green ness" ,nice interior, extremely handy size-big enough for long trip comfort,but small enough to be a great town car(4" shorter than a Camry), and 7.2 0-60 are a lot more important than couple of thousand $ one way or another on a $40,000 vehicle.
Ok.Lets have some more MPG numbers?!Charlie
#899 of 4026 Re: $8000 Premium for HH? [waltrde]
Jul 01, 2005 (9:02 am)
waltrde,you are right on all points.I might nit pick on how hard it is to get $4000 off MSRP,but an afternoon fighting the sales manager sounds about right.Many markets have $1000 rebates on the regular highlander.
I don't think I am in-New Orleans-a hot Hybrid market.MPG, green ness, and safety aren't really big selling points around here.I confused the issue by mentioning Carson toyota-a big online discounter that does a lot of out of state sales.They even have a Prius on special now(no price unfortunately-bad sign).
Well,gotta agree.The overall green ness,very handy size-long trip comfortable,but city "parkable",near lux level of options available,acceleration and "funness" are all more important than the couple of $$ difference in "eventually cost" of owning.Heck,it is a $40,000 car-$2000 is a drop in the bucket.Thanks.Charlie
PS I didn't think I was biased against the HH??120,000 miles is a plausible length of time to keep it.Granted,I wouldn't dispute the 80,000-90,000 miles figure I saw here.All my figures were guess-estimates ($30,000 vs $38000;$2.50 gal;15mpg vs 25mpg).I ignore resale trade in(HH++ is my guess).I ignored fed-state tax break(HH++).Interest not earned(HH-) I think the factor that is going to end up being the "worst guess" is the price of gasoline.It is more than $2.50/gal in some places already!!In 5 years it might be $4/gal+ and that will make for a sweet trade in resale to say nothing of directly dropping the break even miles.
The HH is a good bet to PAY OFF based just on MPG(another guess,but 7 years ago I paid 89 cents/gal))!!Now I will shut up about break even.
#903 of 4026 Re: Acceleration [johnnyroaster]
Jul 01, 2005 (1:46 pm)
You might check your tire pressure and if that is okay, have the dealer check alignment. A number of posters on a Lexus forum have reported finding that the tires in the new Lexus Rx400Hs were inflated well above spec. At least one of them said that their handling problems went away when they corrected the tire pressure (and one of their complaints was about behavior under acceleration though they didn't describe it as lifting).
The Rx400 has different alignment settings from the Rx330 and some seem to have been set up to the wrong settings. Perhaps the same confusion applies to the Highlander and HH.
#905 of 4026 Re: $8000 Premium for HH? [phoebeisis]
Jul 01, 2005 (5:39 pm)
I've been through the hybrid break even from gas savings argument through two generations of the Prius and now the Highlander (not so much with the 2001 Prius) which has made me rather sensitive on the subject, since if all you are interested in is saving $$$ you don't want a hybrid. It was really the $8,000 figure (which I've seen bandied about by others online) that pushed me over the edge, since my personal research didn't come close support it. Sorry if I went overboard.
I only meant that your figures seemed biased against the HH, except for what used to seem to be expensive gas. You pointed out some valid factors that I had failed to take into account as well. One thing I've learned is that it is too much work to try and figure out the real difference in price between the conventional and Hybrid Highlander when Toyota offers a $750 rebate in Dover, DE and no rebate in Newark, DE on a conventional Highlander.
Glad we've worked it out.